Desktop Aquarium Setup and Maintenance Guide

There are many people who are usually fascinated by the beauty of having an aquatic scene right in their homes. They are the same people who get into the hobby of keeping fish in aquariums either in their homes or even in their offices. Indeed it has now been confirmed that having a comfortable, serene, and pleasant environment can really help to boost the productivity of a person. What better way to help spice up things in your office by making it a pleasant environment for yourself and your employees than having a desktop aquarium in it?

What is a desktop aquarium?

desktop aquarium

A desktop aquarium is a small type of aquarium that is usually designed to be placed on top of a table or a desktop hence the name. It is usually smaller than the regular aquariums and is sometimes referred to as a nano aquarium. You can take advantage of the versatility of a nano aquarium to help you customize your workplace. With a desktop aquarium in your office, your office will definitely look smart, stylish, and comfortable to relax in. If you are interested in purchasing a desktop aquarium for your office or home just be sure to do your research well to ensure that you buy one that will best suit your budget as well as unique needs.

Why a desktop aquarium in the first place?

If you are enthusiastic about fish or aquatic plants and like to have them right in your office or home space then you certainly will want to have an aquarium. Due to the small size of a desktop aquarium, it is ideal for use in places where there is a space limitation. Perhaps you may be asking yourself to know if the small fish tanks are really good for your fish. The answer to this particular may be a yes or no. Even in a small tank if you properly set it up and performed routine maintenance everything will be great to go. Small tanks that are not well set up from the onset of things as well as fish that aren’t properly cared for will simply just have a short life and die.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Small Tanks?

There are several good reasons why some people prefer to have desktop aquariums over conventional aquariums. Well, in terms of money involved in setting up a tank and having it loaded with fish or plants having a desktop aquarium is an affordable option. Basically the desktop aquarium only just requires minimal investment and it will easily fit even in a minimalist space. There are many places were setting up the conventional aquarium may not just be the best option. A small aquarium that can easily be placed on top of a table can ideally be used in a classroom, inside the wardrooms in a hospital, inside offices and it will offer lots of benefits.

So what should you consider when selecting a desktop aquarium?

When choosing a desktop aquarium it is best to choose one that is fitted with everything that an aquarium should have. There are so many factors that need to be taken into account in order for you to get successful with any small aquarium that you choose to have in your space.

Aquarium Setup

Here below are some basic desktop aquarium setup tips to help give a rough idea of what to do:

The aquarium support base

The support base of the aquarium is an important factor that should be taken into account regardless of the size of the tank. The support base must be solid and strong enough to support the aquarium perfectly well. One of the most common mistakes that aquarists usually make is underestimating the total weight of the aquarium when it is filled with water. Having it placed on a table or a stand that is not strong enough to support the weight of the aquarium can lead to it accidentally crushing.

The space that you have

This is also another important factor that you will have to consider when selecting an aquarium to take home or in your office. If the space is limited you will go for an aquarium that is compact that will be able to fit nicely into the given space. You will however give up so many additions that usually come with larger tanks. Perhaps having a smaller tank may not be ideal for you to keep fish. You may trade this by keeping plants in the aquarium instead.

Essentials & Accessories

Any freshwater aquarium requires a good tank, a solid stand, high-quality accessories, and maintenance equipment. However, before deciding which materials you want, you must first assess the aquatic life you wish to preserve. 

Although many people prefer glass aquariums, acrylic aquariums are lighter and less prone to break, making them better for families with children. Freshwater fish come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, and their demands for their living surroundings are diverse. 

Today, there are so many different aquarium materials available that the number of options seems limitless.

Aquarium Furniture – Tanks & Stands

Many variables influence the size of your tank, including the amount of space available, the amount of weight you can handle, and, most significantly, the kind of aquatic life you want to retain. It’s critical to have robust support proportionate to the tank’s size and the aquarium’s whole weight, regardless of its size.

The stand’s size, shape, and materials are according to the tank’s size, quality, budget, and aesthetics. The most common error aquarium owners make is underestimating the tank’s weight after being filled with water.

Hoods & Lighting

Fish tank lights come in several forms and sizes and various pricing points and aesthetics. Lights will be installed in your tank, enabling you to enjoy your fish throughout the day. If you desire a planted tank, you may pick between several types of illumination.

Although some kits include hoods and lights, you can easily add your light fittings and bulbs to customize your setup. Determine what works best for your tank’s overall look and your budget.

Filters & Media

Filters are critical in maintaining the cleanliness and health of your tank’s ecosystem. You can make a better decision about the filtration system to buy if you know the size of your tank and the needs of your fish. Larger tanks benefit from more powerful filters; however, smaller tanks or fish with greater delicateness may need a less powerful filter to be effective.

Climate Control


Liquid crystal stick-on thermometers may be used in several applications since they are inexpensive, easy to read, and usually accurate. If you want to breed fish or keep delicate fish, you should use a thermometer immersed in the water.


You must maintain the warmth of the water if you want to develop tropical fish. On the other hand, tropical fish need a wide range of temperatures depending on the species. Most fish require a temperature of 74 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Unless your home is always in that temperature range, you’ll require a heater. The usage of an aquarium heater ensures that aquarium water temperature remains constant and within a safe range at all times.


Freshwater fish can tolerate changes in water temperature. Some prefer frigid, while others prefer warm water. A chiller is ideal for locations with cold water tanks or very heated ones, commonly used in larger tanks. It is an expensive piece of equipment.

Maintenance & Accessories

Cleaning every surface of the aquarium daily or weekly is unrealistic and unhealthy. For some reason, cleaning everything is never a smart idea. Cleaning colony-rich areas, such as the filter and the substrate, should be done in stages to minimize the impact on beneficial bacteria.

Different types of aquarium materials need different types of support, which you should consider while choosing an aquarium stand. Acrylic is lighter, but it requires extra support throughout its bottom surface to prevent it from toppling over since it is flexible.

Water Additives

Select a water conditioner that will remove chlorine, ammonia, and heavy metals from your drinking water source without harming it. Filling the tank with tap water and changing the water every month is recommended.


When placing anything into your aquarium, please make certain that it is safe for the fish to consume. It contains natural elements such as pebbles, wood, and other decorative elements. Before adding anything to the aquarium, make sure to clean it well.

Because many fish, especially while resting, like having a place to hide, adding rockwork caves to the tank or décor with huge holes will make the fish feel more at home in their environment.

Planted decorative items are among the most visually appealing ornamental things you can add to an aquarium, and they also serve a functional role in the aquarium.

Tips for Successful Desktop Aquariums

Unlike the bigger aquariums that have a lot of water and sufficient space for your aquarium plants and animals small tanks usually require specialized attention. Here below we list for you some of the basic tips that will help you with a desktop aquarium:

Have an aquarium kit

If you are a hobbyist and you want success, especially with a small aquarium you need to have an aquarium kit. Buying a small aquarium that comes loaded with all the aquarium basic things like integrated filtration and built-in lighting is a good idea. This helps make your work easier and perhaps you may only need to buy an aquarium heater.

Proper placement of the aquarium

It may be tempting for you to have the aquarium placed either on top of a cabinet or a desktop in your office. Before you do this, it is best that you be in the know about the total weight of the tank when it is filled with water. This will help you know the type of a good aquarium stand you can buy for your aquarium. You should be able to find a good aquarium stand that will be able to withstand the total weight of the aquarium plus the water.

Stock fairly

A nano aquarium is small and will most definitely develop complications easily, thus it is advisable to keep the population there to a minimum. It also makes sense to select only the smallest fish that will survive in the small tank rather than trying to keep larger fish there.


Only by devoting the appropriate time to your aquarium regularly, as indicated above, can you assure that it stays clean. The fish’s surroundings will degrade and grow unhealthier if this is not done.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.