It is easier for a beginner to get started with a 20 gallon fish tank or aquarium kit because this medium sized tank is easier for maintenance than smaller tanks. With this tank size, the water quality doesn’t change too fast to poison the fish, making it an ideal choice for starters, who don’t have much experience in solving aquarium problems.

A 20 gallon aquarium is available in various shapes and materials for you to choose. It can be standard (high) or long, rectangle or half-moon shaped, and glass or acrylic. This article reviews for the best fish tanks in various brands for you to choose. Besides, the methods for setting up and cleaning a 20 gallon freshwater tank are also included in the final sections.

Best 20 gallon fish tank reviews

Marina LED 20 gallon aquarium kit best for beginners

  • Marina LED aquarium kit 20 gallonEditor's rating: Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: 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 cartridge
  • Lighting: natural daylight LED light incorporated into the canopy
  • Additives: fish food, Aqua Plus water conditioner, cycle biological supplement, fish net, aquarium care guide.

Marina LED 20 gallon aquarium kit is the best aquarium kit for everyone from starters to the advanced hobbyists. It has satisfied almost customers by the clear glass tank, very powerful filter and many other features needed for beginning hobbyists. 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.

The Marina Slim S20 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 want to to talk about this high-quality kit. It is able to 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 in the new larger and very clean environment provided by the kit.

Other supplies such as fish food, Aqua Plus water conditioner, cycle biological supplement, a fish net, an aquarium care guide are also included that is very helpful for your aquarium setup and maintenance. The kit doesn’t come with a heater for tropical fish; however, you could easily shop for a cheap one online. A 100 watt aquarium heater will perfectly fit the tank.

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

Aqueon 20 gallon high aquarium starter kit with LED light

  • Aqueon 20 gallon high aquarium starter kitEditor's rating: 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 great choice for starter hobbyists, who want keep tropical fish. The main tank is made of clear glass, its walls is sealed with epoxy resin. The construction is highly durable for many year 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 equipment setup and is very easy to open to handle inside the aquarium for setup and maintenance.

The package includes everything to need to get starting with a tropical fish tank such as LED lighting, filter, heater, additives… The LED lighting system is equipped under the hood, it provides bright white light to stimulate natural daylight from the sun.

Aqueon aquarium starter kitAqueon aquarium starter kit

The Quiet Flow 10 LED Pro power (Hang-On-Back) 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 an LED indicator to remind you to maintain the filter cartridges after specific time periods.

A 100W preset heater is to maintain temperature at a constant 78 degrees Fahrenheit for tropical fish keeping. A thermometer is also included for the daily control of temperature. The package also includes fish food, water conditioner, fish net that are necessary for installing and caring any aquariums. It is carefully packed for preventing scratches or breakage upon coming.

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Marineland 20 gallon Half Moon aquarium kit

  • 20 gallon Half Moon aquariumEditor's rating: 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 are 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 an LED light with 42 white and 3 blue LEDs. The light features a 3-position switch for on, off, and blue settings, which providing 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 Penguin 150 or 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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Tetra 20 gallon aquarium kit with filter and heater

  • tetra-20-gallon-aquarium-kit-standardEditor's rating: 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 is a nice glass tank from Tetra with a lifetime warranty. It comes with most things you need to get starting such as essential equipment and additives. The hinged canopy is very convenient for you to access inside the tank. The LED lighting system is stylishly hidden under the hood and provides a very bright white light for brightening up entire the tank.

Tetra 20 gallon aquarium kitTetra 20 gallon aquarium kit

With a natural daylight effect from the LED hood and the quiet but very powerful water flow provided by the Tetra Whisper 20 filter, it is ideal for setting up a planted aquarium with the kit. There come some artificial plants for decorating the tank if you don’t like to grow live plants. Even a heater, thermometer, and other supplies are also included for you to complete your aquarium installation. The product quality and wholehearted service from the leader in underwater wonder – Tetra® USA will surely satisfy you.

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Tetra Glofish aquarium kit 20 gallon for Glofish

  • Tetra Glofish aquarium kit 20 gallonEditor's rating: 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 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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Read the full review of the kit: https://lovefishtank.com/20-gallon-glofish-aquarium-kit/

Tetra Color Fusion 20 gallon aquarium kit

  • Tetra Color Fusion aquarium kitEditor's rating: 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 are 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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SeaClear 20 gallon acrylic aquarium combo set

  • SeaClear 20 gal acrylic aquariumEditor's rating: 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 love of this acrylic fish tank is its canopy with a fluorescent light fixture. 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 LED light for fish tank. 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 by this way and their tanks look so great after applying the small modify.

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20 gallon long aquarium with 30-inch length

  • 20 gallon glass aquariumEditor's rating: 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: 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 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. Please note that its length is 30 inches 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. Continue to read my guide for setting up the tank and you will know how to find appropriate equipment for the 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 filtration system and LED lighting.

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Marineland Biowheel aquarium kit, 20-gallon

  • Marineland Biowheel aquarium kitEditor's rating: Check on Amazon.com
  • Tank: sealed glass, 20 gal
  • Filtration: Marineland Penguin power filter with Bio-wheel
  • Lighting: LED lighting with on/blue/off position switch
  • Heater: a 200 watt submersible heater with thermometer
  • Additives: fish net, fish food, water care samples, and setup guide.

Being manufactured by Marineland, the kit comes with the most well-known equipment from this aquarium product brand. The most important thing can’t be ignored is the Penguin bio-wheel filter, which includes a spinning wheel for superior biological filtration. Besides, the product includes most essential equipment you will need such as a hood with LED lighting, a 200W submersible heater, thermometer, fish net, fish food, water care samples, and setup guide.

Marineland Penguin power filterMarineland Penguin power filter

The Penguin bio-wheel filter is very interesting and loved by many hobbyists. When it 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 for aquarium lives. If you are a fan of Hang-On-Back filter with Bio-wheels, this aquarium kit is for you.

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How to set up a 20 gallon aquarium?

To set 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 the appropriate equipment. A 20 gallon high tank (common 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:

  • A 24-inch canopy for a standard tank or a 30-inch one for a long tank.
  • A 20 gallon aquarium stand, choosing based on the dimensions of your tank. Give your attention to the dimensions of the tank and the place you want to put it into, make sure it is fit.
  • A proper LED light fixture for the theme you intend for. If you want to have photosynthetic organisms such as plants or corals in your tank, ensure that you provide an appropriate lighting for them to grow.
  • Substrate (gravel, sand, or aqua soil for planted tanks.) You will need approx 20 pounds of substrate to fill 2-inch height of a 20 gallon high tank.
  • A 20 gallon fish tank filter (flow rate of approx 80 gallons per hour) with replacement filter media.
  • Aquarium decorations and/or aquatic plants.
  • 100-watt aquarium heater and thermometer.

Now you have necessary things for the setup. Then, going to my full guide for a freshwater fish tank setup to know how to get started. After the setup, you need to know how to cycle a new fish tank to make it ready for stocking fish. Final step is to buy some fish and properly accommodate them to your tank.

How to stock a 20 gallon 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…

20 gallon fish tank stocking ideas20 gallon Tetra fish tank

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 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 in 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/.


  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.


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