Lowest Maintenance Fish Tanks: Your Top Options

lowest maintenance fish tank

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Lower maintenance means easier to clean, but it also means it takes longer to get dirty. Let’s face it, moving fish out of the tank to clean the tank, then moving them back in – it isn’t the nicest experience for the fish. Done properly, it can avoid harming the fish, but there is a risk.

A self cleaning fish tank is a more convenient choice compared to a regular fish tank. As you all know, cleaning a fish tank would take a couple of hours and you have to do it regularly.

With a self-cleaning fish aquarium, you won’t have to spend several hours cleaning it. Of course, you still need to clean most of its parts, but the frequency is reduced..

Lowest Maintenance Fish Tanks: Small

1. My Fun Fish Tank

The “My Fun Fish Tank” actually cleans itself! While the somewhat cheesy name might lead you to believe it is for children or for starters (and it very well could be  ), it is also very suited for apartments or dorms, or any other small area. Includes LED light, aquarium rocks, and aquatic plant.


  • The angle at the bottom helps circulate debris
  • Easy water changes
  • Lightweight
  • Space-saving


  • Might be too small for some
  • Requires frequent battery changes


2. Tetra 29095 Aquarium Kit

The Tetra 29095 Aquarium Kit is a cube-shaped aquarium/fish tank that could accommodate 1 to 3 gallons of water. It is a small size fish tank that is considered to be one of the low maintenance fish tanks. This, however, has some kits included such as the Tetra 3i filter. It easily cleans and keeps the water clear inside the tank. The set also features LED lights. It somehow includes some of the basic accessories you need to maintain a bright and clear underwater life for your small fishes.

Just for fun, below is a short video of how amazing, a low maintenance fish tank from Tetra can be: 

This type of aquarium, on the other hand, is a large size fish tank from Tetra. It is just a simple video that shows how clear and healthy the occupants live using the Tetra aquarium or tank kit.


  • Comes with a setup guide
  • The filter produces a soft, relaxing waterfall-like sound
  • Starter kit
  • Plenty of room for fish and others


  • Prone to scratches


3. Tetra 29040 Hexagon Aquarium Kit

Next on our list of  the lowest maintenance fish tanks is another product byfrom Tetra. This is the 29040 Hexagon Aquarium Kit. It is a one-gallon tank ideal for a single or a pair of small fish. It is best used for a fish display in small rooms. The set includes n LED bubbler. You’ll see lights and bubble display, creating a relaxing scene of underwater life, especially at night. The fish tank also has a built-in or an included filter to help you with cleaning and maintenance.


  • Multi-color LED bubblers
  • Convenient feeding hole
  • Sleek and compact


  • Shipping problems; some parts missing
  • Hard to find a balance between the filter and bubbler


Lowest Maintenance Fish Tanks: Medium

1. Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting

A medium-sized fish tank has a capacity of at least 10 to 20 gallons of water. Just like this medium sized low maintenance fish tank from Aqueon. It is a complete set with all the materials necessary to provide a clean and clear underwater environment for your fish. It has a Pro Filter with a quiet performing feature. The set also features an LED full hood above which may also serve as a cover. There is also a heater that maintains the water temperature favororable to your fish.


  • Has a detailed setup guide
  • Comes as a starter kit
  • Energy-saving LED


  • Some reported heater problems
  • No aquaticdecors included


2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

Next is the 20-gallon Marina Aquarium Kit. You can also purchase this set for a smaller size of 5 and 10 gallons. It features a clip-on filter and a free change of filter cartridges. For a great and reasonable price, you can start your home aquatic set without spending so much time, money and effort for looking and purchasing individual accessories. Thanks to the filter, the fish tank is not that hard to clean and maintain. It keeps the water clean, clear and highly visible.


  • Quick to change filter cartridges
  • Setup and care guide included
  • Energy-saving LED
  • Quality filter


  • Lights have no color


3. Tetra 20 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Tetra does not only focus on small-sized fish tanks, but they also have a medium size low maintenance fish tank available in three different designs. You can choose between Color Fusion, Glofish and the classic Tetra. The price varies on the design chosen. This 20-gallon fish tank is ideal for creating an underwater environment for multiple small and medium-size fish. It could also fit a few large types of fish. It includes LED lighting, aquatic plants, filtration system and more.


  • Combination of beauty and utility
  • Multi-colored LED
  • A quite filter
  • Cost-efficient kit


  • Fixed heater temperature
  • Some cheap-looking decors


4. Seapora 59199 Standard High Aquarium

If you opt for a simple, affordable and low maintenance fish tank with  a medium size, then check out the Standard High Aquarium 59199 from Seapora. It does not have any kits included. This is ideal for those who think that free or included kits and accessories do not hold enough power to sustain healthy and clean water. The option of only having to purchase a medium size tank or aquarium leads to many accessory choices. You can personally handpick all the things you need and fit it into this spacious, highly durable fish tank.


  • Easy to use
  • No leaks
  • Cons:
  • Shipping problems; broken or cracked glass


  • Just a plain aquarium


Lowest Maintenance Fish Tanks: Large

1. Seapora 59204 Standard Extra High Aquarium, 30 Gallon

The Seapora’s Extra High aquarium has a 30-gallon capacity. It is one of the large size low maintenance fish tanks you can have for a great and reasonable price. The aquarium features a tall glass tank with enough space for your accessories. This is ideal for people who want to have individually handpicked accessories such as filters, LED light, air-pumps, and more. Rather than purchasing a complete set with kits, you have the option to just purchase a tank and choose your own ideal brand of accessories.


  • Easy to use
  • Perfect height


  • Shipping and packaging problems; may arrive broken


2. SeaClear 30-Gal Show Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

The SeaClear 30-Gallon fish tank features an acrylic made tank which is clearer than glass. The set comes a little expensive but is totally worth it. It doesn’t require much maintenance and comes with a lot of free kits and accessories such as reflector and a 24-inch long light fixture. The tank is strong and durable. It can withstand force and impact. It is highly resistant to cracks and pressures. This set is best for a household with children as you do not need to worry about the fish tank breaking.


  • Comes with a warranty
  • Modern-looking
  • High-quality acrylic
  • Lightweight for its size


  • Low-quality hood and light
  • Expensive


3. Seapora 59205 Standard Breeder Aquarium, 30 Gallons

Next is the 59205 Seapora Breeder Aquarium. It has a capacity of not over 30 gallons of water. It  features a long, rectangular glass tank that is ideally used for breeding. It has no kits and accessories included which is great for people who prefer purchasing individual accessories. The shape of the tank makes the area accessible for you. It does not require you to reach down and extend your arms as you try to reach certain areas of the fish tank.


  • Convenient feeding hole
  • Easy to use


  • Poorly secured lid


4. SeaClear 40 Gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

The last large size low maintenance fish tank features a 40-gallon, acrylic-made tank from SeClear. There are three different designs available, including black, clear, and cobalt blue. The set is most likely the same with their 30-gallon acrylic tank, and they only differ in size. The set also includes a 24 inches long light fixture and a reflector. The construction of the product guarantees a strong and long-lasting tank that can withstand indoor and outdoor conditions.


  • Suited for saltwater and freshwater fish
  • Durable
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Comes with a warranty


  • Low-quality hood and light
  • Bulb not included


Buyer’s Guide

lowest maintenance fish tanklowest maintenance fish tank

It’s great that you have a list of products to consider when you are looking to buy a low-maintenance fish tank, but it is not enough to find the best one which fits your needs and wants.

You still need to have basic knowledge of fish tanks and some of the important factors when buying one. Thus, we provide essential information to help you become a more informed buyer.

Different Types of Self Cleaning Fish Tanks

Before you select a fish tank, you should first know about its different types, and they are:

  1. Filtration: This is a type of self-cleaning fish tank that automatically filters the water and remove the contaminants. This type of fish tank makes sure that the water will stay pure for a long time. Well, you still need to clean it after a while, but you won’t have to do it regularly.
  2. Aquaponics: This is one of the best types of self-cleaning fish tanks because it is a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. With hydroponics, you can grow plants without the use of soil. For aquaculture, you are farming fish in a controlled environment. You don’t have to clean your fish tank because the waste coming from the fish will be absorbed by the plants.
  3. Gravity: This is actually one of the most interesting fish tanks that you can buy if you don’t want to clean it repeatedly. Basically, this fish tank makes use of gravity to remove the waste inside. All the waste and debris in the water would sink in the bottom of the tank. If you want to clean it, all you have to do is to pour water at the top and the wastes would be flushed on a tube.

Other Factors to Consider

When you are looking for a fish tank, there are a few other factors you have to look at before you buy. This will help you find the best quality fish tanks for your house. Let’s check them out.

1. Build Materia​​​​​ls

A fish tank doesn’t have a lot of parts and the material you need to consider is the material of the actual tank. For the best material, you actually have three choices: glass, acrylic, and plastic.

​Glass Fish Tank

Glass fish tanks are extremely popular today and many people prefer them than the other two options. Glass tanks provide a much clearer view of the fish inside because these aquariums are flat sheets.

A glass fish tank can either be tempered or plate glass. Tempered glass is actually a glass that is heated and cooled quickly, creating a strong and lightweight glass. A tempered glass fish tank would actually shatter instead of just cracking, so it is not advisable to drill a tempered glass fish tank.

Plate glass, on the other hand, is thicker and it is a bit heavier. This glass will just crack at the point of impact instead of shattering. For smaller aquariums, it is usually better to use plate glass instead of tempered glass.

Acrylic Fish Tank

Acrylic fish tanks are getting a lot of popularity lately because they are lighter than glass aquariums. For tropical fish keepers, acrylic tanks are a better choice if they are setting up large fish tanks since they are not too heavy.

Plastic Fish Tank

Plastic fish tanks are the least popular because they are not usually big. Most of the plastic fish tanks that you can find in the market right now are very small. If you don’t want to take care of a lot of fish, you can just get a plastic fish tank, especially if you are on a tight budget.

2. Design

If you are fairly new when it comes to fish tank designs, you will probably say that the design is not really an issue. It is because most of the fish tanks are rectangular in shape. You can get some of them in the form of a bowl, but it is not a good idea if you are putting a lot of fish.

Today, fish tanks are not only in the rectangular form. You can find different designs like hexagon tanks, “L” shaped tanks, square cubes, and more.

However, the next most popular design is the bow-front fish tank. It looks like a rectangular tank, but the front side is actually bowed out.

For the design, it will depend on your own preference. If you prefer the traditional design, go for the rectangle. If you want something unique, you can choose from the other shapes.

3. Size

Most people disregard the sizing of the fish tank. Some of them think that as long as the fish inside is not too cramped, then they already found the right size.

Getting something that is too big is no good as well. There are a few reasons why you have to pay attention to the size of the tank.

If the tank is too big or too small, the water temperature will be unstable and the changes in temperature can shock and kill the fish. If it is too small, waste substances will also build up much faster. Even if the fish tank is a low-maintenance tank, waste substances will accumulate faster.

The rule when buying a fish tank is to avoid tanks with a capacity of five gallons and below. They are too small no matter how many fish you plan to buy. You should buy fish tanks with a capacity of six gallons and above.

The best thing to do is to buy a fish tank first and let the size decide how many fish you can put inside it. For example, a 10-gallon fish tank can be a good choice if you are planning to put five to six fish species with a maximum length of three inches.

4. Filtration System

For the filtration system, you actually have three options: submersible, canister, and hang-on filters. Let’s see what these filters can do.

Submersible Filter

This type of filter is just like its name: submersible. It is submerged in the tank and it has a  powerhead that can aerate the water.

It usually has suction cups attached to the aquarium glass that would allow the water to flow and provide filtration. This is one of the most common types of filtration systems used for fish tanks.

Canister Filter

This is the most expensive filter available right now and it is also the best choice, but since it is costly, it is not always a top choice for most people. This type of filter uses the three phases of filtration. They are containers that have an in-flow and out-flow of water.

Compared to other filtering devices, they can maintain the cleanliness of the water longer. If you have a large fish tank, they are also the best option because this type of filter is extremely powerful with vast water flow.

Hang-on Filter

This type of filter is the waterfall-like filters that you often see attached to the fish tank. They also provide three types of filtration so it is a good choice for small to medium-sized fish tanks.

5. Lead Time

When you are ordering a fish tank, you have to pay attention to the lead time. Basically, lead time pertains to the curing time of the tanks. If you order a fish tank, the manufacturer will give you instructions for the lead time and you cannot use the aquarium until it is fully cured.

This is essential when buying a fish tank because you want to be able to use the fish tank as soon as it arrives. There are some tanks where you will have to wait for several days or weeks before you can use them.

6. Maintenance

Since you are buying the lowest maintenance fish tanks, it means that maintenance is not really a big issue. With that in mind, that will depend on the type of filtering system you are using.

Most of these tanks will not require regular manual cleaning. You might only need to clean the tank manually at least once or twice a month.

7. Lighting

You also need to pay close attention to the lighting of the fish tank. The amount of light needed depends on the plants that you actually put inside the fish tank. If you only chose “easy” plants, you should consider 10 to 20 lumens per liter.

If you chose “medium” plants, 20 to 40 lumens per liter is advisable. If you put “advanced” plants, you should get at least 40 lumens per liter.

8. Accessories

There are tons of accessories that you can actually use for your fish tank, but we will only list down the most important items you need to buy. Here are some of them:

  • Heater
  • Thermometer
  • Lights and hood
  • Fish Net
  • Test kits
  • Cleaning tools

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have a lot of questions about the lowest maintenance fish tanks so we will try to answer some of the frequently asked questions about them.

1. Are Fish Tanks Easy to Maintain?

If you are talking about a regular fish tank, it is very time-consuming to maintain because you have to clean the tank regularly to make sure that the water will stay pure and clean. On the other hand, if you are going to use a low-maintenance fish tank, you won’t have to worry about maintenance.

These tanks have a filtration system that would keep the water clear, clean, and pure even if you don’t clean it. The most difficult part, though, is maintaining perfect water parameters such as temperature, pH levels, and ammonia level. You have to test the water for this to make sure it has the right parameters for your fish to live.

2. What Is a Good Size Fish Tank for a Beginner?

For beginners, the bigger, the better. It might be shocking for some, but this is the truth. A bigger tank is easier to maintain than smaller ones.

Beginners don’t have a lot of knowledge about the water parameters, and again, if you have a low-maintenance fish tank, the only thing that you have to pay attention to would be these factors. Smaller tanks are more susceptible to water parameter fluctuations.

More water means that the parameters will be much more stable. This would allow you to fully understand how to test or check water parameters.

3. Can Fish Die If the Tank Is Too Small?

Yes, fish can die if the tank is too small because they are easily scared. Thus, the fish gets a lot of stress. Also, if you have a lot of fish inside, there are some species that usually hide from other species, so they won’t be swimming as much as they should.

4. Will a Fish Outgrow Its Tank?

Yes and no since this depends on the type of fish that you have in your tank. If the fish can actually grow to a large size, it should already be within your calculations. It is not true that the fish will only grow to the size of its tank.

5. How Do You Set up a Self Cleaning Aquarium?

Setting up a self-cleaning aquarium is not too difficult because the only thing that you need to set up would be its filtration system. You can set up the tank using the traditional methods then add the filtration system based on the instructions of the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

Looking for a self cleaning fish tank is a bit complicated as you have to consider a lot of things to buy the best one. It may look simple when you look at it, but there are so many things you have to consider before you buy the right one for your needs.

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