Best 5 Gallon Fish Tanks: Reviewed

Best 5 gallon tank

Have you been looking into starting a fish keeping hobby? Want a 5 gallon tank to begin but don’t know which tank to choose or even what to look for in the best 5 gallon fish tank for you?

Having a reliable aquarium is the first step to gaining experience and knowledge and can make or break much more than your enjoyment. Because of that, it is a wise move to be looking at 5 gallon fish tank reviews to find which one is right for you (and your fish).

Furthermore, 5 gallon fish tanks are great for both beginners and experienced hobbyists who don’t want to use up a lot of space at home. You can buy aquarium kits, too, to help reduce the cost.

So, let’s not keep you waiting. Here is everything you need to know about choosing a 5 gallon fish tank, including reviews!

What To Look For When Buying The Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank For You

Whether you are a first-timer or have been keeping aquariums for a number of years, there are a couple of things to consider when you begin looking for 5 gallon fish tanks. Going into any kind of comparison shopping without knowing what to look for or what features you want can quickly become daunting. If you don’t know what is considered “best,” then you might end up making a dissatisfying selection.

To help you avoid that, here are several things to consider when buying a 5 gallon fish tank:

  • Durability: Whenever you purchase an aquarium—as a kit or separate—you want to know it is going to last. Not only does this save money, but it prevents any major accidents that could hurt or kill your fish and plants. Read reviews and keep a look out for any mention of failed silicone seals!
  • Features: Not all kits are the same. Some kits will come with everything you need (heater, filter, food, net, and more), while others will give you hardly anything. Some tanks are simple. Others might have smartphone technology, like controllable LED lighting or timers or automatic filtration, and so on. Consider what you want then search for those things.
  • Ease of assembly: No one wants to spend all day setting up an aquarium. Make sure you are purchasing a tank that can be set up without a hassle.
  • Maintenance: How easy is the aquarium to clean and repair? If an aquarium is difficult to maintain, it won’t be as enjoyable. Plus, unclean fish tanks spell trouble for the longevity of your fish, plants, and the tank itself.
  • Aesthetics: No one wants to look at a boring glass box with fish inside. The best 5 gallon fish tank is going to be aesthetically pleasing and complement its surroundings.
  • Cost: The overall price of the fish tank should also come into consideration. Always choose a tank that is affordable but not cheap.

Top 5 Best 5 Gallon Fish Tanks

How did we choose the best of the best? Using the credentials listed above, we scoured the internet (and our personal experiences) to consider the top-rated aquariums, the reviews and opinions, and brand reputability to ensure that these tanks won’t let you down. Here are several examples of great 5 gallon fish tanks that you won’t regret buying:

1. MarineLand Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit

Whether you are a beginner or experienced, you cannot go wrong with this tank by MarineLand, a trusted name in aquariums. The compact size of the filter and the tank means you can put it almost anywhere, and the height makes it ideal for growing all kinds of plants.

Performance-wise, the filter is one of the best on this list, because it cleans the water of all unwanted debris and waste effortlessly and quietly. Say goodbye to smelly water! Another reason to purchase this 5 gallon tank is the hassle-free assembly. It will take you no time at all to set up and start enjoying.

Pros

  • Tank is quick and easy to set up
  • Portrait orientation helps with growing taller, fuller plants while taking up less space overall
  • Affordable price
  • Filter operates silently
  • Wonderful three-stage filtration

Cons

  • Area around filter is narrow, making it difficult to clean
  • Need to lift the light to clean the tank
  • Feeding your fish requires removing the tank cover
  • LED light is dim

2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

This high-quality tank kit is available in 3 different sizes, so if you find that the 5 gallon tank is not big enough to meet your needs, you have 10- and 20-gallon options as well.

The smallest tank has everything you need as a beginner to set up a successful aquarium for your fish, like a clip-on filter, LED lighting module, and other goods, like superior quality fish food. You also receive water conditioner, booklet, and a fish net.

Overall, it is a cost-efficient kit that gives you a leg up when just starting out, this becoming a best 5 gallon fish tank option.

Pros

  • High quality, sturdy construction
  • Choose from 3 different sizes if you want a bigger aquarium
  • Bright lights included to enhance the colors of the fish
  • Filter runs quietly
  • Made by a reputable company
  • Water conditioner and fish food is included in the kit

Cons

  • Heater is not included
  • Design of the tank is not customization-friendly
  • The lights are attached to the hold, which means removing lights whenever you take off the hood
  • Vibrates

3. Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit

Any novice aquarist will be pleased to know that there is a reliable and cost-effective choice out there for them. If you want to keep both the plants and fish in your tank alive for years, then the Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium is the best 5 gallon fish tank for you.

This tank is incredibly portable, and all the components are compact yet extremely powerful, maximizing the area your fish have to swim. The energy-saving LED light transforms the tank into a mesmerizing display, as well.

Lastly, the filter, which is the bulkiest part of the tank, operates extremely well and will keep the entire clean—and the slight cost of its size.

Pros

  • One of the more portable tanks on this list
  • Uses mechanical and chemical filtration
  • Durable and easy to set up
  • Powerful yet quiet operation
  • Energy-efficient lighting

Cons

  • The filter is bulky and takes away from swim space

4. Koller Products Panaview 5 Gallon Aquarium

Looking for a 5 gallon fish tank that is easy to assemble right out the box? Despite the size of this tank, the performance quality is top-notch. Not only do you get a stunning aquarium for an amazing price, it is ideal for both beginners and experienced hobbyists.

Also, it is incredibly convenient. Installing the filter, for one, is simple and requires no special utensils to get it into place. The filter also comes with an impeller that rapidly cleans dirty tanks, leaving them looking and smelling much better in no time. The only drawback? People report that the filter can be a little loud at times.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Has an LED light that has 7 colors
  • Includes a functional impeller
  • Efficient filtration system
  • Durable construction
  • Compact
  • Quick and easy assembly

Cons

  • Does not run quietly

5. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit

Available in two colors—white and black—the Fluval Spec V aquarium is one of the pricier options on this list but well worth the cost. It comes with everything you need for your fish and plants to thrive with minimal effort.

The design of the aquarium is fantastic. The filter is incorporated right into the design, so your fish can swim around without worrying about bumping into the filter. While the filter does look bulky, you aren’t sacrificing any space, which is a great bonus. Also, the LED display at night is beautiful.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Quiet operation
  • Kit comes with foam block, activated carbon, BioMax bio rings
  • Brightly lit—contains 37 LED lights
  • Highly-rated three-stage filtration to keep tank incredibly clean

Cons

  • The flow rate is not ideal for some fish, including betta fish. Plus, you cannot control the flow rate.

6. MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit

As mentioned earlier, MarineLand is a trusted brand in the world of fishkeeping. The MarineLand Contour 5 is meant for the desktop and is a beautiful aquarium to behold. The design has rounded corners, bright blue and white lights fixed on a rail above the hood, and it looks much bigger 5 gallons.

If you like to watch your fish in the tank, you will also enjoy the way the LED lights mimic the look of light underwater as it passes through the glass canopy, creating a relaxing scene for both you and your fish. The kit also comes with bio-foam, a filter cartridge, and a three-stage filtration system that maintains the environment of the tank well.

Pros

  • Sleek and functional design that doesn’t take up a lot of space
  • Comes with a hinged LED rail, making lighting easy
  • Sliding glass canopy for easy feeding and cleaning
  • Two light settings (daylight and moonlight)
  • Incredible three-stage filtration
  • Lights can run a timer

Cons

  • The filter’s flow rate can be a bit strong for some fish
  • Some reviewers said that filter is difficult to access and clean
  • Filter compartment is bulkier than it appears

7. Aqueon Fish Aquarium Starter Kit LED NeoGlow

Although similar to many other kits in what it includes, the Aqueon aquarium has a more aesthetically pleasing design. It also has a number of features that make it a smart purchase.

In the kit, you get a portrait oriented tank, a low-profile blue LED light, and a quietly running filter. The kit also includes a number of decorations for the aquarium to make sure you are starting off right. All you really need is water and some fish!

Pros

  • Comes in four sizes, so you could always get a slightly bigger tank
  • Made with eye-catching green silicone
  • Blue LED lighting is excellent for glofish varieties
  • Includes substrate, two artificial plants, food, and water conditioner
  • Quiet filter

Cons

  • Does not include a heater for tropical fish
  • Silicone may chip or come unevenly distributed

8. Fluval Evo V Marine Aquarium, 5 Gallon

Do you want to keep marine life? Then you a beginner-friendly kit like this one. The Fluval Evo V is the best 5 gallon fish tank for those who want saltwater fish for two main reasons: the lighting and the three-stage filtration system.

First, the LED lighting assists with coral growth and makes everything look bright and clear. The filtration cleans the water efficiently and noiselessly. Also, we cannot forget about how durable this tank is.

It will remain in top condition for many years, especially if you perform some routine maintenance and keep it clean.

Pros

  • The lighting is perfect for stimulating coral growth
  • Honeycomb cover hides the filter, keeping it out of sight
  • Compact and stylish design
  • Switch between day and night lighting with one touch
  • Superior three-stage filtration

Cons

  • Not very spacious for fish, especially when growing coral

What Do I Need For a Successful 5 Gallon Fish Tank?

If you decide that you don’t want a kit or that you are not pleased with what comes with the aquarium, then you need to buy equipment separately. At the bare minimum, you need the following things for a decent fish tank:

Filtration

Regardless of the size, your fish tank will need a filter. Fish produce waste, and in smaller volumes of water, the amount of waste they produce will accumulate much faster than in larger tanks. Therefore, you need a filter that can remove those toxins quickly. Ideally, you want a filter that handles chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration that isn’t overly powerful, because that will disrupt the flow rate.

Heater

If you want to keep any kind of tropical fish, you are going to need a heater. This ensures the water will remain consistently warm. Also, if you have a heater, you will be able to select a lot more fish, since most fish are native to warmer waters.

Lighting

Having decent lighting ensures your fish have a day/night cycle, keeping them healthy. Secondly, lighting the aquarium will bring out the colors of the fish and plants, transforming your tank into a beautiful and relaxing scene.

As long as you have these 3 things in your tank, you will be okay. Of course, you will also need to purchase some substrate (bottom gravel or sand) and some decorations to keep your fish healthy. There are few fish that will tolerate a tank that is devoid of anything but water. Consider live plants to help with oxygen and ammonia absorption. Algae magnets are great for cleaning glass.

Then, all you need to do is figure out which fish to stock your tank with!

Conclusion

There are plenty of 5 gallon fish tanks out there to choose from, but are they going to serve their purpose? Knowing what to look for in a 5 gallon fish tank can help you decide which design and features are perfect for your needs. 

Whether you are getting the tank for children, are just starting out yourself, or you’re a more experienced aquarist in need of a holding or quarantine tank, 5 gallon fish tanks are an excellent choice. Hopefully, this list will come in handy as you search for the best 5 gallon fish tank!

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