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. A small home aquarium can be very convenient for many people. But, there are potential challenges to be aware of.
The definition of a “nano aquarium” differs from person to person. 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 begin by acknowledging the challenges 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. This is true, as with many other sayings. 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. But, smaller tanks can be more vulnerable 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. Consider heat when choosing the light fixture you will use. Some fixtures can heat nano aquariums. When considering which species to keep, you really must consider their adult size and level of aggression. This is important for all aquariums. However, small aquariums are less tolerant to overstocking because there is less space for fish to escape from each other.
There are many benefits to having a nano aquarium. The reason that most people start with smaller aquariums is the cost. Nearly all the required components can be purchased at a low price, including filters and heaters. You can even find all-in-one kits at a reasonable price. It is also possible to get smaller quantities of many aquarium necessities such as substrate or chemicals. This allows for lower initial costs. These aquariums are small enough to fit into almost any home due to their size. However, you should make sure that you place it somewhere that can handle at least a little moisture as well as the weight of an aquarium.
There are many options when it comes to choosing what fish to keep in a nano-aquarium. You could stock with many of our smaller danio or rasbora species if you like schooling fish. If you prefer more of a centerpiece fish, there are several apistogramma species that would do well in twenty gallon aquariums. With a little research and a lot of effort, freshwater shrimp from the genus neocaridina will be easy to keep. 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.
In a nano aquarium, live plants can be a wonderful accent. Aquatic plants are a great asset in these petite environments as they assist hobbyist in removing nitrate and other pollutants from the water, keeping the tank in better balance. It is easier to achieve high light environments for live plants due to the fact that nano aquariums have a shallower depth for the 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 some advantages and also some disadvantages to a nano aquarium. However, if you have a limit on space, or are hoping to enjoy the aquarium hobby on a smaller budget, a nano aquarium can be a great investment.
– Josh Phillips