Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Brightwell Aquatics Aquarium Starter Kits

1. Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter Dry Rock Bacteria Starter Kit

User Ratings: 54 15

Brightwell Aquatics DRSK100 First Impressions

"Really not much room."

I absolutely love this eight gallon tank. If you are into dwarf shrimp that is. I'm a first-time fish parent, and this is my first filtered aquarium. Of course the tank is an odd shape in itself lol. He was being suctioned to the filter. So I now have a little cubby that my fish uses to hide. Keep in mind that the tank, light and heater will require a total of three outlets.

  • Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter Dry Rock Bacteria Starter Kit
  • Contains QuikCycl (60ml) MicroBacterStart XLM (125ml) and MicroBacter Clean (500ml) for any beginner or expert hobbyist to start a new aquarium set-up; treats a 100-gal tank for up to 7 weeks
  • QuikCycl gives professional nutrients to your aquarium for fishless cycling
  • MicroBacterStart XLM is a professional strength live tank starter nitrifying bioculture for rapidly cycling new marine aquariums set-ups in 5-7 days
  • MicroBacter Clean designed to target and clean surfaces of live rock coral decorations and tank walls
  • Made in the USA
  • Manufacture: Brightwell Aquatics
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Brightwell Aquatics DRSK100
  • Quality [star rating='4.4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.5']
  • Affordability [star rating='2.7']

Brightwell Aquatics DRSK100 Final Thoughts

"- A pump and filter."

Will not grow anything aside from Anubias and moss balls. I bought this to basically replace a 5 gallon tank and make a new planted version. So don't be mislead by the image on the box with five guppies. So I now have a little cubby that my fish uses to hide. The rule of thumb is one small fish per gallon. It is perfect for small places like a kitchen counter, night stand, or even a desk. My plants have been doing fine and the filter and lights have worked really well.

Overall Score
3.6

[star rating="3.6"]
(8 Points)

2. AQUA ILLUMINATION/C2 DEVELOPMENT AQI Mount Bracket HYDRA52

User Ratings: 61

AQUA ILLUMINATION/C2 DEVELOPMENT 653341181022 First Impressions

"I personally love it."

Just loading gravel scratched the front of mine. It's probably fine, but I don't like it at all. Definitely recommend this tank hands down! Bigger is always better for new people. So I ended up taking the filter out and replacing it with a sponge filter. It is very easy to set up and also comes with easy to understand instructions. That piece is very poorly designed.

  • AQUA ILLUMINATION/C2 DEVELOPMENT AQI Mount Bracket HYDRA52
  • Made in the USA
  • Made of Top quality materials
  • For use with Aqua Intelligence products
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Made in the USA
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Made of top quality materials
  • Manufacture: Aqua Intelligence
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AQUA ILLUMINATION/C2 DEVELOPMENT 653341181022
  • Quality [star rating='3.7']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

AQUA ILLUMINATION/C2 DEVELOPMENT 653341181022 Final Thoughts

"This is crucial!"

Definitely recommend this tank hands down! I'm not sure that it could be much quieter. I keep both on a low to low medium setting. Problem is, the glass sits flush with that top edge. Fortunately, the way the arm is designed you can zip tie something like the 7. I didn't know that the background only goes halfway down the back of the tank. Best of luck if you purchase it this kit!

Overall Score
4.5

[star rating="4.5"]
(11 Points)

3. Marina Betta Aquarium Starter Kit, Sun Swirl

User Ratings: 48 14

Marina 13350 First Impressions

"Not protecting much."

It has been working just fine and maintaining temp. Ok let's start off with the tank itself. Hope this list helps those who are new to keeping fish-- they are a great first pet! I bought this to basically replace a 5 gallon tank and make a new planted version. And it builds up a lot of algae so it needs to be cleaned more. I'm a first-time fish parent, and this is my first filtered aquarium. Incredibly happy with this purchase.

  • Marina Betta Aquarium Starter Kit, Sun Swirl
  • Six inch cubed plastic aquarium
  • Sun Swirl themed betta kit
  • Includes decorative background and gravel
  • Nutrafin Max Betta Food and Nutrafin Betta Plus Conditioner included
  • Perfect for small spaces; Easy to maintain
  • Manufacture: Marina
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.7 x 6.2 inches; 1.59 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Marina 13350
  • Quality [star rating='3.4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.4']

Marina 13350 Final Thoughts

"The stand."

Instructions were easy to use and the filter system is relatively quiet. Tank is great, quiet enough, no motor sound, lights quite nice. The light is fairly bright but insufficient for growing any decent live plants. Stop now and BUY BUY BUY you will love it! This tank will be much easier to live with than the smaller 1-3 gallon options. Again, heater and light if you are doing real plants. It's raised at the edges and just looks bad.

Overall Score
3.7

[star rating="3.7"]
(117 Points)

4. DEECOOYA Aquarium Tweezers Stainless Steel Straight and Curved Tweezers Set for Fish Tank Aquatic Pl...

User Ratings: 86 1

HuYaYa First Impressions

"This does it."

Absolutely perfect for a planted beta set up. This is a VERY SMALL tank, and can only house 1 betta fish OR 2-3 guppies. This is a good deal for a complete setup, less the rocks for the bottom. Even though it's open about half way up the heater. We have had it for over a month now. I love the tank and everything else about it but the background! It also comes with a built in 3D back round.

  • DEECOOYA Aquarium Tweezers Stainless Steel Straight and Curved Tweezers Set for Fish Tank Aquatic Plants Long Handle Reptile Feeding Tongs,10.5 inch Black
  • HIGH QUALITY AQUARIUM TWEEZERS: these long handle straight and cured tweezers made of sturdy, high quality stainless steel with mat black coating,durable and not easy to be rusted under water. Perfect aquatic tweezers for aquarium plants tools,fish feeding tongs,fish tank accessories and reptile feeding tongs.
  • ANTI SLIP CLIPS: come with 2 pcs tongs,both the straight and cured tweezer has serrated tips to help grip stuff securely without ever slipping off. Great tools for all types of aquarium plants,substrate,gravel,coral ,aquatic pets ,fish,bearded dragon,lizard feeding tongs,and other decorations.
  • SAFE AND FRIENDLY TONGS:delicate coating provide a good barrier between water and food,not easy to get rust,no harm to your fish tank water plants, fish pets or reptiles pets, helps prevent accidental injuries to your pet's mouth,safe and easy to use.
  • WIDELY USED: this fish tank tweezers suit for aquarium water plant planting, fish tank landscaping tools, fish feeding tongs,also perfect for betta fish feeding tong, reptile feeding tongs for Lizard Bearded Dragon Gecko Snake Ball Python Spider and Birds feeder tongs.
  • PACKAGE INCLUDED: 2 pcs mat balck Aquarium Tweezer Set, including 1x Straight Tweezer and 1x Curved Tweezer,each tweezer approx.10.5 inch long.
  • Manufacture: DEECOOYA
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2 x 1 inches; 3.53 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The HuYaYa
  • Quality [star rating='3.8']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.6']

HuYaYa Final Thoughts

"5 tank for my Betta fish."

I dont use the filter, I covered up the filter vents with some netting. I say it's a good buy and a very nice tank. Came with the tank and background along with a pump and light. We have had it for over a month now. There arent very many other aquariums at this price point with these measurements. I'm a first-time fish parent, and this is my first filtered aquarium. - Though the base is plastic, it's sturdy.

Overall Score
4.8

[star rating="4.8"]
(427 Points)

5. Fluval Chi II Aquarium Set, 5 gal,White, 10505

User Ratings: 61 15

Fluval 10505 First Impressions

"Recommend!"

It's probably fine, but I don't like it at all. It literally made me provide others with a true review. Even though it's open about half way up the heater. Of course the tank is an odd shape in itself lol. I'm working on a planted tank, will decide what fish will work. And it's a little awkward to put things in like a heater and stuff. The curve radius also makes it hard to clean the glass on the edges.

  • Fluval Chi II Aquarium Set, 5 gal,White, 10505
  • Unique aquarium design creates perfect balance of sight and sound
  • 17 powerful led lights plus a permanent up light providing a gentle glow
  • Powerful filtration for sparkling, healthy water
  • 5 gallon glass aquarium, includes filter media
  • Measures 10 l x 10 w x 14.4 H inches
  • Manufacture: Fluval
  • Item Weight: 16 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 14.4 x 17.5 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Fluval 10505
  • Quality [star rating='4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.5']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Fluval 10505 Final Thoughts

"Scratch that."

- Though the base is plastic, it's sturdy. Again, heater and light if you are doing real plants. It also sits on the bottom glass pane, not the edges of the viewing panes. 1 gallon that a Betta really needs a 3-5 gallon home so I purchased this one as well. It has been working just fine and maintaining temp. It literally made me provide others with a true review. It is perfect for small places like a kitchen counter, night stand, or even a desk.

Overall Score
4.0

[star rating="4"]
(397 Points)

6. Fluval Sea Flex Saltwater Aquarium Kit - 123 L (32.5 US gal) - Black

User Ratings: 63

Fluval 14994 First Impressions

"- A Color Fusion light."

I don't remove my lid that much so, not a big deal to me. I do use the filter housing to house a heater and co2 diffuser. The filter is actually a pretty nice design. The background is comes with is just super convenient! It has a hood with integrated LED lighting. Even though it's open about half way up the heater. The aquarium kit is with the exception of the filter is excellent!

  • Fluval Sea Flex Saltwater Aquarium Kit - 123 L (32.5 US gal) - Black
  • Full spectrum Marine 3.0 LED operates via the FluvalSmart App on your mobile device
  • 25000 K color temperature lighting is ideal for growing vibrant corals
  • 3 pre-set lighting conditions: sunny reef; deep sea glo; color boost
  • 24-hour programmable light timer mimics the natural cycle of the sun and moon
  • Optional space to add a second Marine 3.0 LED (Item# 14513 - sold separately)
  • Powerful 3-stage filtration system
  • 2 independent media chambers for maximum, superior water quality
  • Manufacture: Hagen
  • Product Dimensions: 32.28 x 15.75 x 15.35 inches; 54.81 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Fluval 14994
  • Quality [star rating='4.4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.4']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.4']

Fluval 14994 Final Thoughts

"My lid is laying on."

The pump is also as close to silent as you can get. The shrimp sit on the wall and can hide in the back also. Of course the tank is an odd shape in itself lol. It'll be fine, just be careful how you deal with the filter. I've included a video of it running so you can judge for yourself. The filter is the well known Tetra Whisper 60 that really is whisper quiet. Tank is great, quiet enough, no motor sound, lights quite nice.

Overall Score
4.3

[star rating="4.3"]
(3 Points)

7. Marina Betta Starter Kit for Aquarium

User Ratings: 52 13

Marina 13349 First Impressions

"The lights are beautiful."

Of course the tank is an odd shape in itself lol. Advanced aquarium owners might find this space annoying. It'll be fine, just be careful how you deal with the filter. I didn't know that the background only goes halfway down the back of the tank. I put mine in the corner of my breakfast bar. It has been working just fine and maintaining temp. Again, heater and light if you are doing real plants.

  • Marina Betta Starter Kit for Aquarium
  • Six inch cubed plastic aquarium
  • Skull themed betta kit
  • Includes decorative background and gravel
  • Nutrafin Max Betta Food and Nutrafin Betta Plus Conditioner included
  • Perfect for small spaces; Easy to maintain
  • Manufacture: Marina
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.7 x 6.2 inches; 1.1 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Marina 13349
  • Quality [star rating='4.2']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.1']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.7']

Marina 13349 Final Thoughts

"I LOVE this tank!"

I also bought a heater with a built in thermostat. He loves exploring his new environment with all the fresh vegetation. Fluval, BioOrd, and several other micro tanks. I think it's a great looking tank and I would definitely recommend it to others. They'll have a lot more room to play around decorations and stuff, too. It comes with the filter and lights. Came pretty quickly and was not damaged.

Overall Score
3.8

[star rating="3.8"]
(393 Points)

8. Aqueon Betta Bowl Aquarium Kit in Black

User Ratings: 70 5

Aqueon 100101216 First Impressions

"This tank is super small."

There's also enough room back there to hide a heater. Came pretty quickly and was not damaged. It comes with the filter and lights. So don't be mislead by the image on the box with five guppies. It also comes with a built in 3D back round. I always had bubbles on the front of my tank no matter how I faced the tubes. It's just super bulky and hard to work around.

  • Aqueon Betta Bowl Aquarium Kit in Black
  • Low-maintenance, economical kit to get you started
  • Half gallon betta aquarium includes divider for housing up to two betta per aquarium
  • Easy-open feeding door allows for feeding betta without taking the entire lid off
  • Aquarium plant, gravel, and samples of food & water care included!
  • Aqueon Mini Heater or Flat Heater recommended
  • Change water weekly to keep betta healthy
  • Low-maintenance, economical kit to get you started
  • Half gallon betta aquarium includes divider for housing up to two betta per aquarium
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 9 x 7 inches; 1.65 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqueon 100101216
  • Quality [star rating='3.4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.1']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.8']

Aqueon 100101216 Final Thoughts

"Great beginners tank."

It has everything except for the pebbles we purchased separated we loved it! It's just super bulky and hard to work around. And it's a little awkward to put things in like a heater and stuff. If you are into dwarf shrimp that is. Fluval, BioOrd, and several other micro tanks. No doubt, I'll just be throwing that out. The Mingdak strip is also waterproof and submersible so there's that.

Overall Score
4.4

[star rating="4.4"]
(909 Points)

9. Cobalt Aquatics 14010 Microvue3 10 Aquarium Kit,White/Black,2.6 Gallon

User Ratings: 82 18

Cobalt Aquatics 14010 First Impressions

"- More decorations."

I think it's a great looking tank and I would definitely recommend it to others. The curve radius also makes it hard to clean the glass on the edges. This helps to build a small eco system that reduces tank maintenance. And it builds up a lot of algae so it needs to be cleaned more. I put mine in the corner of my breakfast bar. And you can not take the background out of the tank,it is glued in! And it's a little awkward to put things in like a heater and stuff.

  • Cobalt Aquatics 14010 Microvue3 10 Aquarium Kit,White/Black,2.6 Gallon
  • Includes Clear Vue 20 internal filter
  • Included 6w black mini LED lamp
  • 2.6-Gallon Capacity
  • Complete Set
  • 8.27" x 8.27" x 10.24"
  • Manufacture: Cobalt International Inc.
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 9 inches; 7.4 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Cobalt Aquatics 14010
  • Quality [star rating='4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Cobalt Aquatics 14010 Final Thoughts

"Recommend!"

- Though the base is plastic, it's sturdy. Instructions were easy to use and the filter system is relatively quiet. It is very easy to set up and also comes with easy to understand instructions. I've had it for a few days now and had zero problems hooking everything up. BUT it still looks pretty cool for a background lol. There's also enough room back there to hide a heater. The cherry shrimp had fries twice and now my Celestial Pearl Danios are laying eggs.

Overall Score
4.3

[star rating="4.3"]
(9 Points)

10. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

User Ratings: 74 5

Marina 15256 First Impressions

"I love my tank!"

The light is fairly bright but insufficient for growing any decent live plants. The heater was a no-name 200W UL certified. My plants have been doing fine and the filter and lights have worked really well. There arent very many other aquariums at this price point with these measurements. Stop now and BUY BUY BUY you will love it! The filter has great flow and comes with an extended spray bar. I absolutely love this eight gallon tank.

  • Marina LED Aquarium Kit
  • 10 U.S. gallon glass aquarium
  • Includes a Marina Slim S15 clip on filter with quick change filter cartridges
  • Includes everything you need to get your aquatic home started
  • Measures: 20" L x 10" W x 12.5" H
  • Manufacture: Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp.
  • Product Dimensions: 12.91 x 10.24 x 20.2 inches; 17.35 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Marina 15256
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.6']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Marina 15256 Final Thoughts

"Very cool."

I have this unit deployed for a couple of months now. The aquarium kit is with the exception of the filter is excellent! Stop now and BUY BUY BUY you will love it! Came pretty quickly and was not damaged. So I would say my tank is now fairly established. It's raised at the edges and just looks bad. I'm working on a planted tank, will decide what fish will work.

Overall Score
4.5

[star rating="4.5"]
(883 Points)

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