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Rimless tanks have a bold, seamless look that appeals. In the recent past they were also extremely expensive, but these days they’re available at much more reasonable prices. The question for most is just finding the right rimless tank for their aquarium project.
So, let’s dive in and we’ll show you the best rimless aquariums and the information you need to bring the right one home!
- Here are the rimless aquariums I will be reviewing:
- 1. LANDEN Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank With Overflow – Best Overall
- 2. Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank – Runner Up
- 3. SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium – Best Large Tank Option
- 4. Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit – Best Rimless Marine All-in-One
- 5. Fluval SPEC Freshwater Aquarium Kit – Best Rimless Planted Tank All-in-One
- 6. Dennerle Scaper’s Tank 10g – Best Rimless Nano Kit for Newbies
- Why a Rimless Aquarium?
- Rimless Aquarium Buyer’s Guide
- Going Rimless
Here are the rimless aquariums I will be reviewing:
- LANDEN Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank With Overflow
- Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank
- SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium
- Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit
- Fluval SPEC Freshwater Aquarium Kit
- Dennerle Scaper’s Tank 10g
1. LANDEN Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank With Overflow – Best Overall
Landed produces a large array of rimless tanks made with low-iron glass. The end result is the ability to pick and choose from a lot of tanks to find what you’re looking for. They’re well-constructed and have a great reputation in real-world use.
This tank features a rear compartment for storage, covered in black plastic. More importantly, it features an overflow that will keep you from sloshing too much water around when you choose to work in the tank.
This line’s main drawback is the pricing. They’re expensive tanks no matter what size you choose to go with. Some people may also not be a big fan of the plastic in the back. My personal complaint is just the branding logo on the front but it’s pretty low-profile.
The price is mainly down to quality construction and materials. The black plastic can be a bit unsightly, but it keeps you from having to undertake the hazardous process of drilling glass at home to create your own overflow.
Unless you’re looking for 100% hidden equipment, these tanks are perfect. They’re available in sizes ranging from nano to small community tanks as well!
- Low iron glass leads to high clarity
- Overflow at the rear of the tank is unobtrusive and helps keep things dry
- Excellent overall construction quality
- Available in multiple sizes
- Very expensive, even for rimless tanks
- Black plastic background may not be suitable for everyone’s project
2. Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank – Runner Up
These low iron tanks are the same as our favorite, they just lack the overflow and rear compartment for the filters. That makes them a little bit cheaper, and they’re also offered in a wider variety of sizes.
The nice part here is that you’re not limited in sizes. These tanks range from just shy of 2 gallons, all the way up to 55 gallons. They’re made with thick, high-clarity glass and have excellent joints in the corners.
The main problem is a lack of overflow. For some aquarists that can be a dealbreaker, but you can also modify the tank later if needed. They’re also expensive despite being a bare tank. Prepare for sticker shock if you’ve never checked into rimless tanks before.
But both of those points are kind of integral to the tank. They’re high-quality, which means high-priced, and they’re sold strictly as bare tanks.
If you want a bare tank to start with, Landen is still the way to go. Their tanks are high-quality and you have a lot of options when it comes to sizing.
- Available in a wide variety of sizes
- Low-iron glass is high clarity while remaining quite thick
- Great joints at the corners
- Overall high-quality construction with no risk of bowing
- Rather expensive, especially compared to rimmed tanks of the same size
- Any overflow modifications will have to be done by the aquarist
3. SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium – Best Large Tank Option
For those truly looking to push the limits of size with a rimless aquarium, your options are very limited. Once you get over 55 gallon true rimless tanks are harder to find, and over 80 gallons you’re usually stuck with extremely expensive custom options. The glass just gets too thick.
On the other hand, this eurobraced 150-gallon aquarium maintains the look without turning into a 5-figure project. It’s also pre-drilled with an overflow and setup for a sump system, which is pretty much a requirement once your tank gets this large.
This tank is… still expensive. It’s also not technically a fully rimless tank, so purists may raise their nose at it. They’re free to find a custom glass maker who will produce the ridiculously expensive and heavy ½”+ glass required for a tank this size.
You’re getting what you pay for in this case, and it’s a lot on both counts.
If you’re looking for a large, high-end rimless tank this is a great solution before you decide to go find a custom tank builder.
- Made with high-end low-iron glass
- Overall solid construction
- Huge tank with a rimless look
- Excellent overflow chamber drilled for sump and extras
- Very expensive
- Eurobraced tanks may not be considered truly rimless by purists
4. Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit – Best Rimless Marine All-in-One
If you’re looking to set up a small marine tank, this is a great option. The tank itself is rimless and comes with all of the equipment you need to get up and running in a short while. Just add water, cycle, and get to enjoying your tank.
Fluval is the only company that produces all-in-ones I trust, the equipment seems to be a step above most in this style. That said, you may still need a couple of bits of equipment depending on your exact goals for the tank.
The main drawback is similar to every all-in-one tank: equipment breaks down over time and you’ll have to replace it. The other problem is that the compartment for the equipment is on the left-hand side of the tank, rather than on the back.
The equipment is easy to replace in this tank, so it’s less of a hindrance than usual. There’s not much to be done about the equipment placement, however.
Overall, this may be the way to go if you’re planning on setting up a small marine tank. Everything’s included and very few modifications will be needed to get it up and running no matter what your goal is.
- Comes with most of the equipment you need
- Fluval makes high-quality all-in-one tanks
- The pump is remarkably quiet
- Strong tank design
- It’s still an all-in-one as far as equipment is concerned
- Placement of the equipment section is on the side as opposed to the back
5. Fluval SPEC Freshwater Aquarium Kit – Best Rimless Planted Tank All-in-One
We’ll start out with the obvious: the Fluval SPEC is just the Evo with a different light. That difference is huge for those who want to keep plants, however, and this tank is designed to make a little aquatic garden with minimal changes.
Like the EVO, you’re not getting shorted on equipment here. The equipment will hold up just fine and you can easily replace anything that needs it. Of special interest to those who prefer planted tanks is the LED light, supplying 821 lumens. In other words, it’s suitable for all but the highest lighting requirements right out of the box.
The drawbacks are just those inherent to an all-in-one system. The equipment will need to be changed out eventually, and the equipment enclosure isn’t located on the back of the tank.
Neither is a deal-breaker, especially for a desktop aqua garden where you can place one edge against the wall.
If you’re looking for a rimless planted tanks system with minimal fuss, the SPEC is a respectable choice. The only way to do better is to put it all together on your own.
- Fluval quality on built-in equipment
- Great light right out of the box
- Rimless aesthetic with eurobracing for extra strength
- Great filter setup for multiple media
- Pumps will eventually need to be replaced and placement means size limitations
- The equipment cage is on the side of the tank instead of the back
6. Dennerle Scaper’s Tank 10g – Best Rimless Nano Kit for Newbies
You can be ready to go out of the box without having to deal with an all-in-one. This “scaper’s” tank comes with everything you need for a basic setup and even a little book on aquatic plants for the newbie. Just add a heater and water.
The equipment is just about right for a planted shrimp tank when it arrives, a slightly better filter will let you do whatever you’d like in it. The light is also decent, if not great. For newbies, it helps eliminate a lot of sticking points in picking equipment.
The downside is mostly that the equipment is mediocre. If you’re new you’re going to end up replacing it as time goes on, but it works well enough. The light is also a bit weak if you’re going to try growing red stem plants or heavy carpet plants.
And that’s just the nature of the beast when you’ve got an aquarium kit. Everything could be more specialized, but it’s up to the aquarist to find the right equipment for any given tank. This is just a starting point.
And it’s a great starting point for newbies. Try picking this one up if you’re unsure of what you need in a planted tank, it’s a great start and the rimless tank is awesome too.
- Moderately priced for a rimless aquarium kit
- Perfect for people new to planted tanks who want to experiment
- Comes with everything you need but a tank heater
- A decent introductory book on aquatic plants is included
- Equipment could be better and more specialized
- Lighting is too weak for more advanced plants
Why a Rimless Aquarium?
Rimless aquaria are made to higher standards than traditional tanks, which allows them to be filled without the bracing material found around the edge of most tanks.
It’s not a good idea to remove the rim on a standard tank. Especially if you’re not looking to replace floors. Far from being a visual border, that rim is used to hold the tank together and prevent bowing.
Instead, if you’re looking for a cleaner look you should buy a tank designed to be rimless. Basically, they use thicker glass and better adhesives than you’ll find in standard tanks.
The majority of rimless tanks are also made with better quality glass than those with rims. You may have noticed the sides of the panel on most aquariums look green. That’s the result of impurities in the glass, and the color change is easier to see when you’re looking at a panel from the edge.
The biggest reason for using a rimless tank is just the aesthetic.
You may have trouble finding a hood for rimless tanks, and they’re a necessity for some aquariums. You can find plastic clips that will support a hood online, but you may have to custom order the hood itself, depending on the tank’s size and layout.
On the other hand, they look great so let’s help you find the right tank for your fauna!
Rimless Aquarium Buyer’s Guide
Rimless aquariums look the same to the untrained eye, but there are a few things you should be aware of when you’re looking into buying one.
Reputation is important when it comes to rimless tanks. While rare, some knockoffs aren’t up to spec when they’re filled with water, causing bowing of the panes. A failed blender is an inconvenience, a failed aquarium can result in catastrophic water damage to your floors.
In other words… don’t leave things to chance.
Rimless aquariums already come at a premium price, you may as well shell out a few more dollars for a brand that has a good reputation. If the price difference is make-or-break on your project, you may want to buy a rimmed aquarium and pocket the difference instead.
Glass is a lot more complex than it appears. Most of it has varying tints, usually green from iron compounds scattered throughout the silica that makes up glass’ structure.
Most rimless aquariums are made with low-iron glass. You can tell by looking at the panes displayed edge-on when you’re looking at the tank, green means higher iron content. Most low-iron aquarium glass will look blue from the side.
The idea is that it improves clarity when looking into the tank. It also helps rimless tanks appear more open since they’re not framed on either side by green. It’s an overall pleasing effect, although it takes a sharp eye to notice the difference in clarity when looking through a pane.
Starphire is a brand of low-iron glass owned by PPG. It’s often touted as the ultimate glass for aquariums, shower doors, and other applications. It’s a great, consistent product but it may not be worth the extra cost for most hobbyists.
When I began the hobby it was the only low-iron glass that was readily available for aquaria, but these days you can find low-iron glass aquaria from most aquarium sources. It just costs more due to being more refined.
I recommend looking for a low-glass aquarium if you’re going rimless. It just looks better overall, although it has no difference in the strength of the aquarium.
Eurobracing is a different kind of “rim” that consists of glass placed along the top edge of the aquarium. It maintains the rimless look while increasing the aquarium’s overall strength.
I consider these tanks rimless since they lack the traditional aluminum or plastic bracing along the top and bottom.
The only drawback to eurobracing is that it can be harder to work in the tank. The rim doesn’t come off, it’s silicone in place, unlike a traditional canopy. For most this is only a problem in planted tanks, and a long pair of tweezers solves the issue entirely.
Eurobracing is the only commercial option for rimless tanks over about 55 gallons. Rimless tanks can be made in those sizes without the brace, but you’ll have to talk to a custom maker. You can also expect a heavy hit to the pocketbook when you go down the custom tank route.
Eurobracing gives us a little bit more range while keeping a tank that looks rimless in the picture.
All-in-one tanks are nice for the novice aquarist, but some others find them frustrating. You need to be picky if you go down this route, or at the very least be able to fix the equipment when it breaks down.
It’s sort of inevitable, even with the best maintenance.
That said, it’s an attractive option for many people. It makes shopping to set up a basic tank a lot simpler. In most cases, you’ll only need to find a heater after buying the tank.
I recommend working with kits rather than all-in-ones, but there are two in our list that are a cut above. They’re geared towards marine and planted freshwater tanks respectively.
Overflow or Pre-Drilled Holes
One of the few complaints about rimless tanks is that they’re hard to work in.
And it’s true. Not having the rim to catch water sloshing can lead to a lot of spills unless you move like a sloth inside the tank. Your only other option in most tanks is to keep the water level a bit low, usually an inch or more under the sides which… isn’t all that aesthetic.
If you look for a tank that comes pre-drilled for an overflow or has another option added you can minimize this. Drilled tanks are also much easier to use if you’re planning on a sump or even a big canister filter.
Drilling glass yourself isn’t a minor task, in ideal conditions. The panes of an aquarium are far from ideal by their very nature. It can be done at home by a competent DIYer, but the entire tank is useless if you crack a pane.
And warranties don’t cover that.
So your best option is to look for a tank that is either pre-drilled or comes with another method of controlling the overflow.
For tanks, 20 gallons and under you may be out of luck, in which case I recommend just lowering the water level a bit when working in the tank. You can either make it part of your water change or just put it back in when you’re done.
If you’re going rimless, you deserve to make sure that you’ve got a great tank instead of just a good one. They’re a great way to make a beautiful tank stick out even more, especially if you invest in the right one.
Going rimless is a game-changer for looks, it’s just up to you to give it an inside to match!