A beautifully decorated aquarium full of glittering Rosy barbs, elegant Angelfish, and shoals of sparkling Neon tetras makes a stunning centerpiece in any home.
The smallest apartment or compact bachelor pad can enjoy the relaxing, health-giving presence of a few fish, even if there’s only space for a small fish tank.
Table of Contents
**IMPORTANT** Bigger is Better
As a general rule of thumb, you need one gallon of water per inch of fish. Tiny tanks often lack filtration systems and heaters, which can lead to polluted, chilly water conditions that stress the fish. Stressed fish are more susceptible to diseases and will fail to thrive.
Bottom line: a bigger tank is better for your fish.
27 Small Fish Tank Ideas
Here are 27 awesome ideas for small fish tanks.
The items in this list are purely to inspire you to get creative, but your pet’s welfare should always be your top priority.
1. Umbra Fishhotel Mini Aquarium
View on Amazon
This award-winning, contemporary design is a super-cool, minimalist fish tank that’s made to look like a condominium, complete with asymmetrical windows. The units can be stacked to create a condo, enabling you to keep more than one fish.
The small glass fishbowl is removable for easy cleaning and holds 1.8 gallons of water. This novel, attractive small fish tank measures just 7.4 inches x 7.5 inches x 8 inches, making the unit perfect for display on your office desk or lounge coffee table.
2. One Pot, Two Lives!
This cleverly designed piece of chic home décor is a planter and a fish tank. You place a potted plant inside the top of the unit and keep your fishy friend below.
The fish waste provides the plant with nutrients, and the water that you give to the plant passes through a filter to produce clean water for the fish. The water stays crystal clear and free from ammonia and nitrates, and the pH level remains stable. Genius!
3. Hemington Fish Bubble Acrylic Wall-Mounted Aquarium
Check The Price
This micro fish tank can be hung almost anywhere!
No pump or filtration is required. Just add a substrate, some decorations, perhaps a plant, and a betta or a few tetras to create a novel, trendy look for your place. The tank is made from super-strong marine-grade acrylic and comes pre-drilled and ready to hang.
Why not buy three or four fish bubble aquariums to create a wonderful piece of living wall art for your apartment?
4. DIY Plastic Bottle Aquarium
This fascinating video shows you how to make a novelty small aquarium setup from two plastic bottles.
This DIY aquarium is perfect for you if you have a limited budget. All you’ll need are a few basic DIY skills, some decorations for the tank, and a mini-pump that you’ll find in your local fish store.
A beautiful betta fish, some living plants, and the sound of gently trickling water combine to create a relaxing piece that looks great in any room.
5. Air Aquarium
If you’re looking for an unusual, minimalist small fish tank idea, the Air 1 Aquarium could be perfect for you.
This design comes out of the new studio, “Matiere A.” French designer Amaury Poudray describes the floating aquarium as a simplistic design, incorporating a combination of the simple elements that are integral to everything, yet autonomous. Deep.
However, the zeppelin-shaped tank, with its simple steel frame, is the perfect statement piece for a small space.
6. Hanging Mini Fish Tanks
Available on Etsy
For the ultimate in mini aquariums, look no further than these hanging clear fish vases. The iron frame and globular vase design look just like a living lamp.
Add a betta and some substrate for a truly tiny aquarium that looks beautiful anywhere.
7. Pico Aquarium in a Mason Jar
The Pico tiny aquarium makes a great vacation DIY project for kids, especially preschoolers.
The Mason jar environment is suitable for keeping snails and other aquatic invertebrates, although it is too small for fish. The jars are decorative, cheap to assemble, and the closed design creates an almost self-sustaining micro-ecosystem.
8. Square Coffee Table Aquarium
Check on Amazon
If you have a medium-sized living room, and you’re looking for a stunning centerpiece that’s sure to fascinate and impress your visitors in equal measure, you might like to splash out on this square coffee table aquarium.
The 68-gallon tank comes complete with a heater, lighting, and a filtration system. All you need to add is some decorations and fish to create a unique focal point for your home.
9. Payphone Goldfish Tank
Now that most of us have iPhones, the payphone is somewhat redundant.
In Japan, the art collective Kingyobu has repurposed several public phone booths to create street aquariums containing hundreds of goldfish.
Kingyobu, which translates roughly as “goldfish club,” is responsible for the project in Osaka. In Japan, the goldfish is a symbol of prosperity and happiness, and the public loves the idea of passing these living good luck charms on their daily commute to work.
10. Glass Washbasin with Fish Tank
This innovative, novel design features a small aquarium set up that’s incorporated within a glass washbasin.
The tank sits underneath the basin as a separate entity. Tasteful, minimalist decoration and a few small fish complete the contemporary look that makes every bathroom visit a trip to remember!
11. Claire Coffee Table Aquarium
Check The Price
This U.S.-made coffee table aquarium with its simple, elegant design will look stunning in any room.
The 28-gallon octagon-shaped tank is made from sturdy, durable, tempered glass and has a scratch-resistant finish that’s UV-resistant and won’t stain. The tank comes with a light and filtration system, but you do need to add a heater if you want to keep tropical fish.
12. Pac Man Fish Tank
Fans of the Pac Man computer game will fall in love with this stunning homemade tank!
The glass maze creates an intriguing aquatic environment for small fish to explore and makes fascinating viewing for kids and adults alike.
If you enjoy getting crafty and you enjoy a challenging project, you can make this novelty small aquarium setup cheaply at home. Why not make your own design for a genuinely unique result that’s sure to impress your friends.
13. Imagitarium Oblate Glass Fishbowl
Available on Petco
This beautifully crafted glass globe fishbowl is one of the nicest small aquariums for home and office use that you’ll find on the market.
The cleverly designed glass bowl is flat on two sides so that you can keep it on narrow shelves and tables in a small apartment or in your office. Add an attractive substrate, some plants, and décor, to create the perfect habitat for a gorgeous betta or a few tiny tetras.
14. Glass Landscape Fish Bowl
This amazing “glasscape” fishbowl was designed and created by New York-based company, Aruliden.
The bowl is traditional on the outside but has a stunning, mountainous landscape interior detail. When you add water to the bowl, the refraction created by the light transforms the picture by accentuating the topographical sculpture.
The creation is skillfully crafted from hand-blown glass and, despite its small size, easily commands the attention of everyone who sees it.
15. Hanging Glass Fish Bowl
Available on Amazon
Even the smallest home can accommodate one or two of these elegant, stylish hanging glass fish bowls.
The bowls come in a traditional bowl shape, or you can choose a Mason jar style or teardrop-shaped piece. You can keep a very small fish in one of these novelty mini aquariums or perhaps use the bowl to grow flowers instead.
16. Glass Coffee Table Fish Tank
Here’s another variation of the coffee table fish tank, this time created from glass.
The square unit is designed to show off your fish collection from all angles, as well as being a practical, functional, and eclectic piece of furniture. I love the idea of making maximum use of the space you have available by combining the best of both worlds.
Also, unlike some tiny tank ideas, the coffee table aquarium has filtration, heating, and lighting, creating the perfect, healthy environment for the fish.
The main drawback of this style of tank is that you need to cover the lighting, heating, and filtration cables underneath a rug or carpet.
17. USB Desktop Aquarium Kit
Check on Wayfair
Students and those who work from home are sure to love this practical mini aquarium that doubles as a clock, calendar, and music center.
The USB-powered, self-cleaning tank comes complete with a running water pump and sponge filter medium to keep the water clean and clear. The capacity of the tank is only around half a gallon, so it’s only suitable for small invertebrates such as shrimp and snails or perhaps a couple of small tetras.
This super-tiny fish tank sparked controversy among hobbyists and animal rights groups when it was released in the run-up to Christmas in Australia back in 2007.
The brick-shaped tank doubles as a music speaker and its novelty value saw high sales of the item. However, although the idea is cute, I do not advocate using one of these. The unit is far too small for even the tiniest fish to live in, and there’s no filter to keep the water sanitary.
That said, a decorative fish model made from enamel or glass would look great inside the unit without being cruel to a living creature.
19. Wall-Mounted Aquarium
Check The Price
If you don’t have space for a traditional fish tank in your home, a wall-mounted aquarium could be the solution.
The aquarium looks just like television but is actually a fish tank! The unit is only 4.5-inches deep but can still accommodate an ocean or tropical aquascape with ease. A wall-mounted aquarium is a brilliant space-saving idea that’s also a guaranteed conversation piece. Even celebs such as Stephen Spielberg have them!
The aquarium comes supplied with mounting brackets and associated hardware, as well as a bio and charcoal filtration system, siphon cleaner, a fishnet, marine background, lid, LED light fixture, and grabber tongs.
20. Portable Fishbowl
If you’re moving house or if you need to take your pet fish somewhere with you, you might have a use for this portable fishbowl.
Basically, the item does what it says on the tin. This is an acrylic fishbowl that’s designed to fit into a flat carrying case with a handle, enabling you to transport your fish safely when needed.
21. DIY Portable Aquarium
This idea for a full-size portable aquarium that you can make at home could be a really useful, practical solution for students who want to take their fishy friends with them to college.
The tank is made from seamless plastic, allowing you to lift the unit while it still contains water. Having moved home a few times, I can appreciate the convenience offered by this tank. You can’t lift a regular glass tank and its contents because the weight causes the seals on the corners to warp. The strain may also cause the glass to crack- disaster!
This neat project can be completed for under $5.
22. DIY TV Aquarium
For the ultimate in upcycling ideas, check out this amazing fish tank that’s been created from an old TV.
You can utilize this attractive piece of furniture as a decorative piece and for extra shelving too.
23. Gumball Machine Fish Tank
Here’s another fine example of how to upcycle an unused item in the form of this small gumball machine that’s been ingeniously converted into an aquarium.
If you’re creative and good at basic DIY, you may like to try this yourself if you can find an old, round-style gumball machine that sits on a stand.
24. Infinity Aquarium
For a small aquarium setup with a difference, you might find inspiration in this geometrically shaped angular creation.
This idea might be short on decorations, but the tiny fish it contains are the stars of the show. The tank would be an eye-catching addition to any desktop in an office or small room at home.
25. Jellyfish Round Lamp
View on Amazon
I included this item in my list because it looks great, even though it’s not strictly an aquarium.
The jellyfish inside the lamp are artificial, so you don’t need to worry about caring for them. The high-quality UV lamp comes with a full three-year guarantee, which is always good to know.
The lamp is designed to act as a nightlight and a portable UV cellphone sanitizer. Complete with different color changing light effects, this makes a wonderful mood light for a kid’s bedroom that won’t disturb their sleep and has health benefits too.
26. World Map Coffee Table Aquarium
Of all the small aquariums for home environments that I’ve seen, this one has to be one of the most imaginative and unusual.
The structure is made from clear lucite, cut to form the shape of the world’s continents. Not only is this a stunning aquarium, but it also doubles as a coffee table too, making this a clever space-saving piece of functional yet decorative furniture.
Little wonder that designer, Takuro Yamamoto won a TIFF award for this unusual and beautifully designed aquarium.
27. Duplex Fish Tank Birdcage Combo
For something very different and eye-catching, check out this award-winning aquarium and birdcage combo.
The design enables you to keep fish and small birds too in a limited space. The birdcage element of the construction lies below the fish tank and has plenty of space for small birds, such as canaries and parakeets.
The aquarium is large enough to accommodate a few small fish and is easy to clean without disturbing your fishes’ feathered neighbors.
Even if you live in a small place, you can still enjoy the relaxing sight of a few small fish or a beautiful betta by choosing a small fish tank.
When choosing a small fish tank, you must always consider the individual fish’s requirements in terms of quality of life. The items in this list are purely to inspire you to get creative, but your pet’s welfare should always be your top priority.
Did you enjoy my list?
I’d love to hear your comments, and don’t forget to share the article if you really loved it!