The best design aquariums in the UK 2023

It is always impressive to look at the underwater world in your home through an aquarium. But it is more enjoyable to admire fish or other aquatic animals through a designer aquarium. With different models available on the market, choosing a designer aquarium a difficult task. In this guide, we have some tips to help you choose the one that best suits your home.

Aquarium design SWEETYPET 1

Best value for money

Aquarium design SWEETYPET

The best design aquarium in 2021

This designer aquarium from Sweetypet is ideal for the living room and for keeping all kinds of small fish and plants. You can choose the light atmosphere thanks to its LED lighting.

47,96 £ on Cdiscount

If you are looking for a designer aquarium to embellish your living room, this designer aquarium is what you need. With a dimension of 21 x 59 x 48 cm, it is not bulky and easily finds its place on a piece of furniture, because its base is narrow. It is a product that is already ready to use. You will not have to buy other accessories, such as a filter, to make it work.

It comes with a cover, which helps prevent dirt or dust from entering its tank. The well-being of your fish is always assured. The LED lighting that it embeds accentuates its aesthetics. The 3 selectable lighting modes make it possible to simulate day, dusk and night. The tank of this designer aquarium offers a capacity of 40 L of water, which is large enough to accommodate a number of fish.

Aquarium design ZOLUX 2

Best value for money

Aquarium design ZOLUX

The best entry-level design aquarium

Designed especially for children, this design nano aquarium can also be used to decorate the office, living room or dining room. It has a trap door to simplify the feeding of the fish.

31,84 £ on Cdiscount

The nano aquarium design from Zolux is aimed at children. Zolux offers a great introduction to the world of aquaculture, and the hinged lid and feeding hatch make it safe. The latter makes it easy to feed without removing the entire lid. Moreover, don't worry about it breaking since its glass is 3 mm thick. Versatile in terms of decoration, it is also perfect for your office because of its small capacity of 18 L.

With the help of the aquarium's quality glass, the contents can be observed without distortion. You can also use it as a habitat for other animal species, namely snails, shrimp and other crustaceans.

TETRA design aquarium 3

Best value for money

TETRA design aquarium

The best high-end design aquarium

TETRA Aquarium Starter Line stands out from the rest with its high performance components. It effectively filters impurities and has a heating system to accommodate tropical water fish.

82,61 £ on Cdiscount

This design aquarium by Tetra is one of the best on the market. It combines high quality and reliable equipment. Its Tetra Easy Crystal Filterbox ensures clean and efficient filtration. This equipment provides excellent water clarity by removing impurities and algae. In addition, its float glass windows ensure a distortion-free view.

It is equipped with a built-in LED light that is energy efficient and provides a natural glow. Equipped with a pre-programmed 25°C heater, the tank is conducive to the life of adorable tropical fish. This designer aquarium has a feeding hatch, and comes with the necessary equipment for its maintenance as well as a box of food. It has a capacity of 54 L and a dimension of 60 x 30 x 30 cm.

Aquarium design Ciano 4

Excellent selection

Aquarium design Ciano

A great design aquarium

This turnkey design aquarium brings together reliable and efficient equipment. It is equipped with an air pump that propels oxygen bubbles into the tank and makes it more aesthetic.

60,88 £ on Cdiscount
Buying guide • November 2023

Best aquarium design

Any specific needs?

The best design aquarium in 2021

The best entry-level design aquarium

The best high-end design aquarium

A great design aquarium

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best design aquariums

Aquarium design SWEETYPET 5
Aquarium design ZOLUX 6
TETRA design aquarium 7
Aquarium design Ciano 8
Aquarium design SWEETYPET
Aquarium design ZOLUX
TETRA design aquarium
Aquarium design Ciano
This designer aquarium from Sweetypet is ideal for the living room and for keeping all kinds of small fish and plants. You can choose the light atmosphere thanks to its LED lighting.
Designed especially for children, this design nano aquarium can also be used to decorate the office, living room or dining room. It has a trap door to simplify the feeding of the fish.
TETRA Aquarium Starter Line stands out from the rest with its high performance components. It effectively filters impurities and has a heating system to accommodate tropical water fish.
This turnkey design aquarium brings together reliable and efficient equipment. It is equipped with an air pump that propels oxygen bubbles into the tank and makes it more aesthetic.
21 x 59 x 48 cm
40 x 20 x 25 cm
61 x 35 x 31 cm
60 x 30 x 33.5 cm
40 L
18 L
54 L
58 L
Recommended parts
All types of fish, shellfish, shrimp, snails, mussels and plants
Coldwater Fish Exotic Fish
LED (white, blue) 2.5 watts
LED 10 watts
LED 8 watts

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Buying guide - aquarium design

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How to choose your aquarium design

The choice of a design aquarium is not only based on its appearance, there are also other elements to take into consideration to have the one that suits you best.

#1 - The space available

Before considering buying a designer aquarium, it is important to consider the space available to put it. Almost, most of these tank models already come with a sturdy and suitable stand to hold it. However, you need to make sure that you have enough space for this support. In addition, will also need to make sure that the furniture under your designer aquarium is well suited to support its weight when it is full.

#2 - The model

We can find 3 models of designer aquarium on the market: the table-aquarium, the nano aquarium and the modern aquarium. The table-aquarium seduces by its very aesthetic side and its practicality. It exists in two versions: the low table-aquarium and the dining table-aquarium. But this type of aquarium design may cause stress to the fish because of the vibrations, movements, shocks and repeated noises that the table may undergo.
The nano aquarium is the most popular model. It takes up little space and is therefore easy to maintain. Its volume is 10 to 30 liters and can therefore accommodate a limited number of fish. The modern aquarium has several subdivisions. This is the case, among others, of the wall aquarium.

#3 - The size

The size of a design aquarium you want to have depends on your preference and the space of your home. It should be noted thatthe smaller it is, the easier the tank will be to maintain. However, you should also think about the happiness of the fish and their health. You should therefore choose its volume according to the number of fish you plan to keep. The ideal is: 1 cm of fish (adult size) per real liter of water. This means that for 20 fish of 5 cm, you will need a tank that can hold 100 L of real water. This rule changes if the fishes exceed 5 cm in adult size. It will be 1 cm of fish per 2 L of water.

#4 - The accessories

The accessories for a design aquarium are chosen according to the type of aquarium you want. For example, if you intend to create a warm freshwater aquarium, you will need an air pump, plants, a heater and suitable lighting. For a reef aquarium, water treatment devices (osmosis or bubbler) will be needed in addition to the basic accessories. To avoid making mistakes, it is recommended to opt for a fully equipped aquarium that is already ready to use.

#5 - The frequency of maintenance

Tokeep the design aspect of an aquarium, you must pay attention to the time needed to maintain it. Indeed, the larger your designer aquarium is the more time you will need to take care of it. For example, a 200 liter designer aquarium may take more or less than two hours every two weeks. This frequency of maintenance can vary depending on the type and number of fish. However, the most important thing is to make sure in advance that you have enough time to take care of your fish family.

How do I maintain my designer aquarium?

Even if you use an aquarium filter, it is important to clean your designer aquarium by hand. This is because over time, chemicals like nitrates can build up in your aquarium, causing it to look cloudy.

The following methods explain how to effectively clean your designer aquarium and what you can do to prevent it from becoming cloudy.

Before cleaning, it's best to keep your fish in the designer aquarium. Removing them causes unnecessary stress to your fish and can accidentally injure them. By the way, it is not necessary to remove all the water, as this will kill the beneficial bacteria living in the aquarium. To begin cleaning your designer aquarium, unplug the heater and filter. You can then scrape the algae off the walls of the designer aquarium with a scraper. If the walls of your aquarium are acrylic and not glass, it is recommended to use a plastic scraper.

Then clean up the gravel, suck out the dirt with a siphon. This can also be used to remove some of the dirty water from the tank. However, remember to keep at least 50% of the water in the tank at all times to avoid resetting the nitrogen cycle, which could kill your fish. After you have finished cleaning your tank, you can fill it with new water. However, make sure the new water you add to the tank is chlorine-free by using a suitable conditioning treatment (such as an osmosis machine).

As for plants, stones and decorations, you can clean them when they become visibly dirty. The most effective way is to remove these items from the design aquarium and scrub them under running water or leave them to soak in water overnight. Once the decorations are clean, carefully place them back in the aquarium. In short, a clean designer aquarium looks great and provides a pleasant habitat for your fish. However, never use soap when cleaning your aquarium. This can also kill your fish.

Freshwater or saltwater design aquarium?

Freshwater design aquarium

A freshwater design aquarium is suitable for this species of fish. They are more resistant to changing water conditions and are not picky about food. There are many of them available on the market and at more affordable prices. These fish can also thrive in smaller tanks and require little equipment for their survival.

Therefore, a designer freshwater aquarium is easier to set up. Its maintenance is not complicated and also requires less time. However, although this type of aquarium design is beautiful, it is less beautiful compared to the saltwater aquarium. Moreover, its installation can be tricky and expensive in some cases; when you want to design a lush water garden that requires a lot of lighting and CO2.

Sea water design aquarium

A seawater design aquarium is made to house marine fish and/or reef corals. What distinguishes it from a freshwater aquarium is that it is more beautiful and attractive. It is therefore more expensive. Indeed, this type of aquarium is much more demanding in terms of equipment. For example, you will have to invest in reverse osmosis filters and skimmers.

Marine animals are more fragile and can only survive in a stable and constant ecosystem. Special care is required to keep them away from diseases and other complications. In addition, the tank in which they live must be larger (more than 250 L) to better reproduce their marine environment and preserve their health. You should also add salt and calculate the dose carefully.


The choice between these two types of design aquariums is up to you. But we advise you to choose the first one if you are a beginner. Indeed, it is important to acquire a minimum of experience in freshwater aquariums, which is easier, before starting with saltwater aquariums. This will avoid putting the lives of these beautiful creatures at risk.

Why buy a design aquarium?

To reduce pain and anxiety
A designer aquarium is not only decorative, but watching it is also almost hypnotic. It can indeed improve your heart rate to normalize your blood pressure. Your stress and worries can also disappear. It has even been shown that the presence of an aquarium reduces anxiety and pain for patients at the dentist.

To improve concentration and creativity
Having a designer aquarium in a room can calm both your body and mind, helping you focus on your work better. It can also stimulate your creativity, which can maximize your productivity.

To provide a calming effect for Alzheimer's patients
While designer aquariums offer visual stimulation, they can also have a very calming effect. This practicality has been observed in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Children with hyperactivity disorders can also enjoy this benefit. In other words, watching fish swim in a beautifully decorated aquarium can have a calming effect.

For its small footprint
You don't need a large space to put a designer aquarium to raise fish. Some medium-sized designer aquariums are equipped with adequate filtration and heating systems for the fish to swim around. You can even buy aquariums designed to be used as coffee tables.

The best brands of design aquariums

In our opinion, the best brands of design aquariums in 2022 are :


Sweetypet is a popular German brand in the field of dog products. But it also manufactures many models of designer aquariums that are of very good quality.

Zolux was founded in 1971. This French company of international scope manufactures products for the habitat and comfort of various animals: cats, dogs, birds, ornamental fish and rodents. Its products, which are innovative and of excellent quality, are the result of close collaboration with designers and pet specialists.

Ciano has more than 20 years of experience in designing aquariums, decorations, filters, lighting and other accessories needed for aquarium keeping. It always designs its products with quality materials. This brand is known for the unique design of its aquariums, which also guarantee a perfect maintenance of the aquatic balance.

Tetra is a German company established in the 1950s. It is the world leader in the aquarium industry. It continuously innovates its products to adapt them to the needs and comfort of fish.

This brand has been manufacturing aquariums for over 35 years. It is by the reliability of its products, which are always ahead in technology, that it has built its reputation.

What is the price for an aquarium design

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

30 £ to 50 £
50 £ to 100 £
more than 100 £
Price range diagram


Prepare your design aquarium water well

To prepare the water in your designer aquarium, it is important to :

  • Fill your tank about one-third full with room temperature water from a clean bucket.
  • Pour the water with a plate to hold the gravel in place.
  • Set up a water conditioner to dechlorinate the water. (Chlorine is a real danger for your fish)

Cover your design aquarium at night.

Covering your designer aquarium at night and even during the day is recommended if you have jumping fish. Other than that, a cover is only imperative at night. Especially if you put it in a room where the temperature is ambient, as this can get high enough to evaporate the water significantly.

Take good precautions for your new design aquarium

After you buy your new designer aquarium, make sure you place it in a proper location. Add water, gravel, plants. Let it sit for at least 24 to 48 hours before putting fish in it.

Adopt good habits to make your fish feel happy in a design aquarium.

Here are the surefire ways to have happy, healthy fish:

  1. Test and monitor water parameters regularly.
  2. Avoid overfeeding your fish.
  3. Manage the light in and around your designer aquarium.
  4. Change 25% of the water in your design aquarium.
  5. Cycle the water in the designer aquarium before adding fish.

You can create your own designer aquarium

It is possible to personalize an aquarium by choosing a decorative theme that suits your taste. For example, you can opt for a decorative theme reminiscent of an exotic landscape. In any case, you can decorate it using: fine gravel, roots, glass beads, natural or plastic plants, shells, etc.


What is the ideal number of fish to put in a designer aquarium?

For a fish measuring less than 5 cm, it is advisable to put at least 5 liters of water.10 liters for a medium size fish of less than 10 cm. And for large fish, 30 cm, it is 30 liters. Thus, the ideal number of fish in a design aquarium depends on their size.

What type of fish can be put together in a designer aquarium?

You can put several species of fish in a design aquarium, you can for example put together tropical fish like golden bearded neon, lemon tetra, ancitrus or mix pearl gouramis. However, it is not advisable to put goldfish together with other types of exotic fish. The cohabitation of the latter is not feasible due to the temperature and water quality requirements.

How do I keep the water in an aquarium clear?

Methods can help you keep the water in your design aquarium clean:

  • Wipe the glass in your aquarium regularly
  • Replace 20-30% of the water weekly.
  • Wash the filter-aquarium once a week.
  • Put live plants in the design aquarium.
  • Respect the number of inhabitants 1 inhabitant per 5 liters of water.

What should I do if the water in my designer aquarium is cloudy

Multiple causes of cloudy water: insufficient filtration time, damaged filtration, high nitrate level, existence of micro algae, etc. For this, you must use natural products (coagulants or flocculants) to eradicate the whitish particles. You can also use water conditioners.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
  1. Choosing Your Aquarium,
  2. How to Choose an Aquarium?,
  3. How to Choose the Right Aquarium for My Home,
  4. How to Clean Aquarium Ornaments,
  5. Cleaning Tips for Maintaining Your Aquarium,
  6. How to Choose the Right Aquarium for Your Unique Space,
  7. Choosing the Right Aquarium,
  8. Tips For Choosing An Aquarium,
  10. How to Clean Aquarium Ornaments and Plastic Plants,
  11. Aquarium Design: aquarium furniture accessories,
  12. Aquariums decorative and original - Aquatic' Boutique,
  13. The best design aquarium - Ranking & Buying Guide 2021,
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  15. Aquarium in the living room in more than 103 magnificent ideas,
  16. Aquarium design: original ideas of aquarium furniture,
  17. Aquarium - bare and equipped tank from 10 to 600 liters ...,
  18. Aquariums furniture aquarium balls | Truffaut,
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  20. Aquarium Designer on Steam,
  21. Dream-On Aquariums - Home,
  22. Aquariums : Aquariums and Fish - botanic®,
  23. 75 original aquarium design ideas with photos,
  24. The small aquarium design - some cute ideas ...,
  25. Modern interior design : a design aquarium ...,
  26. 900+ Aquarium design ideas | aquarium design aquarium ...,
  27. Bao Aquarium - Freshwater Aquarium Online Store and ...,
  28. Aquarium design: comfort for you and your little fish!,
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  31. Aquariums Aquariophilie | Animalis,
  32. : aquarium design column,
  33. Freshwater aquarium : buy aquarium | Truffaut,
See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Aquarium design SWEETYPET 9
Aquarium design SWEETYPET
Aquarium design ZOLUX 10
Aquarium design ZOLUX
TETRA design aquarium 11
TETRA design aquarium
Aquarium design Ciano 12
Aquarium design Ciano


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