Choosing the right fish tank can be important depending on what fish you want to keep. For instance, if you are a starter yet you just want a small tank for a small space, you might want to go with a 5-gallon fish tank.
In this article, we cover some aspects of choosing a 5-gallon fish tank, as well as suggested picks and how to take care of your fish and set up your aquarium at home.
Best 5 Gallon Fish Tanks Reviews
We chose the following for the best 5-gallon fish tank:
1. MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
For those who prefer a stylish and seamless 5-gallon fish tank that has rounded corners, this can be an option for you. It allows for easy viewing so that you can check out your little aquatic friend from different angles. What’s more, we also like that its clear glass canopy can slide for easy feeding.
And that’s not all – the LED lighting is hinged so that when you set it up, it becomes easy to tweak. This would be important for its daylight and moonlight cycle with white and blue LEDs, which we also like. The cycle between two lighting styles can make your fish feel like their 5-gallon fish tank is like their real home out in nature.
Moreover, this tank is also compatible with Marineland Rite-Size Z Filter Cartridges with its filter system so you can just replace the cartridges when necessary. Also, the filter is non-obtrusive to the fish and has a 3-stage filtration so that it can thoroughly lean the 5-gallon fish tank with its adjustable pump.
We think that this fish tank can suit betta and tetra fish for its design. Likewise, it is easy to assemble so that even beginners can have less trouble with it. Added to that, the glass is thick so that it won’t be easy to break for long-term use.
What’s more, the filter also runs quietly so it can be used even in bedrooms. Because it has a low footprint design, you don’t have to worry a lot about space and where to set it up – it can even be placed in rooms such as those in apartments.
- Comes with a filter
- Has an LED lighting
- Okay for betta fish
- Has a seamless design for easy viewing
- Has a 2-color light cycle
- The rear filter area could be a bit difficult to clean
If you want an aquarium for small spaces, you can try the MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit.
2. MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light
For your fish to feel like they’re out in nature, this 5-gallon fish tank has a hinged LED light that can be switched from blue to white and vice-versa. This allows you to use the daylight/moonlight settings for the fish to have a normal body clock.
We like that it has a sleek design due to the rounded corners so that you can be able to see your fish from different angles. In addition to that, it also comes with a rite-size z filter cartridge for the included 3-stage filter so that you don’t have to buy one from the store. Having a filter system in your aquarium setup is important so that your fish won’t breathe dirty water.
That’s not all – we saw that the filter is hidden from sight which can mean a lot when it comes to design. By having a filter that is non-obtrusive, you are making the 5-gallon fish tank less bulky and more spacious for your chosen fish. And since it has an adjustable flow filter pump, it can be okay even for betta fish and the like.
Another feature that we liked is the high-quality glass cover, which makes it durable and protected, yet it also keeps the tank well-sealed. Moreover, you can also attach an optional foot stand if you don’t have a good surface to place the aquarium onto. We’ve observed that the filter pump runs quietly so it won’t cause a ruckus in your home.
Since the 5-gallon fish tank takes a small footprint, even those who live in apartments and condo units can use this tank. It also has inexpensive filter media for those who are beginners. We also like that it has a black background so you can decorate the tank with anything that you like. Last, but not the least, since the base is not attached, you can place it anywhere.
- Has a hinged LED light with day/night cycle
- Comes with a filter
- Glass cover
- Sleek design with rounded corners
- Small footprint
- The included filter could be slightly strong for small fish
For those who want a 5-gallon fish tank that has a daylight and moonlight LED system, you might like the MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light.
3. Fluval 10528A1 Evo V Marine Aquarium Kit
Ideal for saltwater fish, this 5-gallon fish tank can be stylish and durable at the same time since it is a glass aquarium. It also comes with a filter that has 3-stage filtration, which also comes with mechanical, chemical and biological media. This is important since if the filter hasn’t been changed for a while, it could affect your fish and the quality of water that they are living in.
Added to that, it also has a lamp: a 11000K high-output LED that can help your fishes get the right lighting that they need. Lighting is also important since it can give more oxygen to your fish, and, if you have live plants, it will also allow them to grow properly. The 5-gallon fish tank can be ideal for corals as well since it is a saltwater tank.
Moreover, it also presents day & night illumination so that you can have a realistic environment for your fish. That’s not all – the design hides the filter using the honeycomb design, which also gives the fish more room to swim around and more room for other accessories, such as heaters, filters, and the like. It also adds more space for live plants and another décor.
Don’t worry about the 5-gallon fish tank’s setup: it comes with a low-voltage transformer that’s safe to use around water. It is also made with an all-aluminum, waterproof casing so that your tank can stay durable for the years to come. This also means it’s saltwater-ready.
- Ideal for saltwater fish
- High-output LED lamp
- Can be used for corals
- Day and night illumination
- Aluminum casing
- May not fit larger fish
You might like the Fluval 10528A1 Evo V Marine Aquarium Kit if you want to set up a simple saltwater fish tank.
4. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit
If you intend to keep a nano aquarium for small fish, you might want to try this one, since it could be just the right size. This 5-gallon fish tank has a 37 LED lighting system (overhanging lighting system) so that it is not only easy to set up but it can also cast more light to more areas of the fish tank, allowing your pets to enjoy the bright daylight simulator.
Now, let’s look at the dimensions of the tank: it measures 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 inches in total, which is common for most 5-gallon fish tanks. Because it already comes with a foam block, activated carbon, and bio max bio rings, you can start using it right away since the filter system is already there. As we mentioned above, filter systems are crucial so that your fish only breathe and thrives in clean water.
Whether you decide to keep betta fish, nano fish, bottom feeders, tropical fish, goldfish, and the like, you can find this 5-gallon fish tank compatible with them due to the size. What’s more, its 3-stage filtration system can be beginner-friendly to set up.
What we found out about this aquarium is that it has a sleek tank that can look good in most living rooms and bedrooms. Adding to that, it also has plenty of space for betta fish inside so it can be a good starter for those who want to take care of betta fish.
Moreover, the LED lights change from white to blue to simulate daytime and moonlight. As for the construction, the 5-gallon fish tank is an etched glass tank with aluminum trim for added stability.
- Has LED lights
- Great for betas and nano fish
- Sleek design
- Comes with filters
- Has a day/night lighting system
- The light is awkwardly placed; can be a hindrance while feeding the fish
We think that you might like the Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit if you prefer to take care of nano fish.
5. Carolina Biological Supply Company Aquarium Tank
For those who want a tank-only product, you can try this one, especially if your old tank is used or if you want to purchase just the tank when setting up your aquarium. It is an all-glass aquarium is made with triple-strength, clear glass, which makes it durable and also clear to see on what’s inside.
What we like about this 5-gallon fish tank is that it has silicone rubber welding, which can prevent a leak from happening anytime soon, as long as you take good care of it. Moreover, this fish tank is compatible with any recessed cover for the top frame so even if it doesn’t come with a lid, the recessed cover can make the new lid easy to fit into.
That’s not all – the 5-gallon fish tank can be ideal for betta fish due to its space, which measures 16 x 8 x 10 inches overall. However, not all fish keepers like to raise tropical fish like betas: some prefer seawater creatures, to which this tank is okay to use with saltwater.
Get a load of this: the leak-proof aquarium is also cleverly-arranged before delivery: we found out that this 5-gallon tank is well-packaged when it ships to your doorstep. We like this fact since we all know that shipping anything fragile can be a challenge, especially fish tanks or aquariums. Most people who bought the fish tank found theirs to be fine as well with little to no damage.
- Well-packaged before shipping to avoid damage
- All-glass aquarium
- Has silicone rubber welding for leak resistance
- Okay for betta fish
- Also okay for saltwater fish
- Doesn’t come with a lid
If you want a tank for betta fish, we’d like to recommend the Carolina Biological Supply Company Aquarium Tank for you.
6. Marina LED Aquarium Kit
Do you want to start your aquarium at home and just want a beginner’s kit? You might like this one since this 5-gallon fish tank comes with nearly everything basic about fish tanks. For instance, it already comes with the Marina S20 clip-on aquarium filter, which you can use to filter out your fish tank water (of course, not a complete substitute for changing your water every week).
Since this tank has a natural daylight effect LED, it will make your pets feel like they’re out in the forest or river with the lamp shining on them, which can also improve the oxygen for your fish (and for live plants, if any). The 5-gallon fish tank measures 16 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches so there can be sufficient room for most fish.
As for a bonus, it comes with free samplers of fish food and water conditioner so that even if you are new to fish keeping, you already have fish food and conditioner at hand. What’s more, the filter system allows for quick-change filter cartridges so that even those who are new to this hobby can find it easy to take care of it.
We also agree that the black sealant for algae concerns can be useful, especially if your 5-gallon fish tank is placed in an area where there’s more likely to be humidity and mold issues. In addition to that, you don’t have to feel aggravated with motor noise because the filter runs quietly.
Overall a fish tank that is easy to set up for beginners, it also comes well-packaged for safety. We like the fact that this 5-gallon fish tank has an all-glass construction for clear viewing, too.
- Natural daylight LED
- Comes with free fish food and water conditioner
- The motor of the filter runs quietly
- Has black sealant for algae problems
- May not have that much space for a heater
We think that the Marina LED Aquarium Kit could be an ideal beginner fish tank at 5 gallons.
7. Penn-Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit
Made with a bent glass design, you might enjoy this 5-gallon fish tank if you prefer an aesthetic design and uninterrupted view of your fish and other aquatic creatures, and even plants. Because it has a cascade internal filter, you can rest easy with the space problems since the filter is quite hidden from sight, allowing you to decorate the tank as you wish.
In addition to that, the 5-gallon fish tank also comes with an LED light to brighten up your fish’s kingdom. We also like that the tank comes in a 3-piece construction so that even those who are beginners could find it easy to set up. Also, we saw that the mat fits perfectly onto the bottom of the tank.
Bearing a frameless design, you might like this 5-gallon fish tank if you also prefer to take pictures of your fish due to the 11 x 8 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches of space and a very clear view. As for the top, it has a hinge style plastic lid so that feeding your fish can be a breeze (or just adjusting the tank’s contents in general).
What’s more, the 5-gallon fish tank also has biological filtration so that it doesn’t heavily rely on mechanical filters alone. This can be essential since your fish do need to breathe good quality oxygen from a clean water source. Last, but not the least, if fake plants aren’t your type, the tank can also be used for live plants such as the anubias due to the lighting.
- Uninterrupted seamless view of the fish
- Has an LED light
- Comes with a filter
- Has biological filtration
- Compatible with anubias plants
- Lack of clear instructions for the filter change mechanism
If you want a 5-gallon fish tank that has curved corners, you might want to try the Penn-Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit.
8. Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit
Yet another tank that has a curved front design, this one is also good for those who prefer to have a good view of their fish. However, unlike the traditional square or rectangle 5-gallon fish tanks that we mentioned above, this one is a uniquely designed crescent-shaped aquarium! Therefore, this could make a great room décor.
In addition to that, it comes with an internal power filter so that you can get started on your fish keeping hobby and maintain the right quality of the water. What’s more, the energy-efficient LED lights are hidden so that your fish gets more space around and think that the lights are coming from real sunlight.
We also like the fact that this 5-gallon fish tank has a low-profile black cover. This is important for homes with low ceilings or just lack space footprint in general, yet want to start a fish keeping hobby. And since it is a seamless tank, viewing the fish can be a breeze.
With 15 x 9 x 11 inches of space, the 5-gallon fish tank can be used for tropical fish such as the betta fish. Added to that, aside from fish, you can also include some shrimp for natural biological filtration.
- Has a curved design
- The LED lights are strategically-placed
- Has a small footprint
- Can be used for tropical fish
- Seamless tank design
- The filter feels bulky and could get in the way of some fish
For those who want an aquarium for tropical fish, the Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit could be an ideal pick for you.
9. Koller Products Panaview 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit
We picked this fish tank if you want one that has various colors. But first, we have to mention that its included internal filter has a power of 45 gallons per hour. We like that it has 7 dazzling color selections on its LED lamp so that your fish can experience a colorful light show, which your kids, family members, and other guests might also love.
Measuring a total of 14.2 x 10 x 11.5 inches, this 5-gallon fish tank has a sleek design with seamless construction so that you can view your fish easily, as well as the scenery underwater that you’ve created. And that’s not all – this tank is probably ideal for those who want to keep tropical fish such as betta fish.
In addition to that, the filter is compatible with Tetra Whisper S Replacement filter cartridges so that replacing the filters might not be that costly. Also, since the 5-gallon fish tank is one-piece construction, setting it up is not only simple but also proves to make the tank durable.
Here’s a plus point for those who feel annoyed with non-hinged lids: the hood has a hinge that allows it to tilt backward. This helps with feeding the fish more conveniently or when checking out the inside of your 5-gallon fish tank. The colorful addition of LED lights and convenience can make it great for homes with kids to teach them how to take care of fish.
- Comes with an internal filter
- Has a 7-color LED lamp
- Sleek and seamless glass design
- Easy filter cartridge replacements
- Has hinged lids for easy feeding of fish
- The internal filter is a little on the loud side
Overall, we think that the Koller Products Panaview 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit is ideal for those who want color-changing LED lights for their fish tank.
How to choose the best 5-gallon fish tank
Ease of setup.
This refers to how simple the fish tank is to put together. A 1-piece or a 3-piece construction can be straightforward for beginners who have never tried taking care of fish before.
This refers to the dimensions. Usually, a 5-gallon fish will be around 16 inches in length so it’s not that spacious as compared to those with bigger capacities. Make sure you know that the tank fits into the space you intended to put it in.
View of the fish.
Most people would rather purchase a fish tank that has an unobtrusive view of their fish. The best way to achieve this is to go for a fish tank with a seamless or curved design as if you’re watching from a curved TV. In this way, you can see the fish and other creatures better.
Accessories and freebies included.
While most tanks do not come with anything else but a tank, some come in kits. For instance, they may include any of the following:
- Filters (mechanical, biological, etc.)
- LED lamp
- Food and water conditioner
Durability and Handling.
You have to make sure that the fish tank is smartly shipped and is made with durable parts such as silicone sealing for the glass to be leak-proof.
Check out some FAQs about 5-gallon fish tanks:
Question: Can you put live plants on a 5-gallon tank?
Answer: Yes! You can put different plants on a small tank, such as wisteria, crypts, Brazilian pennywort, tiger lotus, anubias, and others. Just make sure that they don’t grow too much or else your fish won’t have enough room to roam around.
While adding live plants is not compulsory, it can add some color and aesthetics to your tank, as well as some oxygen to the water.
Question: What can I put in my 5 gallon fish tank?
Answer: If you’re talking about fish then we’d recommend betta fish, dwarf rasbora, minnows, and some fry. Some people also like adding snails. But if you’re talking about live plants, you can fit in some Java moss, Java fern, anubias nana, and others. Just make sure that these are placed strategically and that the fish species don’t overpower each other.
Question: When to add fish to new 5 gallon tank?
Answer: Generally, tanks should be left for 24 hours or 1 day before you should add your fish. This is because there is a nitrogen cycle that needs to take place so that your fish will not get intoxicated by ammonia from your regular tap water.
Don’t worry: you can hasten this a bit by adding shrimp and fish flake food, as well as filter media. You can also add good bacteria because it can help reduce ammonia build-up, which can be toxic to the fish.
Question: How many fish in 5 gallon tank?
Answer: If you decide to keep neon tetras, the ideal number could be 5 to 6 in one 5-gallon tank. This is because we need to stick to the 1 fish per 1-gallon rule. However, this only applies to smaller fish like the neon tetra.
However, if you want to keep goldfish then a 5-gallon tank might not be suitable for them. Goldfish are big fish so they need at least 20 gallons or more.
Question: How to clean a 5 gallon fish tank?
Answer: To clean a fish tank, you can simply remove all aquarium décor, then the fish, remove the water and replace it with newer de-chlorinated water.
Cleaning your fish tank by replacing the water with a new one is important so that your fish can breathe and live healthily. And since a 5-gallon tank is small, you could remove your fish while cleaning and put them in a small bowl or container.
Question: How much does a 5 gallon fish tank weigh?
Answer: Most 5-gallon aquariums can weigh around 7 lbs. when they’re empty, and about 60 lbs. when they’re filled with water. The glass construction can make a fish tank heavy but it also allows you to see the inside of the aquarium more clearly unlike with plastic and similar cheap tanks. Heavier aquariums also mean that they’re more stable and less likely to be pushed around.
Question: What kind of fish can live in a 5 gallon tank?
Answer: The most common fish to have in a 5-gallon tank would be the betta fish, which is a popular breed due to their colorful tails and fins. However, you can also settle with honey gourami, small rasboras, and the white cloud mountain minnow. As we mentioned above, tetras can also go inside a 5-gallon tank due to their small size.
Question: How often do you clean a 5 gallon fish tank?
Answer: A 5-gallon fish tank should be cleaned at least once a week because it is a small tank, perhaps even more frequently. Airing out your fish is important and don’t think that the filter is already doing its job: this is a common mistake that most beginners make.
If you keep forgetting to clean a fish tank, you can set a reminder so that you can know when it’s time to replace the water. Cleaning the fish tank also involves replacing its filters or cleaning it from debris.
Overall, a 5-gallon fish tank can be ideal for those who are new to the hobby because it doesn’t take way too much space. Also, since it is not that expensive, you just need a few accessories and gadgets to keep your fish alive, which can also be okay for budget-savers.
Regardless of your fish tank, you should always be a responsible fish owner and clean up the tank once a week. Always feed your fish the right amount, ensure that they have a healthy environment, and they will live longer.