Best 2.5 Gallon Fish Tank: Buyers Guide

Best 1 Gallon Fish

Did you know that more than 12.5 million US households keep freshwater fish? Well, if keep fishing is your cup of tea, why not start off with a 2.5-gallon fish tank and scale-up thereafter?

You see, providing your fish with a safe and conducive environment ultimately results in a healthy and radiant fish pet. Unfortunately, most hobbyists get caught up in the maze of choosing the right tank which is, well … frustrating.

Thankfully, in this article, we will review the top-rated 2.5-gallon fish tank that you can start with, and, highlight some of the aspects you should consider before settling for one. How convenient is that?

Oh! Before we have a look at these tanks, let’s highlight some of the astounding benefits of having an aquarium at home.

Surprising benefits of keeping an aquarium

Calms down children

Do you have hyperactive kids? Maybe a kid who gets paranoid in the dark? Get them a fish tank. It calms them down as they observe the fish swim about and make them feel at ease when the lights are off. Moreover, the kids develop a sense of curiosity and become interested in nature.

Stress reduction

Watching your radiant fish buddies swim in a colorful aquarium significantly reduces stress. Why? It takes your mind off the junky day.

Reduces anxiety

Watching, feeding and playing with your fish helps you forget about the worries of life. Furthermore, a fish will demand your attention whenever you approach a tank.

Increases productivity

Not only can you keep an aquarium in your home, but also in your office. That said, it helps reduce stress and anxiety making you focus on the tasks at hand. As such, your creativity and productivity levels spike.

Adds an aesthetic touch

This is by far the chief reason why most people keep aquariums. They add a colorful artistic touch that is expensive to achieve should you buy artifacts.

So, which fish tanks make the cut? Let’s find out.

Best 2.5 Gallon Tanks in the Market

1. Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit, 2.6-Gallon

Check Price on Amazon

Main features

  • Weight: 10.2 pounds
  • Capacity: 2.6 gallons
  • Lighting: LED lighting system
  • Dimension: 11.8 x 10.8 x 8.7 inches

This tabletop aquarium is just the thing for your small fish to swim all they can and have rest. Its design is modern and comes integrated with all the necessary accessories. It features a powerful circulation pump with an adjustable nozzle output.

The tank is made of etched crystal clear glass that provides you a clear view of your fish buddies. Moreover, the glass is scratch and crack resistant. In fact, the thickness of the glass prevents the formation of green tint which is a common phenomenon in most aquariums.

The LED lighting system consists of 31 lights that hang above the aquarium illuminating plants and décor as well as your fish. Furthermore, you can always upgrade or change the color of the lighting.

Not to mention the three filter stages that keep your water clean for long periods of time. Naturally, for healthy and vivid fish, you need an efficient filtration system.

This system comes with all the necessary accessories such as BioMax bio rings, activated carbon, and a porous foam block. Combined, they present the much-needed chemical, biological and mechanical filtration ideal to keep the tank water clean.


  • Separate filter station that significantly reduces the maintenance effort required compared to other aquariums. Additionally, the filtration accessories keep your water pristine.
  • Not only is it easy to maintain the Fluval tank, but also easy to set up. Everything you need is provided and a manual comes in handy. This makes it an ideal tank for beginners.
  • Its price is reasonable and any hobbyist can purchase it from the pet store.
  • The quiet filter is just enough for a peaceful workstation or bedroom. No more will you have to deal with the constant whirr of most aquariums.
  • Overall, the tank is fantastic. It comes in a compact, sleek, and compact design ideal for even millennial hobbyists. The added accessories make running and maintaining the tank a piece of cake.


  • You’ll need to add some accessories such as a heater if you desire to keep fish like betta.
  • Setting up can be tricky for beginners since the manual does not provide concrete instructions. This is where YouTube video tutorials come in.

We’d recommend this tank to a moderate-skilled fish keeper rather than a novice. That said, it is an awesome tank to keep your fish buddies thanks to its three system filtration system, LED lighting system and a powerful circulation system.

You can check this product out here.

2. Koller Products 2.5-Gallon Aquarium Kit with LED Light and Power Filter

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Main features

  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Lighting: LED lighting system
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 11.2 inches

This is another stellar 2.5-gallon tank to keep in your bedroom, workstation or corridor. It is designed for small spaces such as countertops and desktops significantly promoting your wellbeing. How? Watching fish swim around reduces stress and anxiety keeping life worries at bay.

The Koller Aquarium kit comes with a dazzling LED lighting system that features 7 color choices that can match your décor or time of day. You can choose from red, purple, aqua, green, amber, and daylight white.

And if that is not enough, the in-built timer enables you to choose your desired transition or color combination which can span for 2 or 4 hours.

The powerful internal filter keeps the tank water pristine making your fish happy and healthy. It has a rate flow of a whopping 25 gallons per hour.

This effectively removes all pollutants – toxic gases, food and fish waste, heavy metals and odors – in the water and bolsters oxygen exchange. As the water goes through the Tetra Whisper XS filer cartridge, fish and food waste are trapped and only clean water flows back to the tank.

Do you think this tank is made of glass? No! It is made of crystal clear, impact-resistant plastic that leaves most people thinking it is made of glass.

In fact, the tank is leakage proof thanks to its one-piece construction. The construction is trendy, unique and durable making it ideal for families with children.


  • Easy to set up and maintain since it comes with most accessories in the box and an easy to follow manual.
  • Built-in LED timer that keeps the light on for a desired period of time mimicking fish’s natural environment
  • Portable and ideal for several places such as bedrooms, offices, countertops, etc.
  • Powerful yet quiet filtration system.


  • Quite small for some stellar fish.

Despite its small make, the Koller Products 2.5-Gallon Aquarium Kit is big on its features which makes it a must-have tank at home.

Check out the Koller Aquarium kit for yourself here.

3. Aqueon BettaBow LED Desktop Fish Aquarium Kit

Check Price on Amazon

Main features

  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Lighting: LED lighting system
  • Dimensions: 5 x 2 x 4 inches

No longer do you need to keep your beloved betta fish in a bowl. The Aqueon BettaBow will house your fish pretty much as a bowl would. The 2.5-gallon tank features an attractive, low profile LED lighting system that illuminates the décor and the fish.

Turn your desktop into an elegant work station by purchasing this attractive and stylish fish tank. It is ideal for novice hobbyists so you don’t have to be well versed with fish keeping to buy it. It comes with a divider enabling you to peacefully keep two bettas.

Worried about waste filling up in your tiny tank? Worry no more! The tank features an Aqueon QuietFlow filter which contains all the chemical, biological and mechanical needed to keep your tank water pristine. Moreover, the filter is quiet therefore there’s no added distraction whatsoever.

And feeding your two buddies is seamless thanks to the feed hole on the hood. Well, it comes with all the necessary accessories such as filter cartridges, a divider and food, and water care samples. So, why not surprise your workmates with this tiny but stellar fish tank?


  • Fits on numerous small spaces such as countertops
  • Easy to assemble since it comes with all the accessories
  • Ideal for novice hobbyists
  • Efficient filtration system.


  • It is tiny
  • Portable and lightweight

We’d call this the younger brother to the Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kit.

You can check this product out here.

4. All Glass Aquarium AAG10002 Tank, 2.5-Gallon

Check Price on Amazon

Main features

  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Lighting:
  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 6.1 x 8.1 inches

This glass aquarium is made with precision to ensure that it can handle any pet you desire of keeping. Be it betta or a goldfish. This tank enables you to add the required accessories such as the heater, filter, and décor. You can actually, build whatever environment you think of.

The glass is clear, strong and scratch-resistant therefore you can keep your betta fish without worry of bumping or cracking. You can choose from two main styles; Oak trim or Black style. Which intrigues you?

We’d recommend the All Glass Aquarium for persons who want to build an aquarium from scratch.


  • Gives room for creativity since you can create whatever environment you want to
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Durable thanks to the one-piece center-braced frames.
  • Ideal for beginners


  • Does not come with the necessary accessories

Well, if you are okay with buying the heater, filter and other peripherals separately, then go for this aquarium tank.

Those are some of our top-rated fish tanks. So, how do you go about buying the most ideal tank? Let’s find out in the following section.

If you are interested in this option, you can purchase one today right here.

5. Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kits LED Lighting

Check Price on Amazon

Main features

  • Weight: 3.75 pounds
  • Capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Lighting: LED lighting
  • Dimensions: 11.9 X 9.8 X 11.9 inches

This is one of the best fish tanks for a beginner to start with. In fact, most betta fish novice hobbyists prefer this tank.

The tank is made of acrylic material that is harder than glass. As such, the tank will not crack or break if it falls, gets hit or encounters a rowdy fish pet. It is not prone to bumps experienced in glass tanks. In addition, it comes with an elevated base and a contemporary design.

Another awesome benefit is the QuietFlow filter. This filter comes loaded with all the biological, chemical and mechanical media needed for optimum filtration. It is ideal for both salt and freshwater tanks. And setting up is easy since it comes with a manual.

Not to mention the low profile LED lighting that provides fish with the much-needed light. As an added feature, it comes with a timer that switches the light off after 8-10 hours. Additionally, you don’t have to remove the hood each time you want to feed your pet, there exists a feeding hole.

Would you like to keep two bettas? With the Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kits, you can do so without a fuss. Why? It comes with a divider that divides the tank into two parts.


  • Easy to set up since all you need is included in the package. All you need to do is follow the instructions.
  • Stellar lighting thanks to the low profile LED lighting that provides you a perfect view of the aquarium and a well-lit environment for the fish.
  • It is affordable
  • Durable thanks to the acrylic make that is free from cracking and breakage.


  • Comes with some missing components
  • A strong filter that is not ideal for weaker fish such as betta fish.

The Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kit is an ideal aquarium for a starter on a budget. However, avoid keeping a betta in this tank due to its strong filter.

If you are interested in this option, you can purchase one today right here.

Aquarium Buyer’s Guide

Buying the most ideal tank can and is a daunting task. Just imagine the chills you get when you buy the wrong tank. As such, beforehand preparation is crucial since there are a number of aspects you need to consider.

Luckily we are here to help and if you play by the book, you are bound to give your fish a pleasant and healthy environment where they’ll thrive. So, let’s highlight these essential aspects before spending a dime.


This is the most crucial decision that you need to consider. Keep in mind the cost of the aquarium and the fish you desire to buy to populate the tank. You don’t want to buy a tank and lack of fish to keep in it. Also consider the cost of heaters, filters, substrate, and decor.

Never forget the cost of maintaining the aquarium. While it might seem expensive at the beginning, maintenance cost tends to fall with time.

Available space

Simply put, this is the size of the tank.  You need to consider the number of fish you will keep, décor, and other accessories. Also, the location of the tank will definitely determine the size of the tank.

Nobody wants to keep a 50-gallon tank on a desktop. Luckily, we are dealing with a 2.5-gallon tank that can fit in almost any small space.

Filtration equipment

To keep your tank clean, it is paramount that you have a working filter in your tank. While some tanks come with a pre-installed filter, others require you to buy it separately.

Again, keep in mind if you want a whirring or a quiet filter. Also, consider the fish type when buying a filter because some fish won’t handle a powerful one since they might get sucked.

Lights, please

Most tanks come with pre-installed lights to give the aquarium that vibrant look. However, you should make sure that these lights are replicable if they become faulty.

Another thing to consider is if there exists a timer. A timer will mitigate the need to manually switch the lights on and off. If you want a trendy aquarium, go for one with a color transition system.

The make

Here, you only have two options; glass and acrylic. Glass is cheaper than acrylic and scratch-resistant. It is also heavier and is an ideal choice for large aquarium tanks. However, the downside is that glass is quite brittle and might get shuttered by sharp objects.

Another disadvantage is that you can only get rectangular or square-shaped glass aquariums. Acrylic gives you a clear view of the fish since glass tends to distort the shape and size of the fish. Unfortunately, it is prone to scratching and yellowing as it ages.

Kind of top

You have to decide whether you want a tank with an enclosed or open top. The open-top lets you see the fish from the top. Although attractive, the rate of evaporation is high and pollutants can easily get in the water. The enclosed type keeps off pollutants but denies you the chance to see your fish from another angle.

But if you want a piece of both worlds, you can purchase a tank with a sliding glass top. As such, you can view your fish from the top as well as keep pollutant at bay.

Finding the right aquarium is not easy, it takes heart, planning, patience, care, and some guidance. But once you make the cut, the rewards are obnoxious


What fish can I put in a 2.5-gallon tank?

There are numerous fish you can keep in this small tank. They include:

  • Betta fish: They are the best to keep in a small tank. They are small and do not grow to be large-sized fish. Also, they can thrive in an aquarium with no filtration system.
  • Danois: They are hardy fish that adjust to water conditions. They are small, omnivore, active fish that thrive in small groups.
  • Small barbs: Barbs are another staple for small tanks. You should keep them in groups of at least 5. More than this can make them aggressive.
  • Small tetras: These peaceful fish make the cut when it comes to 2.5-gallon tanks. Just provide them with ample hiding space.
  • Platies: These small but nimble fish are a great choice for a 2.5-gallon tank. They feed on almost anything you feed them with. However, keep the fry in a separate tank since they are extremely small and might be eaten by tank mates.

Other fish that you can keep include kuhli loach, swordtails, black molly and Cory catfish.

Is a 2.5-gallon tank good for a betta? Yes, betta can thrive singly in a 2.5-gallon tank. However, if you desire to keep two, introduce a divider.

How many betta fish can I put in a 2.5-gallon tank? One but with a divider you can keep two.

How much AquaSafe do I need for a 2.5-gallon tank? Basically, you’ll need eight drops of AquaSafe for one gallon of water. Therefore, a 2.5-gallon tank will require at least 17 drops.

How many moss balls do I need in a 2.5-gallon tank? Since you need at least 1-2 moss balls per gallon, you’d require 3-4 moss balls in your aquarium.

Does a 2.5-gallon tank need a filter? Yes and no. no, if you are keeping a betta fish in the tank. The filter would cause strong currents that would toss the fish around. Yes for other types of fish such as kuhli loach.

Does a 2.5-gallon tank need a heater? Yes, a 15-25 watt heater is enough for this small tank especially if you are keeping tropical fish.

Is a 2.5-gallon tank good for goldfish? No, because a single goldfish requires at least 20 gallons of water. Besides, it grows to a maximum size of 4 inches. As such, it would get stressed in a 2.5-gallon tank.

How much Melafix for a 2.5-gallon tank? 4 drops of Melafix are enough for such a small tank.


So, which 2.5-gallon tank is the most ideal? We’d say, your needs should dictate the tank you should buy. Also, ensure that it comes with all the required accessories such as filters and lighting systems.

Again, depending on the type of fish you keep, some accessories won’t be necessary. For example, a betta fish does not require a filtration system.

Saurabh Kumar

I am a passionate fish keeper, with years of experience. You will find some really useful tips and information on this blog about Freshwater Aquariums.

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