Everything Related To Planted Nano Aquariums

With so many nano aquarium choices on the market, it can be difficult to choose which one to buy.  If you are undecided, you’ve come to the right place.

We will review what we believe are the top 5 nano tank choices available today.

A few considerations we took into account when creating this list include: affordability, light intensity, and filtration efficiency. We sorted through many nano tank customer reviews to provide unbiased accounts of pros and cons for each aquarium model.

One of the all in one tanks listed below is sure to meet your needs.

Image
Name
Dimensions
Gallons
Fluval SpecFluval-Spec-2.6-Gallon

Product Review

11.8 x 10.8 x 8.7

2.6

Marineland PortraitMarineland-ML90609-Portrait-Aquarium-Kit

Product Review
11.8 x 11.6 x 17
5
Fluval EdgeFluval-Edge-Black

Product Review
13.7 x 17 x 14.3
13.7 x 17 x 22.2
6
12
Fluval Spec VFluval-Spec-V

Product Review
6.3 x 17.2 x 10.6
5
Aqueon EvolveAqueon Evolve

Product Review
1-5

What Is A Nano Aquarium?

In general, a nano aquarium is considered to be a tank that has a volume capacity of 10 gallons or less. However, you will get a wide array of definitions from all over the web.

Some people also refer to smaller sized aquariums as pico tanks. Many hobbyists have defined a pico tank as an aquarium that is in the 2 to 4 gallon range.

The compact footprint of these tanks make it a perfect fit to space limited areas such as your desktop or bedside table.

How Much Does It Cost?

Look to spend approximately $50-100 for a decent nano tank. Most of these tanks are considered “all-in-one” aquariums, meaning it comes complete with the tank, lighting and filtration system. All three components are the main staple for setting up an aquarium.

Keep in mind, as with any other hobby, pieces of other equipment you may want or need can set you back a few more bucks. Consider purchasing a heater and cleaning accessories on your way to checkout.

Things To Consider Before You Buy A Nano Tank

Location:

Many of these aquariums can be conveniently placed anywhere your heart desires. An obvious requirement is placing the tank near an electrical outlet. Using extension cordsis not a good idea for an electric device that will be running 24/7.

You also want to avoid placing any aquarium in an area that will receive direct sunlight. If you do, be prepared to combat unwanted and unsightly algae.

Lighting:

Many of the so call “all-in-one” aquarium kits provide adequate lighting for most domestic aquatic plants and fish. Customers have stated time and time again that their tanks look great and thrive with the included stock lighting.

The advances in lighting technology, with a huge shift to LED lighting, has significantly decreased the operating costs of aquariums and heat generation, while increasing the longevity of the light itself.

In contrast, prior to the LED movement, compact fluorescent bulbs were the standard with numerous negative attributes such as heat, increased electrical use and the need to replace more often than LED lights.

In general, LED light fixtures can last 5-7 years while CF bulbs usually need replacement after a year as the effectiveness in light output diminishes.

Now For The Bad News:

Majority of these nano aquarium lights are meant for mainstream customers. On the other end of the spectrum are customers, like myself, that prefer to create aquascapes that use high light loving plants. In the saltwater arena, different types of lights are needed altogether such as actinic lights for living organisms to thrive and survive.

The bottom line:

Cost! If the manufactures of these small aquariums were to include specialized lighting, the price point would be unreasonable for most newcomers to the fish tank hobby. Overall, these aquarium kits do provide a fantastic value for what you pay for.

Filtration:

You will often come across most companies advertising 3 stages of filtration. This includes the chemical, mechanical and biological filtration process that almost all filters are capable of.

I will say that it’s not just hype or another marketing ploy. All three stages of filtration are required to ensure a healthy fish tank environment and I am glad that these manufacturers have addressed that need in their aquarium kits.

The Good News:

If you are a planted tank hobbyist like me, you’ll be happy to know that nature has provided us with the greatest filter of all time: Plants! Not only are they a beautiful addition to any aquarium, but they naturally filter out water pollutants that may be harmful to your fish.

If you have never seen a planted tank in person, do yourself a favor and go find one. A properly maintained planted tank is a marvel to behold. The water is so clear; it’s as if your fish are floating in air. It’s a difficult image to describe and I can’t do it justice with my words, but I digress.

Disclaimer: I am an enthusiastic planted nano tank fan that started in the hobby in 2011. My obsession grew so much that I created this website. Prior to that, I have always enjoyed keeping aquariums with a wide array of freshwater fish.

A lot of the content on this website is based on personal experience. I have owned a lot of these tanks as well and have documented journals on plantedtank.net that I occasionally refer to when writing my reviews.