When selecting your aquarium, most people try to find the best 10 gallon fish tank kit. They offer enough space for impressive layouts capable of supporting a variety of fish, all while staying fairy low in cost.
Not all tanks are created equal. Follow along as we check out the best of the years selection.
Selecting The Best 10 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
If you’re lucky then you will receive some equipment from another aquarist. In this case buying a 10 gallon aquarium kit rather than a stand alone tank may not be worth it. Just remember you need two elements before stocking a 10 gallon tank:
Marina LED Aquarium Kit
This starter kit comes with everything needed to build a successful tank. Water conditioner, biological enhancer, food, effective filter, thermometer, net, hood, chlorine neutralizer, LED light system and new owners guide are all part of the package. Combined, even without the guide, these parts would cost over $100 without the fish tank. Thankfully the bundle comes well under this price at Amazon.
The biggest part of this set that sold us was the included LED light system. Every aquarist either dreams of or does have their fish tanks lighted with these systems. They produce a brilliant, even layer of lighting while drawing far less power than standard bulbs.
The hood that holds the LED light strip is of a low profile design, keeping the attention on your tank rather than the massive hood. On the back side of the hood are two openings to allow for filters, heaters and any other equipment you need easy access.
The filter itself is a hang on back power filter and holds a three cartridge system, allowing the use of multiple chemical filter medias at once. The lip of the power filter sits low enough in the tank that if the water level is fairly full the filter will run silent. If the water level falls then the standard waterfall effect will be heard.
Use the peel and stick thermometer by applying it to the outside of the tank. It reads using colored displays at two degree increments. I recommend placing this on the back of the least viewed side, but not on the back of the tank. Frequent temperature checks are essential to a tanks health and you do not want the thermometer to be difficult to see.
The water conditioner is a simple solution that dechlorinates our tap water, making it safe for fish. That being said the bottle is fairly small. You won’t need a new one right away, but it is by no means a life time supply. Keep an eye on the amount of conditioner you have left to avoid mid water change shopping trips.
The tanks dimensions are 20″ L x 10″ W x 12.5″ H, making the tank a dazzling display anywhere in your home.
Penn Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit
If you’re looking for one of the best 10 gallon fish tanks but are tired of seeing the black rims covering the tank then Penn Plax has you covered. Their durable designed tank will give you the perfect 10 gallon aquarium set-up complete with lid, LED light and a cascade filter.
It’s Dimensions are 17 3/4″ L x 12 5/8″ H x 11 3/4″ W, making the tank a little longer of a base than most normal 10 gallon fish tanks. Adding in the light will bring the height to a solid 16 inches.
The hood of the tank in an easy to see through and durable plastic that comes on a hinge to allow for easy access and covering of your tank. Be sure to only wipe this plastic clean and to never scrub. While it can hold the crystal clear look for ages, scratching the lid is still a possibility.
The light is suspended over the tanks center and easily provides enough light to feed any plant located at the bottom of the tank. The lights themselves are highly efficient LED bulbs that will well out last any normal florescent bulb. As the light is suspended over the middle of the tank, any high mounted center piece could block the light from lower objects. Keep this in mind when decorating your tank.
The filter included in the kit is a cascade internal filter. These are known to be high quality and have actually been reported as too strong for some fish. This however is not a real problem as the filters strength is adjustable. The cascade is effective at keeping your tank clear and providing decent flow for smaller tanks, leaving the heater to be the only missing item.
When placing the tank be sure not to bump the bottoms too hard on the edges of your table. While normal bumps won’t cause any damage, the glass is a bit more sensitive than the normal black rims. Once in place their will be no issues with durability, as the seals will last a lifetime.
Should the aquarium kit arrive damaged or have any sort of manufacturing fault Penn Plax will happily replace your entire kit. Because there is no risk involved with this set-up and it holds a unique look, the Curved Corner Aquarium easily sits as the second or first best 10 gallon fish tank Kit.
All Glass Aquarium Tank and Eco Hood Combo
For those who either have a filtration system from another aquarist or would like to set up their own design, the tank and eco hood combo gives you everything you need for a great start.
The tank comes at 20.2″ L x 10.4″ W x 12.6″ H, Giving you plenty of room to work with. The hood features two light strips that provide equal lighting to all the corners of the tank. Located atop the hood is a small compartment that opens outward, allowing for easy feeding.
Along the back of the hood are a few separate break away plastic ports. This allow you to remove parts of the hood to fit wires and hang on back equipment such as filters and refugiums. Measure your equipment and use as few of the break away space as possible. The more of the hood your remove the less heat the aquarium can retain and the more evaporation that occurs.
My one big gripe with this combo is the shipping condition. When you order this tank it is a gamble. While you may return or replace the tank for free, it is still inconvenient how often the tank arrives shattered. If the seller could just use a bit better packaging this would be higher on the list.
The Tetra Half Moon
Certainly the most eye drawing on this list, the Tetra half moon is a wonderfully designed tank. The curved shape of the tank allows for a great view at all angles, cutting out the corners that create distortions when viewing from the corners of a normal tank.
The base is notably smaller than most 10 gallon fish tanks, allowing you to fit this tank in more areas than usually. Small kids dressers or on an end table are great ideas.
The included features are a clear lid, suspended lighting, powerful filtration and a 50 watt heater. The filter, a tetra whisper, is actually strong enough that I recommend turning it off during feeding time. Leaving it on may suck up your fish’s food before they can eat their fill. Inside the filter you will find two different sized filter media cartridges. The first is a normal white mesh filter media used for mechanical filtration. This simply catches waste and houses beneficial bacteria. The second of these filter cartridges is a black cartridge used for activated carbon. The filter cartridges are the Tetra Whisper Bio-Bags, size medium.
The heater keeps the water to your desired temperature while the light will give you fairly even lighting. Be carful not to obstruct the middle of the lid as the light does not reach all the way to the ends as a light strip does. As for the strength of the light it is a bit sub-par. Don’t get me wrong the fish tank stays bright but higher light demanding plants won’t grow correctly under this light. If you are going to use live plants consider using less demanding plants.
Aqueon Evolve LED Aquarium Kit
I know this is not a 10 gallon aquarium but it comes close and is far superior to nanocubes. For this reason I have decided to include it in our list.
This aquarium features a beautiful, no seam design creating the most natural look possible. The dimensions create a perfect 12″ cube and sits comfortably on any surface. The back side of the tank is a solid black, meaning the cube does have a front side.
The tank comes with a strong LED light, pump and filter complete with filter media. The tank however does not include a heater, but these are the cheapest component and can be added on to the free shipping package. The filter moves water with more than enough strength to keep the tank clear and can be adjusted for fish who like less turbulent waters. Reducing the water speed to suit a beta fish is a bit of a challenge but still doable with a few test runs. It just moves so much water, which is typically a good thing.
The water pump runs completely silent when correctly positioned and the tank is full of water. If your pump manages to move away from the center and leans against the wall you will hear a buzzing noise. Use a ruler or any thin object to push it back into place and the noise will stop immediately.
Hovering over the middle of the tank is the LED lamp. This lighting comes with three different settings of day/night/off.
A few add ons they include in the set up are fish food and tap water conditioner. These will allow you to set up your tank chlorine free. Without chlorine beneficial bacteria is free to grow in your tank, reducing the toxins produced by the fish in a process called the nitrogen cycle.
Should any of the equipment in this package break Aqueon will pay for the replacement and shipping. Combine all these features into one great looking cubic tank and you have a perfect starter tank.
Tanks To Avoid
While most tanks are made from similar glass, there are many deals that either seem too good to be true or just flat out lie to their customers. In fact many who claim to be the best 10 gallon fish tank kit are actually far from it and should be avoided. Be wary during any online shopping session and avoid these next tanks.
Perfecto Goldfish Starter Kit
Right off the bat this tank gives red flags. Typically owners will want a glow light for neon tetras, not goldfish. Second comes the light itself. While it may be nice to see fish under a different color of light, this light fixture offers no white light. Without the full spectrum provided by white lights both fish and plants will become sick and deprived, feeding more off of the rooms light than their own aquarium light. If you have your own light or hood this may not be a problem.
Upon receiving the tank it actually included a filter. Now you may be wondering, why could this be a bad thing? In the description they give no mention of the filter. Surely they would want you to know of everything you are getting to make you more likely to buy. However the filter is actually of such poor quality you will have to buy a different one. Because the light does not support plants for biological filtration you cannot afford to go without a better filter.
If you have your heart set on using a glow light aquarium we suggest buying the parts individually, as the sets are far above normal 10 gallon aquarium kit pricing for the quality of equipment included.
10 Gallon “Aquar” Led Biowheel
First off they do not even finish writing the word aquarium or capitalize LED. The tank is almost guaranteed to leak from the bottom, killing any fish and causing water damage if the leaks occur when you are not around.
The lighting is fine, giving an even layer of light to the whole tank. The filter however comes in a housing that amplifies its sound, making this one of the filters you actually need to worry about. When people think noise about aquarium it’s usually the air pump or power heads, not the filter.
Lastly This tank comes at the full price of other 10 gallon starter kits while containing only the light and filter. It’s a wonder the product is still in production(and selling!)
After reading through our list of do’s and don’ts you will have a clear idea of which set up best suits your home. Remember that the tank can be moved, and being only 10 gallons kits you can try these set-ups in almost every room. Be sure to check the appearance before filling the tank with water, as a 10 gallon full of water will weight around 85 pounds. With your tank in place you can choose to add substrate and live plants into the mix, finishing off your tanks design. Leaving the glass bare is fine too and makes for easier clean up. It all comes down to personal preference.