Rimless Aquarium Guide - The Best Value Rimless Aquariums For Your New Hobby
Looking for the perfect rimless aquarium? This is the guide for you!
WHY A RIMLESS AQUARIUM?
Aesthetically, rimless aquariums are far superior to their rimmed counterparts. For years, aquarium hobbiests were constrained to rimmed tanks. Rimless aquariums used to be extremely uncommon and the only way to get one was to purchase an acrylic tank, which were typically large, easily scratched, and used mostly for saltwater reefs. Its 2020 now, and there's a lot of great rimless options available!
Most rimless aquariums on the market are made from Starphire or DIAMANT ultra-clear, low Iron glass. Not only do they lack an ugly rim, but they are much clearer compared to their rimmed counterparts. Just in case you are new to the aquarium scene, here is an image to show the difference in clarity. Notice how much more blue the normal aquarium glass (left, bottom) compared to the Starphire low iron glass (right, top).
This ultimately means that with a low iron glass aquarium you will be able to observe the true colors of your plants, fish, shrimp and whatever else you might keep. You may ask, are rimless aquariums less stable or less reliable than old school rimmed tanks? NO! The glass is not only clearer, but super strong and they tend to have slightly thicker panels making them just as safe as a rimmed tank. All of the aquariums featured in this article are made from low iron, ultra-clear glass.
- WHERE TO START -
Picking The Right Rimless Aquarium
First, you need to decide how large (roughly) of an aquarium you need. Think about your goals: Are you aquascape focused? Do you have a particular fish(s) in mind?
Do a bit of research and make sure whichever rimless tank you choose will suite your fish and other inhabitants.
Some of my personal favorite tanks are within the "CLEAR Series" by Waterbox Aquariums. Here are some of the most popular sizes and relative volumes:
As you continue to read this post, you may notice some odd naming structures that many rimless aquarium manufactures use. Waterbox includes the length and width of each aquarium within its name, making it a little easier. For example, "Clear 1818" is an 18" x 18" rimless tank.
BEST Rimless Aquariums For Aquascaping
Out of the 4 aquariums above, my favorites are the Clear 3620 and Clear 4820. An aquascapers dream, is a 20" front to back tank because it provides the opportunity to maximize depth perception, one of the best features of any stunning planted aquascape. The Clear 4820 is also a great choice, featuring the same front to back dimension with an extra foot of length and an additional 23 gallons.
Recommended Waterbox Rimless Aquariums
Both images of the aquariums feature the oak cabinetry that can be purchased with or without the aquariums. Black and white cabinets are also available to match your living space.
Check out Waterbox CLEAR Series For Price
If you are looking for something a little smaller, Waterbox Aquariums also has a great line of mini tanks, including 6, 10 and 16 gallon rimless aquariums. These tanks are just as impressive as their larger counterparts. The main difference is that they do not offer a matching stand. The 6 and 10 gallon tanks are great for bettas and other smaller fish.
If you are looking for something larger, Waterbox does have a CLEAR PRO Series featuring a 143 and 167 gallon freshwater rimless tanks. If you need even larger, check out their saltwater tanks.The main difference is that the saltwater tanks are pre-plumbed and include a sump. They also have a black false backing which contains the overflows. They include more equipment and are thus more expensive.
Check out Waterbox for Prices and Discounts
Next, lets talk about another fantastic rimless tank manufacturer, Ultum Nature Systems (UNS). Buceplant is a USA retailer of UNS products and has several sizes of low iron rimless aquariums available. The UNS tank naming scheme is also confusing- 90P, 60S, 40C, 45U, etc. What does all this mean?
Above - 75P (75cm wide, P = standard)
U = Ultum Standard
P = ADA /Standard
T = Tall
C = Cube
N = Nano
L = Long
S = Shallow
A = All-In-One
The number refers to the side to side length (width) of the rimless aquarium in cm. The letter refers to the profile of the tank (Cube, Shallow, Tall, etc.).
UNS rimless aquariums have unique 45 degree mitered edges, a subtle aesthetic feature that shows maximum attention to detail.
Ultum Nature Systems "U" aquarium dimensions are all based on the golden ratio, increasing the depth (front to back) measurements. With more available space, the aquascaper is free to experiment with elaborate styles that can enhance its scale and perceived depth.
Above - 25S (2 gallon 25cm "shallow" rimless tank
Now that we have the naming down, lets talk about some of the most popular UNS rimless aquariums!
- UNS 90P -
Above is the popular UNS 90P rimless aquarium. Dimensions are 35.4" x 22 x 22" (90 cm x 56 cm x 56 cm). This 68 gallon rimless tank can be purchased with or without a sleek oak stand that sits flush with the aquarium. White and black stands are also available. The 90P is perfect for aquascaping based on its dimensions, all UNS tanks are focused on this concept.
Check out Buceplant for prices on the 90P
- UNS 120U -
The 120U rimless aquarium is one of UNS's larger tanks coming in at 114 gallons. If you need something bigger, they do offer the 180U (70.8" x 23.6" x 23.6") coming in at 156 gallons. These two tanks are perfect for someone looking to achieve a grand aquascape, something that will turn heads when you have guests over.
- UNS 75P -
The UNS 75P (29.5" x 17.7" x 17.7") is a great beginner tank. Comming in at 36 gallons, its close to the dimensions of a traditional 40 breeder aquarium with a little extra height.