Looking to buy a 20-gallon fish tank? While there many things to consider when setting up a credible home for your aquatic pets, the size of the fish tank should take precedence. The primary reason for this is that not all fish species grow at the same rate. To this end, in this article, I will be reviewing some of the best 20-gallon aquariums around.
A 20-gallon Fishtank will allow species neon tetra, Molly fish, redtail shark, swordtail, dwarf gourami, and so on to have needed space to swim and freely express themselves – which is very good for their growth and development. More importantly, a 20-gallon tank will be great for beginners as it would not require so much effort to manage – unlike a 10-gallon tank. The 20-gal fish tank somewhat gives more room for error.
On average, a 20-gallon aquarium may have a dimension of either 24″ X 12″ X 16″ or 30″ X 12″ X 12″ and weighs around 11kg when empty and about 100kg when filled. But there is a whole lot more to look out for when attempting to buy one.
For you not to start navigating from one online store to another in hope of finding a befitting 20-gallon fish tank for your pets, I have made a compilation of the 6 best products in this category. So, I urge you to read on and discover what I have got for you in this piece.
1. Tetra Aquatic Turtle Deluxe 20-Gallon Fishtank
I start this review with this sophisticated 20-gallon fish tank from Tetra; this has been specifically designed for aquatic turtles, but it can also house other species. It will not only provide the perfect home for your pets but also evoke some aquascaping inspiration. This is because the fish tank comes as a whole package with virtually everything required to have it up and running included.
This glass aquarium comes with a powerful decorative filter that is equipped with a 3-stage filtration capability to ensure the cleanliness of the water. Plus, there are also two heating dome lamps that can be affixed to the lid to provide your pets with some warmth. for the purpose of creating an aesthetic interior, the manufacturer has included a boxwood plant mat and the Tetrafauna turtle terrace basking platform.
- Highly functional
- Great value for money
- Securely locked
- Aesthetic complement
- There is no feeding opening on the lid
The Tetra Aquatic Turtle Deluxe tank is an amazing piece with so much quality enveloping it. Many aquarists that have tried it out have been thrilled by its functionality and the features that are integrated into it – turtle keepers appear to have a special admiration for this. Furthermore, the package comes with add-ons that make for a stress-free setup is also seen as a great bonus. Without an iota of doubt, this aquarium is a piece that you won’t regret buying – it’s that good!
2. Carolina Biological 20-Gallon Fishtank
This may look simple in design; it should not be seen as “just another one of the lots”. It has got explicit quality about it as the technicality behind the production is impressive. This fish tank with its 20-gallon capacity, which will effectively house reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and other aquatic pets, is really tough and sturdy.
It is made from a glass material that is of premium quality and the edges are surrounded with silicone, giving a watertight and assured seal. This silicone feature also gives offers some degree of protection to the aquarium. It also features a screen lid – which is also made of glass – to keep the pets safely within the enclosure. Though the lid is not equipped with any lock, it does fit snugly.
- Impressive quality
- Reasonably priced
- It doesn’t come with relevant accessories
The efficiency of the Carolina Biological 20-gallon tank is one of the reasons it has been enjoying rave reviews. Again, customers have also given commendable comments on how tightly sealed this product is. All these are only a testament to the quality that this particular item exudes. The fact that the lid does not feature any hinge or sliding capability may make it a bit difficult to feed your pets, this 20-gallon aquarium remains a tough product nonetheless.
3. Aqueon Aquarium 20-gallon Starter Kit with LED Lighting
We have another masterpiece of some sort on hand in this one. The brand is highly revered for churning out products that would make for a healthy aquatic environment for your pets, and in this very aquarium, it has not disappointed. The interesting part is that upon purchasing this product, you will not only be getting a fine piece of glass aquarium but also ample accessories that make your fish-keeping adventure worthwhile.
It features a QuietFlow power filter that aids in ensuring that the aquatic pets swim about in clean, healthy water. This filter is integrated with an LED light that intimates you about changing the cartridge thus boosting its functionality.
Additionally, the product comes with a heater that has been preset to 25.60C, and the LED light attached to its hood will brighten up the interior of the aquarium, presenting you with an appealing sight. This kit is simply a starter kit as extras [such as water conditioner, fish net, stick-on thermometer, and fish food] are included in the pack.
- Appreciably accessorized
- Easy setup
- Highly functional
- Good value for money
- Powerful and near-silent filter
- The heater cannot be adjusted
- The hood is somewhat loose
This Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit does strike good chords among users who have in turn given some positive reviews about how effective it has been in providing a befitting home for their pets. More so, many aquarists are of the disposition that this starter kit is a steal for the price at which it goes for – another great buy and obviously a good product.
4. SeaClear Aquarium Combo Set 20 gal
Here is a product that is unique in its own way. If you’re so particular about having a crystal-clear view of the lovely aquatic creatures in an aquarium then this SeaClear product should be your pick. Made with acrylic, this 20-gallon fish tank will give you the view you have always desired and yet offer you an impact-resistant product that would stand the test of time.
With a dimension of 24” X 13” X 16.5”, the pets will have a great deal of room to freely explore the aquarium as they swim around. It is designed for both saltwater and freshwater species, and its construction is top-notch. The Set has a 15” light fixture to hold LED lighting in place, and it also features a reflector that functions to help in the effective distribution of light across the interior.
- Impressive construction
- Crystal-clear view
- Promotes effective light distribution
- Highly durable
- Price is a bit on the high side
- The light fixture is not up to scratch
An element that has captivated aquarists using this aquarium from SeaClear is an outstanding clarity that it makes achievable. Most aquarists cherish a lively and appealing fish tank and this exactly what the SeaClear Aquarium Combo Set delivers. That said, the fact that it is yet a top-quality option is not lost on customers. The (high) price is on this one is understandable considering its material makeup.
5. Marina 20-Gallon Aquarium Kit
This kit rightly made with beginners in mind. It is fully loaded with components that would enable quick and easy setup without a need for anything else. The aquarium body is of glass with silicone material surrounding its edges from top to bottom. Even more notable is the fact the manufacturer has made this to help create a conducive and healthy environment to keep your pets.
It features a filtration system that ensures the cleanliness of the water and comes with a water conditioner. It also has a hood unto which daylight LED lighting is integrated to brighten your tank and help in the growth of plants. Along with these, there is a fish net that you will find really useful when cleaning the tank. And, for the first few weeks of purchasing this aquarium, your aquatic pets will get some treats from the Fluval Max fish food included in the pack.
- Outstanding quality
- Well accessorized
- Highly functional
- High-quality and near-silent filtration system
- Easy to set up and maintain
The Marina 20-Gallon Aquarium Kit ticks the right boxes in terms of functionality, price, and quality in customers, and this is just a confirmation of what I already know. Moreover, aquarists keeping bettas are so fond of this item as it promotes the growth of their pet, making the color to flourish. This is, to a large extent, a pointer to the effectiveness of the filtration system and lighting on the product. This is definitely one 20-gallon fish tank I will recommend for beginners – without second-guessing.
6. Tetra Colorfusion 20-Gallon Starter Kit
Last on this list of six best 20-gal aquariums is a classy piece from Tetra. This particular product is commendably durable; a feat brought upon by its scratch-resistant glass material and top-mark construction. And, it makes a good starter pack for anyone who is looking to begin his/her aquarium/fish-keeping hobby on a sound note.
It comes with a couple of exciting features and accessories. Among these are a heater and a filtration system that will contribute to the well-being of the fish tank occupants. Another appealing feature of this 20-gallon fish tank is the color-changing LED lighting that gives your aquarium setup a varying outlook on an intermittent basis. There is also a securely fitted hood on it to help keep jumpers – species like bettas, swordtails, guppies, etc – in check.
Artificial plastic plants and boxwood plants have also been included to further complement the aquarium’s decorative outlook. The white anemone in the package will be useful for creating hiding spots for the pets.
- Good quality
- Anti-scratch glass
- Well-accessorized aquarium kit
- Decorative thrill
- The heater cannot be adjusted
- Some of the add-ons like the heater and filter are not of quality standard
There have been a lot of positive reviews on the functionality of this fish tank, with many aquarists thumbing it up for the components that are included. Likewise, the ease with which this item can be assembled and maintained is also seen as a major factor that makes it recommendable for beginners.
Important Equipment/Tools Required for a Functional 20-gallon Fish Tank
This section is set apart to discuss some of the tools that are needed to get your 20-gallon fish tank up and running. Though some of these products are available as starter kits with a couple of tools included, the tendency of these tools not being effective enough for your pets’ needs cannot be ruled out. More so, if you have got just a basic fish tank, you should not hesitate to get these tools:
- Filter: The filter is highly essential in every fish tank to keep a clean and safe water environment for your aquatic lovelies. Basically, the filter aids in preventing the accumulation of ammonia and nitrates within the aquarium. For a 20-gallon fish tank, a hang-on-back (HOB) filter which is installed outside the wall of the tank should be the most suitable as it would allow the pets to have enough swimming space. Again, a filter that is capable of achieving a (filtration) rate of 80 GPH should be the minimum for a 20-gallon fish tank
- Heater: A heater is needed in the fish tank to provide warmth for the pets, and this is a necessity when keeping tropical fish species like gouramis, guppies, neon tetra, pictus, and the likes. A heater with 100-watts capacity should do the trick in a 20-gallon aquarium.
- Water pump: The function of the water pump is to generate flows in the fish tank, and it also aids, to a large extent, in ensuring good water quality. Moreover, fish species that are used to swimming in water with a strong current will thrive in a tank that is furnished with an efficient water pump.
- Substrate: Substrates are used in covering the tank’s bottom – on the inside – and as such, they are often seen as serving a decorative purpose. While this is not to be contested, it does not represent the whole truth; substrates also provide a breeding ground for beneficial bacteria [that partake in the nitrogen cycle], and also make the aquarium setup have a more natural feel. Substrates vary in color and particle size, but gravel is the most commonly used.
- Plants: On the scale of importance, plants should be included in the tank to help check the build-up of carbon dioxide and provide some sort of relaxation shelter for the pets – this doesn’t however mean you have to overstock the aquarium. And, not to forget, plants give a decorative appeal to the tank’s interior.
- Lights: The light on the aquarium should serve two or more purposes. One of these is to brighten up the fish tank space and also help in promoting the growth and/or blossoming of plants within the aquarium.
Setting Up Your 20-gallon Fish Tank
Now that you have your 20-gallon fish tank, let me quickly take you through the procedures to follow in setting it up.
Having positioned the fish tank on a stable surface, use a clean damp cloth to get rid of dust and particles from within it (i.e., the aquarium). After this, prepare the substrate by thoroughly rinsing or washing it, and then spread it out on the bottom of the aquarium.
Up next is the addition of water which should be directed to a dish that must have been placed inside the tank beforehand. Adding the water this way would prevent the creation of holes – due to the direct impact of water – around the substrate. Thereafter, you can add plates and decorative features to the setup.
Devices such as heater, filter, and water pump can now be installed unto the aquarium set-up and switch on.
It is important to note that this does not mean the item is fully ready to accommodate the species just yet as there is a need to cycle it. The cycling of the aquarium is essential in order to build a sustainable ecosystem that can take care of ammonia to some degree. With plants, cycling can take between 5 – 6 weeks; the process can however be sped up by adding beneficial bacteria to the tank.
After cycling must have been actualized, float the bag having the fish on the surface of the prepared aquarium for about 15 minutes. Then, bring the bag out and fill it to a quarter – still with the fish in it – reseal and return it (i.e., the bag) to the aquarium’s surface, leaving it there for another 15 minutes. This measure is taken to help the fish acclimatize to its new home.
It’s now time to introduce the fish to the aquarium. So, get your fish net to pick it up from the bag and place it in the aquarium.
- How many fishes can you keep in a 20-gallon fish tank?
As the growth rate of fish species vary, it would be illogical to specifically mention the number of fish that should occupy a 20-gallon aquarium. However, the rule of thumb is that aquarists should mark out one gallon for every inch of fish. So, for instance, 5 fishes, with each being 4” long, should conveniently occupy a 20-gallon aquarium. Take note that the length of the matured fish is what you need to consider when making this calculation. In this wise, you will have to look up the adult size of your chosen pet.
- Where should you position the 20-gallon fish tank?
Factoring the length and weight of the tank – as earlier communicated – it should be placed on a steady platform that would satisfactorily accommodate its size. Furthermore, the fish tank set-up should not be placed at a spot where sunlight will hit it directly.