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. 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. 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 less than five gallons can be too small to sustain any aquatic creature for long-term, so they should be avoided. Because salt water is beyond my knowledge, I will only be referring to freshwater setups.
Let’s first acknowledge the problems associated with 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. The more water you have in an aquarium ecosystem, the more room for error you have. 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. Consider the size of the fish and their aggression level when choosing which species to keep. 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.
But, maintaining a nano-aquarium is a great option. 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. Also, you obviously need smaller quantities of several aquarium necessities, such as substrate or necessary chemicals, which help to keep initial costs affordable. 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.
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. Many apistogramma varieties are suitable for 20-gallon aquariums. With a little research and a lot of effort, freshwater shrimp from the genus neocaridina will be easy to keep. 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.
Live plants are a great accent in a nano aquarium. 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. 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.
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. A nano aquarium is a great option if you are limited on space or want to enjoy aquarium hobby with a lower budget.
– Josh Phillips