The Best Fish Tank for Small Aquaponics Systems

Small aquaponics systems have continued to gain popularity because of their versatility, scalability, and ability to fit in small spaces such as apartments, indoors, balconies, or small gardens. These systems allow individuals with limited outdoor or indoor space to grow their own fresh produce while also enjoying the benefits of fish keeping.

Choosing the right fish tank is crucial when setting up a small aquaponics system. The compact nature of small aquaponics systems requires a space-efficient fish tank that integrates well with other components and provides an optimal environment for the fish.

This article discusses the factors to consider when choosing a fish tank for small aquaponics systems. We will also explore the various available options and provide a list of the best fish tanks suitable for aquaponics systems with limited spaces.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Fish Tank

The fish tank serves as the habitat for the fish and holds the water that circulates through the system. The fish tank also help ensures the well-being of the fish and contributes to the overall success of an aquaponics system.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Small Fish Tank

While affordability is a key factor, it's essential to consider various aspects to ensure the tank meets your requirements without compromising quality or functionality. Here are the factors to consider when selecting a fish tank for your small aquaponics setup. Evaluating these factors will help you make an informed decision and find a tank that perfectly balances cost-effectiveness and effectiveness in supporting a thriving aquaponics ecosystem. 

1. Size and Dimensions

The size and dimensions of your fish tank are crucial considerations for small-scale aquaponics systems. Evaluate the available space and choose a tank that fits appropriately. Measure the dimensions of the designated area to ensure a proper fit. Additionally, consider the tank's height, as taller tanks can accommodate more fish while maintaining a small footprint.

2. Material and Durability

The material and durability of your chosen fish tank play a vital role in its longevity and functionality. Choose a fish tank that is made of sturdy materials like glass or high-quality acrylic. Consider the tank's resistance to scratches, cracks, and leaks to ensure its longevity and the safety of your fish. Opting for a durable tank may result in long-term cost savings by avoiding the need for frequent replacements. 

3. Ease in Maintenance

Look for a compact fish tank that offers features to facilitate easy maintenance. Consider tanks with built-in filtration systems, which can help remove waste and maintain water quality parameters. Additionally, features like easy access to the tank for cleaning, removable lids, and convenient drainage systems can make routine maintenance tasks more manageable.

4. Shape and Design

The shape and design of the fish tank can impact the efficiency and aesthetics of your aquaponics system. Common fish tank shapes include rectangular, square, circular, and cylindrical. Rectangular or square tanks are often preferred because they maximize the water volume and provide better space utilization. Consider the design features that facilitate water flow and optimize the fish and plants' space. Look for tanks with built-in dividers, overflow systems, and appropriate inlet and outlet placements. 

5. Compatibility With Other Components

Ensure that your fish tank is compatible with the other components of your system. Check for fittings, connectors, and outlets that align with your water pump, grow beds, and other equipment requirements. This compatibility ensures seamless integration and efficient functioning of the overall system. Consider tanks with dedicated spaces or outlets for water circulation and connections to other components.

6. Cost-effective

While deciding on what type of fish tank to use, it is crucial to check its cost-effectiveness. Compare the price of the tank with its quality, durability, and included features. Consider the long-term benefits and potential savings the tank can offer. Striking the right balance between affordability and quality ensures you invest wisely.

The Best Fish Tanks for Small-Scale Aquaponics Systems

Several options are available when selecting the best fish tank for small aquaponics systems. Here are five recommendations that offer durability, functionality, and compatibility for your aquaponics setup.

1. Best Overall: AquaSprouts Garden


AquaSprouts Garden Fish Tank


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Review Summary 



Great for

  • Sleek and modern design

  • Easy to set up

  • Efficient use of space with an integrated fish tank and grow bed

  • Includes a filtration system for clean water and healthy fish

  • Suitable for small to medium-sized spaces

  • Enhances the aesthetic appeal of any living space

  • Limited capacity 

  • Not suitable for commercial production

  • Requires regular monitoring and adjustment of nutrient levels

  • Fish tank size may limit the number and size of fish that can be kept

  • Home aquaponics systems

  • Small-scale aquaponics projects

  • Individuals with limited space for aquaponics setups

  • Those seeking an aesthetically pleasing aquaponics solution for their living space


Our Review

The AquaSprouts Garden  fish tank is a game-changer in the world of aquaponics. Its sleek design and easy setup make it perfect for beginners and experienced enthusiasts alike. Setting up the AquaSprouts Garden was a breeze, thanks to clear instructions. The tank's size is ideal for small to medium spaces, making it versatile for home or office use. The AquaSprouts Garden's integrated design maximizes space by utilizing the fish waste to nourish the plants. Continuous nutrient-rich water keeps the plants thriving, with minimal maintenance required. Maintenance of this AquaSprouts Garden is hassle-free because the system includes a filtration system that keeps the water and fish healthy.

In short, the AquaSprouts Garden fish tank simplifies aquaponics and brings natural beauty into your surroundings. It's a must-have for anyone interested in sustainable farming.

1. Best Value: Penn-Plax Aquaponic Planter and Aquarium

Penn-Plax Aquaponic Planter and Aquarium for Betta Fish


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Review Summary 



Great for

  • Compact design, perfect for small spaces

  • Easy setup and assembly

  • Suitable for beginners

  • Self-sustaining ecosystem 

  • Low-maintenance system

  • Limited capacity for larger fish 

  • Not suitable for commercial production

  • The small planter size may limit the number and variety of plants that can be grown

  • Requires regular monitoring and adjustment of nutrient levels

  • May need additional lighting for optimal plant growth 

  • Small-scale aquaponics projects

  • Home or office aquaponics setups

  • Beginners or those with limited space for aquaponics systems

  • Individuals seeking a visually appealing and self-contained aquaponic solution


Our Review

The Penn-Plax Aquaponic Planter and Aquarium is an innovative and compact solution for aquaponics enthusiasts. Its easy setup and dual functionality bring the beauty of a self-sustaining ecosystem to any small space. The system's ingenious combination of an aquarium and planter creates a mutually beneficial relationship between fish and plants. The planter provides ample space for various plants, allowing you to create a mini indoor garden. The integrated filtration system ensures clean water, supporting healthy fish and optimal plant growth.

While the aquarium's capacity is limited to smaller fish species, the Penn-Plax Aquaponic Planter and Aquarium still offer a visually appealing display, adding a touch of tranquility to any environment. It's perfect for beginners or anyone with limited space, bringing the wonders of a self-sustaining ecosystem into your home or office.

3. Best for Size: All Glass Aquarium Fish Tank


All Glass Aquarium Fish Tank


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Review Summary



Great for

  • Durable construction for long-lasting performance
  • Practical design 
  • Transparent glass provides an unobstructed view of the aquaponics ecosystem
  • Can accommodate various fish species and plant types
  • Offers customization options 
  • Requires additional components for setup
  • Limited capacity for larger-scale aquaponics projects
  • Requires regular monitoring
  • Beginners and experienced aquaponics enthusiasts
  • Small to medium-scale aquaponics projects
  • Those seeking a durable and customizable tank for their aquaponics setup
  • Individuals looking to enjoy the visual appeal of a transparent glass tank


Our Review

The All Glass Aquarium Fish Tank is a versatile and durable option for aquaponics enthusiasts. Its practical design and various sizes provide an ideal foundation for creating your aquaponics ecosystem. This fish tank is built to last, ensuring long-term performance and reliability. Its transparent glass design allows for an unobstructed view, adding aesthetic appeal to your space.

While the All Glass Aquarium Fish Tank doesn't come with integrated aquaponic features, it offers flexibility for customization. You can easily add components like a grow bed, filtration system, and water pump to create your desired aquaponics system. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced aquaponics enthusiast, this tank provides a solid base for cultivating a thriving and visually pleasing aquaponics setup.

Runner Ups for Best Small Aquaponics System Fish Tank

1. Vivosun 3-Gallon Aquaponics Fish Tank


 VIVOSUN 3-Gallon Aquaponic Fish Tank


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Review Summary



Great for

  • Compact size, perfect for small spaces

  • Easy setup and assembles

  • Integrated filtration system for maintaining water quality

  • Included grow bed for cultivating a variety of plants

  • Visually appealing, 

  • Lightweight and sturdy construction 

  • Limited capacity for fish and plant selection

  • Requires regular monitoring of water quality and nutrient levels

  • Not suitable for larger-scale aquaponics projects

  • Additional lighting may be needed

  • Small-scale

  • aquaponics projects

  • Home or office aquaponics setups

  • Beginners or those with limited space for aquaponics systems

Our Review

The VIVOSUN 3-Gallon Aquaponic Fish Tank is a compact and efficient solution for aquaponics enthusiasts. With its easy setup, integrated filtration system, compact design and included grow bed, it offers a convenient and visually appealing way to create a small-scale aquaponics ecosystem. The VIVOSUN 3-Gallon Aquaponic Fish Tank is an excellent choice for compact aquaponics systems.

2. Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit


Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit


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Review Summary Pros Cons Great for
  • Spacious 55-gallon capacity

  • Comprehensive kit with a sturdy glass tank

  • Versatile design for customization 

  • Reliable filtration system

  • Roomy enough to accommodate larger plants and fish species

  • Provides a visually impressive display in any setting

  • Additional customization may be required

  • Requires careful monitoring and maintenance of water quality and nutrient levels

  • May not be suitable for limited spaces or smaller-scale aquaponics projects

  • Experienced aquaponics enthusiasts

  • Those seeking a larger-scale aquaponics setup

  • Individuals with ample space

Our Review

The Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit is a top choice for aquaponics enthusiasts seeking a versatile and roomy setup. Its large size and comprehensive kit provides ample space and essential components for a thriving aquaponics system.

The 55-gallon capacity offers flexibility in fish selection and plant variety. The included filtration system and water pump ensure optimal water quality for fish and plants.

While additional customization may be required, the Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit provides a solid foundation for creating a personalized aquaponics setup.

DIY Alternatives for Fish Tanks

Explore do-it-yourself (DIY) alternatives and upcycling options for fish tanks to save costs. Consider repurposing containers such as large plastic bins, barrels, or even unused bathtubs as fish tanks. With proper modifications and waterproofing, these containers can provide a budget-friendly alternative to traditional fish tanks. Additionally, DIY fish tank projects can offer a sense of satisfaction and customization while reducing expenses.


Considering the important factors discussed above, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your budget and requirements and confidently embark on your small-scale aquaponics journey.


1. What is a small-scale aquaponics system's recommended fish tank size?

As a general guideline, a tank with 100 to 300 gallons capacity is suitable for small-scale aquaponics systems.

2. Can I use any type of fish tank for aquaponics?

While you can use different types of tanks, choosing one designed explicitly for aquaponics is essential. These tanks are built with the necessary features to facilitate water circulation, filtration, and maintenance.

3. How often should I clean the fish tank in an aquaponics system?

The cleaning frequency depends on the tank size and the number of fish. Regular maintenance tasks, such as partial water changes and cleaning of the filtration system, should generally be done weekly or biweekly.

4. Can I use an old aquarium for aquaponics?

Yes, you can repurpose an old aquarium for your aquaponics system. Just make sure that it is structurally sound and can accommodate the needs of your fish and plants. Just ensure it is thoroughly cleaned and free from any residues or contaminants.

5. Are there any specific fish tank accessories that I should consider?

Some valuable accessories for aquaponics systems include automatic feeders, water level sensors, and LED grow lights. These accessories can help automate specific tasks and optimize the growth of your plants and fish.

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