Fish tanks and fish aquariums offer a serene environment for not only the fish you keep, but for yourself as well. Whether you just sit and stare at the beautiful fish, or you keep watch from afar, fishkeeping is a wonderful and peaceful hobby. Aquarists agree that owning fish and crustaceans is not only a hobby, but a fun pastime. How often do you find yourself staring into a freshwater aquarium or saltwater aquarium at a restaurant or shop that has one? That same enjoyment and delight can be had at home or in the office.
Why choose a self cleaning fish tank?
One of the biggest factors that stops people from owning a freshwater fish tank or saltwater fish tank is the cleaning and maintenance they require. Fish tank cleaning and aquarium maintenance can be seen as a chore for some. It usually only requires 15 to 30 minutes once a week and 45 minutes to an hour once a month, however some people would rather not have to deal with this and instead, just enjoy their beautiful fish. There is always the option of hiring an aquarium maintenance service, but for small fish tanks it’s not worth the cost or time. Luckily, self cleaning fish tanks are an option.
Self cleaning fish tanks and self cleaning aquariums are becoming more and more popular with new and improved options at different sizes available for home or office purchase. As mentioned above, cleaning is the most time-consuming part (not that it requires a lot of time) and people are busy with their lives. A self cleaning fish tank or self cleaning aquarium can help alleviate some of that time and allow you to just enjoy your setup. There is no perfect solution and even a low maintenance fish tank or low maintenance aquarium will require some cleaning and maintenance time, however it should be less often and hopefully (depending on your fish tank or aquarium setup) reduce the time required as well.
A self clean fish tank or self cleaning aquarium system can be used to house a variety of tropical fish and crustaceans including; freshwater fish, saltwater fish, and even betta fish. However, for a self cleaning betta fish tank we recommend a minimum size of 2.5 gallons as the smallest size since betta’s do need space despite what you read on other websites. Make sure to keep in mind the location of your tank. A power source is going to be needed, and a water source close by will make things easier. Always put your aquarium on a sturdy surface, especially in high traffic areas. So if you’re looking for an easy clean fish tank the list below should give you recommendations and options of multiple sizes and shapes to meet your home or office needs.
Self Cleaning Fish Tank Reviews
- EcoQubeC Aqaurium
The EcoQube C Aquarium is 2.5 gallons in size and is a great entry level aquarium for first time aquarists. With its innovative design, this self cleaning fish tank offers aquaponics as its main source of water filtration as well as an added UV sterilizer for extra cleaning. Aquaponics is a cycle in which the fish and crustaceans supply nutrients for plants to grow and in turn the plants help to purify the water through their root system. Aquaponic systems do not require much maintenance or monitoring. Using this type of system requires little to no filter changes and water changes are only needed every 1 to 2 months instead of every week!
There is no such thing as a perfect system, and the EcoQube C is no exception. Too much sunlight will require more frequent water changes and cleanings as algae blooms tend to happen much faster and easier with direct sunlight. The LEDs are bright enough to keep your fish and aquarium plants happy. You will still need to purchase your own heater as this aquarium kit does not come with one. The other issue with this self cleaning fish tank kit is its price. If you are looking for a cheap self cleaning fish tanks or cheap self cleaning aquariums, the EcoQube C might be an issue. The last thing to mention is there is no guarantee the supplied basil plant, or any other herb or sprout you choose is going to grow. However, more often than not it will but at a slower pace than you should expect. Sometimes the seeds just don’t take off, but if you keep trying you will be successful.
- Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank
Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank is another option for an aquaponics based system. However it has some different but unique elements compared to the EcoQube C. This fish tank is slightly bigger at 3 gallons (bigger is always better when it comes to self cleaning fish tanks or any fish tanks in general) and instead of only offering the ability to grow one herb or sprout, this aquarium gives you the option to up to six at one time. It also comes with a pump, grow stones and a very small amount of gravel. Overall a very interesting a good idea, but it will require some planning to use. Six plants is a lot of filtering for one or two fish and could very much be detrimental to their health. Careful considerations will be needed with the types and amount of fish, but its definitely a good product when the constraints and environment is correctly setup. We do not recommend a betta fish with this product as it will not be a good environment due to the reasons mentioned above.
This aquarium has a few other issues that you should be aware of. It does not come with a grow light and plants need light. As soon as you introduce natural light for the plants you will get a major algae bloom. Therefor this self cleaning fish tank kit will definitely require a grow light. It will also need a heater for almost any fish you decide to put in it. The tank materials themselves are not the best and can warp over time and it does have a fairly high price tag. As mentioned previously, no tank can be completely cleaning and maintenance free. Overall it’s a good option for a self cleaning and self sustaining fish tank with some forethought and planning, but don’t expect it to be just purchase as is and go.
- AquaSprouts Garden
If you are lucky enough to already have a standard 10 gallon fish tank then the AquaSprouts Garden will make a great addition. If you don’t, head over to our 10 gallon fish tank review guide to find one. This aquarium add-on is great for growing all sorts of plants including herbs, vegetables, and sprouts and more! It’s a good starter kit for those looking to utilize space indoors to grow plants if you don’t have the space outside. It comes with a garden bed, light bar (grow light not included), a pump and timer, and grow media. Again, this is an aquaponics aqaurium system which utlized the recycling of water between the plaints, fish and bacteria to keep your water clean giving you a self cleaning aquarium.
Obviously you will need a standard size 10 gallon aquarium to be able to use this aquaponic system, but once you should be able to get on your way to growing plants. However, this is not a set it and forget it system. It will require quite a lot of upfront work to get it all setup and careful planning when adding fish and plants to an ecosystem. Its definitely not hard but will require some patience at first. Once it’s setup, you should have both a self sustaining aquarium and a . Mentioned in the paragraph above, you will need to purchase a grow light and we recommend the Hydroplant T5 grow light. You will also not be able to use a aquarium hood light since this takes the place of the hood. If you are growing live plants in the water you will need to find another way to provide them with enough light to live.
- biOrb CLASSIC Aquarium with LED Light
If you are not particularly sold on a aquaponic system for a variety of reasons, including the cost or need for plants, the biOrb Classic is your best option. This self-cleaning fish tank is designed for both form and function. It’s aesthetically pleasing and comes in a number of sizes: 4 gallon, 8 gallon, 16 gallon, and 28 gallon. The tank itself has a built in filtration system that includes a pump, air stone, filter cartridge, and ceramic media. The entire low maintenance filtration system is completely self contained. Water circulates through the ceramic media where fish and other waste are collected and toxins are absorbed. The remaining water and waste then pass through the sponge filter cartridge cleaning the water and trapping waste and particles. Clean water is then oxygenated and pumped up to the top of the aquarium. This system and it’s self cleaning process is really great and will cut down on your cleaning and maintenance time tremendously.
With 4 different size options you can have as little or as many fish as you want, up to a maximum of the tank size you choose. The rule of thump is 1 inch of fish per one gallon of water. However, we do not recommend betta fish for this tank as the water flow is too strong for them. Instead, have a look at our best betta fish tanks guide. These aquariums do require regular filter changes (every 4 to 8 weeks) which do come at some cost, but if you are looking to spend less time cleaning it will unfortunately cost you more. We believe it’s a trade off that is completely worth while. As with most other self cleaning fish tanks, no heater is included so you will need to purchase one. Due to having to use the ceramic media, any fish that need sand will not be able to live in one of these tanks. When you do need to clean and change the filter cartridge it is not easy as other tanks due to everything encased in the base. While cleaning should be months apart, when you do it will probably take longer than normal aquariums.
- NoClean Aquariums GravityFlow Self-Cleaning Fish Tank Starter Kit
If you are looking for a no frills easy to use and maintain fish tank, the NoClean is an option to look at. The NoClean Aquarium has two sizes at 2 gallons and 0.5 gallon. It has no pump, no filter, and no electricity needed. The design of the system is simple; it has a spout that automatically expels water when you add new fresh and clean water. The water that comes out the spout is gravity fed and comes from the bottom where all the waste material sits.
Depending which size and shape you get, your fish options will be different. That tall tank is better for fish that don’t necessarily need to swim around a lot due to it being tall and most fish swim to side more than up and down, since most fish live at either the top, middle, or bottom of the aquarium. The smaller tank is not recommended for a betta fish. There is also no lid included, and it has no light source so keeping live plants will not be an option. Again, if you are looking for a no frills option that is easy to clean and maintain then it can be a good option for you. This fish tank will definitely not keep clean as well or as long as the options with pumps, filters, and aquapinics.
- As Seen on TV My Fun Fish Tank
The My Fun Fish Tank is a perfect option for getting your kids involved in fishkeeping. It has a similar cleaning system as the NoClean Aquarium where you add clean and fresh water and dirty water and waste get pushed out the spout through from the bottom of the tank from its gravity system. The As Seen on TV My Fun Fish Tank also includes a small LED light, a small amount of aquarium rocks, and a small aquatic plant.
As with the other gravity cleaning fish tank, it’s not a perfect solution and will definitely require cleaning more often than those that have true filtration systems. However, with such a low cost of entry it’s a great option for kids and adults looking to learn. Your fish options will be limited due to the size and shape, and we do not recommend betta fish as it is just too small and narrow. Overall a cheap plastic self cleaning fish tank option with not much to lose since everything is included except a fish.
This guide provides multiple options and styles for self cleaning aquariums and self cleaning fish tanks. Whether you want an aquaponics based system, self-contained cleaning system, or a gravity cleaning system, you have all the options laid out above. Low maintenance fish tanks and low maintenance aquariums will let you own, look after, and admire the beauty in fish, but will also require less cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning and maintenance can become a chore and if you don’t keep up with it your little fish friends will suffer. Make sure you are ready for the commitment, but at least with the options in this guide it will be less of a commitment and more of an enjoyment. The cost of entry for most of the self cleaning aquarium systems is higher than regular options, but it’s the price we have to pay to keep us from constantly needing to clean.
We hope this guide about self cleaning fish tanks helped you to decide on which option is right for you. Please leave any comments or questions below with your thoughts or feedback.