Our Review of Betta Fish Tanks.

We take a look at four of the most popular Betta fish tanks on the market and find out what you need to know about choosing one and their ease of setup.

Overview

The growing popularity of Betta fish tanks that fit on your desk have taken the internet by storm. Indeed, one of the products we reviewed, the EcoQube C, even had its own viral crowdfunding campaign that launched it into the spotlight. We go into depth on four of the most popular, and to be honest, our favorite Betta fish tanks. Also known as nano-tanks, mini-tanks, and bio-tanks, these products provide some great life to any area they grace. If you are new to keeping Betta Fish, we also recommend reading our How To Care For A Betta Fish guide.

 EcoQube CFluval Spec IIIMarineland PortraitVepotek NANO Kit
All About Betta Fish TanksEcoQube - Betta Fish TanksFluval Spec iii reviewThe Marineland ML90609Vepotek Nano Kit Review
Dimensions7.5 x 7.5 x 9 in11.8 x 10.8 x 8.7 in11.8 x 11.6 x 17 in10 x 10 x 10.5 in
Capacity1.5 Gallon2.6 Gallons5 Gallons4 Gallons
Our Rating4.3 / 53.8 / 54.2 / 53.9 / 5

The EcoQube C

The first thing that stood out to us about this tank was indeed the plant in the top of it!

Of the four Betta Fish Tanks we reviewed, the EcoQube is unique in that it not only allows the growth of a herb (Basil and Mint are recommended) but also provides the water filtration these two herbs have been shown to offer.

Yes, you read that right. Your tasty herb growing on top of your fish tank is also cleansing the tank water for you.

The EcoQube Can Grow Herbs

The EcoQube Can Grow Herbs

Self Sustaining System

The first thing that stood out to us about this tank was indeed the plant in the top of it!

Of the four Betta Fish Tanks we reviewed, the EcoQube is unique in that it not only allows the growth of a herb (Basil and Mint are recommended) but also provides the water filtration these two herbs have been shown to offer.

Yes, you read that right. Your tasty herb growing on top of your fish tank is also cleansing the tank water for you.

How The EcoQube Cleans The Tank Water
Review of the EcoQube
  • Quality
  • Filtration
  • Lighting
  • Setup
4.3

Summary

The EcoQube is obviously popular for a reason. From build quality to ease of setup and use, the EcoQube was the clear winner for Betta fish tank reviews.

You can purchase a filter as an accessory if you intend to keep a heavy bio-load in the tank, and I would recommend it with higher loads. While the plant will reduce the nitrates in the tank, ammonia could easily spike and begin to cause problems. Filter-less tanks should keep a light bio-load only.

Lighting

A 6mm LED lighting system outputs ample light for the herb @ 2 Watts. The positioning of the fixture and the quality of the LED’s also provide excellent lighting for the tank.

The different lighting configurations that the colored LED’s can display look excellent and are a great feature for any room. The basil we used grew very fast due to the combination of the lights and a constant source of food.

The EcuQube's LED Lighting

The EcuQube’s LED Lighting

One thing we noticed is that if you sit at eye level or lower than the lights themselves, they can be very bright and almost off-putting. This however, was not a problem in any of the areas we placed the tank as most of the focus from colleagues was looking down on the herb.

Setup

The EcoQube setup is fairly simple and well documented. The quality of the parts is of a high standard and the un-boxing stage was well thought out by the company. There are additional add-ons that can be purchased such as the UV sterilizer and filtration system. These additional items are also simple to setup, but these are not needed to have a running tank with herbs and livestock. We simply couldn’t come to terms with not filtering our tank water the old way and had to try them!
The EcoQube looks great on your desk

The EcoQube looks great on your desk

Conclusion

Given the small tank size, you will obviously need to limit the number of fish you intend to keep. Most people who use these as Betta fish tanks only keep the one Betta, but the system could accommodate 2 to 4 Zebra Danios and/or Cloud Minnows. I wouldn’t recommend anymore than this however, without the additional filter or regular water changes.

A great entry level hobbyists item and suitable for many different home or office environments, we think the EcoQube is excellent value for money.  The novelty factor alone is worth it! Of the four Betta Fish Tanks we looked at, this is my favorite.

The Fluval Spec III

Available in both black and white models, the Fluval Spec III will suit any decor in the home or office. With a more than adequate filtration system, the Spec III is another great contender in the battle of the Betta Fish Tanks.

Filtration

The Fluval Spec III contains three filtration components; bio ceramic rings, activated carbon and the filter block. Fluval refer to this as a “Three Stage” filter. The first stage is the Mechanical stage where larger particles are caught in the filter foam. Biological filtration occurs next with the growth of beneficial bacteria on the ceramic rings and lastly, the Chemical stage where the activated carbon further clarifies the water of coloration and impurities.

The included pump has an excellent output of 46-66 Gallons per hour (175-250 Litres per hour). The pumps intake has a handy flow rate sliding baffle that reduces flow in the tank, and we all know Betta’s prefer slower moving water.

Fluval Spec III Filtration System
The Fluval Spec III Betta Fish Tank

Fluval Spec III Rating
  • Quality
  • Filtration
  • Lighting
  • Setup
3.8

Summary

The Fluval Spec III offers excellent filtration for a Nano tank and has a high build quality. The LED light, however, can droop without proper setup.

Lighting

A total of 31 LED’s are fitted in the attractive fixture. The output is 10W and gives great lighting, but produces a low par.

Anybody looking for a medium to high light for specific plants will need to upgrade the lights, but there are plenty of different choices of upgrades including mood lighting LED configurations available online if you are dependent on a high light source. You will be limited to clip models if going for a different lighting configuration.

The Fluval Spec III Betta Fish Tank

Setup

The setup is very basic and well documented and you can expect around 15 minutes of un-boxing and assembly. We found that the light fixture had a tenancy to droop, so ensure that you tighten the fixture properly and firmly. Ensure that the pump is securely equipped to ensure sound vibrations do not occur. Fit properly, the Spec III’s pump is incredibly quiet.

It’s worth considering room for a heater if you live in a colder climate, and initial setup should either include a low profile heater or some space for one to be added later.

The Fluval Spec III Betta Fish Tank

Conclusion

The Fluval Spec III makes for a great Betta tank and provides excellent filtration considering the small size of the tank. The ability to control the flow is especially useful if you are indeed keeping a Betta in this tank as high flow tanks are they prefer a low flow. Lighting will need to be upgraded if you are keeping specific plants, so ensure you check out your choice of plants requirements before purchasing them.

The Fluval Spec III Betta Fish Tank

Filtration

Marineland provide their “3 Stage Hidden Filtration” system that includes their own “Marineland Bio-Foam”

Like the Fluval, the Marineland Portrait provides you with the ability to regulate flow from the water pump, which is a requirement for Betta Fish. The pump does make more noise than I was expecting, however. It is still quiet enough not to hear it from a short distance, however weary Betta owners need to take this into account. I could only best describe it to you as the typical, “low range purr” you would expect from a pump this size.

The Marineland Portrait

The 5 Gallon Marineland tank is a stand out of the four Betta Fish Tanks for elegance. Also known as the Marineland 90609, the tank has some beautiful lines and when lit up with its great LED’s it’s an eye stopper wherever it’s located. The product line also offer a 3 Gallon model, and is more of a square shaped tank.

Marineland Portrait Rating
  • Quality
  • Filtration
  • Lighting
  • Setup
4.2

Summary

The most elegant of the four, the Marineland Portrait is an excellent Betta fish tank. We did however, give the filter 3 stars due to the hum.

Lighting

The video above gives a great look at the 3 different light combinations you can rotate through.

The included LED lighting is powerful enough to light the tank on its full setting, while providing a night/mood lighting configuration when you chose. You will need to upgrade LED’s however, if you plan to grow plants that require a strong light source. Otherwise, these are perfect for a Betta Fish Tank.

Setup

While the exploded parts guide in the manual looks difficult, this tank was really easy to put together and we had water running through a newly built system withing 30 minutes.

As most tanks of this size are absent of any heater, you will need plan accordingly if you are in a colder climate.

It would be ideal to mount your heater away from the pump due to the potential to cause damage due to low water levels.

Exploded diagram view of the Marineland Portrait

Conclusion

The Marineland Portrait makes its way into our list of Betta Fish Tanks as a solid contender for both look and quality. One attractive feature is the separation of the pump and lighting power plugs. This means you can easily setup your lights with an on and off timer. For a plant heavy tank however, you are going to want to upgrade the LED bulbs. Low light plant requirements will do just fine with your Betta.

The Vepotek Nano Tank

Vepotek Nano Rating
  • Quality
  • Filtration
  • Lighting
  • Setup
3.9

Summary

The fourth and final review of the Betta fish tanks. The Vepotek Nano has some great features once you learn how to use them.

The Vepotek Nano Tank

Introducing Vepotek’s Nano Tank. This unique model gives us the ability to time the lights and also read the temperature from the top display panel. The Vepotek Nano is one of the more popular Betta fish tanks and for good reason. It’s simplistic design makes it a perfect little cube and ideal for a solo Betta.

Filtration

The Vepotek’s 3 watt pump is surprisingly efficient at turning the tanks water over. The water return can be noisy if you ever let the water level down.

There is a good amount of space for filter media and if cut down, can provide some space for biochemical media such as ceramic rings.

Betta owners will enjoy the easy adjustment of flow rate with a simple slider. The return arm can also be manipulated to direct flow which is handy.

The Vepotek Nano's Filter

Lighting

A solid LED panel boasts 39 individual LED’s (18 white, 9 blue, 6 green, 6 red) and is adjustable to configure some stunning displays.

A configurable timer on the top of the lighting panel allows you to set a timer for the lights. I found the instructions to be a little hard to understand. Pressing the bulb symbol on the unit until it flashes allows programming.

An impressive output that will provide sufficient light during the day and moon simulation lighting at night.

Vepoteks LED Lighting

Setup

I found the poor English in the instruction manual to be off putting, but to be honest, it wasn’t needed. The tank is very simple to install and begin running. The diagrams are self explanatory, just don’t rely on the English.

I’ve yet to find a way to change the thermostat from Celsius to Fahrenheit but it didn’t bother me at all and was a great way to monitor the temps during day.

The Vepoteks Digital Display

Conclusion

Overall, the Vepotek Nano is great value for money. The instructions were certainly odd, but the build quality is excellent. I appreciate the pump flow control slider to keep the tank flow to a minimum for my Betta. The 4 gallons provide ample room for a single Betta or 2 to 4 Danios or Minnows.

Summary Of The Betta Fish Tanks

It’s not hard to see why these 4 are the most popular Betta fish tanks in nano size. All of them pass the mark in being able to provide adequate filtration and lighting for a Betta setup. One concern was the pump noise on the Marineland Portrait, but it’s not bad enough to discard the entire unit. Home DIY sound dampening is always an option for those trying to reduce pump sounds even further. We had two Portrait tanks running and both of our Bettas seemed happy and unaffected by the pump.

 EcoQube CFluval Spec IIIMarineland PortraitVepotek NANO Kit
All About Betta Fish TanksEcoQube - Betta Fish TanksFluval Spec iii reviewThe Marineland ML90609Vepotek Nano Kit Review
Dimensions7.5 x 7.5 x 9 in11.8 x 10.8 x 8.7 in11.8 x 11.6 x 17 in10 x 10 x 10.5 in
Capacity1.5 Gallon2.6 Gallons5 Gallons4 Gallons
Our Rating4.3 / 53.8 / 54.2 / 53.9 / 5

Given that they all accommodate a Betta Fish Tanks requirements, we all chose our favorite model based on personal opinions. 80% of the office agreed that the EcoQube was the winner due to it’s design and they all want one for their desk. My professional opinion is that the Marineland Portrait wins in terms of water quality given it’s filtration system and larger water capacity. However, given it’s larger size, I think I will be sticking with the EcoQube on my desk too. There’s nothing like some fresh mint in my cup of tea!