Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Review

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Last Updated on 2023-09-13

If you’re interested in the Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium for your betta then keep reading. You’ll find out exactly what comes when you buy the tank as well as what you’ll need. You’ll also learn about all the pros and cons. And most importantly what other people are saying about the tank. If you’re interested in this tank then you should definitely read this Marineland Portrait review to help you make the right buying decision.

Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Review

When you buy the Marineland Portrait aquarium you’re not just getting an aquarium on its own. You’re also going to be getting a filter as well as some amazing LED lights (which you’ll find out about later). In fact, here’s a full list of everything you’re going to buy.

What’s Included?

  • A Hidden Filter – There’s a separate compartment which you place your filter and heater in. In addition, it’s also a 3 stage filter. A 3 stage filter will remove any debris, chemicals, and bacteria from your water.
  • Marineland BioFoam – BioFoam is what’s used for biological and mechanical filtration.
  • Adjustable Flow Filter Pump – The filter pump will let you change how powerful the water current in your tank is.
  • LED Light – The LED light has 3 settings you choose from, blue, white or off.
  • The Tank.
  • A Base – which helps stop your aquarium causing damage to furniture.
  • A Glass Canopy – A glass canopy which slides down the back of the tank so you can feed your fish and dose their water easily.

A Review Of The Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium

The Tank

One of the most important aspects when buying an aquarium kit is the tank itself. And the tank that comes in this aquarium kit is going to look amazing in your home.

The portrait shape is really unique and it allows you to put your aquarium in areas more standard aquariums wouldn’t fit. Because of this, you can use it as a desktop aquarium, a bedside aquarium or a bookcase aquarium.

What also makes the Marineland portrait aquarium amazing is that it’s rounded. If you want to see your bettas natural beauty and bright colors clearer, and with less distortion than other aquariums, then this will do the job.

Lastly, the tank is also glass, not acrylic. While what you prefer all comes down to the individual, I’ve always found acrylic aquariums look cheap. Whereas this glass aquarium will add character to any room you put it in.

One of the only downsides with this aquarium is that once you’ve added substrate to the bottom of it, your fish may only have 4.5 gallons of water to swim in.

The Lights

Unlike a lot of other tanks, these LED lights come in white and blue. The white recreates the effect of sunlight on water, making your tank look like a tropical pool. Which recreates the way your bettas natural environment looks. And then when it gets dark you can swap to the blue lights. These lights replicate the beams of the moon on water. Not only does this help your bettas circadian rhythm but it will make you incredibly relaxed whilst your watching your betta swim.

What I like about the lights is the fact they’re still a good distance from the water. With some aquariums, lights that are too close heat the water as well, but you won’t have to worry about this with the Marineland lights.

However, your lights can only be up or down. There’s no way you can bring the lights half way down and leave them unless you stick something underneath. I think this would have been a nice touch but it’s definitely not a deal breaker.

The Filtration System

The filtration system on this tank separates it from a lot of others. While a lot of tanks require your filtration system to be in the main tank, with this one there’s a compartment in the back for the filter and heater. This means they both stay out of sight and out of mind.

On a technical note, the 3-stage filtration system includes mechanical, biological and chemical stages. A Rite-Size Z cartridge that comes with the kit is what provides the chemical filtration. Whereas the BioFoam takes care of any chemicals and bacteria.

All in all, you may not notice any difference in the way the water looks, but your fish will definitely be able to tell. And you’ll  notice your betta rarely gets sick with this filtration system and the right care.

And another perk of this tank is that you’re not stuck with one current strength. The filter flow has 3 different settings that are easily interchangeable.

Some people have mentioned that the current from the filtration system might be too strong for bettas, who are known to like gentle currents. If you find this is the case then you can always put an ornament in front of the filter to slow it down, or get a new one relatively cheap.

The Base

The base that comes with the tank is pretty standard and does the job well. If you use this base you’re not going to have to worry about doing any damage to your furniture. As well as that it’s also easy to attach and detach. If your worried about knocking your aquarium down, the base is definitely sturdy enough to stop that happening. However, as far as material goes it’s pretty lackluster. It’s made from plastic whereas I feel a stronger material would have looked better. But for the price you’re paying, it’s still a sturdy base that gets the job done and you shouldn’t let that affect your decision.

Warranty & Customer Service

If you’re worried about something going wrong with your aquarium then you’ll be pleased to know it comes with a warranty. And not only that but the customer service with Marineland is also fantastic. People often report having to wait hours at a time on the phone trying to get something fixed. Making you question whether it’s cheaper just to buy a whole different aquarium.

But many happy customers have stated that Marineland’s customer service is fantastic. And when buying from Amazon you also have the extra reassurance that you can send back a tank if it’s not working.

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! And if you have any more questions you can ask them in the Q&A Section!

Pros And Cons Of The Marineland Portrait Aquarium

A Marineland Portrait review wouldn’t be complete without talking about the pros and cons of this aquarium. And while the pros definitely outweigh the cons, it’s important you know everything to help you make the most informed decision possible.


  • The portrait shape of the aquarium lets you put ornaments in which wouldn’t fit other aquariums. This can allow you to be more creative in a way other aquariums can’t.
  • It’s easy to construct and made to last. The materials used are high quality and you can rest assured your fish are going to be safe inside.
  • The filter is almost silent, so you can relax when you’re looking at your betta without hearing a constant whirr.
  • The filter cartridges are extremely common and can be found in most pet stores.
  • The LED lights are beautiful and let you swap from a sunny daytime setting to a soothing moonlight setting.
  • The LED lights also flip right up when you’re cleaning your tank so they’re not going to get in your way.
  • A compartment on the back lets your hide your filter and heater so your aquarium has more space for ornaments and your betta to swim.


  • You have to purchase a water heater. This is one of the biggest cons with this aquarium kit and one that’s common with a lot of other kits. If you want this aquarium for a betta then you’re going to need to buy the heater separately.
  • The filter flow can be a little strong for your betta to swim in.
  • It can be hard to clean the compartment that houses your filter and heater by hand because of the length.

What Are People Saying About The Marineland Portrait Aquarium?

At the time of writing this Marineland portrait aquarium review, the aquarium has an average of 4 stars from 807 reviewers. This is no small number and lets you see just how many people have been happy with their purchase. Here are some of their reviews:

  • “Highly recommend if you’re not prepared to commit to a huge tank, but want something big enough for a few species and plants.”
  • “This is a beautiful little aquarium that perfectly matches the look and feel I was going for in my office.”
  • “I’ve had this tank for about 6 months now and I still have it saved on my wish list because I LOVE this tank. I have had ZERO issues. My betta is happy in his tank and he loves to rest on the part where the filter sucks the water in”
  • “Love this aquarium! It’s super modern looking which I love and works amazingly well. The only con I have about it is that I wish the LED lights were a bit brighter, but other than that it’s a beautiful aquarium.”

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The Verdict

If you’re looking for an aquarium that will house your betta for years, then the Marineland Portrait Aquarium is definitely going to be the right choice. The glass is sturdy and there’s no way your betta is going to get trapped or jump out of this tank.

The design is going to allow you to put the aquarium in a lot of spaces other aquariums wouldn’t be able to go. This is a feature unique to this aquarium and one that makes it stand out from the crowd.

However, of course, you’re still going to need to buy a heater separately and if your filter is too strong you may need to buy a new one (or perform DIY)

All in all this aquarium is still a great choice, and for the price, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better one!

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