A 5-gallon fish tank, even with its small size, can be a terrific addition to your indoor space. With its eye-catching and contemporary design, the best 5 gallon fish tank, no doubt, adds a sleek and stylish appeal to your home.
And, surprisingly, a 5-gallon fish tank can serve as a home to a wide array of invertebrates and fish.
On top of it all, watching fish inside an aquarium, no matter how small, will help relieve stress and even anxiety.
Trust me, nothing compares to watching a bunch of lively and colorful creatures moving inside a glass box as you relax after finishing a busy day.
Finding the best 5 gallon fish tank for your home, however, may be a little tricky.
With tons of options available, it can be quite confusing and, to an extent, overwhelming for most fish keeping newbies.
As you look for the top option, you will discover different features, models, and brands for 5-gallon fish tanks.
That is why you need to do your homework before you go to an online store or local pet shop to buy a 5-gallon aquarium.
And guess what? I am going to help you score the best 5 gallon fish tank.
For this blog post, I am highlighting the 15 best 5 gallon fish tanks along with the pros and cons of each product.
Let us start!
Table of Contents
Why Buy a 5-Gallon Fish Tank
Usually, I do not recommend 5-gallon aquariums, especially to those who are planning to keep a heap of fish.
In my book, it is a bit small and requires more maintenance and care compared to its larger counterparts.
But, there are also perks to buying a 5-gallon fish tank. Here are some of the reasons people purchase 5-gallon fish tanks.
Ideal for Those With Limited Space
A 5-gallon fish tank is suitable for passionate aquarium hobbyists who have limited space to keep large fish tanks.
With their perfectly small size, you may squeeze a 5-gallon aquarium into practically almost any indoor space.
An Excellent Option for a Nano Tank Set Up
Likewise, a 5-gallon fish tank is ideal for people who prefer a nano aquarium set-up.
You have the option to do a planted nano tank, snail or shrimp tank, or a betta fish tank.
Even better, you may combine them all together using the best 5 gallon fish tank. Since these creatures have small bioloads, you may quickly and effortlessly combine them in one 5-gallon fish tank.
Just do not forget to find out the temperaments of every snail, shrimp, and fish you are keeping. And, avoid combining preys and predators together.
For invertebrates, you may add all species of dwarf shrimp. Also, you may add smaller species of dwarf crayfish.
You may include some assassin snails, Nerite snails, and micro crabs.
If you prefer fish, you may add killifish and bettas in your 5-gallon tank.
Planning to breed fish? You might want to consider buying the best 5 gallon fish tank. It might be a small space, but it is indeed an excellent and inexpensive solution to breeding fish.
And, after breeding, you can always use your aquarium for the offsprings, until they are large enough to transfer to the other aquariums.
Essential Equipment for Your 5-Gallon Fish Tank
Despite its small size, there are a few pieces of equipment that should be in your 5-gallon fish tank. Here is a short checklist of the most essential materials and equipment to install in your small aquarium.
- Light: It helps in illuminating the fish tank at night. For best results, opt for LED aquarium lights.
- Heater: It is a vital tool that will come in handy during the winter months.
- Thermometer: A thermometer is ideal for those who are breeding fish that are pretty temperature sensitive.
- Scrubber: You can use this to clean the algae buildup inside your 5-gallon aquarium.
- Siphon: I often use this every time I need to adjust the water volume.
- Mesh or fishnet: You may use it as a cover.
- Table or stand: You need stable support for your aquarium, and this one will do the trick.
- Filtration system: Look for a functional and a reasonably-priced one that supports the needs of your fish.
There are other items that you might put inside your aquarium, such as figurines, water conditioners, plants, and gravel.
Comparison Chart 2020
Looking for the 5 gallon fish tank for your indoor space, but do not know where to start? You are in luck! The table below highlights the best 5 gallon fish tanks in the market today.
|Product Name||Dimensions||Primary Material||Special Features|
|Marineland Portrait 5-Gallon Fish Tank - Best Overall||11.8 by 11.6 by 17 inches||Glass||Sleek design, 3-stage filtration, and dynamic lighting system|
|Koller 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit - Best Budget||14.2 by 11.5 by 10 inches||Impact-resistant plastic||Easy to maintain, energy-efficient lighting system (LED), and powerful filter|
|Fluval Spec 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit - Best for Beginners||6.3 by 17.2 by 10.6 inches||Glass||Powerful LED system|
|Tetra Crescent 5-Gallon Fish Tank - Best Portable 5-Gallon Aquarium||16.6 by 11.2 by 13.2 inches||Acrylic||Offers unobstructed view of your fish and underwater environment|
|Glofish 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit - Most Visually Appealing||11.2 by 16.6 by 6.7 inches||Plastic||Stunning blue LED lights|
|Carolina 5-Gallon Fish Tank - Best Aquarium Only Option||16 by 8 by 10 inches||Glass||Strong and leakproof|
|Marineland Nook Aquarium - Best for Betta Fish||14.6 by 8.8 by 11.2 inches||Acrylic||Wide viewing angle|
|Aqua Culture 5-Gallon Aquarium - Best for Marine Fish||NA||Glass||Bright LEDs, and state-of-the-art filtration system|
|Marina Led 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit||18.5 by 10.8 by 13.3 inches||Glass||Complete aquarium kit|
|Penn Plax 5-Gallon Aquarium Curved||11 by 7.75 by 10.25 inches||Glass||Complete aquarium kit|
|Fluval Edge Fish tank||10.2 by 14.5 by 16.9 inches||Glass||Powerful LED lights and offer stunning visual experience|
|Aqueon Jukebox 5-Gallon Fish Tank||9.2 by 9.5 by 17 inches||Glass||Sleek contemporary design and speakers|
|Fluval Evo 5-Gallon Fish Tank||8.3 by 21.3 by 12.5 inches||Glass||High output 11000K LED|
|Marineland Escape 5-Gallon Fish Tank||14 by 12.5 by 16.75 inches||Acrylic||Multiple viewing panels|
|Aqueon Mini Bow 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit||5 by 2 by 4 inches||Filter||Looks gorgeous in any kind of room|
What is the Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank to Buy?
Got no clue on what is the best 5 gallon fish tank for you? Need a little help selecting the 5 gallon fish tank?
Then, heed these expert words of advice!
- Best Overall – Marineland Portrait 5-Gallon Fish Tank
“Engineered into perfection, this stylish contemporary fish tank is a sight to behold from all angles, and has a plethora of fascinating features.”
- Best Budget – Koller 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit
“This budget-friendly aquarium kit is exceptionally durable, eye-catching, easy to maintain, and incredibly striking.”
- Best for Beginners – Fluval Spec 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit
“From wondrous LED lights to its remarkable 3-stage filtration system, this aquarium kit has everything a newbie needs to kick-start their fishkeeping hobby.”
- Best Portable 5-Gallon Aquarium – Tetra Crescent 5-Gallon Fish Tank
“Not only is it incredibly portable, but it also has a proficient chemical and mechanical filtration system.”
- Most Visually Appealing – Glofish 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit
“With its breathtaking underwater environment and fabulous decorations, this 5-gallon fish tank will add more aesthetic appeal to any indoor space.”
- Best Aquarium Only Option – Carolina 5-Gallon Fish Tank
“Strong and extremely durable, this leak-proof fish tank is the perfect solution for those who are looking for a basic aquarium.”
- Best for Betta Fish – Marineland Nook Aquarium
“With its impressive curved front edge, sleek lighting, and hidden filtration, this sleek-looking aquarium lets your betta fish flaunt their mesmerizing colors and beauty.”
- Best for Marine Fish – Aqua Culture 5-Gallon Aquarium
“Praised for its sturdy construction, this 5-gallon aquarium is suitable for marine life, thanks to its innovative biological filter system.”
Top 15 Best 5 Gallon Fish Tanks in 2020
Unbiased and unfiltered reviews are a godsend for shoppers across the world. And, luckily for you, I gathered all my honest and no-nonsense reviews of the 15 best 5 gallon fish tanks in one spot!
Check them out!
1. Marineland Portrait 5-Gallon Fish Tank
There is nothing quite like the Marine portrait 5-gallon aquarium kit. Not only is it remarkably gorgeous, but it offers an excellent view of your finned swimming buddies, thanks to its rounded corners.
And, make no mistake about it – this aquarium is not just a feast for the eyes. In fact, it can make aquarium maintenance and cleaning a whole lot more convenient, with its outstanding hidden 3-stage filtration system.
Plus, its lighting system has moonlight and daylight settings designed to replicate your fish’s natural habitat. The blue LEDs create an enthralling moonlight glow, while white ones mimic the sunlight.
- Hidden filter system
- Sleek contemporary design
- Moonlight and daylight lighting settings
|Dimensions||11.8 by 11.6 by 17 inches|
- Ease of assembly
- Silent operation for its filter motor
- Nice to look at
- Sturdy plastic base
- Does not require a lot of space
- Challenging to clean because of its narrow area for filter
2. Koller 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit
They do not call this Koller set as one of the best 5 gallon fish tank kits for nothing. After all, it is a rather affordable kit with plenty of upsides.
Furthermore, installing the fish tank kit is pretty easy, even for those who are new to the world of fish keeping.
Unlike other aquarium kits, you do not need to use a handful of special tools to install this tank kit.
I also love its impressive 3-stage filtration system, which keeps the aquarium water odor-free and crystal clear for a while. And, it keeps the unwanted harmful organisms, chemicals, and particles from spoiling your aquarium water’s quality.
On the low side, the tank’s filter is a little noisy.
- Easy to maintain and set up
- Strong internal filtration system
- Efficient LED lights
|Dimensions||14.2 by 11.5 by 10 inches|
- Made out of sturdy, crystal-clear plastic
- Powerful filter
- Easy to maintain and set up
- It is a bit noisy
3. Fluval Spec 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit
(Best for Beginners)
There are plenty of fascinating things you will love about the Fluval Spec aquarium kit. For one, it has a minimalistic yet classy design.
With its aluminum trimming and sleek glass panels, this 5-gallon aquarium repels scratches and will absolutely look great for years.
And, you do not have to worry about low water flow and cloudy water because this tank comes with a powerful and efficient filtration system.
Moreover, it has 37 LED lights that bring out the beauty of your aquatic environment to a whole new level.
While it is a little expensive, every penny you spent on this aquarium is totally worth it.
- 37 powerful LED lights
- Aluminum trim and etched glass
- Features BioMax bio rings activated carbon and foam block
|Dimensions||6.3 by 17.2 by 10.6 inches|
- Easy to clean filter
- Adjustable water flow
- Stylish and fabulous in any room
- Exceptional filtration system
- Slightly expensive
- It is pretty heavy for a 5-gallon fish tank
4. Tetra Crescent 5-Gallon Fish Tank
(Best Portable 5-Gallon Aquarium)
No list of the best 5-gallon fish tank kits is complete without the inclusion of this Tetra product. Like most products from Tetra, this premium quality tank is built to last for several years.
Besides its strength and durability, this curved, acrylic aquarium comes with a set that makes everything a breeze for beginners.
It is complete with a base frame, lid, filter, and LED lighting, making it an excellent choice for newbies. And, the tank’s 16 LEDs are all eco-friendly as well as create a soft, lovely shimmer in the aquarium water, meaning they are not overly dazzling and bright.
- Powerful international filter
- Curved crescent shape
- Hidden LED lights
|Dimensions||16.6 by 11.2 by 13.2 inches|
- Sturdy design
- Quiet operation
- Proficient chemical and mechanical filtration system
- Bulky filter prevents your fish from freely moving
5. Glofish 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit
(Most Visually Appealing)
You will love the GloFish 5-gallon aquarium kit. Praised for its extraordinary design, this aquarium wows beholders with its crescent shape.
And, it has 15 breathtaking blue LED lights that illuminate and highlight the beauty of your fish and aquarium.
Since it is a kit, this aquarium also includes a stick-on thermometer, heater, a Glogish anemone, and a couple of Glofish anemone plant packs.
Although the filter is built for a small aquarium, it is quite remarkable. As a matter of fact, it can easily remove any unwanted organisms, harmful chemicals, particles, or debris to keep the water spotlessly clean.
- Powerful internal filter system
- Blue LED lights
- Offers a unique fluorescent underwater experience
|Dimensions||11.2 by 16.6 by 6.7 inches|
- Potent 3-stage filtration system
- Visually appealing
- Contains all the essential equipment for fish keeping
- Unique and wondrous
6. Carolina 5-Gallon Fish Tank
(Best Aquarium Only Option)
Sometimes, all you need to kick-start a successful fish keeping hobby is just to buy a standalone aquarium. And, there is no independent 5-gallon aquarium better than the Carolina fish tank.
Additionally, this 5-gallon fish tank is ideal for aquarists who prefer to customize their aquarium and use a different set of equipment.
When it comes to durability, this is undoubtedly one of the best 5-gallon fish tanks in the market today.
It is leak-proof and is made of extra thick glass that is protected perfectly by silicone rubber. Plus, it can be used for keeping seawater plants and fish as well.
- Leak-proof and strong
- Triple-strength, clear grass
- Suitable for seawater use
|Manufacturer||Carolina Biological Supply Company|
|Dimensions||16 by 8 by 10 inches|
|Type||Standalone fish tank|
- Supremely affordable
- Pretty easy to maintain and clean
- Sturdy design
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Made out of premium quality materials
- Not suitable for beginners
7. Marineland Nook Aquarium
(Best for Betta Fish)
For serious hobbyists, make sure to consider the Marineland nook aquarium as your leading option, when looking for the best 5-gallon fish tank.
To me, one of the top features of this fish tank is its remarkably wide front, which creates the illusion that the aquarium is vast. And, it is also fun to see your fish as they swim around since its visual effects make your pets look large.
Of course, this kit comes with a few handy equipment too. The LED lighting, for instance, not only illuminates the aquarium, but it creates a stunning effect on the aquarium as well.
Once the LED lighting system is on, you will instantly fall in love with the charm of the aquarium.
Even better, it has an astounding 3-stage filtration system that helps make your water crystal clear and immaculately clean.
- LED lights are energy efficient
- Wide-angle for viewing
- Hidden filtration system
|Dimensions||14.6 by 8.8 by 11.2 inches|
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Wide viewing
- Prolific filter
- Too small for putting diverse fish and plants
8. Aqua Culture 5-Gallon Aquarium
(Best for Marine Fish)
Aqua Culture may not be as popular as Marineland, Tetra, and Fluval. But, it is quickly gaining popularity in the world of aquarists, thanks to this 5-gallon fish tank.
With its superb and potent biological filtration system, this aquarium is even suitable for marine and seawater life.
Plus, it is made of extremely sturdy material, meaning it will last for years to come. And, it is a complete kit that comes with halogen lights, an air pump, and an internal filter.
And did I mention that it has energy-efficient LED lamps?
- Complete set
- Energy efficient
- Easy on the eyes
- Bright and eye-catching lights
- Sturdy design
- LED lamps released low amounts of since it has heat sinks and fans
9. Marina Led 5-Gallon Fish Tank Kit
Searching for more beginner-friendly options? Why not check out the Marina LED 5-gallon fish tank kit? This aquarium has practically everything you need to set up a thriving and healthy aquatic environment.
And, with its slim clip-on filter design, this 5-gallon fish tank is pretty easy to fit into any small space.
Even better, you can set it up in just a minute, thanks to its simple tank design.
Another terrific feature of this kit is its daylight LED lighting effect, which creatures a peaceful ambiance for your pets. Additionally, the LED light is rather energy-efficient.
- Complete kit
- Clip-on fish tank filter
- Natural LED lighting effects
|Dimensions||18.5 by 10.8 by 13.3 inches|
- Easy to prepare and set up
- Comes with a black sealant that prevents algae issues
- Silent filter operation
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Not spacious enough for an additional heater
- A bit hard to position the filtration system
10. Penn Plax 5-Gallon Aquarium Curved
This glass tank from Penn-Plex is contoured to make a frame-free and stylish aquarium. This, in turn, gives you an open and excellent view of your fish and tank decorations.
Not to mention, this fish tank kit comes with a LED lighting system and an internal cascade filter that will make your aquarium set up painless and a breeze.
And, you do not have to worry about the tank’s water quality with this superb fish tank. After all, this aquarium has a functional mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration system.
- Unique glass bent design
- Unobstructed view
- Ideal for novice fishkeepers
- Complete kit
|Dimensions||11 by 7.75 by 10.25 inches|
- Easy to assemble
- Does not take a lot of space in your room
- Wrapped thoroughly during shipping
- The filter seems too strong for betta
- Vague instructions for the filter replacement
11. Fluval Edge Fish Tank
There is a lot to like and love about the Fluval Spec V fish tank. It is stylish, breathtaking, trendy, and cool. And, the wondrous cube design is rejuvenating and refreshing.
Furthermore, it is an excellent option for experts and newbies alike. With its contemporary design, this aquarium will surely add more visual appeal to your room.
Aside from its sleek and stylish design, this model also has an overhanging light system with over 20 powerful lights. And, it has a prolific 3-stage filtration system that will help you maintain the water quality of your fish tank.
- Bright 7600K white LED lights
- Includes water treatments
- Powerful and easy to use
|Dimensions||10.2 by 14.5 by 16.9 inches|
- Easy to maintain
- Lights from the medium and low intensity and ideal for aquatic plant growth
- Offers a clear view of the fish
- Frame does not look super sturdy
- Cleaning it seems difficult
12. Aqueon Jukebox 5-Gallon Fish Tank
Fond of music? Believe me, you are going to love the Aqueon Jukebox fish tank.
As far as I know, it is the only 5-gallon fish tank that is equipped with a couple of free-standing speakers. And, it comes with a USB port that lets you connect any audio device with a headphone jack.
That means you may just sit back, relax, and listen to some soulful music as you watch your pets swim freely around.
Of course, it also has a few other incredible features and innovations. For instance, it boasts a sleek and contemporary design and is equipped with a remarkable LED lighting system.
- Cradle for an MP3 player in the hood
- Contemporary and sleek design
|Dimensions||9.2 by 9.5 by 17 inches|
- Includes a superb sound system
- Features an LED lighting system
- Easy on the eyes
- Does not have a heater
13. Fluval Evo 5-Gallon Fish Tank
Want to start a saltwater aquarium hobby, but do not have a ton of space at home? Thankfully, you can have a marine or saltwater aquarium, even with limited space, thanks to this powerful 5-gallon fish tank.
And, do not let the tank’s small size deceive you. Sure, it is a bit small, but it has the powerful and dynamic specs of a large seawater fish tank. It has a proficient LED lighting system that is ideal for growing aquatic plants and vegetation.
As for the pumps and filter, they are robust, efficient, and cycle through your aquarium water until it reaches its peak quality.
- High output 11000K LED lighting system
- Dynamic 3-stage filtration system
- Eye-catching honeycomb design
|Dimensions||9.2 by 9.5 by 17 inches|
|Type||Saltwater aquarium kit|
- Works like a large marine tank
- Tailored for colorful saltwater fish
- Outstanding lighting system
- Somewhat expensive
- Not ideal for freshwater creatures
14. Marineland Escape 5-Gallon Fish Tank
Marineland Escape offers a plethora of perks for aquarists who keep them. In fact, this aquarium kit lets you create a colorful and striking aquatic ecosystem with just sheets of acrylic.
I mainly bought this aquarium for my office, and it is doing well thus far. I also was so pleasantly surprised by just how easy it was to set up. I just threw in the substrate, a few fake plants, poured in the treated water, and voila.
It is the perfect haven for a bunch of White Cloud Mountain minnows. Everyone in the office loves it.
- Long-lasting and energy-efficient LED lights
- Hood has a sleek design
- A multitude of viewing panels
- Easy to set up and maintain
|Dimensions||14 by 12.5 by 16.75 inches|
- Hex shape allows several viewing panels
- An affordable, exciting and simple way to start a marine tank
- No heater included
- Does not have a water conditioner
15. Aqueon Mini Bow 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit
Simply fantastic! Even though it is not a well-known kit, this aquarium is beginning to make waves and draw attention with its elegant and unique design.
This aquarium will sweep you into bliss with its futuristic 3D cube design. And, this aquarium allows you to view your fish and aquarium decorations from a variety of angles.
Even better, there is no piece of equipment and ugly cables to block the awe-inspiring view.
As a bonus, the water does not evaporate quickly due to the aquarium’s glass top. And, it comes with a set of essential equipment, including a halogen light.
- Superb filtration system
- Energy-efficient LED lights
- Gorgeous contemporary design
|Dimensions||5 by 2 by 4 inches|
- Filter is removable
- Halogen light is retractable
- Easy to maintain
- Easy to install
- Not much room left for an aquarium heater
Having problems making a decision? Guess what? There are several vital factors that you have to put into consideration as you look for the best 5 gallon fish tank for your pets, make sure to take note of these crucial considerations.
Durability is, arguably, the most crucial factor when looking for the 5-gallon fish tank. Although durable aquariums are likely more expensive, it will definitely help you save more money in the long run.
Look for a 5-gallon aquarium that is watertight and made out of strong, thick glass. A durable and perfect constructed tank means it can withstand consistent water pressure.
Design and Aesthetics
Aquariums are used to add elegance and charm into any indoor space as well. So, it is highly essential to buy a 5-gallon fish tank that is easy on the eyes.
There are plenty of fish tank styles available in today’s market. Just look for an aquarium that matches your personality, style, and interior design.
Aquarium Set Up
The best 5-gallon fish tank is usually easy to set up. If people find it hard to set up, they tend to lose interest quickly. Make things easier on your end by finding the best 5-gallon fish tank that comes with a guidebook or instructions.
You will have to clean your fish tank regularly, so look for one that is easy to maintain. Find a 5-gallon aquarium that is both light and durable.
Extra Aquarium Features
Some fish tanks come with a variety of remarkable features, including filter covers and LED lights. Plus, others come with free pebbles and plastic plants.
It depends on your preference, though, meaning you can opt if you want the tank’s extra features or not.
My Top Pick
Overall, every aquarium mentioned in this guide makes an excellent option. From their fabulous designs to powerful filtration systems, these 5-gallon fish tanks offer a myriad of upsides.
But, as always, I have to name a top pick. And, for this group of aquariums, my top pick is the Marine Portrait 5-Gallon Fish Tank.
With its perfectly rounded corners, this modern and stylish fish tank offers a stunning unobstructed view of the fish swimming around.
And, it has a bunch of equipment that will virtually make fishkeeping a breeze even for someone new to aquariums.
To me, it is, by far, the best 5-gallon fish tank in the market today.