Aquariums, Reviews

All-in-One Saltwater Aquarium – Our Top 2024 Picks and Buying Guide

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by Jason Matthews



Our Top Picks

Best All-in-One Nano Reef Aquarium: Fluval Sea EVO V

This 13.5-gallon tank features a robust filtration system, LED system, and circulation pump to get you started.

Best All-in-One Reef Aquarium for Corals: Coralife LED Biocube

The aquarium comes with color-enhancing LED lights of day and night beauty.

Best Large All-in-One Saltwater Aquarium: SCA Starlife

This 50-gallon rimless tank has all the gear you need, including a heavy-duty cabinet to hold its weight.

Saltwater aquariums are magnificent. Watching the fish swim around the colorful corals can boost your mood, lower stress, and improve your overall health. But as wonderful as these aquariums are, setting them up can be challenging. Not only do you have to find the best saltwater aquarium, but you also have to find the necessary aquarium equipment.

Most people have an easier time choosing a saltwater aquarium. They admit that selecting compatible aquarium gear is time-consuming and tedious. Browsing for suitable filters, aquarium lights, heaters, and sumps is usually a hassle.

If you are a beginner, you might feel that setting up a saltwater tank is too much work. But what if there was a way to get most, if not all, this equipment when buying your fish tank? Yes, it is possible with an all-in-one saltwater aquarium.

An All-in-One saltwater aquarium is beginner-friendly since it includes essential tank equipment. It also saves you time, energy, and money. We have compiled a list of the five best all-in-one saltwater tanks to get you started. We thoroughly tested these products and read hundreds of customer reviews to pick only the best ones.

Top 5 Best All-in-One Saltwater Aquariums

Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank

Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank


Fluval Sea Evo V

  • Customize water flow with the adjustable multi-directional dual outputs
  • Includes biological, mechanical, and chemical filters
  • It comes with an LED lighting system
  • It holds 13.5 gallons with a multi-functional canopy
  • The honeycomb design hides the rear compartment for an ultra-modern look

Affiliate links / Images from Walmart

For good reasons, Fluval Sea Evo V is our best all-in-one saltwater aquarium. This tank holds a 13.5-gallon capacity, an ideal size to hold several fish without demanding a large footprint.

It offers a 3-stage filtration system with the provided foam filter block, Biomax inserts, and activated carbon inserts. These offer mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration to ensure the water stays free of debris, toxic chemicals, and odors.

You will love the tank’s unique honeycomb design since it perfectly conceals the filtration system at the rear. The removable cover allows you to change filters without disrupting the tank’s inhabitants.

The Fluval Evo V has a powerful LED system (14,000K LEDs) designed to promote coral growth and color. You can program the lights into day and night cycles using a convenient touch button. These lights are integrated into a smooth, all-aluminum, waterproof casing.

Feeding your fish is relatively easy, thanks to the easy feed door on the multi-functional canopy.


  • Customize water flow with the adjustable multi-directional dual outputs
  • Includes biological, mechanical, and chemical filters
  • It comes with an LED lighting system
  • It holds 13.5 gallons with a multi-functional canopy
  • The honeycomb design hides the rear compartment for an ultra-modern look

Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium

Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium


Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium

  • 24-hour timer for daytime, night, and enhanced color channels
  • The back-wall chamber integrates the filtration system and a submersible pump
  • Gradual light shift from moonset to sunrise and sunset to moonrise
  • Easy assembly and maintenance
  • Suitable for saltwater and freshwater aquariums

Affiliate links / Images from Walmart

With Coralife Biocube Aquarium, you can customize the brightness of the LED lights to match the needs of your marine fish, live plants, or corals. It features a 24-hour integrated timer with bright white lights for the daytime, sparkling blue moonlight for the night, and color-enhancing LED channels to enhance beauty.

What’s more, these lights are the closest thing to a natural day cycle your fish and corals will ever get. An Automatic half-hour sunrise/sunset and one-hour Moonrise/moonset function provide a gradual light transition to mimic the natural world.

The tank features a back-wall chamber to hold mechanical, biological, and chemical media. There is also room for a 265 GPH, silent submersible pump with adjustable return nozzles and dual intakes. The filtration media and submersible pump help the tank maintain safe water parameters.


  • 24-hour timer for daytime, night, and enhanced color channels
  • The back-wall chamber integrates the filtration system and a submersible pump
  • Gradual light shift from moonset to sunrise and sunset to moonrise
  • Easy assembly and maintenance
  • Suitable for saltwater and freshwater aquariums

SCA Starfire Aquarium

The SCA Starfire aquarium is a 50-gallon tank with enough space to hold many inhabitants. And it is made of durable glass to withstand the immense weight of water without leaking or cracking.

This aquarium has an MDF cabinet to ease your worries about getting a 50-gallon fish tank stand. It also has space to store your fish supplies or aquarium accessories.

The purchase also includes a sump.

The sump increases the water capacity in the tank to prevent pH and salinity fluctuations. It also helps maintain a stable environment by providing surface agitation and preventing toxin build-up.

There is a skimmer, too, to remove organic waste. The skimmer works as a filtration system by removing uneaten food and fish waste before they convert to nitrates. It maintains pristine water conditions and a stable pH and reduces the frequency of water changes.

The SCA Starfire aquarium kit includes filter media, bio media, tubing, bulkheads, Durso standpipe, and Return T pipe.


  • Features a heavy-duty cabinet
  • It has a 50-gallon capacity
  • Made of durable glass
  • A skimmer and sump promote healthy water conditions
  • Three drilled holes in the overflow box to drain excess water

Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon Aquarium

Hygger Horizon is another perfect nano reef tank packed with a starter kit. It comes with a power filter, adjustable LED lights, and 3D decorative rock.

This curved shape tank uses a 7W internal filter that cycles up to 110 gallons per hour. It features carbon and poly fiber floss media for mechanical and chemical filtration.

A control knob allows you to adjust the water flow rate. However, the manufacturer cautions against using this aquarium filter with small fish species of less than two inches as it may suck them in.

In terms of lighting, the 18W LED lights offer three light modes: White LEDs, Blue, and Red LEDs, and White, Blue, and Red LEDs. Using the external light controller, you can adjust the brightness levels from 10% to 100% or vice versa. Interestingly, these lights have a lifespan of 20,000 hours. However, do not use them underwater.   

You also get preinstalled 3D rock-mountain background when you purchase this tank. The background aligns perfectly with marine life since it offers small fish a natural look and shelter. However, you cannot detach this background, which takes up space. Although the tank is advertised as an 8-gallon tank, it only holds 6 gallons.


  • Built-in rock-mountain background
  • Powerful 110 GPH internal filter
  • Adjustable LED-colored lights
  • Unique curved shape design
  • Ultra-quiet filter

GankPike 12 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium

The first notable aspect of the GankPike tank is its unique bullet-design shape. The next thing you notice is its sleek, crystal-clear glass that provides an ultra-view of your tank’s inhabitants. Plus, it allows natural light to seep through for high visibility.

This 12-gallon all-in-one saltwater aquarium has a hang-on protein skimmer, a power pump, and filter media to maintain water quality. The biochemical sponge, mechanical filter media, and ceramic rings remove impurities, odors, discoloration, and unwanted particles from the tank water.

The LED lights help amplify the beauty of your fish and corals. You can switch between Blue White, Blue Red, and Blue White Red color modes or adjust the brightness levels. Additionally, you can set the timer for 3-, 6-, and 12-hour intervals.

A 200W heater is available to maintain the water temperature. An LCD digital thermometer accompanies it for accurate temperature readings.


  • Includes a 10W submersible water pump
  • The feeding hole on the lid allows easy access
  • Aluminum alloy adjustable LED lights
  • Made of highly visible ultra-clear glass
  • It comes with a heater, thermometer, protein skimmer, and filter media

3 Main Types of Saltwater Aquariums

saltwater aquarium osaka japan
Image Credit: Private Photo

When looking for an all-in-one saltwater aquarium, you must establish what kind of saltwater fish tank you want. The three main types of saltwater tanks are:

Fish Only (FO)

These tanks showcase marine fish only. There are no corals, live rock, or invertebrates. Fish-only tanks are perfect for beginners because they only require a basic setup.

Fish Only with Live Rock (FOWLR)

These aquariums are a bridge between fish-only tanks and reef aquariums. They contain fish and live rocks.

These rocks are fragmented pieces of calcium-based rock colonized with nitrifying bacteria, microbes, and invertebrates. The presence of natural marine life on the rock maintains optimal water parameters in the tank. Plus, it adds an aesthetic appeal.

Reef Tank

Forget basic; reef tanks are the most expensive marine aquariums. They include marine fish, live rock, invertebrates, and corals. Reef tanks are more about showcasing corals and invertebrates, which is why some aquarists choose not to include marine fish.

Proper lighting is crucial for the health of corals, while optimal water conditions are necessary for marine invertebrates. Monitoring and maintaining this balance proves quite challenging for most fish keepers.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing an All-in-One Saltwater Aquarium

With so many aquariums, finding that ideal all-in-one fish tank can be hectic. But you can overcome the search process using these pointers.

Pico vs. Nano vs. Large Tank

How big or small do you want your saltwater tank to be? Pico tanks hold 5 gallons or less. Their small size does not make them easy maintenance. In fact, it is challenging to maintain nutrient levels, salinity, and pristine water conditions due to constant evaporation. This is why pico tanks are ideal for experienced aquarists.

Tanks with a 6 to 30-gallon capacity are referred to as nano tanks. They offer more room than pico tanks and can hold substantial marine life. Maintaining stable water parameters is relatively easier, making them an excellent choice for beginners.

On the other hand, large tanks hold 40 gallons and more. These tanks have plenty of space for marine fish, live rock, invertebrates, and corals. The extra space also reduces the likelihood of ammonia build-up since the high volume of water disperses the toxic toxins.  

Here are the pros and cons of each tank.

Tank SizeProsCons
Pico Reef– Perfect for small spaces
– Holds more saltwater
– Easy to maintain tank aquascape
– Requires less electricity
– Requires frequent water changes
– Limited space to keep fish happy
– Can be expensive
Nano Tank– Easier water changes
– Its size fits nicely on a cabinet or desk
– Easy to set up compared to a large tank
– Most come with the necessary equipment
– Can hold more fish than a pico reef tank
– One can only keep a limited number of fish
– Requires consistent water change and maintenance routine
Large Tank– Ample room to keep aggressive fish
– Endless possibilities of aquascaping
– Less risk of overstocking
– More water quantity dilutes waste and toxins
– Offers temperature stability
– Quite expensive to purchase
– It needs ample setup space
– Once set up, it isn’t easy to move

Kit Components

[Photo by Biljana Martinić on Unsplash]

You also need to consider getting a partial or complete kit saltwater aquarium. We recommend a full starter kit for beginners. The inclusion of all the required equipment promotes convenience.

However, if you are an adept fish keeper looking to customize your tank, a partial kit provides the essential gear and leaves room for creativity. This option may be more expensive, but worth it.

Equipment in all-in-one saltwater aquariums includes:

  • Filters

A powerful filtration system is a must-have for all saltwater tanks. Marine fish and corals thrive in clean water conditions. It is vital to maintain water quality as it makes the fish happy and healthy. An ideal filtration system should feature mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

  • Heater

The ideal water temperature range for a saltwater aquarium is between 75 to 82 degrees F and 76 to 79 degrees F for reef tanks. Including a heater helps maintain consistent water temperature. This is particularly crucial for marine fish and corals since they are sensitive to fluctuating temperatures.

  • Lighting

Aquarium lighting is also essential for the overall health of corals and marine fish. Corals are photosynthesizing organisms that need adequate light to survive. Therefore, you must find an aquarium with adjustable LED lights to mimic the natural day cycles.

  • Protein Skimmer

A protein skimmer will capture and remove organic waste matter if you have soft or stony corals in your reef tank.

  • Powerhead

Powerheads provide proper water circulation. In so doing, they oxygenate the tank water.


All-in-one aquariums come with essential tank equipment. Sadly, the equipment does not always match high-quality standards.

So, before you purchase, research the tank’s accessories. It won’t hurt to learn whether the internal filter, sump, or protein skimmer is durable. Also, confirm whether the LED lighting system is weak, adequate, or intense for coral growth.

Benefits of an All-in-One Tank

The following are the advantages of buying an all-in-one saltwater aquarium:

  • Set up is relatively easy since all the components are compatible with the tank. Every piece of equipment comes ready for installation and use.
  • They come with essential tank equipment like filtration and heating systems.
  • They are relatively cheaper compared to buying the tank and equipment separately.
  • Their aesthetic design is an attractive addition to any space. Most all-in-one aquariums conceal filtration systems and electronic components.
  • Most tanks are easy maintenance. The filter cartridges are easily accessible for fast cleaning and replacements.

Disadvantages of an All-in-One Tank

It is only natural to want to learn the cons of getting an all-in-one saltwater aquarium. The disadvantages are:

  • If you are an experienced aquarist, you do not have the freedom to customize the tank with your preferred equipment.
  • The provided gear is not a solution to acquiring basic aquarium-keeping information. You must know how to set up the aquarium and keep it running at optimal levels.              

Are All-in-One Saltwater Tanks Good?

Absolutely. An all-in-one saltwater tank includes most of the start-up gear. This saves you time since the equipment is compatible with the tank. Besides, they are attractive and require minimal maintenance.

What Is the Best All-in-One Saltwater Tank?

We found Fluval Sea Evo V to be our top all-in-one saltwater aquarium. This 13.5-gallon tank is neither too big nor too small and is equipped with a powerful filtration system and energy-efficient LED lights for healthy coral growth.

How Do I Clean and Care for an All-in-One Saltwater Aquarium?

Saltwater aquariums need cleaning, just like freshwater aquariums. Marine fish, live rock, and corals need a clean environment for optimal health and growth. To achieve this, conduct a 20-25% water change every two weeks, depending on your tank’s size.
Also, test nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels, as these invisible compounds can quickly kill your fish. Test calcium levels, too, because high levels affect alkalinity and pH.

Which Fish and Corals Can I Add to an All-in-One Saltwater Aquarium?

Not all fish are suitable for reef tanks. So, do your research before adding fish to the saltwater aquarium. Clownfish, Firefish Goby, and Mandarin fish are excellent beginner fish. You can start with Xenia, Mushrooms, or star polyps for corals.


[Photo by Shaun Low, Unsplash]

Setting up a saltwater aquarium should not be hectic. An all-in-one saltwater aquarium includes the necessary gear to save you time, labor, and money. It is easy to install since all the equipment is designed to fit the specific tank.If you can’t decide which of the five saltwater aquariums is perfect, consider getting the Fluval Sea Evo Aquarium. It has an attractive design, comes in a standard nano-size, features 3-stage filtration, and has convenient LED lights.

Featured image: Maria Maltseva, Pixabay

Are you interested in aquariums in different sizes? Check out our other guides:


Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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