The best saltwater fish tanks can last for years and host your beautiful fish. Despite the challenges like maintaining the proper pH level and regularly cleaning the tank, saltwater aquariums still remain a popular choice among aquarists due to the beautiful and colorful salt fish that add charm to any aquarium.

However, having the right equipment to maintain a saltwater aquarium is very important, and getting the best saltwater fish tank is the first step. And that’s why we’ve created this list of the best saltwater aquariums you can buy in 2021.

Comparison Table

Products Tank Capacity (in gallons) Built-in equipment
Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit

13.5 Filter only
GankPike 8-Gallon Saltwater Aquarium

8 Filter and heater

Aqueon Aquarium 20-Gallon Long

20 No equipment

Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit

5 Filter only

Tetra 55-Gallon Aquarium Kit

55 Filter and heater

Handpicked Reviews of the Best Saltwater Fish Tank

1. Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit


  • Built-in filtration system
  • Fully integrated LED lighting system
  • Compact design
  • Modern and sleek


  • No heater included

The Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Tank Kit functions similarly to a marine reef aquarium but in a smaller size. The stylish honeycomb structure of the tank masks the back end to hide the waterline and the enclosed filter compartment, giving it a modern and sophisticated outlook. Moreover, it displays the best part of the aquarium at the front, which is even more appealing.

The tank’s multifunctional canopy has a convenient doorway for feeding your fish. It features a dynamic 1400K LED light fitting that helps in the healthy growth of corals, color, and conditioning. You can adjust the brightness settings to daytime and nighttime mode with an easy touch start button.

It also features a powerful built-in filtering mechanism of three levels: mechanical, chemical, and biological. This advanced filtration process delivers high-quality water and keeps good care of your fish pets. The sleek aluminum tank has a waterproof casing and is easy to install and manage. It is a 13.5-gallon tank and has a compact structure. It is about 12 inches wide and 15 inches tall, making it ideal for desktop use.

The Fluval Sea Evo V Aquarium Kit is a well-made and well-designed saltwater tank that is also customizable. It is compatible with a wide range of aftermarket accessories that can make it a well-rounded home for your fish.


The Fluval Sea Evo V Aquarium Kit is a great option to consider if you want small and effective aquarium kits. It perfectly serves the requirements of a small saltwater fish tank. It is a beginner-friendly aquarium and worth the money.

2. GankPike 8-Gallon Saltwater Aquarium


  • It includes a heater, filter, internal lighting, protein skimmer, etc.
  • Ultra-clear glass
  • Affordable
  • Perfect starter kit


  • No proper instructions for the protein skimmer

The GankPike fish tank is a small-scaled tank constructed to suit people running low on space. Even though it is compact, it does not compromise any valuable features required to maintain a fish tank. It comes with about everything you need to begin with your rising interest in the saltwater aquarium kit.

The tank design is stylish and neatly sections the filtration and the viewing area. A large section of the tank is displayed, whereas you can put aquarium machinery in the dedicated section located behind. It ensures you the best view of the aquarium. Furthermore, the ultra-clear glass allows for maximal visual satisfaction.

Another feature of this nano tank is the LED light that offers three hues and a dimming range of five levels. The fish can also experience the natural lighting with sunrise and sunset modes. Moreover, the lightning system also features an auto on/off function and a built-in timer. It is best suited for office workers as they can use the automated brightness settings and leave all their lighting-related concerns behind.

This saltwater fish aquarium provides biochemical and mechanical filter media, so you don’t have to worry about the hygienic conditions of your marine pets. Furthermore, it also includes an adjustable pump and an LCD thermometer that lets you keep track of the aquarium temperature. It also has a built-in protein skimmer for removing wastes from your tank. However, the instructions to use it are slightly complex for beginners.


The GankPike Saltwater Aquarium is the ideal option if you want a small and feature-rich fish tank. It is a beginner-friendly kit and will serve all your basic requirements. This tank is reliable if you are only interested in keeping a few fish and soft corals.

3. Aqueon Aquarium 20-Gallon Long


  • Shallow design is easier to clean
  • High-quality glass
  • Includes clear silicon edges
  • It can double as a turtle tank


  • Slightly overpriced

Aqueon Aquarium 20-gallon tank is a great option to consider if you do not want a set but a well-built tank. The tank is the major component, and this one is exceptionally well made. The glass is of high quality and scratch-free, so you will be able to enjoy your aquarium for many years. This tank has one center bracing to prevent bending and maintain its decent looks over time.

Although this fish tank does not include attachments, it is an excellent tank for numerous species. You can use it for both saltwater and freshwater and house turtles as well. The cost can be a little overwhelming because you will have to purchase the equipment separately, but it is worth starting on a good base, and that is just what this tank offers.

The tank has a long shape which allows your fish to have more room to swim. Moreover, the tank has black and clear silicone edges on its exterior that add a smooth finish to the tank and prevent slippage and other damages.

Aqueon is a well-known brand, so you can be confident that you are getting a top-quality product. Adding accessories on your own might be difficult if you’re a  novice, but you will finish up with a far superior ensemble than if you had purchased a kit.


If you don’t need an aquarium kit and are looking for the best 20-gallon long starter aquarium, Aqueon Aquarium 20-Gallon Long is a great option to consider. You will have to go through the chaos of selecting the remaining components, but the result will be well worth it.

4. Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit


  • Pocket-friendly
  • Optimum for small spaces
  • Minimal Design
  • Low maintenance


  • It does not come with a heater

As a mini 5-gallon saltwater fish aquarium, the Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit is an excellent deal. It is about 17 inches tall and weighs about six pounds, so it takes up less room and is ideal for displaying in confined areas. This tank fits neatly within any tiny space due to its portrait form and is appropriate for starters, experienced, and even kids.

It features a contemporary appearance with rounded edges and a clear sliding glass canopy. The purpose of this design is to make cleaning convenient and feed your fish without any trouble. It is a simple procedure that does not need any unnecessary lifting of the tank top.

The tank has an out-of-sight filtering mechanism that does not bother with the view. It enhances the overall look of the aquarium. Furthermore, the clear glass allows sight from several angles. Additionally, the filtration process effectively keeps clean water inside and maintains the hygiene of the fish. It has an adjustable flow pump which is beneficial as it allows you to set the flow rate according to the fish species in your tank.

The tank is equipped with LED lighting for better coral growth. Besides, it simulates natural daylight and moonlight at night. It is crucial to the health and development of your fish and plants.


We recommend the Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit if you want cost-effective, small, and productive aquarium kits with a classy and innovative outlook. The Marineland Portrait is among the most preferred small fish tanks because of its compact design and excellent performance.

5. Tetra 55-Gallon Aquarium Kit


  • It is long-lasting.
  • Offers a large atmosphere for your pets
  • Additional accessories included
  • Tetra plants included


  • Needs additional wall space for positioning due to its large size

The Tetra 55-gallon Aquarium Kit is one of the largest aquariums that can be a fantastic upgrade from a beginner fish tank. Plus, it is suitable to meet the precise requirements of experienced fish-keepers. It provides all the essential components to install your aquarium without the need for additional purchases. The massive space allows you to host an extensive selection of fish species, and you can also concentrate on extensively designing their environment to your preference. It has a crystal-clear appearance that looks stunning in any setting and can also be the centerpiece of your room or office.

The aquarium has a built-in function that modulates the water temperature depending on the species in the tank. It is crucial in tropical fish-keeping since the temperature must be between 75° and 80°F.

Additionally, the Tetra fish tank includes compatible LED light fittings that provide a subtle glow to the aquatic habitat. The LED luminance is not hard on the eyes and imitates natural light, which is advantageous for underwater corals, plants, and other creatures. The soft glow will even benefit the decorations of your room as the tank will serve as one of the main elements of your decor.


The Tetra 55-Gallon Aquarium Kit is an excellent option if you are looking for a large tank that includes almost everything they need at a reasonable price. Inside the box, you will find a plethora of accessories; all you need to do is add the substrate. It even comes with a water conditioner, a thermometer, and a net. These are the usual extras people spend on. The Tetra Aquarium Kit is a fantastic investment for anyone who has outgrown the small aquarium.

Factors to Consider Before You Buy Your Saltwater Fish Tank

Saltwater fish aquariums are expensive, so you want to be sure that you get the best one. Here are all the key points to consider when purchasing a saltwater fish tank:

– Aquarium Size

The size of your aquarium is an unavoidable factor to loom into since it affects where you will place the tank and the number and kind of fish it can hold. It is best to plan out exactly what fish you want in your aquarium before you invest. Research how large your fish will grow as adults and how much room they need to swim. Also, take into account the size of the aquarium, including its desired placement.

– Lighting

Most reef aquariums come with pre-installed lights, while some will need you to install them separately. The type of lighting system you select depends on the type of your fish. LED lights are compatible with all species and do not require frequent modifications. They can be a cheaper and effective solution to opt for. Proper lighting is essential for your plants and fish to grow, and it also gives aesthetic features to your aquarium.

– Filtration System

Just like the lighting system, a saltwater marine aquarium already has a filtration system; however, others need you to install one separately. Although it is convenient for novice fish keepers to get an all-in-one fish tank with a filtration system, purchasing one separately; can be advantageous.

Knowledgeable fish-keepers prefer buying customizable equipment to best suit their tank. If you get an all-in-one fish tank, you are stuck with it for the rest of the aquarium’s life. Undoubtedly, buying the tank and filter would be rather expensive, so take that into account when evaluating your set-up expenses.

If you question the need to have a filtration system, aquarists unanimously believe it is essential for any tank larger-scaled than 10 gallons.

– The Material Used in the Construction of the Fish Tank

Another factor to think about is whether your fish tank will be glass or acrylic. While glass can be strong and supportive, it is also relatively heavier and may shatter if dropped. Acrylic, on the other hand, is lightweight but usually requires a platform and top support. It can get scratched easily and even turn yellow as it ages.

Furthermore, acrylic is generally more expensive than glass. Plastic fish tanks are cheaper, but they are usually extremely small and not compatible with a filter. They are not fit for proper fish-keeping.

– Pre-equipped or Not

Pre-equipped aquariums are suitable for both beginners and veteran aquarists, specifically when you are on a strict budget and want something quick and simple to set up. Most all-in-one aquarium kits contain the necessary aquarium accessories to get you started. Generally, it comprises a fish tank, an LED lighting system, and a filtration system. Some might even have a heater and a protein skimmer. Therefore, you will not need to purchase any additional equipment. Instead, you will get all those with the kit, which would save you time.

If you get each piece of equipment individually, it can sometimes cost more than the pre-equipped aquarium set. However, going for premade tanks limits the option to expand in the future when you are ready to experiment with some advanced things; whereas, you’ll always have the choice to customize if you buy items individually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are a few commonly asked questions people have in mind when buying a saltwater fish tank for the first time:

1. Are Saltwater Fish Tanks Hard To Maintain?

Saltwater aquariums are comparatively harder to maintain, but contemporary fish-keeping techniques have made the job ten times easier. If you’re determined towards your hobby, there is merely any difference. Tasks like operating temperature and lighting, for example, no longer demand full-time supervision.

2. Is It Expensive To Maintain a Saltwater Aquarium?

The yearly maintenance of a small saltwater aquarium (15-20 gallons) will cost around $500-600. There is no denying that saltwater aquariums are more expensive than freshwater aquariums, but they are well worth the cost.

3. Do You Need an Air Pump For Saltwater Aquariums?

An air pump ensures that the oxygen concentration in your tank remains adequate. As long as your tank has proper water circulation, you don’t need an air pump. However, if you’re not using a power filter, you will need to purchase an air pump; otherwise, the aquarium will not receive sufficient surface agitation, which may cause harm to your fish.

4. Are Saltwater Fish Better Than Freshwater Fish?

Saltwater fish are far more vibrant and attractive than freshwater fish. Freshwater fish are often less colorful than those found in the ocean or saltwater due to their naturally muddy habitat. Marine fish surely add to the attractiveness of saltwater tanks.

5. What Saltwater Fish Can Live Together?

Saltwater fish-keeping as a beginner can be difficult. If you accidentally put two or more incompatible species of fish together in a tank, it will degrade the environment and harm all your pets. To avoid that, here is a small list of marine fish that can live together in your tank: Clownfish, Hawkfish, Bicolor Blenny, Green Chromis, Cardinalfish, Yellow Watchman Fish, and Pseudochromis.


Starting with your marine world is very exciting, yet it is crucial to make proper decisions when choosing your fish tank since they can be pretty expensive. After considering the features and performance of each fish tank, you are in a position to select the appropriate one.

After comparing numerous reef tanks, we determined that our top choice for you to build the best marine environment would be the Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit. It is an all-in-one, decent-sized aquarium kit with the best outlook. Plus, the tank serves almost every feature a beginner needs in their saltwater tank. The Fluval Aquarium features an effective filtration system, good lighting, and an elegant design. Moreover, it is customizable, so you won’t have to worry about making upgrades to it in the future.

5/5 - (19 votes)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here