5 Best Aquarium Starter Kit Comparison and Review

Aquarium starter kits come in various types, brands, sizes, costs and shapes. They come handy with everything you need to jumpstart your fish keeping journey in the most intuitive and beginner-friendly manner.

Best Aquarium Starter Kit

Best Aquarium Starter Kit

A starter kit normally carries everything you need when starting out. Acquiring one is a shortcut to furnishing your aquarium environment fully while at the same time cutting cost corners.

With that in mind, here are five best aquarium starter kit comparison and review that you should not miss out.

1. Marineland Glass LED Aquarium Kit, 5 Gallon

Meet an all-in-one aquarium kit from Marineland, our first starter fish tank kit. This elegant kit comes with a 5-gallon glass aquarium that is sturdy enough to contain the small pets and beneficial fauna for a conducive environment.

On the back of this tank is a unique and advanced back panel filtration. This feature enables efficient and easy removal of the resultant waste materials from the tank.

Additionally, the system comes with a filter that is not only easy to install but also to use with an adjustable flow filter option.

One unique characteristic that defines this tank is its appealing appearance. This is attributed to two main factors. From the word go, you will automatically fall for the clarity that comes with its glass surface. You can see through the walls of these tanks without the need to strain your neck.

Better still, the kit comes handy with two types of LED lights. In the water is a shimmering white light that brings the water features into a vivid realm even in the dark. So customizable is the light that you can alternate its intensity or even light up the whole tank to look like a brighter day.

On the other hand, the kit features blue LEDs that create a spectacular moonlight environment at night. You can customize the fluorescent tubes to attain even a dipping sun tank environment. So secure and safe are the tubes since they do not emit emissions to the water more so when they get fractured.


2. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5 Gallon

The second in this list is an ornamental Fluval Spec V Aquarium kit by Fluvial. This nano tank is popular for its designer display that makes it the best fit for places such as countertops and desktops.

It features an etched 5-gallon glass tank measuring  17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 inches. On the edges of the glass tank is an aluminium trim for protection against fracturing more so at the corners.

The modern look of this kit is brought into life by its classic designs and LED lights. It comes handy with a powerful 37 LED lighting system. The lights are made with durability in mind. It features an efficient circuit board that is intuitive in a manner that it does not cause flickering.

The system is very easy to install and maintain. Its filtering media entails porous foam block, BioMax rings and activated carbon with only one con; no heater.


3. Aqueon Fish Tank Aquarium LED Kit, 10 Gallon

Aqueon Fish Tank Aquarium LED Kit comes with a wide array of resources. The tank itself features a clear glass body with the epoxy resin sealing on the wall. It is constructed for sustainability.

The medium-sized kit features a pre-set heater that is ideal for keeping the temperature constantly at 78 degrees. This makes the overall kit an ideal option for lovers of tropical pets.

The vibrancy in this tank is due to a customizable LED lighting system that maintains the overall tank environment at a low profile hood. This attribute is also key to maintaining a stress-free environment.

Lastly, the LED lighting system features a power filter with red flashes. The power filter dims and brightens whenever it is time to change the cartridge. Under such controlled settings, you don’t need to worry about when to alternate the aquarium environment to befit your pet’s health.


4. Marina Led Aquarium Kit, 20 Gallon

Start your aquarist life with one of the latest kits by Marina. IN this series, this popular company released three budget-friendly tanks 5-gallon, 10-gallon and 20-gallon capacities respectively.

Any of these variants is recommended for any person that is fresh in the aquarist world.

The many features of the new releases encompass, crystal clear glass aquariums that allow for a full glimpse of everything inside.

The tanks come with additional Marina Slim S 20, 15 and 20 clips on fitters attached in the 5-gallon, 10-gallon and 20-gallon tanks respectively.

The power filters are ideal for a waste-free environment that curbs abnormal spikes of the water parameters.

The tanks also come with energy-saving LED lights that offer a bright illumination of the aquarium. The LEDs are customizable to meet the desired day-time and night-time illumination.

The overall charm in the kit lies with its cartridge for filtration and other miscellaneous accessories that come with the package.


5. Tetra Complete Aquarium Kit, 20 Gallon

The last in our list is a 20-gallon aquarium kit by tetra.  This company has been for decades monitoring the diverse needs of aquarists to tailor their products with the needs in mind.

For this aquarium package, Tetra has used a power-saving LED lighting system. Using a unique control mechanism, you can pause or change the colour of your aquarium depending on individual preference or your pet’s needs.

In the tank is the filter to keep the whole system clean and waste-free. It also features a plant environment that comes with glow colour fusion. These plants offer ideal hiding spaces that are when keeping most of aquarium fish species.

Tetra 20-gallon kit comes complete with other accessories such as one aquarium hood and a blooming white anemone. The glass tank measures 24.2 x 12.4 x 16.7 inches.


What Size of an Aquarium to Choose?

Your tank size speaks volumes when it comes to whether you will turn out a successor or failure. Precisely, the size of the tank affects the general life of aquarium species.

An appropriately sized tank guarantees adequate space for swimming and resting. It goes ahead to comfortably accommodate other crucial elements such as aquarium plants for a more conducive environment.

If you were keen on the listed reviews, you will observe that they range from 5-gallon to 20-gallon tank size. This range is overly ideal for any newbie aquarist. However, the main question is; which is the exact size tank to go for.

The debate about tank size is a wide topic. However, if you are 100% green in this world, and then we will recommend that you go for something sizeable. The bigger the tank, the better it is to maintain. But, how true is this?

A 20-gallon tank holds more water than a 5-gallon tank. Wastes in the form of excrement and remains of food get diluted in the water without any risks of fluctuations in water parameters. With two or three pets inside the tank, you will not need to filter and change your tank water as frequent as with a small tank.

Secondly, the large tank offers extra spaces for swimming and accommodation of other aquarium lives. Remember, your pets can only be jovial and charismatic in their environment when the aquarium mimics the natural environment. The moment they are deprived of space, they tend to grow stressed hence falling vulnerable to diseases.

Bottom line, we recommend a big tank that you can comfortably carry home without hurting your wallet.

How to Start Your First Aquarium?

Starting your first aquarium is not a walk in the park. The journey is riddled with uncertainties and confusion about what is wrong and right. Oftentimes, you will find yourself in the losing end, waking up to floating pets or even losing your newly acquired tank.

Starting your first aquarium starts with determining the best place to place it. The chosen scene should be secure and that which guarantees comfort to both the pets and your homestead occupants.

For a large aquarium, the place must be flat and hard. On the other hand, for a small 5-gallon tank any reinforced furniture can do. Just make sure that the place is sturdy enough to support the weight of your tank without any risk to collapse.

Secondly, filters and LED lights require electrical energy to function. Ensure that the place chosen nears a power socket or outlet. You can then go ahead and install the system as per the guidelines from the user manual.

Things to note  during installation include:


Before installing your filter, it is prudent to determine its flow. You can use a calculator to determine your filter flow. However, for the reviewed systems, you may not necessarily need to test the flow since the company does it on your behalf.


Heaters come with descriptions on wattage. Other than ensuring that they are correctly installed, you can go ahead and ascertain whether it works as par with the descriptions. Remember, heater matters a lot when it comes to keeping your aquarium temperature at a constant state.

Any mistake may lead to unavoidable death more so when working with species that fancy specific range temperature.

Filter Media

There is no doubt that most kits overstay in store. As a result, some come covered in specks of dust and other debris. Make sure to clean your tank and filter materials before installation.


Some kits come with pre-installed LED lights. Whereas, some do not. Have a glimpse at the user manual and make sure that the LED lighting system is working as recommended.

What Fish to Keep as a Beginner?

No fish species is the ultimate fit for beginners.  It all depends on individual preferences. However, other than physical features, different species of fish have different behaviours and biological features. These characteristics make them either cumbersome or easy to start out with.

When choosing your fish, first, you need to choose between a tropical or fresh-water fish. The species of fish you land on will determine whether you need cold water or a heated tank.

Coldwater fish that are ideal to start with include goldfish, blood fin tetras and white cloud.

On the other hand, heated freshwater fish species for newbies include; danios, black molly, black skirt tetra and Kuhli loach.

For those who are completely green in fish-keeping, hardy tropical species are the most recommended. These fish species are easy to care for and get along with others easily and more convenient.

What Aquatic Plants Should you Keep as a Beginner?

Aquarium plants not only provide the required vibrancy. They also provide natural filtration and an ideal environment that mimics natural habitat. However, these plants come in a wide range of options with different colours, types and shapes.

When starting out, you can be tempted to put anything you bump on in the store inside your tank. This is not a good idea at all since you can easily harm your fish.

Before you plant any plant into the tank, talk to your storekeeper. Usually, we have three categories of aquarium plants to acquire. We have plants for the foreground, background and middle ground.

Foreground plants include Java moss, Dwarf baby tears and Dwarf Hairgrass. Java Moss is the most common and also the easiest to maintain.

Middle ground plants are focal of any tank. Therefore, they are usually taller than the foreground and background plants. Popular plants that you can start with include Amazon Sword, African water Fern, water Wisteria and Java Fern.

Lastly, background plants are the largest in the list. They act as a natural backdrop and hideouts for fish species. Popular plants to start with include Giant Hair Grass, Madagascar Lace Plant, Cardamine Lyrata and Red Flame Sword.


The buzz of acquiring a new tank is usually short-lived. As a beginner, you will realize that fish keeping is an art. There is a lot to keeping a healthy fish apart from acquiring a new tank.

Otherwise, all the aforementioned aquarium kits can ideally befit any of your individual need.

Aquarium Equipment   Updated: December 17, 2019
avatar Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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