Image of small fish tank up close with neon fish inside

What Type Of Aquarium Is Good For Beginners?

When people think about getting an aquarium for a new aquatic hobbyist, they often think about a small, inexpensive acrylic tank for either a betta fish or some small tropical community fish. This is okay, but there’s actually a better setup for beginners that is easier to manage, clean, and control.

If you do any research about different types of fish tanks online, you will learn that there are many options. You can choose acrylic or glass, filtered or unfiltered (not recommended), standard size or hexagonal, freshwater or saltwater, and many more options. For beginners, I recommend a 10-20 gallon standard size (rectangular prism) freshwater aquarium. I always recommend glass over plastic because it’s more durable and it makes the overall setup look more beautiful.

The reason I say 10-20 gallons is because no matter what you may think, they are easier to manage than a 2 or 5 gallon tank. If you have a diseased fish in a 2 gallon aquarium, the disease is more likely to spread quickly, contaminate the water, and harm the other fish as well. In addition to disease, small aquariums change temperature quickly, which can also lead to ill fish.

If you are looking into getting a saltwater tank, I would suggest starting with a freshwater tank first. Freshwater tanks are easier to manage, easier to clean, and the freshwater fish are significantly cheaper than saltwater fish. Any aquarium can be converted from a freshwater to saltwater tank, so there’s no need to purchase another aquarium when you decide to switch to saltwater.

Here are the supplies all new aquarium owners need:

  • 10-20 Gallon Glass Tank
  • Filter (very important)
  • Heater (very important)
  • Aquarium gravel or sand
  • Plastic or living plants (living plants are better)
  • Air stone or bubble wall (helps keep fish healthy)
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