Best 3-gallon fish tank

Fish & Reptile Supplies

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What’s the best 3-gallon fish tank to buy?

If you’re looking to give your fish a home or a tank that can handle a few live plants and a small community of inhabitants, a 3-gallon tank is your best option. 3-gallon tanks are the perfect size for fish like bettas and goldfish while also being small enough to keep on a desk, table or kitchen counter. 

In particular, the Tetra LED Cube-Shaped 3-Gallon Aquarium with Pedestal Base is a stylish tank that works great for betta fish. 

What to know before you buy a 3-gallon fish tank

Type of fish and community members 

The main draw of having a small fish tank is to bring life into your space, and the best way to do this is to choose fish that can live comfortably in a 3-gallon tank. You may be surprised at the number of options you will have with a 3-gallon fish tank. 

3 gallons is the perfect size to house one betta fish or one goldfish along with live plants and a few other active community members, such as snails or ghost shrimp. You could also opt for a small school of three or four guppies alongside a few snails or shrimp for your 3-gallon tank. 

Remember that each fish has their own needs, and even some smaller fish in the pet store will require more than 3 gallons. Be sure to research the fish you want to keep before buying them to ensure that you can provide them with a good life. 

Necessities for fishkeeping 

Buying a new fish tank may seem simple enough, but fishkeeping can quickly become a costly hobby if you don’t plan ahead. Remember that fish should be treated just like any other pet and that they will require certain things in order to stay healthy. 

Betta fish, for example, will require a heater. For this reason, if you plan on keeping a betta in a 3-gallon tank, be sure to plan ahead and purchase a heater for your tank. 

Interior décor and aesthetic 

Fish tanks are a great addition to any space and can really animate and elevate your interior décor. It’s important to find an aquarium that matches the décor that you already have at home. 

With smaller fish tanks, the design options are virtually limitless. There are traditional tanks, cube-shaped tanks and many more options to choose from. Aside from the shape of the tank, 3-gallon fish tanks also come in a variety of aesthetic — from modern and minimalistic to bamboo and rustic. 

What to look for in a quality 3-gallon fish tank 

LED lighting 

Quality 3-gallon fish tanks will come with a set of LED lights that should be able to provide your fish and aquatic plants with the full spectrum lighting that they need to stay healthy. It’s important to have LED lights in your aquarium, as they serve the same function as grow lights for plants. 

Filtration system 

Due to 3 gallons being on the smaller side, you won’t need an overly fancy or powerful filtration system. Instead, you’ll want to look for a tank that comes with a quality filtration system that can keep the tank cycled and clean without harming your fish. 

Keep in mind that most brands of fish tanks also make necessities, such as filters, and that the type of filter you will need to buy will probably depend on the brand of your fish tank. Therefore, it’s worth comparing prices between brands before choosing which fish tank you want to buy. 

Tank hood and heater compatibility 

The hood or lid of the tank is often a feature that goes overlooked, but in reality, it is the one feature that can make or break your experience with the tank. One of the most common things to be on the lookout for is a hood that has a feeding door or window so that you won’t have to open the tank with every feeding. 

Suppose you plan on keeping a fish that needs a heater, double-check that the hood has notches along the back to accommodate extra electrical cords. If the hood doesn’t have these outlets, the hood won’t sit square on the fish tank, and you will encounter problems with accelerated water evaporation. 

How much you can expect to spend on a 3-gallon fish tank 

When purchasing a 3-gallon fish tank, the prices can vary depending on the quality you get. The tanks can range anywhere from $20-$60 and even more for the top-of-the-line options.

3-gallon fish tank FAQ

How often do I need to clean a 3-gallon fish tank? 

A. With a good filtration system and healthy tank ecosystem, you should only need to fully clean the tank about once every 3 to 4 weeks. 

Why does my tank seem to be losing water? 

A. Just as water does in nature, the water in your tank will naturally evaporate and recede over time. If you notice that you have to top off the tank more than once a week, double-check to make sure that the hood is secured to the tank. 

What’s the best 3-gallon fish tank to buy?

Top 3-gallon fish tank 

Tetra LED Cube-Shaped 3-Gallon Aquarium with Pedestal Base

Tetra LED Cube-Shaped 3-Gallon Aquarium with Pedestal Base

What you need to know: This fish tank is the perfect size for any space and has a modern aesthetic. It’s great for aquarists looking for a more sophisticated-looking fish tank. 

What you’ll love: This tank is inexpensive, stylish and durable. It is a great choice for any space, thanks to its sleek design and whisper filter. 

What you should consider: Some users have complained that the filter is not powerful enough. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top 3-gallon fish tank for the money

Koller Products AquaView 3-Gallon 360 Aquarium with LED Lighting

Koller Products AquaView 3-Gallon 360 Aquarium with LED Lighting 

What you need to know: With its durable, reliable and unique design, this tank from Koller is the perfect choice for use in small spaces. 

What you’ll love: The 360 design allows for multiple viewing angles. The filtration system is great. 

What you should consider: Some users have said that the hood is flimsy. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light

MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light 

What you need to know: This 3-gallon tank from crowd-favorite MarineLand stands out for its quality. It’s a good choice for seasoned aquarists. 

What you’ll love: The design and quality of this tank are great. The LED rail lighting illuminates the whole tank dynamically. 

What you should consider: The LED lighting may not be powerful enough for plants that require a lot of light but is perfect for low-light plants, such as anubias and ferns. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Addison Hoggard writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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