My 3-year boy showed a keen interest in my aquarium. Every time he sees me feeding the fish or cleaning the tank, he always tries to help me with it. So, my wife and I decided to give him an aquarium for his own.
However, I was worried about whether it was the right decision or not. Obviously, we’ll help him with everything related to this. So, before giving him, I started digging on the internet about kids and aquarium. Which are the best fish tank for kids, the appropriate age to start an aquarium, which fish is the right choice for kids, and some more related to this.
I found a lot of information that could help you if you’re looking for the same as I did. In the last part, I put some tips (buying guidelines) to help you understand everything you need to consider before having a fish tank for your kids. So, let’s dig in.
Before starting the reviews on the best fish tank for your kids, we need to discuss some issues. However, If you’re in a hurry, check our recommended best picks at a glance:
These are our choice for the best fish tank for kids:
- Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
- Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit, Energy Efficient LEDs
- GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank with LED Lighting and Filtration
- Aqueon Princess Castle Aquarium Kit 1/2 Gallon (Best for Baby Girls)
- Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit 3 Gallons
- Lightahead Artificial Mini Aquarium
6 Best Fish Tank for Kids (Comparison Table)
Benefits of Having Fish Tank for Children:
Multiple studies found several benefits of aquarium fish tanks in the home. The study suggested that people with an aquarium at home have a higher possibility of improved mental and physical well-being and moods.
The experiment found the participants with lesser blood pressure and heart rates than others.
Consequently, a fish tank has multiple positive impacts on the kids, along with the health and mental benefits of having a fish tank is a part of fun and learning. Your kid will know about different fish, plants, and animals while participating in aquarium care.
Today’s kids are more into a mobile phone or tab than other activities. An aquarium can give them a little touch of nature and keep them away from electronic devices.
When they own a fish tank, it’ll help them to learn about responsibility and ownership. As they will need to feed the fish and keep the tank clean.
Of course, you need to help them with this learning process until they’re matured enough to take care of themselves.
[I have provided some related articles and research links at the end of this article. If you’re interested in further reading, please visit those links in the reference section.]
What is the Right Age to Get an Aquarium:
The answer is dependent, and it’s a subjective question. I have fish tanks from long before our baby being born. Our boy kid loves the fish and aquarium. One of his favorite past times is watching it talk to the fish.
I never faced any problem regarding my fish tank and kid. So, I don’t think it’ll be any problem for you either. As long as they are playing, watching the fish, and participate in feeding or cleaning activity with you around, there is nothing to worry about regarding the kid’s age.
However, if you’re expecting to take care of everything by themselves, wait until they’re 8-10 years old. Also, if your kid is lively, make sure the aquarium stands are firm enough.
Putting Fish Tank in Baby’s Room:
Another thing we parent worries about if placing an aquarium in our baby’s room would be the right choice or not. Like previously mentioned, if the stands are firm and you’re taking care of everything, it won’t be a problem.
Rather, kids love them in their room; mine did. And also, a fish tank provides some lights, and it’s good for the night. Your boy/girl won’t be scared.
So, keeping a fish tank in the baby’s room is fine. However, don’t keep food in the same room. Mine outpoured the whole packet one time.
Best Fish Tank for kids- Product Reviews
In this section, we’ll discuss the products we think could be the right choice for you if you’re looking for an aquarium for a starter and your kids.
#1. Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit Review
Key Features and Product Description:
Why I recommend this product and how it could be the best buy for you too:
It is an elegant, good quality fish tank that takes up little space due to its vertical design. Check the dimensions I have mentioned in the key feature section. It’s easy to clean, except for the filter section, where it’s hard to reach the bottom.
The cartridge (filter) included in the fish tank has charcoal inside, and the manufacturer recommends changing it every month. I don’t think it’s a good idea to do it unless you are applying medication. I recommend using a little water from the same aquarium to rinse it when you see that the main tank’s water level is higher than in the rear compartment.
If you’re looking for extra cartridges, please check this one!
Behind the cartridge, there is space to put one more sponge and improve filtration. You can buy any sponge and cut it to size using the cartridge as a reference.
The manufacturer does not recommend putting the heater (thermostat) in the rear compartment because the water can evaporate and lower the level. In my experience, this is not true and can be placed without problems; Just make sure the heater is the right one for the size of the tank (25 watts), it works perfectly, and it doesn’t leak before putting it in there, as you won’t be able to see it working. With a thermometer, you can verify its operation.
Here’s the recommended heater you can use.
The fish tank’s vertical design makes it somewhat difficult to maintain since the arm must be submerged considerably to reach the bottom. Nothing fancy, just wash your hands and forearms well to avoid contamination and lower the water level a bit to prevent spills.
For cleaning purposes, you may need a siphon vacuum cleaner. Here’s our recommendation for smaller tanks.
The pump is very quiet, but it will eventually start to make more noise than normal. Fixing this is very easy, and it will take you a minute to do it; just unplug it from the power supply, carefully remove it and disassemble it (an illustration of its parts is in the manual). You remove the main cap, another cap that regulates the flow, and removes the propeller with your fingers or a small tweezer. The propeller is held in place by a magnet, so don’t be afraid to pull it.
With a cotton swab, you clean the propeller barrel, and the inside of the pump since the noise is caused by a small particle that got into the propeller compartment. Do not connect the pump if it is not fully submerged in water.
Why it’s a best fish tank for kids:
Now the important part, why I’m recommending this product for your kids- first of all, it’s a classy looking fish tank, kids will love it. This fish tank easy to set up and clean and also can be placed into any corner.
It comes with a sturdy base, which will help the tank keep secured from a lively kid. It covers the top; so, you don’t have to worry about putting down something unexpected from the kids. It’s a nice day and night light system; my kid adores the night view.
- Fits perfectly into a corner of a home or office because of its design.
- Easy to clean and setup.
- It comes with a non-attached plastic sturdy base
- Portrait orientation makes it easy to put tall aquarium ornaments
- The motor doesn’t make noticeable noise
- Light construction can flip up comfortably.
- All the wires and filter systems are separated from the tank, which means a clear view.
- The flow filter pump can be adjusted.
- High-quality glass.
- 2-year Warranty
- The rear compartment is narrow, and the edges are sharp, which makes it hard to clean.
- The filter system can be improved
- The plastic filter cover is flimsy and doesn’t leave much space for cords.
- The inlet for the filter is a little big for shrimp.
- The lid doesn’t have a handle attached to it.
Overall: According to experience and research, and compared with other products in the market, this one is definitely a win for the price. At least I’m pleased with the tank. So, I recommend this product to our readers as a first choice, not for kids only but for the starter aquarists too.
#2. Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit, Energy Efficient LEDs
Key Features and Product Description:
Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit Review:
First of all, Tetra is a renowned company in the aquarium and pond industry. Tetra crescent acrylic aquarium kit is small and fits nicely on a kitchen countertop, living room, or bedroom.
The tank doesn’t come with a heater or thermometer. So, for the tropical fish, you need to buy them.
It’s lovely for a counter or table. Visibility was nice and satisfactory. However, I have stick-on black backing over the back panel to make it less noticeable.
The is an acrylic one. So, it gets scratched easily. And the quality was poor, but you can’t complain about the price. They had to make some cuts.
The led is energy-efficient, but it seemed a little inadequate. You may consider buying another led if you want to. Also, it’s only white color light. Remember, if you don’t need to grow live plants, the supply is more than enough.
If you don’t have a fish load in it, the supplied filter is ok and a little big for the tank. But, in case you want to increase the fish load, better to add a bio scrubber.
For cleaning, change 20-30% water per month.
Why it’s a Best Choice for Kids:
Kids will love the view of this tank. It’s one of the best inside views among other products at the same price level. You can set it anywhere, and this tank is easy to set up and maintain. It’s also a black cover, and a lid keeps the inside safe from an accidental drop.
- Small and great view.
- Easy to Setup and maintenance.
- Comes with a filter.
- Sturdy and reliable
- Adjustable filter
- Doesn’t come with a heater or thermometer.
- It could easily get scratched.
- The filter is big for the tank.
- Not good for the larger fish breed.
Overall: There is and always will be some positive and negative sides to every product. However, according to the price and compared with other products in the market- it’s a nice nano tank and doesn’t take a lot of space, easy to set up and maintain, and needs to be considered when you’re looking for a small tank for the betta and kids.
#3. GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank with LED Lighting and Filtration
Key Features and Product Description:
GloFish Aquarium Kit Product Review:
I had a 20-gallon Glofish tank. It’s similar to a 5-gallon tank, except for some extra features mentioned in the product description.
The filter was nice and quiet, with no leaks and defects in the tank.
The suction line needs an extra piece to reach the bottom. The 5-gallon tank doesn’t have a heater or thermometer included. So, you’ve to buy them.
The best view will be if you put Glofish in the tank. Also, the decorations which help the tank to become more amazing.
The lid of the fish tank is flimsy. Avoid any extra pressure on it.
The filter is ok, but for better increase capacity. I mean, for a 5-gallon tank, try a 10-gallon filter.
It’s a nice starter kit, and kids love the lighting. Also, it’ll be a great part of your home decoration.
For a 20-gallon tank, you better purchase an adjustable heater rather than relying on the given one.
Why it’s a Best Choice for Kids:
Kids love colorful lighting. Mine spent a lot of time around the tank. It’s safe and secure for the kids, easy to maintain, and setup. Have lid and lights are covered. You can add different decorations to lighten up more, which will give the tank a new look.
Easy to assemble and maintain
Good for beginners.
Excellent lighting view becomes a part of the room decoration.
Feeding is easy through the feeding hole.
Lights are hidden.
Acrylic makes it less susceptible to break.
The lid prevents water evaporation.
Have different sizes.
5-gallon doesn’t have a heater or thermometer.
The lid is rather delicate.
The filter isn’t good enough for a fish load.
The isn’t long enough to reach the bottom.
Overall: The GloFish aquarium kit is a nice choice for starters and kids. It’s nice lighting and view; you and your kids will love the lighting. It’ll also be a part of the room decoration. However, there’re some drawbacks like- tube length, filter, etc. but, after some observation and research, you will understand it’s a good buy for the money.
#Here’s another choice of GloFish Aquarium Kit. If you’re interested, take a look: Click Here to Visit the Shop at Amazon.
#4. Aqueon Princess Castle Aquarium Kit 1/2 Gallon (Best for Baby Girls)
Key Features and Product Description:
Aqueon Princess Castle Aquarium Kit Review:
Small, nice, and couldn’t be any cuter. Girls love this tank. A few days back, my niece turned 5. And for her birthday gift, I gave her this tank. Mine was the cheapest one, but she liked it more than any other gifts she had received.
So, for your baby girl, you can buy this tank without worry about whether they will like it or not.
The price is reasonable; you won’t have any complaints there. It comes with everything you need (I meant, decorations).
However, the fact is- it’s too little even for a betta. You need to clean at least once a week. It’s like a cute acrylic fishbowl.
If you put betta, it could be hard to live without continuous cleaning. Better have a guppy; they make less mess in the water and live in this small tank since there is no pump or filter in it.
Why we recommend this for a kid:
It’s reasonably priced, small, and adorable. Kids love this tank, especially the baby girls. It doesn’t need any electricity, which is safer for kids. It’s like a fishbowl, but with better construction. It doesn’t require any complicated work.
- Price is low.
- Small and Cute.
- Easy to clean.
- Doesn’t need electricity.
- Too small.
- Needs frequent cleaning.
- Gets dirty easily.
Overall: It’s a cute, nice, and affordable fish tank. Girls love this tank. Even I was like, aww. Your mood will be changed when you see it for a starter or before spending more money for a fish tank. You should try this one. It won’t cost much but needs some extra effort than the regular fish tank for maintaining.
#5. Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit 3 Gallons
Key Features and Product Description:
Tetra ColorFusion Starter Aquarium Kit Product Review:
This is a great value for the price. If you like some lighting work, you’ll be satisfied for sure. Well, let’s talk about my observations on this tank, which may help you to decide whether to buy it or not.
It’s a small tank. A fresh rule of thumb is- 1 small fish per gallon of water. So, don’t create a fish load in it. It’s better to keep the fish as low as possible.
You will need to make some purchases if you want to keep tropical fish in the tank. Like- a heater, gravel, decorations, etc., means the kit isn’t a full pack.
Kids will love the colored LED lights, especially at night.
Like I mentioned in other products, this Tetra supplied filter isn’t much help. But it’s ok for a beginner kit.
You can control the bubble’s speed, and the light reflection on the ceiling looks great at night.
Pump randomly make some noise, which could be a bother for you. This could be a production problem, didn’t hear anything from other customers, though.
Overall, construction isn’t something to brag about. However, if you consider the features and price, I’m sure you’ll understand what you could expect from this product.
Why it’s a recommended Kids Aquarium:
The tank has a nice view with numerous lighting and bubble works. It could be hard for a kid to resist it. The kid loves the lighting and can be an essential part of the room at night.
Also, it’s a nice small starter kit. Maintain isn’t hard, and cleaning is comparatively easy. It’s spacious for 1 betta or 2/3 guppies.
- The view is lovely.
- The light and bubble works are great.
- Bubble and lighting can be managed separately.
- Small and reasonable price.
- Has lid and feeding tube.
- The air pump is connected with everything except the lights.
- The lid is loose, and the cords seem hard to follow for a beginner.
Overall: Evidently, this isn’t the great fish tank for you. But, comparing the lighting and bubble feature with others, it’s a decent value for the money. If you want a great tank with a good filter and heater, you better not choose this one. However, if you prefer to have a nice little tank with bubble and lighting works, it’s worth trying.
#6. Lightahead Artificial Mini Aquarium
Lighthead Artificial Mini Aquarium Review:
I wasn’t planning to bring this one here. But this page is for kids, so anything I can help you with to make them happy.
Well, after reading this full article, if you’re not yet convinced whether give your kids live fish or not! Then this one is the best alternative solution for you. not for just kids, anyone can use who isn’t prepared for live fish yet., or any place where live fish aren’t allowed.
It’s a great alternative for a real fish tank.
- You can put it anywhere.
- Doesn’t need feeding or frequent cleaning.
- It’s safer than having a real fish tank.
- Small and nice.
- It’s never the same as a real one.
- Too small.
These are our top picks so far. But if you’re still couldn’t find the right one for you and your kids.
Here are some other alternatives you can check. These are great products too-
Aquarium/Fish Tank Guide
Things you’ll need to start an Aquarium:
So far, we’ve talked about the fish tank for the kids or as a starter. Some include almost everything you need, and some don’t. So, please read the product descriptions before making the purchase.
Now, let’s see what things you need to start a fish tank are.
- An aquarium or fish tank.
- A stand (our recommended products can be put on a table, rack, or wall. So, you won’t be needing one)
- Thermometer and Heater.
- Siphon Hose/Gravel
- Water Conditioner.
- Filter and Pump
- Background Material.
- A small Net.
- Algae Scraper.
- Cover and Light.
- Test Strips.
- Aerator (optional)
- Fish Food.
- Water and Fish
Well, most of the items are included with the aquarium kits or fish tank we’ve mentioned in the article. Just check the product descriptions and collect the rest of the list.
How to choose a fish tank for kids or starter:
Before making the purchase of the fish tank, you need to consider some matters, whether you should choose a small tank of 1-5 gallon or more. As you may understand, most of our recommended products are 5-gallon or less. As we’re suggesting this for kids, you should start with a smaller one before giving them a bigger one.
However, a bigger tank is easier to maintain and forgiving. Beginner mistakes can be harmful in a small tank but wouldn’t hurt that much if you have a bigger tank like 20-50 or more.
Yeah, for a single betta or 1/2 guppy 5-gallon tank is enough. But smaller tanks need more careful handling and cleaning than the bigger ones.
Since you’re here for a kid or starter, our best recommendation is still with this sort of product. After spending some time with it and gaining some experience, you’ll understand whether you need a bigger tank or not. Also, what type of tank is best suited for you.
Also, you need to consider where you’ll put the aquarium. If you’ve lots of space, you can move to a bigger tank at any time.
Glass vs. Acrylic, which fish tank is the better choice
Another problem you could face as a beginner or for your kids, should you buy a glass aquarium or an Acrylic one. Both have merits and demerits; you need to find out which is the best choice for you.
Acrylic tanks are light and expensive. But they’re less susceptive to breakage. The acrylic tank could get scratched easily; however, it won’t break with normal damage. The entire bottom of an acrylic tank needs support.
Glass tanks are less expensive and won’t get scratched easily. They hold up better over time and more prone to breakage. Glass tanks can hold up fine on a stand with edges.
Freshwater Vs. Saltwater:
The majority start with a freshwater aquarium for simpler maintenance and less expensive. Also, the availability of lots of different freshwater fish makes it more appealing to the aquarists.
However, you shouldn’t immediately run for freshwater if the kids are old enough and follow some simple instructions. Also, kids show interest in marine fish; I don’t see any problem with a saltwater tank. Now it’s easier than ever.
You can start with a basic starter saltwater aquarium and some hardy fish. Your kids do love Nemo, right!!
Best Starter Fish for Kids:
This is an important matter to consider. Believe me; you don’t want to see your kids cry on a dead fish. Choosing a hardy fish is important while you’re purchasing for the kids or beginner.
Some fish die with little upside down, and some fish can live in an adverse situation. So, select a hardy fish for a beginner or kids.
Here’s a list of hardy fish for you to consider as a starter:
- Zebra Danios
These fish are the easiest to keep alive. Choose the right one for you by doing your research.
The best fish tank for kids or starter varies several different factors and individual situation. A product best to me doesn’t indicate it’ll be the best choice for you too. That’s we shared multiple options for you.
Check all the products on our list. Identify the best aquarium for you or your kids, compare it with the other products. Then, make the purchase.
We never bind ourselves with these products only. We keep searching and researching on other products too. As if found another best one, we’ll keep adding them to this article. You could also ask us to look for a particular product, which you believe should be on the list.