Getting a new fish tank can be an exciting time, but it can also be such a stressful thing to search through.
You have to consider how much space the tank needs to have, how many fish you’ll likely be buying for it, as well as what kind of lighting and filtration system you want to have to make your fish happy.
But one thing that is often overlooked when purchasing a fish tank is the size.
You can often get amazing displays with just a small, 3-gallon tank.
And the sheer variety out there might surprise you too!
Here is our guide for the best 3-gallon fish tanks you can find out there right now!
For the perfect small aquarium that looks great from every angle, you can’t go wrong with a good old round aquarium.
And when it comes to round aquariums, you’ll struggle to find a better product than the Aquaview 360 aquarium by Koller Products.
Koller Products Aquaview 3-gallon 360 Aquarium is designed to meet all your needs.
It has been engineered to deliver excellent performance and value.
This aquarium features energy-efficient LED lighting with seven stunning colors to brighten up your home or office space.
The LED lighting allows you to turn it on or off depending upon your need.
The aquarium lights are great for illuminating the tank and making it easier to see your fish.
The KOLLER Products AquaView™ 3-gallon 360 aquarium light has energy-efficient LED lighting with seven dazzling color selections to brighten up your fish.
Choose from daylight white, blue, pink, orange, yellow, aqua, or red.
These lights can be turned on and off for ease of use during nighttime.
They are also equipped with unique LED lighting and filtration to ensure that you keep your fish healthy and happy.
We were extremely happy with the quality of the lights of this little fish tank!
They are bright enough to see what is going on in the tank without having to turn them on, yet they are not blinding.
Our fish seem to love them as well since they don’t get stressed when turning on and off at night.
They do not use much electricity, which makes them a great choice for battery-operated aquariums.
A very nice little product for anyone looking to build the perfect smaller aquarium!
- Beautiful design elements – Both the 360 view and the LED lights that come with this aquarium make it a beautiful kit that is perfect for display. It’s pretty even without fish already in it!
- Easily maintainable – Both the smooth round design, as well as the small volume, make this a great tank that is easy to maintain. You’ll be done cleaning this aquarium in no time flat!
- Small space – This is the problem that you’re going to run into with many smaller fish tank designs. With only a relatively small volume in it, it is going to reach its maximum fish count in no time flat. If you’re looking to build an extensive collection of different fish, you might want to look elsewhere.
Also available at kol.deals
Tetra is a name that has been in the business of making top-quality aquarium equipment for decades now, so it is no surprise that their take on a smaller aquarium tank wouldn’t be a great option for those looking for a smaller fish tank.
If you love freshwater fish and are looking for a new aquarium, then look no further!
This Aquarium is ideal if you are planning to add fish of any kind to your collection.
It comes with a Tetra 3I Filter to keep your water clean and provides a perfect environment for small Tropical Fish.
The compact cube shape allows for easy storage and transport.
Its clear glass top provides a wonderful view of your fish while keeping water clean and fresh.
The transparent lid lets you easily feed your fish and check on them during the day.
This aquarium has a built-in filter that keeps your tank clean and provides a perfect environment for your fish.
When we tested out the tank by preparing it for a few freshwater fish, the gravel was not loose and did not seem to be packed too tightly.
And yet, we were happy to see that there was enough space between the gravel and the sides of the aquarium to allow air to flow freely.
We were worried that grime and dirt would be able to build up in the corners, but that doesn’t seem to be the case so far.
There was no smell coming from the aquarium when we opened it either, even after a few days.
The glass of the aquarium seemed to be sturdy and would probably hold up under normal use. Overall, we were very pleased with the quality of the product.
- Adjustable flow to the tank – Keep your fish happy with this great feature that will help balance the airflow in your tank.
- Excellent value – For a first-time fish owner, this tank is the perfect tool to dip your toes into the waters of aquarium-owning! See if fish-owning is the hobby for you and if owning fish is right up your watery alley!
- Not tropical fish-friendly straight out of the box – You’re going to need to find a heater yourself if you’re looking to add tropical fish to your collection. Without this attachment, tropical fish are going to have a worse quality of life. Still, it’s perfect for pretty much any other kind of fish right out of the box, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find a great heater for those fish that need warmer water.
- Acrylic bowl not best for long-term viewing – The acrylic plastic that the tank is made from can stand up to a lot of punishment, but you may find that it scratches easily as time passes, which may make viewing your fish trickier as time goes on. not a great design for the long-term it would seem.
Also available at bimiup.com
If you’re looking for a unique fish tank setup with a rail light for perfect illumination, then your very-specific needs have been met with MarineLand’s contour glass aquarium.
It’s a marvel of design and lighting coming together to create something that is both fresh and familiar too.
Marineland Aquarium Kit comes with everything needed to set up your very own aquarium.
It includes a 1.5-gallon aquarium, water pump, filter, air stone, heater, lights, and stand.
The Marineland Contour 3 has a sleek design with rounded corners and a clear glass canopy allowing viewing from multiple angles.
It features bright white LEDs creating a shimmering sunlight effect and blue LEDs producing a moonlight glow.
The MarineLand Aquarium Kit is easy to assemble and disassemble. It has a hinged LED rail light and a sliding glass canopy for ease of access to the tank.
When it arrived for testing, we were both shocked at how beautiful it looked!
Its sleek design makes it look like it belongs in a house instead of a fish tank.
There are two different settings for lighting that you can adjust to suit your mood.
You can choose between daytime or nighttime lighting, and there is no limit to how many times you can change them.
The best part is, no cords are hanging down from the ceiling or walls, and they don’t take up any space.
They just slide into place and connect to the wall via magnets.
Overall, we love the way this aquarium looks and works.
We would recommend it to anyone looking for a new addition to their home.
- Easy-cleaning with this tank – Maintaining this tank is quick and easy. If you are worried that the square shape of the tank would make it difficult to clean the corners of this beautiful little tank, then worry no longer!
- Adjustable flow rate for your fish – Keep your fish healthy and happy with this great feature.
- Great lighting effects – You can have your fish tank set to either daytime or nighttime, depending on your preference and mood.
- Secure top – This lid isn’t budging or flying off this tank any time soon!
- Light-sensitive plants are not ideal – Despite the clarity the rail light provides for viewing your tank, you may find that any plants that rely on light for photosynthesis just don’t get enough for this tank. You may have to switch to an alternative artificial plant for your waters if you want to avoid dead-or-dying vegetation or look for another model.
Also available at chewy.com
Looking for a tank that is stylish as well as practical for your fish?
Looks are the second most important feature of a good aquarium, so it’s nice to see that Fluval has delivered in that respect with their Spec III Aquarium kit.
This kit comes with everything you need to start growing aquatic plants right out of the box.
It includes a high-quality, 2.6-gallon glass aquarium with etching and aluminum trim, a powerful 3000k 7-watt LED light fixture with all-aluminum housing, a 3-stage automatic power filter, a circulation pump with output nozzle, a foam filter block with handle, activated carbon filter cartridge, a bio-max media cartridge, and a convenient carrying case.
The aquarium has a built-in cover so it won’t leak when closed.
You don’t want to wake up to a wet worktop and floundering fish, after all!
We chose to test the FBA option because we wanted to see if that stylish design could also be a practical option for most fish tank owners.
The Fluval kit arrived quickly and was packaged securely.
Inside the kit, there were instructions and lots of helpful information about how to care for the tank and the plants.
There were also two replacement filters included in case either one became clogged.
The kit also includes a controller that operates the lighting system, which is great because I can turn on the lights whenever I want.
The LED lighting settings are adjustable too, allowing anyone to set them to the right level for each particular species of fish.
If you’re looking for something more than just a regular aquarium, then look no further than the Fluval Spec Freshwater Aquarium Kit.
- Excellent filtration design – The honeycomb design not only works great for the back filtration system but it’s also concealed into the back of the tank, meaning that it won’t get in the way of viewing your lovely fish and setup!
- Beautiful lighting system – The led lighting system this tank uses provides great illumination for all corners of this tank and illuminates the fish and scenery that you can set up even more vibrantly than they’ve ever been before!
- A smaller tank – Whilst little is the name of the game for this guide to smaller aquariums, even the 2.6 gallon capacity of this tank is on the smaller side of things on this list.
- A pricier tank – For a 2.6-gallon tank, this is quite an expensive model, especially compared to the lower-priced products on this list that might be more suitable for first-time aquarium owners. Still, for a filtration system that promises to be easy to manage and a low voltage transformer that makes maintaining this tank easier, perhaps you’ll find that it is a time and cost-saver in the long run.
Also available at chewy.com
Looking for the perfect tank to put against a wall on a smaller display case or top?
Do you want to be a perfect little home for your fish whilst also being great to look at?
Tetra has the solution for you, with their ColorFusion 3-gallon tank.
The Tetra Colorfusion Starters Aquarium Kit is designed for beginner aquarists who are looking to start by keeping small tropical fish in a half-moon-shaped aquarium.
The kit contains all the essentials needed to get started right away.
It includes a tetra-specific bubbling disc, a bubble curtain, an internal power filter, an air pump, and a clear acrylic aquarium with a convenient feeder.
The Tetra Color Fusion Bubbling Disc features a 360° view and automatic cycling of 15 different color lights.
This makes it easy to see every detail of your aquatic pets while providing a soothing visual atmosphere that promotes restful sleep.
The Tetra Whisper Internal Air Pump provides consistent water flow and keeps the water clean and free from debris.
This helps prevent algae growth, reduces stress, and improves overall health.
The clear acrylic aquarium comes complete with a convenient clear top cover, which prevents accidental spills.
Also included is a removable feeding tube for easy access to food.
What we loved about this product was that the half-moon shape allowed us to see around the tank without having to exert yourselves, whether it was from the flat side or the curved side of the tank.
Whilst it would certainly be more awkward to place, the flat side offers a really beautiful view as well.
The clear plastic made it easy to check the water level and add food.
The bubbling disc was easy to set up and operate.
It took about 20 minutes to get everything installed and running.
The included filter works great and does not require any maintenance other than cleaning every few months.
The air pump did not come with instructions; however, Amazon provided helpful instructions online.
Overall, we are happy with how this product measures up and would recommend it to anyone looking for a simple way to start an aquarium.
- Beautifully designed – Just look at it! It’s perfect for a display right next to a wall, and you’re unsure what might go best on it. Everything looks better with an aquarium display on top!
- Tough design – You might be worried that a half-moon tank design has sacrificed structural strength and integrity for style. Well, worry not. Not only is this a sturdy build quality, but it is leak-proof too, in case you were worried that the seam between the panels is a little awkward too!
- Excellent filter cartridge – If you’re worried about your tank filter needing to be maintained or replaced constantly, worry no more with the excellent filter that comes as standard with this model.
- A little too reflective? – The single large curve might agitate your fish a little, as it might reflect a lot of light into their tank and cause them stress. If you want to keep your fish happy, it may be worth keeping this tank out of direct sunlight.
- No heater in-built – You’ll have to find one to support any tropical fish you might own.
Also available at wildernesscooperative.com
Dimensions & Design
Despite most of these fish tanks being able to hold roughly similar amounts of water, there are plenty of different ways to store this amount of water.
Being only 3 gallons, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a space in your home that will be able to fit tanks of this size category (if you have pets though, then remember to consider your pet’s safety and how they will act around a new fish tank when choosing where to put your new aquarium).
If you do decide to use existing space, make sure its height is enough to allow you to stand easily whilst handling the tank.
With so many designs, it should be possible to find a style of tank that will fit the aesthetic of your home perfectly!
Outside of simply being able to carry your fish, having a filter in your fish tank is pretty much the most important thing you can do for your water-bound pets.
A good filtration system helps remove harmful chemicals from the water while also removing impurities such as plant debris or waste produced by your fish.
Ideally, your water filter will also have a built-in CO2 injection system to help maintain healthy levels of oxygen in your tank.
However, if you don’t already own one, it’s easy to buy filters for a small cost, and installing these isn’t difficult either.
If you have tropical fish that prefer to swim in warmer waters, having a heater should be your top priority after finding a good filter for your tank.
While you could always get by without one, it won’t hurt to invest.
This way, your fish will be swimming in warm water all night long, helping prevent disease and keeping algae away from your fish.
Tropical fish in colder water can quickly become lethargic and may find themselves living much shorter lives, whilst also being in discomfort or pain at the same time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Fish Can Fit Inside Of A 3-Gallon Tank?
That’s going to depend on a lot of factors when it comes to the fish-to-water ratio.
Larger fish are going to struggle to live in a smaller tank.
You fish need to be able to swim freely to live long and healthy lives, especially when rockery and other aquarium scenery are taken into account as they take up valuable space.
Try to keep your ratios to one fish for 1 liter of water. (This also rules out large shole fish species, unsurprisingly)
If you’re thinking about a fish species to get started with, try out the Zebrafish.
They are a great beginner fish for new aquarium owners to look after.
What Kind Of Fish Are Best For A 3 Gallon Tank?
Most types of fish that you can find out there aren’t exactly evolved to live in smaller fish tanks.
Certainly not ones that are as small as 3 gallons!
Still, there are a few options for your to start your miniature aquarium with.
And because the space that your fish will be living in is small and easier to manage, it is a great way to learn how to take care of all sorts of fish, especially for beginners.
Bettas are often considered some of the best fish to start a tropical aquarium with, as they are solitary fish that don’t do well in larger tanks or with other fish, even of their kind, as they are quite aggressive. For this reason, they are great for housing in your smaller tanks.
Tetras are another popular option for beginner fish tank owners, as they are small enough to be able to live comfortably in aquariums as small as 3 gallons.
You can even have small shoals of up to 4 or 5 fish fit comfortably in a smaller tank!
(We should note that this species does best when it is given enough room for shoals of at least 7 or 8 fish to thrive. These will not fit comfortably in your 3-gallon tanks, so keep this in mind.)
These are just some of the best 3-gallon fish tanks that you can find out there.
There are just so many reliable brands that all produce amazing displays to show off their beauty. With so many different shapes and sizes, there is something here for everyone.
However, it’s not just about the looks; getting the right combination of tank design and species will ensure that your fish are happy and healthy.
Hope you found this guide useful!