10 Best All in One Aquariums
Looking at your fish every day is extremely relaxing and addictive. But if you think of your entire fishkeeping experience, setting up the aquarium is an especially exciting moment. The adrenaline and joy are even higher when it’s your first tank. But along with the joy comes the stress of finding the right equipment. That can change if you go for an all in one aquarium.
You want to make sure you make the best choices and that your fish will have the best environment you can offer. You also want the aquarium to be an eye-catcher so you can brag about it to your friends. And, not least, you want it to last and not to destroy your budget. That’s a pretty complex decision for a beginner or for a very busy person. To help you with it, many manufacturers have put together all in one aquarium systems that have almost everything you need to get started.
Setting up an aquarium may be exciting for an experienced aquarist, but if it’s your first time, you may feel overwhelmed. Or you may just want to skip to the part where you decorate it and get the fish. For anyone who doesn’t have the knowledge, time or patience to choose all the items separately, a set can be the best solution. And if you aren’t sure which one to choose, here is the list of the best all in one aquariums on the market.
10 Best All in One Aquariums
If you are on the market for a small all in one aquarium, this kit from MarineLand is a great option. The 5-gallon tank looks amazing, with the portrait shape, rounded corners, and the LED lights that are perfectly positioned.
There is another aspect that really improves the look of this aquarium. Everything is hidden in the back compartment, the pump, the filter caddy, as well as all the wires. So, everything looks organized and nice. Also, because of the portrait orientation, you can have some tall plants, and there’s still enough space for the fish.
Most elements are high-quality. The filter works well and is very silent, the pump is good and adjustable. The lights are decent, they have a switch for day and night settings, but they are not strong enough for live plants. However, it’s easy to flip up the light construction, it doesn’t fall or cause any inconvenience, and the switch plug is safely isolated.
What’s in the Box?
The 5-gallon curved glass aquarium, bright white and blue energy-efficient LED light hinged to the tank, 3-stage hidden filtration with a Rite-Size Z Cartridge, bio-foam, and an adjustable flow filter pump.
Take a look at the following video to see this beautiful aquarium already set up:
There are many things to love about this all in one aquarium kit. First of all, it looks great, it doesn’t take much space because it’s a portrait tank, it has a modern design and is easy to set up. It includes almost everything you need, and even if you may want to upgrade some of the features in time, it’s definitely worth buying. If you compare it to other kits in the 5-gallon section, it wins a lot of points.
#2 – Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium
This all in one cube aquarium is a great choice if 15 gallons is the size you are looking for. It’s large enough to look great and for the fish to have enough space to swim, but at the same time, it easily fits anywhere.
The contemporary aspect is enhanced by the nice LED system. The tank is very well designed, it has enough place in the back to hide everything, filter, heater, UV sterilizer, as well as the wires. The back of the tank isn’t transparent, nothing will affect the frontal view. However, because it uses a lot of space to conceal all those accessories, the tank’s capacity will be lower. It’s still quite spacious, but you need to know you won’t really get 15 gallons for your fish.
The lighting system is very nice. It has 15 colors and white light, as well as a dimmer and remote control. There’s also a night-time setting that will make the Glofish accessories look really cool. The lights are also good enough for plants that don’t require a lot of light.
The filter works pretty well, the pump is strong and extremely quiet, though you cannot adjust the volume. The filtration system is also easy to clean. But the intakes are pretty large, so they are a danger for very small fish.
This aquarium is bow-front, which you may either love or hate. It is an interesting shape, but in time you may feel annoyed by the distortion. Another negative aspect is the positioning of the IR sensor. You will have to point the remote above the tank in an uncomfortable position if you want it to work.
What’s in the Box?
The 15-gallons glass tank, LED lighting system, multi-stage filtration, canopy with an infrared sensor.
Take a look at the video below to see this all in one aquarium in two sizes, 9 and 15 gallons:
There are some small issues about this tank, but nothing extremely serious. Overall, it’s a beautiful aquarium that works well. And even if you want to make some adjustments, it’s still a good option, considering the price.
#3 – MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit
The tall and cool design combined with the rail lighting, will immediately make this all in one aquarium kit stand out. It’s elegant and a real eye-catcher, so it’s no wonder it has become so popular. It’s a desktop aquarium that works well and will look great in any room.
The curved glass, rounded corners and glass canopy, combined with the light rail on top create a beautiful effect. The great thing is that the LED lights have both daylight and moonlight settings, so your aquarium will look its’ best all the time. You can also reduce the brightness, if you feel it’s necessary.
These aquarium sets come with a 3-stage filtration system that will keep the water clean and clear. But apart from the aspect, it will create a safe environment for your fish by removing any unwanted residue. It can be a bit difficult to access, but it works very well. You can adjust the pump depending on the type of fish you have. This may be the best all in one aquarium for a beginner, because it’s easy to set up and maintain.
What’s in the Box?
The 5-gallon tank with rounded glass corners, a hinged LED rail light, a 3-stage hidden filtration system, and an adjustable-flow filter pump.
In the next video, you can see a presentation of this product, but it’s a 3-gallon tank. Still, you can see what it looks like:
This is a pretty decent tank for the money you are spending. The lights can be replaced if you decide along the way to put live plants in the aquarium. But as a starter tank, it’s a good option.
#4 – Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium
This all in one aquarium kit is another crowd-pleaser. It has a clean and modern look, enhanced by the color fusion LEDs. You can let the lights follow their cycle and change colors, or you can pause on the one you like in particular. In any case, they will create a very nice atmosphere.
This is a very well made and strong tank, so it will definitely last for many years. The only problem with this set is the filter, which seems too small for this tank. So, if you plan on adding more fish, you will probably need to upgrade it. Other than that, it’s a great option, especially because the kit includes almost everything you need, even a heater.
What’s in the Box?
20-gallon glass aquarium, the hood, the UL heater, one Tetra Whisper 20 filter, one Color Fusion Universal Color Changing LED, two Wonderland Plant multipacks, one blooming white anemone.
To better visualize this tank, take a look at this video:
The filter is the only thing we didn’t appreciate about this all in one aquarium. Everything else is above average. And if we consider the price and the overall experience, it’s worth buying, even if you also have to add a filter to the shopping cart.
#5 – Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit
Here is a great option if you are looking for a slightly larger all in one aquarium. It’s perfect for your living room or a conference room, where it will definitely become the center of attention. It has a low profile hood that creates a wonderful daylight effect inside the tank, with the energy-efficient LED lights.
The tank itself is well-built, and everything is easy to set up. The kit includes a Tetra internal filter that actually works pretty well and is silent. So, your fish will enjoy clean water, and you will have one less thing to worry about.
The water pump could be upgraded, for better results. It would be a good idea to choose one that’s rated for over 55 gallons. Some of the items in the set can be replaced with better options in time, like the thermometer. But that’s not a serious problem. The lights are ok, but if you want to have a heavily planted tank, that will need to be upgraded as well. But for normal use, the lights are more than decent.
What’s in the Box?
A 55-gallon tank, a power filter with one filter cartridge, a 200 Watt-heater, a thermometer, 2 plastic lid covers, 2 strands of 5 LED lights, a small container of tropical fish food, 2 small tap water treatment packs, and a fishnet.
To see an example of how to set it up, take a look at the following video:
If you’re looking for an all in one saltwater aquarium kit (or freshwater), this is a good option, overall. It may have some weak points, but if you consider the price, it’s worth buying. The tank is good, so is the filter, it has a heater, and even though the pump isn’t great it’s still a good set.
#6 – Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium
This is another great option if you’re looking for a medium all in one cube aquarium. It is beautifully designed, and the components are worth the price. The curved edges, the glass back panel, and the nice hood create a very cool look. The glass is thick and scratch-free, so you should admire this aquarium in your home for many years.
One of the things we like the most about this aquarium is the lighting system. There are white LEDs for daytime and blue Moon Glows for the night, all creating a mesmerizing effect. The color enhancing LEDs also have automatic sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset functions. Not only will you find this relaxing, but it will be a great environment for your fish, as close to the natural one as possible. If you wish, you also have the option to program the lights to turn off gradually.
If you’re looking for a great all in one freshwater aquarium, this could be the one for you. The filter is submersible, quiet, and works very well. There’s also an adjustable return nozzle, so you can make the water cascade into the tank, if you want to.
This is actually the new and improved Biocube 32 setup, with automated features, a great lighting system, and a compact filtration chamber. And the good news is it’s compatible with all the previously launched accessories.
What’s in the Box?
It’s an AIO aquarium.
If you are thinking of reef tanks setup and are considering the Biocube, check out this video:
This is definitely a great all in one aquarium, whether you want a freshwater or a saltwater tank. All the components are top-quality, everything works well, and we really haven’t found any serious reason against buying it.
#7 – Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium
This is a really great option, especially if you want a 20 gallon reef tank. It’s one of the most beautiful and good tanks on the market. It may be a bit more expensive, but it’s money well spent. The cool rimless design, the technology it uses, they all make it a great all in one aquarium.
Let’s start with the design, since it’s the most obvious positive aspect. It has a very simple and modern look. It’s a compact tank that will last for many years. The glass is thicker than you would expect, but also very clear. The silicone is very well applied, everything looks great.
As for functionality, the lighting system is excellent, the filter is more than adequate, and the pump provides great water circulation. Even the skimmer is very good. The lights are strong enough to sustain corals, so it’s great for the reef tank you dream of. It actually offers a combination of ultraviolet, violet and blue LEDs, as well as white ones, with Wi-Fi control.
It doesn’t have a lid, though, and that can be a problem. The set doesn’t include a heater, either, but that happens with many aquarium sets.
What’s in the Box?
The set includes everything except a heater and a stand. It’s completely plug ‘n play. You get the tank, the lighting system, a detachable surface skimmer, a protein skimmer, carbon, a circulation pump, a bubble trap sponge, an automatic top-up reservoir, a micron filter bag, a multidirectional eyeball nozzle.
For a full video presentation, take a look below:
This is definitely an expensive product. But it could also be the best all in one saltwater aquarium. It looks like a modern piece of art, and every component is high-quality. It’s a very cool and expensive toy, but it will also give you an amazing fishkeeping experience. So, if you are willing to pay that much, we highly recommend this aquarium.
#8 – Aqueon LED Aquarium Kit
Aqueon is another great brand in general, and also if you are looking for an all in one aquarium. This particular kit comes with a 20-gallon tank, so you have quite a bit of space for your fish, and for some nice plants and decorations. Since it’s an all in one freshwater aquarium, it’s great for beginners, and it will be much easier to clean than a small desktop tank.
First of all, it has a clean and nice design, and the tall rectangular shape makes it very practical. It’s easy to clean and decorate, and the fish will have a nice volume of water to swim around. It has a low profile hood that covers the entire surface, so there will be no escaping from this tank.
Everything works well, including the filter, so you will have crystal clear water and a clean and safe environment for the fish. The filter also has a cool feature, a red light that lets you know when you need to clean it or change it. It’s also a very quiet filter, so nothing will affect your relaxation. The lights are great, too, you get cool white LEDs.
What’s in the Box?
20-gallon glass aquarium, low profile LED full hood, QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with a medium cartridge, 100W preset heater, premium fish food, water conditioner, fish net, stick-on thermometer.
Take a look at this video to get an idea of what this aquarium could look like, with a simple setup:
This really is an all in one aquarium kit. It even includes a heater, and even though at some point you will want to get another one, you have everything you need to get started. The components work well, the tank looks great, so it’s definitely worth buying.
#9 – Penn Plax Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit
If you want to experience fishkeeping but don’t have a lot of space in your home, a 10 gallon all in one aquarium may be the solution. It will look great and still be large enough for your fish to have enough space to swim and not feel confined. The Penn Plax aquarium kit comes in 3 sizes, but we recommend the 10-gallon option, for a better experience, both for you and the fish.
If you prefer an all in one cube aquarium, this one looks great. It has a very nice frameless design, the front glass panel is curved, and you get an awesome view of your fish. It’s a compact and strong tank, made of high-quality glass, and it’s lighter than you would expect.
This is ideal for beginners, and you get almost everything you need to set up a beautiful fish tank and start learning about fishkeeping. The kit comes with a thermometer and a fishnet. Unfortunately, the lights aren’t included in the set.
What’s in the Box?
A 10-gallon glass tank, a lid, a mat, a Cascade Power hang-on filter, a digital thermometer, and a fishnet.
This video is about the 3-gallon version of the kit, but you can get an idea of what to expect:
This is a very nice tank that works very well. Although it’s definitely worth buying, we are disappointed about the missing lights. It’s not uncommon for an all in one aquarium to be missing a heater, but the lights are usually included. Still, since the tank is very nice and the components are working well, we feel it’s still worth considering.
#10 – Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon
This is a good option for an all in one nano aquarium, especially for beginners. It’s a small tank, so you can only have betas, shrimps, gourami, or other small species like that. But a nano tank can definitely offer you a special and relaxing experience. This particular aquarium is compact and narrow, and has a very attractive design. It’s also sturdy, made of strong, scratch-free glass with aluminum trim on top.
The tank has a built-in multi-stage filtration system, and a strong and very quiet circulation pump. The water flow is adjustable, which gives you a bit of freedom to choosing the fish. The filter media contains activated carbon, bio rings, and foam blocks, and the good news is they are very easy to find.
You get the updated lighting system, with 37 LEDs that work extremely well and can sustain any type of plants you can fit in the tank.
What’s in the Box?
The glass aquarium and the cover, the LED lighting system, a low-voltage transformer, a circulation pump with output nozzle, a foam filter block, a Fluval activated carbon insert, and a BioMax insert.
To see a video review, click below:
The price may seem a bit high for a 5-gallon tank, but you’ll be glad you spent it. Everything is high-quality, so even if you still have to buy a heater, it’s still worth it. It really is a very cool tank, and neither you nor your fish will have any problem with it.
Things to Consider Before Buying an All in One Aquarium Kit
The promise these all in one aquarium systems make is obvious, you are supposed to get everything you need to start setting up your new aquarium. That is particularly tempting if you are a beginner, and it’s not a bad idea. You will save a lot of time by not having to research and choose every component separately. However, there are a few things you need to decide before buying an all in one aquarium (or any tank in general). Otherwise, you may get overwhelmed by what the market offers and won’t know where to start your search.
The general rule when it comes to fish tanks is ‘bigger is better.’ Why? First of all, your fish will have more space, and you will have more freedom when it comes to stocking the tank. Your first concern must be the comfort you are providing for your fish. But at the same time, a larger tank is better for you, as well. Not only will it look great, but it’s actually easier to clean. Waste doesn’t build up that easy in a larger aquarium, so you won’t have to clean it that often. You will see that most all in one aquarium systems come with smaller tanks. That’s because it’s what beginners usually choose. But you must think about it very well, and decide what is more important. You can also find many medium-size all in one aquarium sets, or you can go bigger and buy everything separately.
Price is important in general, but even more so when it comes to fish keeping. It’s not a cheap hobby, and you must look at the big picture. Even if you save some money buying an all in one aquarium, you will have many other expenses along the way. You will have to maintain the aquarium, feed the fish, and treat them if necessary. If some of the components don’t work as well as they should, you will have to replace them, and even get an upgrade. This shouldn’t scare you, but it’s important to think about the budget before you decide on the size. And keep in mind that you are most likely to go over that budget, anyway.
There is another aspect to consider. Being an aquarist usually is pretty addictive. So, you may find yourself after a year or so, wishing you had bought a bigger tank in the first place. So, it may be worth spending a little more on a larger tank from the beginning, that way you won’t have to buy a new one soon.
Tanks come in many shapes and sizes, and there are many options even for all in one aquarium systems. So, for an organized search, it would be a good idea to decide on the shape first. Rectangular tanks are very popular because the fish have a lot of room to swim, but also because they are easy to clean and decorate. On the other hand, if you are leaning towards a compact design, you will probably love an all in one cube aquarium. Those look great, and you can place them pretty much anywhere. If you want a really small aquarium, you can even opt for a sphere. So, there are many options to consider.
Type of fish
Since they will be the main beneficiaries of the all in one aquarium, it’s only natural to consider them before making a decision. The type of fish and the size of the tank are closely connected, as you need to make sure they have enough space. You also must make sure the pump isn’t too strong for the fish you want to have, or that there is no danger of them getting sucked into the filter. Some fish are less demanding when it comes to the level of filtration, while others need really clean water.
Types of All in One Aquarium Systems
All in one aquariums are meant to make it easier for you to start your fish keeping experience. Or to save time for someone who doesn’t have the time to look for the components separately. With that in mind, manufacturers have released on the market a wide variety of all in one aquarium systems, trying to meet every need.
They differ in size, shape, design, level of technology. You can find pretty much anything you want. Some of them, especially the small ones are even designed to be as low-maintenance as possible. Some of these sets are actually self-cleaning fish tanks.
You can also choose from glass or acrylic, although you will find that most of them are made of glass. The reason is that acrylic is usually more expensive, and the goal of these kits is to be as affordable as possible.
All in One Aquariums Pros and Cons
Nobody is born an expert, especially when it comes to taking on a hobby like fishkeeping. So, an all in one aquarium kit can help you a lot. And it’s not just for beginners. Here are the main benefits of choosing a set:
- You save time. You don’t have to spend days reading and looking for every component separately.
- You save money. Even if you may have to change some of the components in time, at first, you will spend less money and get everything you need to get started.
- They are easy to set up. Aquarium kits come with a helpful guide to help you get started. Not to mention many times some components are already embedded. You will also get clear instructions on how to decorate and stock the tank, so you can be sure you have chosen the best types of fish.
- They are easy to clean and to maintain. These sets are designed to be as user-friendly as possible. So, it will be much easier to change the cartridge of an all in one aquarium than it would be on a tank that you put together yourself, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience yet.
- They look very cool. Most all in one aquarium systems have the advantage of a great and modern design. Some of them even look like an actual modern work of art. They are obviously the product of professionals, who know how to combine the design with the best technology.
However, nothing is perfect, so there are a few downsides to aquariums sets as well:
- The kit probably won’t include exactly the components you would have chosen. Or if you are a beginner, they wouldn’t be the expert’s choice every time. But that’s because it’s not easy to have something that’s both high-quality and cost-efficient at the same time. However, this usually becomes an issue later on, as you gain some experience, and you observe your aquarium in action. At that point, you may choose to upgrade an item to better fit your needs.
- Level of difficulty. Although many all in one aquarium systems are advertised as ‘plug and play,’ that’s rarely the case. It usually involves more than just adding water and fish. And many times, you may discover the way the manufacturer has designed everything isn’t exactly what you want.
- It can be difficult to modify. As we have already said, you likely will want to make some changes along the way. But in some cases, that won’t be that easy to put in practice. The system can be built in such a way, you cannot easily change things to fit your preferences.
Looking at the pros and cons list, you can probably see why these kits are not usually the first choice of an experienced aquarist. But when you are just starting and still have a lot to learn, or you don’t have enough time to spend on it, all in one aquariums can be a very good option.
FAQs on All in One Aquarium Kits
What’s the best all in one nano reef tank? The answer depends on many things, like size, type of fish and coral, but there are many good options on the market. When you are looking for an all in one marine aquarium, you need to make sure certain items are on the checklist.
First of all, the lighting system must be very good, with bright high-quality LEDs. Corals need light to thrive. You may also need a heater, but many sets don’t include one. Skimmers and a good substrate, as well as air rocks, are also important. You may not find the best all in one saltwater aquarium already equipped with everything you need, but you can get pretty close. We have actually included one in our list. The Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium, while pretty expensive, gets very close to the ideal package.
Is an all in one acrylic aquarium hard to find? If you really want an acrylic tank, there are options on the market even when it comes to aquarium sets. But they are indeed outnumbered by glass aquariums. The reason is simple. These sets are meant to be cost-efficient, they are supposed to help you save time and money. And acrylic is usually more expensive than glass. So, an all in one acrylic aquarium may have its advantages, but the price may be a turn-off for many buyers. That’s why you won’t find as many options as for glass sets.
What are the best brands for all in one aquarium systems? That’s a bit more difficult to answer, because we are talking about sets, and many times components don’t come from the same manufacturer as the tank. So before buying, you must carefully look at every item. But since the tank is the biggest component of the set, we can make a list of the best brands based on that:
MarineLand is a great option. We have included two of their aquarium sets on our list. Most of their products offer great designs and components that work well for a long time.
Coralife is another favorite brand for us. The Biocube 32 setup is particularly attractive and efficient. And they aren’t that expensive either.
Penn Plax is another good brand. Some of their products may be a bit expensive, or not offer absolutely everything you expected, but these are long-lasting tanks that are worth buying. Not to mention the design is pretty cool as well.
Fluval is another trusted brand. Their products are of very good quality, including the filtration system and the lights, so their all in one aquariums are worth buying.
Tetra is also a good choice, not only for aquarium sets, but in general. They make great supplies that you will need for maintaining the aquarium.
Hagen also offers quality when it comes to aquariums and accessories, although they don’t offer as many products as other brands.
Aqueon is one of the most trusted brands. Not only do they make great tanks, but their cartridges are excellent, too. And, as seen on our list, they do pretty well with all in one aquarium systems, as well.
Aqua Culture also sells great tanks and accessories, as well as aquarium sets. You may know it as a Walmart brand, but their products are also available on Amazon.
There are some other brands on the market, and some of them may also have good products, but haven’t been promoted as much. At some point, it could be worth taking a chance with one of them. But until you get some experience, so you can recognize a good product, it’s better to stick to the well-established brands.
There are two options when you are preparing to buy and set up a new aquarium. The first one is to spend all the necessary time researching the best equipment, one item at a time, finding the best deals, and then combining them. That is the best way to do it, but unfortunately, it’s not a realistic situation for everyone. So many people go for option number two: an all in one aquarium.
A kit that contains everything you need to start setting up your tank sounds great. But even that can be a difficult decision to make. So, in this article we gave all the important information you need, to make sure you choose wisely. You now have the major things to consider before going forward, answers to important questions, and, most importantly, the list of the best all in one aquariums on the market. We have included something for every size and price range.
All you need to do now is choose one, and then the fun can begin. As always, make sure you think about the comfort of your fish first. And don’t forget to plan your budget thinking ahead, because this won’t be the last big expense you make. And get ready for what is bound to be a very long and relaxing journey.
Hi there! I’m Richy, the founder of AquariumStuffs. Since I was young, and had my very tiny plastic fish bowl, I’ve been passionate about fish and aquariums. I went to school to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Biology, and have continued to educate myself and share my knowledge in this field. For almost 20 years, I’ve been obsessed with collecting and learning about everything to do with fish keeping and aquascaping. My goal with this site is to bring all that I’ve learned – the principles, how-to guides, and more – to you. Learn about the art and science behind aquariums, and let me simplify each process around building a sustainable home for your fish through this blog.