penn plax rimless tank

Take it from me:

The right 5 gallon rimless fish tank (set up and decorated) can be a BEAUTIFUL accent to your living space.

Clean, crisp, and elegant.

Like aquascaping, and/or just need a stylish home for your fish?

Here are the top 5 gallon aquariums you’ll love – that don’t have that hideous frame.

Let’s dive in!

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Our Top Pick
Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait LED Glass Aquarium Kit Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait LED Glass Aquarium Kit
  • Curved corners
  • Sliding glass canopy
  • Built-in 3-stage filtration system
  • Second place
    Penn Plax Curved Corner 5 Gallon Glass Aquarium Penn Plax Curved Corner 5 Gallon Glass Aquarium
  • Durable glass
  • Clean, minimal design
  • Well-suited to aquascaping
  • Third place
    Fluval Chi 5 Gallon Aquarium Kit Fluval Chi 5 Gallon Aquarium Kit
  • Simple, clean aesthetic
  • Upright and compact design
  • Pleasant, soothing waterfall sound
  • Ultum Nature 5N Rimless Fish Tank, 4.6 gal Ultum Nature 5N Rimless Fish Tank, 4.6 gal
  • Seamless blended corners
  • Top-of-the-line quality construction
  • Ideal for serious aquascapers and aquarium professionals
  • Fluval Spec V 5 Gallon Aquarium Kit Fluval Spec V 5 Gallon Aquarium Kit
  • Plant-friendly LED light
  • Etched glass with aluminum side trim
  • Integrated & concealed filtration system

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    Why We Love it:

    • Built-in (hidden) 3-stage filtration system with adjustable flow rate

    • Sliding glass canopy for easy access

    • Curved corners for a seamless face-on design


    The Marineland LED Portrait is possibly our favorite rimless 5 gallon aquarium on the market. It’s the most space-saving design, due to the upright construction with minimal footprint. It comes with all the basics, from a LED light that has white and moonlight settings to a built-in back panel filtration system to keep your water healthy and reduce maintenance. This kit is ideal for those looking to have fish that need a gentle current (such as a betta) as the flow nozzle can be turned down. Incredible value for the price (other tanks like this often run for double the cost).

    Dimensions: 9.625  x 9.625 x 17.2″ (including the pedestal base)

    Some prefer to upgrade the light fixture to something that supports plant growth.

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    Why We Love it:

    • Durable glass with a rimless AND seamless construction

    • Well-suited to aquascaping with more front-to-back space

    • Clean, minimal design perfect for any environment


    Built with high-clarity glass, this tank is a solid piece that will enhance any living space or office. Along with being frameless, the front panel is entirely seamless thanks to the elegant curved corners. This enhances the aquarium’s durability and aesthetic appeal. It comes with a closed cell foam mat to place under the tank for leveling and protection of the surface beneath. An optional hinged lid is included that can be used to prevent evaporation or fish from jumping out. It also comes with a light and an internal power filter.

    Dimensions:  11″ x 8.75″ x 13.75″

    This kit comes with an internal power filter and a light, both of which many fishkeepers opt to replace for better quality equipment. The price for the tank alone is such a good deal that the included gear can be seen as “freebies.”

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    Why We Love it:

    • Upright & compact space-saving design

    • Simple, clean aesthetic

    • Pleasant, soothing waterfall sound


    If you are looking for a tank with an elegant design that affords a glimpse into the natural world wherever you are, the Fluval Chi meets the cut. It has a unique combination on top of a filter, light and fountain all in one that creates a relaxing water feature. The dimensions allow for the ample swimming room for the fish from all directions while having a minimal footprint (great for those with limited space). Simple setup and a high quality piece.

    Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 14.4″

    Some find they want to upgrade the light and filtration system to something more powerful.

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    Why We Love it:

    • Ideal for serious aquascapers and aquarium professionals

    • Top-of-the-line quality construction for lasting durability

    • Unusual seamless blended corners


    Ultam Nature’s line of aquariums are specifically crafted for the serious aquascaper. Beautiful low-iron, diamante glass affords a 91% crystal clear view of your aquascape. This is a well-made piece that shows its craftsmanship in 45 degree mitred edges that create seamless corners. Made by hand and sealed with high-quality German silicone. Includes a black nano-foam leveling mat. This rimless tank is just under 5 gallons in size.

    Dimensions: 14.17 x 7.48 x 7.48″

    This tank does come with a lid, but one option is to have a piece of glass custom cut at a hardware store or auto shop. Acrylic would also work.

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    Why We Love it:

    • Includes integrated & concealed side wall filtration system

    • Etched glass with aluminum side trim

    • Slim-profile tank, lid and plant-friendly LED light


    The modern Fluval Spec V a popular choice among aquarists. Slim-profile design affords a smaller footprint on your desktop or countertop. Advanced, oversized filtration system keeps the water purified and clear. And if you want to grow live plants in your tank, not a problem – the Fluval Spec 5 gallon includes a 7000K light 20% brighter than standard lighting for planted tanks.

    Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 6.3″

    Some modifications may be required to reduce the filter flow if you plan on keeping betta fish in this.

    Difference between Aquarium Kit vs. Regular Tank

    An aquarium kit includes other equipment besides just the tank itself.

    You’ll often find filtration (whether separate or built in to the tank itself), lighting (standard or suitable for plants), and a lid or hood are the common accessories in a kit.

    Sometimes hobbyists will get the kit just for the tank itself, if the price is a good value.

    Then you can outfit the tank with whatever separate modifications you would like to make in terms of equipment.


    It helps give you the flexibility you need when you’re striving for that final, fantastic look.

    Are Rimless Tanks Worth it?

    Rimless tanks may a bit pricier than standard tanks with the famous (or infamous) black trim.

    But the aesthetic advantages of a frameless design can be pretty major.

    These tanks are specially constructed to function without the use of a frame, which has been typically used to help brace the tank against the weight of the water pressure.

    Frames are usually black, but might also be woodgrain.

    The problem is if you don’t like it, there’s not much you can do about it.

    Physically taking off the trim can endanger your pets as it wasn’t designed to function without that brace and may explode tomorrow or in several months.

    Painting it doesn’t seem to go well for most either (the paint tends to chip and can just look tacky).

    Starting off with a tank that doesn’t have a rim can spare you of all this headache.

    So you have all the focus on what’s inside the tank…

    … Rather than what’s around it.

    If you want your aquarium to be an attractive accent to the room, going with a rimless design can do wonders for making it a living work of art that everyone compliments.

    Whether your home or office is more contemporary or traditional, a tank with no rim goes from a distraction to a masterpiece.

    What Fish are Best for a 5 Gallon Tank?

    5 gallon fish tanks are considered nano aquariums.

    The most popular choice would definitely be betta fish.

    But there are many other tropical fish as well.

    Snails are always a good tank mate to include to help with algae maintenance.

    You can also create combinations of fish (provided they get along well).


    Don’t forget your 25 watt heater which will keep the temperature stable for your 5 gallon rimless aquarium.

    The hydor is a popular option:

    If you want to keep a larger number of fish, you might consider a larger framless tank.

    Read More: Best 10 Gallon Rimless Aquarium


    In our opinion, rimless tanks are definitely worth it.

    And we think you’ll agree…

    The look is just phenomenal.

    The hardest part is choosing which one, as there are so many great styles – each with their own advantages.

    But our final pick has got to be the Marineland 5 Gallon LED Portrait in terms of value for what you are getting, as well as appearance.

    What do you think?

    Feel free to leave your comment below!