Most people are in love with fish keeping and adore the pleasure of having aquatic pets. Well, the major challenge for them to keep up with their passion is routine cleaning of the fish tank. Unfortunately, many people withdrew from the idea of fishkeeping primarily due to this hectic task.

However, you don’t have to worry, as the introduction of self-cleaning fish tanks has offered a great deal of convenience, and now you can easily get away with the frantic task of cleaning the aquarium.

A fish tank that cleans itself is a blessing for many fishkeeping lovers. While narrowing down choices, you need to answer a few questions such as – how much effort you are willing to put in, the kind of fish you want to keep, availability of space, or your budget.

 In a few minutes, you will get the inclusive idea of a reliable self-cleaning fish tank and why most people prefer them. Let’s begin:

Our Top Pick in Self-Cleaning Fish Tanks– Back to the Roots

Our favorite self-cleaning fish aquarium is Back to the Roots. It offers excellent quality, functionality, durability, and maintenance-free service, and is easy to set up and use. Its design is based on the principle of aquaponics, ensuring a long self-sustaining ecosystem allowing swift growth of plants.

10 Easy to Maintain Self-Sustaining Aquariums– Updated 2023

First of all, selfsustaining fish tanks come in various shapes, sizes, prices, and filtration systems. Depending on your preference and requirements, you have many options to choose from.

So, whether you are looking for large or small easy aquariums, premium or budgeted ones, we have covered all the categories for your convenience. So, let’s delve deep into a detailed review of some of the most popular self-cleaning fish tanks and pick the best one:

1. Back to the Roots – Indoor Garden Self-sustaining Fish Tank

  • Comes with a DIY gardening kit
  • 100% refund guaranteed if kit seeds don’t grow
  • No electricity or plumbing required
  • Grow organic produce indoors year-round
  • Fish waste fertilizes the plants naturally. No need for separate fertilizer equipment, less work for you!

The Back to the Roots water garden is a multipurpose self-cleaning fish ta, and it allows you to create your own mini aquatic ecosystem to grow food easily. The solid 3-gallon tank is compatible with snails, shrimps, and small fish like Bettas.

It works the principle of aquaponics, and the compact top layer offers a great space to fit multiple plants or spread swift growth seedlings across the area. You can even customize your tank as per your requirements.

The fish tank set comes with everything you need to create a sustainable aquatic habitat. It is well equipped with a water conditioner & de-chlorinator, required natural aquatic supplies, multiple pots to grow plants, and a fish coupon so that you can get your favorite fish at a discounted price.

An aquarist doesn’t need to replace the dirt or toxic water; the helpful plants automatically filter the water-consuming fish waste. Back to Roots is the easiest fish tank to maintain. So, you just need to feed the fish on a timely basis, and the rest will be taken care of.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Smooth Cleaning with Self-Filtering system Quite Expensive for Starters
Integrated Aquaponic Technology for Sustainable Ecosystem  May You Need to Buy Supplements Components After Sometime 
Great Asset for Indoor Gardening Some Issues May Occur with Water Pump
Allows Customization

2. Aqueon LED Mini Bow Kit with Smart Clean Technology – Innovative Self-Cleaning Tank

  • Best for beginners and experienced fishkeepers
  • Has acrylic tank, which is much stronger than the glass
  • Energy-efficient LED light hood
  • The kit includes a Quite Flow filter that cleans both fresh and saltwater aquariums

If you are scouting for a simple-looking aquarium accompanied by practical technology, Aqueon LED MiniBow is a great choice. Its compact design and attractive buildup make it one of the classic self-cleaning aquariums. Being very practical in size, the 1-gallon tank is suitable for various small fishes, including bloodfin tetra and betta fish.

This desktop-size aquarium amplifies the beauty of your home and can be easily placed in the bedroom, home office, living room, etc. Its innovative power filter with SmartClean technology performs vital water changes in less than 2 minutes.

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The kit comes with all the essential items, including a clear acrylic craft, hood, elevated base, power filter, water conditioner, small filter cartridge, and some fish food samples that you need to get started.

We can also fill the vessel’s bottom with pebbles and other essential substances. Also, the in-built LED lights can simulate daylight, and an additional red flashlight of the filter provides a signal about media change. This self-sustaining easy fish tank also comes in 2.5- and 5-gallon variants.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Equipped with Smart Clean Technology for Rapid Cleaning May Face Difficulty While Installation
Comes with Complimentary Water Conditioner Doesn’t Have Water Heater
Ideal for both Starter and Experience Fish Keepers

3. Penn-Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank – Highly Functional Self-Cleaning Aquarium

  • Creates sustainable habitat by imitating nature’s cycle
  • Easy to set up and clean
  • Compact cylindrical design with a complete 360-degree view
  • An aquaponic planter that keeps both fish and plants in a symbiotic relationship
  • Great asset for children or beginners fish keepers

Penn-Plax Aquaponic is a simplistic and affordable self-cleaning betta fish tank with basic features and a compact cylindrical design. It is a 1.4-gallon tank that offers a high degree of functionality working on the aquaponic principle.

The self-contained aquarium is made from premium plastic that ensures extended durability; with its ceramic substrate, the tank assists in growing a wide array of plants without any use of chemical fertilizers.

Its cleaning mechanism is impressive, and thus it requires low maintenance. The plants consume fish waste as sustenance, and in return, they filter the dirty water.

This self-cleaning betta tank is a great home to some popular small fishes such as goldfish, betta, bloodfin tetra, neon tetra, and white cloud minnow. The transparent fishbowl allows you to see the bare roots of the plants. So, if the bottom of the vessel gets too dirty, you can simply use warm water to clean the surface.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Compact and Elegant Self-Cleaning Aquarium No LED Lighting
Affordable Price Suitable Only for Small Fish Species
Aquaponic Setup with Ceramic Substrate Frequent Water Changing May Required
Compatibility with Most Plants & Herbs and can be Stored in a Limited Space

4. Aqua Sprouts Garden, Self-Sustaining Desktop Aquarium

  • Self-sustaining aquarium cum garden
  • Grow a wide range of vegetables, houseplants, or herbs all-year-round
  • Incredible design and great function
  • Natural aquarium with standard 10-gallon capacity
  • Equipped with a mechanical timer

If you are looking for a premium and gigantic self-cleaning fish tank, AquaSprouts Garden is an optimum choice. It is an inclusive miniature ecosystem with an integrated aquaponics system.

With its 10-gallon aquarium, you can create your gorgeous fish tank cum water garden that works incredibly well on its own self-supporting symbiotic network. The kit comes with single-piece garden bed snaps adjoined handily with supporting legs, a removable light bar, drain, submersible pump, and clay pebble media to assist water filtration.

The inclusive design of this fish tank is marvelous. Its setup features a lush vegetation garden on the roof that absorbs fish waste beneath for routine nourishment. In return, the plants purify the entire aquatic habitat, making it a cleaner and liveable environment for your finned friends.

This aquaponics self-cleaning fish tank is virtually maintenance-free and relatively straightforward to set up and use. It is practically designed to give the experience of exotic gardening as well as serve the purpose of ideal home decor.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
It can accommodate a Large Number of Fishes Quite Difficult To Set Up
Sleek and Aesthetic Design with Removable Light Serving as Attractive Decor Comparatively Heavy and Require Greater Space
Equipped with Mechanical Timer and Submersible  Expensive Self-Cleaning Aquarium
Advanced and Reliable Filter System That Reduces Nitrate Level Keeping Water Crystal Clear Produces Noise That May be Disturbing to Ears
 Wonderful Symbiotic Ecosystem

5. As Seen On TV My Fun Fish Tank – Most Affordable Self-Cleaning Aquarium

  • Cheapest self-cleaning fish tank that works on a gravity system
  • A great aquarium that cleans itself and requires minimal maintenance
  • Beautiful design and small in size
  • An excellent fit for a work desk or interior decor
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‘As Seen On TV My Fun Fish Tank’ is a simplistic and highly rated self-cleaning aquarium. It comes with a solid design and uses a gravity system for routine cleaning. With the capacity of only half a gallon, the entire cleaning process takes quickly. In no time, the dirty water is replaced by pure and high oxygenated water for your beloved aquatic pets.

The tank is specifically designed to keep a limited number of fish, i.e., one or two.

It is a low-maintenance fish tank that cleans itself without interfering with the stable aquatic ecosystem. In addition, the tank comes with plants, riverbed stones, and LED lights powered with lithium batteries.

As the tank is based on a gravity cleaning system, you just need to pour clean water, and after some time, the dirty water automatically flows out using the disposable tube. So, it is considered the most affordable and maintenance-free fish aquarium that offers great assistance to beginners or children who aspire to learn fishkeeping.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Simplistic Design, Small and Portable Assembling Process Can Get Quite Complex
Very Affordable Need Additional Container For Disposal Tube Drain
Require Minimal Maintenance Very Small and Suitable for Only One Fish
Perfect Fish Tank for Starter or Children

6. Oltraman 1.6 Gallon Advanced Hydroponics Self-Cleaning Aquarium

  • Comes with both fishbowl and houseplant garden
  • It has innovated design and efficient hydroponic growing system
  • Grow fresh herbs using fish waste that fertilizes the pants.
  • 100% customer satisfaction
  • 24 months warranty and 30 days complete refund policy

Oltraman 1.6 Gallon Self Cleaning betta fish tank is a comprehensive and upgraded hydroponics growing system that creates a perfect aquatic ecosystem for your lovely aquatic creatures at your home or office. It is made of premium plastic quality and is lightweight, easy to set up, and portable.

The plants absorb the nitrogenous waste from fish as natural fertilizers. At the same time, the plants assist in purifying the water, fostering a liveable environment for the aquatic pets.

The automatic fish tank cleaner is equipped with a heater, removable filter, and a robust cleaning system. In addition, the setup also includes a two-part water filter and a water pump.

The lower surface of the self-cleaning fish tank is filled with riverbed pebbles and aquarium rocks that pull the leftover impurities from water and assist in preserving a healthy environment.

This tankis perfectfor bettafish. It cultivates a resourceful symbiotic relationship between fish and plants. You can grow a variety of herbs, sprouts, or vegetables.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Simple to Set Up and Use Compatible With a Single Fish
Upgraded and Automatic Cleaning System May Face Complication During Installation
Premium Self-Cleaning at Affordable Rate
Appealing And Decorative Look

7. 1 Gallon Small Self-Cleaning Fish Tank by Oltraman – Best for Beginners

  • Self-sustaining betta fish tank with gravity-based cleaning
  • Automatic LED with 7 striking color combinations to radiate your aquatic companions
  • Perfect asset to gift your friends, batchmates, or young children
  • 30 days money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the performance

The small self-cleaning fish tank by Oltraman is an ideal setup for starters who aspires to learn fishkeeping skills. It works on a gravity-based self-cleaning system and is an easy fish tank to maintain. This process ensures adequate cleaning and oxygenation.

Its high-grade impact-resistant plastic buildup provides damp-proof assurance. The crystal clear cylindrical design reflects the aquatic ecosystem’s real beauty all-round with a 360-degree view creating an immersive decor in-home or office.

The self-cleaning process of this maintenance-free fish tank is quite simple. So, one only needs to add chlorine-free fresh water, and then with the effect of the hydraulic gravity pressure, the dirty water comes out of the aquarium from a disposable tube.

Clearly, this is the best and easy to clean fish tank for betta and other small fish like neon tetra, jellyfish, shrimps, white cloud minnow, and more.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
360 Degree Crystal Clear Aquarium View Frequent Water Change May Required
Automatic LED Lighting With Multiple Colors Proper Drainage System Needed For Disposable Tube 
Best Self Cleaning Fish Tank for Small FIsh Like Betta

8. Huamuyu Hydroponic Garden Aquaponic Multipurpose Fish Tank

  • Comes with hydroponics growing system & seed sprouter
  • Equipped with a siphon oxygen design that allows plants to breathe freely, no routine watering or fertilizing needed
  • Create perfect unison sustainability  between fish and in-house plants
  • All-inclusive ecosystem kit
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Huamuyu hydrophobic garden is the perfect self-cleaning tank set to intensify interior decor, create a natural aquatic environment, and grow plants offering a suitable habitat for aquatic pets. 

This fish tank set has a speed sprouting and integrated hydroponics growing system. You can spread varieties of seeds to cultivate lush vegetation. The prolonged roots of plants expand into the water and consume all the fish waste as nutrients. This purifies the water vessel and creates a healthy environment for aquatic playmates.

In addition, the automatic oxygen supply network assists in maintaining the level of water with tidal fluctuation ensuring maintenance-free fish tanks.

Also, this tank highlights the significance of how simple and self-cleaning aquarium tanks can be used to create a suitable aquatic ecosystem for your finned pets with a seed sprouter tray.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Decorative Tank for Organic Indoor Gardening Make Noise After Filling Water More Than ⅔ of the Tank
Automatic Siphon Design with Seed Sprouter Tray The Water Pump Requires Routine Maintenance
Dependable The Complicated Needs Extra Care
Reasonable Distance Between Heater and Light Cords

9. ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Garden System – Powerful Self-Sustaining Fish Tank

  • Equipped with programmable LED lights and mechanical timer to enhance efficiency
  • Grow fresh and organic produce all year round with your massive 20-gallon fish tank
  • Works on aquaponics principle
  • Inclusive assistance with instructional videos, email, and call support

The Eco-Cycle aquaponics indoor garden system by ECOLIFE Conservation is a plastic and metal rectangular case with enough room to grow hydroponic plants while breeding fish, turtles, etc. This well-constructed tank weighs 17 pounds and can occupy 20 gallons of water to grow.

The programmable LED lights add to the beauty of the tank while allowing the plants to grow faster indoors using less energy. Since the fish kept in the water help fertilize the plants, one does not need to change the water.

The entire system is compatible with the advanced settings of the aquarium with four different grow settings. However, it may be difficult for people to learn the settings of the tank, especially the ones who are accustomed to using the simple fish tank.

However, the excellent learning tool is easy-to-learn with clear instructions. The built-in timer and remote-control system conveniently help operate the LED light settings and filtration system. Overall, the tank’s performance justifies its price range and the claims made by the brand.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Require No Maintenance Pretty Expensive
Great Space Available for Vegetation The Interior Cleaning Process is Complicated
Appealing Design and Sturdy In-Built Quality Tank Not Included
Advanced Light and Filtration System

10. VIVOSUN Aquaponic Fish Tank – In-House Decorative Self-Cleaning Technology

  • Equipped with thermostat and siphon oxygen supply
  • A magical aqua-garden where you can grow over 150 hydroponic vegetables and beautiful plants
  • Advance self-cleaning function with an aquaponic & hydroponic system
  • Built with hard-wearing material

If one is looking for an aquarium that facilities most of its functions, Vivosun stands as a suitable option. The self-cleaning function gives a promising performance with a mini pump and filtration. The water circulation system helps save water while keeping the fish alive in a fresh atmosphere.

The best part is being able to grow different types of herbs, mint, or leafy lettuce using self-grown hydroponic plants. Both plants and fish assist each other in cleaning and maintaining a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

The hydroponic system assistance provides great practical and functional assistance in maintaining the sustainable ecosystem. Although the thermostat equipped tank serves as the most advanced tool, it requires regular maintenance.

VIVOSUN tank is also ranked amongst the most versatile and purposeful aquariums that can grow dense vegetation while offering a desirable natural ecosystem for your adorable aquatic pets.

Reasons To Buy Reasons To Avoid
Excellent Tank for Growing In-House Plants and Vegetables Overflows Sometime
Equipped with Thermostat & Siphon Oxygen Supply Gets Clog Easily
Has Small Footprints No LED Light
Outstanding Durability with Minimalistic Design  Thermostat Requires Routine Maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Choose Self Cleaning Fish Tank Over A Traditional Aquarium?

The main advantage is that self-cleaning or low-maintenance aquariums don’t require ample time to clean the water. They are easy to maintain, and aquarists don’t need to devote big time, unlike traditional aquariums.

What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Self-sustaining Fish Tanks?

The major benefit of having a no-fuss fish tank is that it requires a minimum amount of work to clean and maintain the traditional aquarium. So, depending on the class of self-cleaning fish tank and their capacity, you only need to remove dirty water once or twice a month, and that too with ease.

Whereas, the major drawbacks of the no-clean aquariums are that these self-sustaining fish tank sets are not quite long-term. Also, due to their small size and limited capacity, you can grow limited vegetation. You need to clean them also but after a long period. Other concerns are algae outbreaks, toxins that build up quickly, and many easy fish tanks have complex systems, which may be arduous to clean.

What Kind of Fish is Suitable for a Self-Sustaining Fish Tank?

In general, most self-cleaning fish tanks are small or decent in size; therefore, little tropical fish suits them. Some of the popular fish are – betta fish, goldfish, bloodfin tetra, Cory cats, Siamese Algae Eaters, neon tetras, dwarf gouramis, etc.

Depending on the volume of the water, you can accommodate a couple of fish. However, to avoid congestion keep limited fish and allow them the freedom to move.

Do Self Cleaning Fish Tanks Work?

Yes, certain kinds of self-cleaning fish tanks work appropriately and feature one or two automatic water filtrations systems that allow aquarists to devote less time to cleaning and maintaining the tank. However, depending on the filtration system and tank capacity, the interval of cleaning the tank may vary.

Final Verdict

After a detailed and informative review, we can say that there are multiple options available for aquarists to get a self-cleaning fish tank as per their preference.

Moreover, it is crucial to understand that self-cleaning fish tanks are valuable and offer a pool of convenience, but that doesn’t mean that you will never have to clean the fish tanks. Other aspects also include maintaining water level, aquarium temperature, water pH level, and nutrient requirement for both fish and plants, especially in aquaponic systems.

Read here –

Thorough Guide to Clean Sand and Gravel in Fish Tank

About the Author

Victoria Lamb

Victoria is a freshwater aquatics specialist, fish keeper, and amphibian enthusiast. She has had more than 6 years of experience caring for aquariums and keeping several fish species, and her home boasts of 3 aquariums and a garden pond. Her goal is to educate fish owners on raising healthy and happy aquatic pets. Career Highlights:…

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