Email Sign-Up Go to Shopping Cart (0)



Customer Service

Healthy Environment in Miniature: Nano Aquarium Tips

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Top 10 Tips for Small Aquarium Success 
Aquascaping Nano Reef Aquariums 
A Closer Look at Nano Reef Aquariums 
Healthy Environment in Miniature
What is the
main benefit
of compact aquarium
A: Convenience. These versatile aquariums are designed for easy setup. With filtration and lighting already included, the equipment selection process is much more streamlined. In fact, aquarium kits are becoming more sophisticated to include equipment once sold separately, for an even more comprehensive system.
Compact aquarium systems are a good choice for hobbyists of all experience levels. Some are designed as basic starter aquariums, while newer compact aquariums include many advanced features found in larger aquarium systems. However, the smaller volume of water means that all compact aquarium systems have one thing in common: They all require special attention to water quality.

Keep up with routine care
Small aquariums are more susceptible to changes in water parameters. Even slight changes in water quality and temperature can develop into more serious issues. Without prompt and proper consideration, aquariums with a small volume of water can pose greater challenges. Routine water changes and regular monitoring of water parameters are a must for all small aquariums. Fortunately, their compact size makes these routine tasks simple.

Be prepared to purchase additional equipment
While filtration and lighting come standard, certain aquarium systems may not include additional equipment. Aquarium heaters are commonly excluded in these kits so be aware of any additional equipment you may need for your particular setup. Make a checklist of necessary items, including test kits and water conditioners, to allow ease of setup.

Stock lightly
Avoid stocking your compact aquarium system with too many fish. While it may be tempting to add more fish to your aquarium, smaller water volume means a need for careful selection of inhabitants and proper management of the biological load. Housing a few of your favorite species not only makes your selection more meaningful, it also provides a prudent way to maintain efficient biological filtration and proper water quality.

Healthy Environment in Miniature - Basic Aquariums 2 Gallon Fluval SPEC Aquarium
Picotope 3 Gallon Aquarium Kit
Often regarded as starter aquarium kits, these systems are suited for beginner hobbyists. They are a great way to introduce younger or new hobbyists to the fascinating world of aquariums. Generally under 10 gallons, these starter aquarium kits typically include an internal or hang-on power filter and an incandescent or mini-compact fluorescent lighting system. These budget-friendly kits are designed primarily for a freshwater, fish-only setup but can also be used by more experienced hobbyists to create miniature biotopes.

Healthy Environment in Miniature - Intermediate Aquariums 6 Gallon Fan-cooled Nano Cube
12 Gallon Fan-cooled Nano Cube Deluxe
Starting at around the 12 gallon range (some even smaller!), these systems are extremely versatile. Intermediate systems generally feature upgraded compact fluorescent lighting and filtration to accommodate a wider variety of inhabitants. Thanks to these enhancements, these systems are well suited as a small, freshwater community setup, planted aquarium, a saltwater aquarium or even a miniature reef aquarium. They are moderately priced, and offer a wide range of possibilities.

Healthy Environment in Miniature - Advanced Aquariums

24 Gallon Fan-cooled Nano Cube
28 Gallon Nano Cube LED Intermediate Series Aquarium

Advanced systems are the ultimate in compact aquarium systems. Designed for unique biotope installations, many of these systems make nano reef installation a breeze. As the most comprehensive system, these advanced aquariums include various high-end equipment and many bonus features. One notable system is the 28 Gallon Nano Cube LED Intermediate Series Aquarium system. The included protein skimmer, wavemaker, and other special features make it a dream system for nano reef enthusiasts. Averaging at about a 28 gallon capacity, advance systems are also the largest of the compact systems. While these systems may cost more than the basic and intermediate models, they offer serious aquarium hobbyists a unique opportunity to create a truly breathtaking display.


Click here for a more printer-friendly version of this article.  
Click here for a pdf version of this article.  


Contact us
8 am - 8 pm CST
7 days a week

7 am-8 pm, CST
7 days a week