If you’re new to fish keeping or you have small species of fish, you might be interested in a 5 gallon fish tank. One of the smallest sizes of fish tanks available, these aquariums are the perfect size for certain species and a great place to start if you’re looking at owning fish.
However, because of their small size, how do you know whether these tanks are going to be the right size for your fish? Do you need one of these tanks? Should you get a tank with accessories? Fortunately for you, we have complied a buying guide below that lays out all you need to know about choosing the best 5 gallon fish tank. We have even included some of our top picks on the market today. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading on.
Do I Need The Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank?
A 5 gallon fish tank is one of the smallest type of fish aquarium tanks out there and therefore is not going to be right for everyone. Usually, a tank of this size is designed for owners who only have a small amount of fish or a certain species of fish. There are a few things you can take into consideration to help you decide.
First, you’ll need to make sure the tank is big enough for the type of fish you are housing in it. A 5 gallon tank is good for certain species, such as betta fish. Betta fish can be housed with other plants and a tank of this size will be the perfect home for them. You may also want the best 5 gallon fish tank if you have small species fish or not many fish.
Some fish and water dwellers need more space, no matter what their size is, so you must make sure you take into consideration the size and needs of all the creatures you have living in your tank before buying. You don’t want one species to be too cramped while the rest are comfortable. Certain species may look small at the pet shop, but may still be growing and end up growing out of their 5 gallon tank, so be careful of this too!
If you only have a small space at home or in your office to keep a tank, then the best 5 gallon fish tank could be for you. These tanks don’t take up a lot of space and so are a good compromise for those with less room. However, a smaller tank gets dirtier a lot more quickly, so keep in mind you will probably be cleaning them out more often. You can also find 5 gallon tanks in unique shapes, so even if you have a smaller space, you may be able to find an aquarium that fits. That being said, you should again take into consideration the needs of your fish before buying an odd-shaped tank.
Some tanks can be difficult to set up and so, if you’re a new owner, you will want to check that the 5 gallon tank you’re purchasing is simple to assemble otherwise you may spend hours doing it! This is why a fish tank kit is so often advised, as it comes with accessories. Some 5 gallon tanks can also be quite expensive, so it’s a good idea to have a budget in mind before buying, too.
What To Look For In A 5 Gallon Fish Tank
A 5 gallon fish tank is not right for every fish species and not right for every home, so there are a few things you should look out for when purchasing a tank to ensure you get the correct one.
Any tank that includes accessories is going to make your life a lot easier. These accessories can include lights and a filtration system, so you can get your tank up and running a lot quicker and you don’t have to worry about spending extra money to ensure your tank is complete. As 5 gallon tanks are small and great starter tanks, many do come in kits with accessories.
If your 5 gallon tank comes with a filtration system, it is going to make your life a lot easier because you won’t have to go out and buy a separate fish tank filter. A good filtration system in your tank helps to keep the tank clean, meaning you have less water changes to do and your tank will stay cleaner for longer. If the filtration doesn’t work properly or is very cheap and badly made, it can lead to problems with the water quality in your tank, such as bacteria in the water, and can ultimately lead to the death of your fish.
Many 5 gallon tanks come with lights built in. These are important because not only do they help your fish thrive, but they also help live plants in the aquarium grow. LED lights are particularly useful because of their performance and energy conservation.
We’ve already mentioned that 5 gallon tanks are one of the smallest tank options and should only be used for small fish or smaller amounts of fish. You may have limited space in your home and office and so the design and space of the tank is very important to make sure it fits. You may also have a certain aesthetic in mind. Some tanks come with decorations, while others come on their own and leave you to populate the tank with your own fish tank decorations.
The design of the tank should also ensure the tank is easy to set up. If it has a difficult design, you may spend hours setting it up!
If you’re ready to find the best 5 gallon fish tank for your aquatic creatures, take a look below at the best fish tanks we recommend. These are all available for you to buy on Amazon.
The Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank Reviews
This portrait 5 gallon tank from MarineLand has a sleek design that will fit anywhere in the home or office. The rounded corners and clear glass canopy allow viewing from multiple angles and there is a hinged LED light above the tank with both daylight and moonlight lighting. Bright white LEDs create a shimmering sunlight effect, while blue LEDs produce a moonlit glow. There is also an advanced, 3 stage filtration system that is quiet and out of sight, offering enhanced viewing of your aquarium.
This 5 gallon aquarium from Koller Products is made of impact-resistant plastic with crystal-clear clarity that looks just like glass. The one-piece construction provides superior strength and durability so there are no leaks and the small design will look good wherever you put it. The tank size is 14. 2″L x 10″W x 11. 5”H and comes with energy-efficient LED lights in seven different colors. You can adjust the colors to your taste, choosing between daylight white, blue, green, amber, aqua, purple or red, allowing you to customize the tank completely. There is also a powerful internal power filter cleans and purifies aquarium water, helping to keep your tank clean.
This MarineLand 5 gallon tank is very similar to the MarineLand tank we mention above, except it has a rail light above the tank that offers great benefits for your fish as well as maximum viewing for you. The LED light is hinged and offers both bright white LEDs that create a shimmering sunlight effect and blue LEDs that give a moonlit glow. The tank is portrait and is made of sturdy glass with rounded corners for safety. This aquarium kit includes a three-stage Marineland hidden filtration system featuring an adjustable flow filter pump, too.
This Fluval Spec V kit is a great aquarium starter kit for anyone interested in owning fish. The 5 gallon tank is made of glass and comes with a cover, as well as a stylish honeycomb design that conceals the back filtration area while looking ultra modern. The LED lighting system generates 20% brighter lighting performance for noticeably bolder fish colors and plant growth and there is a powerful 3-stage system with oversized mechanical, chemical and biological media for unparalleled water clarity. This kit also comes with a Fluval foam filter block with handle, a Fluval activated carbon insert and a Fluval BioMax insert to help with your fish and keeping your tank clean.
Perfect for those who love a splash of color, this GloFish 5 gallon tank comes with a blue LED light that completely transforms your aquarium and really makes neon colors pop! This tank has a seamless, crescent shaped design to give optimal viewing of your tank and really makes the entire aquarium stand out. There is a “Whisper Filter” that keeps the tank quiet, pulling water from the aquarium and pushing it through the filter cartridge, where the dense, dual-sided mesh catches debris and waste. The sleek black hood reduces evaporation and helps keep fish from jumping and there is also a convenient feeding hole.
Another tank from the GloFish store, this five gallon aquarium has a portrait design and is made of strong and sturdy glass. The edges of the tank are curved for a sleek look and allow the colorful fish and decorations in the tank to really pop. Included with this kit is Tetra Hidden Filtration with an adjustable flow filter pump that helps to keep your tank clean, as well as a GloFish Cycle Light with four modes — sunlight mode, moonlight mode, midnight mode and twilight mode. You can also add GloFish accessories as well as the GloFish themselves, really making this glass tank something to look at!
This fish tank from Tetra is another with a crescent design, allowing you optimal viewing of your tank and making it look bigger than it actually is! The small fish tank size (15 inches x 9 inches x 11 inches) makes it perfect for lots of different spaces and the seamless design makes the tank look very sleek. The kit includes a Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter that is very quiet and helps to keep your tank clean and provide a healthy environment for your fish. There are also bright white energy efficient LED lights are hidden inside the low-profile black cover.
Popular Fish Tanks Of Similar Sizes — Reviewed
If you are looking for a fish tank that is slightly bigger or slightly smaller than a 5 gallon tank, there are many options out there. Take a look at the ones we recommend below.
With a 6.5 gallon capacity, this fish tank from Koller Products is a little bigger than many of the tanks in this guide. This one-piece tank is made of impact-resistant plastic that provides leak-proof assurance and has such good clarity that it looks like glass! The tank has a unique shape and offers great viewing of the aquatic creatures living in the aquarium. It comes with energy-efficient LED lighting with 7 dazzling color selections to brightly illuminate your fish (white, blue, green, amber, aqua, purple or red), as well as an internal power filter cleans and purifies aquarium water that keeps your tank sanitary. Perfect as a starter kit, this is a great tank for those new to owning fish.
This fish tank from Koller Products is more of a traditional fish bowl and a great place to start if you want a classic looking aquarium. With only a 3 gallon capacity, this tank is designed for the smallest fish or just one larger fish, but is great for homes with limited space. This tank doesn’t come with any accessories but allows you to decorate it however you like. Measuring 11.25″ in diameter by 10.25″ in height, this bowl is made of plastic and therefore cannot shatter like glass bowls can. However, it still offer crystal clear clarity and is great more many spaces.
Also available in both an 8 gallon and 16 gallon capacity, this 4 gallon biOrb HALO tank is a spherical aquarium that is constructed out of acrylic, making it 10 times stronger, 50% lighter and 93% clearer than glass. The filtration system that comes with this tank offers 5 stage filtration — biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization and oxygenation — and there is an LED HALO light ring with automatic moonlight that keeps your fish happy and provides a unique aesthetic to the tank. The waterline is hidden and gives off a visually seamless aquarium and the spherical shape allows you a 360 view of your fish at all times.
This biOrb fish tank has a capacity of 4 gallons and has a unique portrait design. It is constructed out of acrylic which is 10 times stronger than glass, is 50% lighter and has a 93% transparency rating. The acrylic material also helps to create a visually seamless aquarium, perfect for any room or office. There is a 5 stage filtration system included with this tank that offers biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization and oxygenation and a long lasting, low voltage Standard LED light that helps with both plant and fish growth. This tank is great for those who need a sleek design for a small space.
Another 4 gallon fish tank from biOrb, this aquarium is also made of acrylic, making it 10 times stronger, 50% lighter and 93% clearer than glass. It comes with a 5 stage filtration system — biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization and oxygenation — as well as MCR color changing lights. The spherical design of this tank allows you optimal viewing of your fish at all times and gives a unique look to the aquarium, making it a real talking point in your home or office. This tank comes in both a white and black color and is also available in a 9 gallon of water capacity.
Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank FAQ’s
Is a 5 gallon fish tank big enough for my fish?
A 5 gallon fish tank is small and therefore it is not going to be big enough for many species of fish. It can be used as a tank for certain species, such as a betta tank, but not for others, such as a goldfish tank. If you only have a couple of fish then they might be happy in a 5 gallon tank, whereas if you keep many fish, you will probably need a bigger tank. If you are buying your fish from a pet shop then they will be able to advise whether a 5 gallon tank is going to be big enough or too small.
How do I set up my fish tank?
Setting up a fish tank should be very simple and shouldn’t take you too long. The first thing to do is to read the manufacturer’s instructions because every tank is different and every tank will need to be set up slightly differently. You should always make sure the tank and all the substrate and accessories you are placing in your tank are clean before adding your fish. If you need further help with setting up your tank, there are many YouTube videos out there that can be followed.
While 5 gallon fish tanks can be too small for some species of fish, they are great for others and a great starter tank for those looking to get into keeping fish. Many of these 5 gallon tanks come in kits, perfect for getting you set up and giving your fish a place to thrive. The more accessories the tank comes with the better, although if you are an aquarist you may prefer to buy your own. Always make sure your tank is big enough for the species you are housing and if you are ever unsure, please consult your local pet shop.
Check out our other Fish Tank, Food & Accessories posts here:
- Best 20 Gallon Fish Tanks Guide
- Best Aquarium Thermometer Guide
- Best Aquarium Vacuums Guide
- Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaners Guide
- Best Water Conditioner For Fish Tank Guide
- Best Aquarium Rock Guide
- Best Aquarium Plants Guide
- Best Fish Tank Decorations Guide
- Best Fish Tank Gravel Guide
- Best Aquarium Sand Guide
- Best Goldfish Food Guide