Types of Fish Tanks- Which One is the Best for You

Types of Fish Tanks- Which One is the Best for You

When it comes to pets, fish is one of the topmost choices of people. The beauty and exoticness of fish and their availability in different colorful varieties make them perfect for households. Aquariums are also a wonderful addition to the office spaces as they enhance the appeal and make the ambiance de-stressing.  

In this article, we are going to discuss the different types of fish tanks. So, whether you are a serious aquarist or just a beginner, it will give you a deeper insight into the different types of aquariums and help you find the most suitable fish tank.

History of fish tank

Jeanne Villepreux Power invented the first fish tank in the 19th century. She was a French seamstress and a cephalopod researcher of the time. When she wanted to observe the paper nautilus in her lab, she made a modern glass fish tank and conducted her research. Since then, the fish tank came into being.

Fish tanks soon evolved from glass-framed tanks to glass-sealed tanks to saltwater aquariums that comprise live rocks, right salinity, along with the filtration system. And this is how fishkeeping starts getting popular and gradually becomes a hobby.


When it comes to aquariums, you can find a variety of them differing in shapes and sizes. However, when you dive in a little deeper, you will find that the aquariums also differ in their water quality and other water parameters.

Let’s check out the four basic types of aquariums.

  1. Coldwater Aquarium 

An aquarium that does not require the use of a water heater is a coldwater aquarium. Generally, a coldwater aquarium is a beginner’s aquarium or a fish tank for young children where they can understand and learn fish keeping.

It can be freshwater or saltwater, among which freshwater aquariums are the more popular among hobbyists. The water inside the coldwater aquarium is kept at ambient room temperature.

  1. Freshwater Tropical Aquariums 

As already told, tropical freshwater aquariums are more popular among hobbyists as they are easy to maintain. The beginners or novice fish owners can start with a tropical freshwater aquarium with no worries. Since they are less complicated and require little effort for maintenance, even beginners with little knowledge about fishkeeping are able to handle it.

Although there are a few considerations with freshwater aquariums, nothing is too worrying.

What makes it different from the coldwater aquarium is the water temperature. While the water in a cold water tank should remain cold, the temperature should range from 25 to 27 degrees Celsius for freshwater tanks. With such water tanks, obviously arise a few concerns like maintaining temperature ranges, putting heaters, etc.  

When the right parameters are not provided in the tank, the chances of fish getting sick and eventually dying increase. According to experienced aquarists, the leading reason for tropical fish dying is stress which is often a result of their habitat. Inappropriate tank size, poor water conditions, and improper tank management practices are other reasons for dead fish.

It is not terribly difficult to manage tropical freshwater aquariums, but it does require a little effort to keep the fish happy and healthy. You need to know the basic steps like how to balance the water’s pH, which is critical for the health and viability of the habitat in which the fish live. Here, you can note that most of the tropical freshwater fish survive well in a pH level between 6.6 and 7.8.

Some other basic requirements if you are planning to keep a tropical freshwater aquarium include the following-

  • Replacing water at regular intervals
  • Conditioning the water
  • Cleaning the tank

All these activities do not take more than half an hour when you do them regularly. All you need is to put some effort, consideration, and a little bit of time into maintaining your freshwater tank.

You can find a lot of options, styles, sizes, and shapes of tropical freshwater aquariums that give different looks and feels. These tanks could easily become the centerpiece of your dining room, the backdrop for your living room, or the right calm for your study.

  1. Marine or Saltwater Aquariums

Saltwater aquariums are unique, and they offer to keep species that are not possible to keep in a freshwater tank. Apart from marine species, such tanks offer stunning coral and amazing invertebrates of saltwater specimens.

Marine aquariums also have specific water requirements, and they also require more effort for tank and tank species upkeep. It becomes essential to maintain a viable fish habitat for the saltwater aquarium so that marine fish can survive.

It is always advisable to start with a freshwater aquarium if you are a beginner because tackling a saltwater tank is a little tricky. Here, we are not saying to try your hands on a saltwater tank, but for the sake of animal cruelty and your expenses, you should wait until you get knowledge as well as experience in fishkeeping.

Whether we talk about the saltwater aquarium parts, chemicals, or fish, everything is considerably more expensive than freshwater options. It is the reason why having a saltwater tank makes the entire thing costlier. So, do not dive in until you are not pro in fishkeeping.

  1. Brackish Aquariums 

There are certain water bodies that develop from a mixture of saltwater and freshwater. Often these are the transitional areas between fresh and marine waters. The water in such water bodies is called brackish water. It is a broad term used to describe water that is more saline than freshwater but less saline than true marine environments.

Certain species of fish have acclimatized in such habitat and thus came the brackish aquariums where we can keep those fish species and rear them. Such aquariums are also suggested to be used only by those hobbyists who are more experienced and have thorough knowledge about the upkeep of brackish water fish species.

So, these are the four basic types of aquariums with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Now, let’s check out the four major types of tanks that are commonly used by aquarists for different purposes.

  1. Betta Fish Tank

Every fish has its own specific needs and demands for survival. Betta fish tanks are pretty common among aquarists as they are perfect for betta fish. If you want to make your betta fish live longer and happily, it is essential to keep it on the right side of the tank.

Being small fish, people generally put them in small bowls lesser knowing the fact that they need larger space to swim freely. Fish do not care about the shape of the tank, but they do care about the space they are getting to swim, stretch out and explore.

Apart from the size of the tank, you should know how to heat the tank or maintain the right temperature range and how to filter the water. Also, decorations and the materials you are using for decorations play a huge role. All that a betta fish needs to live happily and healthily is a good filtration system. Even aerating the tank is not a very good idea.

  1. Breeder Tank

Breeder tanks, as the name indicates, are solely meant to breed the fish species. They are generally smaller and a little shallower than the traditional fish tanks. The reason behind this is when the fish breed, they tend to go to the surface of the water. A shallower tank makes this possible easily and quickly.

The breeder tank is equipped with a protected filter. It prevents the fish from getting injured on the filter while they are in the tank and will have plastic pieces called “traps” that can be inserted into the tank. Since most of the fish get violent during or immediately after breeding, the traps keep them separated yet allow them to see each other.

If you are a breeder or thinking of breeding fish, you have to make sure that your fish don’t get into a fight during this time and aren’t injured. Traps also come in handy when fish lay eggs and fry (babies) as you can separate the adults from the eggs and young. It will prevent the fish from eating their eggs. Rather of having to remove the fish from the tank, you can keep everyone apart by easily making rooms in it using these traps

  1. Large Tank

If you are a big fan of aquatic lives and want to include aquatic animals, plants, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates, a large tank is for you. They have at least one transparent side from where you can see in and view the fish, plants, and other invertebrates you have kept. Plants will add up to the tank’s décortank’s décor and increase the amount of oxygen used by the water animals.

Generally, a fish tank is made up of acrylic or glass, but when it comes to the large tanks, they need to be made from high-strength acrylic. It will help them withstand the pressure of the water as well as all the equipment that is installed in the large tank to keep its environment fish-friendly. Since it is a large tank, it will have more components than the smaller ones, for example, lighting, filtration system, chiller, heater, etc., depending upon the type of fish living in the large tank.

Large tanks are also equipped with a hood that furnishes different functions like housing the lights and preventing the fish from jumping out of the tank. Large tanks have enough space to add enough substrate, different varieties of plants and décor items, along with different species of fish.  

  1. Kid’s Tank

Kids love pets, and when it is about fish, they love to watch them swimming in a closed ecosystem for long durations. Water animals, especially fish, fascinate kids a lot. If your child is asking for an aquarium, you can buy a Kid’s tank for him.

Kid’s tanks come in fun colors and designs that make them more attractive. You can keep fewer fish in a kid’s tank to avoid the risk of making any mistake. When there are fewer fish, you can give the charge to your kid to perform most of the cleaning, water replacement, etc., activities so that he can also learn a few things about fishkeeping.

Tanks made with acrylic make a good choice for kids’ tanks as they are lighter in weight and tend to be much stronger. A tank of size around 10 and 20 gallons is perfect as it will not take much space, yet it would be large enough that the child can easily help to clean the tank each week.

Final Words

Fishkeeping is a wonderful hobby with immense benefits. It is de-stressing, reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and even aids in getting a sound sleep. A fun and recreational activity for the kids and a beautiful centerpiece of the room, an aquarium can keep you happily engaged for long durations.

So, if you want to have a fish tank, you just need to buy the right one as per your needs. You must answer a few questions before buying one-

  • Why am I getting a fish tank?
  • Will I be able to give time for its upkeep?
  • Which fish are suitable for my climatic conditions?
  • Which type of fish tank will be suitable for my requirements?

Once you know the reasons for getting a fish tank, it will be easy to get the right one. You need to get equipped with all the prerequisites and important information before starting this wonderful hobby. Select the right fish that will adapt to your climatic conditions so that they can live happily. Add some plants and décor for bringing an extra oomph, and your tank will be all set to turn the heads.

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