Fish tank coffee tables were once seen as something of a novelty. While they have always proved attractive, they haven’t always been the most functional furniture pieces. Unless your fish tank table is loaded with filters, lighting and pumps, the fish kept within are not going to live for very long. The best aquarium coffee tables should combine all the qualities of a premium fish tank, with the design features associated with a first-rate piece of furniture. Thinking of swapping out your fish tank for a more sophisticated aquarium table? Our buying guide has some useful guidance to help you make the right decision.
Specialist Table or DIY Design?
When it comes to fish tank tables, you have two main options available to you. Ready-made coffee tables are the best choice for those who don’t want to put too much thought into aquarium upgrades. The best ready-made fish tank coffee tables will provide your fish with generous amounts of swimming space, while also allowing enough capacity for you to create a unique underwater landscape. A pre-made fish tank coffee table will also have taken into account things like water pumps, filtration systems and integrated lighting.
Ideally, a specialist aquarium coffee table will include all these components and ensure any unsightly cables, hosing and connectors are concealed from view. Fish tank coffee sizes come in a variety of shapes, with square, oblong and octagonal designs being the most popular. Most designs also tend to come with some level of ornamentation included, although this rarely extends beyond substrate material and artificial plants.
If you have some DIY expertise at your disposal, you can also think about creating your own fish tank table. A robust, rimless tank is a good starting point, from which you can incorporate a plinth base, durable lid and other components. The challenge you’ll face with a DIY table is that you’ll have to think outside the box when it comes to concealing filters, pumps and other tank hardware from view. You will also need to ensure that the overall design is strong enough to hold together, otherwise you are going to encounter issues with leaks and shattering.
Fish Tank Coffee Table Challenges
Before purchasing a fish tank coffee table, you need to think about the unique challenges you’ll face when adding one to your room. Just as with a standard aquarium, a fish tank coffee table should be placed away from areas exposed to high levels of sunlight. You want to avoid green water situations wherever possible. This may be limiting if you want to add a coffee table to an orangery or conservatory, although a fish tank coffee table should prove a low-maintenance addition to a standard lounge or study.
Although the best fish tank coffee tables come with filtration systems and pumps, you’ll want to make sure the hardware incorporated into the design is sufficient to keep water quality clean for long periods of time. Although you will inevitably have to carry out water testing, water changes and cleaning, tackling such maintenance is more difficult with a coffee table/aquarium combo. When such tasks are unavoidable, you will want to ensure the interior of your coffee table aquarium is easy to access. Most tables will include a tempered glass top that can be quickly slid away so you can feed fish or access the interior to carry out cleaning and maintenance.
If you intend to place your fish tank coffee table in the middle of a busy room, you may want to avoid a piece of furniture made from glass. Even if a fish tank table is made from thick, tempered glass, it will still be at risk of breakage if placed in an environment where active pets and young children are likely to come into contact with it. A high-grade acrylic tank table is the best option for busier households.
Although some prefer the aesthetics of glass, premium acrylic has its many advantages over glass. For starters, high-grade acrylic is lighter than glass, making your table easier to reposition. Acrylic is also incredibly resilient to scratching and everyday wear and tear. Many types of acrylic also offer better transparency than glass, meaning the views of your aquarium contents will be far clearer.
Product Reviews – The Best Fish Tank Coffee Tables
Tired of traditional aquariums? A fish tank coffee table can make a stylish addition to any home. Below are some of the est fish tank coffee tables you can currently find available.
This octagonal aquarium table from Midwest Tropical Fountain will make a dramatic addition to any interior. The large dimensions and octagonal shape make it a practical addition to living rooms and seating areas. What’s more, the larger size means you can introduce a thriving closed ecosystem of fish and aquatic plants, without having to make compromises when it comes to landscape design. The black acrylic pedestal is also a nice touch, protecting the base of the aquarium enclosure itself and lending a subtle style accent to your interiors.
Although you’ll of course of need to purchase fish, plants, decorations and substrate separately, this coffee table comes with all the other essentials you’ll need to keep your aquarium occupants happy and healthy. Integrated lighting is on hand to showcase your fish in style, with the table illuminated from the bottom. This means you can enjoy your fish around the clock, even in a dim room. This table also includes an efficient pump to help regulate healthy water conditions, as well as an extension cord so you have more freedom when it comes to placing your table.
A filter pump is also included, with two-stage filtration provided. A selection of decorative plants are also included, but you’ll definitely want to invest in some more to create a dramatic underwater scene. Accessing the interior of this table is easy, with the octagonal top panel effortlessly removed when you need to undertake feeding or carry out cleaning. The tempered glass top is also hardy enough that it can cope with the weight of coffee cups, bowls and books.
This 36-gallon aquarium table is a good option for those who want a decorative piece that will also serve as a practical piece of furniture. The rectangular dimensions of this table mean you can use it in almost any living room or seating area. The frame of the table itself is on the chunky side, but this serves as a reliable support for the tank housed in the interior. All the aquarium essentials you’ll need are included here, with pumps, lighting and filter systems all provided.
These are all housed directly within the aquarium section itself, leaving no unsightly hardware on the exterior which will diminish your use of the table. The lighting is particularly well concealed, allowing you to sit as closely as you like to your table, without the worry of disorienting LED bulbs clouding your enjoyment of your aquarium.
The filtration system is particularly impressive here. You can leave it running around the clock to ensure aquarium water is well maintained, preventing you having to carry out regular checks and water changes. Although everything you need to get started is provided here, there is still scope for customising the setup to changing requirements.
Additional sockets are included so you can install heating systems, as well as additional air pumps and aquarium accessories. These can also be easily concealed to ensure your aquarium table is not impaired by dangling hosing and other unsightly items. You can also lower the glass top closer to the edges, ensuring little ones or pets can not access the interior of your tank.
If you don’t have space for a larger coffee table, but still want to enjoy the visual flair of aquarium furniture, this end table form Midwest Tropical Fountain is a good compromise. This compact table provides you with a cube-style aquarium that will can sit seamlessly alongside your chairs and sofas. The aquarium section itself is small, but provides sufficient space for a small collection of goldfish or nano fish.
You will also still have plenty of space left to add decorative objects and plants if you so desire. The glass top is oversized when compared to the tank itself, but this ensures your aquarium is well protected. It also makes the table itself far more practical as a piece of furniture, allowing you to display or store additional items on the top.
All the aquarium essentials you’ll need are included here. Lighting and filters are integrated into the design of the table, while the base of the aquarium comes with blue glass gravel. Artificial plants are also thrown in so you can start landscaping aquatic scenes immediately. Although this table is not made from glass, the high-grade acrylic used here is of a superior standard. You won’t have to worry about unsightly scratches easily forming, while the easy-care acrylic can be cleaned effortlessly.
XIANGMENG Mini Cube Aquarium,Desk Building Block Fish Tank for Goldfish/Small Animal/Ant,Ideal for Office Living Room Coffee Table Desk Decoration
If you’re looking for a more flexible alternative to a large coffee table, this mini cube aquarium is a good solution. At first glance, this compact tank looks very much like a LEGO building block. This design is intentional, with this cube aquariums able to combine together to produce larger, sectional tank displays. As solitary tanks, these aquariums can be used to house betta fish and solitary goldfish. However, you can also stack these tanks on top of each other, with strategically placed air vents on the sides ensuring your aquarium interiors are not cut off from air supplies.
Although small, these tanks provide enough room for you to add some visual flourish. You can sand substrate, decorative ornaments and artificial plants to add some decorative flair to your mini aquariums. Although these compact tanks are intended for use on desktops and shelving, a double or triple high stack can serve as a handy coffee table or end table. The high-quality plastic construction means there’s no need to worry about leaks, even when filled with substrate and aquarium water.
One thing to bear in mind about these tanks is that they are only intended for vertical stacking. This will limit you somewhat when it comes to putting together a bespoke table. The textured top may also prove awkward for use as a tabletop, but this can easily be overcome by adding a level sheet of glass or robust acrylic.
Landen 40C 16.9 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank, Salt Water Tank, Sea Water Tank, 15.75″ L × 15.75″ W × 15.75″ H (40cm x 40cm x 40cm) 6mm Thickness 901001…
Although not a coffee table as such, this rimless cube aquarium from Landen can be utilised as an effective centrepiece for seating areas and living spaces. This cube-shaped tank is made from 6mm-thick glass, with incredible levels of transparency. Measuring 40cm, this cube tank is also sufficiently large that it can be used alongside chairs and sofas, without seeming too small.
The large interior also means you can introduce multiple fish to produce an eye-catching underwater display, with plenty of room for attractive ornaments and artificial plants. With 91-percent transparency, this glass aquarium also gives you the option to introduce floating plants.
There are some downsides to using this cube tank as a coffee table. For starters, there is an enclosed section on one side to serve as concealed housing for filters and other aquarium hardware. While this will limit your viewing angles somewhat, it does ensure that you won’t have to worry about dangling hosing. You will also need to think about optimising this cube tank with additional elements to make it more functional as a coffee table.
At the very least, you will want to add some non-slip matting underneath the base. However, a plinth base will prove more stylish. The top of the tank will also need to be covered with a suitable lid. If you want to use this as a functional coffee table, make sure you go for tempered glass or thick acrylic that can cope with the weight of cups, glasses and other objects.
Like the previous product in this list, this biOrb aquarium is another cube-shaped tank, rather than a specialist coffee table. However, it can be utilised as a side table if a few preparatory steps are taken. This cube aquarium is incredibly durable, with premium-grade acrylic used in lieu of glass. This makes it a hardy option for those who are worried about scratched surfaces and leaks. The acrylic also offers excellent light transparency, meaning you will not have to worry about views of your fish and plants being impaired.
This cube tank also comes with a 5-stage filtration system. In addition to the usual 3-stage filtration offered by other systems, you get the benefit of oxygenation and water stabilisation here. This means you will not have to worry about frequent maintenance and regular water changes, which makes this more practical as a coffee table.
This tank also comes with integrated lighting, which is essential for showing off your aquarium in style. The top panel of the aquarium is relatively smooth, although there is a slight opening for feeding. If you do plan on turning this into a functional table, you may want to consider adding it to a second base. Although the tank does include a recessed plinth base, you will be able to add some essential height to the tank with a secondary support.
Landen 1.6Gallon Rimless Low Iron Freshwater Fish Tank,10.63″ L×10.63″ W×4.72″ H (27cmx27cmx12cm) 5mm Thickness, Glass Air Suspension Aquarium Multi-Scene Landscape aquarium113001
If you are prepared to put in some work, this 1.6-gallon rimless tank from Landen will serve as a great base for a DIY aquarium coffee table. This square-shaped rimless tank is perfectly proportioned for use as a coffee table, with the tempered glass making it incredibly durable and leak-proof. Unlike cube-shaped tanks we’ve explored, this aquarium is altogether lower. This means you can anchor this tank to a plinth base to add a stylish aesthetic, while also making the tank more practical for use as a table.
There’s no lid included with this tank, but that gives you some scope when it comes to adding a suitable tabletop. Ideally, you want to be matching the thickness of the tank itself, while some non-slip supports will ensure your tabletop remains firmly in place at all times.
The main downside of using this tank as the basis for a DIY coffee table is that you’ll encounter some issues when it comes to installing filters and lighting. Ideally, you want to look for systems that can be easily concealed amongst substrate and decorative pieces. Introducing a separate plinth base will help you conceal power sources and any external hosing. Ultimately, you will require some skill to transform this tank into a first-rate aquarium coffee table. However, a little patience and the right materials will result in an eye-catching piece that will be the envy of friends and family.
Budget is probably going to play the biggest role when it comes to selecting a suitable aquarium coffee table. If you’re looking to purchase a ready-made fish tank coffee table, the overall asking price is likely to be very high. However, it is almost always worth spending a premium on such a design.
A well-designed fish tank coffee table will not only provide you with the full functionality of a coffee table and aquarium, it will also include all the necessary components for keeping fish and aquatic animals. With a ready-made table, you don’t have to worry about concealing filters, pumps and lighting. The best fish tank coffee tables will also leave you some scope to incorporate new accessories, such as heating elements.
You can of course build your own fish tank coffee table by making use of a stripped-back aquarium tank. If you have a moderate amount of DIY knowledge, putting together your own fish tank coffee table is relatively straightforward. By approaching the project yourself, you have more flexibility when it comes to matching your coffee table to the size of your seating and room dimensions. You can also put together a much larger aquatic environment for larger groups of fish.
The downsides to a DIY coffee table is that you will have to be very creative when it comes to incorporating lighting, filters and pumps. Ideally, you want to be concealing all these elements. You will then have to consider how to conceal any external power cables and other accessories, without compromising on the practical function of your table.