Love fishkeeping but don’t have the space for a large aquarium? Consider a nano-tank!
A nano tank is, simply put, a small aquarium, usually 10 gallons or under. Like any aquarium, they require regular upkeep, but the relative hardiness of the species that live in it, as well as less expensive equipment, make them less intimidating to care for than a much larger setup. However, in a small system, the water quality can be more difficult to keep stable, offsetting their other features.
It may surprise you to find out just how many different species can live in such a small space. Many of them can even be kept together.
Betta fish are already very popular as pets, but unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about them. Often they are kept in small, unheated and unfiltered bowls of a gallon or less. In reality, Betta fish need at least 2.5 gallons to be healthy while 5 gallons and up is ideal, and their water must be both heated and filtered. Aqueon’s 2.5 and 5 Gallon Betta Bow Tanks are good starter kits, and come with a filter built in, perfect for a single Betta.
Dwarf Crayfish can live in a tank of at least 8 gallons, and several may be kept together. They get about 2 inches long and are said to have a lot of personality for such a tiny crustacean. Additionally, they come in several color morphs.
Shrimp, such as Cherry or Amano shrimp, do not live long but can be used to establish a breeding colony, allowing you to maintain your shrimp population. They are amusing to watch for their foraging behavior. Shrimp tend not to be demanding when it comes to temperature or pH level, but they should be kept in groups of 6 or more in a tank of at least 10 gallons.
Marine Snails, like Nerite snails, Sulawesi snails, and Spike-Topped Apple snails, can help maintain a clean aquarium. Be careful not to mix them up with snails that may eat your plants or are considered pests.
Marimo are ideal if you simply want something you can plunk into a small fishbowl and not think about too much. They are a type of algae that grows in a spherical shape in order to be rolled by lake current and exposed to sunlight. Marimo can live in room temperature tapwater and require no more than a water change every week or two. Depending on the size of the Marimo, it can live in a cup of water or even less. A half-gallon fishbowl is fine for a golf ball sized Marimo. They also make great enrichment for Betta and shrimp tanks, and can help filter water in tanks without fish that will eat them.
Aquatic plants can add extra enrichment to your aquarium and help filter nitrites and nitrates. Java moss, Vallisneria, Anubias, among others are hardy plants that can provide your fish shelter and a more interesting environment.
There are many options when it comes to getting a nano tank. Deep Blue sells tanks from 2.5 gallons up. For a fancier option, Aqueon’s stylish Evolve desktop aquariums come with a filter, full-spectrum LED, food and water conditioner.