Best Canister Filters: Which One Will Transform Your Fish Tank Water?

Wouldn’t it be great to have that clear aquarium water that we see in professional aquariums? The fish look great in their tanks.

Upgrading to a canister filter could unravel the secrets of crystal clear water. This gives us another question to answer though:

What really is the best canister filter to transform my fish tank?

There are so many good canister filters out there and this makes the job of choosing the right one for your current or new tank a difficult task.

In this guide, I am going to demystify canister filters and show you my recommendations. By applying these tips you will be able to choose the best canister filter for your tank.

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EHEIM Classic 250 Review: Is This The Best Canister Filter?

When it comes to finding the best external canister filter, a simple search online will most likely come up with the EHEIM filter. Many people who adore aquariums will tell you that the EHEIM model is one of the best around.

It’s considered to be a filter that works effectively and fast. Numerous users have mentioned how they are pleased with how well it works. But if you’re a little apprehensive before making a purchase, take a look through this EHEIM Classic 250 review that will give you a better idea of all the positives and negatives about the EHEIM canister filter.

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AquaClear 70 Power Filter Review: The Superior Filter For Your Fish Tank

So you need a new aquarium filter, well today I am sharing my AquaClear 70 Power Filter Review.

Fish tanks are messy places. If you do not install the correct filter your fishes could be in great danger.

Let’s face it nobody wants to swim in their own pee or poop.

The problem with fish is that they are not only swimming in it.

They are living in it.

You need a filter strong enough to filter the bad bacteria but you also need to build up good bacteria to keep your water quality in top condition.

The is where the Aquaclear 70 Power filter comes in.

This is one aquarium filter brand that pops up time and time again. Is it for good reason though?

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Best Fish Tank Filters For Your Goldfish Tank

What really is the best fish tank filters for goldfish? A clean and safe tank starts with a good filtration system.

Whether you keep goldfish, tropical fish or marine fish a filter is always required.

Not only is a filter a must for your tanks health but having a good system will also reduce the amount of work that you have to do.

It will not eliminate cleaning or water changes but it will greatly reduce the amount you have to do.

Fish are living beings.

They produce waste.

Without the best fish tank filter, these little guys are left swimming around in their own pee and poop.

How would you feel in these conditions?

The problem most face is that there is so much choice out there.

What filter should you choose?

I am going to reveal all as I show you how to choose the best fish tank filters for your goldfish tank. I have shown other filters that are more suited to reef tanks but it’s to give you a better overview.

My Recommendations For The Best Fish Tank Filters

ImageNameType RatingCustomer Reviews
Image of the AquaClear 70 reviewAquaClear 70 Power FilterHang On Back FilterEase Of Use: 5/5
Aesthetics: 5/5
Filtration: Good if you choose the correct size for your tank.
Size: Fits on back of tank meaning no lost swim space.
Total Score: 9/10
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Eheim Classic Filter ReviewEheim Classic Filter 2217Canister FilterEase Of Use: 4/5
Aesthetics: 3/5
Filtration: Powerful Filter with space for plenty of filter media.
Size: Big but can be stored in cupboard.
Total Score:8/10
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Lees Premium Undergravel Filter ReviewLee's 30 Premium Undergravel FilterUndergravel FilterEase Of Use: 4/5
Aesthetics: 5/5
Filtration: Great at catching stubborn debris from gravel but not as powerful as a HOB or canister filter.
Size: Will consume some tank space as it sits under the gravel. Not much though.
Total Score: 6/10
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Bacto-Surge High Density Foam FilterBacto-Surge High Density Foam FilterSponge FilterEase Of Use: 3/5
Aesthetics: 3/5
Filtration: Great additional filter but the other types are stronger as a standalone. This filter is great when used with an air pump and very affordable.
Size: Will consume some tank space as it sits in the water.
Total Score: 7/10
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Penn Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter reviewPenn Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter Internal FilterEase Of Use: 3/5
Aesthetics: 3/5
Filtration: If you want a powerful filter at half the price of a canister then this could do the trick. It is powerful but i don't like filters that sit in tank.
Size: Will consume some tank space as it sits in the water.
Total Score: 8/10
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Lifegard Fluidized Bed FilterLifegard Fluidized Bed FilterFluidized Bed FiltersEase Of Use: 2/5
Aesthetics: 5/5
Filtration: They are great powerful filters with very little maintainance if setup correctly. Unfortunately there is not a lot of information available about them.
Size: External Filtration.
Comments: I have heard that the bottom seal can leak on these so but i have also seen great reviews too.
Total Score: 4/10
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Why Do You Need A Filter

I hear from a lot of new fish keepers ask do goldfish need a filter? Most actually believe that goldfish don’t and they meticulously clean the tank on a weekly basis to satisfy their need to feel like they are caring for their fish.

Would you sit in your own excrement?

Fish are just like us… they produce waste material that they have to excrete from their little fishy bodies.

When you have the best fish tank filter this can be filtered out. It doesn’t mean that they are a solution to save you cleaning the tank. They will, however, minimize the amount of cleaning you have to do.

The filter also holds onto good material that helps to keep the water in check.

Ammonia is one of the most dangerous substances produced by fish. Inside your filter is media that will hold onto good bacteria that will convert this into a safer product.

A filter is so important to any species of fish kept in a tank. It’s also nice to listen to the trickle of water from the filter (a home waterfall).

Or is that just me?

Types Of Filtration

Your filter has a job to do, it has to filter the water of any crap. To do this the water has to go through a vigorous system.

Water enters the filter and mechanical filtration begins. It then moves through the biological filter media to catch the rest. If you want to be super cautious you can add a chemical filtration (activated carbon) to catch any rogue particles or bacteria.

Mechanical Filtration: This is the physical process where particles and waste matter are removed from the fish tanks water.

Biological Filtration: This happens when the good bacteria break down the ammonia in the tank. Ammonia is converted all the way to nitrate. This is much safer to the fish as they can tolerate large amounts of Nitrate.

You should keep your eye on the biological filtration to make sure that no particles have got through the mechanical filtration process.

Chemical Filtration: Out of the three this is the least important. No fish will die if this isn’t carried out. You can add activated carbon to the filter to remove organic pollutants, which cannot be handled by biological or mechanical filtration.

The problem with carbon is that it will release all the bad bacteria when it comes to the end of its lifespan.

Types Of Filters

I hope you understand the importance of that little machine that sits on in the tank now. Fish need to hold onto that good bacteria and they need the impurities and dirt removed.

Filters come in so many forms and choosing the right one will help keep your tank in tip-top condition.

Undergravel Filter

This is exactly what it sounds like. The under gravel filter uses the gravel as the mechanical filtration. It does this as it is fitted under the gravel.

This is like a big plastic box. You simply put it on the floor of the tank and then add the aquarium gravel on the top. The water is drawn through the gravel and this is the mechanical stage.

Most of the work done by the filter its self is primarily biological. If you have purchased one with activated carbon you will also have a chemical process.

One benefit of this aquarium filter is that when you siphon the tank you will lift the debris from the filter. This will reduce the effort on the cleaning side of things.

Lees Premium Undergravel Filter Review

These filters are easy to fit and can do a great job of catching stubborn debris. You can see the product specs here.

Hang On Back Filter

These are the most common and my favorite two as they do not take up much of the swim space from the fish.

These hang on the back of the tank and have a tube/pipe that extends into the water.

In my opinion, these are the best fish tank filter for most tanks.

Water is sucked into the filter where the mechanical process starts. This is usually some filter floss or a filter pad. Next, the water will pass through the carbon.

After chemical is biological which occurs in the filter cartridge. A large number of beneficial bacteria from within the filter cartridge and this is what causes the biological filtration. The success of this process depends on the amount of oxygen within the aquarium.

Once the water has been through the filtration stages it is returned back into the tank. The AquaClear is a great filter and I love the waterfall effect as the water is pumped back into the tank.

If you have a newer filter you may have a bio wheel. This is where your filter cartridge will carry out biological filtration as the water passes over them.

Image of the AquaClear 70 review

If you think that a hang on back filter is best for your tank then you should check out my AquaClear 70 review here.

Canister Filter

These are a very popular type of filter for aquariums. They do a fantastic job due to the size of them. If your tank is over 40 gallons these are a great choice.

They sit outside the tank and can be snuggly tidied away in a cabinet. A tube or pipe is then fitted into the tank and this will siphon the water through the filter.

Due to the sheer size of these, you can add larger amounts of filter media. This makes their mechanical, biological and chemical filtration a lot more successful.

Mechanical has an extra boost due to the canisters being pressurized. This helps force the water through finer materials which will catch smaller particles.

Unfortunately, there is no air to water contact which will reduce its biological filtration capabilities. Having said this, the power of the mechanical and chemical help do a fantastic job.

Eheim Classic Filter Review

What is the best canister filter for your tank? Checkout my Eheim Classic Filter 250 Review.

Sponge Filters

These aren’t the best on their own but will work for really small tanks with small fish. For example, breeding tanks, nurseries, hospital tanks etc…

They work by attaching an air pump which forces the water through the sponge-like material. This is the mechanical part of the process.

The beneficial bacteria live on the sponge and this is what creates the biological part of the process.

If the sponge is getting dirty simply use some tank water to clean the sponge. See the Bacto Surge High-Density Filter if you are looking for a strong sponge filter

Internal Filters

These are only really good for smaller tanks where the fish swim size will not be compromised. So if you have a 10-gallon tank and 4 guppies then this would be an ok filter for the tank.

The problem with these filters is that they sit directly in the tank. Like I said this will reduce the swim space.

It is best to place these at the bottom of the tank because that means the debris doesn’t get time to settle.

Always check the filter when you buy, some of these may require an air pump to produce the water movement up through the filter.

Penn Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter review

Penn Plax do a great range of internal filters, that have a really powerful filtration system.

Wet/Dry Filters

These act like an overflow.

The water will rise and trickle over the filter media. This is why they are sometimes known as a Trickle filter. The excess water may fall into a sump where the filtration process begins.

There is a drain pipe that channels the water to a drain pipe. The water will trickle through the biological media and then it is moved to the sump where it can be pumped back into the tank.

As the water enters the tank it will cause the tank to overflow and the process begins again.

This video shows you the type of filtration a sump could offer. The CPR 500 is a fantastic wet/dry filter to get started with.

Fluidized Bed Filters

These provide a biological filtration system similar to an under gravel filter.

Nitrifying bacteria colonies grow on the surface of the particles of sand in the bed, and process ammonia and Nitrite into Nitrate as the water passes through the filter.

The water needs to be pumped up through the filter which causes it to fluidize. Just beware these do not usually come with a water pump. That means you will have to buy one so that the process can begin.

Sand and water are constantly being pushed up the filter but because of the weight of sand, it will fall back to the floor. The water continues up and the filtered water is expelled back into the tank.

Lifegard Fluidized Bed Filter

Keep your eye on the sand bed as this can become stagnant, it may take years but be aware.

Choosing The Best Filter

So now you know what kind of filters exist in the aquarium market. This still leaves one question though…

How do I choose the best fish tank filter?

Should I choose a HOB or canister filter?

The first thing to think about is the size of your tank. A small filter will not be strong enough to filter a 100-gallon goldfish tank. Luckily filter manufacturers do a good job of telling us how much water that the filter can cope with.

They print this on the box. It will tell you the recommended aquarium size and they will tell you how many gallons per hour the filter can handle.

Personally, I ignore their size recommendation. Having said that I do pay attention to the gallons per hour.

Goldfish are messy they produce a bucket load waste. This means that to sufficiently filter the aquarium you need a filter that can go through your tank about 10 times an hour.

So for a 45-gallon aquarium, you would need a fish tank filter that can cope with 450 gallons per hour.

Don’t follow the tank size recommendation on the box of your filter because these tend to be aimed at tropical fish. These freshwater fish produce a lot less waste.

These freshwater fish produce a lot less waste in comparison to Goldfish.

Is One Filter Enough For Your Tank

By now you know that your tanks filter has to be able to filter your tank about 10 times per hour. If you have a large 100-gallon aquarium that would mean your filter would have to filter 100 gallons per hour.

This would be a  hard filter to find.

In this case, you would need to purchase another filter. This will give you a more powerful filtration system.

That is not the only reason you may consider a dual filter system. Having two filters gives you a backup should one of your filters fail.

Fair enough if one failed it wouldn’t be strong enough. IT is still better to have some sort of filtration than none. In the case of a  failure, it is only a short-term thing.

Always strive to get the two up and running again.

How To Install Your Filter

For most filters, it really is a matter of taking out the box. Then add the filtration media and fix to the tank. When your filter is in place plug-in and go.

If you have a more technical filtration system you might need to do a bit more though.

Here is a step by step setup for a canister filter…

Step One: Unbox your new canister filter.

Step Two: Add the filter media to the filter. Sounds easy enough.

Step Three: Add the siphon to the tank and attach to the in outlet of the canister filter.

Step Four: Add the pump tube and attach to the out outlet of the filter.

Step Five: Plug in and let your filter build up its good bacteria.

See even a complicated system is pretty much plug and play.

Now You Know How To Choose The Best Fish Tank Filters

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to choose the best fish tank filters for your goldfish tank. Remember goldfish are serial waste producers, this means your tank filter must be able to do 10 cycles of your tank per hour.

This will help keep that tank looking pristine.

If your filter can’t cope with that kind of filtration then consider adding a second filter to pick up the rest.

Two filter filtration systems are pretty common, especially with goldfish.

The biggest takeaway… never underestimates the importance of your tanks filtration system. When choosing the best fish tank filters always strive to reach the 10x GPH or go over and above it.

 

 

Fluval 45 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium Review: Perfect For Fancy Goldfish

If you are looking to start your very first fish tank then this is my Fluval 45 Gallon Bow Front aquarium review.

The majority of starter kits are just too small for goldfish most are between 10-20 gallons. This is just too small for goldfish. With the 20 you could only house one of the smaller species of goldfish.

With this premium starter kit, you have a very flexible kit. You can house 2 fancy goldfish or an array of tropical fish. Freshwater fish not your thing, this tank would cope really well as a saltwater aquarium.

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Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit Review: All Is Revealed

Today I reveal all with my Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit Review. See what you get, is it worth it and what exactly can you keep in it.

Starting your fish keeping journey can be an expensive project to start. However, if you start small you can find the passion and learn the skills needed to fall in love with it.

Fish are a great way to reduce stress, they are very low maintenance once the tank is cycled and set up and not mention a blast to sit and watch.

They do really have a little personality of their own.

This aquarium kit is a great place to start as it is a relatively low-cost aquarium in comparison to a larger tank.

Let me show you what you get with this aquarium kit in the Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit Review.

What Exactly Do You Get With This Kit

When you get your box you pretty much have everything you need to get going. Your basic tank kit will include…

  • The tank
  • A Guide
  • Heater
  • Power Filter
  • Fish Food
  • Fish Net
  • Water Conditioner
  • Thermometer
  • LED Light

Whats Inside The Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit

As you can see it pretty much is setup and go. You will have to buy some sort of water stabilizer or do ammonia cycle prior to adding fish. This just builds up a colony of good bacteria to protect your fish and control ammonia levels in the tank.

When you clean and set it up it will be pretty empty as you have no decor or substrate. I would suggest you get this at the same time if you really want to get it started.

For me natural is always best, I think it just looks nicer. The fish will not give a crap though. So if a Nemo shaped stone is what you want then go for it.

So if a Nemo shaped stone is what you want then go for it.

One thing on decor. When you add it you are decreasing the size of the tank so try not to clutter the tank. In my opinion, a clutter-free minimalist tank will keep your fish more happy than a jam pack color fest!

Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit Review

What Else Do You Need To Get Started

Now that you have the tank and all the basics you are good to get it setup out of the box. Just remember to let the water stabilize before you add any fish.

I recommend you buy SeaChem Stability and add the recommended dose for 7 days prior to adding fish. This is designed to start your new tanks nitrogen cycle by building up a colony of good bacteria.

It is a lot sturdier than other brands but the downside is that it takes longer to build up. Having said that, when it is ready it is a lot more resilient.

Test your water on day 7. If you see any strange things like high PH, ammonia, nitrites then continue. Once the ammonia and nitrites are gone you can add fish.

A lot of people tend to panic when they see the PH off. This is normal in new tanks just carry on with the cycle for a few days extra. With PH you are looking for stability more than anything else.

If it is way off then you can buy a buffer but strive for stability more than a specific number

You should now have your pretty tank and decor all setup and ready for fishes.

All chemicals added?

Test your water to make sure your water is good. If it’s looking good it is time to decide on the fish you can add.

What Fish Can You Keep With In This Setup

A 10-gallon tank is pretty small. This means you have to look at smaller varieties of fish for your new tank.

In this article about goldfish tank size, I mentioned that for every inch of fish you need 1 gallon of water. So for this tank, you will be able to handle 10inches of fish.

The Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit can probably handle one goldfish but if your water gets cloudy then you will need to upgrade your filter. When I say goldfish I mean the fancy type this is too small for common goldfish.

If this was my tank I would be looking at Guppies, Rosy Barbs, Tetras, Snails and Dwarf Frogs.

This could easily house 5 tetras or guppies without a problem.

Read More: How To Start A Guppy Fish Tank

The Aqueon 10G Aquarium Kit Good Points

So is it worth buying the Aqueon starter kit? Well, it depends on your expectations. I would definitely buy this tank if I wanted a low-cost tank that could house guppies or tetras.

If you have an idea on the fish you would like to keep you need to make sure that they can be housed comfortably.

  • The tanks is made from a clear glass (my favorite material for tanks as it doesn’t bow). There is also no tinting on the tank walls.
  • The LED that is included with this tank really does enhance the look of the tank. LED is such a nicer light in my opinion. Fluorescent can make the tank walls look yellow.
  • I love the feature on the filter where a light will come on when the cartridge needs to be changed.  The Filter supplied does a great job of keeping your water free from dangerous bacteria. Just remember your water changes.
  • All the equipment you need to get setup quickly, just remember to cycle your tank.

Hood Of The Aqueon 10G Aquarium Kit

The Bad Points About The Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit

I’m not here to sell this tank to you, I am here to tell you my honest thoughts. That means I have no worries telling you what I did not like. There were a few things that really bug me about this aquarium kit.

  • First is the heater. It is preset at 78 degrees, so you have to choose fish that are happy at this temperature or that don’t need a heater. It does state that it can keep the temperature constant. This is half a point to the heater.
  • The hood and lighting are not very flexible. You have to fit the filter in the center of the tank.
  • You can not upgrade your lighting. This means that you can’t use this for a saltwater tank.
  • Their getting started guide says that it is ok to add fish after 24 hours. (This is my goldfish getting started guide) For a new fish keeper, this could lead to an early death as they don’t have a properly cycled tank.

My Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit Review

In my review, I have laid it all out for you so that you can choose if this 10-gallon fish tank is right for you. Always do your research first, once you know the type of fish you may find you need a bigger tank.

If you are looking to house fancy goldfish I would recommend getting a 30-40 gallon tank. This will easily house two fancy goldfish. If you go for the latter this will give them some more room to play. Here are my goldfish tank recommendations!

If guppies and tetras are your things then this tank will get you up and running in no time. It has all the basics that you need.

For me, I think sinking fish pellets are better than the food provided. However, you could use the flakes up and then move on to the pellets.

The biggest takeaway from this.

Never add fish after 24 hours, always use add some good bacteria such as SeaChem Stability. Do this for 7 days and test the water.

If you are good to go then add your fish. It really annoys me that a respected brand should print that it is safe to add fish after 24 hours.

I hope this Aqueon LED 10G Aquarium Kit review has been helpful to you.

 

The Best Fish Tanks For Your Goldfish For 2018

What are the best fish tanks out there for your new fish?

Is it Sea Clear tanks?

Or maybe Aqueon?

Let’s face it, we all want to make our goldies happy and healthy and giving them the perfect home is the first step.

When I got my first goldfish the tank I had was nowhere near as big as it should have been. It was my first tank, I hadn’t done the research and the pet store was just happy to get the sale.

It’s shocking these are living creatures!

Pet stores really should educate more.

Needless to say, my fish lasted about 72 hours… I was devastated!

What did I do wrong when I was setting up my tank?

The death of my first goldie wasn’t all down to a small tank. It was a contributing factor, though. I actually think I made every mistake in the book.

When browsing the best fish tanks for your new fish you really have to consider a few things first…

NameImageRatingValue For Mone ($ = Best $$$$$ = Worse)Check It Out
Sea Clear 20 gal Acrylic TankSeaClear 20 gal Acrylic Aquarium reviewSuccessful Aquarium give this tank 3.5 out of 5 stars$$$Check It Out Here
Fluval 45 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium KitFluval 45 Gallon Bow Front ReviewSuccessful Aquarium give this tank 4 out of 5 stars$$Check It Out Here
Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting 55 GallonAqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting ReviewSuccessful Aquarium give this tank 3.5 out of 5 stars$$$$Check It Out Here
CAD Lights 60 Gallon True Cube Versa Series AquariumCAD Lights 60 Gallon True Cube Versa Series Aquarium ReviewSuccessful Aquarium give this tank 4 out of 5 stars$$Check It Out Here
80 Gallon Starfire Aquariums with Center Overflow80 Gallon Starfire Aquariums with Center Overflow ReviewSuccessful Aquarium give this tank 5 out of 5 stars$$Check It Out Here

Now that you know what to avoid and what to consider it is time to actually choose the best goldfish tank.

Remember size is the most important thing to consider. Choose the fish you want to keep and then buy a tank that will satisfy their needs.

If your fish get’s too big for your tank then this hobby could get a lot more expensive.

Here are my top 5 home aquarium reviews…

Sea Clear 20 gal Acrylic Tank

SeaClear 20 gal Acrylic Aquarium review

First up on the list is the SeaClear 20 Gallon Acrylic Aquarium and you can find it here. SeaClear is known for creating super lightweight tanks and have really made a name for themselves when it comes to quality fish tanks amongst aquarists.

This tank is super durable and a lot stronger than it’s glass counterparts. It is made from a sturdy acrylic making very resistant to impact. If you have other pets or children you can sleep easy knowing that your fish will be safe. Being made from acrylic makes it the perfect choice to protect your family. The rounded edges makes it a safer alternative to the sharp corners you will find with glass.

The SeaClear 20-gallon tank comes in a range of different shapes such as rectangular, show and hex. All the tanks in this range are made from the finest acrylic and they come with invisible seams which will help to prevent leakage.

You can choose from a clear, black or cobalt blue finish making it a flexible choice to suit the decor for most homes. The tank measures in at 24 x 13 x 16 inches and weighs about 20 pounds without water.

This range is safe for freshwater and saltwater fish but it is on the small size. If it were me I would stock this aquarium with guppies or mollies. If goldfish are more your thing then it could house one of the fancy fan tailed goldfish.

Fluval 45 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium Kit

Fluval 45 Gallon Bow Front Review

For a bigger variety of goldfish or 2 smaller varieties then you need a bigger fish tank. One that can handle the copious amounts of waste that goldfish deliver. I turn to the premium Fluval brand for this one, so the next on my best fish tank list is the Fluval 45 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium Kit.

This aquarium is made from a durable acrylic and measures in at 36 inches long, 16 inches wide and 20 inches tall. Fluval also offers a stand that compliments the design of this bow front aquarium.

As this is a kit you are also blessed with a power filter that is quiet and a breeze to install. A filter is a must for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It is capable of cycling 264 gallons of water per hour helping to keep your water crystal clear. If you want more power you can check out my AquaClear 70 review here.

A heater is also supplied in this kit. Not a big deal for goldfish as they thrive in a cooler temperature. However, if you want to stock your tank with a tropical fish then a heater is imperative.

It is kitted out with a sleek hood that has low profile LED lights, these give your tank a stunning glow and feel. They really add to that clear natural look that so many aquarists crave.

Goldfish don’t care too much about lighting but remember to turn it off so you don’t mess with their circadian rhythm.

The kit has everything you need and if you did want to add extra filters like a canister filter the hood is flexible enough to do so. Same with the LED lights. There is space in the hood to upgrade them if needed.d.

Check Out My Full Fluval 45 Gallon Bow Front review.

Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting

Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting Review

Aqueon is another well-known brand amongst aquarists and the Aqueon Starter kit is the next tank on our list. This is not just a tank though it is a full starter kit. So you can set this up when it arrives. This tank has pushed above its predecessor on the deluxe list and has made the grade as a premium kit.

The 55-gallon tank stands at 48.25” Long x 12.75” Wide x 23.75” High and is made from a highly durable glass which makes it pretty sturdy. An ideal choice for freshwater or saltwater aquariums.

When you open its eye-catching packaging you find all the essentials to get your large aquarium started including water conditioner, fish food, accessories and a comprehensive setup/start guide. It also has an LED lamp fitted to the hood to light your aquarium.

In my eyes, the LED light gives it the edge with so many other brands only offering a fluorescent lamp.

Come on guys it’s 2018!

Next in the kit is the QuietFlow Power filter that simply hangs on the back. No swim space is lost and no dangerous obstacles added. The model the tank comes with can handle the filtration for a 90-gallon tank so you can be sure your 55 gallons will be ultra clear.

If you are looking to house goldfish you could comfortably house one common or two of the fancy variety.The tank size adds a lot of flexibility when choosing the fish for your new aquarium.

CAD Lights 60 Gallon True Cube Versa Series Aquarium

CAD Lights 60 Gallon True Cube Versa Series Aquarium Review

The CAD Lights 60-gallon True Cube has become a firm favorite amongst the saltwater enthusiasts. The true cube measures at 23.5 inches long, 23.5 inches wide and 23.5 inches tall making it the perfect nano reef tank.

Is that to say it can’t be used for freshwater?

Not at all!

This is a very versatile tank and could house two common goldfish or a selection of tropical fish. With bigger tanks, you definitely have more options but try and keep to the 1 gallon of water for 1 inch of fish.

It isn’t a perfect calculation but it will give you a rough idea of what to stock your tank with.

The CAD Lights Cube is made from a beautiful clear glass and has a compartment for a filter that is blacked out. I feel the black paint makes it look and feel more natural.

In deep waters there isn’t much light and visibility would be reduced. The black paint gives this feel.

The glass used in this tank is ionized to boost clarity and reduce tinting. Not to mention it has polished edges to make it seamless and to boost clarity even more.

The cube comes with a fitted canopy which helps stop jumping fish but it will also slow evaporation. Just remember to keep the tank away from direct sunlight.

If you are looking to explore more advanced filtering options you then you are in luck as this tank comes with a sump. It is located in the cabinet and has chambers so that you can use other components from other brands.

Whether you want to stick to freshwater or move to a marine setup this tank gives you that versatility.

80 Gallon Starfire Aquariums with Center Overflow

80 Gallon Starfire Aquariums with Center Overflow Review

We are getting into the types of tanks where size isn’t your main issue. It is also easier to manage water quality and maintain the temperature. This brings us to the 80-Gallon Starfire Aquarium that measures 32 inches long by 24 inches wide by 24 inches tall.

This aquarium is made from a 10mm thick glass to deal with the water pressure. The glass is super clear and the edges are polished.

It has a built-in overflow that comes with a pre-drilled drain and return holes that you can connect to your sump. Not to mention a 1-inch drain bulkhead and a half inch return bulkhead are included too. 

It also comes with 1 inch Drain Bulkhead and half inch return bulkhead and return T Pipe and Loc Lines, Durso Stand Pipe.

You can get straight to raising most species of fish with this sturdy and durable tank.

This tank is popular amongst saltwater aquarists but could easily house a few common goldfish. Just remember to really focus on the filtration system. Commons are big fish and they are mega waste producers.

I do like easy to go systems and this definitely is worth a look. This is a big tank and when loaded with water it will be too heavy for most home surfaces. 

A stand has to be considered with this one.

Choosing The Best Fish Tank – The Ultimate Buyers Guide

Choosing your first fish tank can be a daunting task.

Will your new fish love it or will they hate it?

Will it satisfy their needs or will it ruin their sanity?

It is imperative that you do your research and understand what your new fish will need. When you know what your new fish need to survive your job of maintaining the tank will be a lot easier.

You would think that it be easy to choose a big tank but you have to be aware that not all tanks are created equally. Some are made from the best materials and other have a lot to desired.

For example, some aquariums have ionized glass which will boost clarity.

If you want to know how to choose a good fish tank then you have to know what to look for. By understanding what the features are you can make a better decision for you and your fish.

Consider The Fish Before You Buy Your New Tank

So you have made a decision to buy your first fish tank. The only problem is there are loads out there. Some are good, but some are pretty awful. To help whittle it down you have to consider the needs of the fish inside.

When you understand what your fish need you can choose the best tank for them.

If you plan to start a mini ecosystem of freshwater or saltwater fish then it might be best to start with the biggest tank you can afford. Doing this will give you options to add more fish.

If this is your first tank though I would pick one or two species and master aquarium care.

Let’s bring in an example…

You decide you want to keep two fancy goldfish. To comfortably house these you are going to be looking at around a tanks size of 30-40 gallon. Goldfish love to hide and play, the more room you give them the more satisfied they will be.

Would you like a more tropical example?

You decide you want 4 guppies and an angelfish. Angelfish can get quite territorial in small tanks. Not great for these little dudes. For the angelfish you need 10 gallons, for the 4 guppies you will need 2 gallons per guppy, that’s 8 gallons.

So would an 18-gallon tank be enough?

Well like I said, angelfish can be territorial, I would add an extra 10 gallons for safety.

For this example, I would recommend a 30-gallon tank or more.

Now you know what kind of fish you will keep it is time to look at the actual tanks.

Fish Tank VS Fish Bowl or Condo VS Insane Asylum

Yeah, I get it fish bowls and crazily shaped tanks look cool, all retro and that! What if I told you that you were causing the fish in question mental distress.

Would you still want that cool bowl?

You are disturbing your little goldfish, in a jail cell.

There are a lot of sleek-looking tanks that are practical and a lot more suitable for the fish that they choose.

In case I haven’t put you off fish bowls yet, here are a few reasons I don’t recommend fish bowls.

Less Oxygen: Oxygen has to get into your fish tank. Now let’s look at a bowl… the top is very narrow. A tank, on the other hand, has a large opening. This is where oxygen will get in. With a bowl, your fish will not get as much oxygen.

Smaller Size: In shallow water, it is a lot harder to maintain stable water conditions. The temperature will change quicker in small bowls. Fish waste will contaminate the water faster. Choosing a tank will give you a deeper tank that will keep a more stable environment for your fish.

Further Reduced Swim Space: Filters are always required but for some fish so is a heater. These are quite bulky and adding these to a bowl will seriously reduce swim space. So the advertised size may be reduced when you add decor and necessary equipment.

Distorted Environment: Think of the last time you went to a funfair. Do you remember those mirrors that made you look all distorted? This is how the glass portrays you to your new fish. Scary… right?

Circular Swim Pattern: As bowls tend to be circular in shape this means the fish will develop a circular swimming pattern. This can lead to a curved spine for your fish.

So you might think these look great and quirky but this is not how the fish feels. At the end of the day would you like to live with these problems?

I most certainly wouldn’t!

Should You Choose A Glass or Acrylic Aquarium?

Once you have chosen the size of tank you can narrow down your selection even further. Fish tanks do not only come in all different sizes. Some are made from glass and others are made from acrylic.

But what is best for you?

This decision comes down to personal choice the majority of the time. Which style best suits your needs. Having said that there are some things that you should consider when choosing a glass or acrylic aquarium.

I have always favored glass myself. It has a that sleek, sexy and luxurious feel. Yeah, I just called a fish tank sexy. Glass, in my opinion, is the Hilton of the aquarium world.

But nowadays acrylic is still a pretty looking option too.

Here are some things that you should consider when choosing your next tank.

Scratches: With an aquarium, you want a clear viewing experience but scratches can occur. If these occur with glass they will be permanent but it is much harder to scratch glass. With acrylic, on the other hand, it scratches easily but can be easily fixed with an acrylic polishing kit.

The inhabitants of your tank may scratch your tank themselves especially if they have teeth or claws. This tends to affect acrylic more than glass.

Weight: You might think weight is irrelevant but if you move house or re-design your room you may have to move the fish tank. If you have glass this is going to be a lot heavier especially with water, decor and the fish.

Acrylic is lightweight in comparison

Breakages: Do you have young children or a big heavy dog? Is there a chance that they could knock the tank over? With glass, this will more than likely smash all over the place. Acrylic is a lot sturdier!

Pressure: When your tank is full of water there is a lot of pressure pushing on the tank walls. Glass is will be strong enough to take this pressure. Acrylic will more than likely bow over time.

With a higher quality acrylic, this could be a matter of years. You may also like the bow front look!

Light Refraction: Glass is normally thicker than acrylic so that in can support the water inside. This increases the refraction index meaning light will distort our view. This can cause the fish to look bigger than normal, misplaced or maybe a color to be slightly distorted. The thicker the glass the more noticeable the problem will be.

This is normally not an issue for a home or office aquarium

With acrylic the refraction index is the same as water meaning the light hasn’t bent the image as much. The only distortion would be to the location of your fish within the tank. The size and color of fish are normally true.

Clarity: Glass will hold it’s clarity over time. Need a panel replaced? You won’t notice the difference between old and new too much. Just the scratches on the older pieces. With acrylic on the other hand it can yellow over time. This is caused by a chemical reaction within the acrylic.

It is getting better in new tanks but it is still worth mentioning.

Creative: With glass, you are going to have to stick to cube or rectangle shapes. Acrylic is a lot more flexible you can create so many weird and wonderful shapes.

Cost may be the deciding factor and in most cases, a glass tank will be cheaper in some cases. It does depend on the quality of the material used.

 

Best Glass Aquariums

Other Equipment You Will Need For Your New Aquarium

So now that I have shown you my recommendations, you have to realize there are a few other things you will need. Starting your own little ecosystem is not a cheap business.  The good thing is once you are up and running it is a pretty low-cost operation to maintain the tank.

So let’s take a look at other things you will need to get for your fish.

Picking A Stand For Your Fish Tank

Now that you have the tank decided upon it is time to think about where it will live. If you plan to place it on a table you might have to reconsider.

Goldfish tanks are heavy… if it’s a glass aquarium an empty tank could make a table buckle.

If this is what an empty tank could do think of the difference when it is full of water, gravel, and decor.

You need to choose a stand that is able to hold the weight.

The good news is that these are pretty easy to find.

In fact, most tanks will come with a custom stand and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Whatever stand you chose you need to make sure it can withstand the weight of the finished tank.

CAD Lights 60 Gallon True Cube Versa Series Aquarium ReviewSome tanks like the CAD Lights 60 Gallon True Cube Versa Series include a nice cabinet can fit the decor of your house. This way it will blend with your decor.

Another selling point for cabinets is that you can hide your fish gear. All the pipes, cleaning materials, foods, sumps or whatever else you want to hide out the road.

Do not underestimate the stand… it is very important.

The biggest factor when choosing one is will it hold this goldfish tank.

The last thing you want is for the stand to buckle and your tank inhabitants to end up all over the floor.

Massive leak!

Do You Need Lights For Your Goldfish?

Most freshwater fish including goldies don’t really give a crap about lighting.

It is more for you and me.

So we can see these little guys.

If you are considering a saltwater aquarium then you will have to get fancy lighting but for goldies.

Any light will do.

I think that LED lights are so much nicer looking than fluorescent tubes but again it’s all down to personal preference.

One thing to remember is that you have to get your fish into a routine. If you just turn your lamp on when it suits you, well, you are going to screw up their day/night rhythm.

Pick a schedule to keep your light on and then turn it off at night time.

Don’t screw with their minds.

Protect Your Fish & Save Your Time With An  Aquarium Hood

If possible I always say get a hood.

It stops little fingers getting in and stressing your fish out. Kids might not understand that fish don’t like cuddles.

If you have a cat then a hood is a must… I have seen this first hand but look at these badass kitties tormenting the fishes…

If you don’t have a lid you will need to be more efficient with your water changes as dust can get in the tank and more sunlight too.

The last thing to consider is jumping fish.

I have never experienced this but I have seen it in videos and have heard from other aquarium lovers.

Your fish may become suicidal and try and jump the tank.

If you keep them happy though and give them lots of oxygen this should help reduce jumping.

Having said that some breeds of goldfish and other breeds like to jump.

The Best Fish Tanks Are The First Step To A Successful Habitat For Your New Fish

Now that you know what to consider when choosing the best goldfish tank you have the knowledge that I lacked. The knowledge that could have bought my little goldie a longer life.

Size really is the most important thing and I would always suggest that you buy the biggest fish tank that you can afford. This gives your fish plenty room but also gives you more options.

Want to add another goldfish?

Not a problem if you have the room to spare.

I get it bigger tanks are more expensive but goldfish love to swim, hide and dig about the bottom.

Check out the best fish tanks out there and your fish will have the best start in its new home and new life.