Aquariums with a bow front design bring a distinct aesthetic compared to conventional rectangular ones due to their curved façade. This distinctive shape of these aquariums adds a fresh touch to your underwater environment while providing varying viewpoints to observe your fish. Despite the abundance of bow front aquariums in the market, they aren’t all on the same level of quality.
In this article...
I remember when I purchased my first bow front aquarium over a decade ago – it burst within 4 months, leaving me out of pocket and a lot of mess to clean up. I don’t want you to go through the same soggy situation. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of some of the best bow front aquariums so you can find the best one for your needs (and avoid a similar dilemma to mine!).
- Bow front aquariums have a unique curved front, offering a different aesthetic and viewing perspective for your aquatic habitat.
- Top Pick: Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit with sleek design, built-in filtration system, and LED light; Best Value: Tetra Aquarium Kit with 5-gallon capacity and LED light, filter, and bio-bag; Editor’s Choice: SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set with 46-gallon capacity, clear design, and suitable for various aquatic species.
- Other picks: Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit – 8-gallon glass bow front tank with 3D rocky background, filter, and LED light; Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Kit – 32-gallon acrylic bow front tank with advanced LED lighting and low-quality pump; Aquatop Vertical Bowfront Glass Aquarium – 5-gallon glass tank with built-in filter, LED lighting, and vertical design.
On to the Reviews…
The Fluval Flex Aquarium is a stunning bow front aquarium that comes with a range of accessories like a built-in filter, filter media, and an LED light.
One of the best bow fronted fish tanks is the Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit due to its stylish design, high-quality craftsmanship, and wide range of features.
It boasts a sleek curved front design and can hold 15 gallons of water, making it a decent size for a variety of freshwater or saltwater aquatic pets, including bettas, guppies, platies, Japanese-trapdoor snails, and African-dwarf frogs.
This fish tank is a fantastic option for new aquarists as it comes with everything you need to start keeping fish like a 7500K LED lamp (with a remote control to change the brightness or color of the lights!), filter, and filter media.
The filtration system is built into the aquarium and has a honeycomb wrap to hide the waterline, which is a great feature as it means more space for your fish. The filter also has multi-directional dual outputs so you adjust the water flow.
However, the built-in filter on this bow front tank can be a little weak as it doesn’t output a huge amount of suction. The lights and remote control can also stop working after a few months.
Despite these minor flaws with its accessories, the tank itself is excellent and is made from high-quality glass, which is why it’s my overall top pick!
- Dimensions: 15.94” x 16.73” x 15.94”
- Weight: 27.6 lbs
- Volume: 15 Gallons
- Material: Glass
- Sleek design
- Comes with a built-in filtration system
- Includes an LED light that can be operated via a remote control
- Filter can be a bit weak
- Light and remote control can stop working prematurely
This Tetra Aquarium Kit features a curved front fish tank with a volume of 5 gallons, and comes with a lid, LED light, filter, and bio-bag.
If you’re looking for an affordable but good-quality acrylic bow front aquarium, the Tetra Aquarium Kit is a solid choice. It has a curved front and crescent-shaped design, which looks ultra modern and unique.
The fish tank can hold 5 gallons of water, so it’s a good option for aquarists with limited space. You could house a betta fish, dwarf shrimp, a small school of endler’s livebearers in this tank, or other small saltwater or freshwater species.
The bow front aquarium features a black hood with built-in white LED lights, as well as Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter with a bio-bag. This provides you with almost everything you need to keep fish!
My main gripe with this bow front fish tank is the flimsy plastic lid it comes with. It doesn’t fit the top of the aquarium very well and can be easily broken.
However, you could easily use the tank without the lid or purchase one separately, so I still think this is a great tank for the price!
- Dimensions: 16.6” x 11.2” x 13.2”
- Weight: 6 lbs
- Volume: 5 Gallons
- Material: Acrylic
- Stylish curved front design
- Comes with an LED light built into the lid
- Includes a filter and bio-bag
- Plastic lid is a bit flimsy
This bow front aquarium from SeaClear has a volume of 46 gallons and sturdy but clear design. It comes with a light fixture and reflector.
If you’re searching for a large bow front fish tank, the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set is the right aquarium for you.
It’s one of my personal favorite bow front fish tanks due to its strong but aesthetically pleasing design – the invisible seams in particular make it look super high quality!
Compared to glass tanks, acrylic aquariums are a lot more robust, lighter, and durable. They are also clearer, so you can see your fish much more easily.
The aquarium comes with a couple of accessories, including a reflector and electrical light fixture to enhance your viewing pleasure.
The main downside of this tank is the flimsy light fixture included in the kit. It doesn’t come with a light and can only be used for fluorescent bulbs.
Fluorescent lights aren’t the best option for heavily planted setups, so if you have a lot of live plants, this may not be ideal.
- Dimensions: 36” x 16.5” x 20”
- Weight: 20 lbs
- Volume: 46 Gallons
- Material: Acrylic
- Sturdy and robust
- Ideal for saltwater and freshwater fish
- Includes a light fixture and reflector
- Flimsy light fixture
This bow front aquarium from Hygger has a striking design due to the beautiful rocky 3D mountain it comes with. It also includes a filter and LED light.
Next up is the Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit, which contains a stunning bow front tank, filter, LED light, and 3D background. I think this is a great deal for new aquarists considering the number of accessories you get!
The power filter offers 2-stage filtration to keep your tank clean and clear. I really like the LED light the aquarium includes – it has white, red, and blue LEDs and can offer 5 brightness levels and light modes that can be changed via an external controller.
It even comes with an extendable bracket to make it easy to install!
My favorite feature of this fish tank is the gorgeous 3D rocky background it comes with. This makes your aquarium look like an underwater mountain and provides hiding spaces for your fish. You could even attach aquatic plants to the crevices!
Unfortunately, this bow front aquarium can be quite tricky to clean due to the decorative background it comes with, which cannot be removed.
- Dimensions: 19” x 11.8” x 9.6”
- Weight: 68 lbs
- Volume: 8 Gallons
- Material: Glass
- Stunning design
- Comes with a 3D background
- Includes a filter and LED light
- Can be challenging to clean
The Coralife BioCube provides you with almost everything you need to start owning saltwater or freshwater fish. It has a modern curved design and comes with a filter and LED light that can accommodate both corals and live plants.
Another great bow front aquarium is the Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium. This is perhaps my favorite fish tank for saltwater due to its outstanding quality and fantastic features.
The aquarium has a modern curved design with a low-profile hood that contains LED lighting, the latter of which is ideal for growing both corals and aquatic plants.
The light has an integrated 24-hour timer and an automatic 30-minute sunrise/sunset and 60-minute moonrise/moonset function to simulate a natural day and night cycle for your fish.
I really like the built-in filtration chamber the fish tank comes with as this provides you with more room for fish, decor, or other tank equipment. It’s also easy to set up and maintain!
The biggest downside of this tank is the low-quality pump it comes with, which is both noisy and lacks power.
You may need to purchase a separate filtration system if you own large fish or species with high bioloads.
- Dimensions: 27.5” x 25.5” x 27”
- Weight: 62 lbs
- Volume: 32 Gallons
- Material: Acrylic
- Stylish design
- Advanced lighting system
- Built-in filtration chamber
- Pump is not the best quality
The Aquatop Vertical Bowfront Glass Aquarium offers a stylish and different view to flat front traditional tanks due to its curved shape and vertical design. It comes with a glass cover, built-in filter, and LED lighting system.
The last best bow front aquarium featured in this list is the Aquatop Vertical Bowfront Glass Aquarium. It features a vertical design, which is a great option for fishkeepers with limited space in their house – it would easily fit on a desk, small piece of furniture, or an aquarium stand!
The glass tank is made with high clarity low-iron glass to make it easier to see your fish and give it a sleek appearance. It can hold 5 gallons of water, so it’s a solid option for bettas or dwarf shrimp.
The tank comes with a glass canopy and mounting clips for easy setup and installation. It also includes a 118-GPH built-in filter and LED lighting to save you a bit of money on aquarium equipment!
However, the filter included with this bow front glass tank can lack power, so it may be worth purchasing one separately.
- Dimensions: 10.97” x 7.5” x 3.46”
- Weight: 6.61 lbs
- Volume: 5 Gallons
- Material: Glass
- Ideal for aquarists with limited space due to vertical shape
- Comes with a glass panel canopy
- Includes a built-in filter and LED lighting system
- Filter isn’t the best quality
What Is a Bow Front Aquarium?
A bow front aquarium has a curved front rather than a straight edge like a traditional rectangular aquarium. This gives it a bulging effect, which looks like the glass is popping or “bowing” outwards.
Are Curved Fish Tanks Good?
Bow front aquariums can be a good choice for fishkeepers with limited room as they curve outwards, so they are wider than they are longer. However, finding a suitable stand or piece of furniture to hold this style of tank can prove challenging due to their curved shape.
In addition, bow front fish tanks have less floor space than traditional rectangular tanks, so they don’t offer as much room for bottom dwellers like cory catfish and plecos.
Bow Front Aquarium vs Traditional Flat Front Aquarium
As mentioned earlier, the main difference between bow front tanks and flat front traditional aquariums is their shape. Bow fronts have a curved design, whereas flat front tanks have a flat shape.
A bow front tank is wider in the middle and isn’t as long as a flat front aquarium. Curved aquariums also provide a slightly distorted view due to their shape.
Advantages of Bow Front Aquarium
The biggest advantage of a bow front aquarium is its unique design and modern aesthetic compared to a flat front tank. This type of tank looks impressive and provides a different view to a standard rectangular aquarium, allowing you to spectate your fish from different angles.
Disadvantages of Bow Front Aquarium
Bow front aquariums bend the light due to their curved shape, which can distort images slightly if you’re taking a photo of your tank. However, this isn’t a huge problem unless you regularly take pictures of your aquarium.
Bow fronts also don’t offer as much floor space as flat front tanks, which may be a problem for bottom-dwelling fish and invertebrates.
In addition, it can be difficult to find a cover/lid that fits a bow front aquarium unless the tank comes with one or you have one custom made (this can cost a fair bit of money).
Choosing the Best Bow Front Aquarium
Choosing the best bow front aquarium can be challenging due to the huge number of tanks on the market. However, there are some factors you should keep in mind to help you select the right one for your needs and budget.
This includes the size, material, ease of maintenance, as well as any accessories or features it comes with. Acrylic tanks are usually more expensive than glass aquariums, but they are also more durable, lightweight, and strong. However, they can also become discolored with time and can be harder to clean/maintain.
A nano tank is less expensive than a large aquarium, with the bonus of being easier to store as you can place it on a small stand or flat surface. However, you’re limited with the type of fish you can own. Large aquariums can hold more water, allowing you to own larger species of fish.
Lastly, think about whether there are any features or accessories you’d like the tank to have. Some bow front aquariums come with filters, lights, fish food, or other equipment, which can save you a little money and time as you won’t need to purchase them separately.
Things to Consider When Buying a Bow Front Aquarium
Below are some things to consider when buying a bow front tank.
First things first, you’ll need to consider the amount of money the bow front tank costs. As mentioned earlier, glass tanks are usually less expensive than ones made out of acrylic.
However, cheaper tanks may be made out of inferior materials that may be prone to breaking or cracking.
Next, think about what purpose you intend to use the bow front tank for. If you want to set up a saltwater tank, you’ll need to make sure the aquarium is big enough for the species you want to store in it.
Many saltwater fish need a lot of space, so a nano tank may be unsuitable. In addition, smaller tanks are harder to maintain and keep the water parameters stable.
Bow front tanks come in all sizes, but you’ll need to make sure you know the minimum tank size for the aquatic pets you intend to own. For instance, betta fish need at least 5 gallons of space to thrive.
How to Clean Bow Front Aquarium
Cleaning a bow front tank is the same as cleaning a flat front tank, though magnetic algae cleaners don’t tend to work as well on the former.
You’ll need to perform regular tank maintenance and water changes on your setup to keep your fish and aquatic ecosystem healthy. Most fish keepers do this weekly.
How to Measure a Bow Front Aquarium
To work out the volume of a bow front fish tank, multiply the length by the width (shortest point at the sides) by the width (widest point in the middle) by the height.
What Sizes of Bow Front Aquariums Are Available?
Bow front aquariums come in all sizes online or at your local fish shop, but below are some of the most common sizes you’ll find them in.
|20.3″ x 12.9″ x 17.8″
|24.2″ x 14.8″ x 20.9″
|20.3″ x 15.5″ x 20.9″
|36.4″ x 16.4″ x 12.9″
|39″ x 27.4″ x 23″
|48.4″ x 18″ x 23″
Are Bowfront Aquariums Bad for Fish?
No, bow front tanks are not bad for fish. They are simply a different style of tank and choosing one over a flat front tank or other type of setup is simply down to personal taste.
- Stylish and modern design
- Integrated filtration system
- Comes with LED lighting
- Modern design
- Includes a filtration system and bio-bag
- Built-in LED lamp
- Durable and strong
- Great option for saltwater fish
- Comes with a lighting fixture and reflector
I hope I helped you decide on the best bow front aquarium for your needs and budget, as well as gave you some ideas on what to look for in this style of aquarium.
Which bow front tanks in this list are your favorite? Be sure to let me know on our social media platforms (I’d love to see some photos of you setup!) and share this guide with your friends and family.
(1) LizWinfreyV, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons