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

How many white and blue LEDs are on the 5 gallon Portraits light fixture?

Just wanted to know if it had 9 white and 6 blue like the 5 gallon Contour. I like the styling of the Portrait better, but if the Contour has more lights, I will likely buy that one.
Asked by: Kweazy
They are exactly the same other than the one has a flat "blade" light, the other has a curved light. Both have 9 white, 6 blue led bulbs. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-06-16

Is the stand functional or decorative?

I found the perfect spot for my aquarium (under a kitchen cabinet), but when it is on the stand it won't fit. Is it ok to use the aquarium without the stand?
Asked by: Bettamax
The stands are a requirement. I am not sure which one you actually are referring to, but some of them have to be used in order to have a light on the tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-06-10

I have a Marineland 3 gallon portrait tank kit, my pump/filter has quit working. Is there a replacemnt pump available for purchase.

Asked by: WLind
We would recommend removing the pump, opening it, and removing the impeller for cleaning. You may need to soak it in distilled white vinegar for 15 minutes. If it still does not work, the pump is sold separately through local fish stores. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-05-08

Is it essential to keep gravel and decor in the aquarium while cycling?

I just got my Marineland Contour 3 in the mail, and I love it! I just want to know that if I am cycling my aquarium fishlessly with pure ammonia, do I need to have the gravel and decor in there? I want to wait to get the gravel until I pick out my Betta when the cycling is done to pick colors that compliment his.
Asked by: Kristamars
I am not a big proponent of fishless cycling myself, especially with Bio Spira and Safe Start on the market, but no, you don't have to have the decor. I would suggest having the gravel since that is the largest area for bacterial growth. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-05-19

Do any of your 5 gallon desktop Aquarium kits have enough lighting for fresh water plants?

I need at least 2 watts per gallon.
Asked by: Rand
All of the current ones will grow low light plants like anubias, java fern, etc. Watts are merely a measure of energy and do not tell you what the light does in regards to spectrum. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-05-06

Does an air pump come with the 3gal contour?

I recently purchased a 3gal contour, and it is shipping to my house still, but I would like to know if it comes with an air pump and heater also, since I'm not quite sure which things are what since this is my first tank. I just wanted to know so that I can go out and buy them if I need to while I wait for it to arrive.
Asked by: Kristamars
Nevermind this, after further research I realized neither do, and air pumps aren't necessary for a single betta anyway, and I'll go and get a heater when my tank arrives. Please disregard this question.
Answered by: Kristamars
Date published: 2015-09-05

Loach getting in back filter area

I have two panda loaches and all of a sudden one disappeared. To my dismay he somehow got into the back section of the tank. It took me about 30 min to coax him into my Net (there isn't enough room back there to move a net around and he's too quick) but I got him out eventually unharmed. Do you have any suggestions how to stop this from happening again. He either squeezed through the flower looking filter opening slots or out of the water and over the rim into that section.
Asked by: KayleeinLA
You can put some filter floss inside the little compartment behind the "flower" cut out area. As for the top area, lowering the water level a little bit may help prevent him from going over. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-24

How do I keep my fish out of the back filter compartment. It is a regular occurrence and is very difficult to get them out

Very frustrating. Want to unload tank. Have tried to block with foam
Asked by: Edel
This has happened to me also and it's horrible! I have panda loaches. I just tried lowering the water level to see if they're going over the top. Otherwise they're sneaking through the filter opening slots in the middle of the barrier.
Answered by: KayleeinLA
Date published: 2017-03-19

how many and what kind of fish/ shrimp can i put in the tank.

i want small fish/ shrimp. and will they get sucked into the filter? just courious as too how many can live in the tank if they are really small
Asked by: eemia87
I would only be careful with the shrimp because they can easily fit through the filter openings to the back section of the tank.
Answered by: KayleeinLA
Date published: 2015-07-25

Set up, etc.,

I bought the 3 gallon Marineland contour aquarium kit and I'm a bit surprised at how small it is. Are you counting the back area that's used only by the filtration system as part of the 3 gallons total? Is the pump submersible? The instructions don't say it is. Of course I will unplug before anything but still want to know. I also noticed a notch on the back panel where the flow nozzle is attached. It looks like this is where the electrical cord should slide thru so that it doesn't interfere with the cover. Is this an oops? I've read your instructions, searched you tube and your videos. None show an actual set up from a-z. Would like to know before I fill the tank up, thanks.
Asked by: Helia
No, we are not counting the back area. 3 gallons IS very small. Yes, the pump is submersible, that's kind of a given, considering it has to sit in water for it to pull water through the intake and back out the tubing. If I understand correctly where you are referring to then yes, this is where the power cords are pulled through. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-16

Which side does the Biofoam face does it go right behind the intake opening?

Asked by: Gramps
Yes, right behind that opening and facing the tank water. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-17

What are the measurements of the aquarium itself (exclusive of stand, filter area and light)?

Need to know the overall size of the just the area for the fish, please.
Asked by: NSMI
The Contour 3 gallon, which is the one the link takes me to is 9.5" long, 9" tall, 7" deep. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-09

I have a heater that i bought for the Contour 3--should it go in the back part or in the main tank?

Asked by: Gregg88
In the main part. The instructions explicitly say NOT to put a heater in the back part as it could malfunction. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-02

What are exact measurements of Contour 3 tank, including height of tank and height with LED?

Asked by: Gregg88
12" tall x 9.5" x 9.5". BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-02

Contour 3

How many actual gallons are in the tank? I understand there is water in the back but I am interested in how much the fish has :) thanks
Asked by: Laniklani1
2.5 gallons BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-02-20

What are the dimensions of the contour 5?

Asked by: Laniklani1
21" tall with the light, 18" without the light, 9.25" wide and 10" deep, including the filter area. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-02-20

Does the Contour 3 have an adjustable flow filter?

I have a betta and the current set up I have he is getting stuck on side of filter
Asked by: LaniKLani
Yes, just pull the pump out of the back. You will see a little slide. Push it towards the shorter lines for the minimum flow. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-02-19

Why Rite size Z replacement filters can be found? Always out of stock.

Asked by: Branches
It is currently out of stock, but not always out of stock. Right now, we have had some machinery down so several of our cartridges have been out of stock. Rite Size Z fits a lot of different smaller systems so it is very popular. If we don't have it, try other websites like,,, etc. You might check Petsmart and Petco as well or other pet stores. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-02-09

What is the light spectrum for the Silohuette LEDs?

Asked by: jsnewproject
5500 Kelvin. It is not recommended for plants or corals. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-01-26

Does the size of the contour 5 (5 gallons) include the hidden sump, or is there 5 gallons of actual aquarium space?

Asked by: Noah55631
There is actually 5 gallons of aquarium space, keeping in mind that gravel, decor, etc, will displace water. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-01-23

Why does the silhouette not come with a glass cover like the contour?

Asked by: dingomom
Based on the curvature of this kit and the placement of the LED light fixture over the tank, a glass canopy is not available for this design. The other styles have different lighting and therefore a glass canopy was included in those design styles. ML2
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-01-16

What is the model of the stock pump?

Asked by: colesnwbds
This kit comes with its own pump design. Model number is ML90624-00 for the 3 gallon and ML90625-00for the 5 gallon. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-01-12

Would the Portrait lighting system be a bit better than the Contour 5 for a planted tank since it is closer to the water?

I understand that I need to keep to plants with lower light requirements, and am deciding between these 2 models--I like the look of the Contour better, but if it would benefit the plant growth to have the light a little closer, than I want to go with the Portrait.
Asked by: Noelle
If it does better, it would be minimal. We have not tested either for plants, but several colleagues have the Contour with live plants such as crypts, anubias, etc. Also, the height of the light is adjustable. The closest either go is around 4" from the water surface. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-05

difference between the portrait and contour

what is the difference between the 5G portrait and 5G contour model? they both look so similar.
Asked by: jackobarry
Only the light is different, everything else is exactly the same. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-01-19

Can you tell me how many watts (each and total) lights are on the contour 3?

Asked by: Voss24
The light uses a total of 1.5 watts. There are 9 white leds and 6 blue ones. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-05

What type of heater, if any, can be used with the 5 Gallon Portrait or Contour tank?

I am planning to use this tank for tropical fish and would need some sort of heating device in the tank.
Asked by: SEStone
You would use a 25 w or 50 w heater in the tank, but keep in mind it can NOT be put behind the panel. It must be in front of it. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2014-12-11

How does the filtration work?

I want to make this a saltwater tank with jellyfish. But I've heard that jellyfish tend to get sucked into the filters. I want to make sure that doesn't happen.
Asked by: JesseLynn
This tank is really not suitable for saltwater as the lighting is not correct for marine animals, and there is no way of including a protein skimmer. The filter is a pump that is hidden behind the back panel. It pulls water through slots in the lower right hand corner, and then back out the diffuser. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2014-11-18

Does this tank provide sufficient lighting for plant growth?

Asked by: clarish
Low light plants do well in it. I have it set up with water wisteria and anubias. Moderate to high light plants would not do well. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2015-03-05

led light

hi i just bought a marineland portrait 5 gallon. is the led light that came with it rated to keep live rock with 2 small fishes or 3 fishes?
Asked by: katiebruce
No. It does okay with low light freshwater plants, but it would not be strong enough for live rock. And for such a small tank, if you were to use it for salt water, 2 to 3 fishes would be too many. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2014-11-04

Room for a protein skimmer in filter chamber?

I just purchased a Portrait 5 to be set up for dwarf seahorses. My research on the species strongly advises the use of a protein skimmer in addition to regular filtration due to the necessity of multiple daily feedings of live baby brine shrimp. Thanks!
Asked by: Sharyn
No, to my knowledge, there would not be enough room for a protein skimmer in that chamber. We certainly do not make one for it. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2014-10-29
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