What Are the Best 5 Gallon Fish Tanks?

 . in Fish Tanks

Close-up of a small orange fish inside the aquarium

Fishkeeping is a popular past time around the world and is an enjoyable endeavor for many people. If you’re considering taking up the hobby, it’s important to do your research. If you know your subject, you can make far more informed decisions about your budget, technical skills, and how to care for your fish. Starting off your fishkeeping hobby with a 5-gallon fish tank is a great choice. The tank is large enough to keep you occupied and help you build up your knowledge and experience of what’s involved in fishkeeping, as well as being an aesthetically pleasing piece of kit for your home.

If you want to level up from keeping bowls of small betta fish or goldfish, or to start exploring the world of fish and live plants in the comfort of your own home, 5 gallon is a great size to start with. Here are the best 5-gallon fish tanks on the market.

Best 5 Gallon Fish Tank Reviews 2020

If finding a 5-gallon aquarium kit that’s easy to set up and can be operational quickly, the Panaview is a great choice. The aquarium is a high-quality product at a very reasonable cost. This makes it an ideal choice if you’re just starting out and are testing the water to see how far you want to take the hobby. 

The ease of setting up the filter (which is part of the kit) doesn’t require any special knowledge or tools, so you don’t need to have any experience in order to get it right. The filter is small but the impeller is powerful, so it can turn around a foul-smelling, dirty tank in pretty quick time. The filter system works in three different stages: mechanical, chemical and biological. The system is thorough and can keep the tank water healthy for an extended period of time before it needs to be replaced. This is one of the best fish tanks currently on the market.


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What’s in the Box?

The 5-gallon tank, energy-efficient LED lighting with 7 color choices plus 4 transitioning and color combinations, an internal power filer, a USB connector.

Our Verdict

Overall, this is a good product, considering it’s not expensive. If you replace the filter you will have no problems for a long time.

#2 – Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit


When it comes to the battle between acrylic vs. glass aquariums, this one pulls no punches. If you’re in the market for an acrylic tank, as opposed to the more common glass or plastic tanks, this might be the ideal 5-gallon fish tank for you. It’s lightweight and has a more unique oval shape than your average square or rectangular tank. This means it’s functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

The Tetra Crescent comes with a dual-sided mechanical filter, which is quiet and effective. The filtration systems incorporate Ultra Activated Carbon to ensure water clarity and cleanliness. One of the major selling points of this 5-gallon fish tank is its inbuilt LED lighting system. Overall, the Tetra Crescent is an excellent choice for beginners, or for those looking to keep smaller stocks of betta fish. The tank also has a lid included.



What’s in the Box?​

A seamless, curved front 5-gallon tank, black cover and base frame, white LED lights with a low voltage power adapter, a Tetra Whisper internal filter and a medium Bio-Bag.

To see exactly what’s in the package, take a look at this video:

Our Verdict

Despite the few negative aspects, it’s a good tank if you are a bit careful with it. For a beginner’s aquarium that has fake plants, it will be a good choice.

#3 – Penn Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit


The Penn Plax kit comes with LED lighting and internal cascade filter to ensure that set up is entirely stress-free. The internal cascade filtration system is a 3 step system, utilizing mechanical, chemical and biological filtration. This ensures your water will be kept clean and healthy 

The tank itself is built in 3 parts and is of an attractive curved design, making it ideal for corner displays. There’s an LED light at one end, to help keep your fish happy and healthy. This is an ideal size tank and easy set up for beginners and you can add decorative features to it, as you wish. The glass is thick and of great quality, making the overall aquarium feel sturdy.

The LED light is positioned at the end of the tank, and the aquarium decorations are separate, not included in the kit. This cute looking aquarium has various features that you would like to have for keeping your fishes. One of the main issues with the tank is that you cannot power off the LED light without turning off the entire tank. There is no separate switch to control the internal lighting mechanism. The aquarium kit also comes with a standard lid.



What’s in the Box?

A 5-gallon tank, e cascade water filter, a fitted mat and the hinged plastic lid.

For a more visual description, take a look at this video:

Our Verdict

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 – MarineLand Nook Aquarium Kit


This 5-gallon tank is stylish in appearance and high-functioning. It tends to attract those looking for both aesthetics and excellent functionality when it comes to selecting a 5-gallon fish tank. The Nook Aquarium Kit has a bunch of great features encompassed within its ultra-sleek design. There’s well-designed lighting, a beautifully curved front panel, and the filtration system is hidden, but of a good size and very low maintenance. This gives it really neat look and means that your fish and not your whirring filtration or pump are the main feature. The tank is low flow, so it does suit betta fish perfectly as they don’t require much water pressure. The tank also comes with a lid, which is flip top and can has a feeding space. It is a little bit on the flimsy side, so be gentle when moving it.



What’s in the Box?

The 5-gallon tank with built-in LEDs and filtration system.

The video below is a review of the 3-gallon Nook Aquarium, but you can watch to get an idea of what it would look like:

Our Verdict

We really like this kit. It has no serious negative aspects. The filter may not be pretty but what matters is that it does a good job and is silent. You can set up a great first aquarium with it. A flimsy lid is not a deal-breaker.

#5 – MarineLand ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit


This compact aquarium kit is popular with fish keepers, both complete beginners and experienced. The size of the 5-gallon fish tank means it can fit tight spaces and looks great everywhere. The kit’s filter is three-stage and effectively manages and eliminates all harmful chemicals and organisms from building up in the water and risking the health of your fish stock. The filter may look small, but it’s really powerful and very efficient in its role. It’s also really quiet, so it’s great if you wish to place your tank in a lounge or sitting room.

The entire kit is easy to assemble, so newbies can have a fun, stress-free first experience. The LED lighting is particularly atmospheric in darkened spaces or after dark but it does tend to dim fairly quickly over a period of months. It’s not difficult to replace the lighting but, being an LED, you would expect it to maybe shine brighter for longer. Marineland aquarium sizes range from small to enormous, so you can always stick with the brand when you decide to level up.



What’s in the Box?

The 5-gallon curved glass aquarium, LED lights, a 3-stage filtration system, a Rite-Size Z cartridge, Marineland bio-foam and an adjustable flow filter pump.

Check out the following video to see more about it:

Our Verdict

All in all, this is one of our favorite tanks in the 5-gallon section. It looks great, performs well and the kit includes a lot of items considering the price.

#6 – Glofish Aquarium Tank Kit


As with some of the other great 5-gallon fish tanks on the market at the moment, the Glofish Aquarium Tank Kit is an excellent choice for brand new fish keepers who are dipping their toes into the water. Everything you need for your first full fish keeping experience is included in the box.

One of the best features of the Glofish Aquarium Kit is the lighting. There are 15 blue LED lights in the tank and it gives it a beautiful but soft glow after dark. This makes is a great addition to a family room or even bedroom. Your fish will thrive under the gentle glow of the lighting system. In addition to the well-designed lighting, the 3-sstage filtration system of the Glofish is also excellent. It’s a powerful filter which efficiently rids your tank of harmful bacteria, chemicals and general build up. It also keeps the water looking crystal clear between changes and stops any foul odors from forming.



What’s in the Box?

The 5-gallon crescent-shaped tank, a Tetra Whisper bio-bag filter cartridge, a black canopy with a feeding hole and LED lights.

Our Verdict

Even with the less than perfect filter, it’s still worth buying. It’s a beautiful aquarium that will last long and the lights will simply amaze you.

#7 – Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Kit


This kit is both compact to fit fight spaces and has an attractive design to make it a feature of any room. The 5-gallon tank comes with an elevated base, which lifts the tank up and forms a safety barrier between the tank and the whichever surface you decide to keep it on. The LED lighting is also a great feature and good lighting is essential for a thriving, healthy stock.

The filtration system in this tank is open, but you can buy a screen, should you wish to keep your fish safely away from it. The aquarium kit also comes with filter cartridges to help clean the water. Apart from the open filter aspect, it’s a great tank for first-time fishkeeprs to start up their hobby. The entire kit is easy to set up and equally easy to maintain. It’s a popular choice for betta fish keepers who are buying stocks for the first time.



What’s in the Box?

The compact 5-gallon tank, the Aqueon Quiet Flow filtration system, food and water samples as well as a very nice setup guide.

To get an idea on how it could look once you set it up, watch the next video:

Our Verdict

This tank is just another confirmation of Aqueon being a trusted brand. It’s a great aquarium, both aesthetically and functionally.

#8 – MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit


This aquarium starter kit immediately stands out due to its tall, sleek design and the fantastic rail lighting above the lid. It’s such a stylish kit that it’s not difficult to see why it’s so popular. The kit makes a great and eye-catching addition to any room and, not only does it look great, it works great, too. It’s a great desktop aquarium. The design and feel of the tank adds to the price, but there’s no doubt it’s still great value.

The tank itself has curved glass frontage and the light rail on top ensures bright lighting and good health for your fish stock. It also looks great at night, when natural lighting is low. It will add atmosphere to any room and make sure your tank is the center of attention. One of the best features of the LED lighting is that it has both daylight and moonlight settings, allowing you to reduce the brightness, when necessary.

The 3-stage filtration system helps to retain the clarity and cleanliness of the water, as well as ridding the tank of harmful bacteria and chemical. It can be slightly harder to access due to its location. The pump is also adjustable to suit your needs. This is a fantastic starter kit for fish keepers who are looking for easy set up and easy maintenance.



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:

Our Verdict

This is pretty close to the ideal 5-gallon fish tank. It has a great design, it works great and doesn’t take much space. It is missing a heater, but you don’t need that for all types of fish. Overall, it’s worth the price.

#9 – Marina LED Aquarium Kit


The Marina Aquarium Kit is a pretty traditional model, based on a classic fish tank design. For first timer fish-keepers, it also comes with a beginner aquarium guide to give you tips and guidance on how to set up the kit and how to properly care for the equipment and your fish stock.

The tank comes with a host of extras, such as water conditioner (to make your regular tap water safe for fish), Fluval fish food to get you started, a biological supplement to aid health, and a soft mesh net to help you remove and replace your fish safely in and out of the 5-gallon tank.

The tank’s LED lighting has a natural daylight module, which is incorporated into the top canopy of the tank, making it look sleek and well-hidden. The tank also has a clip-on filter – which makes changing the filters incredibly easy, with the least amount of disturbance for your fish.



What’s in the Box?

The 5-gallon glass tank and the cover, a clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges, the LED lighting module incorporated into the canopy, fish food, water conditioner, biological supplement, a fish net and a complete guide.

Our Verdict

You can definitely start your first aquarium with this kit. It may not come with absolutely everything, but overall it’s a good investment. The heater and even the aeration system aren’t mandatory for all types of fish. The only problem is that it’s currently unavailable on Amazon, but we’re sure that will change soon.

#10 – Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit


This is a great beginning kit and tank if you’re in the market to keep betta, shrimps, gourami, or any other species of fish who can thrive and live happily in a nano tank. The tank is specifically designed to fit into fairly tight spaces, which can be a difficult ask when looking at regular 5-gallon tanks. Its sleek design feels totally solid and features etched glass and aluminum trim on top.

The multi-stage filtration system is built-in to the tank and it has a pretty powerful circulation pump installed. This also allows for the adjustment of the output water flow, so you can keep a wider range of fish. The filter media consists of activated carbon, bio rings and foam blocks, which are easy to replace. For lighting, there are 37 LED lights, which work well to maintain the healthy and happiness of your fish and any live plants you choose to place alongside your stock.



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 with handle, a Fluval activated carbon insert and a BioMax insert.

To see a video review, click below:

Our Verdict

This is an amazing tank. The only issue we have with it is the price. We usually don’t consider the missing heater a deal-breaker, but at this price, it should have been there. If we just consider the overall quality, it’s definitely worth buying, but they should adjust the price a bit.

Why should I buy a 5-gallon fish tank?

Whether you are brand new to fishkeeping, or are thinking of sizing up from bowls, a five-gallon fish tank is a key piece of kit. A five-gallon fish tank is big enough to help you build your stock and skills, while still being completely manageable for beginners. A 5-gallon fish tank doesn’t take up too much space, so it’s great it you live in a small apartment and have limited room to set up your display.

The five-gallon fish tank is often referred to as a ‘nano’ fish tank and is very popular with newbies. It’s not uncommon for fish keepers to have multiple desktop fish tanks of this size in order to allow fresh and salt water fish to exist side by side.

How do I set up a 5-gallon fish tank?

The setup of a 5-gallon fish tank can be as complex or straightforward as you want it to be. If you’re brand new to the hobby, you may want to consider purchasing a self-cleaning fish tank. These can help keep maintenance and stress levels to a minimum while you build up your knowledge and skills. A self-cleaning fish tank is also an ideal buy if you’re generally short on time. Alternatively, if you’re keen to learn everything about fishkeeping, a self-cleaning aquarium may rob you of the chance to have the full hands-on experience you’re looking for.

Regardless of whether you opt for a self-cleaning fish tank or a regular 5-gallon aquarium, there are a number of steps that need to be taken before your fish can be introduced to their new home.

Water Preparation

It’s important to get your 5 gallons of water and let it sit for a few days. It’s important that the water is in a clean container and it must not be contaminated while it’s sitting out. If it does get soiled in any way, you must restart the process over again. Leave the clean water undisturbed for a couple of days. After this time has passed, you can add 2.5 gallons to the tank while you set up your equipment. After your place your fish tank chiller, small air pump, fish tank heater – or the equipment that’s right for your fish and your tank, you can then fill the 5-gallon fish tank with the remainder of the water. Once everything is in place, leave the entire set up for around 2 weeks.


Priming is the term given to placing equipment in your fish tank. This can include any number of items and these may be included with your tank on purchase, or bought separately. Essential equipment usually comprises fish tank filters, fish tank pumps, fish tank chillers or heaters. Much of your equipment will depend on whether you choose fresh or salt water fish.


Once your water has been sitting for 2 weeks, you can introduce your fish to the tank. The reason behind the time lag is to ensure any chemicals in the water have broken down. If two weeks seems like an eternity, you can speed up the process somewhat by adding a filter media, as well adding in some live plants to the 5-gallon aquarium.

What Kind of Equipment do I need for my 5-Gallon Tank?

There is a wide range of equipment you can buy for your tank, and much of this depends on what you decide to keep and what kind of look you desire. Recommended equipment includes the following:


With a 5-gallon fish tank, as with any tank, there’s a requirement to keep your fish healthy by ensuring the cleanliness of their environments. This means you’re likely to have to move them in and out of the tank for cleaning and removal of sludge. Doing this safety is of the utmost importance, so choosing a soft net which won’t catch on the fish scales is imperative. There are many different types, so it’s really a case of which you prefer and what prices suits your budget.

Gravel Cleaner/Vacuum

If you have a gravel bed on your tank, being able to remove dirt and sludge from the bottom is key to keeping your fish healthy and happy in their home. A gravel cleaner vacuum is a great piece of kit in that it allows you to siphon out the junk and efficiently clearing build-up of waste and toxins from the bottom of the gravel bed.


A simple scraper can allow access to those harder to reach areas and make cleaning your fish tank a little bit easier. Scrapers come in various shapes and sizes but they can cut down the time taken to give your 5-gallon fish tank a thorough clean.

Filter/Filtration System

An aquarium filter helps you to maintain clean water for your fish to breathe and ensures your tank looks in great condition at all time. Filtration systems for home tanks are small, sleek and don’t tend make much noise. This means they’re unobtrusive and don’t take up much room.

There are three main types of filtration process that help to purify the water within your tank. These are mechanical, chemical and biological. Mechanical filtration uses media and is always the first stage of the filtration process. This stage passes water through a filtration media (such as a filter sponge) and collects larger particles, such as excrement, larger pieces of uneaten food or other decayed materials.

The second stage of filtration is the chemical stage. The most popular chemical filter media is activated carbon. This works by removing toxins from the water in your 5-gallon fish tank and trapping them within the filter. Most importantly, though, it does so without removing the necessary minerals and salts that are beneficial to your stock.

The final stage of the filtration process is biological. This is also known as the nitrogen cycle and involves the bacteria in the tank breaking down harmful ammonias and converting them to nitrates. The toxins that build up in the water are harmful to fish stocks – even at pretty low levels – so these need to be dealt with on an ongoing basis to ensure the cleanliness of your water and the good health of your fish. There are various types of fish filters available, so research is key.

Aquarium Thermometer/Aquarium Thermostat

Fish do not produce body heat, so they don’t have the ability to generate warmth. This generally means they need some assistance in this area. It’s a very idea to spring for the best aquarium thermometer you can afford. The ideal temperature for tropical fish is 76-82 degrees centigrade, while the recommended temperature for goldfish is between 68-72 degrees centigrade. A small thermometer can help you ensure the temperature in your fish tank is comfortable.

Fish Tank Water Heater

As with your thermometer, a small heater in your 5-gallon fish tank can help you maintain the recommended temperature for the choice of fish you have.


Adding appropriate lighting to your fish tank can help not only to illuminate the interior to create a pleasant viewing experience for you, but lighting also encourages healthy grow of plants, fish and bacteria within the tank itself.


Accessories come in many shapes and sizes and it’s mostly down to personal preferences. These can be fish tank rocks, live plants, live sand, gravel, ips coral, and many other exciting accessories that can be sourced online or purchased at your local specialist.

What can live in a 5-gallon fish tank?

You might think that having a small household tank means you have limited choice in what you can keep in it. This is not the case and there’s a surprisingly large range of fish and invertebrates to opt for. The most common species for 5 gallon tanks are betta fish. Betta fish are bright and colorful and one of the best choices for beginners as they’re one of the easiest fish to take care of. Betta fish are small in size and therefore thrive in smaller tanks. They can also be slightly aggressive, so they can thrive in space where they are kept alone. That’s not to say they can’t be kept with company, because they absolutely can and they will get used to their tank mates without incident. The general rule for 5-gallon fish tanks (and, indeed, all tanks) is having one fish per gallon. This equates to a maximum of 5-6 fish for your nano tank.

Betta Fish

Betta fish are part of the gourami family and are fresh water, finned fish. They are most commonly known as Siamese Fighting Fish, which might make them seem a little frightening to some. They are, however small and beautiful, despite their sometimes aggressive reputation. Betta fish tend to live between three to five years and are around seven to ten centimeters long. Bettas are a very low maintenance fish, so they’re very popular with beginners.

There are some stunning types of betta fish that are widely available and make a great addition to any 5-gallon fish tank. Some of the most popular are the Crowntail, Guppies, African Dwarf Frogs, Cory Catfish and the Halfmoon.

Cherry Barbs

The beautifully colored cherry barb fish are of the freshwater variety and originate from Sri Lanka. They’re the most popular of the barb fish species, mainly for their vibrant color. However, both the males and female cherry barb can be quite aggressive – particularly when they’re trying to mate – so they do need to be placed carefully with other species in your stock.

Goldfish & Fancy Goldfish

Keeping goldfish is something most kids end up experiencing at some stage during childhood and there’s nothing to say you can’t continue the practice into adulthood. There are many types of goldfish you can choose from and they are an excellent choice for 5 gallon tanks. Fancy goldfish are also an option, but it is usually no recommended to keep goldfish and fancy goldfish in the same tank. Fancy goldfish have been specially bred over the years across the Orient. They are known for their vivid colors and unique body shapes. There are numerous varieties within the fancy goldfish category, with black moors and fantails being some of the most popular for 5 gallon tanks due to their size and beauty.

Neon Tetras

Neon Tetra is the name given to a group of characiform fish and vary widely in range, size and color. Many neon tetra fish originate from Central America, South America and across Africa. There are more than 130 official types of tetra fish, so it’s worthwhile doing your research to establish what your local stockiest has on offer. Neon tetra fish are pretty social, so it’s common to purchase a school of fish for your tank instead of a single fish. Tetras are easy to care for and a hugely popular fish for new hobbyists, as well as more experienced fish keepers. Most neon tetra fish are very small and therefore well suited to life in a 5 gall fish tank, where they have ample room to move around. The average life span of a neon tetra is between five to ten years.


There are more than 1200 different species of Killifish and they originate from the Americas, Africa and Southern European countries. The fish range from around two to five centimeters in length for the smaller species and anything up to around six inches for the largest species. Some strains have extremely short lifespans of several months. However, most Killifish strains sold in aquatic centers and specialist stores will live from between two to five years, if kept in the correct conditions and well looked after. Killifish are known to be very social, but it’s not uncommon for males to be on the aggressive side. When keeping Killifish, it’s a good idea to keep only a single male in your tank, with female fish for company.


Stocking a fish tank with shrimp might seem like a strange idea but they work well in the more confined space that comes with a 5-gallon fish tank. Shrimps are pretty small and the thrive well under the right conditions. There are various species to choose from but some of the most popular are Cherry Red, Crystal Red and Betta Ghost Shrimp. Cherry and Crystal Red Shrimp provide really vibrant color to home aquarium setups and are harmless task mates for other fish. The Ghost Shrimp is transparent, hence the name, and although lacks color, it certainly makes up for this in terms of its unusual presence. Betta Ghost Shrimp are also known for spending most of the time hoovering up uneaten food and keeping algae levels to a minimum. They’re often used in 5 gallon tanks as an ornamental species. It’s quite common for shrimp to kept tin the same tank as small aquarium snails. These make good tank mates for betta fish.

Dwarf Varieties

Given the name, it’s not hard to see why dwarf fish are a popular choice for stocking in a 5-gallon tank. There are numerous species of dwarf fish but some of the most commonly seen in small household aquariums are Dwarf Puffers, Frogs, Crayfish and Dwarf Gourami.

Crayfish tend to grow no larger than around 2 inches in length and are relatively trouble-free tank maters. They won’t do well in tanks where there are large fish who may view them as a tasty snack. In general, Crayfish can be quite demanding when it comes to space, so it’s not recommended to keep too many together in one tank.

Dwarf Puffers can also be housed in 5-gallon fish tanks. In fact, 5 gallons are the smallest tank recommended for the species. Although not particularly aggressive, they can tend to enjoy nipping the fins of slow moving fish, so they’re best kept alongside something that moves quickly. Dwarf puffers can be an interesting fish to view for their changing colors but more so for the chance to see them practice their puffing.

Dwarf Frogs, like shrimp, might not instantly come to mind when considering what to stock your 5-gallon fish tank with, but bear with us. Dwarf frogs are amphibian, so spent the vast majority of their time in the water. They come up to the fresh air to breathe, but will quickly get back to business beneath the surface. Like all frogs, dwarf frogs enjoy jumping. This means that keeping them generally requires you to have a net or lid across the top of your fish tank. This will stop any issues involving your frogs escaping from the tank and them being unable to get back in. Not being able to access the water will kill the frog, so having a covering for your 5-gallon fish tank is of the utmost importance if you’re considering any variety of dwarf frog. A similar consideration for dwarf frogs is having gravel with large enough pieces that they do not mistake it for food when they’re foraging. Although this may seem like a lot of work for a beginner, dwarf frogs do make a great addition to any household nano tank.

Micro Rasboras/Galaxy Rasboras

Micro Rasboras are a popular schooling fish which thrive well in small tanks. The smallest varieties can be kept in a ratio of around two per gallon of water. As they are a shoaling fish, they do very well when kept with other fish of their own kind. Micro Rasboras are social and like to have at least three friends with them. However, the more you have in a tank, the more beautiful their shoal will be and the more impressive the show. Small schools can be kept in a nano tank, but large schools will only function well when supplied with more space. Other beautiful examples of these are the rummy nose rasbora and the stunning purple harlequin rasbora.


The Danio species is another popular and widely available species that’s commonly kept in smaller tanks. They tend to be very active and do not require heated water. Danio fish generally have a lifespan of around two to three years, but it’s not out of the question for them to live longer. Danios originate from Southern Asia and are amongst the most widely bought aquarium fish. The species are freshwater and are very social fish. They are extremely active and lively fish and swim very quickly around their habitat. More popular danios to have in a 5-gallon fish tank is the pearl danio and celestial danio. Danios care tends to be easy, so they’re ideal for first timers.


Gouramis are another widely available and incredibly popular species for smaller tanks. However, for 5 gallon tanks, they should be kept separately and they’re not always happy together with their own kind in groups of two of three – particularly where there are two males present. Gourami fish tend to be slow movers, so will thrive when teamed up with other slow moving fish who won’t nip their fins. The fish are not usually aggressive but will get stressed if they are attacked by fast-moving fin nippers.

What fish can I keep together in my 5-gallon tank?

It’s unlikely, even as a complete newbie, that you’ll want to keep a single species of fish in your tank. After all, variety is the spice of life. Before you make your choices about what to pair up with what, there are various factors that must be taken into account. As we mentioned earlier, fast moving and slow moving fish don’t always do well together. Fast moving fish will often target slow swimmers and seek them out to nip their fins. Other species of fish (such as the Gourami) don’t necessarily like to many of their own kind around. Other species (shoaling fish) positively thrive on having their own kind with them.

When making a decision about which fish to buy, you need to take account of the following:

  • Keep freshwater and saltwater fish in separate tanks. If your heart is set on keeping saltwater fish in a nano tank, it’s best to go larger, although you can keep limited stocks in a 5-gallon fish tank. a larger tank would be a better bet. Keeping both in a nano tank would quickly mean your saltwater fish would be deprived of the large levels of oxygen they require to stay alive.
  • Keep your stocks to those that either require heat or don’t – and don’t mix the two
  • Watch out for slow movers and fast swimmers and make sure the species mix well
  • Ensure you know which of your fish are male and which are female
  • Don’t place shrimps in tanks with larger fish who may eat them (the same goes for mixing dwarf frogs and shrimp in the same tank)
  • Get professional advice on mixing species from your stockiest before you buy
  • Don’t be tempted to over-stock your tank. If you wish to buy a larger stock of fish, buy additional tanks to make sure they have adequate space to thrive.


How much does a 5-gallon fish tank cost?

The average cost of a regular 5-gallon fish tank is a pretty reasonable $30-$40. This is the price of the tank only. Obviously, in addition to the basic tank, you will also need the necessary equipment (as detailed above) in order to keep the environment healthy for your fish. On top of the price of the tank and the equipment will be the cost of the fish themselves. This will vary widely, depending on your choices. If you’re a complete beginner, it can be far less stressful to purchase a full aquarium kit. At least that way you know you’re getting everything you need to complete your set up. Kits are often excellent value for money and save the time and the hassle of being individual pieces of equipment for your tank. Depending on the brand, a good 5-gallon aquarium kit will cost you $100 and above.


An aquarium is a great addition to any home or office. And while down the line you will probably get a larger one, it’s not a bad idea to start small. 5-gallon fish tanks are great for a first fishkeeping experience. And the good news is there are a lot of great options on the market. If you follow a few simple rules you will find yourself addicted to these mini-environments in no time.

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