Best Column Fish Tanks (15, 20, 47 Gallon)

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Column fish tanks are a relatively new type of fish tank that is quickly gaining popularity. These fish tanks are designed to be tall and thin, making them perfect for small spaces. They are also an excellent choice for beginners, as they are easy to set up and maintain.

Column fish tanks come in a variety of sizes and colors. It can be a little tricky to figure out which ones are the best.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the top column fish tanks on the market today. We will also discuss the pros and cons of a column fish tank, so you can decide if this type of aquarium is right for you.

Let’s get started!

Are Vertical Column Fish Tanks Good for Fish? 

The general consensus seems to be that vertical column fish tanks are not the best option for fish. The main reason for this is that these tanks lack surface area, which is essential for fish to thrive. So, if you’re planning on keeping bigger fish, you might want to consider horizontally rather than vertically.

However, if you are looking for a small tank to start the aquarium hobby, a column fish tank may be a good choice. Just make sure to stock it with smaller fish that do not need a lot of swimming space.

We’ve recommended starting with the 6-gallon column fish tanks for a beginner. But if you desire to have a tank with more capacity, then the 15 or 20 gallons tanks will be great options.

Pros and Cons of Column Aquariums

AestheticLimited stocking options
Perfect for small spaces; takes less horizontal spaceDifficult to clean
Easy to set upExpensive compared to other types of fish tanks
Fit for small fish, snails, and shrimpsSome don’t come with heaters.

Best 15 Gallon Column Fish Tank

Aqueon 15 Column Starter Kit

Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Lighting, 15...
  • Taller, vertical aquarium view that takes up less horizontal space
  • All the equipment needed to get started in one box
  • Kit includes: glass aquarium, low profile LED hood, QuietFlow power filter, filter cartridge, submersible...
  • Low profile full hood contains vibrant cool white LED lighting to bring your aquatic environment to life
  • Filter has a red LED light that flashes to indicate when it’s time to change the cartridge

The Aqua One Column Fish Tank is a great choice for fish keepers looking for a medium-sized column fish tank. This tank has a capacity of 15 gallons and comes with all the necessary equipment for setup. It also includes an LED light that creates a beautiful underwater ecosystem.

What We Like About Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Lighting 15

I like this tank because it comes loaded with all the equipment needed for you to run an aquarium seamlessly; it could be your ultimate starter kit. It can do well for a single betta (male) or two clownfish. Alternatively, with its essential built-in equipment, you can set up a shrimp or snails tank in a breeze.

The kit includes the following equipment: glass aquarium, submersible preset heater, water conditioner sample, low profile LED hood, a piece of premium food, filter cartridge, thermometer, QuietFlow power filter, and user manual. 

What We Don’t Like About Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Lighting 15

However, there are a few things we don’t like about this kit:

  1. The filter is not very powerful, and it will need to be replaced frequently.
  2. The built-in heater isn’t strong enough as well, so you may need an additional aquarium heater for tropical fish.
  3. The food that comes with the kit is not very good quality.


  • A cool and beautiful tank.
  • Decent LED lights
  • Best value


  • Dust tends to accumulate in the silicone over time
  • Underperforming heater, filter

Best 5 Gallon Column Fish Tank

Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait Kit

Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit, 5...
  • SLEEK DESIGN: Rounded corners and clear glass canopy allow viewing from multiple angles.
  • DAYLIGHT/MOONLIGHT LIGHTING: Bright white LEDs create a shimmering sunlight effect; blue LEDs produce a...
  • EASY ACCESS: Hinged LED lighting and sliding glass canopy.
  • SIZE: 5-gallon aquarium fits Marineland Rite-Size Z Filter Cartridges.
  • HIDDEN FILTRATION: Advanced, 3-stage filtration is out of sight, enhancing aquarium viewing.

The Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait Kit is a great starter kit for anyone looking to get into the world of column fish tanks. This tank is perfect for betta fish owners. Measures 11.81” x 11.62” x 17.05” with an overall weight of 12 pounds, this curved glass aquarium comes with a sleek and stylish design perfect for any decor.

What We Like About Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait Kit

My favorite feature is the hinged LED Lighting that provides natural daylight and moonlight effect and eliminates the need for a separate light fixture.

The hidden filter and pump feature enhances the viewing experience. They are also very quiet – a big plus.

Furthermore, the sliding glass canopy makes it effortless to access the inside of the tank for easy feeding and water maintenance.

What We Don’t Like About Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait Kit

The major issue with this aquarium is the narrow partition that makes it hard to clean in my fair assessment. Of course, this is the most common complaint with these column tanks. You will need to take apart the tank weekly for a good cleaning.


  • Sleek curved glass design
  • Hinged LED lighting
  • Quiet filter and pump
  • Easy access to the tank


  • A narrow partition makes it difficult to clean

Best 10 Gallon Column Fish Tank

Biorb Tube 15 Aquarium

BiOrb Tube 35 Aquarium with LED - 9.2 Gallon,...
  • Filter cartridge – a true “one size fits all” Filter for the biorb aquariums
  • Constructed out of Acrylic- 10 times stronger than glass, 50% lighter and 93% clearer
  • True 5 stage filtration - biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization and oxygenation
  • Item Package weight : 20.72 pounds

If you’re looking for the most stylish, aesthetic 10 Gallon tube tank, look no further than the Biorb Tube 15 Aquarium. This fish tank is perfect for both home and office settings with its minimalist design. The transparent cylindrical TUBE design allows you to view your aquatic life from any angle.

What We Like About Biorb Tube 15 Aquarium

Biorb Tube 15 is made out of acrylic, which makes it 10 times stronger than its glass aquarium counterparts. Despite its massive strength, the tank is 93% clearer and 50% lighter. 

I’m thrilled by the clarity and the lightweight nature of this product. The fact that I get to move it around the house whenever I want without needing an extra hand is a total win for me. And of course, the looks of this tank is a plus factor. 

What We Don’t Like About Biorb Tube 15 Aquarium

As for the not-so-good? We found that the filter didn’t do a good job of keeping the water clean. Additionally, the lighting is pathetic. It’s not nearly bright enough to show off your fish, and it makes the whole setup look dim and uninviting. 


  • Aesthetically appealing 
  • 16 different-colored looks
  • Soothing and very quiet


  • The filtration gadget won’t work without the necessary solutions. 

Best 20 Gallon Column Aquarium:

SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

SeaClear 20 gal Deluxe Hexagon Acrylic Aquarium...
  • Combo includes aquarium, reflector and electrical 12" light fixture
  • Tranquil Hexagon design; You won't believe how your fish and decorations will pop!
  • Acrylic aquariums are clearer than glass, 17 times stronger, and only half the weight!
  • More impact resistant and less prone to chipping or cracking than glass, making it safer around children...
  • Safe for Salt or Freshwater

The SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set is our favorite product for a high-end quality acrylic column fish tank. The seamless hexagon design offers a unique look, especially in a small room. You and your guest can view the aquatic life from any angle with crystal-clear walls.

What We Like SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

The first thing we noticed about the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set was the elegant design. The curved front panel provides an unobstructed view of your fish, while the black trim adds a level of sophistication. 

But the real selling point of this aquarium is the quality of the construction. The acrylic is thick and durable, and all of the joints are watertight. 

We were also impressed with the included filtration system, which is powerful enough to keep the water clean and clear. 

Overall, we were very impressed with the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set and would highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a new aquarium.

What We Don’t Like SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

Most column fish tanks can be hard to clean, and the SeaClear Combo Set is no exception. The smaller openings in the top make it nearly impossible for a good cleaning. Be prepared to spend a couple of hours cleaning and scrubbing.


  • Stylish and unique hexagon design
  • Acrylic is clearer than glass
  • No drop off in build quality


  • Extremely difficult to clean

Best 47 Gallon Column Aquarium

Marineland Framed Column & Cube Aquarium

The Marineland 47 gallon column fish tank features a sleek, modern design with clear glass panels and a black frame. It’s compatible with various filtration and lighting and can be used as either a freshwater or saltwater tank. The potential can be limitless. 

Its adequate size and reasonable price make it a versatile option for anyone looking to add a little bit of aquatic life to their home. 


  • Extended height and depth
  • Top and bottom plastic frames
  • Compatibility with different types of filtration and lighting

What We Like Marineland Framed Column & Cube Aquarium

The Marineland 47 gallon column fish tank is a thing of beauty. Its tall and slender shape is perfect for small spaces, and the sleek design is sure to complement any décor. Plus, the extra height provides plenty of room for taller plants and decorations. 

What We Don’t Like Marineland Framed Column & Cube Aquarium 

The lid clips can break over time, and it’s difficult to get a replacement. However, if you take good care of your tank and never mishandle it, this probably won’t be an issue for you.


  • Ideal for both freshwater and saltwater
  • Affordable
  • Lots of potential


  • Bad lid clips
  • Only available in the local fish store these days

Best 53 Gallon Column Aquarium with Stand

Penn Plax

Penn-Plax Water World Luxury Large Cylinder...
  • Remote controlled LED Light system has a fully customizable color spectrum (Blue, Green, White, Red,...
  • A full 360 degree view of your fish's environment. Features a top compartment that easily and safely...
  • Fully submersible and powerful water pump, which then pulls the water to the top-down integrated 5 stage...
  • Bottom Drainage Hose for Simple Water Changes and Routine Maintenance
  • Separate compartment that opens up within the top cover, allowing you to sprinkle their favorite food...

With its own elegance in shape, the Penn Plax Cylinder is one of the most stylish column tanks on the market. The sleek black stand and top cover with a prominent gold line along the bottom offer a great contrast to the natural look of the glass tank. The Penn Plax Cylinder is a great buy if you’re looking for a 50 gallons column aquarium with a stand.


  • Stylish modern design
  • A glossy black stand and top cover
  • Bottom drainage system for easy water changes
  • Customizable filtration system

What We Like About Penn Plax

I like that the vertical height of the tank helps save on a lot of floor space. This is important for people who live in small apartments. I also like that it comes with its own stand and top cover. The black glossy finish makes it look very modern.

What We Don’t Like About Penn Plax

Well, it will take some patience for you to get the tank cleaned up due to its complex design and shape.  


  • Comes with a convenient storage top
  • Saves you floor space 
  • Provides you with a 360° of your aquarium 


  • Algae build up quickly
  • Expensive 

Final Verdict

Is a column fish tank worth it? Yes, they’re beautiful, functional, and durable. They can save you a lot of floor space and provide room for you to get creative. Depending on your needs, you can find the perfect column fish tank for you. 

Most column fish tanks are made from acrylic, making them clearer and stronger than traditional glass tanks. Of course, the price tag for an acrylic tank is a bit higher, especially if it’s larger in size.

If you have any questions or suggestions for new column aquariums that we should add to the list, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re always looking for ways to improve the relevancy of our content, so we appreciate your suggestions.

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Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt

Hello, I'm Jeff- an aquarium enthusiast with over 25 years of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish, including koi, goldfish bettas, cichlids and more! For me: Aquariums are like jello - there's always room for more!

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