Penn Plax Home Aquaponics Betta Fish Tank Review

People are expected to stay at home during this pandemic, so more are trying out new things to do during the extra free time home, such as home aquaponics.

But, with so many configurations available, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Which tank should we buy? What do we feed our fish? How many plants should we grow?

However, you really shouldn’t be worried any longer. Continue reading to learn our thoughts on the Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank.

What Is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics refers to a system where aquaculture (activities like raising fishes, prawns, seahorses, etc.) is combined with hydroponic (growing plants on water instead of soil).

Here, both fish and plants coexist in a symbiotic setting. Fish waste acts as a fertilizer, supplying vital nutrients to the plants. On the other hand, the plants consume all of the fish waste, effectively acting as a natural water filter for the fish.

In addition to plants and fish, there are microbes. These microbes play a critical role in turning fish waste into valuable resources for plants. This integrated system is a form of sustainable agriculture that also conserves water.

According to many experts, aquaponics is environmentally friendly because it uses few resources and triggers minimal pollution or contamination. It also uses a lot less water than conventional soil-based agricultural practice.

Factors to Consider When Looking For Aquaponics Fish Tanks

Here are the important factors to consider when choosing the right Aquaponics fish tank for you: 

Size and Shape

Tiny fish are generally preferred for an indoor setting, and they are primarily kept for decorative purposes. As a result, the size of these fish tanks is typically minimal, and they are often made of translucent materials.

But, in an environment where professional growers cultivate productive fish, larger and stronger fish tanks are typically used.

A large tank has a more sustainable growing atmosphere than a smaller tank. A bigger tank will also hold more water and fish, making it better suited for productive purposes.

Besides the size of the fish tank, shape also plays an important role in an aquaponics system. Circular and oval shapes are generally recommended because they are more efficient than rectangular shapes. The water runs much smoother in round tanks, and the fish waste circulates more easily.


The most critical requirement, by far, is that the material must be waterproof, which seems to be apparent in this situation. The fish tank must also be strong enough to withstand the weight of the water and survive for years before having to be replaced.

Since it is lightweight and durable, plastic is mostly used in indoor gardening fish tanks. However, you can first examine the content. Choose food-grade plastic tanks that are healthy for the whole system’s environment.

Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank Review

Now that you know what aquaponics is and what to consider when buying a tank, we’ll tell you what Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank has to offer to you, as well as if it’s the right aquaponic farming tool for you.

Product Overview

If you’re searching for anything small and inexpensive, the Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank is a great option. It has a minimalist, simple style that will work in any room setting.

Just the Right Size for Beginners

It is a little container measuring only 3″ x3 “x8.6” with a 0.5-gallon water capacity. If you want to get into the aquaponics community without spending lots of money on something more complicated, the price is good too.

With its small size, this tank is clearly not meant to house bigger fish. This one is ideal for smaller fish species such as Betta, Goldfish, Minnows, and Tetras, as the name implies.

Bettas are excellent novice fish because they are not cranky and do not require a great deal of attention. The fancier guppies, which are beautiful and bright, are also common options for small tanks.

Pencilfish are another enjoyable fish to have in your tank. You can easily meet their basic needs. Tank accessories, such as driftwood or other “fish houses,” should be provided since they enjoy hiding.

Other Size Options are Available

But even so, if you want to hold a medium-sized fish, Penn Plax offers a 1.4-gallon alternative. However, in terms of aesthetics, we would say that the 0.5-gallon version outshines its bigger relative.

Easy to Set Up

When you first open the Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank packaging box, you will find everything you need to set up a functioning aquaponics system. There’s the fish tank, the pot for the plant, and also some planting media made from ceramic.

The whole system’s setup is fairly straightforward. Simply fill the tank with water, add your fish, and cover it with the pot. After that, fill the pot with ceramic planting media and plant some seeds in it.

Brand Recommendation

Penn Plax recommends some small and leafy species, such as English ivy, chives, or mint, for plant choices. Lettuce is another alternative for this aquaponics system, but don’t expect a high yield.

Nonetheless, Penn Plax advises that you study the plant’s toxicity level and nutrient intake before planting it since fish can chew on the roots. The majority of indoor leafy greens are ideal for growing in the system.

And there you have it! All you have to do now is watch your plants and fish flourish in harmony.
Keeping one or two fish should be enough to keep up with your plants’ growing rates.

The Downsides

Remember that the Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank is made for pleasure and decorative purposes only, so you should not complain if it does not provide you with enough herbs for your everyday needs.

One issue arises as a result of the material’s transparency. The problem with exposing water to natural light is that it serves as a breeding site for algae.

Since anything that kills algae will also kill both your fish and plants, you’re likely to face algae problems more frequently than you’d like.

These algae issues are actually pretty easy to resolve. You can put a sea snail inside the tank. The algae would then be consumed by the sea snail, which converts it into more nutrients for your plants.

There is no need to make any pH or nutrient adjustments like you would in a bigger aquaponics setup. Simply feed the fish and make sure there’s plenty of water, and everything should be fine.

There is also no electricity required to operate the water filter and pump, making it extremely low maintenance.

After all, the Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank is ideal for someone interested in learning about aquaponics but does not want to invest too much time or money into it. This fish tank looks great, works great, and, most importantly, needs no complicated maintenance.

Growing your regular supply of greens and herbs is definitely not a choice for this one. However, with the adorable fishes inside the tank and the green leaves on top, this one would be a nice conversation starter.

Pros & Cons:


  • Very low maintenance
  • Very easy to set up
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Perfect for a child’s first pet



  • The fish and plants choices are very limited

Final Thoughts

The Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank is one of the most affordable and functional aquaponics starter kits available out there. Penn Plax clearly intended this product for casual consumers who want to keep something as a pant while growing some refreshing herbs inside their house.

This fish tank simply emulates what happens naturally in rivers, lakes, and waterways. It takes advantage of the organic nitrogen cycle to increase both plant production and fish farming efficiency.

Before putting together the Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank, there are a few things to think about in order to avoid any potential obstacles.

First, it is best to use seedlings when planting into fresh planting media so they will begin extracting nutrients right away. Next, tropical plants need a continuous 12 hours light duration, 15 hours at max. Beyond that, the plants need to be under shade, so they have enough time to rest. Thus, be mindful of where you put the fish tank at.

Please also do keep an eye on the quality of the water. Because of the low maintenance nature of this fish tank, you can fail to monitor the water quality. If your water is cloudy, you should replace it right away.

Besides lack of maintenance, overfeeding may also cause cloudy water. Notice how much food your fish needs each day and stick to that amount.

In conclusion, if you do well with the Penn Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank, then you can consider upgrading to a bigger and more complicated indoor gardening setup from Penn Plax.Penn Plax has many beginner-friendly home aquaponics configuration options available in its catalog. These systems are an excellent way to encourage environmentally sustainable agriculture to your friends and family right within your own home.

aquaponics experts

Welcome to The Aquaponics Guide

Hello! We are the Johnsons and the faces of The Aquaponics Guide. We have been avid gardeners for many years and growing our own food is one of our key priorities. We have found sustainable Aquaponics farming to be a life changer, which is the reason we have created The Aquaponics Guide. 

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