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The 11 Best Fish Tanks For Kids

Is a children's aquarium on your shopping list? If so, you should definitely continue reading.

Don't let the thought of buying an aquarium for your child discourage you; it can be a great opportunity to spend time together and learn about the world around you.

When looking for a first pet for your child, an original aquarium is a risk-free, relatively inexpensive, and simple one.

If you are thinking of creating a small aquarium for your kids, here's what you should know, plus we also have a list of the 11 best aquariums for kids.

The appropriate age is usually between 4 and 6, as your child will enjoy it as long as you are willing to take care of the fish and clean up the aquarium.

However, if you want your children to be responsible for fish, you may want to wait until they are 9 or 10 years old. In other words, don't give your 4-year-old the job of cleaning the filter.

Let's discuss the best fish tanks for kids now that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has covered the basics of kids aquariums.

Keep in mind that since they're not complicated or too big, any of these are great for younger kids to try.

Advice on Making a Purchase

When Is It Appropriate To Introduce A Child To An Aquarium?

This is a loaded question to which there is no objective response. The true question you need to answer is whether you or your children will be responsible for maintaining the aquarium and its inhabitants.

If your children are only going to look at and play with the pets, then there is no age too young for them. But when it’s time to tend to a live creature, priorities shift.

How much time should be invested in the aquarium’s upkeep?

The size of your aquarium is a major factor in this. Building a small tank of 1 or 2 gallons, like the one we discuss in the review part below, won’t need much work.

And if you have a killer whale tank, well, then you have a completely new challenge on your hands. In any case, when it comes to the care of a small aquarium intended for children, you shouldn’t have high hopes.

With a 1 or 2 gallon fish tank, you won’t need to spend more than an hour a week on maintenance. It’s time to feed the fish, do a partial water change, clean up the waste, and replace the filter’s media.

These tasks only need to be done once a week, or less frequently if you’re merely feeding the fish. Worried that your children aren’t pulling their weight? You needn’t worry — there isn’t much of it.

Please tell me the most critical steps I must do.

Not a lot can be done with a tiny aquarium, like the one you’re hoping to acquire for young Joey or Josephine. There is some upkeep, but it’s not a lot.

  • Feeding

Fish food, typically in the form of generic flakes, will need to be provided twice or thrice daily. Because you must feed them because they are alive.

  • Cleaning

Tank maintenance should be performed once a week, or every other week at the most. It’s as simple as draining about a quarter of the water, replacing it with fresh water, and cleaning the filter (or replace cartridges if necessary).

  • Aqueous Transmutations

As we’ve already discussed, you should replace roughly a quarter of the tank’s water once a week.

  • Health

It’s as simple as keeping the water clean, feeding the fish properly, providing adequate lighting, and checking the filter regularly.

We’ve already established that the volume of water you’ll need is 1, 2, or 3 gallons at the most, therefore the effort required to fill it will be low.

This article examines the similarities and differences between 10- and 20-gallon tanks, which may be useful if we decide to upgrade.


  • Which Is Better: the Tank Itself or the Complete Set?

Small fish tank kits are usually the most cost-effective option when shopping for a fish tank for a child.

You may save a lot of money in the long run by purchasing a kit that includes the aquarium, a modest heater, a reasonable filtration system, and everything else you need to get started.

  • Can Young Children Have Fish as Pets?

It’s kind of true but not quite. One the one hand, keeping fish in a tiny tank isn’t that difficult, especially if you choose a kind of fish that is small and easy to care for.

Providing your toddler keeps it fed, it should be fine, and you’ll get a chance to teach your child about the importance of taking care of living things. However, buying a pet of any type for a toddler is always a dangerous endeavor.

They can become bored with the pet and stop caring for it. Yet, a fish is perhaps the best pet for a young child.

  • For a kid, what’s the best fish to get?

You should look for a fish that requires less maintenance. And there, folks, is the crux of the matter.

Goldfish, guppies, danios, tetra fish, and betta fish are just a few examples of fantastic fish that may be kept as pets by children. These are the fish that make the best pets since they require the least amount of maintenance.

  • Which Is Better For Children: A Real Or Fake Tank?

Many parents examine this question while deciding whether or not to purchase a fish tank for their children. Should I purchase my kid a genuine fish tank or one packed with plastic junk?

We think you can figure out where we’re headed with this from the way we asked the question. An artificial aquarium with plastic fish and plants may be low maintenance, and it certainly wouldn’t need any cleaning, but it would also be completely devoid of any interest or charm.

Better not to buy a tank at all if it’s going to be an artificial one. The novelty and excitement of having fish is lost, and they are not particularly entertaining to look at as a result.

To put it another way: when you eat a burger, you want the actual thing, not a fake.


Don’t accept an aquarium until your fry are old enough to take on the responsibility, and if not, be ready to do it all yourself.

There isn’t a ton of work to be done when it comes to a small aquarium, but there is still some. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) thinks any of the options mentioned above would be a great addition to your kid’s home if you’re looking to buy the best fish tanks for kids.

Check out our review of the Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium. It is easily the best option if you’re looking for something a little more spacious.



The Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium Is Easily the Best Option

The Fluval SPEC Desktop Glass Aquarium, 2-Gallon is a fantastic option to consider if you want to provide your youngster with a good aquarium to get started with.

This aquarium has a modern design that makes it appropriate for homes, classrooms, and workplaces. You and your children will be able to enjoy its tasteful design.

The tank’s filtration chamber, which features three levels of filtration, is hidden behind frosted glass to preserve the tank’s aesthetic value.

The filter comes complete with all necessary components. With a capacity of 2 gallons, this aquarium is spacious enough to house a variety of species. A light and a circulation pump are included for use in the dark.


  • Elegant structure
  • Concealed filtering system
  • The 2 gallon capacity is ideal for housing many fish.
  • The filter and the pump for the circulation are included.
  • It had a light within


  • It’s made of glass, so dropping it might break it.
  • Absent: rocks and vegetation


Aqua Culture Aquarium Equipment for a One Gallon Tank

Let’s take a closer look at the Aqua Culture 1 Gallon Starter Kit, which, in our opinion, is a good option for a child’s first aquarium.

The acrylic used in this one-gallon starter kit is scratch- and impact-proof. Kids may play rough with it or drop it without worrying about it breaking at home. It’s also a cute tiny square aquarium, ideal for a bedside table or bookcase. Not a lot of space is needed to store it.

There is an under-gravel filter, an air pump, and a seven-watt light included in the Aqua Culture 1 gallon aquarium tank starter kit so that you can get your fish settled in right away.

Likewise, there are food and water conditioners included. In my opinion, this is an ideal introduction for a young person.


  • Resistant to Impact
  • Constructed to minimize the use of available room
  • Complete with all necessary components


  • Single fish only!
  • Not include gravel or landscaping.


This is a Tetra 29041 Half Moon Bubbler

Any youngster who desires a few tetra fish as a roommate will appreciate this adorable little aquarium.

We think this is one of the coolest aquariums for kids, and it’s great as a first tank. A fully operational, filter-based cartridge system is supplied.

There should be plenty of room for tetra fish in this 3 gallon tank. The tank’s half-moon form allows for a more compact footprint, and its 180-degree viewing angle means your children will never miss a moment of their pets’ antics.


  • Three gallons is a good size for several fish.
  • 180-degree perspective of the interior
  • Dim lights for use underwater
  • A filter cartridge is included.
  • Tolerable longevity


  • Does require some upkeep
  • No internal organs included


Betta Fish Aquarium Kit with 360-Degree Rotating API Access

Your children will get a wonderful, unobstructed spherical view of the fish in this lovely aquarium. An attractive, low-maintenance, and compact option for a home aquarium.

For a single betta fish, this is a great sized aquarium. Its 1.5-gallon capacity is more than adequate for a single betta. The tank’s size is such that it doesn’t need a lot of upkeep, though.

You may put it on a kid’s nightstand or a shelf because of how compact it is.

Energy-saving and capable of displaying a rainbow of colors, the LED lighting system included in the API Betta Kit is a must-have for every betta enthusiast.

The bulbs may be run off either a wall plug or batteries. This aquarium is popular because viewers can see all of the fish at once.


  • Completely encompassing perspective
  • This is the perfect solution for limited floor area
  • It had a light within
  • Includes a meal


  • Without a filter


Aquarium with a Betta Fish, Lit by a Half-Moon of Tetra LEDs

This is a great tiny tank for keeping fish as a starting aquarium due to its modest size, practical form, and attractive design.

This tank’s design is fantastic, in our opinion. There is no curve to speak of on the back of this particular tank; instead, it’s shaped like a flattened half moon.

This allows for unobstructed views of the fish from all angles. Also, you can easily prop it up against a wall or other level surface thanks to its flat back. This compact and functional design will save you lots of room.

This is perfect for a solitary betta fish, as it has a capacity of 1.1 gallons. In addition, an LED light is included and may be positioned under or above the tank to provide ambient light. The tank’s top provides an additional feeding access point.


  • Flat back design saves valuable floor space
  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy access to food
  • Incorporated LED lighting


  • Battery or micro-USB power is needed for the light (not included)


Hawkeye 360 Degree Fish Tank, 3 Gallons

Whether you want to keep one big fish or a few smaller ones, this 3 gallon tank is perfect for you. It’s well crafted, and it includes everything you need to get going.

One of the many appealing features of this aquarium is that it is round in shape, allowing viewers a complete 360-degree view of the fish within.

In addition to the hood’s feeding hole, aeration pump, under-gravel filter, and LED illumination, these features are sure to win you over.

The lighting, cleaning, and oxygenating equipment necessary to care for fish in this tank are all included. The 12 various color settings of the waterproof LED illumination will keep your children entertained for hours.


  • Totally silent
  • A-okay for condensing
  • includes illumination features
  • Built-in filtration system and air pump
  • Completely encompassing perspective


  • Possible unsuitability for smaller children
  • Absent: rocks and vegetation


The Fluval View Oval Plastic Aquarium

This is a very affordable plastic tank. It fits nicely into a variety of kid-friendly and compact household environments.

The built-in pump, filter, and LED lighting are nice extras that you’ll like. This aquarium has just about everything your kids will need to care for their new fish.

This aquarium can hold up to 4 gallons of water and has a circular shape. While it is perfect for compact quarters, you may have some difficulty squeezing it into a tight corner.

The plastic feeding cover may be removed as needed. Since it’s see-through throughout, fish may be observed from any angle.


  • Clear as glass; fish are visible from all angles
  • Includes a filter, a light, and a pump
  • Four gallons is just right for a little aquarium.


  • Some fragility in the plastic is possible.


The Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

Any child would benefit from having an aquarium like this, and adults would enjoy it as well. It has the vital quality of being complete with everything you need to begin immediately.

You may keep a few medium-sized fish or a few tiny fish like tetras in this 5 gallon tank (we evaluated our top 9 here). Depending on your kid’s perspective, the fact that the aquarium is spacious and can accommodate more inhabitants is either a boon or a curse.

We appreciate that it has a square shape and three see-through sides. The inner fish tank is fully viewable from three sides, providing hours of entertainment for your children. This tank has a three-stage filtration mechanism that is concealed behind a panel for a sleek appearance.

White and blue LED lights that may be switched between night and daylight use are also included. The glass canopy above this tank may be retracted for simple access.


  • Visibility in all directions
  • Outfitted with a stealthy filter
  • provides illumination
  • A sizeable quantity
  • Square shapes are ideal for children’s bedrooms.


  • Maybe too much space for a starter aquarium.
  • Since glass is so easily broken, it might not be the greatest material for use around small children.


Kit for a hexagonal aquarium by Tetra, model 29040

This cool fish tank comes in a hexagonal design and is another alternative for young people just getting into the hobby.

This aquarium’s hexagonal form is one of its distinguishing features and should be easily appreciated by anyone.

It has a fascinating design, and youngsters will love that they can see their fish from all directions thanks to the tank’s six transparent sides. The angular design of this 1 gallon tank makes it ideal for usage in cramped quarters.

Everything you and the kids need to care for a few tetra fish is included in this package. A tetra air pump, internal filter, filter cartridge, airline tubing, a connecter valve, and an LED light are all included.

Only fish, fish food, and maybe some plants are required additions to your aquarium.


  • LED lighting built in
  • Filter and air pump included.
  • Useful form factor
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Viewing fish in all directions


  • Very noisy


Aquarium of Fun Fish for Me

Children who aren’t quite ready for a full-sized aquarium can benefit from the My Fun Fish Aquarium’s self-cleaning design and simplistic features.

The unique gravity clean technique utilized by this aquarium guarantees that the water is always fresh and healthy for the fish. We can all appreciate the fact that you and your children will never have to clean this aquarium.

This eliminates the need for a filter or aeration pump, which helps maintain clean, oxygenated water for your fish.

Your kids will be able to see the aquatic inhabitants of this aquarium from any angle thanks to its square shape and glass construction.

This is helpful since it can be tucked away in a closet, a spare room, or a corner with ease. You get an LED light and a plant that can live in water with this purchase. For the aforementioned reasons, we highly recommend this aquarium for families.


  • Safe for use in outer space
  • Clear sightlines within
  • To save time and effort, it cleans itself.
  • Including a bright plant that thrives in water


  • Exactly one fish may be stored here.
  • It’s not very sturdy

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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