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What is the best fish tank starter kit?

Fish tank starter kits

If you're suffering from anxiety, high blood pressure, lack of productivity, or you just need some help falling asleep at night, watching fish swim around in a tank can help you with all of those issues and more. Before getting fish, however, you have to get a fish tank starter kit.

Fish tank starter kits should be sized to fit both your space and your budget and come with everything you need to get started. Our top pick, the accessory-packed Marina LED Aquarium Kit, is perfect for those who are new to caring for fish. To learn more about fish tank starter kits, keep reading.

What to know before you buy a fish tank starter kit


Choosing the right size fish tank can be tricky. A smaller model may fit the space you have available, but the larger your tank is, the easier it is to take care of. The size of a fish tank is measured in gallons (not dimensions such as length, width, and height). A 20-gallon tank is usually a good size for beginners.


Fish tanks are available in glass or acrylic, and each has advantages. A glass tank is less expensive, offers greater protection against scratches, and maintains a consistent clarity over the years. An acrylic fish tank, on the other hand, is lighter weight, can come in a variety of shapes, and is slightly more impact-resistant than glass.

What to look for in a quality fish tank starter kit


A lid not only keeps the curious (both pets and people) out of the fish tank, it keeps the fish from jumping out of the water and helps reduce evaporation. Choose a fish tank with a lid that fits securely but is easy to open.


While having a light in the lid of your fish tank might not benefit the fish, it can enhance the aesthetics of the tank. The best lights are multi-colored LEDs so you can change the hue depending on your mood.


A filter is essential — without it, your fish might not survive for even two days. Filters should have multiple layers of filtration so they can remove all undesirable elements from the water.

How much you can expect to spend on a fish tank starter kit

You can get a small fish tank starter kit for under $50, but it’s highly recommended (if you’re serious) to splurge a little and get something larger. A 20-gallon tank, for instance, costs around $110 and makes it easier to take care of the fish. However, if you have the room and the budget, you could spend $1,000 or more on a large starter kit that could hold 50-100 small fish.

Fish tank starter kit FAQ

I'm new to this. Should I start off with a small tank?

A. Believe it or not, a small tank is harder to take care of because the water conditions can change so rapidly. If you have the available space and the budget, go for a mid-size tank (20-50 gallons).

How much does a fish tank weigh?

A. A lot! A filled 50-gallon fish tank weighs more than a baby grand piano. Be sure you place the fish tank in a location with adequate support.

Does it matter which fish I add to my aquarium?

A. Yes. Don't make impulse buys. Always research fish to make sure they’re compatible with each other and the established water conditions.

What’s the best fish tank starter kit to buy?

Top fish starter kit

Marina LED Aquarium Kit  

Our take: If you’re just starting out, this kit has all the essentials you need.

What we like: Comes with an easy clip-on filter and cartridges. Energy-efficient LED lighting. Kit also includes fish food, water conditioner, a net to scoop the fish, and a handy guide. Comes in 5-, 10-, and 20-gallon options.

What we dislike: Some reported that the filter was too noisy for them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fish starter kit for the money

Koller Products AquaView 3-Gallon 360 Aquarium

Our take: A compact, affordable fish tank starter kit sized for a dorm or tabletop usage.

What we like: This fish tank kit comes with the tank, a filter, and multi-colored LED lighting that can be turned off at night. It’s manufactured to be seamless so the product won’t leak.

What we dislike: Occasionally, a user runs into trouble with a faulty filter.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

Our take: A small but stylishly designed honeycomb tank that features an impressive filtration unit.

What we like: This nano aquarium has a 3-stage filtration system that provides optimal water clarity. It’s easy to clean and has a solid-fitting lid.

What we dislike: The compact design means that the tank is only suitable for 1-2 small fish.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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