A fish tank is just one of the nicest additions to your house and office because of both its aesthetic and therapeutic value. After a stressful day at work/ school, observing your finned friends’ underwater world is an enjoyable and relaxing experience that few can resist.
As appealing as it may seem, an aquarium also requires certain commitment from you – regular cleaning is mandatory, and some of us may get frustrated with it. Fortunately, as mankind advances, so do fish tanks. Today, several self-cleaning fish tanks are available to relieve you from the stress of constant maintenance.
Here, I have compiled a list of the best self-cleaning aquariums in terms of price and value. If you would like to learn more in detail, please continue to read.
What are self-cleaning fish tanks and aquariums?
As the name might have suggested, a self-cleaning fish tank is one that has the ability to automatically clean itself. It is a low-maintenance aquarium with a maintenance system that keeps the tank clean without frequent intervention from the owner.
Basically, a self-cleaning fish tank is suitable for everyone. Due to its ability to provide a serene, comfortable living environment for your fish without requiring too much maintenance effort from you, such an aquarium is especially recommended for the following people:
– Those who struggle to spend time cleaning their fish tank on a regular basis.
– Those who find such a task too tedious and time-consuming
– Young children/ teenagers, as they tend to be forgetful and often fail to remember to clean their aquarium. If you intend to reward your kids with a fish tank, then it is recommended to find one that can clean itself.
Generally, there are two main types of self-cleaning fish tanks:
– Gravity-based fish tanks: These aquariums are designed with a low-powered pump that continuously runs to remove dirty water, while you can manually add fresh water to it. The pumps are specifically designed to prevent your fish to get sucked up the filtering pipe. Due to their simplicity, these tanks are a popular choice among kids, teenagers, and newcomers.
– Aquaponics fish tanks: Sometimes called water garden fish tanks, these aquariums operate on the basis of nature’s recycle. They use a combination of fish and plants growing in water to create a self-cleaning ecosystem. The fish produce waste, which is then absorbed by the plants. As a result, the plants are provided with nutrients to grow, while the fish are protected from the harmful effects of waste build-up. For serious aquarists and nature lovers, these fish tanks are the preferred option.
Now that we have had an overview of self-cleaning fish tanks, let’s move on to check the best ones in terms of price and value.
Here are the best self-cleaning fish tanks for you
1. EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem, Sphere
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The EcoSphere is a sphere-shaped ecosystem, where fish may co-exist with shrimps, plants and other micro-organisms. It is made from hand blown glass, which boasts crystal-clear clarity and dependable durability at the same time. With this fish tank, you are able to observe your marine friends’ underwater world for a long time without having to find a replacement.
With EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem, you now have a completely enclosed, self-sustaining world that requires little interference from you. Its operation is based on nature’s recylcing basis. The shrimps consume the algae and micro-organisms and they, in turn, break down the shrimp waste. External light, either artificial or natural, is what keeps the algae growing. As a result, you never have to feed the inhabitants within or change the water, as all the nutrients are recycled, and no excess waste is produced. All you need to do is making sure that the room temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and a source of light is always available.
Aside from the low maintenance requirement, the self-cleaning fish tank is also very easy to use. Each EcoSphere comes with a handbook detailing how to take care of the aquarium. The package comes with an outer cleaning magnet that, when matched up with the magnet inside the EcoSphere, can be used to clean the inner content.
The EcoSphere is available in 4 different sizes, ranging from small to extra large. This proves to be very convenient – whether you need a large self-cleaning fish tank or a small one does not matter, as EcoSphere will not fail to satisfy you.
For busy people, EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem is one of the best self-cleaning fish tanks availble. Additionally, being a combination of science and art, it also makes a nice present for your friends. However, there are certain risks you need to watch out for. The aquarium contains small magnets, which are extremely dangerous when swallowed. For this reason, it is not recommended for those who have kids in their house.
2. As Seen On TV 56028 My Fun Fish Tank, 4 3/4 x 6 x 10-Inch
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“A perfect, low-maintenance introduction to pet care for children” is the term I would like to use in order to describe this product. As Seen On TV My fun Fish Tank utilizes gravity cleaning technology to automatically clean itself. This is achieved thanks to the disposal tube on one side. When clean water is poured into the cartridge, dirty water will then pour out through the tube. Due to this mechanism, your finned friends are able to enjoy a healthy living environment without little effort from you.
In addition to the low-maintenance requirement, I also love the self-cleaning fish tank’s impact resistance, which is achievable due to the plastic material. This makes the item pretty kid-friendly and suitable for those who have children and pets in their house.
As Seen On TV My fun Fish Tank conveniently comes with riverbed stones and 1 aquatic plant. Just add fish to it, and now you have a balanced and beautiful ecosystem that is just enjoyable to view. Not to mention, by observing the ecosystem inside, your kids will learn more about pet care and develop a sense of love for nature.
One more lovely inclusion is the white LED light, which illuminates the whole thing and helps bring life to your house/ office. For those looking for a décor item that can draw the attention of visitors, this aquarium is a great choice.
To sum up, the fish tank’s low-maintenance requirement and affordable price makes it a perfect choice for both beginners and busy pet owners. The only downside is that it’s a little bit small, which means your fish will have little room to swim around. Hence, consider this small self-cleaning fish tank if you cannot afford much space for an aquarium.
3. Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank Promotes Healthy Environment for Plants and Fish
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As the name might have suggested, Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tanks is meant to provide a symbiotic living environment, where fish and co-exist with plants. The fish tank consists of two separate parts. The lower one is an ultra-clear, high-quality plastic cylindrical bowl, in which your marine friend is free to enjoy his/ her life. The upper part is a ceramic planter bowl, which provides a convenient platform for plant growing.
The symbiotic relationship between your fish and plants is extremely crucial in terms of their survival. The waste produced by the fish is a nutritious source of food for the plant. In turn, the plant helps purify the water of the aquarium, so your marine friends are able to enjoy a fresh and healthy living environment. Thanks to this replication of nature’s cycle, the self-cleaning fish tank not only makes a naturally beautiful addition to your house/ office, but it also saves you from the stress of constant cleaning.
Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank is able to provide the ideal living habitat for a variety of fins. Not only is it suitable for regular bettas, it also comes in handy if you are a goldfish lover and are looking for a self-cleaning fish tank for goldfish.
The Aqua-Ponic tank comes with ceramic planting media to retain water and support root growth of the plant you choose. If necessary, the planter can be easily removed, so that you can clean the inner part of the aquarium.
Overall, if you are looking for a fun, beautiful, functional and educational fish tank, Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank is definitely worth trying!
4. Back to the Roots Water Garden
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If you are looking for an aquaponics self-cleaning fish tank, where aquatic animals and hydroponic can co-exist, then this is a worthwhile consideration.
Back to the Roots Water Garden is a scaled-down hydroponics system – the upper part is meant to cultivate plants, while the lower part provides an ideal living environment for your marine friends. This results in a self-cleaning cycle – first, your fish produce nutrient-rich waste, which is taken up by the plants. This absorption helps clean the water and allows the plants to grow strong. Now, you do not need to regularly clean the fish tank, as its inhabitants have done all the work for you.
The Water Garden takes little time to assemble. In addition, it comes with everything you need to get started, including a water pump, organic seeds, growstones, fish food, natural water conditioners, and a coupon for a Betta fish. Just add your fish or use the coupon to get one, and boom – you are ready to go!
The self-cleaning fish tank is a perfect gift for your family and friends. Not to mention, if you need to teach your students about DIY aquaponics & ecosystems, then this is a great tool.
5. Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit, 2.6-Gallon
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The Fluval Spec III is a contemporary-looking aquarium specifically designed for small areas such as desktops and countertops. The 2.6-gallon etched-glassed fish tank features aluminum trim and a sleekly designed lighting system that consists of 31 powerful LED lamps. These lights, when combined together, produce a gorgeous glow to the tank and its inner content. After a stressful day at work, you may be eager to come home in order to witness the beauty of your aquarium – it’s just one of the best ways to relieve pressure!
The self-cleaning fish tank comes with a powerful circulation pump and adjustable output nozzle. It is designed with a superior three-stage filtration to keep the water fresh, clean and healthy for your marine friends all the time. The aquarium kit includes all the necessary filter media: a porous foam block with convenient handle, activated carbon and BioMax bio rings for effective and thorough mechanical, chemical and biological filtration.
The pump and filtration system are conveniently located in a separate chamber at one end of the aquarium, which makes the whole system easy to clean and maintain. Not to mention, the design helps conceal the filer and cords to further complement its aesthetic value.
Another noticeable feature of this fish tank is that there is a compartment for a heater. This is especially helpful if you intend to raise betta and other tropical fish, as it helps keep the water warm and stable for them. Like the filtration system, the heater can be kept hidden so that you can view the inner content with little disruption.
With all of the benefits above, Fluval Spec III should prove to be a wise investment for you. In case you want a bigger aquarium, Fluval can also offer you a 5-gallon self-cleaning fish tank in the form of Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit.
6. EcoQubeC Aquarium – Desktop Betta Fish Tank For Living Office And Home Décor
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For those who want an aquarium that requires little maintenance, then the EcoQubeC Aquarium is an option for you.
This aquaponics self-cleaning fish tank uses a Basil plant as part of the aquaponics filter to purify the water. With this, you do not need to change the filters or the aquarium water at all. All you have to do is simply feeding your fish up 3-6 times/ week and topping off the water once or twice per month.
EcoQubeC is a handmade, flame polished aquarium kit that is sure to attract the attention of even the most ignorant person. Due to being made from ultra-clear acrylic, you are able to observe your finned friends’ underwater world with little difficulty. If you are looking for a centerpiece for your house/office, this fish tank is surely something that you do not want to miss.
I also love the fact that the aquarium is equipped with fully customizable LED lights and special presets. Just push a button, and now it can simulate a clear day, a cloudy sky, or even stormy weather. This customizable setting is great when it comes to bringing a sense of nature to your living space.
Due to its small size, the self-cleaning fish tank can be easily placed on your office table. The whole thing is very easy to set up and maintain. It is also very quiet, so you will not be disturbed while minding your own business.
In conclusion, EcoQubeC Aquarium is the perfect gift for fish lovers who struggle to find time taking care of their aquarium and will make any nature-lover happy.
7. biOrb CLASSIC 15 Aquarium with LED Light – 4 Gallon, Silver
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The first unique selling point of this aquarium is its acrylic material, which is notably much better than glass in terms of clarity, lightweight and durability. As a result, biOrb Classic Aquarium is able to provide you with wholesome viewing experience and long-term usage.
biOrb round fish tank features a low-voltage LED light that plugs directly into your transformer alongside your air pump lead. This results in easier setup, as now you only need to utilize one power outlet for your aquarium. The low voltage requirement (all biOrb aquariums operate from a 12V Transformer) helps reduce the cost of energy for maintenance as well as the risks inherent in using the fish bowl.
The LED light plays the critical role of illuminating the aquarium and bringing life to your finned friends’ kingdom. It is uniquely designed with a built-in timer that phases the light through a 24-hour period, transitioning from sunrise, daylight, sunset to moonlight and back again. That’s just pure convenience, isn’t it? This regular transition means that the fish bowl always remains a center of attention without requiring any interference from you.
Aside from convenience, biOrb Classic Aquarium also provides a healthy living environment for your fish thanks to its 5-stage filtration system (Biological, Mechanical, Chemical, Water Stabilization and Oxygenation). With this self-cleaning fish tank, no longer do you need to worry about your marine friends’ health. All you need to do is simply replace the filter cartridge every 6 weeks and change a third of the water every 2 weeks.
All in all, if you are looking for a simple starter aquarium, then the biOrb CLASSIC 15 Aquarium may be just the answer you are looking for! Just keep in mind that this is not recommended for small fish, as they can get sucked into the filter.
8. Joyfay Aquaponic Fish Tank- Betta Fish Tank, 3.2 Gallon, Hydroponic Cleaning Tank, Fish Feeds The Plants and The Plants Clean The Tank
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Now, it’s time for the last one in my list! Joyfay self-cleaning fish tank is a convenient, easy-to-clean fish tank that requires very little effort on your part. The aquarium garden is a mini fish and vegetable symbiosis system, where fish, plants and microbes can co-exist. Fish produce waste, which is then absorbed by the plants by microbes. This process helps nourish the plants and purifies the water at the same time. As a result, your fish can always stay in a healthy environment, and you are saved from the stress of continually cleaning the fish tank. For those who find aquarium maintenance a tedious and time-consuming task, this should provide a solution to their dilemma.
One more beneficial feature of the product is its automatic siphon design. This results in a natural oxygen supply cycle every 30 seconds, which allows the root of the plants to breathe and bring life to your finned friends’ living habitat.
Joyfay water garden self-cleaning fish tank is ideal for Betta fish and can grow many different kinds of plants. Some plants that work well include green onions, bamboo, and basil.
That being said, the fish tank does have a few cons. The filter is somehow loud, which can be resolved by only opening it half way. In addition, if you want to raise tropical fish in this aquarium, then an additional heating device is necessary.
How to pick the best self-cleaning fish tanks and aquariums?
Due to the availability of several self-cleaning fish tanks nowadays, choosing the most appropriate one for you can prove to be a brain-hacking process. However, as long as you put the following factors into consideration, I’m sure you will be able to do it.
As mentioned before, there are two main types of self-cleaning fish tanks: gravity-based and aquaponics. The former option is suitable for children, teenagers and newcomers, as such tanks are generally inexpensive and easy to use. In exchange, one is pretty small and may only sustain a single betta, tetra or goldfish.
On the other hand, aquaponics tanks are recommended for more serious aquarists. Their elegant designs make them the perfect décor items for homes, offices and shops. Not to mention, the symbiotic relationship between plants and fish makes such aquariums extremely appealing to nature lovers and those who have an interest in science. For science classrooms, this fish tank should be a great motivator for your students.
When it comes to fish tank’s materials, there are 3 main choices: plastic, acrylic and glass.
– Plastic: Plastic and acrylic are pretty much the same; however, plastic tanks are smaller and cheaper, but less durable than acrylic tanks. For this reason, plastic tanks are generally meant for beginners.
– Acrylic: Acrylic is often the preferred material over glass. An acrylic tank is proven to be much lighter and more impact resistant than a glass one, which ensures that you can enjoy its benefits for much longer. What’s more, acrylic is customizable and can be molded to form many different shapes.
Everything comes with a price, though. Acrylic tanks are more expensive, so those on a budget may be hesitant to buy one. Not to mention, some type of acrylic can yellow over time, so you should ask the manufacturer for more details about this.
-Glass: Glass tanks are the cost-effective solution. The material is scratch-resistant, which saves you from the worry of potential damage caused when the fish tank comes in contact with sharp objects. It is also less prone to discoloring (or “yellowing) than acrylic. However, it is the inferior choice when it comes to lightweight and durability.
Depending on your budget, experience and preference, you may want to switch between these 3 materials.
Design features such as the lighting system, filtration (if any) and power fittings are also something you should examine. Generally, you want a fish tank with a reliable LED lighting system and filtration mechanism. If the aquarium comes with an air pump, makes sure that it is silent enough to avoid causing disturbance.
Size & Shape
Due to the self-sustaining operation, self-cleaning fish tanks are generally small. However, to provide enough space for your fish to comfortably swim around, a tank with a capacity of at least 2 gallons is recommended.
The shape of the tank is also an important factor, as even a low capacity can provide a large surface area for the fish to move around. For example, regular rectangular fish tanks are said to hold more water than round and hexagon ones. In exchange, the former option is not as good in terms of aesthetic value.
There are some other factors that you may want to consider as well. For instance, consider buying packages that contain lots of accessories (such as remote control for LED lights, water conditioners, and feed samples), as it makes setting up and maintaining the fish tank much easier.
Another important consideration is the manufacturer’s warranty and service support. To ensure the best support from them, you should prioritize buying products of authorized sellers.
When it comes to low-maintenance fish-keeping, nothing beats a self-cleaning fish tank. If you are a busy fish lover who struggles to spend time taking care of your finned friends’ living habitat, or finds such task extremely tedious, then such an aquarium should provide a solution to your dilemma.
The above-mentioned fish tanks are chosen based on my own experience, so you should have little worry about their quality. Just study their features and my buying guide, and I’m sure that you will be able to find a suitable aquarium for you.