When it comes to creating the most beautiful, modern, and best looking fish tank or aquascape, it is hard to beat the minimalist look of a rimless aquarium. We've scoured the market and have come up with the 5 best rimless fish tanks of 2021.
The Best Rimless Aquariums Compared
Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Best Rimless Fish Tanks reviewed
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Landen Rimless Low Iron Glass Aquarium
In our opinion, the Landen Rimless Low Iron Glass Aquarium is the highest-quality rimless cube aquarium on the market. These cube tanks are made with crystal clear glass that feature 91% transparency and have hand-laid clear silicon seams. The silicon work on these tanks is some of the best that we've seen! The Landen Rimless Aquarium comes in a wide variety of sizes - including the popular 7.1, 10.7, 25.4, 48.0, and 59.4 gallon sizes listed below.
Keep in mind that this is a bare bones tank with no accessories. Given that you will have to buy everything you need get this tank running, you will also have to do some additional research on fish tank filters, lighting, heaters, and/or chillers.
While building a DIY rimless fish tank is a bit on the expensive side, we find that the Landen Rimless Tanks are often much better priced than the comparable basic rimless cube aquariums on the market (including ADA rimless tanks) with no noticeable difference in quality. But don't just take our word for it, check out the reviews on Amazon for any of the different sized Landen tanks mentioned below.
Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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Marineland Portrait Aquarium Kit
The 5-gallon Marineland Portrait Aquarium Kit is our top-pick in the small aquarium kit category. This rimless curved glass fish tank comes complete with a black pedestal base, a built-in filter, a LED light rail, and a glass canopy on top to provides easy access for feeding while also preventing your fish from jumping out. The rounded corners give it a very sleek and modern look.
The internal 3-stage filter system is hidden in the back and comes with with mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration that will help keep your water crystal clear. Inside the filter is a water pump for circulation. The filter uses Rite Size Z filter cartridges, which are available on Amazon when you need replacements. These filter cartridges remove particulate matter, colors and odors from your tank. The filter also includes Bio-foam to help in biological filtration. The aquarium does not come with a heater, which you will need if you plan on keeping tropical fish.
The light bar includes blue and white LED lights. The lights can be switched from white, to blue or both. The blue LEDS enhance the colors of your fish, plastic plants, gravel and ornaments. It also creates a relaxing moonlight effect at night (as seen in the video below).
Bottom line, if you're looking for a high-quality small rimless fish tank kit for your home or office desktop you will not find a better deal than this!
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Penn Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit
The 10-gallon Penn Plax Aquarium Kit features a frameless design and curved front corners, which provides an unobstructed viewing experience. The glass is high-quality and the silicon lines have been clean in our experience.
The tank comes with a plastic lid on hinges, a rubber mat to prevent scratching, an LED light, and a Cascade 300 internal filter. The filter is a pretty good filter for the money and it includes activated carbon, which helps remove harmful chemicals, toxins, smells, and discoloration from your tank's water. However, the clip-on LED light is rather low-quality and under powered for a tank of this size.
Overall, we like the Penn Plax Aquarium in the 10 gallon size. It's easy to set up, relatively low-cost, and good-looking. The tank also comes in 3.4, 5.0, and 7.5 gallon tank sizes. However, if you are looking for a 3 or 5 gallon tank, we prefer the Marineland Portrait Rimless Aquarium listed above. We think it is slightly higher quality, has more features, and is better looking than the comparable 3 and 5-gallon Penn Plax aquariums.
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Lifegard Aquatics Crystal Aquarium Kit
The Lifegard Aquatics Crystal Aquarium Kit is our top-rated rimless aquarium in the 20-gallon range (this tank is 24 gallons). This tank is made of ultra clear low-iron glass with 92% clarity and features 45-degree precision cut edges that are bonded with high-quality clear silicone glue. The combination of these factors provides a very nice viewing experience.
This aquarium kit has a built-in hidden back filter panel that is designed to hold mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration media. The filter chamber is also capable of holding a heater, pump, and other accessories so that they can be hidden from view, which is a feature that we like. Livegard includes a submersible pump with flow control, bio balls, carbon media, sponge filters, top and bottom drains, an adjustable return, and bottom padding with this rimless aquarium kit. Click play on the video below to see everything that is included in this kit.
The Lifegard Aquatics Aquarium also comes in a 4-gallon and 10-gallon size but we would recommend the Marineland Portrait Aquarium Kit or Penn Plax Aquarium Kit, respectively, if you're considering a tank in either of those sizes. While the 45-degree angle cut edge is nice and provides a near-seamless viewing experience, we like the curved fronts on those other tanks just a bit better.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a 20 gallon rimless aquarium our top-pick in that size range is the 24-gallon Lifegard Aquatics Aquarium. We like the high-quality glass, 45-degree precision cut seams, and hidden back filter.
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SCA Starfire Aquarium with Center Overflow
The SCA Starfire Aquarium is a great rimless fish tank for those looking for a tank 50-gallons or larger. This tank comes as either a basic tank with no accessories or as a "Complete Package" with everything you need to get started including a stand. The Complete Package is our top pick for an all-in-one saltwater aquarium kit. It comes with a heavy-duty stand designed to hold the weight of a 50-gallon tank, a 3-stage filtration Sump, a protein skimmer, and all the piping, tubing, filter media, and other items needed to get your tank running.
The 50-gallon tank is 24" L x 24" W x 20" H, the 66-gallon tank is 32" L x 24" W x 20" H, and 80-gallon tank is 32" L x 24" W x 24" H. Each of the tanks come with 10mm Starfire glass and predrilled drain and return holes that are housed inside the overflow container.
This is obviously a larger-sized aquarium and is much more expensive than the others on this list as a result. However, we still think the 50-gallon Complete Package is a great value for everything you get, especially as a complete kit with a stand. It does not come with a lighting system so you should take that into consideration and budget for that additional purchase when buying this tank.
Having a larger aquarium like this will be easier to maintain than a smaller tank. The assembly may be challenging for a complete beginner but the manufacturer's customer service is very good and willing to answer any questions you may have in setting it up.
The following unboxing and review video shows you everything that you get with this the 50-gallon Complete Package:
Bottom line, if you're looking for a larger (50-gallon+) rimless saltwater aquarium, the SCA Starfire Aquarium Kit in 50-gallons is a great choice. With the Complete Package you will have everything you need (besides lighting) to get started with your marine aquarium adventures!
Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What is a Rimless Aquarium
Frameless Aquarium Design
For a long time aquariums were mostly created equal. However, with advancements in technology and manufacturing capabilities, many companies continue to experiment with new aquarium designs, features, and aesthetics. One of these new designs was to omit the bracing around the top of the fish tank as well as the canopy. This leaves the top free of any visual obstructions and creates a "rimless" aquarium. The result is a very sleek, modern, and natural looking design that blends in nicely with your home or office decor.
Rimless aquariums allow aquarists to create very sleek, modern, and natural looking aquascapes compared to the traditional braced fish tanks with canopies.
Given that rimless aquariums are only held together by silicon glue, they usually are on the smaller size. Glue alone is just not strong enough to hold together a large tank and the extreme pressures that are created by weight of hundreds of gallons of water.
Rimless Fish Tank Features
The traditional aquariums have a top and bottom black bracing system that helps hold the fish tank together. The quality of the glass used in these aquariums is also generally not as high-quality as that of rimless fish tanks. Lower quality glass is heavier and usually needs more support as a result. This lack of framing is the main feature that differentiates regular fish tanks from rimless aquariums.
Top Quality Glass
Given the lack of bracing, rimless fish tanks generally have thicker glass to support the water weight of the tank. This glass is usually clearer than the typical aquariums, giving them a purer look without the green hue that is sometimes present in cheaper regular glass aquariums. Clearer glass is the result of low iron content.
Here is a video describing the different types of glass and acrylics used in aquariums today. Each type of material features different characteristics like cost, weight, and scratch resistance. Low iron glasses used in the rimless fish tanks have better clarity than regular fish tanks but are also costlier to produce.
Who Are Rimless Aquariums For
Rimless aquarium cubes are usually sold without the accessories needed to complete your fish tank. This means you will have to buy things like filters, lights, heaters, etc. to complete your tank. This will require more research and work beforehand. As a result, rimless aquarium cubes are mostly recommended for the intermediate or experienced aquarists. Without a lot of differentiating feature, the choice of which tank to buy comes down the size, quality of the glass and silicone, and of course the price. We've selected the Landen Low Iron Rimless Aquarium (available on Amazon) as the best DIY rimless fish tank cube on the market.
While a basic rimless cube doesn't come with any accessories or equipment, with enough research and reading even a beginner can set up one of these tanks successfully. On the other hand, to make things easier, a beginner may want to consider purchasing one of the complete rimless aquarium kits we have reviewed below. These all-in- one kits are great for beginners because they are usually very easy to set up and maintain. Our top-pick for beginners is the MarineLand Portrait Aquarium Kit (available on Amazon).
If you have a modern styled home or office, and are interested in having a sleek or natural-looking aquarium, then a rimless fish tank is definitely the way to go. The clean lines of a frameless tank will fit in with your space nicely.
Given that frameless tanks are only held together with silicon glue, they are normally made in smaller sizes than braced aquariums. So if you're only looking for a 5-20 gallon aquarium, then a rimless tank may be something you want to consider. However, even if you want a larger 50-80 gallon tank, there are still some rimless options reviewed below that you can consider.
How to Choose a Rimless Aquarium
There are several types on the market today. The most basic choice is a featureless and rimless aquarium cube. Besides a foam or rubber mat to sit on, these tanks don't come with anything other than the glass and glue that they are made off. This means that you will have to accessorize them with filters, lights, heaters, and the other fixtures necessary to set up your tank.
On the other hand, there are a number of all-in-one rimless aquarium kits available on the market today. Depending upon the make and model, these generally come with filters, lighting, and stands. As a result, these are usually much easier to install and more beginner friendly.
Getting the biggest aquarium you can afford is recommended as smaller aquariums tend to require more maintenance to keep water levels healthy and stable.
Advantages and Benefits of a Rimless Aquarium
The look of the rimless tank is visually very striking. It offers a sleek and a natural feeling with no black plastic framing or canopy. The glass is iron free, which results in a much higher clarity level than the standard fish tank, which often have a green tint.
Ability to Choose Your Accessories
If you are a more experienced aquarist and opt for a rimless tank, then you probably won’t be too tempted by an all-in-one kits. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a kit, as a more seasoned hobbyist you probably have done some research and have previous experience with various aquarium equipment. By purchasing a rimless fish tank cube, you will be able to design your perfect aquarium exactly to your liking.
Disadvantages of a Rimless Aquarium
Jumping Fish and Straying Snails
Many rimless aquariums do not come with a lid or canopy, this means your
tank's inhabitants will have to be carefully selected. Otherwise you may wake up to dead fish on your floor or desktop snails that have crawled out of your tank. Another option is to consider one of the rimless aquarium kits that comes with a low-profile lid.
With a rimless tank you may also experience the occasional water spill. Without a canopy top to prevent any type of splashing, either from the inhabitants, the filter, or you, you might end up with water on your desktop or counter. This is generally not a big deal but if you have your tank on a nice wood desktop you might want to take this into consideration.
Saltwater aquariums tend to produce salt residue that builds up at the water line. This creates an unpleasant look and will require that you clean your tank more regularly than a tank with a canopy top that hides the salt line.
While any of the aquariums reviewed in this article would make a great addition to your home or office, which one will work best for you will depend on your particular situation. If you're looking for a rimless tank with great glass quality then you will not be disappointed with any of these choices. All of them are made from high transparency glass with low iron levels. Ultimately which tank is right for you will come down to:
(1) Whether you want to build a DIY rimless aquarium or you want to purchase a complete kit that comes with everything you need to get started. A DIY solution means you will also have to buy all of your own lighting, pumps, filters, heaters, etc. On the other hand, a kit often comes with everything you will need to get started.
(2) Where you want to put your rimless fish tank, how much space you have, and how much weight your stand can support. Our review covers the best 5, 7, 10, or 20-gallon rimless aquariums that would be perfect for any desktop. Our top pick in the 50-gallon size comes complete with a fish tank stand designed to hold the weight of a large aquarium (a 50 gallon glass tank can weigh 600 pounds or more when full!).
If you want to build a DIY tank then our top pick is the Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank. What we love most about this tank is its top-quality glass, workmanship, and price relative to comparable tanks. If you want to build a saltwater tank then the SCA Starfire Aquarium Kit is a great choice. If you're looking for a small starter tank for beginners that comes with everything you need at a great price then our top pick is the Marineland Portrait Aquarium Kit.
Bottom line, rimless tanks are great aquariums to have because of their sleek look and modern design. Any one of these rimless aquariums will be sure to impress your friends and guests.