The nano aquarium has been steadily gaining popularity for years and recently has
experienced an explosion in popularity with aquarists. Whether this is a result of
the general trend of downsizing or the need for hobbyists to save money is
uncertain, but these small aquariums are big hit with both saltwater and
freshwater hobbyists alike!
Nano aquariums offer interest in a small package for both those starting out in
fish keeping as well as experienced aquarists. For beginners these fully
functional yet small sized aquariums are a good way to familiarize themselves
with aquarium keeping as they are equipped with water filters, lighting and often
come with underwater heaters for tropical fish keeping.
Many experienced hobbyists find these smaller tanks a way to get back the basics of fish keeping as
they often do not require the same level of maintenance found in large aquariums, such as saltwater tanks needing specialized filtration and protein skimmers. In both cases the tanks offer a more personal experience because they are small enough for fish, invertebrates, and plants to be closely observed in a way that may be lost in a large community aquarium.
Because a nano tank is a smaller version of a larger aquarium they are an
excellent choice for people who are short on space as well as those who would
like a functional tank at their work place. As an additional perk they allow people
with less space, time, and money to own a saltwater tank and there is a devoted
global following for keeping miniature reef tanks.
The reef aquarium is like a slice of an oceanic reef and due to the special needs of the live sand, rock, invertebrates, and fish these set ups were once limited to those who could own
very large aquariums. With the introduction of these small aquariums many
hobbyists can now enjoy beautiful reef tanks in sizes as small as two gallons.
As with any aquarium there are nearly endless choices as to how to decorate
and what living things to stock. Some choose to keep a nano aquarium only for
keeping artistically arranged plants and décor while still others set up an
environment devoted to keeping a species of fancy shrimp.
Aquascaping is the art of maintaining an aesthetically pleasing and harmonious mixture of rocks,
plants, fish and invertebrates that has had great success and popularity among
nano tank owners. It is often difficult to maintain the aesthetic value, which
requires much underwater pruning and arranging of these aquatic gardens, in
large tanks and so many find it both easier and more rewarding to have a nano
tank reserved for this purpose alone.
Alongside the rising popularity of both nano tanks and the art of aquascaping is the keeping of brightly colored, fancy shrimp.
Some of these shrimp require attention to special water conditions and can be
very sensitive to medication, as well water treatments, and are often expensive to purchase; in a nano tank devoted entirely to their needs they thrive, do not run
the risk of predation, readily reproduce, and are a joy to watch.
There are many choices available for purchasing a nano tank though many
hobbyists consider any aquarium smaller than a twenty gallon to be a nano. For
a new aquarist buying one of the many tank selections packaged as nano tanks
may be easiest as they contain size appropriate lights and filtration systems and
often have full product lines specialized for their tanks that make choices like
heater purchases easy.
The downside of these products marketed as nano tanks
is that many are very expensive and consequently some aquarists choose to
purchase more traditional tanks in smaller sizes instead. Many hobbyists instead
choose, for example, a five gallon aquarium kit and equip it with the necessities
not included in the packaged deal to make a nano tank.
In stocking a nano tank it is important to remember that only species that are
going to remain an appropriate size are chosen, such as small tetras or betta fish
as a freshwater example. As with any aquarium only species that will get along
safely should be chosen and the tank should never be overstocked. A commonly
accepted approximate is that a gallon of water should be had for every inch of
fish and following this rule in your nano tank will help to keep it from being
Additionally it should be taken into consideration that not all species
of fish, invertebrates, and live plants require the same temperature and water
conditions and care should be taken to choose only those which are compatible.
Perhaps the only real downside to the nano tank is that its smaller size often
requires more frequent water changes. Though the small size of the aquarium
may lessen some forms of maintenance it does mean that the smaller amount of
water can more readily build up lethal toxins generated by fish waste and
Photo by : Aquafishwiki.com – Benjamin Law
A weekly routine of removing twenty to twenty-five percent of the
tank’s water and replacing it with safely treated water is recommended even for
larger tanks, however in a tank that is as small as two or five gallons this task is
really very minimal. For the beginner aquarist wishing to set up one of these
diminutive tanks it is suggest that hardy species more tolerant of fluctuations in
water chemistry are selected, such as the Guppy, Zebra Danio, or Betta in
Whether you are just beginning in the hobby or a seasoned aquarist the nano
tank has something to offer. For the hobbyist limited on space, especially those
wishing to own a reef tank, these small aquariums can be just the solution to
owning a much wanted aquarium in the home or office.