This page will go into a little more detail on how to get a cheap fish tank going for as little as possible for the frugal aquarist on a budget and provide several examples of products available for sale online.
First we will review 4 small cheap fish tanks for under $40. Afterwards we will discuss how to set up a larger fish tank cheaply.
The first cheap fish tank we will review is the Tetra LED Half Moon, Betta Kit, 1.1-Gallon which receives good ratings. It has no filtration system built in so it’s really only adequate for a Betta fish which can tolerate low oxygen levels. You will still want to change about 50% of the water each week and used filtered water or a water conditioner. It’s a smaller tank than I would start out with but it’s still a start and it definitely qualifies as a cheap fish tank!
The next cheap fish tank we will look at is the API Aquaview 180 Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Internal Filter, 3-1/2-Gallon. This tank has some lighting as well as a filter built right in and is 3 times bigger than the Tetra Betta tank. This means you will be able to put in 2 or 3 small tetras or mollies if you wish. Perfect for both beginners and advanced hobbyists, this compact desktop tank provides the relaxing beauty of an aquarium but without the expense and maintenance hassle of a large aquarium. It’s a no frills starter tank but for less than $40 the price is right with this cheap fish tank!
The next cheap fish tank we will review is the Tetra Cube Aquarium Kit, 3-Gallons. This Tetra Cube Aquarium Kit is the perfect starter aquarium and/or perfect for kitchens, dormitories, classrooms, and offices. The 3-gallon kit fits almost anywhere! The sleek and seamless tank is as transparent as glass and provides a unique and exciting panoramic view of your personal underwater habitat. The kit is equipped with a filter to keep your tank clean and provide a perfect environment for your fish. The tank also features an LED light and a convenient feeding hole. This one just looks really nice and sleek to us.
Ok, we will look at one more small cheap fish tank before I go into setting up a larger fish tank on a budget.
This API Panaview Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Power Filter, 5-Gallon is a fantastic price. It’s a complete 5 gallon kit around $40! Perfect for both beginners and advanced hobbyists, this tank provides the relaxing beauty of an aquarium but without the expense and maintenance hassle of a large aquarium. The full hood’s LED lighting illuminates your fish with seven vibrant color selections: amber, aqua, blue, green, purple, red and white. Constructed of crystal clear, impact-resistant acrylic, this aquarium is as safe for your fish as glass aquariums, and its seamless fabrication eliminates the risk of leaks associated with aquariums that have glued seams.
Ok, so these are a few of the small cheap fish tanks available that we would suggest considering. But what if you want to set up something larger on a budget?
Biocubes are certainly a fair deal and if you make your own stand they can be quite a bargain. The larger ones such as this 32 Gallon will be too heavy for most desktops and will likely need it’s own stand. We’ve had this exact same model on a home made stand for many years or you can get the pre made stand for it for around another $128 which is a fair price. It’s debatable whether or not this could be considered a “cheap fish tank” but you won’t find anything more convenient and ready to go for the price.
Sleek modern hood with vibrant LED lighting
Integrated 24-hour timer with three independent channels: bright white, sparkling blue and color enhancing LEDs
Automatic 30 minute sunrise/sunset and 60 minute moonrise/moonset functions to replicate natural day cycle
Compact and customizable built-in filtration – easy to setup and maintain
Quiet submersible pump, dual intakes and adjustable return nozzle
There are plenty of options for the truly frugal. You can get an affordable plain glass tank online, locally, or at a garage sale. Set up with a behind the back filter, heater, a little gravel, and make your own stand or convert a nightstand and you’ve got a nice cheap fish tank!
Honestly, glass tanks can get heavy so the larger ones are often cheaper locally but you can also order many through Amazon at competitive prices.
Build your own stand and canopy or use a cheap or used nightstand/desk. Get some affordable filtration and lighting and you have a cheap fish tank that will provide you with all the enjoyment of a more expensive ready to go system.
This affordable tank is acrylic which is much lighter than glass and often much more expensive. This makes it a great value and our top pick for a cheap fish tank!
Combo includes aquarium, reflector and electrical 24″ light fixture
Acrylic aquariums are clearer than glass, 17 times stronger, and only half the weight!
More impact resistant and less prone to chipping or cracking than glass, making it safer around children and pets. Safe for Salt or Freshwater.
You won’t believe how your fish and decorations will pop when viewing this beautiful SeaClear aquarium.
For a cheap fish tank 55 gallons and larger, it will become a little tougher to really get one going on a tight budget but it can be done. Picking up a glass tank locally, making your own stand and lighting canopy, and designing your own filtration system can definitely save you big bucks. This site is here to help you select an appropriate and affordable filtration system for any size system. It is also not uncommon for people to sell larger fish tanks when they move. Keep an eye out on the classifieds and you can get a great deal!