Best aquarium net

Fish & Reptile Supplies

An aquarium net allows you to move your fish without touching them and potentially removing their protective slime coat.

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Which aquarium net is best?

Keeping an aquarium is a relaxing and fun hobby, thanks to the tank’s gentle bubbling and the curious activities of tropical fish. However, removing fish and items from your aquarium can be a wet, challenging task.

Aquarium nets are indispensable tools that allow aquarium owners to quickly scoop up fish, debris, plants and uneaten food from their tanks with minimal disturbance and mess. The Grepol-V Fish Net, with its stainless steel construction and telescoping handle, is the best choice for aquarium enthusiasts looking to simplify the care and maintenance of their fish.

What to know before you buy an aquarium net

Aquarium nets are simple, essential tools. As such, there are only three significant considerations to keep in mind while shopping for one. Check out the BestReviews’ aquarium net buying guide for an extensive list of options.

Tank size and depth

Consider the size of your tank and select a net that allows you to reach the bottom without fully immersing your arm in the water. Owners of betta tanks need to choose a net with a small enough rim to reach inside the aquarium. Some aquarium nets with thin wire rims can be bent to achieve a shape that more easily meets your needs.

Net size

Consider the size of the fish in your collection and the items or plants that you wish to scoop from your aquarium. A properly sized aquarium net fully envelops your fish and allows no part of its body to emerge over the rim. A net that is too small can allow fish to escape, potentially causing injury and unnecessary stress. Nets that are too large make releasing fish difficult. You can keep multiple nets of different sizes to accommodate various fish species, objects or tanks.

Mesh size

The mesh that makes up the majority of your aquarium net can be either coarse or fine. Fine mesh is safer for fish as it prevents any tangled fins or tails as they try to escape. Coarse mesh is more appropriate for removing objects or debris from aquariums because it allows sand and small gravel to escape the net while leaving your intended item inside.

What to look for in a quality aquarium net


Aquarium nets typically have a loop of metal wire and plastic mesh. Nets made entirely from plastic are available, but these can crack or snap under repeated use. Avoid metals other than stainless steel and aluminum, as they quickly rust.


Green or black nets cause less stress to fish than white or otherwise brightly colored ones. However, if you breed fish or keep very small species, a net that contrasts with your fish will allow for easier identification and inspection of your pets. Some people also keep different colored nets to denote which ones they use for freshwater tanks and which ones they use for saltwater tanks.

Handle type

Twisted wire handles are the simplest, most common type of aquarium net handle. Coated in plastic or rubber, these handles provide a good grip and will satisfy most aquarium keepers.

Telescopic handles let you reach the bottom of deep aquariums while extended but still allow easy navigation in tighter areas where a permanently long handle would be cumbersome. 

Solid handles provide superior strength. While their rigid construction lacks flexibility, the construction makes them the best option for large, heavy fish or objects.

How much you can expect to spend on an aquarium net

A net is one of the most affordable and useful tools an aquarium keeper will own. You can purchase quality nets for less than $10, with only large, telescopic models costing $20 or more.

Aquarium net FAQ

Can an aquarium net hurt your fish?

A. Potentially, yes. Fish are delicate animals that require caution and gentle care while scooping. Never squeeze your fish between the net’s rim and your aquarium glass. Try to quickly but calmly scoop your fish into the net to avoid any injury from your pet attempting to flee or jump out of the aquarium.

Do you need to clean my aquarium net?

A. Yes. Like all aquarium accessories, your net can be a vector for infection or disease, especially if it is left uncleaned and wet. The easiest way to ensure your net is sterile is to submerge it in boiling water for a few minutes to kill any bacteria or microbes.

Is it harmful to touch a pet fish?

A. Fish are covered with a coat of slime that protects them from harmful germs and bacteria. Touching your fish with dry hands can remove this slime, making them vulnerable to potential infection. If you must scoop your fish manually, be sure that your hands are free of any soap, hand sanitizer or lotion and work as quickly as possible to minimize stress to your pet.

What’s the best aquarium net to buy?

Top aquarium net

Grepol-V Fish Net

Grepol-V Fish Net

What you need to know: This net’s retractable handle makes it useful for tanks of all sizes.

What you’ll love: This aquarium net features fine, black mesh that limits stress on your fish. Its stainless steel telescopic handle is extendable up to 24 inches and includes a handy loop for hanging.

What you should consider: Users have warned that water collects inside the handle and can squirt out when the net retracts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top aquarium net for the money

Pawfly 4 Inch Aquarium Net

Pawfly 4-Inch Aquarium Net 

What you need to know: This inexpensive net features a 4-inch rim to accommodate many fish species safely.

What you’ll love: The tried and true twisted wire construction provides strength and flexibility. The green color limits stress to fish. It is available in a pack of four for only a few dollars more.

What you should consider: This model’s short handle and 2-inch net depth make it only useful for shallow aquariums and small fish.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Penn Plax Aquarium Fish Net

Penn Plax Aquarium Fish Net

What you need to know: This highly affordable net is an excellent choice for those with small tanks.

What you’ll love: With metal wire construction and a fine mesh, you can’t beat the price on this aquarium net. It is great for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike. Multiple colors are available.

What you should consider: This net’s short handle will not allow access to deep aquariums without your hand and arm getting in the water.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy


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

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