If you are a beginner, it is best to choose a tank which is small enough to be installed easily and big enough to develop its own aqua-system in the shortest time possible. This would imply that the minimum you should go for is a 20 gallon fish tank because this is beautiful enough to motivate you and at the same time you do not need to clean it often since it can take care of itself with the right support.

In this article, I will recommend you some of the best 20 gallon aquarium kits from various brands and help you to know some basic things you will need to set up a fish tank.

Best 20 gallon fish tank reviews

Marina LED 20 gallon aquarium kit

  • Marina LED aquarium kit5 star rating (5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: a 20 gallon fish tank made of long-lasting glass
  • Dimensions: 24″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.5″ H
  • Filtration: Marina Slim S20 clip-on filter with quick-change cartridges
  • Lighting: a natural daylight LED light incorporated into the canopy
  • Others: fish food, Aqua Plus water conditioner, cycle biological supplement, fish net, care guide.

The Marina LED aquarium kit is the best option for everyone from starters to the advanced hobbyists. It has satisfied most customers with its very clear glass tank, powerful filter and many other features needed for beginning hobbyists.

The Marina Slim S20 (a Hang-On-Back filter) is very quiet, smooth and doesn’t take up much space in your tank because it is placed and works behind the tank. It is also the most powerful piece that everyone wants to talk about this high-quality kit.

The filter is able to keep the tank clean and water clear for a long period with only a little maintenance. Many customers have reported that their pet fish are very happy and healthy because of the very clean environment provided by the filter.

Samples of fish food, Aqua Plus water conditioner and cycle biological supplement, a fish net, and a guide that are necessary for aquarium setup and maintenance are included in the kit.

The kit doesn’t come with a heater; however, you can easily shop for a cheap one online. A 100-watt aquarium heater will perfectly fit the tank.

With its very affordable price and being easy to set up following an aquarium care guide included, beginners could easily venture into the wonderful hobby of fish keeping. I strongly recommend the kit for any starters.

Check on Amazon.com

Read the full review of the kit: https://lovefishtank.com/marina-led-aquarium-kit/

Aqueon 20 gallon aquarium starter kit

  • Aqueon 20 gallon high aquarium starter kit4.5 star rating (4.5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: 20 gallon sealed glass tank
  • Dimensions: 24.25″ L x 12.5″ W x 16.75″ H
  • Filtration: Quiet Flow 10 LED Pro filter with filter cartridge.
  • Lighting: LED lighting system hidden under the hood
  • Heater: a 100W preset heater with thermometer
  • Additives: fish food, water conditioner, fish net.

This is a high-quality fish tank kit from Aqueon, it is a great choice for starter hobbyists, who want keep tropical fish.

The main tank is made of clear glass, its walls are sealed with epoxy resin. The construction is highly durable for many years of enjoyment.

It comes with a black plastic hood to reduce the fast evaporation of water and prevent the fish from jumping out. The lid features some pre-cut holes for positioning necessary equipment. It is very easy to open the lid to access inside the aquarium that makes setup and maintenance easier.

Aqueon aquarium starter kitAqueon aquarium starter kit

The package includes everything you will need to get started a tropical fish tank such as a LED light, filter, heater, and additives…

The LED lighting system, which is placed under the hood, provides bright white light to stimulate natural daylight from the sun.

The Quiet Flow 10 LED Pro power filter is the most powerful piece of this kit, it offers a strong but ultra-quiet water filtration system to keep the tank clean and clear. The filter features a LED indicator to remind you to maintain the filter cartridges after specific time periods.

The package comes with a heater and thermometer for tropical fish tank setup. The 100W heater is preset at the constant 78 degrees Fahrenheit for tropical fish and you don’t need to adjust anything. The thermometer is helpful in daily temperature control that helps you know if the heater is working properly or not.

The package also includes a fish food sample, a water conditioner, and a fish net. The tank is carefully packed for preventing scratches or breakage upon coming.

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Tetra 20 gallon aquarium kit

  • tetra-20-gallon-aquarium-kit-standard4.5 star rating (4.5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: 20 gallon aquarium made of scratch resistant glass
  • Canopy: hinged canopy
  • Dimensions: 24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H
  • Lighting: one LED hood
  • Filter: Tetra Whisper 20 Filter
  • Heater: Tetra 100W Mini UL Heater
  • Decorations: one artificial Boxwood Plant Mat, four artificial plants.

This nice glass tank from Tetra comes with most things you need to get started. The product quality and wholehearted service from the leader in underwater wonder – Tetra® USA will surely satisfy you.

Tetra 20 gallon aquarium kitTetra 20 gallon aquarium kit

The tank is made of scratch resistant glass, so you don’t need to worry about scratches that usually appears after cleaning a fish tank. It is covered with a hinged canopy that is very convenient for you to access inside the tank for cleaning.

The LED lighting system is stylishly hidden under the hood and provides natural daylight for brightening up the entire tank.

The Tetra Whisper 20 filter provides a very powerful yet silent water flow to keep your aquarium circulated and filtered.

The kit also comes with some artificial plants for decorating the tank if you don’t like to grow live plants. A heater, thermometer, and other supplies are also included for you to complete your aquarium installation. It is ideal for setting up a planted aquarium with the kit.

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Tetra Glofish aquarium kit 20 gallon

  • Tetra Glofish aquarium kit 20 gallon4.5 star rating (4.5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: scratch resistant glass, 20 gal
  • Dimensions: 24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H
  • Lighting: Glofish 13″ LED stick
  • Filter: Tetra Whisper 20 filter
  • Heater: Tetra Mini UL heater
  • Decorations: three Glofish Plants, one Glofish Yellow Anemone.

Coming with some essential equipment like the previous kit; however, the Tetra Glofish aquarium kit is intended for bringing out the most fluorescent lighting from Glofish. The blue LED light and the different glow factors that come with the kit give GloFish an exciting fluorescent look. Besides, some other supplies and decors needed for setting up a Glofish tank are also included such as Glofish plants and Glofish Yellow Anemone.

The kit comes with most things you will need for setting up a tropical Glofish tank. The heater is also included for keeping the temperature ideal for Glofish because they are tropical fish and need a warm temperature of 72-80°F (22-27°C). Everything you need is to add gravel and fish to complete your aquarium.

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More details: https://lovefishtank.com/20-gallon-glofish-aquarium-kit/

Tetra Color Fusion 20 gallon aquarium kit

  • Tetra Color Fusion aquarium kit4.5 star rating (4.5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: scratch resistant glass, 20 gal
  • Dimensions: 24.2″ L x 12.4″ W x 16.7″ H
  • Lighting: Color Fusion LED lighting
  • Filter: Tetra Whisper 20 filter
  • Heater: Tetra Mini UL heater
  • Decorations: two wonderland plants, one Blooming White Anemone.

Like two previous kit, this wonderful kit comes with a special LED light that is capable of cyclical color change. You can also pause the cycle on any color you like to fully customize your aquarium. Everything looks very lively under the Color Fusion LED.

Color changing LED lightColor changing LED light

Color changing LED lightColor changing LED light

Color changing LED lightColor changing LED light

The Tetra Color Fusion kit comes with two wonderland plants that come to life under the glow of Color Fusion LED. A Blooming White Anemone is also included that sways with filter current and give the tank a great view under the colorful lighting effects. Let the LED light from the color fusion aquarium kit transform your tank with each color change.

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Marineland 20 gallon Half Moon aquarium kit

  • 20 gallon Half Moon aquarium4.5 star rating (4.5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: 20 gallon half-moon glass tank
  • Dimensions: 24″ W x 13″ D x 25″ H
  • Canopy: clear plastic canopy
  • Lighting: LED light with 42 white and 3 blue LEDs
  • Filter: not included.

If you have bored with traditional rectangle fish tanks, this half-moon shaped aquarium will make you love it. The tank features a 180-degree seamless view and a black plastic framed bottom. With its half-moon shape, the kit will be a great piece of any home decor that attracts anyone who visits your home the first time.

The tank with all of its equipment is designed for providing the most wonderful experience for its owner. It comes with a LED light with 42 white and 3 blue LEDs. The light features a 3-position switch for on, off and blue settings, which provide great lighting effects for day and night time enjoyment.

Although a filter isn’t included, the clear cover is designed with a pre-cut hole for a filter. The manufacturer recommends a Penguin 150 or a Tetra EX30 filter for the tank. You may also need a heater if you want to keep tropical fish in the tank.

Make your sound decision if you are attracted by its half-moon shape and beauty.

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SeaClear 20 gallon acrylic aquarium combo set

  • SeaClear 20 gal acrylic aquarium4.5 star rating (4.5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: 20-gallon acrylic fish tank
  • Colors for choice: black, clear, cobalt blue
  • Lighting: 15″ light fixture
  • Ideal for both fresh or salt-water applications.

SeaClear is a famous brand for its acrylic tanks with various sizes from 20 to over 50 gallons. SeaClear 20 gallon acrylic aquarium is made of clear acrylic with a durable construction and is a great choice for starters who love the clarity and beauty of acrylic fish tanks.

It has a standard dimension, so it is very easy for you to find and buy other equipment for your setup. Because of its being made of high-quality acrylic, it is safe for both fresh or salt-water applications. If you love the features of acrylic such as clearer, lighter, stronger, safer than glass, the SeaClear aquarium is a great choice for you.

What I don’t like about this acrylic fish tank is the fluorescent light fixture built into its canopy. This piece is useless if you want to use an LED light for the tank.

I recommend not to use the canopy from the product and replace it with a new technology fish tank LED light. The clear acrylic on the top allows the light to go through that allows you to use any types of LED lights you want. I have seen so many hobbyists upgrade SeaClear acrylic tanks in this way and their tanks look so great after applying the small modification.

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20 gallon long aquarium, 30-inches long

  • 20 gallon glass aquarium4 star rating (4/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: a 20 gallon long glass aquarium
  • Dimensions: 30″ L x 12″ W x 12″ H
  • Used For: tropical fish, saltwater fish
  • Note! This is a fish tank only without equipment.

A long fish tank is always better for stocking fish than a higher one in the same size because it provides more surface for gas exchange. This 20 gallon long fish tank with its longer profile is a great choice for hobbyists who want to keep fish or aquatic turtles in their new tanks.

Please note that this is only a glass fish tank without any equipment and you have to buy your own equipment. The tank is compatible with a variety of aquarium equipment on the market, so it is very easy for you to find ones fit for the tank.

The tank is 30 inches long and you have to choose a stand and a hood that features a length a bit larger than 30 inches. The filter and heater are chosen as for a standard tank.

Because the tank is fairly expensive, even more than the previous kits, I give it four-star for my rating. I strongly recommend you to consider a full kit with a filtration system and LED lighting.

Check on Amazon.com

Marineland Biowheel aquarium kit, 20-gallon

The product includes most essential equipment including a hood with LED lighting, a Penguin bio-wheel filter, a 200W submersible heater, a thermometer, a fish net, fish food and water care samples, and a setup guide.

The most special thing that can’t be ignored in this kit is the Penguin bio-wheel filter, which includes a spinning wheel for superior biological filtration.

Marineland Penguin power filterMarineland Penguin power filter

When the filter is turned on, the wheel will spin that increases the aeration in its surface and supports the build-up of nitrifying bacteria. These helpful bacteria, when being crowded, will eliminate nitrogenous toxins (ammonia and nitrite) produced by fish waste and uneaten fish food that is harmful to aquarium lives.

If you are a fan of Hang-On-Back filter with Bio-wheels, this aquarium kit is for you.

Check on Amazon.com

How to set up a 20 gallon aquarium?


For setting up a 20 gallon fish tank, firstly you have to buy all necessary equipment. If you buy an aquarium kit, some equipment may be included and you only need to buy deficient ones. You have to know your aquarium dimensions to select correct equipment. A 20 gallon high tank (standard form) has dimensions 24″ L × 12″ W × 16″ H while a long tank has dimensions 30″ L × 12″ W × 12″ H.

Following is something you will need for the setup:

After you have most necessary things for the setup, go to my full guide for setting up a freshwater fish tank to know how to get started. After the setup, you will need to know how to cycle a new fish tank to make it ready for stocking fish. The final step is to buy some fish and properly accommodate them to your tank.

How to stock a 20 gallon fish tank?

20 gallon fish tank stocking ideas20 gallon Tetra fish tank

You should list the fish you want to keep in your new tank very early, even before buying the tank; however, the fish should be bought afterward (when the tank is cycled). With this tank size, you can make a beautiful aquascape and stock so many beautiful tropical fish such as Tetras, Mollies, Guppies, Platies, shrimps, and snails…

Basing on the rule of 1-inch fish per gallon of water, a tank with 20 gallons of water can accommodate twenty 1-inch fish. That means you can keep twenty 1-inch Neon Tetras or ten 2-inch Harlequin Rasboras healthily in a 20 gallon tank.

There are also many other stocking ideas that you can find here: https://lovefishtank.com/20-gallon-fish-tank-stocking-idea/.

How to clean a 20 gallon aquarium?

Maintain a 20 gallon fish tank is easier than smaller tanks because this water environment in this medium size tank is fairly stable. The only thing you have to do every week to maintain the tank is to do a particle water change and clean the algae on its glass wall. These weekly works are the main cause why many people don’t want to keep a fish tank. Luckily, there are so many cleaning tools on the market that can help you to make the works easier, even add a little enjoyment.

Following are four important things you will need to easily clean your tank:

There are some basic steps for cleaning a fish tank regardless of its size large or small:

  • First, clean the algae on aquarium wall with the algae magnet cleaner
  • Second, use the gravel vacuum cleaner to remove solid waste, uneaten fish foods, and the algae from the previous step. A partial aquarium water is also removed by this step. You should withdraw 10-25% aquarium water for exchange.
  • Third, clean aquarium equipment and decorations if they get too dirty.
  • Finally, refill the tank with dechlorinated water that is treated with the water conditioner.

Read the full guide here: https://lovefishtank.com/aquarium-water-change-cleaning-the-tank/.

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  1. Great article! We just picked up a 20 gallon tank for our office, Teng and Co. This helped us a lot in deciding which fish to get and how many we can put in the tank. We will probably be placing some tetras in our tank since they seem to be very low maintance. Tetras would be a perfect match with out product of slim wallets. Can a recommend a heater that would be best for the fish?

    • Hi Marissa!
      I’m very happy to know my article can help you. For choosing your heater, my recommend is Aqueon Pro heater 50W that you can find in this guide of mine.