Best 15-Gallon Fish Tank For Beginners (2022 Buyer’s Guide)

A 15-gallon fish tank is a great choice for beginner and experienced aquarists as it’s larger enough for many colorful, interesting fish species, with the bonus of being small enough for small spaces.

However, choosing an aquarium can be stressful as there are a lot of factors you need to keep in mind, such as shape, material, material, and quality.

My first aquarium was a 15-gallon, but it didn’t last very long as I picked up a cheap, poorly-made unit from my local pet store.

In fact, the aquarium leaked while I was at work which, as you can imagine, was a nightmare to clear up when I returned home.

So, to help you find the best 15-gallon fish tank (and save your floors!)I’ll be looking at some of the top fish tanks on the market and taking a deep dive into their pros and cons.

The Best From The Reviews

Here’s a preview of the top 3 best 15 gallon fish tanks from our list…

Top Pick

Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit, Black, 15 Gallon

The Fluval Spec is a terrific tank for most beginners as it comes with a wide selection of useful features, including a built-in filter, LED lighting, lid, and filter media.

Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit, Black, 15 Gallon

Out of all the aquariums I’ve reviewed, this one is my overall top selection.

Best Value

Seapora Standard Aquarium, 15-Gallon

This 15-gallon aquarium boasts a black trim and strong glass construction while also being affordable.

Seapora Standard Aquarium, 15-Gallon

If you need a top-notch fish tank on a budget, this one is my top choice.

Editor’s Choice

LANDEN Ultra Clear Glass Low Iron Aquarium Tank

Featuring a crystal-clear construction and beveled edge, this aquarium from LANDEN is hard to beat in terms of quality and appearance. It also comes with built-in filtration chambers and foam leveling pads.

LANDEN Ultra Clear Glass Low Iron Aquarium Tank

Although a little pricier than some of the other 15 gallon fish tanks I’ve looked at, this 15-gallon tank is my personal favorite due to its exceptional quality.

On To The Reviews…

Top Pick

Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit, Black, 15 Gallon

The Fluval Spec comes with a huge range of accessories and features, including a filtration system, powerful light, and filter media, making it a great choice for most beginners.

Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit, Black, 15 Gallon

Fluval are well-known among aquarists for their high-standard products, and the Fluval Flex Kit is no different.

You get a huge range of features and accessories with the tank, so it’s a brilliant starter tank if you’re new to the fishkeeping hobby.

Elegant Design

The tank itself is stunning, featuring a unique curved front design for easy viewing and crystal clear glass construction.

There’s a hidden rear filter compartment and honeycomb wrap that keeps the water line and the filter out of view.

Included Filters

To support the health of your fish, maintain the quality of your water, and keep ammonia and nitrate levels low. The 15-gallon tank comes with a strong 3-stage filter with oversized mechanical, chemical, and biological media.

It has multi-directional dual outputs so you can adjust the water flow, too.

Lighting Features

If all of these features weren’t enough, the Fluval Spec includes a black lid to keep your fish secure, as well as 7500K LED lighting with bright white and RGB LEDs and a remote control to change the lighting effects.

The led lamp is ideal for growing most plant types and improving the color of your fish.

There are a couple of minor issues with this 15-gallon fish tank, however.

Firstly, the filtration system isn’t as powerful as stated, so it might be insufficient for stocking fish with heavy bioloads. Secondly, the light can sometimes stop working after a couple of months of use, so you might need to change the bulbs frequently.

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 24.25” x 12.5” x 12.75”
  • Product Weight: 24.2 lbs
  • Tank Shape: Rectangular

Pros

  • Visually stunning fish tank with unique curved front design
  • Comes with a lid
  • Includes a variety of accessories like a filter, light, and media

Cons

  • Filtration system can lack power
  • LED lighting can stop working prematurely

Best Value

Seapora Standard Aquarium, 15-Gallon

Made from heavy-duty glass, this fish tank from Seapora is a solid choice if you need an inexpensive aquarium for your fish.

Seapora Standard Aquarium, 15-Gallon

If you need a high-quality 15-gallon aquarium that won’t break the bank, the Seapora Standard Aquarium is a great pick due to its affordability.

This glass tank has a black trim along the base and top, which is a nice decorative touch.

Strong Glass

The aquarium is made from thick glass, so you don’t need to worry about it cracking with the slightest knock.

As someone who’s experienced their fair share of broken fish tanks due to inferior materials, this is a feature I definitely appreciate!

Solid Build

I also like how sturdy the 15-gallon tank is, especially when you consider its fairly low price. It doesn’t wobble when placed on a flat surface, which is a mark of quality.

However, the black trim on the fish tank isn’t made from the highest grade of plastic as it can be damaged somewhat easily, so you might want to use caution when transporting the tank.

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 15.94” x 16.73” x 15.94”
  • Product Weight: 28 lbs
  • Tank Shape: Rectangular

Pros

  • Decorative black trim
  • Made from thick glass
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Black trim is a little fragile

Editor’s Choice

LANDEN Ultra Clear Glass Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank

Sporting an ulta-clear and rimless construction, the LANDEN 15-gallon aquarium is one of most visually striking fish tanks available for purchase. It comes with foam pads so the tank can rest stable, as well as an integrated filtration system (the only extra you need is a return pump!).

LANDEN Ultra Clear Glass Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank

This glass tank from LANDEN is my personal favorite due to its superior construction and appearance.

It’s made from low-iron glass with a beveled edge, giving it excellent clarity and light transmittance. The aquarium comes with foam pads to keep the unit stable and level.

Durability & Versatility

The joints are made from durable silica gel to create a smooth and rimless look.

It’s suitable for freshwater and saltwater fish species, but bear in mind that the volume is only 15 gallons, so you’d need to select small fish species like siamese fighting fish, guppies and platies.

Integrated Filtration

Alongside its modern and visually striking appearance, the 15-gallon aquarium features an integrated filtration system where you can store your filtration media, protein skimmer, heater, or other aquarium equipment.

The system comes with a water inlet and adjustable directional nozzle, so the only extra equipment you need is a return pump to keep your tank water clean and filtrated!

The only downside of this tank is the large size of the built-in filtration chambers, which makes the tank relatively bulky and heavy.

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 17.72” x 17.72” x 15.75”
  • Product Weight: 53 lbs
  • Tank Shape: Rectangular

Pros

  • Ultra clear and visually striking
  • Beveled edge for a rimless look
  • Comes with foam pads to keep the tank level
  • Includes an integrated filtration system

Cons

  • Quite bulky and heavy

SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 15 Gal Deluxe Hexagon

The SeaClear Acrylic Deluxe Hexagon Aquarium Combo Set boasts an attractive hexagonal shape that’s ideal for fishkeepers with limited space. It comes with a light fixture and reflector, the latter of which helps increase the visibility of the interior.

SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 15 Gal Deluxe Hexagon

Featuring a unique hexagonal design, the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set is a stylish 15-gallon aquarium that would look great in any space.

Small But Stylish

Due to the tank’s tall height and fairly short length, it’s ideal for tight spaces or aquarists with limited room. It could easily fit on a desk or small table to spruce up your lounge or bedroom!

The tank is acrylic, which makes it impact-resistant, lightweight, and sturdy.

If you didn’t already know, acrylic aquariums are much more heavy-duty and lighter than glass fish tanks, so they’re particularly useful for households with other pets or small children.

Lighting Fixture

The SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set includes a reflector and 12-inch light fixture so you can install a separate lamp. I like the reflector as it helps illuminate the tank to increase the visibility of your fish.

Unfortunately, this 15-gallon aquarium can warp after a few months of use, but this is common with acrylic fish tanks in general.

The included light fixture is also a little flimsy, so you might want to use a stronger light fixture/hood.

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 15” x 15” x 20”
  • Product Weight: 15.35 lbs
  • Tank Shape: Hexagonal

Pros

  • Stylish hexagonal shape
  • Lightweight and impact-resistant
  • Comes with a reflector and light fixture

Cons

  • Can warp after a few months of use
  • Included light fixture isn’t the best quality

Lifegard Aquatics 15 Gallon Clear Glass Aquarium

The 15-Gallon Rimless Clear Glass Aquarium from Lifegard Aquatics is high clarity and sturdy, making it both beautiful and heavy-duty.

Lifegard Aquatics 15 Gallon Clear Glass Aquarium

Sleek Style

This rimless aquarium from Lifegard Aquatics is one of the most aesthetically pleasing 15-gallon fish tanks on the market due to its high clarity and extra-clear glass design.

No matter which fish you decide to stock the tank with, it’s sure to look spectacular.

Great Build

It has an ultra-clear glue joint using German engineered glue, as well as an insulation pad to protect the base and prevent it from scratching. This mat also helps keep the tank level so it doesn’t wobble or rest wonky.

My only concern with this tank is its fragility as it’s made from low-iron glass which, while looks stunning, is more prone to cracking than regular glass.

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 23.22” x 11.02” x 13.38”
  • Product Weight: 28 lbs
  • Tank Shape: Rectangular

Pros

  • Ultra-clear glass
  • Strong construction
  • Comes with an insulation pad to protect the vase

Cons

  • May be more prone to cracking than regular glass tanks

Coralife LED Biocube Marine or Freshwater Aquarium Kit 16

The Coralife LED Biocube aquarium is a solid choice for new fishkeepers as it comes with a selection of accessories, such as an in-built filter, hood, and light.

Coralife LED Biocube Marine or Freshwater Aquarium Kit 16

Although listed as a 16-gallon tank, the Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium Kit comes with a built-in compartment that reduces its volume, so the actual tank size is closer to 15 gallons.

Strong Glass

The tank is made from thick glass and comes with a huge range of features, so despite its fairly hefty pierce tag, it’s a good starter kit for beginners.

You get a programmable hinge top hood with a 24-hour timer filled with bright white and blue LED lighting, as well as 30-minute gradual sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset timer. The latter creates a more natural setting for your fish as it replicates morning and evening light.

Filtration Media

In addition to LED lighting, the Coralife Biocube includes built-in backwall filtration chambers to store biological, mechanical, and chemical filter media.

The chamber also comes with a submersible pump, durable intakes, and adjustable return nozzles to keep your water chemistry pristine.

Although the tank itself is excellent, the accessories included with the kit aren’t of the best standard, particularly the in-built filter, which can be both noisy and prone to clogging.

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 16.75” x 15” x 17.5”
  • Product Weight: approx 50 lbs
  • Tank Shape: Rectangular

Pros

  • Made from thick glass
  • Comes with many features and accessories
  • Ideal for new fishkeepers

Cons

  • Included accessories aren’t the best quality

How Much Does a 15-Gallon Tank Weigh?

The weight of a 15-gallon tank depends on a few factors, including the shape and material of the aquarium, as well as whether the tank comes with any built-in accessories or equipment (filtration system, internal pump, etc).

For instance, aquariums that come with integrated equipment or compartments like the Coralife Biocube will weigh considerably more than a regular tank (the size 16 version weighs around 50 pounds!).

Additionally, acrylic enclosures are more lightweight than glass habitats.

… acrylic enclosures are more lightweight than glass habitats.

A standard empty glass 15-gallon will usually weigh around 21 pounds, whereas an acrylic 15-gallon will weigh around 15 pounds.

Once you fill the tank with water, most 15-gallon fish tanks will weigh around 120 pounds, but this will be higher depending on what the tank is filled with (live plants, artificial plants, substrate, decorations, heater, filter, etc).

A 15-gallon aquarium that is only half full will weigh around 60 pounds, but again, if it’s packed with live plants, artificial plants, heavy equipment, substrate, etc, then it will weigh more.

How Big Is a 15-Gallon Fish Tank?

A 15-gallon fish tank isn’t overly big and will easily fit on most tables and surfaces that are less than 24 inches in length.

The video below shows you what one of the options on this list, the Fluval Flex, might look like on your table

Fluval Flex 15 Gallon Overview

What Are the Dimensions of a 15-Gallon Fish Tank?

The dimensions of a 15-gallon tank largely depends on its shape and whether it has any built-in compartments, but most standard tanks of this size are 24 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches.

What Fish Can Live In a 15-Gallon Fish Tank?

Commonly used for freshwater tank setups, a 15-gallon fish tank isn’t huge, the type of fish you can own is a little limited as you’ll need to stick to relatively small species. Additionally, 15-gallon fish tanks are best for freshwater fish as many marine (salt water) animals require large tanks.

However, there are plenty of colorful and interesting freshwater fish you can purchase for 15-gallon fish tanks, so if you’re looking for stocking ideas, check out my recommendations below!

Stocking Ideas for a 15-Gallon Tank (Where to Begin)

Some good stocking choices to fill your 15-gallon aquarium include siamese fighting fish, barbs, dwarf corydoras, and invertebrates (ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp, amano shrimp, aquatic snails, etc).

You could also consider dwarf gourami, small species of tetras (neon tetras and ember tetras are particularly good options!), platy fish, danios (zebra and leopard danios), rasboras, white cloud minnows, and even dwarf frogs.

fish in a tank
A bright dwarf gourami in a tank

I’ll be explaining a little more about some of the fish species you can fill a 15-gallon aquarium with below to help you understand their specific water conditions and care requirements, so be sure to stick around.

Can Goldfish Live In a 15-Gallon Tank?

Although you might assume a 15-gallon setup makes a good home for goldfish, I wouldn’t recommend doing so as this aquarium size is still less than ideal for these fish.

Goldfish produce a lot of waste and prefer to be kept in pairs or groups, so bigger is always better.

FACT

Fancy goldfish like the oranda need at least a 20-gallon tank (plus an extra 10 gallons for each additional goldfish), whereas common goldfish need at least 40 gallons.

Tetras

Tetras are schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least 6. These schooling fish are usually small, with most species suitable for tanks between 10 to 20 gallons in volume.

Tetras are peaceful and can be housed successfully with other passive fish in a community tank, though certain species such as the serpae tetra and bucktooth tetra can be nippy and aggressive, especially if they are kept in small groups, so they are not ideal community fish.

Provide plenty of real plants in their enclosure to replicate the fish’s natural environment.

multiple fish in a tank
Neon tetra will look great in a 15-gallon fish tank (1)

Neon tetras, ember tetras, cardinal tetras, and silvertip tetras are the perfect size for a 15-gallon. Most tetras thrive in water conditions with a pH between 6.8 and 7.8, alkalinity between 50ppm to 140ppm, and temperature between 75° F and 80 ° F.

The majority of tetras are omnivores and will readily accept tropical fish flakes/granules, frozen fish foods, and live food like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and earthworms.

Danios

Danios are another schooling species of fish, so they must be kept in groups of at least 6 to thrive.

Despite most species only growing to a couple of inches in length, danios are extremely active and lively fish, so ensure they have ample swimming space (don’t overfill the tank with live plants, artificial plants, and decorations – just a small selection!).

… danios are extremely active and lively fish …

Danios are good tank mates for other peaceful species of fish like tetras, fancy guppies, and platy fish.

They are relatively hardy and are easy to feed – offer them a mix of tropical fish flakes, frozen fish foods, and live foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms.

These aquatic pets tolerate a wide range of water parameters, making them a great option for beginner fishkeepers.

House them in water with a pH between 7.0 and 7.8, alkalinity between 50 to 140ppm, and temperature between 70° F and 78° F.

Guppies

Fancy guppies only reach a couple of inches in length, so they’re a great size for a 15-gallon aquarium. They come in a huge range of patterns and colors, with males being more colorful than females.

2 small fish in a tank
A male and female guppy in a tank

Guppies are shoaling fish, so they should be kept with their own kind as they enjoy the company of other guppies. They can also be kept in a community tank with other passive species.

REMINDER

They are prolific breeders and will happily spawn in home aquariums, so if you’d rather avoid being overrun with fry, don’t house males and females together.

These fish are omnivores, so feed them meat-based foods and vegetable matter like tropical fish flakes/granules, spirulina flakes, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and vegetables (zucchini, peas, and cucumber are particularly good options).

House them in waters with a pH between 7.0 and 8.0, temperature between 74° F and 78° F, and alkalinity between 50 to 140 ppm.

Dwarf Cichlids

Although most cichlids are unsuitable for a small aquarium, there are a few dwarf species you can keep in a 15-gallon aquarium, including the German blue ram and apistogramma.

These fish are vividly colored, making them a true showstopper in any tank.

A pair of either species can live in 15-gallon without other fish. While both these fish can live in a community tank with other peaceful species, they’ll need a larger tank than 15 gallons as they can grow up to several inches in length.

Ram cichlids and apistogrammas are omnivores, so they can be fed tropical fish flakes/granules, frozen food, live fish food, and vegetables. Maintain their habitat with a pH between 5.5 to 7.0 and temperature between 70° F to 80 ° F.

NOTE

Ram cichlids and apistogrammas prefer soft water and require a powerful filtration system as they require pristine water conditions.

Platies

Platies are a great small fish for a 15-gallon setup as they only reach around 2 to 3 inches. They are very hardy and come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and fin shapes. My personal favorite is the high-fin red platy!

yellow fish with black markings on body
A striking Gold Comet Tuxedo Platy

Like guppies, platies are easy to breed, so if you keep males and females together, don’t be surprised if you quickly find fry swimming around your small tank!

Platy fish are omnivores and will accept tropical fish flakes, frozen foods, live foods, and vegetables. Maintain their tank with a pH of 6.9 to 8.0 and temperature between 70° F to 78° F.

How Many Fish In a 15-Gallon Tank?

How many fish you can add to a 15-gallon aquarium depends on the size of the fish and their bioload.

For instance, invertebrates like cherry shrimp produce very little waste, so you can easily house more than 30 in a tank this size (around 3 to 5 shrimp per gallon), with enough room leftover for other tankmates.

Most people when stocking an aquarium follow the 1 inch of fish per 1 or 2 gallons of water rule. So, a 15-gallon setup can accommodate between 7.5 to 15 inches of fish. If all the fish you want to add are 2 inches in size, then that’s around 7 fish.

TIP

You’ll also need to take into consideration your aquarium equipment and any decorations, artificial plants, or live plants in your tank as this will reduce the amount of swimming space your fish will have.

What Size Heater for a 15-Gallon Tank?

Want to find the best 15 gallon fish tank heater size? The general rule of thumb to work out the right size heater for an aquarium is 5 watts per gallon of water, so a 75-watt heater is a good option for a 15-gallon setup.

Final Thoughts

Before we end this article, here’s a quick look at the top 3 best 15 gallon fish tanks.

I hope this article helped you find the best 15-gallon tank and learned where to begin when choosing the best fish species for your setup.

If you’re still a little unsure, here are some ideas.

Top Pick

If you need a sturdy but visually appealing 15-gallon fish aquarium, I fully recommend the Fluval Spec. It looks stunning and comes with a huge range of accessories, including a filter, LED lighting, and more, making it the best 15 gallon fish aquarium overall.

Best Value

You can’t go wrong with the Seapora Standard Aquarium if you’re on a budget as it’s affordable and heavy-duty.

Editor’s Choice

If you can afford to spend a bit extra on a tank, this one from LANDEN is a fantastic option. It features an ultra-clear and rimless design, alongside an integrated filtration system (the only accessory you need is a return pump!).

Was this best 15 gallon fish aquarium list helpful? Which 15-gallon setup did you decide on? What stocking ideas are your favorite? Be sure to let me know on our social media platforms!

If you’re after more aquarium ideas, recommendations, or advice on caring for fish, check out our other articles here. Check out the comparison of these two great nano tanks or if you’re looking for filters, this article about 20 gallon fish tank filters can be helpful.

(1) Neon Tetras by Geek2Nurse – licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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Mollie Newton
Mollie Newton
Founder of PetMeTwice. I love all types of animals from fish to fluff-balls! I also enjoy writing short stories and helping train animals 🤩