Marineland Desktop Kits

Product No. ML90610-00
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Marineland’s newest kits are available in either three or five gallon glass aquarium sizes.  All kits feature Marineland 3-stage hidden filtration with a Rite-SizeTM Z Cartridge and Marineland Bio-Foam® (included in the kit), and include an adjustable flow filter pump.  Bright white and blue energy efficient LED lights feature a 3-way switch (toggle between white and blue, off, and blue-only settings).  The white LEDs create a shimmering light in the water that mimics the underwater effect of sunlight, and the blue LEDs produce a relaxing moonlight glow.  The kits feature either a hinged or sliding glass canopy for easy feeding and water care dosing.  These easy-to-assemble kits are beautifully designed and easy to maintain.


  • Available in 3 gallons
  • Canopy is hinged for easy access to tank

Contour and Portrait

  • Portrait available in 5 gallons
  • Contour available in 3 and 5 gallons
  • Glass Tank with Curved Glass and base
  • Light is hinged for easy access to tank
  • Sleek, sliding glass canopy

What does the bio-foam do? I'm not exactly sure what it is or what it's for and it doesn't say anywhere.  Also, why would you replace the cartridge? I know the carbon has to be refilled but wouldn't replacing it spike the ammonia and could kill the fish?

Asked by: Rennie
Thank you for your interest in this Marineland kit Rennie! The bio foam is your biological filter. You don't replace this, you only rinse it in aquarium water that you remove during water changes, and it houses a lot of your beneficial bacteria that prevent the ammonia spike you are referring to in your question. The cartridge becomes clogged, and will no longer catch debris, and the carbon is no longer effective after 3-4 weeks so you throw the cartridge away and put a new on in. Because the bacteria are housed on the foam, and throughout your gravel, no ammonia spike occurs, hence, no fish loss. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-05

what are the dimensions of the 5 gallon contour tank

Asked by: BarbJ971
11.5 x 11.5 x 16.5 inches. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-03

Holes on baffle toward bottom of the tank between tank and filtration chamber. Can they be blocked so unit will operate similar to sump overflow to get more "skimming" action? Trying for that "Waterfall" action through a weir.

Asked by: Bradley1978
Thank you for your interest in this product! Yes, you could block the lower opening for the filter, however, you must be diligent in keeping the water level high enough that it continues to flow over the weir. Having the openings below ensures circulation even for low water situations. As well, there is a value to drawing water from down low and bringing it to the surface as it improves the overall mixing of the water. The lower reaches will natural have less dissolved oxygen than at the surface. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-03

I purchased the Marineland Silhoutte and was wondering, how many watts are the leds? Im trying to figure out what all i can grow with them. Also, where can i get a lid for it?

Asked by: awmullis
Thank you for purchasing this Marineland product! Wattage does not relate to the amount of light that live plants require. You want a light that provides 6500 Kelvin. This lighting system is only 5500 Kelvin. Some low light plants, such as anubias, may do okay with it, but it is not recommended for moderate to high light plants. In regards to the lid, we do not provide one for the Silhouette, but it will take the same lid as that on the Contour and Portrait kits. I will email you directly. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-03

Hi, does it matter which side of the cartridge carrier that the bio foam goes in? I don't think its very clear in the instructions. Currently, I have the bio foam on the tank side of the carrier.

Asked by: tbiird
Yes, it does make a difference, to some degree. The bio foam should be on the tank side, up against the bottom inlet. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-12-28

Does the pump cord submerge in the water all the way from the bottom of the tank? This scares me!!

Asked by: Jordotrom
Thank you for your interest in this product! Yes, the pump is UL approved for full submersion in water. This also means that some of the cord, approximately 10-14", depending on which kit you own, will also be submerged in the water. Again, this is UL approved for safety. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-12-26

What heater do you recommend for the Silhouette aquarium since there is no top to hold in heat? I am interested in purchasing this tank for a betta fish. Thanks!

Asked by: chickyg
Thank you for your interest in this product! We would recommend the Precision 50 watt heater, which is adjustable. We do have lids, in case you would like one, since bettas can be jumpers. Just send us an email at and mention me. We'd be happy to send one to you, at no charge! BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-12-22

In your manual for the Marineland Desktop Kit - 5 gallon you state that a heater should not be installed in the equipment bay because the water level may drop and therefore damage the heater. Is there a heater that can be used in the equipment bay?

Asked by: paulbasel
Thank you for your support of Marineland products! No, unfortunately, we do not know of a heater that could be placed back in that area. The water does not circulate well back there, the water level may drop, and placing a heater in that area could be risky. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-12-19

I bought the ml90609 aquarium kit from Amazon but the filter motor is extremely loud and we tried trouble shooting it. I'm trying to order a replacement motor

Asked by: Skye22
We are sorry to hear you are having this experience! Here are some tips to try to quiet it down: - remove the impeller from the pump and check for hair, sand, grit, any debris - if you are using sand in the aquarium, you need to either switch to gravel or place a mesh of some sort in front of the bottom intake area on the right hand side of the tank to prevent sand from being pulled into the motor I will reach out to you directly, via email, to help you resolve this issue. The pump is not sold separately at this time. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-19

I have the 5 gal portrait for guppies I keep the water level near max so the the water coming out of the spout is quiet. My problem is that the guppies have been getting into the back compartment somehow. Any suggestions?

Asked by: jan2561
They must be jumping over, or if the water is high enough, swimming over. Adjust the diffuser so that you can lower the water some. Typical level would be 1" below the top of the back divider. This should still cover the diffuser if it is properly positioned and topped regularly. If you do not wish to adjust the water level, try placing something like Saran Wrap over the back compartment so they cannot jump into it, but be aware they may still jump and then end up out of water. Ideally, you should lower the water level. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-12-12

are you ever going to make a 10 gal version of the Portait or Contour 5 I love my 5 but now need a bigger one

Asked by: April2452
Thank you for your kind words and support, April2452! We do not have any plans to make a larger Contour or Portrait at this time, unfortunately. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-04

I have the 5G version of this tank with live plants that are not thriving. I am wondering if the culprit might be the light. What are the specs for the light? Is it full spectrum? If not, is there a better one I can replace it with?

Asked by: vdragoness
Thanks for your question! The lights that come with these kits are not rated for plants. They are 5500 Kelvin and low light plants such as java fern or anubias will do fine, but plants that need more light, will not, as you have noticed. There is no other light to fit this kit. You could add a Hidden LED Light Stick for tanks up to 10 gallons to provide quite a bit more light. As your tank does not have a frame, you would need to suction cup it to the glass. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-21

What is the difference between the Portrait and Contour fish tanks?

Asked by: blippityblank
Thank you for your inquiry. The only difference is the light itself and the Portrait only comes in a 5 gallon size, no 3 gallon size like the Contour, which comes in both sizes. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-11-23

Hi - absolute beginner here. hoping to buy the contour 3 for my 9-yr old son. Wife will take care of maintenance. So -- what types of (and how many) fish do you recommend for this parrticular model? No plans for saltwater.

Asked by: NYCsouth
Well, if you have not purchased it, then I would recommend the 5 gallon version, if you think your son will really be enthusiastic about keeping fish. Some of the species that can be kept in these small tanks are: glofish, neon tetras, von rio tetras, betta, white cloud minnows, danios, rasboras, and guppies. Basically, if you want to keep more than one fish, then you need to choose a variety that will not grow more than 1-2 inches in length. The 3 gallon can eventually house 2. The 5 gallon can house 3-4, depending on what species you choose. If you like the betta, that is all you will keep in the 3 gallon - just one betta. But in the 5 gallon, you could keep a betta with a mystery snail, otocinclus catfish or a couple of white cloud minnows, for example. Your wife should change about 30% of the water weekly. The little pump in the back can be pulled out every month or two, or any time the flow rate slows down, taken apart, and cleaned. And the cartridge should replaced once a month, the foam rinsed. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-11-23

Hi i have been searching to buy the Cartridge holder that holds the filter for the Portrait 5 gallon. Is there any way I can buy that? Thank you 

Asked by: Angee
Thank you for your question! Unfortunately, that part is not sold separately. Please contact us at 1-800-526-0650 for assistance with this matter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-11-10

Where do I find just the filter?

Asked by: pumpkinmom
Thank you for your question! If you are looking for just the replacement cartridge, that is the Rite Size Z cartridge, and it is sold through most pet and fish stores, as well as through all of the major online vendors for pet and fish products. If you need the foam sponge or the little pump, please contact us at 1-800-322-1266 so we may assist you. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-11-09

I see two different lights on the portrait and contour. What is the difference in led configuration and which is brighter. Planning on using one for a saltwater low light coral tank. 

Asked by: IBernE
Thank you for your question. Neither is suitable for coral. The LED bulbs are the same, the only difference is the shape of the light. Kelvin rating would be around 5,900K. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-11-07

I just want to know when more Contour 5 gallon tanks will be available for ordering. I would like to purchase this tank from my aquarium supplier, but they said they were unable to order anymore in. Thank you!

Asked by: StefanieK
That is an issue with either your store or their distributor. These are not discontinued. It could be that their distributor was on backorder. Try looking around at other stores. Additionally, I believe carries them. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-11-23

I have a 5 gallon portrait tank and the pump isn't very strong even turned all the way up. Do I need a new pump? I have owned this only a few months now.

Asked by: Turtle04
No, you need to take the pump out, and open the front of it. Just pull the front cover off, then remove the propeller blades. Clean them, and take a q tip and thoroughly swab out the inside of the pump. This maintenance should be routinely done every month or two. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-11-23

I purchased a marineland silhouette yesterday I liked it a lot but one drawback is it's without a lid which would be dangerous for betta fish.Is it possible to buy separately.thanks

Asked by: Barnali
No, it actually is not sold separately, but we would be happy to send one to you, free of charge. I will reach out directly. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12

how to turn on filter

Asked by: evan2000
Simply plug it in. If it is not working, remove the pump from the tank, press your thumb into the bottom of it, and pull at the same time, towards the front of the pump, away from the power cord. This will remove the bottom cover so you can inspect the impeller. If you need more assistance, please call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-10-13

I have the 5 gallon portrait aquarium. I have lowered the filter to the lowest setting and the current is still too strong for my betta. Does anyone have a suggestion for this? I know a sponge can be added but I don't know where to add it.

Asked by: Leah1982
I cut three holes into the vertical tube running out of the pump. It was trial and error, but eventually got the flow low enough for my Betta. But I'm sure this will void the warranty, so do this at your own risk. 
Answered by: god910
Date published: 2016-12-02

Is the contour 5 good for beta fish? I'm considering the  The 3 or 5 gallon to get my beta in a bigger tank that I can decorate. I keep hearing that the outflow is too strong

Asked by: Natersgirl
The pump is adjustable like the manufacture (BREX) said, but it is still too powerful for a betta without alteration or without placing plants in such a way that it blocks the current. You will have to make adjustments for your betta's delicate tail, otherwise it will tear when he is sucked up into the current.
Answered by: Leah1982
Date published: 2017-01-27

Hello, I just purchased the 5 Gallon Marineland Portrait Aquarium kit from, and was wondering how often I would need to change the filter's "biofoam" (assuming I have to regularly buy more and replace them time after time).

Asked by: Fumi
Most likely never, but you only replace it if it gets to where it is falling apart, or if you lose it. The material is really tough, so it would be pretty rare. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-26

what is the replacement filter for this? Marineland Portrait Glass 5 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit, 11.8" L X 11.8" W X 16.8" H

Asked by: kfalusi
Rite Size Z is the replacement cartridge. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-19

I want to upgrade the pump that come with Marineland ML90609. Please tell me what is the return pump model that you have with your 5 gallons nano unit.

Asked by: vic luu
We do not make a 5 gallon nano tank. The pump that you already own is the only 5 gallon kit we make besides a standard 5 gallon, rectangular tank with a hang on the back filter. We do not have another pump to recommend for use with our kits. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-19

Is the power adapter for the pump only 110 volts or does it work for 110-240? If only 110, is the power supply fixed or could I plug in a 220 line and plug?

Asked by: AnnieOne
It is 110V, and you would need an adaptor/converter to convert it to 220. You could not plug a 220 line into it without the adaptor/converter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-12

What are the differences between 5 gallon Portrait and Countour tanks?

Asked by: Pinkycat
Correct. The tank, filter assembly, etc., is the same. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-09

Does the 5 gal portrait tank have a place for a heater?

Asked by: Dhall8787
Anywhere you care to put one in the main part of the tank, like with any other type of tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-08

(Marineland Portrait Glass 5 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit) What would the total height be of the tank and LED light? Thank you!

Asked by: MADUB
16" BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-12-02
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