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It’s been a while since I bought a new aquarium, and I was wondering what the best 20 gallon fish tanks come with these days.

So I did some research, and what I found out surprised me.

If you’re getting your first aquarium, it’s probably not a good idea to get something too large. Then again, you don’t want something too small either.

Many people make the mistake of starting with a small aquarium, but you can’t put enough fish in a tank of this size to make it enjoyable. A smaller tank can also make it challenging to maintain suitable water parameters.

The best way to start is with a 20-gallon tank.

That way, it isn’t too large that it will be challenging to maintain, but it will be large enough to have an excellent selection of fish, plant life, and one beautiful centerpiece fish.

Let’s get started and look at five of the best 20-gallon aquariums, and give you the ins and outs of each one.

Further Reading: Find the best Fish Tanks and learn exactly how to set them up so you succeed. These guides are for beginners looking to buy or set up their first tank.

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Things A Complete Aquarium Kit Will Need To Get Started

There are many pieces of essential aquarium equipment that a good kit will include. However, it’s important to remember that not one kit will consist of everything we list below.

Make sure you know what you need for your 20 gallon fish tank and get a kit that suits your needs.

Of Course, You’ll Need A 20 Gallon Fish Tank.

Before you buy, make sure your starter kit includes the type of tank you want. Tanks can come in many different sizes, shapes, and types of material, so choose what works best for you.

Other than the standard 20-gallon tank, here are a few different tanks.

Aquarium Maintenance Checklist [Free Guide]
  • A 20-gallon tank with odd dimensions like a bow front, tall or long tank
  • Scratch-resistant acrylic aquariums

An aquarium fish tank is made of either glass or acrylic. Both have their pros and cons, but in most cases, a glass aquarium is best for the beginner.

A Complete Kit Will Come With Most Of The Equipment You’ll Use

Here is a list of just a few things that might be included in a good tank kit.

As always, you’ll want to keep in mind which fish you want to keep, which can impact the type of equipment you’ll need right from the start.

For example;

A simple Betta tank might only require a heater, thermometer, and maybe a filter. However, if you decide to keep something like a Ram Cichlid, you might need a few more pieces of equipment.

  • LED Light
  • A Lid Hood/Canopy
  • A Good Filtration System
  • Easy To Set Thermometer
  • Gravel Or Substrate
  • A Good Stand
  • Water Conditioner
  • Fish Food
  • Water Heater (78 degrees is the most common temperature for tropical fish)
  • Artificial/Plastic Plants
  • Fish Net

Go Pro & Take Your 20 Gallon Aquarium Kit To The Next Level

As with any hobby, there are many ways to take it to the next level. And fish keeping is no exception.

If you have enough space, you may want to add live plants & full-color spectrum grow lights to create a fantastic aquascape.

The art of aquascaping is a hobby upon itself, and I highly recommend you learn the basics before jumping into the advanced world of planted tanks. That said, check out advancedplantedtank.com if you’re interested in growing live plants.

Another idea is to find and stock an exciting type of fish like the galaxy rasbora.

Or, maybe you want an upgrade to your cleaning process, and you decide to get a premium gravel vacuum to keep the water clean.

Get Started With The Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit

Below you’ll find our recommended aquarium kits that are big enough for most beginners. Each of these 20 gallon tanks will come with things like led lights, a power filter, and maybe some artificial plants.

That said, some of the tank kits below are just that, a tank, and nothing more.

Let’s get into it.

1. Tropical Fish Aquarium Kit: 20 Gallon Glass Model (Value Pick)

Perfecto All Glass Aquarium Tank44; 20 Gallon

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If you’re looking for a basic fish tank with no extras, this is a great deal. You will receive an all-glass, 20-gallon aquarium.

The bottom and sides are made from triple-strength, clear glass, which is “welded” together using silicone rubber. This means that the aquarium is leakproof and will hold up for many years.

Carolina brings you a simple aquarium that is ideal for beginners. The Aquarium Tank is a 20-gallon tank that is made from super-strong glass and held together with silicone rubber welding. This is a strong aquarium that is not going to leak and can be used with freshwater and saltwater.


  • Designed for a recessed cover
  • Bottom and sides made from triple-strength, clear glass
  • Can be used for saltwater fish


  • Problems with aquarium cracking
  • Silicone on the glass
  • Some reports of not getting the tank that was ordered


This aquarium from Carolina is guaranteed to be free of any manufacturer defects. If you have any problems with this tank, you can contact customer service for a replacement, refund, or credit with no hassles. This is an excellent tank for beginners or anyone who needs a smaller tank.

2. Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquatic Turtle Kit (Best for Turtles)

Tetra Aquatic Turtle Deluxe Kit 20 Gallons, aquarium With Filter And Heating Lamps, 30 IN (NV33230)

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Everything you need to set up a habitat for a pet turtle is included with this aquarium.

You will receive a decorative filter, cartridges, heating lamps, a screen top, a basking platform, and a boxwood plant mat. There are two dome lamps in the screen to provide warmth and light for basking.

A 20-gallon tank is ideal for turtles, and the Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit has everything you need to create the perfect environment for your pets. The tank measures 30″ X 12″ X 12″, so there is plenty of room for at least two small turtles.


  • Includes all the accessories you will need
  • Includes two 5.5″ dome lamps, a 60-watt heating bulb, and a 13 watt 5.0 UVB bulb
  • Includes ReptoMin Baby Floating Food Stick and AquaSafe samples


  • Problems with heating light not working properly
  • Problems with the pump not working at all
  • Check to make sure everything is in package


This aquarium kit is ideal for the beginning turtle enthusiast and an excellent environment for small pet turtles. The filter even creates a waterfall, which gives the turtles a basking area where they can relax, and it provides three-stage filtration.

3. Marina LED Aquarium Kit 20 Gal (Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Set For Beginners)

Marina Aquarium Kit - 20 gallon Fish Tank - LED

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The Marina LED Aquarium Kit is the ideal set up for the beginning aquarium enthusiast. You will get everything you need to start enjoying your new hobby right away.

The aquarium is made from glass and features LED lighting that provides a natural daylight effect.

The Marina LED Aquarium Kit comes with everything the beginner needs to set up a beautiful fish habitat.

It even comes with the little things, such as Fluval Max fish food, Fluval Aqua Plus Water Conditioner, and Fluval Cycle Biological Supplement. The Aquarium Care Guide will help you set up and maintain the tank.


  • LED lighting module provides a natural daylight effect
  • Comes with fish food, water conditioner, and more
  • Uses Marina Slim S10 or S20 clip-on filters with quick-change filter cartridges


  • Problems with light not working
  • Complaints of tank leaking
  • Not packaged well, may arrive cracked or broken


If you are looking into getting your first aquarium, the Marina LED Aquarium Kit is a good option. You will have to purchase the decorations, rocks, etc., but the essential things are there, including the right water conditioner and healthy food for your fish.

4. SeaClear Acrylic 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit (Best Acrylic Aquarium)

SeaClear 20 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 24 by 13 by 16", Black

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If you’re looking for an impact-resistant aquarium that is safer to have around children and pets than a glass tank, the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set is an option to consider.

It is 17 times stronger than a glass aquarium, but it weighs half as much. This tank is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater.

The SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set includes the aquarium, a reflector, and an electrical 15-inch light fixture. Because it is made from acrylic rather than glass, not only is it more robust, it is more transparent, so you get an even better view of the aquatic life inside.


  • Safe for saltwater and freshwater fish
  • More robust than glass, but half the weight
  • Impact-resistant and not prone to chipping or cracking


  • Problems with tank leaking
  • Reports of acrylic top warping
  • Poor design is challenging to clean


If you have children and pets and are worried about your aquarium being knocked over and broken, causing injuries, your best bet is to get an acrylic tank, such as the one in the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set.

It is stronger and safer and a great way to introduce your kids to the world of aquariums.

5. Amphibian or Reptile Tank 20 Gallon Tank Kit (Best For Reptiles and Amphibians)

Are you considering getting a snake or other type of reptile or amphibian to keep as a pet?

If so, you are going to need the right environment to keep it in. Check out the Amphibian or Reptile Tank.

This all-glass tank has a lid and is ideal for amphibians and reptiles, including smaller snakes.

Carolina is a well-known name in the world of aquariums, delivering quality products with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. This aquarium is ideal for reptiles and amphibians.

It measures 24″ X 12″ X 16″, so it can even be used to house larger lizards or even a small to a medium-sized snake.


  • Unconditional guarantee for replacement, refund, or credit
  • Made from glass and has a lid
  • Can also be used for fish and other aquatic life


  • The top screen is not hinged
  • The tank received may not be the same as the tank ordered
  • Have to move the light to feed pets


When you buy a Carolina aquarium, you know that you are getting a quality product and that if you have any concerns or questions, they will be there to help. This aquarium is made from glass and has a lid that can easily be removed (doesn’t have hinges).

As you can see, a novice doesn’t have to go out and spend a lot of money to get a decent aquarium setup, whether it is for fish, reptiles, or amphibians.

Our Recommended Fish Tank, 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit Is The Marina LED Fish Tank Kit

The aquariums we have discussed today are all high quality and can be used for a variety of animal life, but there is one that stands out, and that is the Marina LED Aquarium Kit.

You get a 20-gallon aquarium with accessories, which makes this ideal for fish-keeping.

A Few 20 Gallons Fish Tank FAQ

How Big Is A 20 Gallon Fish Tank?

A 20 gallon fish tank typically comes in two sizes;

  1. Standard size: 24″ x 12″ x 16″
  2. Long: 30″ x 12″ x 12″

How Many Fish Can You Keep In A 20 Gallon Fish Tank?

A 20-gallon fish tank can keep 8-15 fish depending on how big each fish is. Generally, fish larger than 3 inches shouldn’t be kept in a tank this size.

How Heavy Is A 20 Gallon Fish Tank When Full?

A 20 gallon fish tank typically comes in two sizes (standard & long). Both will weigh about 225 pounds when filled.

How Much Does A 20 Gallon Fish Tank Cost?

The cost of your 20 gallon fish tank can vary a great deal.

For example;

  • A rimless ultra-low iron fish tank could cost around $120 (US)
  • A standard 20 gallon fish tank can cost about $50 (US)
  • An aquarium kit that comes with things like led lighting, a filter, heater, and fish food can cost $150 (US)

If your new to the hobby, a kit that comes with a light, filter, heater might be the best value. However, an experienced Aquascaper might opt for the clear and visually appealing ultra-low iron rimless tank.