Many people consider fishkeeping to be a very enjoyable hobby simply because of the therapeutic value that it provides. I agree with these people, but the magic of a fish tank is quickly lost as you find yourself scrubbing algae off of the walls and siphoning fish poop out of the gravel.
Thankfully, as mankind advances, so do our fish tanks. We are living in an era where fish tanks are cleaning themselves. Self cleaning fish tanks are a great way to enjoy all the pros that fishkeeping has to offer, while dodging the stinky and grimy cons. With the price point of self cleaning fish tanks ranging from 10 to 400 dollars, adopting a fish has never looked so appealing. The one downside is, there still aren’t options that are larger than 10 gallons. But if all you’re after is a desktop buddy, or a maintenance free centerpiece for your kitchen table, then this is the right place for you. Below you will find a brief overview of the best self cleaning fish tanks of 2017.
There are essentially two types of self cleaning fish tanks, ones that use aquaponics technology and ones that don’t. Aquaponic tanks are great for somebody who has a passion for both gardening and fishkeeping, but we’ll get more into that later. For your convenience this list has been divided into 2 parts. Tanks 1-4 do not use aquaponics while tanks 5-9 do.
1) BiOrb CLASSIC
We start things off with what I believe to be the best self cleaning fish tank that money can buy, the BiOrb CLASSIC Aquarium. It has both a sleek and unique spherical design which is sure to be the focus point of any room that it’s in. These aquariums come fully equipped with 5 stage filtration, led light, air pump, air stone, and water conditioner. The tank itself is made of acrylic which is stronger, lighter, and clearer than regular glass. Another great thing about the BiOrbs is their electrical setup. The lights, filter and air pump are all connected to one plugin which means having a fish tank no longer requires a power bar. Also, you never need to worry about turning your lights on and off because it has a built in 24 hour timer which transitions from sunrise, daylight, sunset to moonlight and back again. Pretty futuristic stuff. Not only that but they are even available in 4 different sizes including 4 gallon, 8 gallon, 16 gallon, and 28 gallon. The 28 gallon option is by far the largest self cleaning fish tank that doesn’t use aquaponics technology, which is great news for someone who wants a larger setup but is less interested in gardening and more focused on fishkeeping. Check out the video below to see just exactly what the 28 gallon is capable of (I recognize it is a little overstocked). This kind of capacity means you have a lot more options of fish to choose from such as gouramis, danios, tetras, or even a few cichlids which is great considering the only maintenance required is filter media changes every 2 months and water changes every two weeks. The reason you only need to change the water once every 2 weeks instead of every week is because of the advanced filtration systems that these tanks have.It is an air based filtration system which creates a good amount of water flow resulting in a constantly changing water surface. This maintains excellent oxygen saturation. The BiOrbs really are an excellent option for anyone looking for a self cleaning fish tank.
2) BiOrb FLOW
Next up we have another great Biorb product, the BiOrb FLOW. This modern tank features a lot of similarities to the previous tank but with a slightly more traditional shape. They also include the same great filtration technology which creates great water flow and keeps the tank well oxygenated. It also has the LED lights, air pump, air stone, and necessary chemicals. This one however, is only available in 4 gallon and 8 gallon sizes which is still plenty of room for all sorts of different fish including a betta, goldfish, or other smaller community fish. In my opinion BiOrbs, whether it’s the CLASSIC or the FLOW, truly are the best option for anyone looking for a self cleaning fish tank. This is because they allow for anyone who has a couple minutes every two weeks, too have the time for a fish tank, all while still providing larger tank options.
3) My Fun Fish Tank
Third on the list is perhaps the most well recognized self cleaning fish tank, the as seen on tv My Fun Fish Tank. The concept for this one is simple, there is a tray beneath the rocks that collects the poop and uneaten food. When you want to clean it, all you have to do is poor a glass of water into it. The siphon filters out the dirty water with all of the debris and replaces it with the clean water. The video for the next tanks show how it works, since they work the same way. My Fun Fish Tank includes rocks, a little plant, and an led light which makes it perfect for nighttime viewing. The one downfall to this setup would be it’s size. With it being so small, all it is good for is a betta.
4&5) NoClean Aquariums
Next on the list sitting at number 4 and 5 we have upgraded versions of the My Fun Fish Tank. These upgraded versions are made with glass rather than plastic and they are available in both a 1 gallon and 2 gallon option. So, if you are looking to keep something other than a betta fish, then the 2 gallon option is perfect for you as 2 gallons is enough for a small goldfish, african dwarf frogs, or even ghost shrimp. Once again these tanks include the rocks and an led lighting system. The NoClean Aquariums were developed using the same siphoning technology of using gravity to force clean water in and drain the dirty water out. These nifty little tanks even won best in show at the Global Pet Expo. The video below demonstrates exactly how they work.
Okay, now for the aquaponics tanks. Like I mentioned earlier, these are self cleaning fish tanks that combine the hobby of gardening with the hobby of fish-keeping. So you have less maintenance on the fish-keeping side but the gardening will require a bit of effort. With that in mind, if an aquaponics tank seems like something you would be interested in, I will do my best to explain the process as well as point you in the direction of some of the best aquaponics tanks on the market. If they are not for you, then I suggest you stop reading and focus on the tanks above.
Alright, so aquaponics is defined as a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. So basically, fish produce nutrient rich waste which is harmful to fish but beneficial to plants. Aquaponics tanks capitalize on this by having plants growing above the tank which feed off of the waste in the water and then then the filtered water drops back down into the tank.The bigger the plants grow, the cleaner you tank gets. Pretty cool, right? These types of setups are especially popular among teachers as it provides students with a fun way for them to witness the nutrient cycle in action. But enough about how it works, let’s check out some of the best ones that are available.
The first aquaponics tank on the list is the EcoQubeC Aquarium. With a capacity of a little over 2 gallons, this guy is great for anyone who is looking to keep a betta fish in a tank filtered by plants. These tanks also feature a very unique lighting system that comes with a remote. The lighting has all sorts of settings that you can preset including things like cloud cover, lightninging effects, and all sorts of different color options. The EcoQubeC is available in two different packages, a basic one as well as an upgraded one that comes with some extra features and accessories. The basic package comes with the tank, led lighting system (with wired remote), basil seeds, and aquaponics filtrations system whcih has a pump to transport the water from the tank to the plants. The upgraded version has all of that but also includes sand substrate, a mountain stone decoration, UV sterilizer, and a wireless remote rather than the wired one. In my opinion, this is the best aquaponics self cleaning fish tank on the market due to its high quality, packed features, and elegant design. The EcoQubeC makes for a great conversation piece whether it’s in the living room, kitchen, or office. Check the video out below to see for yourself.
7) Back To Roots Water Garden
Next up is the Back To The Roots Water Garden. This tank may not be as flashy as the EcoQubeC but it definitely has some advantages. The tank is a little larger, 3 gallons to be exact. This capacity allows for you to keep a goldfish instead of a betta if that’s what you desire. Another plus to this tank would be the gardening capacity. The EcoQubeC has space for just a single basil or mint plant (it’s more just for show) whereas the Back To Roots Garden Aquarium comes with 6 different growing compartments. That’s enough space for you to grow a summers worth of mint for mojitos! So if you are more interested in the gardening side of things, but still want a relatively small aquaponics tank, then this is the one for you. In addition to the tank and aquaponics filtration system, this package comes with organic seeds, growstones, dechlorinator, a coupon for a betta fish, and fish food.
8) AquaSprouts Garden
Now for a little bit of a larger aquaponics setup, the AquaSprouts Garden. This structure is designed to convert any standard 10 gallon tank into a fully functioning aquarium and garden. This setup offers a lot more room for both fishkeeping and gardening. The downfall is, it doesn’t include the tank, so you’ll need to supply that yourself. A regular 10 gallon tank does not cost too much but it’s still a bit of an inconvenience. It does, however, include the garden bed, a light fixture, pump & timer, grow media, and instructional aquaponics manual. Feel free to check out the video below to learn more.
9) Eco Cycle
We finish things off with the largest aquaponics structure out there, the Eco Cycle. Once again, you’ll have to supply your own tank. This time though, the structure is designed to fit a standard 20 gallon aquarium. This is great news if you are interested in having an aquaponics setup, but still want the benefits of a larger tank, which will allow you to keep some small tropical fish rather than just a goldfish or betta. In addition to the structure, this package includes a t5 grow light and fixture. This really helps with the growth of the plants. It’s a fairly hefty price tag for this one and though it seems like you may not be getting a lot, that can’t be further from the truth. This really is one of the most advance aquaponic kits on the market. The video below demonstrates the setup nicely.
And that concludes the list of the best self cleaning fish tanks. Hopefully you were able to find something that suits your needs. There is no doubt that fish tanks have really come a long way and it’s exciting to think about where they could be even 5-10 years from now. I know I can’t wait for my 55 gallon tanks to be cleaning themselves!