Is a Nano Aquarium Right For Me?

Is a Nano Aquarium right for me?

In recent years, the nano aquarium section of the aquarium hobby has been exploding in popularity. With many small fish becoming more available in the hobby, increased popularity of shrimp and other inverts, and even a few striking new discoveries in the last several years, the appeal has never been higher. For many people, the convenience of a small home aquarium is very inviting; however, there are some potential difficulties to consider.

Each person will define a “nano-aquarium” differently. For this article, I will be referring to tanks between five and twenty gallons, with five gallon aquariums only being appropriate for a hand full of species. Fish aquariums smaller than five gallons are too small to keep any aquatic creature in long term, so they should be avoided if possible. Because salt water is beyond my knowledge, I will only be referring to freshwater setups.

Let’s start with acknowledging the difficulties of a smaller aquarium. If you’ve been involved in aquaculture for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “bigger is always more” in relation to aquarium size. This is true, as with many other sayings. You have more room to make mistakes if there is more water in your aquarium ecosystem. Most people acknowledge the even greater need for regular water changes to maintain proper water chemistry. You should remember that smaller tanks are more prone to temperature swings. Avoid placing them near a heat vent, or near a drafty entrance that can cause them too cold. You should also consider heat when deciding on the type of light to use because some light fixtures can produce enough heat to warm nano aquariums. You must take into account the adult size and aggression of each species when deciding which species to keep. While this is important for all aquariums, smaller aquariums can be less forgiving to overstocking as there is less room for fish to get away from one and another.

There are many benefits to having a nano aquarium. Most people begin with smaller aquariums because of the high cost. There are inexpensive options for nearly all the necessary components, such as heaters and filters. Some places offer all-in one kits at an affordable price. It is also possible to get smaller quantities of many aquarium necessities such as substrate or chemicals. This allows for lower initial costs. Due to their small size, these aquariums can fit in just about any home. It is important to place the aquarium somewhere that can tolerate at least a little moisture.

The options are limitless when it comes down to what you can keep in your nano aquarium. You could stock with many of our smaller danio or rasbora species if you like schooling fish. There are many apistogramma species which would be great for twenty-gallon aquariums if you want a more dominant fish. Freshwater shrimp from the genus neocaridina are suitable for even the most beginner hobbyist, with just a little bit of research, and are available in just about any color imaginable. The nano aquarium can have some color added by snails like mystery and nerite, which are both beautiful and tidy. You can breed many types of livebearers in smaller tanks, including guppies and endlers. This is a great way to have fun with the family.

A nano aquarium is a great place to add live plants. Because they help the hobbyist remove nitrates and other pollutants from water, aquatic plants can be a valuable asset to these tiny environments. Nano aquariums make it easier to create high-light environments for live plants because they have shallower depths for light to penetrate. There are even some all in one co2 kits to complete a high tech environment, though these are far from the most cost effective option in the long run.

A nano aquarium is a great option for fish keepers, regardless of whether you’re new or experienced. There are certainly many advantages, as well as a few disadvantages. If you don’t have enough space or wish to keep your aquarium hobby affordable, a nano aquarium could be the right choice.

– Josh Phillips