Buyer’s Guide: The Coolest Desktop Aquarium of 2020

Desk Gurus' Choice: Tetra LED Desktop Aquarium

You’re probably sitting in your office wishing you could travel to the Cayman Islands or to the Bahamas. But you have to work to get money to travel so the wish may not be achievable at this very moment.

But what if we told you that you could bring the peace and serenity of a holiday destination to your office? “How?” You may ask. The answer is simple: Get a desktop aquarium.

A desktop aquarium is much smaller than regular aquariums. It also goes by the name nano aquarium.

Fluval Corner Fish Tank

Research shows that a comfortable, pleasant environment can boost your productivity and job satisfaction.

This is why more and more employers are going to great lengths to enhance working environments for their employees.

Some add windows to offices, others add plants, while others allow their employees to customize their workspaces.

One way many people personalize their desks is by adding a plant or a desktop aquarium. A desktop aquarium is a stress reliever, a conversation starter, and a great décor object. 

If you’re thinking about getting a desktop aquarium for your desk, these are the best options in the market. They are sold by different companies and have varied features to cater for different preferences.

Comparison Table: The​​​​ Best Desktop Aquarium

The Best Desktop Aquarium


W x D x H (Inches)





Out of 5

Tetra Desktop Aquarium

10 x 10 x 10.51




Mini Fish Tank

11.6 x 11.8 x 17




Small Desk Aquarium

17.2 x 6.3 x 10.6



Aquarium for Desktop

12 x 12 x 12.5


Curved Glass


Betta Fish Aquarium

8 x 9 x 10



Curved Glass


LED Desktop Fish Tank

15 x 9 x 14.5





The Best Desktop Aquarium

The best-selling desktop aquarium of all time, you can’t go wrong with the Tetra LED desktop aquarium.

It makes a perfect home for tiny tropical fish as it is fitted with a Tetra 3i filter that keeps it ever clean. When it gets dark, turn on the LED light and see your fish without straining.

Tetra LED Desktop Aquarium

This 3-gallon desktop aquarium is perfect for offices, kitchens, classrooms, and dormitories. 

It looks good anywhere thanks to its transparent frame that offers a panoramic view of the fish and their natural habitat. 

You’ll enjoy displaying it in your home or office.

The aquarium is made of strong plastic that does not crack or shatter. On top of it is a feeding hole you can open when it’s time to feed your fish or clean the tank.

This beautiful desktop aquarium is ideal for tropical fish, betta fish, or goldfish. It is 10 inches wide, 10 inches deep, and 10.5 inches high. It features a pedestal base, a low-voltage power adapter, and comes with a setup guide.


  • The tank is perfect for betta fish
  • It has a modern, stylish look
  • It is fitted with an LED light that beautifully lights it up
  • Has a 3i power filter
  • Has a convenient feeding hole
  • It is perfect for different types of fish
  • Comes with a low-voltage power adapter
  • It does not take up a lot of space
  • It is easy to set up and the water stays clear
  • It is easily portable as it is made of plastic
  • It is easy to clean and maintain


  • The filter is bad and you’ll have to change it – thankfully, the aquarium can comfortably accommodate another filter
  • The tank doesn’t come with a betta heater so you’ll have to purchase one
  • It is made of acrylic material which tends to scratch easily
  • Its pump is quite loud and you’ll have to change it

An awesome accent piece for any home or office, the Marineland mini fish tank makes a room come to life. You’ll love its LED lighting system and concealed filtration.

It remains bright throughout the day and night because of its daylight and moonlight settings. It also has a portrait orientation hence you can put tall plants or ornaments inside it.

It features 3-stage filtration, and modifiable flow filter pump, Marineland Bio-Foam, and a Rite-Size Z cartridge.

Its energy-efficient LED light gives off bright white and blue light. It is hinged to offer easy access to the tank.

Use the 3-way switch to change the light to white, blue, or to turn it off.

Marineland Portrait Mini Fish Tank

The white LED light is designed to mimic sunlight’s underwater effect while the blue one radiates a calming moonlight glow. 

The mini fish tank has a sturdy base and a glass canopy you can slide to the back when you want to treat the water or to feed the fish. Rounded corners allow you to admire your fish from different angles.

The tank is easy to maintain and you won’t have a hard time assembling it.


  • The desktop aquarium has an advanced 3-stage filtration system
  • Its flow filter pump can be adjusted
  • Has both white and blue LED lighting
  • Its sliding canopy offers easy access to the tank
  • The solid glass cover and contoured corners make it a standout piece
  • The base is strong even though it’s made of plastic
  • The tank has a portrait orientation
  • The filter motor is not loud and the filter cartridges can be bought at pet shops with fish supplies
  • The switch plug is secure and water can’t get inside it
  • It can hold up to 5 gallons of water


  • The LED lights are very bright and may irritate your fish, you may have to modify the lighting system to decrease the light intensity
  • The plastic cover for the filter is delicate
  • The filter creates a strong current which may bother the fish
  • It’s difficult to clean the back of the tank by hand as the place for the filter is quite narrow and the parallel supports have sharp edges.

You can proudly call the Fluval desk aquarium your fish mansion and no one will argue with you – because it is!

It makes for a great desktop aquarium as it beautifully blends style and functionality. Do not look down on its small size as it is big on features. It has a powerful LED lighting system, a 3-stage filtration system, and it is made of etched glass.

Fluval Desk Aquarium

The mini fish tank holds up to 5 gallons of water and offers more space than other desktop aquariums.

It is long and narrow and can comfortably fit into a corner. It is a perfect accessory for desktops and countertops.

The desktop aquarium has a contemporary design and is made with scratch-resistant etched glass, unlike some aquariums that are made with cheap acrylic plastic.

The contemporary aquarium is ever bright thanks to its suspended LED lighting system that houses 37 lamps. The system hovers above the aquarium, beautifully illuminating the plants and décor. The filtration system and the pump occupy a separate chamber on one corner of the tank, making maintenance easy.

The desk aquarium has a strong circulation pump with an output nozzle that can be modified. Its large 3-step filtration system filters dirt and impurities, ensuring that the water remains clean and healthy at all times.

All the important filter media is provided. This includes activated carbon, a porous foam block, and BioMax bio rings. These work together to offer effective chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration.

This is the perfect tank for both novice and experienced aquarists. It makes a lovely home for betta fish, shrimp, and other tiny fish. You’ll need to get a heater for it, but it can accommodate a couple of stick heaters above its pump.


  • The desktop aquarium is made of highly-durable etched glass
  • It features an advanced 3-step filtration system
  • The effective filtration system ensures you don’t have to clean your tank every other day
  • The output nozzle for the circulation pump can be adjusted
  • The aquarium comes with important filter media like activated carbon, a porous foam block, and BioMax bio rings
  • It is more spacious than other desktop aquariums hence your fish will not be constricted
  • It has a quiet pump which makes it ideal for an office environment
  • It is very well-priced, considering its solid construction and excellent features


  • It doesn’t come with a heater
  • The pump may be too strong for betta fish, you may have to adjust it to the lowest setting
  • The LED lighting system may be too mild for some live plants
  • The light stops working after a while

Marineland is known for its great fish tanks, this one is no exception. It’s made using curved glass and features a LED lighting system that exudes both blue and white light.

The lights stunningly brighten up the aquarium during the day and night, allowing you to spend time with your fish whichever time of day.

Like its aforementioned counterpart, this aquarium for desktop has an advanced 3-stage filtration system that keeps it healthy and clean.

It also has a flow filter pump you can modify and a Rite-Size Z filter cartridge.

The cartridge screens out dirt and debris and has a ribbed back that enhances water-to-carbon contact. 

Once the carbon is activated inside the cartridge, it gets rid of impurities, discolorations, and bad odors.

Marineland Aquarium for Desktop

The gentle, sleek curves of the tank cleverly hide the filtration system. The 3-stage system works efficiently to provide a clean aquatic habitat at all times. 

You can obtain easy access to the interior thanks to the hinged rail light that gives off both white and blue light. Slide back the glass canopy over the aquarium to create a gap for feeding your fish or caring for the water.


  • The aquarium is well constructed
  • It has a high-quality glass cover
  • It is a stylish aquarium with a convenient rail light
  • It has energy-efficient LED lighting with daylight and moon settings
  • Features an advanced 3-step filtration system
  • It is easy to set up and use
  • Can hold up to 3 gallons of water
  • Its pump is virtually quiet
  • The back glass canopy gives quick access to the tank


  • It needs a water heater, especially one with a thermostat
  • You have to assemble the tank dry to see if you need to make changes before adding the water and fish
  • The LED light is of low quality
  • The back chamber is cramped
  • There is no option to have only the white lights on
  • You have to turn off the pump when feeding the fish or the food will spread all over the tank

If you’ve never owned an aquarium before, the Penn Plax betta fish aquarium is a good one to start with. It is perfect for any beginner aquarist.

It makes a perfect home for shrimp, betta, and other small fish and looks good on a desk, kitchen countertop, bookshelf, dresser, night stand, or any small space.

It comes with all the essential items to get you started: a fish net, a thermometer, a hang-on water filter, and a 2.7 gallon glass tank.

Penn Plax Betta Fish Aquarium

You don’t have to take your fish out with plastic cups, use the professional, high-quality nylon mesh net with a vinyl-covered handle. 

The thermometer helps you to know when your aquarium is too cold or too warm.

It has easy-to-read numbers and pressure-sensitive backing.

This desktop aquarium features a frameless design and is made with bent glass that gives you a panoramic view of the fish and their surroundings. It is 9 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 10 inches high.

A hinged lid gives you easy access to the tank. Open it whenever you want to feed your fish or clean the aquarium. The hang-on water filter with an adjustment flow setting that keeps the tank clean.

The adjustable flow setting is perfect for betta fish as they don’t like strong currents. The filter is quiet and its cartridges are easy to replace.

If you need plants and ornaments for your desktop aquarium, you can get the Penn Plax ones that go well with it. It is a perfect aquarium for both novices and experienced aquarists.


  • It is beautiful and modern
  • It’s made of bent glass and offers you extensive views
  • It is ideal for small fish like betta
  • Its plastic lid allows you to open and close it easily
  • It is perfect for a novice aquarist
  • It has special useful features like a fish net and thermometer
  • It holds up to 2.7 gallons of water
  • Has a quiet filtration system
  • The tank is solid and well constructed


  • Its plastic lid is flimsy
  • Its glass is not of high quality
  • The tank is devoid of light
  • The filter does not effectively filter dirt and impurities and the water gets murky quickly – you will need other filter media

Want to add color to your home or office? Get the GloFish LED desktop fish tank. It features a plastic cover with fluorescent colors that are sure to brighten up any room. The LED lights draw attention to the color of the fish and liven up the aquarium.

The 5-gallon desktop aquarium is ideal for all aquarists. It is shaped like a crescent and made of high-quality plastic. Its strong acrylic does not crack or break.

The tank boasts a high-quality filtration system with a Bio-Bag filter. 

The filter is very quiet and you'll hardly notice it as it does its work.

It has space for two small cartridges: 1 Bio-Clear and 1 Bio-Carb. Bio-Clear is for goldfish while Bio-Carb is for tropical fish (like GloFish).

GloFish LED Desktop Fish Tank

If you want to save money on cartridges, get a 15-pack or a 36-pack of cartridges. If you decide to put 2 cartridges in the tank, change a different cartridge every week. That way, you won’t remove all of the good bacteria from both filters at once.

This desktop aquarium will add color to your home or office.


  • ​​It is perfect for GloFish
  • It can easily fit into a corner as it is rounded at the front
  • It is made of strong acrylic
  • It has a good filtration system
  • Its filter can accommodate two cartridges
  • Has colorful LED lights which give it a lovely glow
  • It can hold up to 5 gallons of water


  • You may need to get a heater (depending on the fish you get)
  • The filter can suck very tiny GloFish
  • The additional things you need for the tank (like a bubbler and heater) make it difficult to put the lid on
  • The lid is delicate
  • The plastic used to make the tank is not of good quality

This gorgeous, contemporary fish tank is a perfect home for 3 betta fish, crustaceans, or other small fish. It has 3 separate compartments for each betta. Its cascading waterfalls and stylish curved design make it a great aquarium for any home or office.

The waterfall ensures there is a continuous flow of filtered water. The compartments have frosted panels which prevent the fish from seeing each other.

Aqueon Betta Fish Tank

The great thing about the compartments is that they are big enough and allow the betta fish to swim around. They are also small enough and don’t take a lot of space.

The tank uses Aqueon filtration. A medium-size filter cartridge is provided – as is food and water care samples. It has a fill indicator window that allows you to see the water level simply by glancing.


  • It can accommodate 3 betta fish
  • Its 3 compartments are spacious
  • The filter is powerful so you don’t have to clean the tank often
  • You can clean one tank at a time
  • The filtration system is not loud
  • The aquarium is easy to assemble
  • You can see the water level at a glance
  • The lighting system is bright enough to support some forms of plant life


  • It is not the best aquarium for small fish
  • The food you put in the upper tanks flows to the last one
  • The pump is loud and you may have to replace the pump hose with a heavier one
  • The water evaporates fast because of the waterfall
  • The waterfall is a little too powerful for small fish – you have to set the pump to its lowest setting
  • The plastic parts inside the tank do not last long
  • There is the possibility that the tank may bend over time and the cover will not fit as snugly

There you have it! These are the best desktop aquariums for your home or office. You don’t have to spend hours in your office wishing you could travel to a calm, serene destination, simply get a desktop aquarium. 

It will enhance the style of your office and make you look forward to going to the office each day – to see your fish and feed them!

While the best desktop aquarium for you depends on your budget and preferences, we highly recommend the Tetra, Marineland and Fluval tanks. They are top-notch tanks that offer great value for money. They all have excellent features and are well constructed. 

Each will adorn your home or office for a long time, saving you the hassle of calling customer care every time something breaks down. Get a desktop aquarium for yourself (you deserve it) and you’ll never have to know what it feels like to experience buyer’s remorse.

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