A beautifully decorated aquarium filled with bright pink barbs, graceful angelfish, and schools of glowing neon tetras is a stunning centerpiece in any home.
The smallest apartment or compact bachelor pad can enjoy the soothing and healthy presence of a few fish, even if there’s only room for a small fish tank.
** IMPORTANT ** THE BIGGER, THE BETTER
When choosing a fish tank, you should always take into account the requirements of each fish in terms of quality of life. Before you buy a tank, research the correct tank size for your fish.
As a general rule of thumb, you need one gallon of water per inch of fish. Small tanks often lack filtration systems and heaters, which can lead to cold, polluted water conditions that stress fish. Stressed fish are more susceptible to disease and will not thrive.
Bottom line: a bigger tank is better for your fish.
27 SMALL FISH TANK IDEAS
Here are 27 great ideas for small fish tanks.
The items on this list are purely to inspire you to be creative, but your pet’s well-being should always be your top priority.
1. UMBRA FISHHOTEL MINI AQUARIUM
This award-winning contemporary design is a super cool, minimalist fish tank that looks like a condo, complete with asymmetrical windows. Units can be stacked to create a condo, allowing you to keep more than one fish.
The small glass bowl is removable for easy cleaning and holds 1.8 gallons of water. This attractive new small fish tank measures just 7.4 inches x 7.5 inches x 8 inches, making the unit perfect for displaying on your office desk or living room coffee table.
2. ONE POT, TWO LIVES!
>This smartly designed elegant piece of home decor is both a flower pot and a fish tank. You place a potted plant inside the top of the unit and keep your fishy friend underneath.
The fish waste provides the plant with nutrients and the water you give the plant passes through a filter to produce clean water for the fish. The water remains crystal clear and free of ammonia and nitrates, and the pH level remains stable. Genius!
3. HEMINGTON FISH BUBBLE ACRYLIC WALL MOUNTED AQUARIUM
This micro fish tank can be hung almost anywhere!
No pump or filtration required. Just add a substrate, some decorations, maybe a plant, and a betta or some tetras to create a fresh, modern look for your venue. The tank is made from super strong marine grade acrylic and comes pre-drilled and ready to hang.
Why not buy three or four fish bubble aquariums to create a wonderful piece of living wall art for your apartment?
4. DIY PLASTIC BOTTLE AQUARIUM
This fascinating video shows you how to make a novel setup for a small aquarium from two plastic bottles.
This DIY aquarium is perfect for you if you are on a budget. All you’ll need are some basic DIY skills, some tank decorations, and a mini pump you’ll find at your local fish store.
A beautiful betta fish, some live plants, and the sound of gently trickling water combine to create a calming piece that looks great in any room.
5. AIR AQUARIUM
>If you are looking for an unusual and minimalist small fish tank idea, the Air 1 aquarium could be perfect for you.
This design comes from the new studio, “Matiere A.” French designer Amaury Poudray describes the floating aquarium as a simplistic design, incorporating a combination of simple elements that are an integral part of the whole, yet self-contained. Deep.
However, the zeppelin-shaped tank, with its simple steel frame, is the perfect piece for a small space.
6. HANGING MINI FISH BOWLS
For the ultimate in mini aquariums, look no further than these hanging clear fish vases. The iron frame and globular vase design resembles a living lamp.
Add a betta fish and some substrate for a really small aquarium that looks beautiful anywhere.
7. PEAK AQUARIUM IN A GLASS JAR
>The Little Pico Aquarium is a great holiday DIY project for kids, especially preschoolers.
The Mason jar environment is suitable for keeping snails and other aquatic invertebrates, although it is too small for fish. The jars are decorative, cheap to assemble, and the closed design creates a nearly self-sustaining micro-ecosystem.
8. SQUARE COFFEE TABLE AQUARIUM
If you have a medium-sized living room and are looking for a stunning centerpiece that is sure to fascinate and impress your visitors in equal measure, you may want to splash out on this square coffee table aquarium.
The 68 gallon tank comes complete with a heater, lighting, and a filtration system. All you need to add are a few decorations and fish to create a unique focal point for your home.
9. PUBLIC PHONE GOLDFISH TANK
>Now that most of us have iPhones, the pay phone is somewhat redundant.
In Japan, several public phone booths have been repurposed by the Kingyobu art collective to create street aquariums containing hundreds of colorful fish.
Kingyobu, which roughly translates to “goldfish club,” is responsible for the project in Osaka. In Japan, the goldfish is a symbol of prosperity and happiness, and the public loves the idea of passing these living good luck charms on their daily commute.
10. GLASS BASIN WITH FISHBOWL
This innovative and novel design features a small aquarium setup that is incorporated within a glass basin.
The tank sits below the basin as a separate entity. Tasteful, minimalist decor and a few minnows complete the contemporary look that makes every visit to the bathroom an unforgettable trip!
11. CLAIRE COFFEE TABLE AQUARIUM
This USA made coffee table aquarium with its simple and elegant design will look stunning in any room.
The 28-gallon octagon-shaped tank is made of strong, durable tempered glass and has a scratch-resistant finish that is UV-resistant and non-tarnishing. The tank comes with a light and filtration system, but you must add a heater if you want to keep tropical fish.
12. PAC MAN FISHBOWL
>Fans of the Pac Man computer game will fall in love with this awesome homemade tank!
The glass maze creates a fascinating aquatic environment for small fish to explore and provides fascinating viewing for both children and adults.
If you like to be crafty and enjoy a challenging project, you can make this novelty small aquarium setup cheaply at home. Why not create your own design for a truly unique result that is sure to impress your friends?
13. OBLATE IMAGITARIUM GLASS FISHBOWL
This beautifully designed glass globe fish tank is one of the prettiest small aquariums for home and office use that you will find on the market.
The cleverly designed glass bowl is flat on two sides so you can store it on narrow shelves and tabletops in a small apartment or your office. Add an attractive substrate, some plants and decorations to create the perfect habitat for a beautiful betta fish or small tetras.
14. GLASS FISHBOWL WITH LANDSCAPE
>This amazing “glass landscape” fish tank was designed and created by the New York-based company Aruliden.
The bowl is traditional on the outside, but has stunning interior mountainscape detail. When you add water to the bowl, the refraction created by the light transforms the image accentuating the topographic sculpture.
The creation is skilfully crafted from hand-blown glass, and despite its small size, it easily attracts the attention of all who see it.
15. HANGING GLASS FISHBOWL
Even the smallest home can accommodate one or two of these stylish hanging glass fish bowls.
Bowls come in a traditional bowl shape, or you can choose a Mason jar style or a teardrop piece. You can keep a very small fish in one of these novelty mini aquariums or perhaps use the bowl to grow flowers.
16. COFFEE TABLE GLASS FISHBOWL
>Here’s another variation on the coffee table fish tank, this time created from glass.
The square unit is designed to show off your fish collection from every angle, as well as being a practical, functional and eclectic piece of furniture. I love the idea of making the most of the space you have available by combining the best of both worlds.
Also, unlike some small tank ideas, the coffee table aquarium has filtration, heating, and lighting, creating the perfect, healthy environment for your fish.
The main drawback to this style of tank is that you must cover lighting, heating, and filtration wires under a rug or carpet.
17.USB DESKTOP AQUARIUM KIT
Students and those who work from home will love this handy mini aquarium that doubles as a clock, calendar, and music center.
The USB powered self-cleaning tank comes complete with a running water pump and sponge filter media to keep your water clean and clear. The tank capacity is only a half gallon so it is only suitable for small invertebrates like shrimp and snails or maybe a couple of small tetras.
>This super-small fish tank sparked a controversy among hobbyists and animal rights groups when it was launched in the run-up to Christmas in Australia in 2007.
The brick-shaped tank doubles as a music speaker, and its novelty value caused high sales for the item. However, while the idea is cute, I don’t recommend using one of these. The unit is too small for even the smallest fish to live in, and there is no filter to keep the water hygienic.
That said, a decorative fish model made of enamel or glass would look great inside the unit without being cruel to a living creature.
19. WALL AQUARIUM
If you don’t have space for a traditional fish tank in your home, a wall-mounted aquarium could be the solution.
The aquarium looks like the TV, but it’s actually a fish tank! The unit is only 4.5 inches deep, but can still accommodate an ocean or tropical waterscape with ease. A wall mounted aquarium is a brilliant space saving idea that is also a guaranteed talking point. Even celebrities like Stephen Spielberg have them!
The aquarium comes with mounting brackets and associated hardware, as well as a carbon and bio filtration system, siphon cleaner, a fishing net, seabed, lid, LED lamp, and tongs.
20. PORTABLE FISH TANK
>If you are moving house or need to take your pet somewhere with you, you may have a use for this portable fish tank.
Basically the item does what it says on the tin. This is an acrylic fish tank that is designed to fit into a flat carrying case with a handle, allowing you to safely transport your fish when needed.
21. DIY PORTABLE AQUARIUM
>This idea for a full-size portable aquarium that you can make at home could be a really useful and practical solution for students who want to take their friends to college.
The tank is made of seamless plastic, allowing you to lift the unit while it still contains water. Having moved home several times, I can appreciate the convenience this tank offers. You cannot lift a normal glass tank and its contents because the weight causes the corner seals to warp. The stress can also cause the glass to break. It is a disaster!
This pretty project can be completed for less than $5.
22. DIY TV AQUARIUM
>For the ultimate in upcycling ideas, check out this amazing fish tank created from an old TV.
You can use this attractive piece of furniture as a decorative piece and also as an additional shelf.
23. GUMBLE MACHINE FISHBOWL
>Here’s another great example of upcycling an unused item in the form of this little gumball machine that has been cleverly turned into an aquarium.
If you’re creative and good at basic DIY, you might want to try this yourself if you can find an old round style gumball machine that sits on a stand.
24. INFINITY AQUARIUM
>For a small aquarium setup with a difference, you can find inspiration in this geometrically shaped angular creation.
This idea may be short on decorations, but the tiny fish it contains are the stars of the show. The tank would make an eye-catching addition to any desk in an office or small room at home.
25. ROUND MEDUSA LAMP
I included this item on my list because it looks great, even though it’s not strictly an aquarium.
The jellyfish inside the lamp are artificial, so you don’t need to worry about taking care of them. The high-quality UV lamp comes with a full three-year warranty, which is always good to know.
The lamp is designed to act as a night light and a portable UV sanitizer for mobile phones. Complete with different colour-changing light effects, this creates a wonderful ambient light for a child’s bedroom that won’t disturb their sleep and also has health benefits.
26. WORLD MAP COFFEE TABLE AQUARIUM
>Of all the small aquariums for home environments that I have seen, this has to be one of the most imaginative and unusual.
The structure is made of transparent lucite, cut to form the shape of the world’s continents. Not only is it a stunning aquarium, but it also doubles as a coffee table, making it a clever space-saving functional yet decorative piece of furniture.
It’s no wonder designer Takuro Yamamoto won a TIFF award for this unusual and beautiful aquarium.
27. DUPLEX FISHBOWL BIRD CAGE COMBO
>For something very different and eye-catching, check out this award-winning aquarium and birdcage combo.
The design allows you to keep small fish and birds also in a limited space. The cage element of the construction is located under the fish tank and has plenty of space for small birds such as canaries and parakeets.
The aquarium is large enough to accommodate a few small fish and is easy to clean without disturbing the fish’s feathered neighbors.
Even if you live in a small place, you can still enjoy the relaxing sight of some small fish or a beautiful betta fish by choosing a small fish tank.
When choosing a small fish tank, you should always take into account the requirements of each fish in terms of quality of life. The items on this list are purely to inspire you to be creative, but your pet’s well-being should always be your top priority.
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