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Tips for Freshwater Nano Tanks Featured

Nano tanks require a slightly different approach to their use and care than do larger aquariums.

planted nano tank planted nano tank

One of the most quickly-growing trends in the aquarium hobby is the nano tank. Nano tanks are simply small fish tanks, generally between 10 and 20 gallons in capacity. Not only are these tanks small enough that they do not take up a great deal of space but they are also less expensive than large tanks and offer the aquarium hobbyist a unique challenge. Before you make the decision to start a nano tank for yourself, take the time to learn the basics about cultivating this type of tank so you will be fully prepared when you embark on this exciting journey.

Equipping a Nano Tank

Choosing the equipment for a nano tank is not remarkably different from equipping a standard tank but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a great deal of thought into it. The equipment you choose for your aquarium will have a significant impact on the overall health of the aquarium environment and the wellbeing of your fish. Because nano tanks are so much smaller than traditional tanks, they have a lesser capacity to dilute toxins which can have a negative effect on water quality. For this reason, it is imperative that you select a high-quality filtration system for your nano tank. Experienced aquarium hobbyists often advocate for natural filtration in nano tanks. That is, relying on live plants and eco-complete substrate to provide biological filtration rather than relying solely on external filtration to preserve water quality.

If you plan to cultivate live plants in your nano tank, choosing the right lighting system will also be very important. To make equipping your nano tank easier you may want to think about purchasing a nano tank kit. Some kits come with all the equipment you need to fulfill the needs of your nano tank in regard to heating, filtration and lighting. If you are an experienced aquarium hobbyist, however, you may already have preferences for certain types of equipment and may prefer to equip your nano tank yourself.

Stocking a Nano Tank

Stocking your nano tank can be tricky because you have such limited space to work with. Not only do you have to worry about the size of the fish you choose but you also need to think about compatibility issues – species that have territorial or aggressive tendencies may not do well in a nano tank. For the best results, stick to schools of community fish such as danios, rasboras and small tetras. You should also strive to achieve a balance among the species you choose in terms of activity level and swimming area so that your fish are spread evenly throughout the tank rather than crowding the area near the surface or the middle level of the tank.

While it is a good idea to stock your tank with schooling species, there is no reason you can’t also add one or two showcase fish – species that will get along with the other fish in your tank but that will also stand out in terms of appearance or behavior. It is also a good idea to add one or two bottom feeders or algae eaters to your tank to help keep detritus buildup under control. Species like Otocinclus catfish are a great choice for nano tanks because they remain fairly small and corydoras catfish may also be a good fit.

Other Tips

In addition to equipping and stocking your nano tank properly, you also need to be concerned with proper maintenance. Because the water volume in a nano tank is comparatively small, you may need to perform more frequent water changes than you would in a large tank just to maintain high water quality. To help keep the water quality in your nano tank high, consider installing an EcoBio-Stone S or –Planter in your tank. EcoBio-Block products are infused with beneficial bacteria that, once added to the aquarium, will rapidly multiply and work to maintain the nitrogen cycle. These bacteria will help to keep ammonia and nitrite levels low while also keeping your tank water clean and clear for about 2 years.

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