If you love fishkeeping, you’ll love the idea of having a stunning aquarium table as a focal point in your home.
In this guide, we discuss the practicalities of keeping a coffee table aquarium, as well as highlighting some of the best products currently out there on the market.
What is an aquarium coffee table
A coffee table aquarium does exactly what it says on the tin! This unique piece of furniture is an aquarium that is usually made from tough acrylic material or toughened glass, featuring a clear acrylic or glass top that can be used as a table.
You and your guests can view your collection of fish as they swim around inside the table! Kids love aquariums, especially if they can see the fish from many angles, and a tank coffee table makes that possible.
The filters, pump, cables, fish food, and other essential features are contained within a built-in container underneath the table fish tank.
Top 5 best fish tank coffee tables
The fish tank coffee table is a relative newcomer to the world of the fish hobbyist, and you won’t find many of these tables for sale in your local fish store. So, we’ve trawled the web to bring you some beautiful, high-quality, modern products that can bring a whole new dimension to your living room.
You can buy most of these beautiful fish tank coffee tables on Amazon.
1. Midwest Tropical Aqua Coffee Table Aquarium Tank
The Midwest Tropical Coffee Table Aquarium is a 28-gallon, octagon-shaped table aquarium. The tank itself is made of clear acrylic material, and the lid is made from beveled glass, meaning that the surface won’t be scratched when the piece is used as a coffee table.
The table is easy to assemble, and the aquarium kit includes a black acrylic pedestal, under-tank lighting, a filter, an artificial plant, and some blue glass gravel. The underlighting setup looks beautiful, especially with the addition of a blue glass substrate. If you have a large living space to fill, two Aqua coffee table aquariums will look stunning when put together.
What we like:
- Ideal size for medium spaces
- Comes with virtually everything that you need
- The pedestal holds all the integral lighting, filter, etc
- Under-tank lighting creates a lovely aesthetic feature
- Side-sited feeding spots for ease of use
Room for improvement:
- The glass tank lid is heavy and awkward to remove for cleaning
- The aquarium is only suitable for freshwater fish
- The shape doesn’t fit in every space
2. Long Octagon Aqua Coffee Table Aquarium
The Long Octagon Aqua Coffee Table Aquarium is a beautiful, octagon-shaped tank that has a capacity of 40 gallons. The tank measures 30 “L x 30 “W x 16” H, and the lid measures 38 “L x 38 “W.
The aquarium is illuminated from below through a substrate of blue glass gravel, creating the perfect freshwater habitat for a range of tropical fish and invertebrates. The tank coffee table comes with a black acrylic pedestal that is designed to contain the pump, light, extension cord, and other essentials. You also get a two-stage submersible filter pump and some decorative artificial plants.
The tank and the top are both made from tough, scratch-resistant easy to clean acrylic material.
What we like:
- Makes the perfect centerpiece for a room
- The under-gravel lighting system is beautiful to look at
- Comes complete, is easy to assemble, and practical to maintain
Room for improvement:
- The tank is described as “octagonal,” although it actually only has six sides
- Calcium build-up can cloud the glass if you don’t have a really good filtration system
3. AquaSprouts Garden
The AquaSprouts Garden is not exactly a fish tank coffee table, but this product does make a stunning decoration for any room in your home, especially if you’re looking for an unusual piece of furniture and addition to an existing 10-gallon aquarium.
The product gets great reviews on Amazon from people who have bought the item. The Garden is a self-sustaining aquaponics and aquarium kit that’s designed for use in the home, office, or school. The fish waste is used to fertilize the living plants in the setup, while the plants provide a natural filtration system for the water. So, once the system is established, you won’t have to continue using a mechanical filter.
The Aquasprouts Garden comes in a modern black matte design that coordinates perfectly with any interior decor scheme. The newly upgraded model has adjustable drain extenders that help to keep the noise of the water flow to a minimum. There’s a removable light bar that fixes to any indoor grow light and a pump and timer, both of which come with a full one year warranty.
The main downside of this product is that, once the whole system is put together, it’s extremely heavy. However, the addition of wheels may make moving the item around much easier and more practical.
What we like:
- The product comes ready assembled and with everything you need
- Kids can grow veggies and enjoy fish too
- Makes an unusual addition to any room
- Environmentally-friendly design and minimal maintenance required
Room for improvement:
- The tank is not included
- The setup is very heavy and not easy to move once established
4. Midwest Tropical Aqua End Table
The Midwest Tropical Aqua End Table is a unique aquarium feature that can also be used as a coffee table in your living room.
The square coffee table aquarium is illuminated from below through a bed of blue glass gravel, highlighting the colors of your fish and plants. The fish tank contains 15 gallons of water, making it ideal for a small room and for housing small species of fish such as guppies, tetras, danios, etc.
The square coffee table fish tank comes complete with everything you need, including decorative plants, a filter pump, gravel, lighting, and an extension cord. The fish tank coffee tabletop is made from solid tempered glass for safety and is scratch resistant.
What we like:
- Square coffee table aquarium comes complete with everything you need
- Free blue glass gravel sets off your fish and plants perfectly
- Kids love to watch the fish through the top of the table, so ideal for a home or school setting
- Convenient, small size to fit inside compact homes
Room for improvement:
- Wires trailing across the floor are unsightly.
- Condensation inside the top of the tank creates staining that needs regular cleaning to keep the tank looking smart
5. LED acrylic light round fish tank dining table
This unique dining table fish tank makes a truly stunning and unique addition to any large room. The table features a wonderfully creative LED lighting and bubbles system that comes with a remote control unit, allowing you to change the colors from amber, purple, blue, and green to suit your mood and create the ambiance you want.
The tank and tabletop are made from hardwearing acrylic. The unit comes with a one-year warranty.
This product can be custom handmade if required, to better suit your requirements.
What we like:
- A stunning, unique product, loved by everyone who bought it
- Filters are easy to change and use
- Air pump, decorative rocks, and remote control included
Room for improvement:
- The product is made in China, so shipping is a little expensive
What are the benefits of aquariums as coffee tables?
Becoming the proud owner of a coffee table fish tank can be very exciting. In fact, there are several advantages to coffee table fish tanks.
Coffee table fish tanks can make the perfect combination piece of furniture for your home. Depending on what design you choose, one of these table tanks can make a great focal point and style statement in a singleton’s apartment or family home, without taking up too much space.
Fish tanks can sometimes become an incidental item in your living room, almost going unnoticed as you see them every day. But a coffee table fish tank or dining table are features that are useful on a daily basis and will continue to be loved by your family, friends, and guests for many years.
Rather than having to buy the two items separately, fish tank coffee tables are a two-in-one product, making this the ideal purchase for a smaller home where space is at a premium.
That said, a fish tank coffee table is an unusual item, making these products more expensive than a standard acrylic and glass aquarium. However, these tanks do come complete with everything that you need, and one really does add style to your home decor. Even a large reef tank can’t compete with the image and impact that a 68-gallon square coffee table creates.
Research shows that the presence of a fish tank can actively help to lower stress and anxiety levels by up to 12%.
So, by placing just one fish tank coffee table in your living room, home office, or den, you and your family can enjoy the relaxing effects of the sound of gently bubbling water and the sight of your collection of tropical fish swimming peacefully around inside the tank.
Alzheimer’s patients and kids with ADHD
According to past studies, keeping an aquarium can help to calm Alzheimer’s patients who suffer from disruptive or aggressive outbursts. It’s thought that the same principle applies to children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), helping them to relax and focus more easily.
The research found that keeping fish in the home environment may help these patients to enjoy lower-stress levels and calmer lives, relieving a little of the pressure on careworkers and parents who will, therefore, also benefit from the presence of fishy friends in the home.
Heart conditions and blood pressure
Using a coffee table fish tank in your living room can even help to reduce blood pressure and help to manage the health of people with heart conditions.
There is a definite calming, almost hypnotic effect to be enjoyed by watching fish swimming and feeding in the crystal clear water of a clean aquarium. Even the gentle hum of the filtration system and the quiet bubbling of water in the background can help to get you more relaxed, and that’s great for those with these health problems.
Disadvantages of an aquarium coffee table combo
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to aquariums that also double as coffee tables.
If you were to buy a standard aquarium, you would expect to pay from a couple of hundred dollars for a small tank right up to a few thousand for an all-singing, all-dancing reef setup. However, for the privilege of having a coffee table fish tank in your living room, you had better be prepared to pay from $600 to $1,500. A full-size dining table tank will set you back even more than that.
So, if you have a limited budget, even a small glass top coffee table fish tank is most likely beyond your means.
Although you can buy a 40-gallon square coffee table aquarium that comes “complete,” which sounds great, some hobbyists find that the filtration systems supplied are too small and not powerful enough to be effective for the design of the tank, especially if you want to keep goldfish or some other species that is dirty.
So, you may well find that you need to buy new filters and get creative with lighting ideas if you are to achieve the effect you want.
Also, fish tank coffee tables are notoriously difficult when it comes to accessing filters and air pumps for cleaning and maintenance.
Plug socket accessibility
One problem that fish tank coffee tables have that can limit their use is that you need to have easy access to a wall socket to plug in the lights, filter, and pump. If you want to keep your coffee table in the center of your living room where it can be used, that can present you with a problem.
First of all, the wiring you’re using for the filtration system, etc., cannot safely be allowed to trail across the floor. So, you’ll either need to cover the wires with a small rug or cut at least one small hole in your floor covering to accommodate it. That will make it difficult to move the unit if you decide to redesign your living room at some point in the future.
The obvious solution to that problem would be to keep the tank right up against a wall that’s adjacent to a power outlet. However, some coffee table tanks are octagonal or six-sided, which might not be a great fit in the space that you are planning on using.
Ease of cleaning
As with all fish tanks, great or small, keeping the tank clean is essential for healthy fish. And, let’s face it, no-one wants to look at a sludgy green algae-covered glass top when they reach for their coffee cup and cookies!
Remember that all tropical and coldwater tanks, no matter what size, need to be maintained on a weekly basis. You’ll need ready access to the filtration system to clean and replace the media, and from time-to-time, the light bulbs will need changing. Even relatively small jobs like water changes and glass cleaning can be tricky without easy access to the relevant areas of the tank.
Depending on the design of your fish tank table, the aquarium part might be awkward to get to. Also, to carry out some tasks, you will need to remove the top, which may be heavy and awkward to lift without help.
So, unless you’re a keen hobbyist, keeping your coffee table aquarium clean is likely to be a time-consuming job.
So, just how safe are glass fish tank coffee tables?
Well, the good news is that coffee table fish tanks are pretty safe. Most are made from clear acrylic and toughened glass, which will withstand the occasional knock without sustaining catastrophic damage or leaking. Also, features such as slightly elevated frames provide additional protection.
When deciding where to put your new table aquarium, the best place is somewhere that’s not in a location with a lot of foot traffic. That’s especially important if you have little kids in your household who could run into the aquarium.
Also, pets can present a safety hazard if they are allowed to jump onto the top of the tank. So, always make sure that kitty and Fido are not allowed unsupervised access to the room that houses your tank.
A coffee table fish aquarium with a transparent top can make a wonderful addition to your home and can provide a relaxing feature in any room.
When choosing the right aquarium table, look for one that fits with the design of your home. Also, check that the filter, lighting, and pump systems are all included with your purchase and will be able to cope with the species of fish that you want to keep.
Be sure to choose one of the high-quality makes that we’ve featured in this guide to be sure that you get the best value for your money.