Is a Nano Aquarium right for me?
The popularity of the nano aquarium segment of the aquarium hobby is on the rise in recent years. 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. Many people find the convenience of small aquariums to be very appealing. However, there are potential problems.
Each person will define a “nano-aquarium” differently. I’ll be talking about tanks between five to twenty gallons. A five gallon tank is only appropriate for a small number 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 have been in the aquatics hobby for any amount of time, you have probably have heard the saying “bigger is always better” in reference to aquarium size. Like many sayings, this is absolutely true. You have more room to make mistakes if there is more water in your aquarium ecosystem. People are well aware of the importance of regular water changes in order to maintain proper water chemistry. However, you should also consider that smaller tanks are more susceptible to temperature swings. You should avoid placing them near a heat vent or near a drafty door that may cause them to become too cool. 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. Consider the size of the fish and their aggression level when choosing which species to keep. Although this is important for any aquarium, it is especially important for smaller ones. Smaller aquariums may be more tolerant of overstocking due to the limited space available for fish to move around.
But, maintaining a nano-aquarium is a great option. Most people begin with smaller aquariums because of the high cost. You can find inexpensive options for almost all of the components you need, including heaters and filters. Many places even offer all in one kits for an affordable price. Also, you obviously need smaller quantities of several aquarium necessities, such as substrate or necessary chemicals, which help to keep initial costs affordable. These aquariums are small enough to fit into almost any home due to their size. You should place them somewhere that can withstand at least some moisture and the aquarium’s weight.
The options are limitless when it comes down to what you can keep in your nano aquarium. Stock with many of the smaller danio and rasbora species, if you are a fan of 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. Certain types of snails such as mystery or nerite snails can be used to add color and cleanliness to the nano aquarium. 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.
In a nano aquarium, live plants can be a wonderful accent. Because they help the hobbyist remove nitrates and other pollutants from water, aquatic plants can be a valuable asset to these tiny environments. Because nano aquariums are shallower, it is easier for plants to thrive in high-light conditions. Even though they are the most cost-effective option, there are some all-in-1 co2 kits that can be used to create a high-tech environment.
Nano aquariums can be very rewarding, no matter if you’re a beginner or an expert fish keeper. There are some advantages and also some disadvantages to a nano aquarium. 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