10 Best Pets to Keep in a Tank

When you talk about keeping pets in a tank, fish is what comes to mind for many people. However, there are many other pets that you can keep in a tank. This guide will focus on helping you pick something a little different that will stand out from the usual choices.

Different types of pets will require different preparation of the tank. As such, always research more about the pet you’re interested in before keeping it in a tank. Let’s take a look at how you can choose the right tank for your future pet!

How to Choose the Ideal Tank for Your Pet

Best Pets to Keep in a Tank
Photo credit: Toronto Star

Tank Size

The tank size should be the first thing that you keep in mind when picking a tank. Depending on the pet size, you can get a standard 10-gallon tank or bigger for a large-sized pet. For someone who needs to keep smaller fish or any other small-sized pets, a 10-gallon tank is a good choice.

The size of the tank can also depend on your budget and available space you have in your home or apartment. Having a larger tank is often recommended, as the pet you choose will have more room to grow and thrive in.

Tanks also come in different types. The main ones are regular, show, and long tanks. Each of the tank types will have its pros and cons. So, depending on the pets you keep in the tank, you should choose the right type of tank that can properly handle them and their lifestyle.

Tank Location

Regardless of the pets that you keep in the tank, the location where you keep the tank is always important. It is advisable that you keep the tank away from any heaters or air vents. Also, the tank should never be placed in direct sunlight.

You should have an outlet close to the tank to provide power for lighting, filtration, and heating. The surface of which you place the tank on should also be level. Imagine setting everything up and having it fall and break! Nobody wants to deal with that.

Always consider the final weight of the tank. A 10-gallon tank is likely to weigh over 100 pounds when filled. Larger tanks will also weigh a lot more. As such, the surface where it is placed on should be sturdy and able to hold the weight of the tank.

The tank should also be placed in a location that allows for easy water changes, tank cleaning, and close to a water supply. Always leave enough room around your tank for maintenance activities.

Tank Material

Tanks will mostly be made of either glass or acrylic. You will find most glass tanks are cheaper than acrylic tanks. As much as they are cheaper, glass tanks are resistant to scratching. Acrylic tanks are prone to scratches, but can still be repaired easily when necessary.

You will likely love acrylic tanks since they are flexible and do not shatter when compared to glass. As for the weight, glass tanks are heavier, so you might want to keep  it on a strong base. Acrylic material can get cloudy over time, making them less clear. You won’t be able to easily see your pet in the tank when this happens. So, whichever material you decide to pick, just know there are pros and cons to both glass and acrylic tanks.

Tank Shape

In the past, you could only get a tank in a rectangular or bowl shape. However, that has changed over the years. If you are going to opt for pets to keep in a tank, you also have the option of choosing the shape of the tank. Some of the shapes available include cylindrical tanks, hexagonal, squares, bow fronted, and more. You can get even get custom shapes of tanks depending on what you want, but this will obviously be more expensive.

You should consider the type of pet you’re interested in before picking the tank based on shape. For someone who is going to keep fish in the tank, just know that they require adequate space to move around in. The size and type of fish would also determine the shape and size of the tank. Always keep these factors in mind before picking the right tank for your future pet.

Top 10 Best Pets to Keep in a Tank

This list is in no particular order, but it does contain some of the best pets you can keep in a tank! Here they are:

1. African Dwarf Frogs

Photo credit: Fishkeeping World

If you have a small tank, then the African Dwarf Frog might be a neat and interesting option for you. They do not need a lot of space to live in a tank. There are many different types of frogs, and these can easily be confused with African Clawed Frogs, which are a larger species that look very similar to African Dwarf Frogs.

Take the time to understand their environmental needs before putting them in the tank, or even buying them. Maybe frogs aren’t a good choice for you, but you should always do extensive research for any new pet you’re interested in buying.

With a nano-tank, you should be good to go.

2. Fish

Betta Fish

This list of pets to keep in a tank would not be complete without including fish! One of the most common fish types that people keep in tanks are betta fish. Bettas are loved for being low maintenance and each fish will have a unique variety of colors. Once you finally get them acquainted with their tank, you’ll find that they illuminate the room with their bright and beautiful colors.

When keeping betta fish in a tank, ensure there is enough space. Male bettas tend to fight a lot. Usually, it’s best to only keep one. If you’re dead set on getting two bettas, always opt for females, as they’ll have a better chance of getting along together than males.

Bettas are also prone to illnesses, and many owners mishandle them. Make sure to keep their tank clean and provide them with proper nutrition.

Other types of fish you can consider include paradise fish, guppy, platy fish, dwarf puffers, and more. You should look for the ideal fish that you love and adore. Many different fish come in a huge variety of colors, so if you’re set on getting fish, we have a post here on several different tropical fish you can keep in tanks!

3. Dwarf Seahorse

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Dwarf Seahorses are another option you should consider as potential pets to keep in a tank. Because of their size, they are ideal for small tanks too. You should keep in mind that they can be slow swimmers. Do not let the name fool you into thinking they move around fast, as Seahorses get their name simply due to their head shape.

It’s advisable to keep dwarf seahorses in small tanks to allow them to feed easily. You always have to maintain a brine culture for their food. As much as they might need some effort to invest in, you’ll find that they are fun to watch and gorgeous creatures.

4. Snakes


Snakes can be scary to some people. Not many are comfortable with seeing snakes at all, much less having snakes in their homes! This is a perfectly good reason why you should consider the type of snake first. If you are going to keep a snake as a pet, consider going for a large tank at the very least, with 10 gallons of capacity minimum. The tank should be spacious enough for the snake to move around comfortably in, even if it ends up growing larger than what you had expected. If that does happen, you can always upgrade your tank.

Depending on the species, some snakes are perfectly comfortable, even in the small tanks.

Some of the snake species that people love to keep in the tanks include the Egg-Eating Snake, Rosy Boa, Western and Eastern Hognose, Kenyan Sand Boa, and more. If you are not sure which one to pick, consider talking to a specialist who understands them and can give you a better idea of what to expect based on which species you choose.

The best part about keeping snakes as pets is that they do not eat much. Some can go for days without feeding. As such, they can be an ideal option for someone that has a busy lifestyle.

5. Lizards

Photo credit: DeviantArt

Lizards can be a nice addition to the list of pets to keep in a tank. Reptiles are awesome pets with their own unique personalities that you might not expect to find in these odd creatures. You should consider keeping them in a minimum 10-gallon tank. This provides them with enough space to run around. Many larger lizards will need larger tanks, but 10 gallon tanks are ideal for smaller lizards. Lizards are highly active and nocturnal. Giving them enough space to roam reduces any strain put on them, makes them happier, and allows them to grow as healthily as possible.

One of the most popular options of small lizards include geckos. They are various different types of geckos, such as Leopard Geckos, House Geckos, Day Geckos, and so much more. The other types of lizards include Pygmy Chameleons and Anole lizards.

6. Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crab

Other than lizards, you can also consider hermit crabs as part of the best pets to keep in a tank. Hermit crabs are common starter pets for people looking to start keeping pets in a tank. When you decide to keep hermit crabs, you should consider the amount of space and sand in the tank. It’s recommended that you use six inches of sand and coconut fibers. These two allow the crab to easily burrow and feel comfortable.

Other than sand and coconut fibers, you should consider using climbing branches, hiding places, and proper humidity levels.

It’s recommended to put at least two hermit crabs in one enclosure. This is because they are social animals who enjoy company.

7. Pacman Frogs

Pacman Frog

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Pacman Frogs are yet another type of frog that are ideal for keeping in a tank. Frogs in general are fairly inactive, and these frogs are no exception. This means that you can keep them in small tanks, such as nano tanks and they’ll be content. They also won’t mind being alone, for as long they have food, water, proper humidity, and care, they’ll be more than happy. Frogs are cannibalistic, so they’ll try to eat each other if given the chance. Never put a larger frog together with a smaller frog!

Try to feed the frog with a regular feeding schedule. If you consistently feed them at a certain time, they get used to the routine. This means that they will always wait for their next meal, even if sometimes you’re late or forget to feed them. As such, it can be an ideal option for those who have to work the whole day and might be forgetful from time to time.

When it comes to feeding them, they like to ambush their food. This means that they prefer their food to be alive and moving. That’s when their predatory behavior will kick in. Although, you do have the option to feed them non-live food with tongs. You might have to have some patience for them to get accustomed to it, but once they do, they should have no issues feeding.

8. Fire Belly Toads

Photo credit: PetSmart

For someone who is new to caring for pets to keep in a tank, Fire Belly Toads can be a great place to start if you’re interested in amphibians. Beginners will also love to watch this toad move about in its habitat. When setting up the tank, you should know that they do well in a habitat that is half water and half land.

So, how did they get their name? Well, fire belly toads have this name due to their bright bellies. It’s a visual warning sign to any predators that they can be toxic. As much as the toxins might not be as harmful to the humans, it’s still recommended you wash your hands thoroughly after handling these guys.

9. Sea Monkeys

Sea Monkeys

Credit: Wikipedia

Sea Monkeys are another option for you to consider when looking for cool and interesting pets to keep in a tank. They are loved by many people as they do require minimal care to handle them. It can also be fascinating to watch them grow over time. The best part is that you only have to feed them once a week. With such a ridiculously simple and easy feeding schedule, there’s no doubt that even the laziest of pet owners can handle these.

A fun fact about sea monkeys is that they breathe through their legs. Also, they hatch with one only, but shed it later when the other two eyes form.

Sea monkeys are also very easy on your wallet. You will not have to spend a lot of money just to care for them. It’s why many are comfortable with these neat and low maintenance creatures.

10. Octopus

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Octopi might not be as common as a pet, but many aquarium enthusiasts are now considering keeping them as pets. Although, they do require a person who is experienced in handling aquarium animals. There are multiple types of octopus species available in the market for you to choose as pets. Depending on the species, some need more care than others. This is why you have to do more research before buying the ideal octopus for your specific living situation and preferences.

How you should prepare the tank and their maintenance should be discussed with an experienced pet owner. This is to ensure that you create the right environment for your pet.

When you decide to keep an octopus as a pet, you should consider keeping one octopus per tank. If you want to keep several, then consider having multiple tanks. As much as there might be more work involved, you will always find octopuses to be intelligent pets that are extremely interesting and entertaining to watch.


The best pets to keep in a tank are the ones that you find the most interesting, fit your lifestyle, and are within your budget.

These are the pets you’ll probably be looking forward to seeing each time you get home. Or maybe not, depending on which you choose. Things like sea monkeys are extremely easy to take care of, and sometimes you might even forget you have them as pets!

Please consider some of the pets from our list. Pick a few choices, then start to research more about them so you’ll have a better idea if they’re a great fit for you or not. We know that the list is not conclusive, so you can always research more cool pets to keep in a tank that appeal to you.

Keep in mind the factors we also mentioned about picking the best tank for your future pet. The main goal is to give your pet a great habitat for it to thrive!