Best Nano Tank 2020 [UPDATED]

Best Nano Tank

Looking for a fish tank but limited in the space available? Nano Aquariums could be just what you are looking for. I’ll help you find the very best Nano Tank, as well as help teach go into detail on what they are and what type of fish to populate it with.

What is a Nano Tank?

A nano tank is basically a small aquarium, perfect for someone that wants to keep fish but doesn’t have a lot of space. In terms of size, they are normally less than 20 gallons. They are also known as Nano Aquariums and appeal to many people, as you don’t need to own a large fish tank but can still enjoy watching fish swimming around. 

These tanks are perfect for at home or even in your office

Nano fish tanks have become very popular over the past couple of years, as it makes owning fish easier. You also find that these types of aquariums are also much cheaper than alternatives, another reason why they have become very popular. 

Now when it comes to actually keeping fish, you can go as simple as you want and just have a basic freshwater setup. Alternatively you can create a really beautiful setup with a nice environment and a few small fish. 

The main thing you need to focus on and understand is keeping water parameters stable, with less water this does require more maintenance. However don’t let this put you off, as its very easy to learn and is more than worth it.

Benefits of A Nano Tank

There are a number of benefits to setting up a Nano Aquarium, whether at home or in your office. 

  • If you are looking for a cost effective way of keeping fish, Nano aquariums are perfect. These small fish tanks cost very little when you compare it to bigger tanks, not only that but equipment such as lighting is cheaper.

  • Unlike traditional fish tanks, these smaller tanks can be cleaned very easily.

  • We all like to have a move around from time to time, having a big fish tank can make this very difficult. Nano Tanks are compact, this does allow you to be able to move them to a different location easily. 

As you can see, some very good benefits to owning one of these tanks. Perfect for helping you get into keeping fish, without the big learning curve and being able to have one in a small space.

Downsides to A Nano Tank

As well as the benefits, its really important to know what drawbacks there are to owning one of these tanks. Knowing that will help you discover if it’s suitable for you or not. 

  • Fish like space to swim, if you overcrowd a tank then it can upset the fish. With a Nano tank you would only be able to have a few species. You also have to think about what fish you have, as you would want ones that have the right temperament.

  • Nano Aquariums are not the easiest type of fish tank to own, this is because you need to understand temperature, nutrients and keeping the water clean. You should do some research beforehand or have experience owning fish.

Who Would Want A Nano Tank

Now it’s important to understand that owning a Nano Aquarium is not for everyone, they are not usually recommended for beginners. If you do however have a hobby for owning fish and you either have experience or a willingness to learn then a Nano Tank is perfect for you. 

It’s ideal for thoses that are looking for a small and cost effective tank, that is both compact but offers some mobility. 

They are also ideal for you if you are looking to just own a couple of different species but don’t want the responsibility of having a tank with a lot of different fish.

Table of Contents

Best Nano Aquarium - Detailed Review Of These Tanks

1. Fluval Spec III Nano Tank Kit - Best Overall

Fluval Spec III

One of the best things about getting a Nano Tank is just how simple they look, allowing you to really enjoy the fish. The Fluval Spec III is simple in design and is also small enough to fit on a desk in your office or in a small bedroom.

Whether you are new to keeping fish or not, this tank has everything you need. One of the things that really makes this stand out is the LED lighting, they really add to the atmosphere and at night it just looks incredible. Typically cleaning a tank can be time consuming, not with the Fluval Spec III. It has a great filter system, which makes cleaning it very simple and effective.

It’s possibly one of the smallest Nano Aquariums at only 2.6 gallons, so you do need to think pretty hard on what fish you would want in it. Overall though, its certainly makes our top of the list.

Pros

Cons

2. Koller AquaView Tank - Best For Beginners

Koller AquaView Nano Tank

The Koller AquaView Nano Tank is perfect for anyone that is looking for a fish tank for a small space, but is also on a budget. This fish tank makes it really easy to get started, as it’s easy to use and also very easy to clean.

It’s not the most perfect Nano aquarium, but it is ideal for a beginners tank that is not going to break the bank. It features an already built in filter and decent lighting, which can be changed depending on the time of the day. The glass is also really good quality and with the 360 views, you can enjoy it from any angle.

Lightweight and fairly small in terms of size, this is a great choice for any desk or bookcase.

Pros

Cons

3. GloFish Nano Tank

GloFish Nano Aquarium

The GloFish Nano Tank is perfect for those that don’t have a lot of space, whether that’s in a bedroom or in an office at work. They make an excellent first tank, whether for yourself or your child.

Its got a really nice LED light that is white and blue, when on it really helps add atmosphere to your tank and make your fish look great. The GloFish tank comes as small as 3 gallons, with bigger options if needed.

I really like the fact that this tank comes with the Whisper filter to help keep the water clean, this filter is also very quiet.

Pros

Cons

4. Tetra Crescent Acrylic Nano Aquarium Kit

Tetra Crescent Acrylic Nano Aquarium Kit

Tetra is known for its high quality aquariums and the Tetra Crescent is no different. It comes with an impressive 16 LED lighting setup, which is not only energy efficient but makes the aquarium look great at night.

As you should know, clean water is essential for the health of your fish. This aquarium kit does come with a filter and filter cartridge to collect debris and waste. As well as this, I really like that it can also make the tank odor-less and prevents it from discoloring, so you can continue to sit and enjoy your fish.

It’s lightweight at only 1lb and is small enough to fit in the smallest of spaces. This does mean you are limited to the amount of fish you have, however perfect if you are just looking for a small tank for you to enjoy. 

Pros

Cons

5. BiOrb Classic Nano Aquarium

BioOrb Nano Tank

The BiOrb Classic looks very different when you compare it to other Nano Tanks, its not the typical square shape but instead more of a sphere. The design of this tank will really stand out and will wow any visitors that see it. As its a sphere it has 360 degree visibility, so you can enjoy watching your fish from any angle.

This one is more aimed towards beginners, and is enough to get you started in owning your own fish. It is really easy to set up, maintain, and the kit includes everything you need to help keep the tank clean. 

Pros

Cons

6. Fluval Sea Evo SaltWater Nano Aquarium

Fluval Sea Evo Saltwater Nano Tank

Fluval have produced some excellent products in the past and this Nano Aquarium is not different, it’s one of the best. This one is perfect if you are looking to stock saltwater fish.

Size wise it’s ideal for small spaces such as a countertop or an office desk, as it holds 5 gallons of water. It also comes with some pretty decent equipment. For example the light is bright enough to fill the entire tank, which will help your plants nourish.

Unlike some Nano Tanks, it also features a nice 3 stage filtration. This will ensure the water is clean, which will improve the lifespan of your fish. One of the things I really like is the design, its clean, modern and allows for plenty of viewing angles.

Pros

Cons

Nano Tank Buyers Guide

There are so many choices when it comes to getting a Nano tank, infact its not different to looking for a bigger fish tank. There are however a few things you do need to consider when buying a nano aquarium.

Size

Now Nano aquariums are designed to be small, however they should hold at least 2.4 gallons of water. In terms of the maximum size, this would depend on what fish you were to stock. If it contained freshwater fish then the biggest size would be 15 gallons, whereas a Saltwater nano tank is 25 gallons. You therefore need to bear this in mind if the space you have available is limited.

Shape

You wouldn’t think shape is that important but it does require some consideration. They are usually rectangular in shape and more often than not they have more height than they do width, worth checking dimensions for your space before getting it.

Fish

It’s important to have a think about what species of fish you want to keep, as this will determine what the environment looks like as different species have different requirements. Its worth noting that freshwater fish are often easier to look after than saltwater.

Tank Material

Nano Aquariums are usually either made from glass or acrylic, there are some key differences. Glass for example is more cost effective as well as being more durable as they are harder to scratch. Acrylic on the other hand is lighter so they can be easily moved and they do tend to look better as well.

Other Essential Equipment

Like with any fish tank, there are a few things you need to consider when setting it up. You need to make sure you have a good filtration system, heater, lighting and also appropriate environmental equipment such as plans, substrates and decoration. 

It’s worth noting that you can buy Nano Tank Kits, that does include everything needed to get started. 

Tips On Setting Up Your Nano Tank

Even once you have chosen the perfect Nano Aquarium, there are still some things you need to think about. This is not including the water quality, temperature or what fish you might stock in the tank. 

Below are some key tips to help you with setting it up;

Use Aquarium Kits

Aquarium kits are perfect, as they provide everything you need for a good basic setup. These Nano Kits include the actual tank, along with LED Hood, filter and instructions. There are a number of different kits available, depending on your space available.

Setting Up Your Tank In The Right Place

The first thing you need to do before setting up your Nano Tank, is to know exactly where you want it to go. Is it going at home or perhaps it’s going in an office. You then want to check the weight of the aquarium and make sure that it is flat and sturdy on the table or desk that its going on.

Think About The Theme

One of the great things about keeping fish is to think about the theme of your tank and your fish’s future home. This basically is how it looks in terms of plants, environment and even the species of fish. 

You have to pick plants and environment objects that are right for the size of the tank, as well as thinking about the impact they might have on the fish. Some plants are better for certain species of fish, so it’s worth having a think about.

Also have a think about the actual fish that you are going to have in your tank, you need to make sure that they are compatible and not going to be aggressive to each other.

Get The Lighting Right

Its really important to get the lighting right, as you need to make sure there is equal light throughout the tank. With Nano tanks, you don’t have to worry too much as they do let a lot of light in but you still need to consider some lighting options.  I would recommend LED’s and this is something that many Nano Aquarium owners also use.

More often than not lightning will be included in any kit, although these can also be upgraded if you are wanting something else. Remember any live plants should also be getting 12 hours of light per day. You also need to consider what species of fish you are going to have, as the lighting you use can impact their lifespan.

Water Checks

Even though a nano aquarium uses less water, this makes it even more important to ensure the water quality is good. Having good quality water will keep your fish healthy, so I would recommend changing 30% of the water every week.

By doing this you are going to avoid toxins and bacteria from building up.

Keep The Water Filtered

Not changing the filter can cause the fish to become stressed and this can shorten their lifespan, so you should change it as per the instructions. As well as this try not to put your hand in too often to move plants or coral as this can cause distress to the fish as well as cause additional bacteria to enter the water.

Step By Step Nano Tank Setup

In this section of the guide, I am going to share the 8 step setup for your Nano Aquarium. If you do get a kit then this will make it even easier. 

Step One – Location is very important, you need to put your tank somewhere that can withstand the weight. You also want to keep it away from sources of heat and even look at keeping it out of natural light. This natural light can encourage algae growth. 

Step Two – Before you even start using your rank, you want to give it a clean. This is going to make sure there is no dust on the surface when you add the water. 

Step Three – The next step is to add around an inch of gravel to your tank, as already mentioned your choice of fish would determine which type you use. 

Step Four – Now you want to set up your equipment, so make sure the heater and filter are in place. 

Step Five – Its important to prepare your water and how you prepare it would depend on whether or not you are going for saltwater for freshwater fish.

Step Six – this step you want to add the water. A nice trick so you do not cause the gravel to move when adding is to place a small bowl or dish and add the water to that. As that fills, it will slowly go over the gravel and gradually fill up. 

Step Seven  – Now for the next 4-6 weeks you need to cycle the tank. This helps the beneficial bacteria convert ammonia and nitrates. This is very important as those are deadly to fish. 

Step Eight – In this final step its time to add our fish to the tank, however you do not just want to release them into the tank as this could cause distress. Instead you need them to get used to the tank water. You can do this by placing them in a bag and allowing it to float in the tank for 15 minutes. Every so often add a bit of the tank water to the bag, once full open it and release the fish into the tank. 

Nano Tank Fish & Stocking Ideas

One of the most important things when looking at getting a Nano Aquarium, is knowing what fish to have in it. Since the nano tank is small, you are going to want to look into small fish, as they typically don’t need too much space to swim around in. If you get fish that are too big or aggressive, this could cause a problem. 

You want to have harmony, so fish that act the same or schools tend to work really well. With it being a small tank, go for fish that are active and colorful. 

Below are some recommendations;

Ember Tetra

The Ember Tetra are personally one of my favourites and they are perfect for small tanks. They are small but really stand out thanks to their red/orange color. They coexist really well in a school of 8 or 12, they can give you hours of enjoyment just watching them swim around.

Catfish

There are a couple of Catfish that do really well in a nano tank, these are the Dwarf Otocinclus and the Cory Catfish. Both can help to filter the tank from bacteria and toxins as they help to keep your tank clean. As they are small in size, they suit these small aquariums very well.

Dwarf Pencilfish

If you are looking for an active fish that looks amazing, you cannot go wrong with the Dwarf Pencilfish. They are visually stunning with a ruby red color and due to their size, they make a perfect choice for a nano aquarium. 

These are my top 3 choices, however there are many more choices. Its just really important that you think about compatibility and behavior before filling your small tank with different fish.

Conclusion

I really hope this guide on the best nano tanks has helped, there are some excellent aquariums available at a very reasonable price. These types of tanks are great if you are limited on space but still really want to keep fish.