The Best Nano Tank Setups

One of the easiest ways to get into the aquarium hobby is to start with a small tank. Small tanks aren’t expensive, provide many ways to discover aquascaping, and you can learn about lighting and other techniques.  

Getting ideas for a perfect nano tank setup is the best place to start. The nano tank setups we’ll cover include excellent combinations that are best suited to our three types of aquarist students, so read on.

  • The planted shrimp tank lover
  • The aquascaper’s dream for small fish
  • The classic desktop shrimp tank
Nano Planted Shrimp Tank

What Is a Nano Tank?

A nano tank is any aquarium that’s micro-sized. While there’s some disagreement on the maximum size for a nano tank, the average size for a nano tank is anything from a gallon to 30 gallons. 

Nano tanks are small enough to easily fit in small spaces such as your office or bedroom. They provide all the beauty of an aquarium without needing loads of space and expensive equipment, making them ideal for the beginner aquarist or hobbyist.  

Benefits and Limitations of a Nano Aquarium

Of course, with benefits also come some limitations. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of a nano aquarium.

Nano Aquarium Pros

  • Many sizes and shapes of tanks are available
  • Filtration via pumps is an option 
  • Sump filtration is also possible 
  • Ideal for smaller tanks that focus on one or more target fish species
  • More affordably priced

Nano Aquarium Cons

  • Nano aquariums can be too small for a particular fish species 
  • When a tank has a breeding population, the fish can quickly overpopulate the limited space of a nano-sized tank
  • The filters and pumps can be too large for smaller nano tanks, which take up space
  • Not all fish species fit your particular nano tank  

Nano Tank Tips

Are you ready for a nano tank? Here are some tips to help you set up the best nano tank and get the most pleasure out of it with the least headache.  

  • Decide Where to Place the Tank Before You Buy

The space you choose to use for displaying your tank in your home or office will influence the shape and size of the tank to get. A 30-gallon tank can weigh as much as 300 pounds when it is filled with water, decorations, and fish—that’s a person! For safety, choose something a little more sturdy than a bookshelf to carry it. 

However, depending on the size and final contents, a smaller nano tank may weigh as little as 20 gallons. So choose a tank that suits where you want to place it.

  • Choose the Tank Inhabitants Before Buying a Tank (Don’t Buy Them Yet)

Before you buy your tank, consider what type of occupants you want to keep. Do you want fast-swimming Tetras, or are you only looking for a couple of Betas? Maybe you’d like to do a little coral fragging? 

What you put in your tank will also influence the size and shape of the tank. 

  • Buy the Best Nano Tank for Your Needs

Once you’ve decided on the type of tank you need, you can start looking for one that fits your desired quality. Consider rimless tanks, curved-fronted tanks, and even shaped tanks.

  • Buy the Best Filtration Equipment and a Water Siphon

Don’t wait for your tank and water to soil before buying cleaning equipment. Buy a suitable filter and a water siphoning kit to help you clean and change water. Ensure you consider the fish, plants, and occupants before selecting the filtration pump.

  • Buy Lighting and Heaters (If Needed)

If you want a tropical tank, you will need a heater, while lighting is a must for a planted nano tank. Lights also help your fish grow, and these can help you enjoy the best views by illuminating your plants and fish.  

  • Select the Plants, Decorations, and Substrate

Choose the plants, substrate, and tank decorations to make your tank feel more magical. Consider the fish you intend to buy when choosing plants to avoid your fish eating plants that are not suited to them or killing the plants. 

  • Set Up the Tank Two Weeks Before Adding Live Creatures

Before buying fish and other living creatures, set up your tank, treat the water, and run the filter for a few days at least. This allows you to check the tank for leaks, get the water at the desired pH and chemical composition, and settle the aquarium plants you’ve chosen before introducing fish and potentially losing your whole tank (if something isn’t right). 

  • Buy Your Fish and Aquatic Animals

Purchase your fish and other living creatures from a reputable dealer to avoid getting diseased fish. Introduce your fish gradually by doing a water change of 25% every half hour before finally releasing them into the tank. 

Quarantine any future fish you buy to check for disease and parasites. Do the same with new plant additions. 

  • Clean Regularly and Avoid Overfeeding

Your tank is only as beautiful as it is clean. So clean it regularly and maintain it by rinsing the filter cartridges or filtration materials once these become soiled. Do a weekly water change of 15% to 20% and siphon your substrate to remove any larger waste particles. 

Don’t overfeed your fish. Feed what they can eat in three minutes to avoid food sinking to the bottom, rotting, and soiling the tank. 

3 Best Nano Tank Setups to Consider

1. A Planted Shrimp Tank for less than $230

Create a beautifully planted shrimp tank with hardy plants as an ideal aquatic environment. Adding cherry red shrimp can contrast vibrantly with the black substrate and coppery almond leaves.

The filter (COODIA Internal Green) we chose is one of the highest-rated filters for small tanks and is a great brand, and the UV filter reduces the need to change water frequently.

The black soil also sustains significant plant growth, offering excellent plant rooting capabilities, and it contrasts fantastically with the cherry red shrimps’ color for a visual spectacle.

Aquascaping Neon Tetra Tank

2. The Aquascaper’s Neon Tetra Tank

This tank will be a beautiful addition to any Aquascaper if done correctly.

The tetras have a natural schooling tendency, which creates a sense of movement with the fish racing. Adding rock to the black sand contrasts the neon tetra’s bright coloring dramatically against the black sand.

With the Amazon sword in and behind the aqua escaping rock and the Anubias Nana as a foreground addition, this tank has the potential to win awards for its beauty.

Classic Nano Desktop Shrimp Tank

3. The Classic Desktop Shrimp Tank

A classic shrimp tank is perfect for any desktop at home, on a bookshelf, or in the office. The dwarf hairgrass spreads quickly and beautifully across the tank’s dark substrate, providing lots of hiding spots for the shrimp to hang out and leafy snacks to comb through.

The cherry red shrimp contrasts perfectly with the black flourite, and the Driftwood creates a beautiful texture against the dark substrate. As a bonus, the shrimp tend to clamber over the slate rock for extra interest.

1 thought on “The Best Nano Tank Setups”

  1. Ok
    I just had a tank gifted to me , its A regular tank with led a.
    wanted a deeper tank, but this is my FIRST!
    I would like some.Great poiters i want btright color fish. An i really love the jungle or nature.something clean looking yet. The fish are happy an like the environment?
    Im a plant person, an to add fish to it…?


Leave a Comment

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