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You are an animal lover and have been interested in buying a fish for some time? But you still don’t have a suitable home for the animal offspring? Nevertheless, the housing should be decorative and stylish? Then you should take a closer look at the aquarium. But how do I set up an aquarium? And how do I keep it clean?

We tell you everything about the animals in the aquarium, the capacity and the design of the aquarium in our aquarium test 2023. In addition, we help you decide between species, community, biotope and nano aquariums and give you numerous tips on cleaning, water temperature and the optimal pH value.


  • An aquarium is not only the home of your pets, but with the right decoration and care it is also very decorative.
  • Depending on the type and purpose, a distinction is made between species aquariums, community aquariums, biotope aquariums and nano aquariums.
  • The type and number of animals in the aquarium, the capacity, the design and the cleaning effort are decisive criteria that you should consider before buying an aquarium.

The Best Aquarium: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an aquarium

What are the advantages of an aquarium culture?

There are many pets that require a terrarium, but fish and other underwater animals in particular are very easy to keep and can add more life and variety to your living space with an aquarium. A beautiful and calming sight for young and old.

Aquarium zwei Aquarien

If you want to buy an aquarium, you have to do a little research. For example, what kind(s) of fish are we talking about? Which fish or plants should not share a tank with each other, or rather, which are the predators? Next, you have to make sure that the fish feel comfortable in their tanks and create the best conditions. (Photo: grafner /

For fish and other underwater inhabitants of an aquarium, it takes a lot of groundwork to make them feel comfortable in their tank. If you do everything right and the animals swim in the right climate, you can always enjoy a colourful and calming aquarium in your room.

Fish are especially suitable for busy people, as aquarium animals do not require a lot of attention. However, they should not be neglected either.

What does an aquarium cost?

Aquariums can be found in all price ranges and accordingly in all sizes and quality levels. Depending on what the budget and capacities allow, almost anything imaginable is possible. Here is a brief overview:

Model Approximate costs
Aquarium 60 l incl accessories 40-90 €
Aquarium 60 l incl accessories 120-200 €
Aquarium 60 l incl accessories 250-350 €
Base cabinet for your aquariumr 40-100 €
Saltwater aquarium 200 l incl accessories 800-3000 €

The simplest aquarium constructions can be purchased for as little as a few euros. However, if you value the living conditions of the animals, you should invest in space and water quality (proper filters and cleaning mechanisms).

A nano aquarium can be found for as little as €50 in a complete set, but it is not suitable for many fish and is very compact.

Among other things, biotope aquariums can be very expensive because of their lifelike appearance. And depending on how big the tank is and what the equipment of the aquarium and the needs of the animals demand, the costs can be very high.

Die Einrichtung eines Aquariums bedarf viel Arbeit.

Setting up an aquarium for fish requires a lot of preparatory work.

How do you set up an aquarium?

Besides colourful fish and large water plants, the right choice of care accessories for the inhabitants is very important. Only then will the animals live a long and happy aquarium life in their home.

A water pump, the right water temperature, water plants and much more. The most important thing at this point is to adapt the setup to the needs of your fish.

Most pet shops, DIY shops and online shops offer a wide range of equipment for your aquarium. There are hardly any limits to your ideas.

If you are not quite sure, it is best to ask for advice on the spot. It is important to consider many points when setting up an aquarium so that the fish feel comfortable.

Can I rent aquariums?

Yes, you can rent aquariums! Online, in shops or from friends and acquaintances.

Various media allow you to commit to an aquarium for only a short time. This method is suitable for you if you want to see how it is to live with fish. Most of the time, you don’t have to worry about the cleaning and health of the animals. Equipped and individually designed, you hardly have to worry about the fish and just enjoy their colourful appearance.

Decision: What types of aquariums are there and which one is right for you?

In general, aquarists distinguish between four different types of aquariums:

  • Species aquarium
  • Community aquarium
  • Biotope aquarium
  • Nano aquarium

The aquariums differ in their water volume and the different types of fish and aquatic plants that can be kept in them.

Depending on the size of your home aquarium and the species of fish and aquatic plants you want to keep in it, a different aquarium will be suitable for you. In the following section we would like to help you find out which aquarium is best for you.

Aquarium öffentliches Aquarium

As a rule of thumb, an aquarium should be cleaned once a week. For this purpose, the fish(es) must be temporarily removed from the glass. This is an excellent way to keep them for a short time in plastic bags or buckets. However, caution is advised, as fish are very shy and uncontrollable. It can happen that they slip out of your hand and jump to their death. (Photo: Leungchopan /

For this purpose, we will introduce you to all the above-mentioned types of aquariums and give you a clear overview of their advantages and disadvantages.

How does an artaquarium work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The special advantage of a species aquarium is that it is adapted to the needs of the animals and plants kept in it. This way you can keep your favourite fish species in a way that makes them feel most comfortable.

The keeping conditions in this aquarium are adapted to the needs of the animals and plants kept in it. This is the best way to observe the natural behaviour of your animals, as the fish are not influenced or stressed. One species of fish dominates in these species aquariums, as they are particularly suitable for keeping piranhas, discus fish, killifish, dwarf puffer fish and invertebrates such as shrimps and crayfish.

  • Observation of the animals possible
  • Water conditions and habitat exactly adapted to the needs
  • Fish easy to breed
  • Fish less susceptible to disease
  • Less colourful aquarium
  • Requires a lot of experience

Since the water conditions and habitat are exactly adapted to the needs of the fish species kept, optimal living conditions can be created for the fish species. This makes them less susceptible to diseases and they show normal behaviour. In this way, you can keep happy and healthy fish and also breed more.

With time, one also becomes an expert of the fish species as its demands increase. In this way, even rare and demanding fish can be kept.

What is the composition of a community aquarium and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A diverse and colourful aquarium in which different fish species and plants can live together. A prerequisite for this is that they are combined with each other based on a number of factors.

In this aquarium, fish and plants live together that require a similar habitat and environment. This includes the condition and temperature of the water, the aquarium equipment and other living habits. In this community tank, different peaceful animals with approximately the same husbandry requirements are “socialised” with each other. Small frogs, snails, mussels but also shrimps and crayfish are particularly suitable for this process.

  • Diverse tank and very large selection of aquarium fish and aquatic plants
  • Diverse combination options of different fish and plant species from a wide variety of continents
  • Stressed and endangered fish
  • Compatibility must be taken into account
  • The more exotic and diverse, the more difficult it is to keep and care for

A community aquarium offers a diverse and colourful aquarium in which different fish species and aquatic plants can live.

Since the fish live together in a few cubic metres, care must be taken to ensure that the fish get along with each other. This should be clarified before purchase, as new fish can cause stress and danger in the tank.

When buying, you should therefore obtain precise information about the fish and also decide according to the conditions in the tank who may move in next.

What is a biotope aquarium and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The focus here is on a lifelike reproduction of the environment and a very high quality of life. Animals and plants are kept together whose habitats are similar in the wild. However, everything here is still under water. You will find a mixture of the two habitats land and water in an aquaterrarium.

This aquarium reproduces the habitats found in nature as closely as possible. The Amazon aquarium is one of the best known examples of biotope aquariums. The aquarium is intended to be a habitat for the fish in which the plants and creatures correspond to the natural environment of the fish in reality. The tank is then decorated accordingly. The aim is to ensure a very high quality of life for the fish.

  • The different fish species all prefer the same conditions in terms of water values and aquarium equipment
  • High quality of life
  • Almost true-to-nature keeping
  • Obtain precise information for the fish and their living conditions
  • Very high costs in some cases
  • Great effort

As the aim is to achieve a near-natural husbandry, this can be associated with very high costs. Precise information about the fish and their living conditions must be obtained.

However, a high quality of life can be ensured by keeping the fish almost true to nature and thus healthy and happy fish can be bred.

Other examples of biotope tanks are South America, Central America, Asia or Malawi tanks.

What distinguishes a nano aquarium from the other aquarium types and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Nano aquariums are offered as a set with a small internal filter, a glass cover, a heating rod and clip-on lighting. They are particularly space-saving and inexpensive.

With a portable water volume of 10 to 40 litres, nano tanks are particularly suitable for students who have little space for an aquarium. They are also very inexpensive and are ideal as a beautifully planted aquarium.

  • Little space required
  • Low purchase costs
  • Suitable for keeping shrimps
  • Not suitable for keeping fish for animal welfare reasons
  • Not enough living swimming space available even for small species

As it is not suitable for keeping several fish in nano tanks for animal welfare reasons, shrimps and other small underwater invertebrates can be kept in them.

With a small aquarium volume and favourable set prices, the nano aquarium can score points and is very popular especially with aquarium beginners.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate aquariums based on these factors

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate aquariums. This will hopefully make it easier for you to decide whether a particular aquarium is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Animals in the aquarium
  • Capacity and size
  • Design
  • Simplicity of cleaning

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Animals in the aquarium

Depending on which animals you want to have in your aquarium and how much time you have for them, you will have to buy a different aquarium.

Whether it is goldfish, clownfish, koi fish or other ornamental fish, the aquarium should be adapted to their needs. Starting with the water temperature, water type, planting and even the pH value of the water, you must consider everything for your animals so that they can live a long and happy life with you.

Be well informed about the eating and living habits of the animals you want to keep in your aquarium.

Of course, each animal will require different care. This depends on how much time you have for the animals and their care. The water needs to be changed regularly and the animals have different eating habits.

Capacity and size

Different sizes and volumes of aquariums allow you to keep certain fish that require more space. This limits the appropriate design of the aquarium.

In addition to the water conditions, the animals also need different amounts of space. For example, a nano aquarium is suitable for breeding fish, small fish that no longer grow, shrimps and snails. Larger aquariums are suitable for larger fish that also need a lot of room to move.

So depending on how much space you can offer for your animals, the larger the animal selection for your aquarium.


The design of the aquarium can sometimes limit the habitat of the animals. Each design may be better suited to different animals.

A hexagon aquarium can be very restrictive for larger fish due to its angular shape. Of course, this design is very interesting, but again you have to adapt yourself and your home to the needs of the animals.

tetra aquaart discovery line led aquarium komplett set 20 liter weiss inklusive

When designing the aquarium, you should consider the needs of the animals that will live in the aquarium.

Simplicity of cleaning

Cleaning your aquarium can be a very complicated process. Depending on how much time you have and what utensils you have available, the process can become more difficult.

Cleaning and therefore maintaining your aquarium is very important for the health of your fish. You need to take your time and have a good strategy for this. It is important to look at how easy it is to clean the aquarium when you buy it.

Regular cleaning of the aquarium is essential.

Can the lid be removed? Will the fish be hurt when you take it out? These questions should be clarified before buying to ensure a smooth process.

Facts worth knowing about aquariums

Where is an aquarium most often used?

From large underwater worlds to small aquariums in the home, aquariums can be found everywhere. The most common place to find aquariums is in the living room. Students and busy people in particular like to keep fish, as the effort required to keep them as pets is very manageable.

How long have people been keeping fish in aquariums?

The history of people keeping fish goes back a long way, from the Sumerians to the present day. Fish in an artificial environment has been around since the Sumerians, who kept captive fish in ponds before eating them.

In ancient Egypt, too, all temple gardens were equipped with rectangular water basins. Even today, fish are kept in aquariums and are very popular in households.

What do you have to consider if you want to keep freshwater fish?

Below we have created a table that includes the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. It contains the most important factors you should look out for if you want to buy and keep fish.

Fish species Tank size PH-value Water temperature
Antenna catfish approx. 80 litres 6.0 to 7.8 20 °C to 25 °C
Black molly min. 60 litres 7.2 to 8.2 24 °C to 28 °C
Discus fish approx. 250 litres 5.0 to 7.8 26 °C to 30 °C
Guppy min. 54 litres 6.0 to 7.5 24 °C to 27 °C
Neon tetra min. 54 litres 5.0 to 6.8 20 °C to 26 °C
Malawi perch approx. 180 litres 7.7 to 8.2 22 °C to 25 °C
Cory min. 60 litres 7.0 to 8.0 22 °C to 28 °C
Platy min. 54 litres 7.0 to 8.0 22 °C to 28 °C
Butterfly cichlid min. 50 litres 5.0 to 7.0 24 °C to 28 °C
Siamese fighting fish min. 54 litres 6.0 to 7.5 24 °C to 30 °C
Angelfish approx. 250 litres 6.0 to 7.5 24 °C to 30 °C
Dwarf gourami min. 54 litres 6.2 to 6.8 24 °C to 28 °C

As these fish are schooling animals, we recommend keeping them only above a certain tank size, otherwise there is a risk of “overcrowding” and the tank will soon “tip over”. After all, you don’t want to be crammed together with your best friends in a very small space every day.

Image source: / Flickr