Bow front tanks offer you that little bit extra as not only do they look fantastic in your room, the curved viewing panel can really enhance the view of your fish. But they come in so many different sizes and options, finding the best bow front aquarium can be daunting.
We’ve used our combined experience, along with many hours of research and testing, to bring you our top picks for the best bow front aquarium. And we found the Fluval Flex 15 Gallon Aquarium Kit to be the best all rounder.
But we’ve also covered a range of other bow front tanks and sizes, from nano aquariums to large tanks. So whatever the scenario you’ll find it below!
- Best Overall: Fluval Flex 15 Gallon Aquarium Kit
- Best For Budget: Koller Products 6.5 Gallon Aquarium Kit
- Best Large Acrylic Tank: SeaClear 46 Gallon Bow Front Aquarium Combo Set
- Best Small Premium Tank: Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon Aquarium Kit
- Best Small Easy Maintenance: Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Kit
Best Bow Front Aquarium Picks Reviewed
We considered a wide range of bow fronts, from desktop nano aquariums to larger tanks, to bring you our pick of the best bow front aquariums available.
- Shape and Capacity: Cube bow front, 15 US gallons
- Dimensions and Weight: 15.94 (l) x 16.3 (d) x 15.94 (h) inches, 28.0 pounds
- Material: Glass
- Equipment Included: 7500k white and RGB integrated lighting with remote control, 3-stage integrated filtration with multi-directional outputs, hood with easy feed opening
- Best for: Overall
The ultra-modern and stylish Fluval Flex bow front aquarium comes in 9 gallon, 15 gallon, and 32.5 gallon options. We’ve featured the 15 gallon as it’s a good size for a small community of around 10 nano fish, but with a footprint of 15.94 x 16.3 inches is compact for a small lounge.
Whilst the glass construct makes it a little heavy for its size at 28 lbs, it also makes it very scratch resistant so you don’t have to worry about the occasional knock.
The 48 7500k white LEDs are great for growing low to medium light plants, and the 6 RGBs allow you to customize your colors with up to 80 hues. You can also programme timer presets and dim the LEDs to set a regular day and night cycle for your fish.
Fluval has hidden the 3 stage filter chamber at the back of the tank, and it also has room to add a separate heater out of view. The pump is a powerful 132 gallons per hour (GPH), cycling all your water almost 9 times an hour – plenty to keep it clean and safe for your fish.
- Shape and Capacity: Semi-hexagon bow front, 6.5 US gallons
- Dimensions and Weight: 18.0 (l) x 11.0 (d) x 13.5 (h) inches, 5.8 pounds
- Material: Acrylic
- Equipment Included: hinged aquarium hood with integrated 7 color energy-efficient LED lighting, internal 45 gallon per hour (GPH) filter
- Best for: Budget
If you’re on a budget and looking for a compact tank that will fit on a desk in your dorm or in a small apartment, the 18 x 11 x 13.5 inch Koller 6.5 Gallon Aquarium is a perfect option. It’s a great size for a single betta or a small community of 5 or 6 nano fish.
As it’s made of a single piece of preformed acrylic there are no seams to cause leaks, and it’s very light at only 5.8 lbs making it easy to move if you need to.
The energy efficient LED lights illuminate the tank well and the 7 color selections are a nice touch. But the lights aren’t very bright and would struggle to sustain even low-level plants. They don’t have a timer either, but owners often solve this by using a simple timer plug.
Koller includes a 45 GPH internal filter, cycling all the water around 7 times an hour. That’s over the 4 to 6 times an hour recommended to keep a tank this size clean and clear. Overall, owners report this is a great small tank for a betta or those on a budget!
- Shape and Capacity: Rectangular bowfront, 46 US gallons
- Dimensions and Weight: 36.0 (l) x 16.5 (d) x 20.0 (h) inches, 20.0 pounds
- Material: Acrylic
- Equipment Included: Hood with 24 inch fluorescent light fixture (bulb not included), aquarium reflector
- Best for: Large Acrylic Tank
SeaClear’s 46 gallon tank is our pick for the best large bow front aquarium. It’s suitable for freshwater or saltwater use and you can keep around 15 mid-size (3 inch) freshwater fish or 4 to 6 saltwater. These are only rough numbers though so always research each species first.
The ultra-clear acrylic construct, along with near invisible seams are highlighted by many owners and we certainly found it to offer exceptional views inside, particularly with the magnifying effect of the bow front. At 20 lbs it’s lightweight too, making it easy to set up.
Whilst the hood does come with a 24 inch fluorescent fitting (with no bulb), you can easily replace it for an LED strip for more flexibility like setting timers. Overall, you’re really buying the tank itself here which is high-quality, durable, and gives fantastic views of your fish.
- Shape and Capacity: Rectangular with wide curved front, 8 US gallons
- Dimensions and Weight: 19.0 (w) x 11.89 (d) x 9.6 (h) inches, 68.0 pounds
- Material: Glass
- Equipment Included: 7 watt 110 GPH internal power filter, adjustable 3 mode LED lighting, 3D rockery mountain background, non-slip cushion pad
- Best for: Small Premium Tank
Hygger’s 8 gallon Horizon tank is an attractive bow front nano aquarium with a base of 19 x 11.89 inches, giving plenty of room to keep 5 or 6 nano fish such as rasboras. The 3D rockery background looks fantastic, but be aware it reduces the actual capacity to about 6 gallons.
Included is a 2 stage 110 GPH internal filter which is very quiet but at full power can cycle your water around 18 times an hour, double the amount needed to keep it clear and safe for your fish. You can also easily reduce the flow right down though so it’s perfect for betta fish too.
The 6500k white LEDs are plenty bright enough to support low and mid-level plants, and the blue and red modes are perfect for the evening. You can program and even dim them from 100% right down to 10%, making it easy to set daytime and nighttime periods for your fish.
- Shape and Capacity: Rectangular bow front, 5 US gallons
- Dimensions and Weight: 15.0 (l) x 10.67 (d) x 15.44 (h) inches, 5.25 pounds
- Material: Acrylic
- Equipment Included: low-profile LED hood, integrated power filter with SmartClean and filter cartridge, fish food and water conditioner samples, aquarium set-up guide
- Best for: Small Easy Maintenance
Aqueon’s LED minibow also comes in 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon sizes, but we prefer the 5 gallon version which will house a single betta fish. The 15.0 x 10.67 inch footprint makes it perfect for sitting on your kitchen counter or on a dorm room desk.
The hood is nicely made and fits snuggly into its frame on top of the tank, and is easily moveable for feeding. The integrated white LED, whilst not really powerful for plant growth, is adequate to illuminate the inside.
Aqueon provides a 30 GPH internal filter that cycles your water the required 6 times an hour to keep it clean and safe. But it also has SmartClean making water changes super quick and easy, by swiveling the nozzle to position it outside the tank so you can drain off the dirty water!
Buying Guide For Choosing The Best Bow Front Aquarium
A bow front aquarium can be a beautiful addition to your interior decor, and a fantastic home for your fish. Let’s look at what you need to know before buying one.
What Is A Bow Front Aquarium?
A bow front aquarium is simply a fish tank with a curved, convex viewing panel. Whilst this doesn’t add any specific benefit to your fish, aside from a little extra water volume, it does make a significant difference to your viewing experience.
In addition to giving the tank a stylish appearance, the convex shape acts to magnify your fish inside and helps enhance your view from different angles.
Common Bow Front Aquarium Sizes
Like standard rectangular fish tanks, bow front aquariums come in various sizes. From small nano aquariums to larger 40 gallon or 50 to 55 gallon tanks. But because of the curved front you’ll often find they come in slightly ‘non-standard’ volumes.
Which Type Of Bow Front Aquarium Is Best For You?
With the above in mind, there are a couple of extra factors to think about to help find the best bow front aquarium for you.
Which Size To Choose
As with any aquarium, a larger size is always easier to maintain if you have the space. A good starting size for a beginner is anything from around 15 to 20 gallons or upwards. That’s not to say you can’t start with a smaller nano aquarium, but they do take more maintenance.
It’s easier to keep water parameters (namely ammonia, nitrate, and nitrates) at their minimum levels in a larger tank as the increased volume of water means waste and toxins don’t build up as quickly or cause spikes.
Material: Glass vs. Acrylic
Bow front aquariums, like other types, come in glass or acrylic. Both materials make excellent fish tanks and which you choose is really down to personal preference. Acrylic is lighter and more resistant to cracks than glass, but glass tends to retain its clarity longer.
What I would say though, is bow front aquariums tend to be more expensive than regular rectangular fish tanks. Coupled with this, acrylic tanks are more expensive than glass, meaning while bow front acrylic tanks are certainly high-quality and durable you do need the budget.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Bow Front Aquarium?
Bow front aquariums are aesthetically beautiful and stylish tanks, but they do come with their pros and cons.
- Design: One of the main reasons for buying a bow front over a rectangular aquarium is the design. A bow front definitely makes a stand-out feature in your room and they often appear larger than they are.
- Enhanced viewing: The curved viewing panel of a bow front aquarium has the effect of magnifying the interior and really does add the ‘wow’ factor when viewing your fish.
- Extra volume: The curved panel of a bow front can give your fish an extra few gallons of swimming space. So, for example, a rectangular fish tank 36 x 14 x 20 inches would be around 45 gallons, but an equivalent bow front would be around 49 gallons.
- Price: Whilst bow front aquariums are stylish and striking, they do tend to be more expensive than an equivalent rectangular tank.
- Custom stand: It can sometimes be difficult to find a standard fish tank stand for a larger bow front aquarium, so you may need to budget for a customized stand.
Bow front tanks come in a wide variety of sizes from nano tanks to much larger set ups, so finding the best bow front aquarium depends on your needs.
Our favorite is the Fluval Flex 15 Gallon Aquarium Kit as it is a perfect size for most rooms, can support a small community of fish, and has great lighting for your plants. But if you want a large bow front that’s strong and ultra-clear the SeaClear 46 Gallon Combo Set is the way to go.
Whichever you choose, these bow front aquariums will not only help make a design statement in your home, they’ll also make your fish truly stand out!
We’ve answered some common questions often asked about bow front aquariums. Check out the answers below!
What Is The Best Bow Front Aquarium?
We chose the Fluval Flex 15 Gallon Aquarium Kit as the best bow front aquarium overall, but check out the rest of this article for a range of alternatives.
What Is The Main Advantage Of A Bow Front Aquarium?
Whilst a bow front aquarium doesn’t make a specific difference to your fish, the main advantage is the convex front that magnifies them and enhances your viewing experience from all angles!
Are Bow Front Aquariums Ok For My Fish?
Absolutely! There’s no difference between bow front aquariums and a regular rectangular tank from your fish’s perspective. If anything, it gives them a tiny bit of extra swimming space.