6 Best Starter Aquarium Kit (& How To Set Them Up)

Last Updated on 2024-07-02

If you’re looking to start your journey into the world of fishkeeping, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the right aquarium kit. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best starter aquarium kits on the market, so you can feel confident in your choice and get your new hobby off to a swimming start! So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know! 

Top Picks

  • Best Overall: Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit
  • Aqueon 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit
  • Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
  • Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit
  • Marina LED Aquarium Kit
  • Koller Products 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit

Which Type Of Aquarium Is Best For Beginners?

For beginners, a freshwater aquarium is generally the best choice. Freshwater fish tend to be hardier and more forgiving of beginners’ mistakes compared to their saltwater counterparts, and the equipment needed for a freshwater aquarium is often simpler and more affordable.

Additionally, freshwater fish come in a wide range of colors and patterns, so there is plenty of variety to choose from.

However, here are a few things to consider:

Small Aquariums: Small aquariums, such as 5-10 gallon tanks, are often a good choice for beginners as they are easy to set up, however, with fluctuating water parameters, in the early days you’ll need to keep an eye on the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels. They also take up less space and are generally less expensive than larger tanks.

Kits: Starter aquarium kits are a great option for beginners as they come with everything you need to get started, including a tank, filter, heater, and often accessories such as fish food and water conditioner.

Low-maintenance species: When choosing fish for your aquarium, consider low-maintenance species that are hardy and can tolerate a range of water conditions. Some good options for beginners include guppies, mollies, and betta fish.

What Should You Look For In An Aquarium Kit

If you’re a beginner looking to set up an aquarium, choosing the right kit can be a daunting task. Here are some key things to look for when shopping for an aquarium kit:

1. Tank Size

The size of the tank is an important consideration. It should be appropriate for the number and type of fish you plan to keep. A larger tank will provide more space for your fish to swim and a more stable environment.

2. Filtration System

A good filtration system is essential for maintaining a healthy environment for your fish. Look for a kit that includes a filter that is appropriate for the size of the tank and the type of fish you plan to keep.

3. Lighting System

Depending on the types of fish and plants you plan to keep, you may need a lighting system that provides adequate illumination. Look for a kit that includes a lighting system that is appropriate for your setup.

4. Heating System

If you plan to keep tropical fish, a heating system is necessary to maintain a consistent water temperature. Look for a kit that includes a heater that is appropriate for the size of the tank.

5. Accessories

Some aquarium kits come with accessories such as water conditioners, fish food, and cleaning tools. Consider what accessories you’ll need and look for a kit that includes them.

6. Quality

Look for an aquarium kit that is made with high-quality materials and components. A well-made kit will last longer and be less likely to develop leaks or other issues.

7. Price

Aquarium kits can vary in price depending on the size and features included. Consider your budget and look for a kit that provides good value for the price.

Best Starter Aquarium Kit

With so many different options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best starter aquarium kit.To make things easier for you, we have researched the top-rated aquarium kits out there! 

1. Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit

The Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit is the number one choice for beginners. It comes with everything you need to set up a thriving aquarium, including a 20-gallon glass tank, a filter, heater, LED lighting, fish food, and water conditioner. The tank is easy to assemble and comes with clear instructions, making it perfect for first-time aquarium owners. 

Pros:

  • Includes a heater, which is a critical component for maintaining a healthy aquarium
  • Comes with a powerful filter that keeps the water clean and clear
  • Includes an LED lighting system that is both bright and energy-efficient
  • Detailed set-up guide makes it easy for beginners to get started
  • 20 gallons is a great size for a starter aquarium
  • Provides great value for the price

Cons:

  • The filter can be a bit noisy
  • The LED lighting system may not be bright enough for some, especially those who plan on keeping high light plants in their tank.
Tetra Aquarium, 20 Gallon, Complete Tropical Fish Tank Kit with LED Lighting for Freshwater Fish
  • GLASS AQUARIUM KIT: The starter kit includes one glass aquarium with a low-profile hinged hood an LED lighting system an internal filter and filter cartridge an aquarium heater and thermometer a water conditioner sample.

2. Aqueon 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit

If you are looking for a smaller aquarium, the Aqueon 10-Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit is an excellent option. It includes a 10-gallon glass tank, a filter, a heater, LED lighting, fish food, and a water conditioner. The tank is easy to set up and maintain, and the filter and heater are both efficient and reliable.

Pros:

  • Comes with a 10-gallon glass aquarium, which is a good size for beginners.
  • Includes a powerful filter that keeps the water clean and clear.
  • Comes with a preset heater to maintain a stable temperature for your fish.
  • Includes a hood with LED lighting for better visibility of your fish.
  • Includes accessories such as a water conditioner, fish food, and a fish net.

Cons:

  • Sometimes the filter doesn’t work as well as it should, which could be a problem with messier fish.
  • The LED lighting isn’t ideal for plants that need more intense light.
  • The hood does not have an opening for a feeding hole.
Aqueon Aq LED Starter Kit 10
  • Vibrant LED lighting helps bring your aquatic environment to life!

3. Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit

The Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit is a sleek and stylish option for those who want a more modern look for their aquarium. It includes a 5-gallon glass tank, a filter, LED lighting, and a hidden compartment for the filter and heater. The tank is more vertical than horizontal, however, so you’ll need to pick the fish you choose based on this information.

Pros:

  • Modern and stylish design with a curved front glass panel
  • Comes with a hidden 3-stage filtration system that is easy to maintain
  • Includes bright LED lights that can be customized with a daylight and moonlight setting
  • Has a sliding glass canopy that provides easy access to the tank and reduces evaporation
  • Includes a hinged feeding lid for convenient feeding
  • Comes in two sizes (5-gallon and 10-gallon) to fit different needs and spaces
  • Provides a good starter kit for beginners

Cons:

  • The 5-gallon size may be too small for certain fish species.
  • The filter cartridges need to be replaced regularly, which can be an ongoing expense
  • The LED lights may not be strong enough for some plants.
  • The curved glass panel may cause some distortion in the viewing.
  • The included heater may not be powerful enough for colder environments.
Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit, 5 Gallons, Hidden Filtration,Black
  • SLEEK DESIGN: Rounded corners and clear glass canopy allow viewing from multiple angles.
  • DAYLIGHT/MOONLIGHT LIGHTING: Bright white LEDs create a shimmering sunlight effect; blue LEDs produce a moonlit glow.

4. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit

The Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit is a compact and stylish option for those who want a modern and sophisticated look for their aquarium. It includes a 5-gallon glass tank, a powerful filter, LED lighting, and a hidden compartment for the filter and heater. The tank has a sleek and modern design, and the LED lighting is bright and energy-efficient.

Pros:

  • Modern and sleek design with a clear glass cube and aluminum trim
  • Comes with a powerful 3-stage filtration system that is hidden behind the back wall and is easy to maintain
  • Includes an efficient LED lighting system with a day and night mode
  • Has a removable cover that provides easy access to the tank and reduces evaporation
  • The 5-gallon size is a good fit for smaller spaces and beginner aquarists
  • The kit comes with everything needed to get started, including a heater and a foam block filter insert

Cons:

  • The 5-gallon size will limit your fish choices
  • The filter isn’t the quietest on the market.
  • The kit does not come with a thermometer or a hydrometer to measure the temperature and salinity of the water
  • The flow rate of the filter may be too strong for some fish
Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon, White
  • 5 gallon nano aquarium
  • Etched-glass tank with aluminum trim
  • Powerful 37 LED Lighting System
  • Includes foam block, activated carbon and BioMax bio rings
  • Size: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 Inch

5. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

The Marina LED Aquarium Kit includes a Marina Slim S10 clip-on filter that provides powerful filtration to keep the water clean and clear. It also comes with an LED lighting system that provides excellent illumination for your fish and aquatic plants. The kit also includes a Marina fish net, an Aqua Plus water conditioner, and a Fluval Max fish food sample.

Pros:

  • Clear glass aquarium and black background
  • Includes a powerful clip-on filter that keeps the water clean and clear
  • Comes with an LED lighting system that provides excellent illumination
  • Available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 5 to 20 gallons
  • Includes accessories such as a fish net, water conditioner, and fish food sample

Cons:

  • Some users have reported that the filter can be a bit loud
  • The LED lighting system may not be bright enough for some users
  • Some users have reported issues with the filter failing after a few months of use
Sale
Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon
  • 10 U.S. gallon glass aquarium
  • Includes a Marina Slim S15 clip on filter with quick change filter cartridges
  • Includes everything you need to get your aquatic home started
  • Measures: 20″ L x 10″ W x 12.5″ H

6. Koller 7-Gallon Aquarium Kit

The Koller 7-Gallon Aquarium Kit is a budget-friendly option for those looking to get started in the aquarium hobby or for those with limited space. It comes with a complete kit of accessories, including a power filter, LED light, fish net, and fish food, making it easy and convenient. The rounded front corners provide better viewing and reduce the risk of fish injury. 

Pros:

  • Affordable price point for a 7-gallon aquarium kit
  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Easy to set up and maintain, making it a good option for beginners or those with limited space
  • Rounded front corners provide better viewing angles and reduce the risk of injury to fish

Cons:

  • The included filter may not be powerful enough for some fish species, and an additional filter may need to be purchased separately
  • The kit does not come with a heater, so one must be purchased separately if necessary
  • The clear plastic lid may warp or become scratched over time, reducing visibility
Koller Products Impact-Resistant Plastic LED Aquarium Kit, 7 Gallons, Built-in Filtration,Black
  • TRENDY DESIGN: Rounded corners and crystal-clear clarity allows viewing from multiple angles.

Best Size Aquarium For Beginners?

The best size aquarium for beginners largely depends on the type and number of fish you want to keep. However, a good rule of thumb for beginners is to start with a tank that is at least 20 gallons in size. This size tank provides enough space for a small community of fish and allows for easier maintenance of water quality.

A larger tank is generally easier to maintain than a smaller tank because it provides more water volume, which dilutes toxins and other pollutants. It also allows for more room to decorate and provide hiding spots for fish.

If you are interested in keeping larger fish, such as cichlids or goldfish, you may need a larger tank. A 30-50 gallon tank would be more appropriate for these types of fish.

Ultimately, it’s important to choose a tank size that meets the needs of the fish you plan to keep and fits within your budget. A larger tank may be more expensive to set up, but it can provide a more stable and healthy environment for your fish in the long run.

How To Setup A Fish Tank For Beginners

Setting up a fish tank can seem overwhelming for beginners, but with the right information and equipment, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Here are the steps to follow to set up a fish tank:

1. Choose the Tank

The first step is to choose the right tank for your needs. Consider the size, shape, and material of the tank. A 20-gallon glass tank is a good choice for beginners.

2. Add the Substrate

The substrate is the material that lines the bottom of the tank. Gravel is a common substrate choice for beginners. Rinse the gravel thoroughly and add it to the tank, filling it to a depth of 2-3 inches.

3. Install the Equipment

Install the filter, heater, and any other equipment necessary for your setup. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.

4. Add Water

Fill the tank with water, leaving enough room at the top for decorations and water movement. Use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals from the tap water.

5. Cycle the Tank

The nitrogen cycle is the process by which beneficial bacteria convert toxic ammonia and nitrite into less harmful nitrate. To start the cycle, add a source of ammonia to the tank, such as fish food or pure ammonia. Test the water regularly to monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The cycle can take several weeks to complete.

6. Add Plants and Decorations

Plants and decorations not only add visual appeal to the tank, but also provide hiding places and territories for fish. Choose plants and decorations that are appropriate for your fish and tank size.

7. Add Fish

After the nitrogen cycle is complete and the water parameters are stable, it’s time to add fish. Choose fish that are appropriate for your tank size, water parameters, and level of experience. Introduce them slowly to avoid stress and monitor their behavior and health regularly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing the right starter aquarium kit can make all the difference in your fishkeeping journey. By considering factors such as tank size, included equipment, and overall ease of use, you can find a kit that meets your needs and fits your budget. With the right tools and a little bit of knowledge, you can create a beautiful and thriving underwater world for your aquatic pets!

Ultimate Betta Fish Care Guide
About the author

Hey! I'm Nicolas from Iguane Media !

Blogger and Owner of the betta care fish guide
Thanks for reading this blog

I'm an Animal Lover

Leave a Comment