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Are you looking for a modern looking aquarium? If so, rimless aquariums are for you. They are sleek, clean looking, are made of ultra clear glass and look incredible anywhere you place them. Say no more to those ugly plastic braces, it’s time to look at the very best rimless aquariums money can buy.
A Rimless aquarium offers the look. That professional awarding winning look that many are looking for when they think of their dream aquascape and livestock in their tanks. We are looking to build the perfect looking aquarium. They are pricier than your standard rimmed or braced tanks, but they are so worth the price to set one up.
There are a number of considerations we have to keep in mind when purchasing a rimless that I’m going to go over today. In this post, I will walk you through what to look out for when selecting the best rimless aquariums on the market. I will then go over reviews of the rimless aquariums available on the market that are ready to buy.
Before we start, I will disclose there will be affiliate links in this post where I may get a commission should you choose to make a purchase at no charge to you.
Are you ready to get started with me? Let’s get this going!
What To Look For When Buying A Rimless Aquarium
Before we start comparing rimless aquariums, we need to talk about what to look for when purchasing one. A number of manufacturers have hopped on the rimless aquarium brand wagon and they are all not created equal.
First thing is first, let’s talk about what you want. What are your goals? Are you looking to do a planted tank? Are you looking to do a reef tank? Are you desiring an all in one setup? What is your budget? These are all questions you want to write down and know before you go comparison shopping because rimless aquariums are designs for multiple specialty tanks so there should be a rimless aquarium for you once you know what you want to do with your tank build.
For these aquariums I’m reviewing today, this is my criteria:
- Features and Accessories
- Brand Name
The Rimless Aquarium Candidates
Now that we know what to look for, the types of rimless aquariums available, and what makes them an amazing buy it’s time to talk about the best rimless aquariums out there. The list below our picks after client field testing and our own experience with these manufacturers. There is an rimless aquarium for everyone on this list. Let’s begin!
In a hurry? I recommend UNS Aquariums!
|UNS Ultra Clear Tanks||Click For Best Price|
|Waterbox Aquariums||Click For Best Price|
|Laden Rimless Aquariums||Buy On Amazon|
|Fluval Sea Evo||Buy On Amazon|
|JBJ Rimless Flat Panel||Click For Best Price|
|Innovative Marine Nuvo Lagoon||Click For Best Price|
|Innovative Marine Mini 40 Aquarium||Click For Best Price|
|Lifegard Aquatics Crystal Aquarium||Buy On Amazon|
|Red Sea Reefer||Click For Best Price|
|SC Aquarium Rimless Cube Aquariums||Buy On Amazon|
|SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Plug N Play System||Buy On Amazon|
The 11 Best Rimless Aquariums (2021 Reviews)
Below I go in detail of each recommended aquarium. Let’s see what these made the cut!
1. UNS Ultra Clear Tanks – The Finest Rimless Tanks Available
If I take this posts from a pure rimless tank view, the Ultum Nature Systems Rimless Tanks are in a class of their own. This is without a doubt the world class ultra lean aquariums you can purchase today. German engineering with 45 degree precision cut mitered edges. It is designed with low iron class that is 91% Diamant glass and brands with the UN systems logo on the bottom. When guests visit your home and see how awesome your aquarium looks, they will know UNS is the designer of your aquarium.
They are available in many sizes and professional shipped to your door. Shipping has always been a major pain point I have seen from large tanks. UNS does not ship cheap. There larger tanks are shipped in crates and carefully packaged. I have seen many all in one tanks shipped poor and cracked upon delivery. You do not have to worry about that drama with UNS. The comfort of knowing you won’t have to get multiple tanks shipped until it arrives undamaged is not a concern with this brand.
The other thing I love about these tanks are the furniture. The furniture options are amazing. They are high-end professional manufactured cabinets. They fit flush with your UNS rimless tank. You don’t have to worry about getting a custom made cabinet or finding a standard cabinet that fits. UNS offers it all for you in one complete professional package. It’s no wonder why they are the top choice for professional aquascapers. Just look at the cabinet video below from UNS. The cabinet just screams world class quality.
UNS tanks come in many sizes. From nano all the way to massive 150+ gallon aquariums. There is a size for everyone at every budget.
There are two cons with UNS. The first is they are solely focused on the freshwater hobby, so they do not make a reef ready aquarium. It is a pure rimless through and through with UNS though they do offer All In One Tanks. They will also be comparatively expensive compared to other aquariums at their size. In my opinion, you get what you pay for. This is a world class brand and aquarium. You can’t go wrong purchasing one. See the full UNS Aquarium Review.
- World class design
- Great furniture options
- Professional delivery
- Not available as reef ready
Best For – Planted Tanks
2. Waterbox Aquariums – The Best Value In Rimless Tanks Today
If I think about the best value in rimless tanks today, without a doubt I would say Waterbox delivers. Waterbox primarily delivers reef ready aquariums. Their reef ready systems have the best plumbing system available for a ready to run aquarium today. Their plumbing system is called the Platinum Reed Plumbing system. It is built with a true manifold system with quality colored PVC and unions for easy maintenance. The overflow is a true bean animal system, the reef standard in today’s modern reef.
Their sumps are the best you can buy today for a ready to run tank. They are multistage designs and made of rimless glass.
Waterbox and Red Sea have competed head to head for a number of years. There are die-hard fans from each brand. While I felt Waterbox was always the better design and features, they have completely separated themselves from Red Sea with the introduction of their freshwater systems, the Clear models. The Clear models are hard to find at this time because supplies are limited, but once they have full production they will have complete designs for both freshwater and saltwater hobbyists.
These are expensive tanks no doubt, however, the construction and quality for their prices earns the best value among all rimless on this list. It is a well deserved distinction by Waterbox. Excellent aquariums overall. See the full waterbox review.
- Best Plumbing System
- Best Sump
- Available in Saltwater and Freshwater Versions now
Best For – Reef Tanks
3. Laden Rimless Aquariums – Great Budget Rimless
This rimless aquarium by Laden is great for planted tanks. They are just what we are looking for when we are creating a planted tank aquascape. This low iron tank is expertly crafted and they are available in multiple sizes. The one I have linked in this post I feel is the ideal size for many first time aquascaping projects.
Laden aquariums are only available online, which makes them perfect for those who cannot purchase a rimless aquarium locally. They are well known for their great packaging that ensures your aquarium arrives undamaged from shipping.
The only cons I have with this tank is the price. You get what you pay for with this tank. It’s one of the better bare bones rimless aquariums on the market.
- Expert craftsmanship
- Multiple sizes available
- Great packaging on shipping
Best For – Planted Tanks
4. Fluval Sea Evo – A Great Nano Reef Tank
The Fluval Sea Evo is a great rimless aquarium if you are looking for a nano reef tank. This aquarium is designed exactly for that purpose if everything that you would want to get you started. This tank is so well love that it is the official tank of of Biota’s sustainable reef kits. Biota, if you do not know are huge pioneers in our industry. They were the first mass producers of the tank raised Tang and Clown Trigger. If this is a choice of a cutting edge breeder in our industry, this is a product to look into.
The Fluval has it all to get started. It comes with a competent light that acts like a cover. The media chambers are good enough and the return pump is strong enough for corals. The main this with this Evo is you have to know what it is designed for. It is designed for low light corals and small reef fish. If you keep that in mind, you can build an amazing easy to keep nano reef tank.
The best issue with this tank is the heat management. This is a big concern if you live in a warmer climate. Because the tank volume is small and covered, heat gets trapped during hot days. Make sure you have adequate AC coverage in the area you place your Fluval Evo in.
- Comes with light and cover
- Peninsula style
- Heat management
- Light not very powerful
Best For – Nano Reef Tanks
5. JBJ Rimless Flat Panels – A Great Starter Rimless
The JBJ Flat Panel in my mind is the best starter saltwater reef aquarium set you can purchase today. It has the perfect dimensions for aquascaping a reef tank at 36 x 24 inches. 3 feet is long enough for territory for small fish and 2 feet is plently for having the space to sort rocks and corals for viewing.
It does mean lighting a bit more expensive, but the added gallon capacity of 65 gallons is ideal. It is also sumpless, which means transitioning to saltwater even easier. It has large enough bays to house standard automation like auto top of systems and even a small protein skimmer. It is priced competitively as well. It seems expensive at first glance, but given you are getting the cabinet, it’s not as bad as you may believe.
Cabinet, while looking great from the outside, is not the highest quality.
- Great value with price and stand
- Ideal dimensions with 36 x 24 DIMS
- Cabinet not the great quality
- Still expensive for some
Best For – All
6. Innovative Nuvo Lagoon – A High End Nano Reef Tank
Nuvo Aquariums are well known in the saltwater tank hobby as one of the best rimless aquariums you can buy. This Lagoon model from Nuvo does not disappoint. It comes with a great media chamber or the option to use a filter sock. The return pump is a DC pump that is power and very reliable. The dual outlets are great for getting your flow dialed in correctly. I also really like that they added their mesh screen lids. Nuvo designs a number of accessories for their aquariums including protein skimmers, media reactors, and wavemakers so going with their line will always mean you can find accessories that fit your aquarium.
The main thing not to like here is the height of the aquarium. It only stands at 12 inches in height. That’s not stellar for a display tank. A 16″ height would be preferable. The price is only at the high end, but you get what you pay for with this aquarium.
- Awesome equipment included
- Dual outlets
- Nuvo brand name
- Short height for a display tank
Best For – Nano Reef Tanks
7. Innovative Nuvo 40 – A Ready To Sump System
All in One tanks are great for quick setups, however others want to setup a complete sump. Not everyone likes to drill an aquarium, and this solution by Nuvo is an excellent choice. It comes complete with a glass overflow that is connected to the back of the aquarium. As the overflow does not take up space inside the aquarium, you have full access to your tank for aquascaping. This is something that not even ghost overflow can provide!
Because the overflow is built into the system, you do not have to worry about leaking issues when you start up. Leak issues are always a pain to deal with. I also deal with them when working with external overflows. All overflows have their quirks. This EXT line from Nuvo offers a hassale free solution. This is an excellent choice if you are looking for a sumped tank as a beginner.
The major downfalls for me is that the overflow is a Durso versus a Bean Animal. In Nuvo’s difference though, a bean animal overflow would have taken up a lot of space. It is also fairly expensive compared to drilling a tank yourself.
- Drilled with overflow
- Nuvo brand name
- Durso vs Bean Animal Design
Best For – Reef Tanks
8. Lifegard Aquatics Crystal Aquarium – A Valued Prices Rimless Tank
The Lifegard Crystal Aquarium is a great value for those looking for a rimless aquarium. The price on these tanks are tough to beat. It comes with a traditional all in one chamber where you can place your media and equipment in the back. They utilize bio-balls for their biological media, which I feel is a old school this day and age. The pump that comes with the tank is strong then most I’ve seen included in all in one tanks. It may need to be adjusted down for those with planted tanks.
The main thing I see as a con here is the media included. Bioball is just weird to me these days. I would prefer a media chamber with multiple stages so I can put whatever I want in it like Innovative offers. The price on these tanks is definetly worth a consideration!
- Multiple sizes available
- Strong pump
- Not a fan of the media included
Best For – All Tanks
9. Red Sea Reefer – The Original Ready To Run Reef Tank
The Red Sea Reefer is the original ready to run reef tank that started it all. For a long time in the saltwater hobby if you wanted to create a high quality reef setup, you were on your own to pick the aquarium, get a custom made stand, and built a sump. Red Sea changed all that with the Reefer release. Since there, many competitors have appeared to challenge their place in the market that they created.
The Reefer series has been unchanged for the most part for many years. It still uses simple to install components and high quality iron low glass with a bean animal overflow design. They are used by many hobbyists today, which means getting one approachable because there are many peers to get advice from who are running these aquariums.
Their latest V3 refresh puts their tanks on par with the WaterBox systems. They are using a better sump design that is adjustable and they switch over to colored PvC and a longer warranty. The ATO system, while it comes standard, is ancient with a standard float valve. I’d rather have been nix this and use better quality PVC or design a manifold.
Overall, the Red Sea brand is a high quality one and their success with their tanks cannot be denied. The community is also amazing. Read more about our in-depth Red Sea Reefer Review.
- Brand Name
- Easy to Assemble
Best For – Planted Tanks
10. SC Aquarium Rimless Cube Aquariums – The Perfect Reef Ready Cube Tank
The SC Aquarium Rimless Cube Aquarium is a tank that will blow you away. It’s simply amazing. I love the dimensions. The 80 gallon tank shown here is 32 x 24 x 24. 24 inches of width and height is great working space to build the aquascape of your dreams. I also love that SC builds quality overflows. They make quality durso overflows that won’t drive you crazy with their noise. They will also create full packages that come complete with a sump and protein skimmer.
For example this 66 gallon system comes with the main essentials to get started. The price are amazing for what you get. It still has the 24 inches of width like the 80 gallon and only sacrifices 4 inches of height. I know many reefers who swear by SCA and have built incredible display tanks with them. Their are the ultimate valued prices reef ready systems in our industry!
I can go on and on about how much I like SC Aquariums, but there is even a nicer aquarium from them I’m about to review next. What do I not like? It’s the stand if you get the plug and play (PnP) system like the 66 gallon a shown above. It’s a lower quality stand. The next tank from SC Aquarium addresses that issue.
- Amazing dimensions
- Reef Ready
- Great price for a high end aquarium
- If you buy SC’s stands – they are lower quality and not tall
Best For – Reef Tanks
11. SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Plug N Play System – Value + Looks
This one is the motherload. Presenting the SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Plug N Play system. This tank has it all. The aquarium is well built and has perfect dimensions at 48 x 24 x 24. This is the ideal size in width and height for a reef tank. You get the space you want to build aquascape. You get the volume to put in the large fish you want like tangs. You get the height you want to build out a true mixed reef system. The overflow is a bean animal style – the best in the business.
SCA does not skim out on the cabinet on this system. The Cabinet is made of Maple. No other high end tank marker with reef ready systems on the market can say this at this price level. Not Red Sea, not Waterbox, not Elos. SCA offers multiple colors for you to pick from.
The sump they provide is very sizable. At 68 gallons, it’s one of the largest sumps I’ve seen offered. It comes complete with an ATO reservoir so your Auto Top System can do its work. The protein skimmer that comes with this system is rated for 180 gallons. Everything here is speaking perfection to me. It’s one nice looking tank.
What’s the catch? Well, it’s very expensive. Even at the price, it’s an amazing value. The return pump is on the weak side as well, but I feel that is easily addressed with a wave maker to increase flow in your reef tank. So what are you waiting for? Wanna go big? This is the tank for you!
- Amazing looking tank
- Has everything you need to get started
- Bean Animal Overflow!
- Weak Return pump
Best For – Reef Tanks
What’s the Best Rimless Aquarium (Our Expert Pick)
The moment has come to crown the best. As always I offer multiple best of here as there are many of you looking for different type of tanks.
Best Rimless Aquarium for Planted Tanks – UNS Aquariums
Best Rimless Aquarium for Reef Tanks – Waterbox Aquariums
Best Rimless Aquarium for Nano Reef Tanks – Fluval Evo
What Is A Rimless Aquarium? How Do They Work and How Are they Constructed?
A rimless aquarium is an aquarium that lacks bracing. In a typical aquarium, they are manufactured by siliconing the glass pieces together than supporting the silicon joints with a plastic brace or rimless around the bottom and top of the tank. Tanks have been constructed in this fashion for many years. They are produced at mass scale, are cheap, and very durable due to the bracing.
A rimless aquarium is constructed using what we call the direct injection method. Silicon is injected directly into the joint and pieces are squeezed together. The injection method is a very precise method. Doing it correctly makes for a clean look without any silicon sticking out of the edges. There are a lot of DIY videos out there that should this process and you can definitely try this yourself. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a lot of in building tanks.
Traditional vs Low Iron Glass Aquariums
Another big selling point with rimless aquariums is that many are constructed with low iron glass. All manufacturers use different names for this. Some call it Starfire glass others call it ultra clear others diamond grade. Whatever they want to call or market it as it is all low iron glass at the end of the day. Low iron glass removes that green tint you will see in traditional glass. The larger the tank, the more noticeable of a difference you will see between low iron and traditional glass tanks.
Types of Rimless Aquariums
As I stated earlier in the post, there are various types of rimless aquariums you can purchase out there. Let me go over the various types and what they are best for.
Bare Bones Rimless Aquariums
This is just the glass aquarium itself. These types of aquariums are best for planted tank setups. Many planted tank setups and aquascape what a completely clear background to start. Since they are typically using canister filters they have no need for an overflow system. A transparent background is perfect for a planted tank to really showcase light for that mountain or landscape like look that many aquascapers are looking to do.
All In One Rimless Aquariums
An all in one rimless aquarium are designed to be a complete aquarium kit. They come with a chamber at the side or back of the tank. The chamber has a media chamber where you can add your desired filter media and will have a return and sometimes an optional 2nd chamber for you to add additional equipment like a protein skimmer or auto top off unit. These types of tanks are excellent first time reef or saltwater tanks. They can make great freshwater tanks, though planted tank setups may need additional modifications to add an Aquarium CO2 system and reduce the flow depending on the livestock selection.
Reef Ready Rimless Aquariums
A Reef ready rimless aquarium is a tank with overflows built in. They typically are drilled at the bottom and will use a durso overflow. High end aquariums of this style will sometimes be built using bean animal overflows. These are aquariums are designed to be used with an aquarium sump. They are best suited for high end reef tanks. These tanks start you off with a great foundation and are easy to install.
The Benefits Of A Rimless Aquarium (Why Do You Need One)
Let’s talk about why you would want a rimless aquarium. Aside from the appealing look there are other great reasons to purchase one:
- Many rimless aquariums are made of low iron glass. The large these tanks are the bigger the difference. This provides a clear unfiltered view to your aquarium displaying it’s true beauty. Only an acrylic tank can match the clarity of a iron low aquarium
- You have a clear view of your water line with a rimless aquarium. This gives your tank a more natural look
- Many rimless aquariums come in cube form. While not the best for most fish, this can save you a lot of money down the road when it comes to purchasing lights as many LED are designed for 2 x 2 footfoots
- For you saltwater tank owners, you won’t have to deal with that annoying salt creep on the braces of your tank. If you ever owned a euro-braced tank, the difference is night and day on the salt creep you can accumulate.
- They are designed for open tops, creating the best gas exchange possible for your aquarium
Tips and Tricks on Owning a Rimless Aquarium
Here are a few tips and tricks to known when owning a rimless aquarium
Place your rimless aquarium on a flat complete surface
A Rimless aquarium cannot be placed on budget build aquarium stands. These are the usual particle board aquarium stands you will see at chain pet stores. Here is a picture you show you what I’m talking about
If you place your rimless aquarium on a stand like this, the tank will have not support at the bottom and will crack under the pressure of your water. Do not make this expensive mistake! Most rimless aquariums will come with a self leveling mat to place on your surface. Make sure you use it. If you need to purchase one, here is a link for a self leveling mat.
Install a Stylish Light
A rimless aquarium’s look is compromised by a bulky and ugly looking light fixture. There are two ways to tackle this issue. Either purchase a lightweight Reef LED system (for saltwater) or Planted LED system that can mount on the rim of your aquarium or hang your light fixtures. On many high end aquarium install, light fixtures are hung on the ceiling or a cabinet installed hanger is placed to hang the lights. Do your yourself a favor and purchase the right looking like so you do not take away from the sleek look of your aquarium.
Wipe Down The Top Of Your Rimless Aquarium
Just use a clean towel or paper towel wipe down the top of your aquarium. Dust likes to collect up here so you will want to keep the area clean to not deter from the view of your creation.
Conclusion – Best Rimless Aquariums
Did you find what you are looking for? Have any questions? Please leave a comment below if you do. I love hearing from my readers. I hope you are able to make a better informed decision on your purchase. Thank you for reading and see you next time!