There’s nothing more appealing than a carefully decorated fish tank teeming with colorful fish. If you’re a fish owner, this is probably a statement you resonate with, as you most likely take pride in a dapper-looking aquarium.
Another thing you likely agree with is that gathering all the necessary fish tank equipment can be a hassle. If you wish there was a way to get all of the right equipment in one place and at one single time, the idea of buying an aquarium kit will definitely have its appeal.
An aquarium kit is your go-to product; it includes the filter, the fish tank, substrate, and filter media, and sometimes even a handful of accessories. But what are the best aquarium kits?
Here are a few of our favorites!
The 15 Best Aquarium Kits on the Market
1. Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait Aquarium Kit
With rounded corners and a clear glass top, this 5 gallon aquarium is perfect for the modern home. The rectangular design makes it easy to see each and every detail of the carefully planned out landscape housed inside. Moreover, the sturdy black stand is weighted and can support the weight of the full tank without any sliding or slipping.
In addition to the tank itself, the kit also includes a 3 stage filtration system that is carefully hidden, a pump with adjustable flow, and LED lights. The LED lights are special, with a toggle switch that turns them from daytime to nighttime orientated with a second.
This handy kit also includes filter media and bio-foam, which aid in keeping the tank water clean and pure. When you run out of filter media, it can be replaced with ease as it can be found at most major pet stores.
- Easy to find replacement cartridges
- Includes filter and media
- Features LED lights
- No sharp edges or angles
- Filter current may be too strong for some fish
2. Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium
The Fluval Flex Aquarium comes with everything you need for a freshwater aquarium, as well as an unmatched level of sleek style. It incorporates multi-stage filtration, illumination, and convenience.
The illumination we speak of is courtesy of 6 2450 lux LEDs that simulate the appearance of natural light on the water and the 7500K LED lamp that promotes plant growth. On the other hand, the 3-stage filtration uses a thorough filtering process inclusive of mechanical, biological, and chemical processes.
Water flow can be controlled and all of the filtration parts are discreetly hidden in the back of the tank, while the front of the tank uses its unique curved shape to stand out from its competitors. To feed your fish, the top of the tank has a small opening that makes it easy to slip food inside.
- The thorough 3-stage filtration system
- Various lights sources
- The curved shape that gives the appearance of a larger tank
- Convenient for feeding
- Water pump volume does not adjust
3. Marina LED Aquarium Kit
A 20 gallon capacity makes this aquarium versatile and desirable. In addition to the large size, though, it also includes a number of extra features that make it a must-have. These include an ultra-quiet Whisper filter with adjustable flow and LED light system that aids in the growth of live plants.
In addition, it also comes with a net and fish food. The included water care supplies can be used to start or maintain your tank once it has been established, saving you the cost of buying water treatments.
The tank is covered with a durable plastic cover that can withstand the weight of cats looking for a snack. The bottom of the tank is stable and strong, providing a slip-free station for your tank.
- Kit includes a variety of starter equipment
- LED lights that help plants grow
- Strong, sturdy base
- Stylish curved exterior
- Hood does not attach
4. Tetra Complete Aquarium Kit
This Tetra ColorFusion aquarium kit is sure to wow your friends and family with its generous selection of accessories and high-quality. Included alongside your 20 gallon scratch-resistant tank is a protective hood, a heater, a net, and a Whisper filter.
To add a bit of pizzazz to your tank, the ColorFusion kit also comes with a color-changing LED light that can be manually controlled and set to a specific color. Alternatively, it can be left to cycle through colors.
Each kit comes with a package of Wonderland plants that flourish under the light of the LEDs, as well as a crisp white anemone that dances in the current of the filter. The water is kept at the perfect temperature thanks to the heater we mentioned above, which operates at a set temperature.
- Color-changing LED lights
- Fixed-temperature heater
- Protective hood and net
- Quiet filter for everyday use
- Noise complaints
5. Marineland Contour Aquarium Kit
The Marineland Contour kit is available in 3 or 5 gallon options, with either serving as an ideal starter aquarium kit. It boasts round edges and a clear glass canopy that leaves all of the fish and decor inside of the tank on display for the world to see. The canopy is ideal for helping to maintain the proper temperature in your tank and reducing water evaporation.
The aquarium kit comes with an efficient 3-stage filtration system. This system uses a combination of mechanical, chemical, and biological mediums to ensure a clean, healthy tank. In addition to a 3-stage filtration process, it also comes with an adjustable pump and cartridge.
An LED light bar is included, as well, offering both white and blue LEDs that help to showcase your tank’s appeal. Depending on [personal preference, you can choose to run both types of lights or just the blue lights, which make it easy to see into the tank during nighttime hours.
- 3 stages of filtration
- Day and night LEDs
- Curved, blunt edges and canopy
- Pump with adjustable water flow
- Small filter media space
6. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit
This stylish nano aquarium kit comes with everything you need to get started with your ideal tank setup. The Fluval Spec comes in black and white and is made from etched glass that sports a unique aluminum trim.
The kit comes complete with a 3 stage filtration system, large filter media bags, and a circulation pump with an adjustable nozzle. Moreover, it includes an overhanging lighting system with 37 LED lamps and a cover for the safety of your fish.
All parts of the filter and pump are concealed with a carefully designed honeycomb-style cover.
- LED lighting ideal for growing plants
- 3 stages of filtrations
- Mechanical parts covered with a sturdy, stylish cover
- Two-color options to choose from
- Adjustable pump nozzle
- Poor assembly instructions
7. Koller Products Aqua View 360 Kit
The Aqua View 360 is made of durable plastic that resists cracking and damage, which makes it ideal for households with children and pets. In addition to its strong structural makeup, it also boasts a number of luxuries that add to its overall appeal.
The tank comes standard with energy-efficient LED lights that can change colors. Color-changing can be controlled through a manual timer.
To keep the unit clean, it boasts an internal filter that churns out 25 GPH, removing impurities and toxins within the water. Not only does it remove toxins, but it also effectively removes undesirable colors.
- Adjustable LED lights
- Internal filter with a 25 GPH flow rate
- Made of durable plastic
- Easy to clean
- LED lights are not ideal for growing plants
Related: Top Bow Front Fish Tanks
8. Hygger Horizon Aquarium Kit
With a sturdy base and a one-sided curve, the Hygger Horizon will give any household a sophisticated style and modernity. The smooth glass tank comes with all the fixings that beginners need to set up a new tank.
It includes a 3D rockery background complete with a rockery mountain that’s perfect for planting live plants or grasses. Also included are a 110 GPH, a two-stage filter that doubles as a water pump and LED lights. This filter can also be adjusted to a lower water flow rate.
The lights have an extendable bracket that can be adjusted 0 to 19 inches and can change colors, staying one color or cycling through based on your personal choice.
- Adjustable flow rate filter
- Set of LED lights with extendable brackets
- Curved front and a flat back for ideal placement
- 3D rockery background with space for live plants
- No cover
9. Tetra LED Cube Kit
Equipped with Tetra’s quietest filter, the 3i, this cube-shaped nano tank is great for small areas like desks and bedside tables. It is also one of the brand’s best fish tanks for beginners.
It holds 3 gallons of water and comes with a protective cover that has a dedicated hole for easy feeding. In addition, it also comes with a set of LED lights and an easy-to-follow instruction manual.
This tank is durable and can withstand the test of time thanks to its high-quality makeup of glass and stronghold plastic.
- Sleek, modern design
- Quiet filter
- Precut lid with feeding hole and room for cords
- Sits on a sturdy pedestal base for support
- Scratches easily
10. Penn Plax Vertex Aquarium Kit
Another great model from Penn Plax, the Vertex aquarium kit is available in three size options: 2.7 gallons, 5 gallons, and 10 gallons. This classically shaped tank is composed of ⅛-inch thick bent glass and has curved front corners.
Equally as impressive as the tank itself, the tank kit includes an easy-open hinged lid, a 20 GPH Hang-on filter, a digital thermometer, and a small fish net for safely catching and relocating fish.
The Cascade 20 filter that is included has an adjustable flow rate and disposable cartridges that are simple to replace. On the other hand, the thermometer has a pressure-sensitive backing to ensure a secure position.
- Three size options available
- Includes a net
- Adjustable, 20 GPH filter
- Full range thermometer
- Composed of thick, durable glass
- Lack of space for beneficial bacteria to grow
11. biOrb Flow 30
The biOrb Flow 30 is designed to last. It has been carefully crafted from acrylic, which is 10 times stronger than traditional glass or plastic, 50% lighter, and 93% more transparent for exceptionally easy viewing.
It uses a 5 stage filtration system that not only cleans the water but also adds oxygen into it. Furthermore, the tank is equipped with low-voltage LED lights that sit securely at the top of the aquarium and comes with a bottle of water conditioner and one bottle of beneficial bacteria liquid.
- Includes water conditioner
- 5 stages of filtration including oxygenation
- Lighter than previous models
- Easy to clean and care for
- Quiet, highly-efficient biOrb air pump
- Complicated setup
12. Aqueon Aquarium Kit
The Aqueon aquarium and kit is a low-profile solution to all your fish keeping needs. With a protective hood that houses a series of bright LED lights and an illustrated setup guide, putting your new tank together is a breeze.
In addition to LEDs, the tank kit also includes QuietFlow 10 LED Pro filter, a preset heater suitable for tropical fish, and a container of fish food to get you started. Furthermore, it offers a fish net, water conditioner, and a stick-on thermometer for monitoring water temperatures.
- Super quiet filter with cartridge change warning
- Water conditioner, food, and a fishnet
- Pre-set heater ideal for tropical tanks
- Extensive setup guide
- Silicone seal is weak
Related: best aquarium silicone
13. Aqueon NeoGlow Aquarium Kit
The 10 gallon Aqueon NeoGlow kit offers something unique in terms of design: fluorescent orange silicone around the tank edges. However, this isn’t the only bonus of the tank.
It comes equipped with a low profile protective hood that boasts a set of blue LEDs that complement the previously mentioned silicone. The tank also comes with a preset 50W heater and a QuietFlow LED Pro filter, which uses a multistage filtration system to clean and purify the water.
To offer a bit of creativity, the kit comes with black gravel and vividly colored plants that go great with the LEDs and fluorescent silicone.
- Multi-stage filtration system
- Bright LEDs and complimentary orange silicone decoration
- Includes additional gravel and plants
- Protective plastic hood
- Quiet filter
- Plants are spiky
Related: Fish Tank Lighting for Fish Color
14. biOrb Classic
This biOrb tank is made from acrylic. Thus, it is 10 times stronger than glass, 94% clearer, and much lighter than other tanks.
The biOrb comes in 2 colors and with either LED or MCR lights. It also uses a 5 stage filtration system and a filter cartridge that is “one size fits all” to all biOrb tanks. The tanks operate using a modest 12V transformer.
Also included are an air pump and airstone, filter media, water conditioner, and beneficial bacteria liquid.
- Versatile filter cartridge
- Uses a safe, low voltage transformer
- Two-color options available
- Includes a wide array of tank essentials
- Standard included filter is not for use in saltwater tanks
15. Tetra Crescent
The Tetra Crescent tank is, like its name suggests, slightly curved, giving it a crescent shape. This unique shape is ideal for 360 viewing, with its seamless design and one-piece construction.
Adding to the appeal of the tank, this aquarium comes with a Tetra Whisper filter and hidden LED lights that are both bright and energy-efficient. The tank sits on a stable base that doesn’t slide or move.
- Efficient Tetra brand filter
- Bright LED lights
- Seamless design that resists cracks
- Sturdy base
- No included heater
Beginner Fish Tank Kit Buying Guide
Fish tanks are known for how quickly they seem to get dirty. A perfectly clean tank can go from spotless to crawling with algae within a matter of days depending on where it’s located in the home and what fish live in it.
To combat this, you’ll want a kit with an efficient filter. The filter should cycle through the tank a few times an hour to ensure its cleanliness. It should be able to remove visible debris, ammonia, and nitrates with ease.
If your tank comes with a filter, it should come with filter media. Selling you a filter that lacks media is like selling you the tank without one of its sides – it simply won’t function.
You generally won’t run across a kit that doesn’t have media with its filter, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
Related: Guide for 5 Gallon Aquarium Filters
Any worthwhile aquarium kit will come with a set of lights. Usually, they’re LEDs as they tend to be the brightest and most energy-efficient. Not to mention that they’re the go-to for the prosperity of live plants.
The lights should be secure and stable, with an unfaltering connection and no reported wiring issues.
Most kits include aquarium heater. The heater should be appropriately sized for the tank and may or may not have a preset temperature. If it does, you’ll want to make sure that the water doesn’t get too hot.
If the temperature can be changed, it’ll be up to you to decide whether the water is too hot or cold and make changes accordingly.
If you’re looking to truly get an aquarium “kit”, the kit you get should have a wide array of included accessories. This includes the main parts: filter, lights, heater etc, but also means that it should have luxury items.
These can include plants, substrate, a fish net, or replacement light bulbs. Essentials to the kit, though, should always be water conditioner and beneficial bacteria liquid. Fish food is a good thing to look for, too.
Although it seems like a lot to look for, there are kits on the market that contain all these items, so don’t give up!
Best Aquarium Kit FAQs:
What do you need for a starter fish tank?
To start a fish tank, you need a basic supply of items. We strongly agree with most fish experts in that you should have a heater, filter, extra filter media, food, some decor, water conditioner, and some form of lights.
Additional items might include beneficial bacteria liquid – which is beneficial but is not necessarily a must -, a tank background, an airstone or bubbler, and a net.
What is the easiest fish tank to maintain?
The Tetra LED Cube is a good choice if you’re looking for a fish tank that is easy to maintain. This is because of its small size and filter. The filter is easy to clean, which makes things a ton easier.
What is a good fish tank size for a beginner?
It’s a popular belief that smaller fish tanks are better for beginners. However, the smaller the tank, the more delicate its ecosystem will be.
In a small tank, water parameters need to be monitored more carefully as toxins build up at a much faster rate. Water changes also need to be more frequent, and if you have multiple fish in a small tank, any diseases that one may have, the others will likely get.
A 5 gallon is the bare minimum, but not at all the most recommended size. Any good fish owner will tell you to aim for 10 gallons and up, with the sweet spot being 20 gallons.
Are bigger fish tanks easier to maintain?
As a general rule of thumb, yes. Larger fish tanks are more forgiving of subtle water parameter changes, new tank mates, and general cleanings.
Related: Guide for Self Cleaning Aquariums
Which is better, an acrylic or a glass aquarium?
Whether you prefer glass or acrylic is a personal preference. Although, if you’re looking for a tank that is light and available in a wide variety of fun shapes, acrylic would be the way to go.
Glass tanks are heavier and harder to manufacture, but they are also more scratch-resistant than acrylic tanks.
How long does a new tank take to cycle?
In general, new tanks take anywhere from 2-8 weeks to cycle. Once you add your first fish, you’ll want to wait until the 2-8 week period is over before adding more.
Adding more fish too soon can cause the nitrate levels in your tank to spike, killing your fish. Be patient when you make use of your beginner aquarium kits – you’ll be rewarded for it by thriving, happy fish!