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10 Best Fish Tanks For Kids: Starter Kits 2022 Reviews

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

kid boy is watching fish tank in his room

Are you looking to buy an aquarium for your kid? Well, if you are, you are going to want to read this. No, don’t be scared away because getting your kid an aquarium can be a really fun and rewarding experience, not to mention that it will help you bond with your kid. Getting your kid their first pet in the form of a beginner aquarium is about as safe, fairly cheap, and easy as it gets. So, let’s talk about what you will need to do if you get your kid a small aquarium, and of course, we also have a list of our top best 10 fish tanks for kids.

If you are prepared to take care of the fish and clean the aquarium, well then a good age is probably between 4 and 6, because your kids will definitely get some joy out of it. On the other hand, if you expect your kid to look after the fish, well then you might want to wait until they are 9 or 10. Simply put, don’t expect your 4 year old to clean out a filtration system.

Now that we have talked about kids and aquariums, let’s talk about what we feel are some of the best fish tanks for kids. Remember, none of these are big or fancy, which is exactly what makes them ideal for kids to get started with.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium
  • Beautiful design
  • Filter is neatly hidden
  • 2 gallons - great for more than 1 fish
  • Second place
    Aqua Culture 1 Gallon Aquarium Tank Starter Kit Aqua Culture 1 Gallon Aquarium Tank Starter Kit
  • Impact resistant
  • Space saving design
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Third place
    Tetra 29041 Half Moon Bubbler Tetra 29041 Half Moon Bubbler
  • 3 gallons – ideal for several fish
  • 180 degree view of the inside
  • Underwater lights
  • API Betta Kit 360 Degree Fish Tank API Betta Kit 360 Degree Fish Tank
  • 360 degree view
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Light included
  • Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium
  • Space saver – flat back
  • Durable design
  • Convenient feeding hole
  • The 10 Best Fish Tanks For Kids: Our Reviews 2022

    1. Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium – Best Overall

    Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium

    If you need a good starter aquarium for your child, one with everything you need to get started, Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium, 2-gallon is a decent option to consider for your home.

    This is a nice-looking aquarium that is ideal for kids, for desks, and for office spaces alike. It has a very nice and elegant look to it, something you and your kids can appreciate. This tank comes with a 3 stage filtration chamber, which is concealed by the frosted glass, which helps to maintain its aesthetic beauty.

    Everything you need for the filter is already included. This is 2 gallons in size, which means that it is ideal for housing several fish. It also comes with a light for some illumination, as well as a circulation pump too.

    Pros
    • Beautiful design
    • Filter is neatly hidden
    • 2 gallons – great for more than 1 fish
    • Comes with a filter and circulation pump
    • Light included
    Cons
    • Made of glass – will break if dropped
    • Rocks and plants not included

    2. Aqua Culture 1 Gallon Aquarium Tank Starter Kit

    Aqua Culture 1 Gallon Aquarium Tank Starter Kit

    The Aqua Culture 1 Gallon Starter Kit is in our opinion a pretty decent starter aquarium for kids, let’s look at it in more detail.

    This Starter Kit is a 1 gallon tank made of impact resistant acrylic. This is great for kids because it is not going to break at home if they are rough with it or drop it by mistake. It is also a nice little square aquarium which is perfect for a small desk, nightstand, or shelf. It does not take up too much room

    The Aqua Culture 1 Gallon Aquarium Tank Starter Kit comes with a seven watt light for your fish, an air pump and tubing, and a state of the art under-gravel filter. It also comes with some food and water conditioner too. This is the perfect starter kit for any kid.

    Pros
    • Impact resistant
    • Space saving design
    • Comes with everything you need
    Cons
    • Only fits one fish
    • Gravel and plants not included

    3. Tetra 29041 Half Moon Bubbler

    Tetra 29041 Half Moon Bubbler

    This is a cool miniature fish tank for any child who wants some small tetra fish in their room.

    This is a neat beginner’s tank for several reasons and one we feel is one of the cool aquarium for kids. It comes complete with a cartridge based filtration system that is fully functional and has the necessary filter components included.

    This is a 3 gallon aquarium, so it can fit a fair amount of tetra fish. The half-moon shape of this tank makes it a pretty space saving tank, plus it provides your kids with a 180 degree view of their pets, which is of course a bonus.

    Pros
    • 3 gallons – ideal for several fish
    • 180 degree view of the inside
    • Underwater lights
    • Comes with a cartridge filtration system
    • Fairly durable
    Cons
    • Does require some maintenance
    • Innards not included

    4. API Betta Kit 360 Degree Fish Tank

    API Betta Kit 360 Degree Fish Tank

    This is a beautiful little fish tank that will provide your kids with a 360 degree view of the fish inside. It’s a beautiful, easy to maintain, and space saving aquarium for your home.

    This is a nice little fish tank for a single betta fish. It is 1.5 gallons in size, which is more than enough for a lone betta. However, the tank is not so big that it requires a lot of maintenance. Its small size also makes it perfect for a small shelf or table in your kids room.

    The API Betta Kit comes with an efficient LED lighting system that can display 7 different colors, plus it does not use very much energy. The lights can be powered with an electrical outlet or with batteries. Many people like this aquarium because it provides an unobstructed 360 degree view of the fish inside.

    Pros
    • 360 degree view
    • Ideal for small spaces
    • Light included
    • Comes with some food
    Cons
    • No filter included

    5. Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium

    Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium

    This is a small but nice looking tank that has a convenient shape, it looks nice, and is good as a little starter fish tank for your home.

    We really like the shape of this tank. This particular tank has a half moon shape with a flat back. This means that you can see the inside of the tank from 180 degrees for great fish viewing. At the same time, the flat back makes it easy to place against a wall or other flat surface. It has a nice little space saving design.

    This is 1.1 gallons in size , which is more than ideal for a single betta fish. Moreover, this thing also comes with an LED light which can be placed either below or above the tank for some neat illumination. The top of the tank actually has a convenient feeding hole too.

    Pros
    • Space saver – flat back
    • Durable design
    • Convenient feeding hole
    • LED lights included
    Cons
    • Light requires battery or micro-USB cable (not included)

    6. Hawkeye 3 Gallon 360 Aquarium

    Hawkeye 3 Gallon 360 Aquarium

    This 3 gallon is great for a large fish or several smaller fish. It has a really beautiful design and comes with everything you need to get started.

    One of the things everyone will like about this particular tank is that it is a 360 degree tank, which means that you can see the fish inside from all angles. You will also like the fact that this thing has a hood with a convenient feeding hole, it comes with an aeration pump, an under-gravel filter, and an LED lighting system too.

    This tank comes with everything you need for illumination, to keep the tank clean, and to keep the fish well-supplied with air. The LED lighting is leak proof and comes with 12 different color modes for the amusement of your kids.

    Pros
    • Very quiet
    • Ok for space saving
    • Comes with lights
    • Has a filter and aeration pump
    • 360 degree view
    Cons
    • Might be too large for some kids
    • Rocks and plants not included

    7. Fluval View Oval Plastic Aquarium

    Fluval View Oval Plastic Aquarium

    This is a good little plastic aquarium to go with. It’s great for kids and for various small spaces at home.

    You will definitely like the fact that this thing comes with an integrated pump, filter, and LED lights too. More or less, this aquarium comes with everything needed for your kids’ new pet fish.

    This is a 4 gallon aquarium, and it is partially rounded. So, while it is ideal for small spaces, you will have a little bit of trouble fitting it into a corner. It does have a removable plastic cover for easy feeding as well. The whole thing is transparent so fish can be viewed from all sides.

    Pros
    • Transparent – can see fish from all sides
    • Comes with lights, filter, and pump
    • 4 gallons – ideal for a few fish
    Cons
    • The plastic may be a little fragile

    8. Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

    Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

    This makes for a great starter aquarium for any kid, and actually makes for a good aquarium for adults too. It comes with everything you need to get started, which is an essential feature no doubt.

    This is a 5 gallon tank (we have reviewed our top 9 here), which makes it ideal for housing a couple medium sized fish or some smaller ones like tetra fish. It is a large aquarium so it can fit more, which depending on your kid can be a good or bad thing.

    We like the fact that this is a square aquarium with 3 clear sides. Your kids can see the fish on the inside from 3 sides for lots of viewing pleasure. You will like the fact that this tank comes with a 3 stage filtration system, one that is hidden behind a panel to maintain the tank’s good looks.

    This thing also comes with bright white and blue LED lights that can be set to night or daytime mode. This tank also has a glass hood which slides away for easy access to the tank.

    Pros
    • 180 degree view
    • Comes with a hidden filter
    • Has a lighting system
    • Is fairly big
    • Square design is good for kids rooms
    Cons
    • Might be too big for a beginner tank
    • Glass is fragile and may not be the best for young kids

    9. Tetra 29040 Hexagon Aquarium Kit

    Tetra 29040 Hexagon Aquarium Kit

    This is a neat hexagonal shaped fish tank that is another possible options for kids to get started.

    One of the things that everybody should be able to appreciate about this aquarium is that it is in the shape of a hexagon. Simply put, it looks really cool, plus, all six sides are see-through so your kids can view their fish from all angles. This is only a 1 gallon tank, so it does fit neatly into small spaces, especially because of its angular shape.

    This thing comes with all of the components that you and your kids need to take care of a few tetra fish. Included is a tetra air pump, an internal filter, a filter cartridge, airline tubing and a connecter valve, and an LED light too. Besides the fish and fish food, plus some plants, there is really nothing else that you need to buy.

    Pros
    • Included LED light
    • Comes with a filter and air pump
    • Convenient shape
    • Fits in small spaces
    • 360 degree fish viewing
    Cons
    • Quite loud

    10. My Fun Fish Aquarium

    My Fun Fish Aquarium

    The My Fun Fish Aquarium is a self-cleaning fish tank and it’s pretty basic so good for young children whom may not be ready for a larger size aquarium yet.

    The best part about this particular fish tank is that it uses special gravity clean technology to keep the water clean. You or your kids will never have to clean this aquarium, which is something we can all appreciate. This also keeps the water fresh and oxygenated for your fish, this removing the need for a filter or aeration pump.

    This is a square aquarium with all clear sides so your kids can see the fish from all sides. This is also convenient because it fits neatly into and small space and any corner too. This thing even comes with an LED light and an aquatic plant as well. This is one of our favorite aquariums for children for the above reasons.

    Pros
    • Very space friendly
    • Unobstructed view of the inside
    • Self-cleaning for convenience
    • Comes with a light and aquatic plant
    Cons
    • Can only fit one fish
    • Not all that durable

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    What Is The Right Age To Get A Kid An Aquarium?

    This is a subjective question with no real answer. What you really need to ask yourself is who is going to be taking care of the fish and aquarium, you or your kids? There is no age too young for pets, at least not if your kids are just looking at them and playing with them. However, things change when it comes time to take care of a living thing.

    How Much Time Is Involved Looking After An Aquarium?

    This all depends on how big your aquarium is. A little 1 or 2 gallon tank like we talk about below in the review section is not going to take very much time or effort at all. Of course if you have an aquarium like the one they keep killer whales in, well then you have a whole different task on your hands. Anyway, when it comes to aquarium maintenance for a little kid aquarium, don’t expect too much.

    You will probably spend no more than 1 hour per week, if even, taking care of a 1 or 2 gallon fish tank. Clean the filter, change a little bit of water, skin out some waste, and feed the fish. Except for fish feeding, those things only need to be done around once per week. If you are worried about your kids not pulling their, well, at least there is not too much work that you will get stuck with!

    What Are The Most Important Things I Need To Do?

    When it comes to a small aquarium like you are planning to get little Joey or Josephine, well there really is not that much to be done. Yeah, there is a little maintenance, but it is minimal.

    Feeding

    You are going to have to feed the fish, probably with some generic flakes, 2 or 3 times per day. After all, they are living creatures so you do need to keep them well-nourished.

    Cleaning

    About once per week you will have to clean out the tank, maybe even every 2 weeks. Just change some of the water, around 25%, put in some new water, and clean out the filter (or replace cartridges if necessary).

    Water Changes

    Like we mentioned above, you will want to change around ¼ of the water in the tank about once per week.

    Health

    Just make sure that the water is not too dirty, that you feed the fish right, and that you give them some light, as well as ensuring the filter is working well.

    Like we said, you are only looking at a 1, 2, or at most a 3 gallon, so the work involved is minimal. If we are thinking of getting a slightly larger option then this post compares 10 and 20 gallon tanks.

    FAQ

    Should I Buy Just The Tank or A Kit?

    If you are buying a kids fish tank, it is probably best to go with a small kit, as it will generally end up being much more cost effective.

    If you can find a kit that comes complete with the aquarium, a small heater, a decent filtration system, and everything else to get started, you will end up saving a lot of money compared to buying everything separately.

    Are Fish Good Pets For Toddlers?

    Yes and no. On one hand, fish, especially a small and easy to care for fish, in a small tank, is not that hard to maintain.

    As long as your toddler feeds it, it should be fine, plus it allows you to teach your toddler about the basics of caring for a life. On the other hand, getting any kind of pet for a toddler is always a risky endeavour.

    They may forget to care for the pet or just get bored of it. That said, a fish is probably better for a toddler than any other pet.

    What Is The Best Fish To Get For A Child?

    common goldfish
    Image Credit: Piqsels

    You want to get a fish that is simple to care for. That is the bottom line.

    Some ideal fish for kids that make good pets include goldfish, guppies, danios, tetra fish, and betta fish. Generally speaking, these tend to be the easiest pet fish to care for and to keep alive.

    Artificial Tank Vs Real Tank For Kids?

    This is a debate that many parents go through when considering to get a fish tank for their kids. Should I get my little one a real fish tank, or one filled with a bunch of plastic junk? Based on the way we worded that question, you can probably guess where we are going with this. Sure, a fake fish tank with fake fish and fake everything may be a little easier to maintain, and yes, in fact does not require any maintenance, but it is also wholly uninspiring and woefully boring.

    If you are going to get an artificial tank you may as well not get one at all. They aren’t very fun to look at, while still being noisy, plus the whole joy and wonder of having fish kind of disappears too. Put it this way, when you eat a burger, you want a real one, not an artificial one.

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    Conclusion

    Whatever you do, just make sure that your kid is ready to take care of his/her pet fish, and if they aren’t, well, you need to be prepared to do all of the work. No, there is not much work involved when it comes to a small aquarium, but it is still work none the less. If you are going to get an aquarium at home for your kid, we would definitely recommend one of the above options. If you want a slightly bigger option then checkout our Coralife 29 tank review here.


    Featured Image Credit: Jovan Barajevac, Shutterstock

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