Best Aquariums of 2023
Most Popular Aquariums in 2023
Based solely on the number of tanks sold, these are the three top-selling tanks on our website. Innovative Marine certainly dominates the nano-size market with the NUVO Fusion tanks that come in a variety of different shapes in the 10 to 40 gallons size range. Red Sea captures the larger tank market with their iconic Reefer and Max series aquariums.
Best for Multiple Biotopes
A truly one-of-a-kind glass aquarium, the Concept Encore gives you two isolated display tanks within a single footprint of only 24" x 15". This allows you to set up completely separate aquascapes or biotopes side by side. You could do a freshwater and saltwater tank or just focus on two different marine habitats. Maybe one side contains soft corals while the other highlights an anemone and clownfish symbiosis... the options are endless.
Best Nano Tank that Includes a Light
One of the most affordable AIO options on the market, the Maxspect DICE aquarium is available as the tank alone or in combination with one of three different LED lights. The MJ-L130 is a 30-watt fixture that comes with preset spectrum and photoperiod options. Step up to the more powerful MJ-L165 65-watt fixture and you gain access to their SynaG control app that allows for more customization and control options over the light spectrum and photoperiod.
Best Expansion Tanks
As is so common with many aquarium owners, one tank is never enough! The 14-gallon Nuvo Fusion is a great little tank that is small enough to fit on a desktop or dresser which means you can easily put it in a bedroom or office space. The Red Sea Max Nano is a bit larger at 26 gallons and comes complete with a tank stand that will look great anywhere in your home or office.
Best Beginner Tanks
When it comes to first-time tank owners, smaller is not always better. We recommend 40 to 75 gallons as the ideal size for first-timers because it's a large enough water volume to choose a variety of livestock and is also more forgiving in terms of water quality. Smaller volumes of water are quite finicky making it difficult to achieve stability and that 40-gallon size seems to be the sweet spot where it's small enough to be manageable while not being too sensitive to change.
Best All-In-One on a Budget
If balling on a budget is your game, look no further than the Fiji Cube Drop-In Filter Kits. 40-gallon breeders are very common standard-size aquariums that can be found at any big box pet store across the US and can probably be acquired gently used for even less. The kit comes complete with a pump and can be dropped right into the tank creating an effective all-in-one style filtration system.
Best for the Cleanest Look
While the S-series from Red Sea is not their most talked about line of aquariums, they do have a particular elegance thanks to the ingeniously hidden plumbing and coast-to-coast overflow. The tank itself and included stand look great and you won't have to fuss with a bulky internal overflow box. You also get a professional quality glass sump, all of the necessary plumbing, a Red Sea Protein Skimmer, and the appropriate number of ReefLED 90 led lights to support coral growth.
Best Dimensions for a Reef - Because Coral Grow Up
Any tank that measures at least 20" tall and 20"+ deep (front to back)
When thinking about dimensions for a reef tank, you want to account for enough height that can accommodate vertical coral growth but also enough front-to-back depth that allows you to create a dynamic aquascape. Classically, the 24" square 60-gallon cube was the smallest footprint that allowed for this natural reef aesthetic but stepping up to the standard 120-gallon footprint of 48" x 24" is even better not only for coral placement but it also allows for a much wider variety of fish.
Most Surface Area for Coral
Any Peninsula Shaped Aquarium
A peninsula aquarium allows for viewing on three sides which essentially doubles your aquatic canvas. Rather than being limited to a single front view, you can aquascape both the left and ride side of your aquascape with a unique collection of corals.
Best Long-Term Tank - Avoid Upgrade Fever
120 - 180 gallon Aquariums
Upgrade fever is something that typically hits after 12-24 months of keeping your first aquarium because at this point you have things figured out and are likely itching to expand your livestock collection. No matter the scenario, seriously consider stepping up to the 120-gallon if you have the space. The footprint is almost identical to 75 & 90-gallon tanks but you get much more room for livestock. If you can accommodate a 72" aquarium, the 180-gallon tank is what most experienced aquarists would consider the end game; it's large enough to accommodate most any aquarium fish and a large collection of coral without being overwhelmingly expensive or demanding.
Best Fish Only
Any tank that measures at least 48" long and 20"+ tall
When collecting fish, a tall tank will always create a more impressive display. The 48" length will allow for a much wider variety of species such as tangs, angelfish, and butterflies that are just not suitable for smaller-size tanks. With a tall water column, you can intelligently choose fish based on where they like to swim - top, middle, and bottom. This will result in fish that inhabitant every niche within the aquarium creating that busy, colorful appearance.
Best For Photography
Lagoon Shaped Aquariums
If you enjoy taking high-quality photos of your coral, look for wide, shallow aquariums - often called "lagoon" style tanks. This gives you maximum viewing space from the top down (which is the most impressive view of your corals) and makes it easy to photograph the aquarium from above using coral viewers.
Best for the Main Floor of the House
120 Gallons or Less
Saltwater weighs roughly 8.55 lbs per gallon and if you're placing an aquarium on the main floor of your house (not directly onto the foundation or concrete) it is important to consider the weight. This way you're not having to reinforce the floor or wind up risking damage to your home.
Best Tank If You Hate Filter Socks
While the newest Reefer G2 series aquariums come standard with a filter sock holder, they modified these new sumps making it extremely easy to remove the sock holder and install an automatic filter roller. Auto filter rollers are easier to manage and more effective when compared to filter socks but most manufactured sumps won't easily accommodate a filter roller without some kind of modification.
The Oceanguard tanks are one of the only aquariums that include an assembled tank stand - that's right, you don't have to put it together. The stands are extremely sturdy and have a unique design that features removable colored panels. Choose the panels that best suit your home's decor and easily replace the panels if needed.
Best Tank Without an Overflow Box
The new Glasscages aquariums come standard with a low-profile internal overflow box that only extends 1.6" into the aquarium and measures less than 6" tall. These slick low-profile overflows have become the standard for DIY and custom tank manufacturers and for good reason - they are unobtrusive when it comes to aquascaping and seamlessly blend into the back wall so as not to distract from the overall tank aesthetic.
Best if you Want to Pick Your Own Sump
If you're in the market for a rimless reef-ready glass aquarium but really want to choose your own sump and plumbing, Glasscages and Innovative Marine are your best choices. Both tanks are drilled and come complete with overflow boxes that are ready for connection with US standard PVC plumbing parts.