The world of aquarium building has come a long way from the days of a single goldfish confined to a bowl. These days, aquascapes can be elaborate works of visual art, complete with colorful fish and lush plantings. For those who value the look and style of their tank as much as they do their aquatic pets, rimless aquariums are the way to go. Because they lack the edge braces of traditional tanks, rimless aquariums have a clean, minimalist appearance that fits with modern home decor. They also offer a clear, unobstructed view of the tank inhabitants.
If this sounds like exactly the kind of fishkeeping you’d like to do, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up reviews of the seven best 20-gallon rimless aquariums on the market this year. Check out our thoughts on these tanks and our handy buyer’s guide before you get started on your aqua art project!
A Quick Comparison of Our Winners (2023)
|Best Overall||Lifeguard Crystal Bookshelf Aquarium||
|Best Value||SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set||
|Premium Choice||Ultum Nature Systems Ultra Clear Rimless Aquarium||
|Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank||
|SC Aquariums All-In-One Aquarium||
The 7 Best 20-Gallon Rimless Aquariums
1. Lifeguard Crystal Bookshelf Aquarium – Best Overall
|Dimensions:||40” L x 14” W x 14” H|
Our pick for the best overall 20-gallon rimless aquarium is the Lifeguard Crystal Bookshelf Aquarium. This stunning, crystal-clear aquarium is the perfect size for a bookshelf, allowing you to show off your waterscape at eye level if you want. The sturdy construction of low-iron glass is precision cut for a sleek and modern appearance. The aquarium comes with a foam leveling mat, however, experienced users suggest adding an egg crate mat if your tank contains heavy hardscaping.
This tank is designed for freshwater environments only. Users speak highly of the quality of this aquarium, although they do note that the price is on the more expensive side.
2. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set – Best Value
|Dimensions:||24” L x 13” W x 16” H|
Our choice of the best 20-gallon rimless aquarium for the money is the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set. This aquarium comes with a light fixture and reflector and can be used for either saltwater or freshwater tank setups. Unlike many rimless tanks, this one also comes with a lid. However, some users reported warping at the top of the tank caused issues with the fit. This rimless tank is also made of acrylic rather than glass, making it stronger, lighter, and clearer to see through. The Sea Clear tank can be ordered with different color back panels or a clear one, depending on preference.
Users report that the included light is not of good quality and they had trouble finding a bulb that matched. The beautiful, clear view of their tank inhabitants was one of the primary reasons users recommend this tank.
3. Ultum Nature Systems Ultra Clear Rimless Aquarium – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||11.8” L x 35.4” W x 11.8” H|
The Ultum Nature Systems Ultra Clear Rimless Aquarium is a sleek design, with a long and low profile. Less than a foot in height, this aquarium could tuck snugly onto a long shelf, offering a wide showcase for your aquascape. Made of low-iron glass with edges mitered at precisely 45 degrees, this aquarium features 91% clarity for a nearly perfect view of your tank inhabitants. To create a tight seal, the edges are bonded with silicone designed specifically for aquariums. The unique dimensions of this tank make it the perfect choice for the aquarium keeper looking to make a statement with their creation.
Suitable for either saltwater or freshwater inhabitants, this gorgeous tank comes at a less appealing price, but users rave about the beauty and quality of the aquarium.
4. Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank
|Dimensions:||23.62” L x 15.75” W x 15.75” H|
The Landen Rimless Low Iron Tank is handmade, with smooth ground edges and strong seals. The glass offers 91% clarity and excellent light transmission, allowing a clear view from the front or side panels. It can only be used for freshwater aquascapes and doesn’t come with a lid. Some resourceful purchasers report they had their own covers cut by local glass companies.
This tank does come with a logo visible in the bottom corner, which can distract from a truly immersive viewing experience. However, users report that the logo is easily scraped off should you so choose. Reviews for this tank are overwhelmingly positive, with many users reporting that they are repeat purchasers of the product.
5. SC Aquariums All-In-One Aquarium
|Dimensions:||24” L x 15” W x 15” H|
The SC Aquariums All-In-One option comes complete with an overflow chamber and a return pump so it’s all ready for use when it arrives. Because of the included chamber, the tank has only three-sided viewing. It is suitable for either freshwater or saltwater habitats. Like many rimless tanks, there is no lid included with this aquarium.
Users appreciated the convenience of the included pump but found it to be noisy in many cases. The tank does not come with a leveling mat, which needs to be purchased separately. Overall, purchasers consider this tank a good value, with some sloppy edges and seals noted.
6. Waterbox Aquariums Cube All-In-One Aquarium
|Dimensions:||17.7” L x 17.7” W x 15.7” H|
The Waterbox is a visually stunning aquarium, with its unique cube shape. It’s also convenient since it comes equipped with return pumps and a filter, allowing you to start your tank building right away. The pump is high quality, and the return nozzle is adjustable, allowing you to create the perfect amount of flow. Waterbox is suitable for either saltwater or freshwater tank setups.
Users appreciate the clean edges and easy setup of this aquarium. The high-quality tank is a bit expensive, but purchasers seem to feel the price is worth it for this aquarium.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best 20-Gallon Rimless Aquarium
Now that you have an idea of what types of 20-gallon rimless aquariums are available, here are a few things to keep in mind as you narrow down your choice.
Glass vs Acrylic
One of the first choices you’ll need to make is whether you want an aquarium made of glass or acrylic. Glass aquariums are more scratch-resistant, stable, and hold their clarity over time. Acrylic is lighter than glass and doesn’t break as easily. It also offers a clearer view of your tank inhabitants. However, the clarity of the acrylic tends to fade and yellow over time.
Size and shape matter when building a visually appealing rimless aquascape. The proportions of the tank will help dictate what types of hardscaping and plants you can choose to construct your habitat. You’ll also need to consider the tank dimensions when deciding where you’ll place it in your home. Is it going to be a bookshelf or desktop decoration?
Edging And Seal Quality
If you decide on a glass tank, pay attention to how the edges of the aquarium are constructed. Some glass tanks have sharp edges, which may not be the best choice if the aquarium will be within reach of children or other pets. Look for beveled edges or consider an acrylic tank instead.
Unlike traditional tanks, rimless aquariums have no braces on the sides for stability. This feature makes it extra important that the seal on the edges is of the highest quality. No matter how highly rated and reviewed your new tank is, however, always test it over an easy-to-clean floor to ensure there are no leaks.
As the best overall 20-gallon rimless aquarium, the Lifeguard Crystal Bookshelf Aquarium is a modern, high-quality tank, designed to adorn a shelf. Our best value pick, the SeaClear Acrylic, offers lightweight durability and unmatched clarity of acrylic for a reasonable price. We hope our reviews of these 7 rimless aquariums allow you to find the best option as you embark on a hobby that is as much about visual appeal as it is about the fish in the tank.
Featured Image Credit: PDPics, Pixabay