5 Best Nano Aquariums in 2022 – Buyer’s Guide

Oct 13, 2020

5 Best Nano Aquariums

Whether you’re new to the fishkeeping hobby looking for a pretty but manageable aquarium or someone that simply wants a stunning tank to look at, nano aquarium could be the way to go. Taking into account my experience with miniature tanks, here, I have personally handpicked a list of best nano aquarium for you. 

Nano Aquarium And Its Dimensions 

Technically, nano is the one billionth unit. But we often throw around the word casually to mean anything small. 

Likewise, in fishkeeping, there’s no one specific standard accepted as a nano aquarium. Any aquarium that holds just up to 10-20 gallons qualifies. 

Nano aquariums are surprisingly versatile for their size. There are many customization and decoration options, whether you want to create a submerged jungle or a tiny Himalayan range. 

5 Best Nano Aquariums At A Glance 

  • MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit 
  • Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit 
  • Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium 
  • Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit 5 Gallon
  • Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit

My Choice:

When I first started out, I’d have loved to have something like the Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit

Like most other tanks listed here, this kit comes with essentials like customizable lights and a quiet filter. 

But for me, what stood out the most is the comprehensive range of products that come with the kit at a very affordable price. At the last moment, you don’t have to worry about missing equipment and place an order because it didn’t come with the kit.

From a quiet filter to a digital thermometer and from plant mats to artificial plants, there’s everything which makes this tank one of the best nano aquariums in this list. 

Now, let’s check out the detailed reviews 

MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit 

Features:

  • Sleek Design
  • Retractable Glass Canopy
  • Daylight/Moonlight lighting settings
  • Hidden Filtration System 

At just 5 gallons, MarineLand’s LED Aquarium Kit is a nano aquarium in true sense. Sleek design, coupled with versatile lighting and hidden filtration, has made it a popular choice among nano aquarium hobbyists. 

It has rounded corners and a clear glass canopy that enables viewing from multiple angles. The glass canopy is retractable, which makes changing water and feeding easy.

Daylight and Moonlight settings mimic gleaming sunrise and moonlit hues, making the tank a perfect showpiece. For this, the tank uses energy-efficient LED lights and an easy 3-way toggle switch. 

The kit comes with a 3-stage remote filtration system, not compromising with the tank’s aesthetics at all. The filtration system includes bio-foam, adjustable flow filter pump, and cartridges. And if you want to tweak the filtration settings, it allows complete customization. 

Based on honest reviews by users, here’s a list of pros and cons of the MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit:

Pros:

  • The ‘portrait’ orientation can house tall ornament plants
  • The filter motor doesn’t make noise, and the filter cartridges are readily available 
  • Ample space for C02 diffuser and heater at the back chamber 
  • The filter, cords, and wires are aptly hidden from the view 

Cons:

  • The base is plastic; however, it’s still sturdy 
  • The pump compartment is prone to leakage 

Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit 

Features:

  • Curved dimensions 
  • Multi-mode LED lights
  • Decorative 3D rockery
  • Adjustable Power Filter Pump

Anyone who’s looking at this Hygger nano aquarium for the first time would think it’s a gorgeous, little tank. That’s because of its uniquely curved front side and bright LED lights. But there’s more to this tank than just looks. 

The glass tank boasts a convex arc curve shape, which gives the illusion of a wider aquarium while increasing its capacity to hold water. The tank is made of 5mm thick and ultra-transparent glass, which means you don’t have to worry much about safety or transparency. 

The tank comes with mounted 3D rock décor. Thus, you don’t have to spend extra on buying accessories. Still, if you’d like to add some green, you can easily grow grass on the rocks. The LED light comes in 5 different color and external digital controllers, giving you a handful of options to alter the tank’s appearance. 

The adjustable power filter pump hides inside the rock, and thus, doesn’t give your nano aquarium a bulky look. You can easily tweak the water flow by rotating the knob. The filter is also easy to assemble and disassemble, which makes cleaning the carbon and floss media a breeze. 

Based on honest reviews by users, here’s a list of pros and cons of the Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit:

Pros:

  • Enough colors and textures for demanding pets 
  • The filter comes with an extended spray bar
  • No motor sounds
  • Can create a waterfall, slow trickle, and other effects 

Cons:

  • Suspectable to leaks and blockages
  • Hard to find replacement cartridges/carbon for pump/filter

Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium 

Features: 

  • Sleek Modern Hood 
  • Integrated 24-hour design
  • Automatic sunset/sunrise functions 
  • Customizable, built-in filtration and adjustable return nozzle

With a rimless front and vibrant LED lighting, Coralife Biocube LED Biocube Aquarium is a premium fish tank suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishes. 

The sleek hood gives this Coralife tank a very sophisticated look. Since the hood is hinged, it makes regulating water temperature simpler. 

Still, this aquarium’s impressive feature is its LED lighting, which is run by an integrated 24-hour timer with three different channels. Color-changing LEDs, like bright white for morning and warm blue for night, adds to the tank’s appearance. 

Moreover, the automatic 30-minute sunrise and sunset feature mimics your fishes’ natural day/night cycle. 

The replaceable filtration system is compact and customizable. It is built-in at the back, not hindering the nano tank’s appearance. Other impressive features include an adjustable return nozzle and quiet submersible pumps. 

Based on honest reviews by users, here’s a list of pros and cons of Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium:

Pros:

  • Individually programmable lighting channels 
  • 24-hour timer and natural light simulator 
  • Filter and pump not visible 
  • The rimless front gives a clear view 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a filter media 
  • The cooling fan for lights can be noisy

Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit 5 Gallon

Features:

  • Etched glass tank with aluminum trim 
  • 37 LED lighting system
  • Honeycomb design to hide the filter 
  • A large 3-stage filtration system

Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit is a stylish nano tank that looks great and works even better. This long and narrow tank comes with 37 overhanging lamps that make your aquarium look like something straight out a fairytale. 

The etched glass with aluminum trim gives this Fluval Spec nano aquarium a clean, urban look—even more so with the lighting arching over the tank. 

This model comes complete with 37 powerful LED lamps that form an arch above the aquarium, giving it a strong illuminating look. The 7000 K high-output LED contributes to vibrant color in fishes and plant growth.

The tank has a 3-stage filtration system and a powerful circulation pump with a customizable output nozzle for filtration. That’s more than enough for super clean and clear water. A creative honeycomb design conceals the filtration area, saving the tank from looking too stocky. 

Fluval Spec gives more value to the money as it comes complete with a Biomax insert, activated carbon insert, and foam filter block with a handle. 

Pros:

  • Provides a bigger space to house plan and ornaments
  • The filtration system guarantees clear water 
  • Comes equipped with necessary products with no added price 
  • Bright lights boost fishes’ colors and plants’ growth

Cons:

  • The filter can be too strong for smaller fishes 
  • Semi-opaque plastic lid 

Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit

Features:

  • Built with scratch-resistant glass 
  • The hood is integrated with LED lights
  • Includes a kit with many useful items 
  • Whisper quiet water flow
  • Free access to TetraCare Program 

Coming from a well-known brand, the Tetra 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit is a smart choice for a beginner. That’s because it comes with everything needed to set up a nano aquarium and get it running. It spares you the trouble of researching and buying the best individual components for the tank. 

The Tetra 20 Gallon Glass Aquarium is made with scratch-proof glass that comes with a warranty. The design is modeled to look like a traditional aquarium.

The hood has built-in LED lights that provide a natural day-time effect. Similarly, the hood also comes with hinges, which makes the cleaning process quick and easy. 

This mini tank’s best-selling feature is that it comes with an array of products required to set up an aquarium, especially useful for a newbie. 

The products are:

  • Tetra 100-Watt Heater 
  • Aqua Safe 
  • Fish Net
  • Tetra Whisper Filter
  • Artificial Plastic Plants
  • Plant mats
  • Tetra Min Fish Food
  • Digital Thermometer 

Pros:

  • Made with the latest nano reef tank technology
  • Energy-saving LED lights that are fully customizable and controllable 
  • Sturdy, scratch-proof tank with a lifetime guarantee 
  • Includes necessary tools to get started with

Cons:

  • The lid is flimsy and bends easily 
  • The heater that comes with it isn’t too reliable 

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Here are some pieces of information that you might want to know before bringing home your best nano aquarium!

What Fish Types Are Suitable For Nano Aquariums?

As it goes without saying, when choosing a nano aquarium or any other kind, the decision should be based around the types of fishes you’d like to keep. 

With nano aquariums, you have to select small and peaceful fish species. 

But size isn’t the only prerequisite. Two other things you have to know are:

  • Fishes that swim in a shoal aren’t suitable
  • Fishes with known territorial aggression aren’t great picks either

It’s crucial to choose a combination of fishes that are compatible with each other and will happily share the tank ever after. 

Here’s a recommended list of small saltwater fishes that you can decide from:

  • Betta
  • Clown Killifish
  • Dwarf Rasbora 
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Lamp Eye 
  • Chili Rasbora
  • Pygmy Sunfish 
  • Hancock’s Blenny
  • Upside Down Catfish
  • Threadfin Rainbow Fish
  • Tetras 
  • Splendid Dwarf Gourami
  • Marbled Otocinclus
  • Fancy Guppies 
  • Dwarf Driftwood Catfish 

The Advantages Of Nano Aquariums

Besides the excellent aesthetic appeal, a few other advantages of nano aquariums are affordability, easy maintenance, slim design, and portability.

Nano Aquariums Are Affordable 

The lesser the size, the lesser the money required. You’ll also need less of everything—from fewer lights and accessories to a small amount of substrate materials and synthetic sea salt. If you’re not too keen on committing on a big tank, a nano tank is a right choice for you. 

Best Nano Aquarium Don’t Take Much Space

Its miniature size also means that it’ll take up less space, making it a suitable choice for apartments, dorms, and office spaces. You can practically keep it wherever you and will seldom get in the way. Because of the compact properties, you can even keep multiple nano aquariums without a hassle. 

Nano Aquarium For Small Fishes Are Easy To Maintain 

The maintenance is a breeze with nano aquariums, and that’s why it’s the favorite among first-timers. As 15-20% of water needs to be replaced weekly/biweekly, it can become a menial task when you have aquariums that hold 30 gallons or higher. 15-20% translates to just a few gallons in a nano aquarium, and water can be changed in no time. 

On the other hand, with a nano aquarium, you can do it within a short time.

Nano Aquariums Are Light And Portable 

Nano aquariums are fairly lightweight, which means they can be placed anywhere. You don’t need to buy a dedicated stand—a study desk, a work table, or even a dresser, anything can be an excellent place to place your nano tank. And you can even switch up the location anytime you want. 

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Let’s have a look at potential drawbacks.

  • Small size and low volume of water means nano aquariums are more prone to changes in water quality 

  • If the fish species aren’t chosen wisely, territorial aggression or even cannibalism can occur

  • If the heater stops functioning, the water will cool off within a few hours, which can lead to fatal consequences 

What To Look For When Purchasing A Nano Aquarium? 

Don’t fall prey to fraudulent claims like ‘zero-maintenance’ or ‘closed.’ The degree may differ, but all aquariums, irrespective of the size, demand maintenance to sustain healthy fishes. 

Steer clear of nano aquariums that can’t house a heater of filter—they don’t even have to be that tiny. 

It’s always best to choose a brand people already love. Trying to save a couple of bucks in this area can incur a bigger loss in the future — possibly even your dear pet fishes’ lives. 

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rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.