Best 5 gallon aquarium - 2023 reviews buyers guide

There are some nice choices when looking for a 5 gallon aquarium kit.

nano fish tank

If you don't have much room or you want a small 5 gallon aquarium for your office there are lots of choices.  Your choices range from just the bare 5 gallon tank through to an aquarium kit that comes with everything you need to get started. Also a 5 gallon is a good starting point if you only wanted to keep a betta fish

5 gallon aquarium comparison table

Acrylic or glass tank aquariums

When it comes to tank sizes it's not just the size of the tank to consider. It is important to consider the weight of the tank once it contains water that is your primary consideration.

1 US gallon of water weighs just over 8lbs so with a 5-gallon tank,  the water alone will weigh just over 41lbs.

We then need to add the weight of the tank. A glass 5 gallon aquarium will be about 7-10lbs empty, with Acrylic aquariums being almost half in weight. The result is that a glass 5-gallon tank filled with water will weigh 48 to 51lbs.

You may consider an acrylic tank which is lighter, however, they scratch a lot easier.

Curved aquariums V's Square.

Curved tanks do look very stylish compared to a traditional flat front tank. However, a curved tank can sometimes give distorted view when looking at the side of the tank so something to think about when choosing a small 5 gallon aquarium.

So here is a mixture of glass and acrylic 5 gallon aquariums that are value for money from just a tank that is like a blank canvas to an aquarium kit with different styles and all that's needed is to add some fish!

How many fish in a 5 gallon tank?

A 5 gallon aquarium isn't going to be big enough for a heavy stock of fish or fish that may outgrow your tank.

Betta is a good choice for a 5 gallon aquarium of even shrimp. You have to remember it's not just the amount of room they can swim in but also the amount of water, which with to many fish in a small nano size tank could over load your tanks bio system and creating to much harmful ammonia. Some people have thriving 5 gallon aquariums with 1 betta 3 neon tetra's and a couple of shrimp.

Which is where a regular water change is important in a smaller size aquarium. to keep that amount of fish in a small tank then a weekly 50% water change would be necessary.

Marineland portrait 5 gallon aquarium kit

5 gallon fish tank
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As the name suggests this is a taller glass tank than it is wide which can make it ideal when you don't have much space.

It's a rather sleek design the tank has nice curved edges that make it more pleasing to the eye. Some nice features are the hinged light and the sliding glass canopy for easy access to the aquarium for feeding time or when you want to clean the aquarium.

The base stand is included but you don't have to use that if you don't want to as long as the tank is sat on a nice flat surface.

The blue LED gives a nice relaxing glow at night for that perfect ambiance that will have your friends and family jealous. And when you want you can change it to a nice white glow for daytime attraction. Also with the option of turning off the light with the 3 way toggle switch.

With an impressive hidden 3 stage filtration system that includes a "Rite-Size Z" cartridge With Bio-Foam. with the option to be able to adjust the filter flow.

It really does come packed with some great features. You will need to add an aquarium heater depending on what type of fish you want to keep.


being a tall aquarium allows taller plants and ornaments to be used.

Very silent filter running is a big plus.


The filter can generate a strong current even on the lowest settings so worth fitting a baffle to the end to absorb some of the generated currents.

Fluval spec v 5 gallon aquarium

best 5 gallon fish tank
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The Fluval 5 gallon tank is another kit that is equipped with the necessary items to get you started. It's a traditional style glass tank that comes with a 3 stage filtration system that is hidden in a compartment at one end of the tank. for easy access when needed.

The filtration comes with a foam block, BioMax rings and activated carbon to take care of all the filtration needs of the residents. The flow rate of the pump filter is adjustable which is always a good thing to have if you find the flow just a little bit too strong.

It's a glass etched tank that has an aluminum trim with the filter located at one end of the tank for good access when needed.

The lighting is a sleek design that overhangs the aquarium and uses 37 powerful LED lights, so you won't have any problems being able to see in all corners of the tank.

A 25watt heater will be fine for this size of tank the Hydor heater is a good choice for this aquarium.

Top tip for this filtration is if you find the flow just a little on the strong side for your betta then a good option is to install a foam filter over the outlet flow just to calm it down a little the  Fluval EDGE Pre-Filter Sponge works perfectly for this and fits nicely over the outlet.

Tetra Crescent Acrylic 5 gallon Aquarium Kit

5 gallon betta fish tank
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Next up in our 5 gallon aquarium review is the Tetra 5 gallon kit, this beautifully curved tank is a little different being acrylic so a bit lighter than a glass tank, having no seams around the edges is also nice.

Also being acrylic means tank manufacturers can make some nicer shapes that aren't really possible in a glass tank.

The filter features the tetra whisper® cartridge filter that is easy to maintain and change the bio bag cartridge does a great job of keeping the water crystal clear with removing any debris and waste.

Keeping the aquarium nice and healthy for the fish with the aid of the ultra-activated carbon You can lower the output flow on the pump for the benefit of smaller residents.

The lighting uses 16 LED's which are Eco-friendly to give a nice soft effect to the tank at night.


acrylic so lighter with no visible seams

Very straightforward and easy setup. Includes water conditioner and biological aquarium supplement.

The see-through top has nicely placed cutouts to accommodate a heater or other accessories.


the lid is a little flimsy no heater included we'd recommend a 25-watt heater.

The LED light is a little big and covers over so much of the tank that it hard to clean or do any rearranging without removing it.

API Panaview 5 gallon aquarium Kit

5 gallon fish tank starter kit
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The Panaview 5 gallon tank is a very stylish seamless acrylic tank that is complimented with a hood and lighting system that consists of 7 different colored LED's to give the tank any mood and style you want.

The rounded curved front gives the tank a nice view with the back being flat for easy placement anywhere around the house or even office.

The LED lighting is integrated into the full hood that covers the aquarium nicely.

The included filter is a super clean 10 with a 45GPH flow rate so the tank won't take very long at all to become fully filtered. With the  Chem Zorb 10 resin-carbon filter it does a great job of removing any aquarium pollutant.  Pollutants include discoloration, odors, heavy metals, and toxic gases


 Acrylic so nice and seamless tank


 feeding hole is a little small

Penn Plax curved corner glass 5 gallon Aquarium Kit

five gallon fish tank
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The Penn Plax aquarium is a glass tank aquarium that has a nice subtle curved edge.  This feature is not something you always find in a glass aquarium.

It features the cascade 300 which has two chambers that you can customize. The bottom chamber uses a sponge filter for mechanical filtration and the middle chamber uses a cartridge with carbon filtration.

The sponge mech filter chamber has an opening in the center tube, which allows water to bypass the sponge filter. you can fit a TAAM Rio micro pad, then cut it to the shape of the filter. It does have 3 settings for the flow of the outlet the lowest is recommended when smaller fish like bettas.

The filter is effective and very quiet which is always something to consider.  A noisy filter can spoil the mood of the aquarium.

The LED light, with the hinge style lid, makes access inside the tank nice and easy for feeding time or when you need to do some maintenance. The light isn't overly bright which might appeal to some. The only downside is it doesn't come with a toggle switch so the light has to be turned off at the plug.



the filter is very quiet


 the light needs to be turned off at the plug.

GloFish 5 gallon aquarium kit with blue LED lighting

5 gal fish tank
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The glowfish aquarium is a very cool looking tank.  This is particularly at night and is ideal for when you want that almost Halloween effect. This can be enhanced by if you use an under gravel bubbler.

Its curved so something a little different that compliments the whole styling of this 5 gallon aquarium. It's acrylic which is ideal for children as it makes it a bit safer from being damaged accidentally. The only downside is you can scratch acrylic a lot easier than glass.

The filter is the tetra whisper canister filter that does a very good job of cleaning the tank.  It also isn't too noisy. Some owners have upgraded the filter over time to the Marina S10 Power Filter which is a good upgrade for this tank.

The 15 Blue overhanging LED's help to exaggerate the look of this tank at night. The lights bring out the amazing colors of your fish to give this tank that glow-fish look at night.

Depending on the type of fish you want to keep a small 25-watt heater will be a good option for this size of the tank.


acrylic so safe for younger people


 The lid is not hinged and can fall into the tank if not careful.

Fluval Chi II 5 gallon tank aquarium set

5 gallon glass fish tank
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Another unique design for our best 5 gallon aquarium review is this Fluval Chi aquarium set. The uniqueness of the taller tank makes it a stylish feature in anyone's home or office. The Chi aquarium is inspired by feng shui to inspire positive energy by sight and sounds.

The filter is built into the square top section.  The outlet of the filter gives a waterfall effect to add to the feng shui relaxation. You get from a nice gentle trickling of water. Also, this is such a benefit as you don't get any hard flow into the tank.

Fish like small Bettas will love you for it. The base of the filter box is also the inlet of the filter.  It also has some LED's to give a nice downlight mood.

It's such a compact unit with no overhanging lights.  They have really made great use of the space of the tank too.  It is not very wide measuring 10x10 and 14.4 inches high.

Fluval Edge Aquarium with LED Lights

fluval 5 gallon
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This second Fluval aquarium in this review is the Fluval edge. It is 6 gallons so I hope you can forgive me. I also reviewed the 12 gallon aquarium.

I've added the Fluval Edge because it has got a nice sleek look.  It has a 6 sided tank design which means the lid is integrated into the fish tank.

The integrated lid allows you to fill the fish tank up to the top.  This means that you do not see the water line and it also gives a nice view from the top.

The filter is cleverly hidden inside the back panel section behind the fish tank. It uses a sponge for mechanical filtration, charcoal for chemical and ceramic rings for Biofiltration.  Therefore, this does a great job of cleaning the aquarium. The flow outlet can also be controlled.

The LED light clips on top of the panel.  This allows you to move the light up when you need access to the inside of the tank.

The fluval edge has 21 LED's to make sure the tank is nicely illuminated.  It also has some nice deep blue LED for night time viewing. The LEDs can be controlled with a 3 way toggle switch.

This aquarium doesn't come with a heater.  You may not need a heater depending on the type of fish you want to keep. Fluval do a heater that is designed for the Edge tank. The Fluval Edge 25W Compact Heater clips fits nicely in place and you can hide the cord down inside the rear panel.


Nice design that means no visible water line and great views from the top.


Can be a little awkward to get access inside the tank with only the small opening.

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