The great thing about gifts for aquarium lovers or a family member that has fish is that they can be both fun and practical!
From making maintenance and care easier to helping a family member discover something new about their aquarium, there are a lot of ways to show your affection for them and knowledge of what they love with a fun and affordable gift!
So if you are hunting for ideas, consider one of these 17 gift ideas for aquarium lovers! The diversity offered is staggering, with truly something for everybody, regardless of their skill level in the aquarium hobby.
Many are practical, while others are just plain fun! Take a look below to avoid buying a boring gift!
1. Aqueon Aquarium Algae Cleaning Magnets
Unfortunately, algae is a fact of life when it comes to keeping fish tanks. No matter how regularly you perform water changes and how careful you are in feeding, sooner or later, you need to deal with algae. Even algae eaters can only do so much to keep the green scourge at bay.
Fortunately, heavy algae growth does not need to be a permanent problem! Aqueon makes food and water chemicals and a series of excellent algae cleaning magnets! They make a perfect gift for the fish keeper that wants tidy glass but does not enjoy getting their fingers wet.
We prefer using a magnetic algae cleaner alongside a long-handled scraper as they complement one another. The aquarium hobbyist can use the long-handled scraper for those hard-to-reach places like behind filter intakes. Meanwhile, the Aqueon Algae Cleaning Magnet is a time and life saver at scrubbing clean vast swathes of aquarium glass.
These algae cleaning magnets are also weighted to fall down without falling over. Should they lose contact, you can simply align the exterior magnet with the interior one without having to reach into the tank!
2. Two Little Fishies MagFeeder Magnetic Feeding Ring
Fish food floating around is a big issue when water quality is of primary importance to your pet’s health. When it decays, it will cause ammonia levels to rise, which is a serious danger to fish health. So how can we ensure all of the food we offer gets eaten rather than goes to waste?
That’s what makes this magnetic feeding ring by Two Little Fishies such a good gift for a person’s aquarium! The feeding ring keeps food in one place, ensuring your community of freshwater fish has a much greater chance of consuming everything you feed them. The construction is also rugged and corrosion-resistant enough for saltwater fish tanks!
And by keeping food within the ring rather than floating about it, it is less affected by water currents while still at the surface. Without one, food will tend to sink rapidly as it encounters the outflow of your filter or disturbances from your air pump and bubbler.
The stability provided by the magnetic feeding ring helps fish food disperse more slowly. Which, in turn, makes it even more likely that it is eaten instead of going to waste!
3. Seachem Flourish Tabs Growth Supplement
Aquarium plants are becoming more popular these days, so let’s explore gift ideas that help them flourish! Lighting is essential for good plant growth, as is carbon dioxide. But if you want a less technically oriented gift idea for a friend, have you considered some of the best fertilizer tabs on the market?
Seachem has created aquarium plant growth tablets that can be added directly to the substrate rather than used as a liquid additive. Each tab slowly releases nutrients, so you don’t have to engage in the time-consuming task of dosing each one separately. By keeping the fertilizer at the root level, algae growth is also minimized since these tiny plants consume the same nutrients as larger plants do.
Many aquarists use these fertilizer tablets when setting up a new aquarium, placing tablets under the gravel or sand. But you can just as easily add them to an aquarium that is already up and running! The essential macro and micronutrients include iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other additives planted tanks need that will eventually run out without supplementation.
Just keep in mind that these fertilizer tabs don’t contain every single nutrient required for aquarium plants – at least, not in the proper ratios. Nitrogen, in particular, will need supplementing, though fish can provide a lot of this. These are more like an essential supplement for your fish tank, providing the extra elements that plants need for good health and lush growth!
4. Jebao Programmable Auto Dosing Pump DP-4
As the advanced saltwater aquarium lover already knows, reef tanks have a precise balance of factors that must be tracked constantly to keep them healthy. Calcium, magnesium, iodine, and other trace elements are as important as reef lighting for good coral growth.
Not only is providing these elements crucial but doing so in a regular, stable manner, which the Jebao Programmable Auto Dosing Pump does. The DP-4 model has four chambers that can be calibrated for as many as 24 doses of fluid per day. While the fluids are usually going to be coral micronutrients, you might also use liquid coral or fish food!
By slowly-releasing coral nutrients over the day rather than one giant dose, you avoid creating a feast or famine cycle in your reef tank. Since ocean water is stable over the course of thousands of years, coral has evolved to grow in conditions that hardly ever change. Or at least change in predictable, cyclical ways.
This is why corals can become very stressed when nutrients eventually run out, only to get a sudden heavy dose of elements all at once. Their biology simply can’t adapt quickly enough. This need for stability is also why beginners have such a hard time with coral reef systems, making the Jebao Programmable Auto Dosing Pump a good gift for first-time reef hobbyists!
This auto-dosing pump is also the perfect gift for an aquarium lover with planted tanks! Instead of calcium or iodine, the chambers can be loaded with iron, potassium, and other elements critical for healthy freshwater plants! And in the same way, live plants vastly prefer a slow and steady stream of nutrients versus infrequent heavy doses that they can’t optimize their growth to take advantage of.
5. Marinecolor Acrylic Made Liquid Storage Bucket
If you are already looking at an auto dosing pump for the planted or reef tank of friends, then dosing pump reservoirs are a great gift accessory to include! Marinecolor created these 3.8mm thick acrylic options with precision dosing in mind; the gradations are clearly marked on the side, so you know how much fluid is held in each.
The maximum volume is 4.5 liters, making it heavy enough not to be easily knocked over. The entire system is more stable, accurate, durable, and longer-lasting than the soda bottles, jars, and other cheap fluid containers used by aquarists on a tight budget. Why not offer them a gift that both eases their job while making the entire reef or live plant aquarium dosing setup more organized and effective?
6. Innovative Marine Gourmet Gadget Defroster PRO
“Feeding well thawed out” is the maxim by which Innovative Marine has designed their Gourmet Gadget Defroster Pro, and it is an idea we fully agree with! It is the best gift that we’ve ever seen to smartly dispense prepared and frozen food into your aquarium.
The Gourmet Gadget consists of two cups with adjustable holes that speed up or slow down food dispersal. All you need to do is simply drop in a cube of frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, or other fish food.
Intake holes along the side allow warm fish tank water to circulate within, thawing out the cube of food. Thawed food then drops down into your fish tank in a steady stream, rather than blowing all over the aquarium, creating pollution as it rots, wasted.
Aquarium lovers can also use the Gourme Gadget for less fancy food choices, like flakes or pellets. The middle ring holds the frozen food dispenser cups and provides a steady place for prepared food to remain. Rather than having fish food all over the surface, you can provide a single spot for fish to eat. This is another way to prevent food from going to waste in your fish tank!
7. Coralife LED Biocube Marine or Freshwater Aquarium Kit 16
Is the aquarium lover in your life someone who you know will love a new fish tank? If so, then why not consider complete package gift ideas like this one from Coralife? Normally we want to buy our own fish tank, but this model has a host of interesting features guaranteed to please!
What is most exciting is that the LEDs used by the Biocube are actually intense enough for growing aquarium plants and corals. Many other aquarium kits use cheap or low-intensity bulbs that may look great but don’t put out the right spectrum. An integrated 24-hour timer also allows you to customize the output between bright white, sparkling blue, and a color-enhancing selection of LED bulbs for general viewing purposes.
Filtration is all integrated into a back wall series of compartments that frees up the tank’s interior for swimming space and decorations. The layout is minimalist and efficient, making the LED Biocube a beautiful addition to a small interior living room or office space!
Classrooms in need of fish tanks for educational purposes will find the near-silent magnetic impeller pump to help minimize any distraction potential!
Coralife also makes custom stands designed to fit their two Biocube models (16 + 32 gallons). The stand is also designed to match the sleek black aesthetic and holds plenty of interior space for food and cleaning supplies!
8. Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
If you want to buy a tank for a fish tank lover, it is always a good idea to start small. The best gifts are ones that you are sure to be used by an aquarium hobbyist – and the Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit is small enough to fit anywhere in their home!
It is light enough for most desks with only 5 gallons of water volume. And the tall design ensures the footprint of the fish tank won’t take up much counter or desk space. The “portrait” orientation of the fish tank is also how it gets its name!
Another major feature of the Marineland Portrait is the included hinged LED lighting, providing normal and blue spectrum output for decorative viewing purposes. Impressively, the included lighting is powerful enough for low-light live plants like Java Fern and Anubias to grow!
To the rear of the tank is the 3-stage filtration system, cleverly designed to keep the media, pump, and heater all hidden from view while looking inside the tank. A Marineland Rite-Size Z Cartridge and Marineland Bio-Foam are included to ensure your beneficial bacteria have adequate living space!
We especially love the bent glass aquarium design, using a single panel curved to improve the aesthetic qualities of the fish tank. There are no ugly glued together joints, just a single seamless curve for the front and side viewing angles!
9. Tetra EasyStrips Complete Aquarium Test Kit
Water tests are a fact of life for aquarium lovers. We need to be constantly on alert for problem pH, ammonia, nitrite, and other water quality issues that arise.
That’s why water test strips make such a great gift for an aquarium owner; whether you are keeping freshwater or saltwater, are a beginner or advanced level hobbyist.
Water tests are something you always need to do, which means we need to have a test kit on hand at all times.
Within just 60 seconds, you can get readings on ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, water hardness, chlorine, alkalinity, and pH levels inside your aquarium.
And with both 25-count and 150-count options for test kit strips, you have a great gift for a friend regardless of the number of fish tanks they have!
It’s worth mentioning that a liquid test kit is more accurate. But they require fluid reagents that can take several minutes to get accurate results. For a quick and easy reading of your water, especially when you know there aren’t any major worries, testing strips are a very convenient item to have on hand!
10. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light for Aquarium
LED aquarium lights have been revolutionizing the aquarium hobby for over a decade now. They run even cooler and more efficiently than fluorescent lights and provide aquatic plants and corals with the right spectrum for optimal growth. The Current USA Satellite uses 36 to 96 long-lasting LED bulbs depending on the length of the unit. Altogether, they can provide a pleasant 6500K color temperature, and blue spectrum LED lighting.
Included is a remote that allows you to create weather effects like thunderstorms, rolling clouds, moonlight, dawn/dusk cycles, and other effects that an indoor fish tank normally doesn’t get to enjoy! We especially love the shimmer effect, simulating the look of metal halide lighting and natural tropical sunlight on a bright day!
The aquarium lover in your life will also have a light source that is far more stable during storms and other potential power losses. Thanks to the built-in battery backup, you are ensuring that their wet pets remain well-lit even during outages.
And unlike the bulkier models of yesteryear, this modern Current USA design is sleek and thin, taking up little visual real estate despite how bright the output is!
11. Salinity Refractometer for Seawater and Marine Fishkeeping
Some gifts can be an essential item for fish keeping that is a solid upgrade from the usual tools of the trade! This Salinity Refractometer for Seater and Marine Fishkeeping is just such an item.
Standard hydrometers give relatively accurate readings, but this is a precision device built to the tolerances of laboratories, zoos, and public aquariums. A single drop of aquarium water is all that is required for the device to calculate the salinity with precision!
Best of all, you get to work with two scales of measurement: the usual specific gravity reading offered by most hydrometers as well as parts per thousand. Parts per thousand is even more accurate and a great diagnostic tool to have when working with especially sensitive species of coral and fish in the reef tank of aquarium lovers!
12. Polyplab Smartphone Coral View Lens Kit
Why not consider a gift that improve how much your friends already enjoy their tank? The special optical filters used by Polyplab viewing kit counter most of the strong blue spectrum lighting that reef lighting generates. Leaving you with beautiful and natural coral colors for smartphone photography!
For starters, we have an orange lens that helps correct the 15K LED spectrum of light. When combined with the yellow lens, you can create more vibrant photographs up to 20K reef lighting. The 10x macro lens is an excellent gift idea for aquarists that love fine details, allowing a close inspection of corals that is normally impossible without an interchangeable lens camera!
The Polyplab Smartphone Coral View Lens Kit can be used with any smartphone or tablet, which just about anyone is bound to own. Few of the best gifts we’ve laid out here are so usable and enjoyable for so many reef tank owners as enhanced photography!
13. Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer
An essential piece for any saltwater tank with coral is a protein skimmer! By removing dissolved organic compounds before they can decay, they help prevent ammonia and other nitrogenous waste products from even forming! What’s more, they improve water quality in a saltwater fish tank by increasing clarity since these compounds tend to tint the water a dim yellow color.
The Bubble Magus Protein Skimmer uses a design meant for pairing with a standard sump filter in reef tanks. Inside you’ll notice the curved skimmer body, which allows the foam to rise smoothly to the collection cup. An air silencer also dampens noise when the unit is in operation, ensuring that this protein skimmer does not disturb aquarium lovers relaxing nearby!
Protein skimmers can sometimes take up too much space to be a great gift. But the Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 uses a needle wheel pump that actually sits within the unit. What’s more, the pump also makes precisely the right bubble size for a dry, easily collected skimmate (protein foam) that can be disposed of efficiently.
14. API Freshwater Master Test Kit
Of all the great gift ideas covered so far, here is one of the best gifts for folks unsure if your selection will be useful or not! A liquid test kit is something that many aquarists skip over, favoring the faster and cheaper paper test strips. However, paper tests are far less accurate and are really best for identifying potential problems. For example, they will tell you if your nitrates are high but not exactly how high.
The API Freshwater Master Test Kit gives far more precise readings on ammonia, low range pH, high range pH, nitrite, and nitrate, often to within .25 parts per million. The collection of chemical reagents means that each test can take anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes to complete. But there is no better substitute for aquarium lovers that need precision measurements of water quality if an issue arises.
Included is a booklet that breaks down how to perform each test for the fish keeper, making it less of a time-consuming process. You also better understand what safe water readings are using the color charts, the role of beneficial bacteria in the cycling process, and other bits of detailed information!
And if you need a gift for an aquarium hobbyist with marine setups, API also has a saltwater version with the same important water parameters. As well as a reef-specific collection that measures calcium, carbonate hardness, phosphate, and nitrate!
15. Lefunpets Automatic Fish Feeder
When preparing to leave for an extended trip ensuring your fish are well fed during the trip can be a hassle. Do you have someone drop by to place food in the tank? Someone you can trust not to overfeed by mistake? I wouldn’t want to be concerned that someone who does not know my pets offers too little or too much food during an extended trip.
So are there gift ideas that can do the job better? Lefunpets thinks so and designed automatic fish feeders that intelligently dispense dry food to your fish tanks! The system includes two dispenser sizes of 50 grams and 100 grams for short or long trips.
And the automatic fish feeders run on AA batteries, so even a power outage won’t disrupt feeding while your fish-keeping friend is on the move! And since the unit comes with the batteries already, it is set up to be up and operational in mere minutes.
Even if someone is home, this automatic fish feeder can remain attached. The manual dispenser control allows you to add food on your own, so you can still enjoy one of the peak pleasures of fish keeping!
16. CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium Substrate
Looking for gifts for a hobbyist with brand new aquarium plants? Get them started with a proper plant substrate like CaribSea Eco-Complete! This brand uses volcanic basalt infused with most of the essential micro and macronutrients aquarium plants need for survival.
This makes fertilizing a snap since you only need supplemental nitrogen occasionally via a liquid fertilizer and fish waste. The other nutrients plants need for survival are already bound into the gravel in a way that will last the planted fish tank for years to come!
Eco-Complete also has nitrifying bacteria added to each bag, similar to live sand in the marine fishkeeping world. This way, when you set up a new tank, it is effectively already cycled as soon as the water is added to it!
Without these beneficial bacteria to break down leftover food and fish waste, it would take weeks for you to be able to add a full tank load of fish. Not without many of them dying from elevated ammonia levels and swings in water chemistry.
Also, the interior pore space of this volcanic gravel is four times that of traditional gravel. This not only provides a home for bacteria (including anaerobic denitrifying bacteria) but also allows it to bind to essential nutrients, slowly regenerating its fertilization capacity over time!
Being so vibrantly dark, Eco-Complete is also a color-enhancing substrate, bringing out the natural beauty in your aquarium lover’s pets! When kept over pale gravel and bright lights, many fish tend to wash out in color. On the other hand, darker substrates bring out deeper tones in fish, especially when kept alongside live plants for added cover!
17. Aqualexs Aquarium Seiryu Stone Rock
Instead of gravel, have you considered decorative rocks as gift ideas? Rock aquarium decorations make great gifts because of their beauty and longevity. And for many good reasons, seiryu stone is one of the most popular and attractive choices.
Popularized by ADA aquarists like Takashi Amano in polished aquascapes, seiryu stone has a contrasting black and white texture to it. It is eye-catching yet minimalist. And it is very stunning when paired with brilliantly colored small fish, spacious layouts, and green, healthy plants!
Aqualexs provides not just any seiryu; they offer acid-washed seiryu stone, which is even more interesting. Seiryu is normally a dark grey rock but treating it with strong acid renders it a deep black color. Since the process can be intimidating if you are unfamiliar with chemistry, Aqualexs does the acid washing for you!
You get 25 lbs worth of seiryu stone, which is plenty for aquariums of all sizes. Seiryu stone is also pH neutral and won’t cause swings towards acidity or alkalinity, unlike many other aquarium rocks like limestone, which are beautiful but aren’t very good gift ideas since they introduce new problems to aquariums!