15-gallon fish tanks are relatively small aquariums suitable for both beginner and experienced tank owners. 15 gallons is a perfect tank size for someone who doesn’t have a lot of space at home and wants to limit the number of fish in an aquarium. Many 15-gallon fish tanks are good for beginners because the tanks come as starter kits and include the necessary items to maintain the tank and keep the fish and other tank mates healthy. Typical 15-gallon tanks are 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 13 inches high. Tank dimensions vary depending on the shape of the aquarium.
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Best 15 Gallon Fish Tanks Reviewed
This article reviews the best 15-gallon tanks for beginner and advanced aquarists. The following list includes both the freshwater and saltwater tanks and their tank kits, which are available for purchase in the US. Review factors include the aquarium price, shape, and the materials the aquarium is made of.
|Name of the Tank||Best for…||Key Features||Link to Buy|
|1. Landen 45P 15 Gallon Ultra Clear||Freshwater and saltwater species||Check Price|
|2. Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit||Beginner aquarists||Check Price|
|3. Fluval Vista Freshwater Aquarium Kit||Freshwater species||Check Price|
|4. Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank||Freshwater and saltwater species||Check Price|
|5. Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Fish Tank Kit||Beginner aquarists, saltwater species||Check Price|
The tank is 17.72 inches long by 15.75 inches high and weighs 42.8 pounds. Landen 45P Ultra Clear is equipped with a powerful filtration system that’s easy to clean. The aquarium is designed for versatile use, allowing both freshwater and saltwater use.
- Ultra-clear glass, maximizing light transmittance
- Minimal design, allowing versatile use
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater species
- Installed filtration system
- Expensive option
- May be challenging to set up for beginner aquarists
- Heavy aquarium
Despite its relatively low price, Fluval Flex includes an extensive aquarium kit that makes the process of setup easy and quick — especially suitable for a novice tank owner. The kit includes a multi-stage filtration system that’s easy to set up and get going, a 7,500 Kelvin LED lamp with a remote control option, and a hidden rear filter compartment.
The aquarium is 16.73 inches wide by 15.94 inches tall and weighs around 28 pounds. Fluval Flex is also equipped with a remote-control LED light, allowing the owners to play with different lighting in the tank, from bright white light during the day to soft blue at night.
- Unique curved design
- 3-stage filtration system (mechanical, chemical, and biological)
- Equipped with remotely controlled powerful LED lighting
- Affordable price
- The effective volume of the tank is small due to the large hidden compartment
- Complex filtration and design may be unnecessary for a beginner aquarist
Fluval Vista Freshwater Aquarium is 24 inches in length and 15.5 inches in height. The tank is made of glass and weighs 31 pounds.
- Fully equipped with the necessary technology and accessories
- Panoramic design
- Easy to use for beginners
- Clip-on filter with the multi-stage cleaning process
- Lighting located close to the water, creating condensation
- Curved glass may distort the view of the tank space
- Expensive kit
The tank is made from high-quality, 6-millimeter glass with heightened light transmission function, making the display as clear as possible. The Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium does not come equipped with a filtration system or lighting, which makes it suitable for experienced tank owners who know which equipment they prefer and are prepared to install it themselves.
- Rimless design
- Low-iron 6-millimeter glass with enhanced transparency and light transmission
- Various design options
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater species
- Does not come with additional equipment
- Does not have pre-installed lighting or filtration system
A full kit that comes with this tank is designed to help a tank owner set up the tank quickly and easily and is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fish species. The kit includes an advanced back-wall filtration system, a programmable tank top with LED lights, and sunrise and sunset lighting options with a timer.
- Full aquarium kit makes tank setup easy
- Integrated back wall filtration system
- Programmable LED lights
Best Fish to Keep in a 15 Gallon Tank (& How Many)
A 15-gallon fish tank is a relatively small aquarium that can house a large group of small lively fish. An aquarium this size is a good community tank for both freshwater species and a group of saltwater tropical fish.
Below are some of the best small fish species to stock a 15-gallon tank, based on the species size and personalities:
- Dwarf gourami: A 15-gallon fish tank can hold one 8-inch dwarf gourami
- Dwarf cichlids: А 15-gallon tank should not contain more than one or two dwarf cichlids
- Neon tetras: А 15-gallon tank can hold 10 to 15 neon tetras simultaneously. It’s best to keep the number of male tetras in one tank to a minimum because males can easily get territorial
- Guppies: А 15-gallon tank can hold 10 to 15 guppies simultaneously. Male to female ratio should be kept to 2:1
- Goldfish: А 15-gallon tank can hold only one goldfish
- Betta fish: A 15-gallon tank can hold up to four betta fish (one male and three females)
- Cherry shrimp: А 15-gallon tank can hold up to 20 cherry shrimp
The best fish species for a 15-gallon tank are peaceful and non-aggressive and adapt well to living with other tank mates. The best fish to stock in a 15-gallon tank is lively, fast-swimming, colorful species like tetras and guppies.
Non-fish species to introduce into a 15-gallon tank include small invertebrates like cherry shrimp. Shrimp are small, peaceful, and fun to watch.
Equipment Needed to Set up a 15 Gallon Fish Aquarium
To set up a 15-gallon fish tank, an aquarist requires some basic equipment to keep the tank water clean and the tank mates healthy. Though 15 gallons is a manageable size for cleaning, using high-quality equipment reduces the aquarist’s work and ensures water parameters are stable. Some key equipment needed for a new tank this size is a filter, a heater, proper lighting, substrate, plants, and decorations.
Filters are the most important piece of equipment in a 15-gallon fish tank because a filter helps to stabilize the ammonia and nitrate levels, maintaining the appropriate water chemistry for the fish to thrive in. It’s important to monitor the levels of ammonia in the fish tank because excess ammonia can kill the live plants and harm the fish.
Filters for a 15-gallon tank may include three levels of filtration based on the filter media and filtration modes used. There are three main filter media – mechanical, chemical, and biological. A 15-gallon tank needs a filter with both mechanical and biological filter media. Select a filter with a capacity larger than your aquarium to ensure proper functioning.
Aquarium heaters are used to keep the water temperature at the same level and provide additional heat to the tank for the fish that prefer warmer waters. The best heater capacity for a 15-gallon tank is 100 Watts.
A substrate is an important part of a fish tank of any size. Substrate options for a 15-gallon tank may include gravel or sand, depending on the type of fish kept. If live plants are introduced into the tank, make sure that the substrate covers the bottom of the aquarium fully and is at least 1.5 inches deep.
Plants & Decorations
Live or artificial plants can be added to a 15-gallon tank to liven up the aquarium space. Live plants help to recreate the fish’s natural environment and help the pets to feel safe in the tank.
Live plants produce oxygen and improve water conditions in the tank by preventing algae growth. Some of the best live plants for 15-gallon aquariums include java moss, water fern, Amazon sword, and water wisteria.
Other decorations for a 15-gallon tank include rocks, driftwood, and other decorative pieces. Decorate the tank sparingly because, while most fish species enjoy decorations and plants, the fish also need enough space to swim around freely.
Aquarium lighting is an important piece of equipment that makes the tank look prettier, as well as maintains an appropriate water temperature, and helps live plants develop properly. Many aquarists choose fluorescent lighting or LED lighting for their tanks.
Fluorescent lighting works best for planted tanks and LED lighting works well for a fish-only tank. LED lighting is also more energy efficient than fluorescent lighting and illuminates a 15-gallon tank well.
Stands and Lids
A good aquarium stand is used to conceal external tank wires and other equipment and makes keeping the tank beautiful and clean easy. A stand is also useful to store dry fish food and cleaning supplies. The best stand size for a 15-gallon tank is 36 inches high and 24 inches wide.
A lid is necessary to protect the fish that might jump out of the tank and prevent items from falling into the aquarium. Aquarium lids can be made of glass or can come in the form of a canopy that matches the material of the stand.
How to Choose a 15 Gallon Fish Tank
The key things to consider when choosing a 15-gallon fish tank are the tank’s construction materials, shape, price, and the available space you have at home.
Construction Materials & Quality
Most 15-gallon tanks are typically made either of glass or acrylic. Glass tanks tend to be up to 10 times heavier than acrylic ones. However, acrylic aquariums are much more expensive and may not work for beginner aquarists because they’re less scratch-resistant.
The price of a 15-gallon tank depends on several factors, including the tank’s construction materials, the equipment that comes with the tank, as well as the accessories to decorate the tank. When purchasing an aquarium, invest in a good filter and lighting before decorations and plants.
A 15-gallon glass tank requires space for an aquarium stand because an aquarium this size, filled with water, is too heavy to be kept on a shelf.
To place a 15-gallon tank with a stand in an apartment, a free space of at least 25 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 50 inches high is required. Avoid placing the tank under direct sunlight to avoid temperature fluctuations in the tank.
A regular 15-gallon tank shape is rectangular or square and provides a good display of the fish. Some rectangular tanks can have a curved front wall for a deeper view. Non-regular aquarium shapes for 15-gallon tanks may include hexagons, cylinders, or spheres.
Conclusion: Is a 15 Gallon Fish Tank the Right Size for Your Aquarium?
A 15-gallon tank is a solid choice for a beginner aquarist. This tank is a perfect size for someone who wants a vibrant display of tropical fish. An aquarist can stock the tank with either saltwater or freshwater species, as well as introduce live or artificial plants.
A tank this size also works better for a novice aquarist than a 5- or 10-gallon tank, both of which are harder to manage because of their limited spaces. Overall, a 15-gallon tank is a great choice for both experienced and beginner aquarists and is suitable for someone who has limited space at home.
15 Gallon Fish Tank FAQs
The following section answers the most common questions about 15-gallon tanks.
How Many Fish Should Be in a 15 Gallon Tank?
Around 15 fish should be in a 15-gallon tank, depending on the species and the size of the fish. As a general rule, an aquarist can stock 1 inch of fish for every gallon of water. This means that a 15-gallon tank can fit one large fish up to 15 inches in length, or 10 to 15 fish that each measure 1 to 1.5 inches long.
How Many Goldfish Can I Put in a 15 Gallon Tank?
Avoid putting a goldfish in a 15-gallon tank because goldfish require more space. The minimum tank size for a single goldfish is 20 gallons. Goldfish produce a lot of waste and are harder to clean up after when the fish are housed in a small tank.
Is a 15 Gallon Tank Good?
Yes, a 15-gallon tank is a good tank size for various purposes. The benefits of a 15-gallon tank include its compactness, which makes it easier to place even in a small home. A tank this size allows a stock of a variety of fish and creates colorful displays without compromising space in a home.
How Heavy Is a 15 Gallon Fish Tank?
An empty 15-gallon tank made of glass weighs between 25 and 40 pounds, depending on the thickness of the glass. A glass tank this size filled with water can weigh around 170 pounds. A 15-gallon filled tank is very heavy to lift for a single person, which is why it should be filled with water after being placed in the house.
How Long Is a 15 Gallon Fish Tank?
A standard, rectangular 15-gallon tank is typically 24 inches long. However, the length of the tank can change depending on its shape. For instance, vertical rectangular tanks aren’t as long and can vary in length between 15 and 20 inches.