11 Best Self Cleaning Fish Tanks of 2020

Best Self Cleaning Fish Tanks

As an aquatic pet owner, you are probably aware of how time-consuming it can be to care for and maintain a fish tank. 

They can quickly become extremely dirty, and the maintenance process can be an intricate process. What was once a beautiful aquatic image is now a flood of grime. For this reason, a self-cleaning fish tank can be a lifesaver for many owners, newbies or veterans.

Clean aquariums make great birthday gifts for children and animal lovers. Children can learn about nature, and the adults don’t have to make sure to keep the tank clean. Self-cleaning fish tanks are also handy for entertainment purposes, college students, and people who want to make a hobby out of aquaponics.

Regardless of why you’re in the market, you’ll want to read this article of self cleaning fish tank reviews to get information and advice on which self cleaning fish tank to buy. To purchase these aquariums, you can order on Amazon.com as well as their original site.

11 Best Self Cleaning Fish Tanks

1. biOrb FLOW Aquarium

If you’re new at caretaking, the biOrb Flow Aquarium is the best place to start. You won’t have to worry about following complex startup and maintenance instructions, and the biOrb FLOW 30 comes with everything you need to get started.

The look and design of this aquarium are excellent if you are keeping a small animal in a small area. However, one of the best features of this aquarium is that it uses a ceramic filtration system with air pumps. Because of this, it is not easily clogged, and you won’t have to worry about the aquarium becoming filled with dirty water!

The biOrb FLOW 30 is perfect if you live a busy life or if you are buying a self-cleaning fish tank for a child. 

The only cleaning task is to make sure you change a third of the water and replace the filter cartridge every four weeks. You also don’t have to worry about operation safety since this aquarium uses low voltage lights and an air pump. What a transformer!

Specs & Features

Size: 12 X 8 X 12.5 inches

Weight: 3 pounds, water container holds 8 gallons of water

Contents: air pump, airstone, filter cartridge, 5-milliliter water conditioner, LED grow light

Design: The biOrb FLOW 30 is made out of acrylic panels.

Manufacturer email: [email protected] Send them a comment.

Five stage filtration system for self-cleaning aquariums:

  1. The system maintains the oxygen saturation of the water by keeping the water moving
  2. The water flows in a circular motion, which collects fish waste product as it travels downward
  3. The fish waste is drawn through the ceramic filter, which absorbs toxins.
  4. The sponge cartridge traps the rest of the fish waste. Resin particles maintain the pH levels of the water
  5. The clean water is oxygenated as it flows upward. The cycle repeats.

Pros

  • Made of acrylic, which is stronger and more transparent than glass
  • Amazing filtration
  • LED lights
  • The same filter cartridge fits all aquariums
  • There is a small gap for a heater cord where people place an optional heater
  • Stylish and modern design
  • low energy, so no negative comment about your electric bill.

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim that the filter replacements can be pricey to purchase
  • While it is low maintenance, this is not a self cleaning aquarium
  • Lighting is not sufficient to keep live plants.

2. AquaSprouts Garden

Do you already have a 10-gallon aquarium that needs an update? In that case, the AquaSprouts Garden may be what you need. 

True to its name, this aquaponics system can turn your aquarium into an ecosystem that sustains itself.  In fact, it has been covered by the New York Times magazine as one of the most popular self cleaning tanks. What a comment!

The idea of aquaponics is simple: the fish waste is pumped into the included grow-bed, bacteria turn the waste into nutrients that feed the plant life, and the water goes back to the aquarium. Your only job is to feed your animal.

Popular on Fish Tank World, the AquaSprouts Garden is the best for beginners and pros alike. Whether you’re a veterinarian or a certified Insta browser, it is a perfect way to have your questions answered about the aquaponics technique and sustainability. 

Additionally, it can turn your standard aquarium into a lively vegetarian gardening ecosystem with the included grow media.

Specs & Features

Tank Size: 28 X 8 X 17 inches

Weight: 24 pounds

Contents: black AquaSprouts Garden, removable and adjustable light bar, submersible pump and plug timer, clay grow media (instead of soil), a step-by-step guide for setup and upkeep.

Material: Plastic

Manufacturer name and email: AquaSprouts [email protected]

The newest copyright model comes with improvements such as adjustable drain extenders so that you can quiet the water flow noise if it bothers you!

Pros

  • Reliable filtration features keep the water clean and reduces nitrates
  • Perfect for a no burden introduction to aquaponics
  • Professional look
  • Can be used with any 10 gallon tank
  • great customer service
  • grew from a Kickstarter campaign
  • includes grow substance

Cons

  • Disclaimer: Children may need family help to get started. The AquaSprouts Garden can require lots of knowledge but is very engaging.
  • Some people have found the need to buy additional supplies such as more lights, tubing, and heaters to control water temperature
  • The water pumps can be noisy

3. Back to the Roots Water Garden

The Back to the Roots Water Garden is also an aquaponics kit. It is smaller than the AquaSprouts Garden, which makes it perfect if you don’t have a lot of space. 

This watergarden features a downloadable curriculum with answers to your questions. This tool shares all the science behind aquaponics without a classroom setting.

The Back to the Roots Garden is unique because it was developed by the hands of Oakland urban mushroom farmers. 

These farmers want to make people pay attention to the importance of growing their food with their own hands. You can show your friends and family a new way to take care of themselves. Therefore, the water garden is a research opportunity as well as a self cleaning system.

You (and your child) can register your email on the Back to the Roots website to find posts about food, comment on the growth of your garden, or get a reply to a health-related question.

Specs & Features

Size: 13.3 x 9.4 x 13.3 inches, holds three gallons of water

Weight: 3.2 pounds

Contents: Two-month supply of radish seeds and wheatgrass, D-Klor (to remove chlorine from the dirty water), Zym-Bac (to help start the nutrients cycling process), a small external pump, a discount coupon for a betta fish, natural fertilizer, and grow stones

Design: Plastic

Pros

  • Included herbs grow extremely fast with low commitment
  • Information is detailed and easy to follow
  • Customer support is readily available to combat any issue
  • Best for small animals
  • perfect for lovers of gardening
  • Quiet filter and pump tubing

Cons

  • May have to buy supplemental items
  • Some people report trouble opening and closing it
  • Expensive for beginners
  • Must be started in places where you can make a mess

4. Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

The Fluval Spec III has a modern honeycomb look and is perfect for housing your tiny aquatic animals. The lighting is bright so that you can see your animals and plants. It has a stylish look and requires little work on your part.

The aquarium includes a three-stage filtration system—mechanical, biological, and chemical—so that water stays ultra-clear and free of nitrite. Also, the one-sided location of the pump and filter make maintenance extremely easy.

You’ll want these self cleaning aquariums if you’re looking for something to have an effect on your workspace without being too distracting. It’s a perfect gift for a friend with many other responsibilities. It’s also the best gift for kids. Maybe even better than cookies!

Specs & Features

Size: 11.8 x 10.8 x 8.7 inches, holds 2.6 gallons

Weight: 10.1 pounds

Contents: chemical filtration system, foam block, BioMax bio rings, activated carbon, 31 LED lamps, and a powerful circulation pump

Design: Glass with aluminum trim

Manufacturer name: Fluval

Pros

  • Extremely quiet filter, can’t hear anything
  • low maintenance aquarium, minimal effort required
  • Great fit in a living room
  • Made of sturdy glass
  • LED lighting system

Cons

  • Light may be too bright for certain bettas or other species
  • May still require monthly maintenance

5. MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light

If you don’t want to spend a lot of effort getting your animal into a happy environment, then you want to consider this energy-efficient version that comes in different sizes.

The best part about the MarineLand Contour is that it works for many types of fish keeping. You can use freshwater fish or saltwater, and they can be of any size (as long as they fit into the area).

Your animals will feel as though they are in their natural weather with the aquarium’s LED daylight and moonlight settings. 

Importantly, it will be no hassle to give your fish food since the aquarium comes with a hinged canopy. The canopy also stops them from jumping for the sky, and it reduces the chances of your animal being too cold.

The MarineLand aquarium comes with a hidden three-stage filtration system, and the flow rate of the filter pump is adjustable. You don’t have to take your pets for a ride!

Specs & Features

Size: 12 x 12 x 12.5 inches in diameter, holds 3 gallons of water

Weight: 12.4 pounds

Contents: Marineland Bio-Foam and Rite-SizeTM Z cartridge for filtration, filter pump, white and blue LED lights, canopy

Design: Glass tank with no tint

Manufacturer website: http://www.marineland.com/

Pros

  • Pump power is adjustable
  • Fishtankworld 2016 called it easy to put together
  • good build quality
  • Extremely low maintenance
  • Good quality and cost-effective

Cons

  • May need to add a heater
  • Animals can come into harm if they get trapped by the filter
  • Light may need adjustment for a certain plant type

6. MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit

This aquarium boasts MarineLand’s signature hidden filtration system and changing LED lights. If you want an aquarium that allows you the joy of viewing your little guys, you may like this aquarium for its rounded effect.

The sliding canopy compartment allows you to access your animal easily and feed without any of those tiny feeder slots. If you want a sense of a complete package, this aquarium is easy to accessorize. It comes with a compatible heater and a number of plants.

This kit is a different version of the MarineLand Contour. It has more space, is more of an investment, and the lighting system is not curved like the Contour.

The best animals for this tank include betta fish, guppies, tetras, and even frogs. If you have more than one betta, you might want to get multiple tanks since there are no ways to divide this thing.

Specs & Features

Size: 11.8 x 11.6 x 17 inches, holds 5 gallons of water

Weight: 14.3 pounds

Contents: Marineland Bio-Foam and Rite-SizeTM Z cartridge for filtration, filter pump, white and blue LED lights, sliding glass canopy, removable base

Design: Glass tank with curved edges

Pros

  • Comes with a warranty
  • Kids can play with all the materials, free of ammonia
  • The base piece is sturdy clay
  • Height makes it perfect for tall plants or limited space
  • A tad cheaper than other companies
  • The case is hard for cats to get into

Cons

  • Cleaning task around the filter is difficult
  • LED lights may be too bright for some owners
  • Not much room to add another element such as a mount or heater

7. Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank Promotes Healthy Environment for Plants and Fish 1.4 Gallon Capacity – APON2

The Penn Plax 1.4 Gallon is different from most other aquariums and aquaponic systems. Fish tank planters can create a healthy environment for bettas, goldfish, white cloud minnow, or bloodfin tetra. The tank is small, making it perfect for storing with minimal space.

Whether or not you intend to provide fish, the tank adds beauty to any setting. If you already have a houseplant, then get rid of pots and use this aquarium planter to help both your fish and plant thrive. It’s a symbiotic principle: The plant will benefit from the fish waste, and the plant helps to purify the dirty water.

Penn Plax recommends the following type of plant, but most indoor house plants—make sure they are non-toxic—should work:

  • Chinese evergreen
  • English ivy
  • Bamboo
  • Watercress
  • Mint
  • Chives
  • Leafy lettuces

Regardless of your choice of plant type, the self-cleaning planter comes with ceramic planting media to support the growth of your plant.

The Penn Plax is educational and straightforward. You can use it to teach a child about plants and animals or make it a solid start to your developing hobby in gardening. The fishbowl is clear, which enables you to see the roots of the plant. For occasional cleaning of the tank, just use warm water.

Specs & Features

Size: 8 x 8 x 10 inches, holds 1.4 gallons of water

Weight: 2.5 pounds

Contents: tank, planting lid, ceramic growing substrate/media

Design: plastic

Manufacturer name: Penn Plax

Pros

  • Top lifts easily for feeding
  • Easy to maintain, self-sufficient ecosystem
  • Perfect for teaching classroom children
  • The plant keeps the air oxygenated
  • Perfect for classrooms, kids, and teachers
  • aquaponics option
  • keeps water free of nitrates

Cons

  • Difficult to add a filter or heater to this tank
  • Too small of a container for most water animals

Overall, this is an extremely adorable planter for a house plant and a single fish. For best results, you’ll want to make sure you choose the best animal and kind of plant for the size!

8. EcoQubeC Aquarium – Desktop Betta Fish Tank for Living Office and Home Décor

This aquaponics system is a perfect accessory for your desk, home, or work. Since the plant filters the water, you don’t have to worry about changing the water. The system comes with everything you need for set up: sand, a cover, a remote control, plant seeds, and an ornament.

Because it is all-inclusive, you won’t need to spend money on separate accessories. The aquarium is handmade and comes with a basil plant. As the plant grows, the aquarium water will get cleaner.

If you need a fresh herb such as parsley in your space, you’ll love the EcoQube Aquarium. The only responsibility required is that you feed your animal and top off the water once or twice a month. The aquarium is great for a few small fish, with snails or algae-eating shrimp.

This aquarium also comes with an LED light that changes color. You can schedule the color change aspect with the automatic timer. You’ll love the EcoQubeC, whether you already have an animal that needs a home or are planning to get one.

When can you add your little one? You have two options:

  1. You can add your animal immediately if you substitute an already grown plant and put it into the included medium with tap water.
  2. If you wish to grow a plant from the included seeds, you will have to wait two weeks (or until the plant grows two inches tall) to add fish.

Specs & Features

Size: 10.1 x 9.1 x 8.8 inches, holds 2 gallons of water

Weight: 5 pounds

Things Included: aquarium sand decoration, handmade mountain stone, cover, remote-controlled LED light

Design: plastic

Manufacturer Website (also for sale here): https://getecoqube.com/products/ecoqube-c-basic

While the aquarium comes with an organic plug for the basil plant, here is the company list for many plants that you can also use:

  • Aloe Vera
  • English Ivy
  • Peace Lily
  • Snake Plant
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Spider Plant
  • Golden Pathos

You can also get an optional UV sterilizer with your aquarium. The UV sterilizer keeps your tank water a lot cleaner, and it can fight algae and bacteria that grow from overfeeding or too much light. A true transformer!

Pros

  • Low maintenance for any person
  • Gives your place a pop of color
  • Comes with remote control light
  • Can grow a variety of plants
  • Has a one-year warranty
  • Top-rated on sites like fishtankworld.com

Cons

  • Some buyers received packages with missing parts
  • A bit expensive for beginners
  • Plant growth rate varies amongst reviews
  • Mountain stone accessory is a bit large
  • Users have varying degrees of success with the greenery

The benefits of this small ecosystem are that it is no problem to understand and is an attractive way to display your small freshwater animals.

9. Huamuyu Hydroponic Garden Aquaponic Fish Tank Plants Growing System Self-Cleaning Seed Sprouter Tray

This tank is another one of the aquaponic ecosystems, and you’ll love it if you need to add flair to any places. At the top of the tank, there is a can sprout multiple seeds for your enjoyment. If you’re looking to add

Leave your days of struggling with cleaning your aquarium behind. The hydroponic filtration system means that this tank is self-cleaning. Even when you do need to clean it by hand every so often, the shape of the system makes cleaning easy.

This tank is suitable for fish that are about two inches long. Because of the automatic siphon design, both the animal and the plant experience natural air supply and drain cycles.

A perfect gift for a kid, parent, teacher, or foodie, the Huamuyu Hydroponic Garden comes with a supplemental participant guide and videos to facilitate learning about germination and animal care.

Specs & Features

Size: 12.2 x 7.7 x 11 inches, holds 3 gallons of water

Weight: 5.6 pounds

Contents: seed tray, filtering pump

Design: multiple plastics

If you want to use this system without fish, you can plant many different vegetables and herbs in the seed tray for soups or salads. If your passion is reducing your carbon footprint, turn this tank into a gardening system for flowers. You’ll find a list of uses on any of sellers’ pages.

Pros

  • Great for school projects
  • No stress for beginners
  • There is a gap big enough for heater and light cords
  • supplemental content to help you answer any question
  • ammonia free
  • reduces the burden of cleaning
  • manufacturer website has a course on aquaponics

Cons

  • Small creatures or small things can get caught in the pump
  • The pump needs periodic replacement

10. Joyfay Aquaponic Fish Tank, 3.2 Gallon, Hydroponic Cleaning Tank, Fish Feeds the Plants and the Plants Clean the Tank

Similar to the Huamuyu Hydroponic Garden system, the Joyfay is a self-cleaning tank that requires minimal effort to maintain. The plants at the top keep the water clean for the animal at the bottom, while the animal gives the plant the necessary nutrients. You only need to take care of the fish with fish food.

This system can be used to grow a variety of herbs. Some suggested plants include:

  • Green onions
  • Bamboo
  • Basil

This system needs to remain plugged in to keep the filter running, it’s perfect for an office space or kitchen table. It is low cost and has a fun appearance, as you can see when you look at images or video footage from the manufacturer. You can see comments on the Amazon website to get tips on using this aquarium.

Specs & Features

Size: 11 x 8 x 2 inches, holds 3 gallons of water

Weight: 6.7 pounds

Contents: lid, water pump, aquarium rocks for the plants

Design: made of plastics

Pros

  • Garden bed for growing all types of plants
  • Setup requires little work
  • Attractive look
  • Fits easily on a countertop, table, or another piece of furniture
  • Openings on sides can incorporate other equipment
  • One of the best deals for similar models

Cons

  • Plants not included with this item
  • Rocks can be messy if not washed before use
  • Gravel vacuuming can be challenging

11. As Seen on TV 56028 My Fun Fish Tank, 4 3/4 x 6 x 10-Inch

One of the most affordable purchases on this list, the My Fun Fish Tank has made a TV appearance as a great choice for kids or teachers. It is self-cleaning, shaped like a pitcher, and comes with an LED light. 

You can’t make a mistake, because the tank works simply. When you add clean water at the top, the dirty water pushes out of the disposal tube on the side.

If you are the owner of a small fish, the My Fun Fish Tank will look good on your counter or desk space. The light runs on batteries, which means you won’t have any issues keeping it powered on a daily basis. 

The LED light makes it stand out to others and keeps the fish illuminated for easy viewing.

Specs & Features

Size: 4.5 x 4.5 x 10 inches, holds 1.5 gallons of water

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Contents: fish tank, white LED light, aquatic plant, riverbed rocks

Design: made of plastics

Pros

  • This item does not require power cords
  • Simple appearance
  • Easy to set up, anyone can do it
  • Water changes are quick and easy
  • Fun and interactive for a child
  • Uses gravity cleaning technology
  • Unbeatable price

Cons

  • Small for most fish and cannot be used for the long-term
  • The light is difficult to replace and could become an issue
  • The disposal tube must drain into something else

Our Pick

After careful review of all these self-cleaning aquariums, our recommendation for a self-cleaning fish tank is the MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait LED Aquarium Kit. It is of great quality for the price, has few drawbacks, and the changing lights mimic a fish’s natural environment.

The amount of space makes it work for multiple fish or snails. Even if you have a single fish, it will be able to thrive in this five-gallon easy maintenance aquarium. Lastly, the filtration system is effective and easy to use for someone of any experience level.

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