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6 Best Small Fish Tanks in 2024 (Nano Tanks) – Reviews & Top Picks

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

small aquarium beside workstation Nano fish tanks are rapidly growing in popularity because they make aquarium keeping accessible to many people, especially those with minimal space for an aquarium. It’s important to select the right small aquarium for your needs, though. Different types of fish, invertebrates, and plants have specific needs, so it’s necessary to understand those needs before you pick an aquarium. This will help you pick the perfect aquarium for your space and desires.

To help you pick the best aquarium for your home, we’ve put together these reviews of the best small fish tanks on the market.

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A Quick Comparison of Our 2024 Winners

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Lifegard Crystal Aquarium with Back Filter Lifegard Crystal Aquarium with Back Filter
  • High clarity glass
  • Precision-cut edges with invisible glue
  • Hidden back filter
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Koller Products Tropical 180 View Aquarium Koller Products Tropical 180 View Aquarium
  • Sturdy plastic
  • 180 degrees of viewing
  • LED light has seven color settings and an adjustable timer
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    biOrb Classic LED Fish Aquarium biOrb Classic LED Fish Aquarium
  • Lightweight and high clarity acrylic
  • Air stone for improved water aeration
  • Includes a full filtration system with filter media
  • Marineland Portrait Blade Light Aquarium Kit Marineland Portrait Blade Light Aquarium Kit
  • Includes a hidden filtration system with filter media
  • Rounded tank corners enhance visibility
  • LED light with two color options
  • Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit
  • Stylish and functional etched glass with aluminum trim
  • Hidden filtration system includes multiple types of filter media
  • Includes a high-power LED light
  • The 8 Best Small Fish Tanks

    1. Lifegard Crystal Aquarium with Back Filter – Best Overall

    Lifegard Crystal Aquarium w: Back Filter

    Check Price on Chewy

    Size: 14”L x 11”W x 11”H
    Number of gallons: 14 gallons
    Material: Glass
    Extras: Back filter system

    The best overall small fish tank is the Lifegard Crystal Aquarium with Back Filter. This aquarium is made from high-clarity glass and has precision-cut edges with invisible glue joints for maximum visibility of your tank from three sides. The fourth side consists of a hidden back filter, and it includes a filtration system with filter media and features an adjustable directional flow so you can set this tank up.

    This tank doesn’t have a lid or hood, and some users do report a large amount of evaporation due to this. It’s important to monitor your water levels and top them off as needed.

    Pros
    • High clarity glass
    • Precision-cut edges with invisible glue
    • Hidden back filter
    • Includes filter pump and filter media
    • Adjustable directional water flow

    Cons
    • No lid or hood


    2. Koller Products Tropical 180 View Aquarium – Best Value

    Koller Products AquaView 3.5-Gallon Aquarium

    Size: 2”L x 8.8”W x 135”H
    Number of gallons: 5 gallons
    Material: Plastic
    Extras: Internal filter, LED light

    The best small fish tank for the money is the Koller Products Tropical 180 View Aquarium. This small tank is made from sturdy plastic and offers 180 degrees of viewing. The included LED light has seven color options and an adjustable timer, and the included internal filter helps keep water clean and flowing. It comes with the first filter cartridge that you’ll need to get your tank up and running.

    The LED light operates via three AAA batteries or a 5V power adapter, but neither of these items is included in the kit, so you’ll need to purchase them separately.

    Pros
    • Great value
    • Sturdy plastic
    • 180 degrees of viewing
    • LED light has seven color settings and an adjustable timer
    • Includes internal filter with filter cartridge

    Cons
    • Doesn’t include the necessary AAA batteries or power adapter to operate the LED light


    3. biOrb Classic LED Fish Aquarium – Premium Choice

    biOrb Classic 30 Aquarium with MCR

    Size: 75”L x 15.75”W x 16.5”H
    Number of gallons: 8 gallons
    Material: Acrylic
    Extras: Filtration system, LED light, air stone

    The biOrb Classic LED Fish Aquarium is a high-quality small tank option that retails for a premium price. This round tank is made of high-clarity acrylic, which is lighter and clearer than glass, as well as providing better insulation than glass. It also includes a full filtration system with filter media and an air stone. It has a seamless appearance, and the base and lid are available in multiple colors.

    Like most biOrb products, the products and separately purchased décor are interchangeable with most other biOrb products, making it easy to come by parts and filter media replacements when needed.

    Pros
    • Lightweight and high-clarity acrylic
    • Includes a full filtration system with filter media
    • Air stone for improved water aeration
    • Includes an LED light
    • Seamless appearance with lid and base color options
    • Interchangeable parts with other biOrb products

    Cons
    • Premium price


    4. Marineland Portrait Blade Light Aquarium Kit

    Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit

    Size: 8”L x 11.6”W x 17.1”H
    Number of gallons: 5 gallons
    Material: Glass
    Extras: Hidden filtration system, glass canopy, LED light

    The Marineland Portrait Blade Light Aquarium Kit is a glass aquarium that features a hidden filtration system with included filter media. The included LED light has two color options, and the rounded tank corners enhance visibility. The sliding glass canopy allows for easy tank access for cleaning, maintenance, and feeding. The attached pedestal base gives this tank an attractive and eye-catching appearance.

    Some people have reported the filter pump with this tank making a buzzing sound, especially when it’s turned down, so it may be necessary to run the filter pump at full strength to prevent this noise from occurring.

    Pros
    • Includes a hidden filtration system with filter media
    • LED light with two color options
    • Rounded tank corners enhance visibility
    • Sliding glass canopy allows for easy access
    • Pedestal base gives an attractive appearance

    Cons
    • Pump may make a buzzing sound


    5. Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit

    Fluval SPEC Freshwater Aquarium Kit

    Size: 5”L x 11.6”W x 7.5”H
    Number of gallons: 5 gallons
    Material: Glass
    Extras: Filtration system, LED light

    The Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit includes an etched glass aquarium with aluminum trim for a stylish and functional design. The included LED light has an arched design, and a full hidden filtration system is also included with this kit. It even includes multiple types of filter media to get your tank up and running. It’s designed to maintain high water quality, and the high-clarity glass ensures you’ll always have a great view of your tank.

    Some people report it being difficult to access the hidden filtration compartment. Also, the included LED light is quite powerful, which is good for plant growth but can also lead to the overgrowth of algae.

    Pros
    • Stylish and functional etched glass with aluminum trim
    • Includes a high-power LED light
    • Hidden filtration system includes multiple types of filter media
    • Designed to maintain high water quality
    • High clarity glass

    Cons
    • Filtration compartment may be difficult to access
    • LED light may support algae overgrowth


    6. Radius Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit

    Radius Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit

    Size: 9”L x 14”W x 11”H
    Number of gallons: 5 gallons
    Material: Glass
    Extras: Cascade internal filter, LED light, hinged lid

    The Radius Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit includes a glass aquarium with curved corners, maximizing visibility within the tank. The frameless, seamless design allows you to view your tank from all four sides, and the clear plastic lid also allows for visibility from above. The lid uses a hinge for easy use, and the internal filter ensures your water quality will stay high. The included LED light also maximizes the visibility within the tank.

    The LED light lacks an on/off switch, so you must use the wall plug to turn the light on and off. The lid does leave some open space, so this tank may not be suitable for fish and invertebrates that are prone to escaping.

    Pros
    • High-clarity glass tank with curved corners
    • Seamless and frameless design
    • Clear plastic hinged lid allows easy access and visibility from above
    • Internal filtration system is included
    • Included LED light

    Cons
    • LED light lacks an on/off switch
    • Open space between the lid and tank edges


    7. Frisco Regular Aquarium

    Frisco Aquarium, 5.5-gal

    Size: 16”L x 8”W x 10”H
    Number of gallons: 5 gallons
    Material: Glass
    Extras: None

    The Frisco Regular Aquarium is a basic aquarium option that doesn’t include bells and whistles, allowing you to customize it to your needs. The diamond-polished edges are free of sharp edges, and the glass is high-clarity for great visibility. This tank has a plastic rim, which means that it has greater stability than rimless tanks. It also allows you to use a variety of filter types, lids, and hoods on this tank.

    The black silicone sealant gives this tank a professional look, although it may slightly detract from visibility. There is a lid available for this tank, but it’s sold separately.

    Pros
    • Can be customized to meet your needs
    • Diamond-polished edges are safe and not sharp
    • High clarity glass
    • Plastic rim increases stability and allows for greater customization

    Cons
    • Black silicone may decrease some visibility
    • Lid is sold separately


    8. Aqueon LED MiniBow SmartClean Aquarium Kit

    Aqueon LED MiniBow Kit with SmartClean Technology

    Size: 9”L x 9.8”W x 11.9”H
    Number of gallons: 5 gallons
    Material: Acrylic
    Extras: Filtration system, LED hood, fish food, water conditioner

    The Aqueon LED MiniBow SmartClean Aquarium Kit is a great desktop small aquarium that is lightweight, thanks to its acrylic design. This kit includes the aquarium, as well as a full filtration system, a hood with built-in LED lighting, and samples of fish food and water conditioner. The filter uses SmartClean technology that allows you to perform water changes in less than 2 minutes. The aquarium sits on a pedestal base, giving it a high-quality look, and it’s available with a white or black lid and base.

    This is a very small tank, so it won’t be functional for most fish. The bow front of this tank may give a slight distortion of things within the tank.

    Pros
    • Lightweight acrylic
    • Includes a full filtration system with SmartClean technology
    • Included hood has built-in LED lighting
    • Two color options for pedestal base and hood

    Cons
    • Very small
    • May cause slight visual distortion

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Small Fish Tank for Your Needs

    Very few fish can tolerate living in a small tank, so it’s important to have a set idea of what type of tank you’re interested in keeping. Some tanks aren’t built to withstand or support saltwater setups, while others will work well as a small reef tank.

    You should also choose a tank that has a filtration system that you’re comfortable with. Back filters are similar to sump systems and may be confusing or difficult for some people to use. Internal filters are a good option for many types of fish and invertebrates, while hang-on back filters may be too strong for fish fry and small invertebrates.

    Make sure to select a tank that can not only fit in the space you have available but that won’t weigh too much for the surface you intend to put the tank on. A gallon of water weighs around 8 pounds, and even a small tank can get quite heavy once you add water, décor, and substrate into it.

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    Conclusion

    The best overall small tank that we reviewed is the Lifegard Crystal Aquarium with Back Filter, which is made from high-clarity glass and features a convenient back filter with all the things you need to get it running. The most budget-friendly small tank is the Koller Products Tropical 180 View Aquarium, which offers 180 degrees of tank viewing through high-clarity, lightweight plastic.

    For a more premium small aquarium, we love the biOrb Classic LED Fish Aquarium, which features a seamless appearance, high clarity, and everything you need to get your tank started and functioning properly.

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    Featured Image Credit: Penfer, Unsplash

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