Aquariums, Reviews

Best Nano Aquariums: The Top 8 Nano tanks of 2024

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by Jason Matthews

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Updated:

Our Top Choices:

Best overall nano tank: GloFish Aquarium Kit

Dive into a vibrant underwater world with the best overall nano tank, offering stunning LED lighting and essential accessories for a mesmerizing aquatic experience.

Best nano tank starter kit: Aqueon LED MiniBow

Kickstart your aquatic journey with the best nano tank starter kit, featuring SmartClean Technology for easy maintenance and an all-inclusive setup for first-time and experienced fish keepers alike.

Best nano tank with stand: Coralife Size 16 LED BioCube Aquarium & Stand Combo

Elevate your aquarium experience with the best nano tank and stand combo, combining a sleek, modern design with high-quality LED lighting and a sturdy stand for a stunning display.


As a passionate aquarist and lifelong fish enthusiast, I’ve always had a soft spot for those petite underwater havens known as nano tanks or nano aquariums. In my years of experience, both as a hobbyist and as a writer for Aquariume, I’ve come to appreciate the unique charm and distinct benefits these small-scale ecosystems offer. Today, I am thrilled to share my top picks for nano aquariums, along with some indispensable advice to ensure your pint-sized aquatic paradise thrives.

When creating a thriving underwater world, size doesn’t always have to be the determining factor. Nano aquariums can be the perfect choice for those with limited space, budget constraints, or who simply appreciate the beauty of a more intimate aquatic environment. Whether you’re a seasoned fishkeeper or just dipping your toes into the water for the first time, I can assure you that these smaller tanks pack a big punch for aesthetic appeal and overall satisfaction.

So, join me as we embark on this exciting journey, exploring the best nano tanks on the market and uncovering the secrets to their success. Together, we’ll delve into the world of tiny aquatic ecosystems and discover how even the smallest spaces can bring boundless joy to fish and fishkeepers alike.

The 8 best nano tanks in 2024

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve curated a list of top-notch nano tanks available in the market. Let’s dive into it and discover the ideal nano aquarium for your aquatic adventure!

GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank

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Discover the mesmerizing beauty of the GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank, perfect for all ages and levels of expertise. This 10-gallon glass aquarium comes complete with everything you need for a successful setup: an LED lighting system, a Tetra Whisper Internal Filter, water conditioner, a fish food sample, and a setup/care guide.

Experience the unique combination of white and blue LED lights that create a stunning underwater environment, enhancing the vibrancy of both GloFish fluorescent fish and tropical fish. The Tetra Whisper Internal Filter ensures clean and clear water, while the low-profile hood maintains an energy-efficient illumination.

The GloFish 10 Gallon Aquarium measures 20 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 12 inches high. Transform your living space with this eye-catching, fluorescent fish tank that vividly reflects your personality.


Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Kit

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Introducing the Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Kit, an excellent choice for both first-time and experienced fish keepers. This stylish desktop aquarium is perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, home offices, and more. The kit includes a clear acrylic vessel, a low-profile LED hood, an elevated base, a filter cartridge, water care and food samples, and an illustrated setup guide for a smooth start.

Experience the convenience of SmartClean Technology, designed to perform water changes in less than 2 minutes, ensuring a cleaner and healthier aquatic environment for your fish. The power filter included in the kit makes essential water changes quick and easy, perfect for maintaining a happy, healthy home for your Betta or small tropical fish.

The Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Kit uses Aqueon Small Replacement Cartridges, which should be replaced every 4 weeks for optimal performance. Available in various colors and sizes, this compact and sleek aquarium is the ideal addition to any space.


Coralife Size 16 LED BioCube Aquarium & Stand Combo

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Upgrade your aquatic space with the Coralife Size 16 LED BioCube Aquarium & Stand Combo, a stunning and feature-packed all-inclusive aquarium. This modern, sleek BioCube boasts advanced LED lighting with timer capabilities, providing optimal light for freshwater plants and soft corals. The hinge-top canopy design and quiet submersible pump make maintenance hassle-free.

This combo includes the new and improved Size 16 Stand, offering a perfect fit and stylish appearance. The BioCube has a compact, customizable filtration chamber with dual intakes, a media basket, sponge pre-filter, and a mechanical/carbon filter cartridge. The tank’s clear glass back panel allows for easy refugium setup.

With dimensions of 15″ long x 16.75″ wide x 17.5″ high, this versatile tank is suitable for fish at least 1″ in length. The integrated 24-hour timer offers automatic sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset functions, ensuring a natural environment for your aquatic life. Experience the Coralife Size 16 LED BioCube Aquarium & Stand Combo – a stylish, functional addition to any room.


Marineland Aquarium Kit – Contour 3G

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Elevate your home’s ambiance with the stylish and sleek Marineland Aquarium Kit – Contour 3G. This 3-gallon glass aquarium features rounded corners and a clear glass canopy, providing an unobstructed, multi-angle view of your aquatic pets. The energy-efficient LED lighting system offers both daylight and moonlight settings, with bright white LEDs that mimic shimmering sunlight and blue LEDs that create a calming moonlit glow.

The hidden, advanced three-stage filtration system ensures a clean and healthy environment for your fish, while the adjustable flow filter pump allows you to customize the water flow. The sliding glass canopy and hinged LED rail light provide easy access for feeding and maintenance, making this kit a user-friendly choice for aquarium enthusiasts.

With its contemporary design and high-quality features, the Marineland Contour 3G Aquarium Kit is the perfect addition to any home, office, or living space. Bring the beauty of the underwater world to your fingertips and experience the joy of fishkeeping with this elegant and functional aquarium.


PENN-PLAX Water-World Prism Nano Aquarium Kit

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Transform small, unused spaces into a vibrant aquatic oasis with the PENN-PLAX Water-World Vertex Desktop Nano Aquarium Kit. Perfect for desks, dressers, or even tucked away corners, this 2.7-gallon aquarium is ideal for shrimp and small fish. Its unique, frameless design features 1/8″ thick bent glass and two curved front corners, providing an unobstructed, panoramic view of your underwater world.

The Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit is an excellent choice for beginners, offering a simple and easy introduction to fish keeping. This all-in-one package includes a 2.7-gallon glass tank, glass lid, clear mounting clips, a Cascade 20 Power Hang-On Filter (20 GPH), a Therma-Temp full-range digital thermometer, and a Quick-Net fish net.

Measuring 9″ (W) x 7.75″ (D) x 10″ (H), this compact aquarium kit is designed to fit seamlessly into bedrooms, offices, and classrooms, adding a touch of nature and tranquility to any environment. Experience the joy and simplicity of aquarium ownership with the PENN-PLAX Water-World Vertex Desktop Nano Aquarium Kit.


Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit 5 gallon

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Elevate your aquatic experience with the sleek and stylish Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit. This 5-gallon tank with curved glass is designed for maximum viewing pleasure, featuring rounded corners and a clear glass canopy that allow for unobstructed views from multiple angles.

The advanced 3-stage hidden filtration system ensures a clean and healthy environment for your aquatic friends while keeping equipment out of sight. This kit includes a Rite-Size Z Cartridge, Marineland Bio-Foam, and an adjustable flow filter pump for optimal performance.

Illuminate your underwater world with the energy-efficient, hinged LED lighting system, offering both bright white and blue LEDs. The white LEDs create a shimmering sunlight effect, while the blue LEDs emit a calming moonlit glow. The 3-way switch allows you to easily toggle between white and blue, off, and blue-only settings.

Measuring 9.5″ x 9.5″ x 14″, the Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit is easy to assemble and maintain. The sliding glass canopy provides convenient access for feeding and water care dosing, making this stunning aquarium a perfect addition to any home or office.


LANDEN 20C 2 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank

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Experience the beauty of aquascaping with the LANDEN 20C 2 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank, perfect for all your nano tank needs. This exquisite cube-shaped tank boasts 10mm thick, ultra-white low iron glass with a 91% light transmittance, ensuring crystal-clear, vibrant visuals. The rimless design and wide field of view immerse you in an extraordinary aquatic experience, enhancing any space.

The LANDEN 20C is crafted with high-quality standards, featuring professional glue treatment, smooth chamfered edges, and a safe, stable build. With its versatile design, this 2-gallon tank is ideal for bettas, Neocaridina shrimp, and small nano schooling fish. Transform your office, guest room, study, or bedroom into an aquatic haven with the LANDEN 20C Rimless Low Iron Aquarium Tank.


Tetra LED Cube Shaped 3 Gallon Aquarium with Pedestal Base

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Introducing the perfect starter aquarium for any space – the Tetra LED Cube Shaped 3 Gallon Aquarium with Pedestal Base. This compact, cube-shaped aquarium is an ideal choice for kitchens, dormitories, classrooms, and offices, fitting seamlessly into any environment.

The crystal-clear tank is as transparent as glass, offering a panoramic view of your personal underwater world. The kit comes complete with a Tetra 3i filter to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your fish, an LED light to illuminate and showcase your aquatic friends, and a convenient feeding hole in the clear canopy.

Measuring 10″ x 10″ x 10.512″, this 3-gallon aquarium kit is safe, reliable, and designed to resist cracking or shattering. This stylish and easy-to-maintain Tetra LED Cube Shaped Aquarium brings life and tranquility to any space.


What is a nano tank exactly?

nano aquarium
Image: belchonock, depositphotos

A nano tank, in essence, is a compact aquarium designed to house a small yet vibrant aquatic community. Typically, these tanks hold anywhere from 2 to 10 gallons of water, making them perfect for those with limited space or seeking a more manageable ecosystem.

Now, you might ask yourself, “Why opt for a nano tank?” The answer is simple: their charm lies in their size. These tiny havens provide a unique opportunity to showcase stunning, intricate aquascapes and create a captivating environment for small aquatic species. Moreover, they demand less maintenance than their larger counterparts without compromising beauty or diversity.

But don’t be fooled by their modest dimensions! Nano tanks can still accommodate a surprising variety of flora and fauna, offering endless possibilities for creative aquascaping. From verdant carpets of moss to delicate corals and from petite shrimp to vividly colored fish, these tanks are nothing short of mesmerizing.

To summarize, nano tanks are compact, customizable, and captivating. They bring the allure of the underwater world to any space, however small it may be. So, if you’re eager to dive into the world of aquascaping, a nano tank might just be the perfect starting point.

What to consider when looking for a nano aquarium?

As we dive into our buying guide for nano aquariums, we must consider various factors to ensure you choose the perfect tank. After all, creating a thriving aquatic environment goes beyond just the size of the tank. The following sections will explore key aspects such as materials, shapes, kits, water type, location, and suitable species for your nano aquarium.

By carefully examining these considerations, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision, setting the stage for a stunning and thriving underwater world in your very own home. So, let’s begin our exploration of the essential factors to remember when choosing the ideal nano tank for your aquatic friends.

Material

When selecting a nano aquarium, the material plays a significant role in the tank’s durability, appearance, and overall functionality. There are three primary options: glass, acrylic, and plastic

Let’s take a closer look at each of these materials.

Glass

Glass is a traditional and popular choice for aquariums. It offers excellent clarity, allowing you to observe your aquatic inhabitants easily. Glass is also scratch-resistant, meaning your tank is less likely to show wear and tear over time. However, glass tanks are heavier and more fragile, making them prone to breakage if not handled carefully.

Acrylic

Acrylic tanks are another option for aquarists. These tanks are lightweight and stronger than glass, reducing the risk of breakage. They also provide a seamless appearance, as their seams are nearly invisible. Acrylic can be molded into various shapes, offering more design options. However, acrylic tanks are more susceptible to scratching and may become discolored when exposed to sunlight.

Plastic

Plastic tanks are an affordable and lightweight option for those new to the hobby or looking for a low-maintenance choice. These tanks are widely available in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, plastic tanks offer less clarity compared to glass and acrylic tanks, which may affect the overall visual appeal.

MaterialProsCons
GlassHigh clarity, scratch-resistant, affordableHeavy, fragile, visible seams
AcrylicLightweight, strong, seamless appearanceProne to scratching, can discolor, costly
PlasticLightweight, affordable, variety of optionsLower clarity, less durable than glass

Shape

The shape of your nano aquarium is another important aspect to consider, as it can influence your tank’s overall aesthetic appeal and functionality. Here, we’ll discuss five common shapes: cubes, rectangles, bowls, bowfront, and cylinders.

Cubes

Cube-shaped nano tanks offer a modern and stylish look. Their symmetrical design allows for even distribution of light and easy aquascaping, making them a popular choice among aquarists.

Rectangles

Rectangle-shaped tanks are a classic choice, offering more horizontal space for aquatic inhabitants to swim and explore. This shape also provides ample room for various plants and decorations.

Bowls

Bowl-shaped nano aquariums create a unique and visually striking display. Their curved design allows for a 360-degree view of your aquatic environment. However, their rounded shape may limit your fish’s available swimming space.

Bowfront

Bowfront tanks feature a curved front panel, adding a touch of elegance and depth to your aquarium setup. This shape provides an enhanced viewing experience and additional swimming space for your fish.

Cylinder

Cylinder-shaped tanks create a captivating, pillar-like display. They allow for a 360-degree view of the aquarium but may require specialized equipment and creative aquascaping due to their unique shape.

ShapeProsCons
CubeModern, even light distribution, easy aquascapingLimited horizontal swimming space
RectangleClassic, ample swimming and aquascaping spaceLess visually striking than other shapes
BowlUnique, 360-degree viewLimited swimming space, aquascaping challenges
BowfrontElegant, enhanced viewing, extra swimming spaceMay require more space than other nano tanks
CylinderCaptivating, 360-degree viewSpecialized equipment, aquascaping challenges

Kits

For those venturing into the world of nano aquariums, kits can be an attractive option. These all-in-one aquariums typically include the tank itself and essential equipment, such as filters for small aquariums, heaters, and lighting systems, streamlining the setup process. So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of choosing a kit?

One of the most significant advantages of opting for a kit is convenience. Packaging all the necessary components saves time, effort, and, often, money. Moreover, compatibility issues are virtually eliminated because the equipment is designed to work seamlessly with the tank.

However, it’s important to note that kits may have some limitations. For instance, the included equipment might only sometimes be of the highest quality, or it may not cater to your specific needs or preferences. Additionally, more experienced aquarists may already possess certain components, making some kit elements redundant.

Type of Water: Freshwater or Saltwater

Another crucial decision when setting up your nano aquarium is whether to create a freshwater or saltwater environment. Both options come with their unique challenges and rewards, so let’s delve into the key differences between them.

Freshwater aquariums tend to be more beginner-friendly, with a simpler setup process and lower maintenance requirements. The vast array of freshwater fish species available means you’ll have plenty of choices when selecting your aquatic friends. Moreover, many freshwater plants are relatively easy to care for, which can be a major draw for those new to the hobby.

In contrast, saltwater aquariums are often considered more complex and demanding. They require specific water conditions and careful attention to parameters such as salinity and pH levels. That said, saltwater tanks boast a dazzling array of colorful fish, corals, and invertebrates, which can make the extra effort worthwhile for many enthusiasts. Additionally, the unique challenges of maintaining a saltwater tank can be an appealing learning experience for those looking to expand their aquarist knowledge.

The choice between a freshwater or saltwater nano aquarium will largely depend on your experience, desired level of involvement, and the species you wish to keep. Freshwater tanks are an excellent option for beginners or those seeking a more manageable setup. In contrast, saltwater tanks cater to those passionate about creating a vibrant, diverse underwater ecosystem and willing to invest the time and effort required.

Location

Choosing the perfect spot for your nano aquarium can be a critical aspect of ensuring its success and longevity. Finding the right balance between aesthetics and practicality is key, and there are several factors to consider when determining the ideal location for your tank.

First and foremost, consider the weight of the filled aquarium. Even a small nano tank can be surprisingly heavy once filled with water, substrate, and decorations. Therefore, selecting a sturdy, level surface that can safely support the tank’s weight is essential.

Next, think about the availability of power outlets. Your aquarium will require various equipment, such as filters, heaters, and lighting, so having easy access to electricity is crucial. Avoid placing your tank where cords will be stretched or tangled, as this can create a safety hazard.

Lighting is another crucial factor. While natural light can be beneficial for your aquarium, excessive direct sunlight may lead to rapid algae growth and overheating, which can be detrimental to your aquatic inhabitants. Aim to place your tank in an area that receives indirect sunlight or has adjustable lighting options.

Lastly, consider the overall ambiance of the location. Your nano aquarium should be in a calm, low-traffic area where sudden movements or loud noises won’t stress your fish. Additionally, positioning your tank where it can be easily admired and enjoyed will add to the satisfaction of your aquascaping efforts.

Choosing the Right Species for Your Nano Aquarium

When it comes to selecting the right species for your nano aquarium, there are several factors to consider. The type of water (freshwater or saltwater), compatibility with other species, size, and temperament of the fish are all crucial aspects to keep in mind. Here, we’ll discuss some guidelines to follow when choosing your fish and provide a list of suitable species for a nano tank.

What to consider

  1. Size: Choose fish that will remain small even when fully grown, as larger fish may struggle in the limited space of a nano tank.
  2. Temperament: Opt for peaceful, community-oriented species that will coexist harmoniously with other fish and invertebrates in the tank.
  3. Activity level: Consider fish that are active swimmers but not overly boisterous, as overly active fish may stress other inhabitants.
  4. Care requirements: Select fish that have similar water parameter needs and care requirements to ensure a stable and healthy environment.
  5. Breeding habits: Be aware of the breeding habits of your chosen species, as some fish may reproduce rapidly, leading to overcrowding in a small tank.

List of good fish for a nano tank

Freshwater:

Saltwater:

  • Clown Goby (Gobiodon spp.)
  • Neon Goby (Elacatinus spp.)
  • Green Clown Goby (Gobiodon atrangulatus)
  • Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica)
  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto)
  • Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis)

By considering these guidelines and selecting appropriate species for your nano aquarium, you can create a harmonious, healthy environment that showcases the beauty and diversity of the aquatic world.

FAQ

How many fish can you put in a nano tank?

The number of fish you can put in a nano tank depends on the tank’s size and the specific fish species. A general rule is to have one inch of fish per gallon of water, but it’s essential to research the specific needs and compatibility of the species you choose.

Is a nano tank hard to maintain?

Nano tanks can require some attention due to their small size, as water parameters can change rapidly. However, they can be manageable even for beginners with proper planning, regular maintenance, and careful monitoring.

What is the smallest fish for nano tank?

The Scarlet Badis (Dario dario) is one of the smallest freshwater fish suitable for nano tanks, growing up to just under an inch in size. In saltwater tanks, the Green Clown Goby (Gobiodon atrangulatus) is a tiny species, reaching around 1.5 inches in length.

Do nano tanks need air pump?

Nano tanks may not always require an air pump if sufficient surface agitation from the filter provides adequate oxygen exchange. However, an air pump can be beneficial in ensuring proper oxygen levels, especially in densely stocked or heavily planted tanks.

Do nano tanks need a heater?

Whether a nano tank needs a heater depends on the specific temperature requirements of the fish and plants you plan to keep. If your chosen species require stable, warm water conditions, a heater will be necessary to maintain the appropriate temperature.

About

Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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