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.
**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. Small Fish Tank
This neat rectangular fish tank is the perfect size for a nano aquarium setup that would look great on a stand in your lounge or even on a desktop at work.
You can keep a peaceful community of small tropical fish or perhaps a betta fish and a few compatible tank mates. This tank is also perfect for a shrimp-only setup.
2. Cave Aquascape
In this image, you can see how even a tiny 5-gallon tank can be transformed into an underwater wonderland complete with a mysterious, backlit cave.
Imaginative planting has been used to create a beautiful, atmospheric picture that the hobbyist has used to house a small shoal of Harlequin rasboras and some exotic Blue shrimp. Cool!
3. Flatscreen TV Tank
If you’re a TV addict, you might fancy trying to create this quirky aquarium using an old flatscreen TV.
This is basically a regular glass fish tank with the flatscreen superimposed onto the front, making the whole setup look just like a regular television set. With the right choice of fish and some clever aquascaping, you could create your very own Finding Nemo movie set right there in your own lounge!
4. Koller PanaView 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit
Koller has produced this gorgeous, 5-gallon countertop aquarium that’s perfect for displaying a collection of nano fish.
The tank comes complete with LED multi-color lighting and a power filter to keep the water safe for your fish. The one-piece plastic tank provides crystal clear viewing, and the lightweight tank is ideal for a kid’s bedside cabinet, workplace desk, or kitchen counter.
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. Minimalist Betta Tank
If you like a no-fuss, no-frills setup where the fish is the star of the show, you’ll love this minimalist betta tank.
The hobbyist has simply added a few Marimo Moss balls and an Indian Almond leaf to the nano cube aquarium, while the simple box filter unit keeps the water clean and safe for the betta.
7. Tucker Murphy Pet Palace
At the other end of the scale is this clever fish tank cover in the shape of a log cabin.
If you don’t like the idea of a plain fish tank, you can use this waterproof house tank cover to turn your fishy friend’s home into a cozy log cabin. The cover is designed to fit neatly over a 10-gallon glass aquarium and has ports that will accommodate your lighting and filtration cables.
8. Square Coffee Table AquariumCheck 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 AquariumCheck 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. 5 Cool Aquascaping Ideas
Check out these five ideas for amazing underwater landscapes!
Whether you want something traditional, space-age, Nemo and Dory, Zen, or Glofish, you’ll find something in this collection of nano tanks to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing!
14. TopFin Retreat Aquarium
If you’re looking for a nice quality, small fish tank to display a few nano fish, this nano aquarium kit from TopFin might make a good choice.
The kit comes with a 5-gallon glass tank, an integral fix-flow filter system, a glass cover slide, and a clip-on overhead LED lighting unit. This tank is ideal if you want something to put on a countertop, office desk, or small table.
15. Dark and Eerie Fish Tank
Aquascaping is rather like art in that you create a scene. Some hobbyists even give their tanks a name, just like you would a painting.
So, this aquarist has called his tank, “Is It Time To Go?” The theme here is all about facing the end of life. A little depressing? Macabre, even? It’s all a matter of personal taste. Whatever way you look at it, this gloomy, atmospheric tank is certainly a conversation piece!
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. Yellow and Black School Bus
This yellow and black school bus tank cover is surprisingly popular with school kids!
Have fun with your aquascaping ideas, and cover that plain aquarium with this waterproof tank cover that immediately converts your fish tank into a funky school bus. Simply slide the cover over your 10-gallon aquarium and slot the filter and lighting unit cables through the ports provided.
18. Haunted House Aquarium
If you don’t want the hassle of keeping a real fish tank, but you love the idea of creating an awesome display featuring ghost fish and sea monsters, you might fancy the idea of taking on this electronics project.
Ghostly creatures appear from out of the gloom, disappearing again into the dimly lit depths of the faux tank. This aquarium would make a perfect project for a school science fair.
19. Wall-Mounted AquariumCheck 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 LampView 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?
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