Private ScubaSea Life CreaturesFishkeeping Guide › Aquariums

List of Best Aquariums for Beginners

If you want to start keeping fish at home you're going to need some kind of strong transparent container that will hold a lot of water.

The information in this help guide contains a review of the best starter fish tanks and why certain styles and sizes are better than others.

Tips for Selecting the Right Size Fish Tank

There's more than one way of creating a beautiful vivarium for aquatic animals to live in.

Here are some good examples:

Of course, choosing the right type of fish tank and equipment is going to be easier for veteran aquarists.

But what if you're new to fishkeeping and still learning how to take care of fish as a pet? If so, this list of fish tank reviews will help to steer you in the right direction.

Starter Fish Tanks

For the most part, complete beginners tend to start small - and there is nothing wrong with that. Buying a small starter aquarium will cost less and you'll have more flexibility for choosing a good location.

Even so, one of the common mistakes novice fishkeepers make is starting off too small. In fact, it's generally less complicated to take care of fish when they can roam around a large, spacious aquarium.


Some of the typical problems associated with small fish tanks tend to manifest themselves rather quickly. A good example would be cloudy water issues (sometimes called 'bacteria bloom').

Of course, we're not suggesting that a 55 gallon marine project is the best type of fish tank for all beginners. But, generally speaking 'bigger is better' when it comes down to choosing the right size aquarium.

Plus, the shape of the container is another all-important factor to consider. You want to optimise internal volume and gas exchange at the surface. Hence, long and wide reef aquariums tend to be best if you have schools of fish and lots of aquarium accessories.

Top Fin® Starter Aquariums

Almost any review about the Top Fin fish tank range will have a positive outcome. In fact, the cheapest 10-gallon starter kit is an ideal choice for a complete novice or for young children to start keeping fish.

Pro Tip: Check out another section that focuses on Top Fin® aquariums and starter kits for beginners and find out why the brand is respected by leading aquarists.

Aqueon® Fish Tanks

Beginners will find Aqueon aquarium products suitable for almost everything needed to get started. They cater for aquarists who are looking for freshwater, brackish water, or large marine applications.

Imagitarium Aquariums and Bowls

Imagitarium™ could be the top choice of supplier if you're looking to create the ideal aquarium or reptile habitat.

Fluval Aquatics

The company boasts about "bending the rules of traditional aquarium design". Why? It's because the bold curved front styling of their Flex Aquarium Kits sets them apart from most of their rivals in the fishkeeping industry.

Sea Clear Aquarium

Not only does Sea Clear Aquarium company sell great looking products, they also rehabilitate and repair aquariums of any size or shape. They can also accommodate requests for custom-made aquariums.

Aquariums by Marineland®

After providing you with the aquarium, they have everything you need to create your own "personalised" aquatic museum. The brand is renowned for offering a variety of aquariums, and aquarium kits, to suit all tastes and experience levels.

Is Glass or Acrylic Better for Fish?

In the beginning, you'll need to choose between an acrylic or a traditional glass aquarium. There are clear pros and cons for both types.

For example:

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Fish Tank

For the most part, you'll find it easier to manage a freshwater system. However, maintaining a marine aquarium is not quite as complex as it may sound.

In fact, modern innovative aquarium equipment has made it easier for keen home aquarists to set up and manage stunning marine tanks.

You can buy a basic saltwater aquarium to get started and introduce a few hardy fish. Then, see how it goes from there.

Boxed Kits

By and large, boxed aquarium kits tend to be the best way to get going if you're starting out from scratch. The sizes range from ten to fifty five (55) gallons. In most cases, the kit will include the beginners setup guide, and:

Pro Tip: Besides the standard rectangular shape tanks, you can also get Bowfront and Hexagon starter kits in the full Aqueon® range.

Novelty Fish Tanks

Despite the low price, "gimmicky cartoon character" aquarium kits are something to treat with caution. In general, this type of fish tank is not the best for beginners.

You may find them more suited for very young kids - even though the kit will be sparse and usually inadequate for successful fish keeping projects.

Related Information and Help Guides

Pro Tip: The short video [8:01 seconds] presented by 'Seafriendlyreef' contains ten different types of reef aquariums to help you choose the best fish tank for your particular situation.

Divers also enjoyed reading about...