Best Nano Aquariums: The Complete Guide

Nano aquariums are classified as fish tanks that are specifically designed in order to inhabit smaller fish, since they are smaller in size and able to hold less than 20 gallons of water. More specifically, nano aquariums are smaller fish tanks that are suitable for holding either freshwater or saltwater fish, and they’re typically designed best for smaller-sized tropical fish species.

Aside from having the ability to hold various types of smaller fish species, nano aquariums are compact, so they can nurture smaller fish as well as smaller plants and decorations as well. Given the diverse nano aquariums available on the market, here is some information that you may find helpful about nano aquariums in addition to five of the best nano aquariums that you can purchase.

Benefits of Nano Aquariums



Since nano aquariums are smaller in size and can support various different fish species, they can be completely customized in order to fit your specific interests. Not only can you put your own choice of fish in the tank, but you can also decorate the tank to match your interests.


Nano tanks tend to be cheaper than other traditional fish tanks, since they’re smaller and require less water and fish to put in them.


If you live in a smaller house or simply want a fish tank that’s smaller in size, then nano tanks are beneficial because they’re more compact than other types of fish tanks. Consequently, they can fit into smaller areas than other tanks.

Easy water change

It’s important to ensure that your fish’s tank always has cleaner water, so nano tanks are beneficial in this regard because it’s easier for you to change the water in these tanks than other ones. They have less water and it’s easier to change than larger aquariums.


Given that nano aquariums are smaller and more compact, they are also able to be transported more easily than other types of tanks. This is great if you want to transport the tank into different rooms every now and then. They’re also lightweight, so they don’t usually require assistance in order to move them (1).

Things to Consider Before Purchasing One



It’s important to consider how much maintenance goes into taking care of nano aquariums. Since they’re smaller in size, it tends to be more difficult to keep everything balanced within the water of the tank for your fish. Even just the slightest change of one factor can drastically affect the whole tank’s environment.

For instance, even changing the temperature or the chemical compounds of the water can negatively affect the fish residing in the tank. Because of this, you should consider how much time and effort goes into maintaining a healthy nano tank that’s suitable for your specific fish species.


You should also consider the different types of equipment that are required in order to properly take care of the fish in the tank. More specifically, you will need a filter, a heater as well as enough light in order to effectively support your fish. Each of these equipment pieces should be properly adapted in order to fit with the smaller volume of water in the tank.

More specifically, certain filters will either have not enough power or they will be too powerful. On the other hand, you may want to consider purchasing a kit that measures nitrates from the water. These kits help to ensure that the levels of potassium and nitrates in the water are balanced enough after you change the water in the tank.


It’s important to consider the certain types of plants that you put in the water, since you don’t want too many plants that will overcrowd the fish, but you want just enough so that they feel comfortably at home. Consequently, you’re advised to put the taller plants in the back of the tank and the shorter ones in the front. Other than that, you should keep the middle open so that the fish have room to swim around.

You should also consider the certain shapes of the plants, since you don’t want ones that are too spacious and overcrowd the tank altogether. Also related to this, you should refrain from installing plants that are easy to grow, since they will be more difficult to maintain effectively.

Fish type

Considering the certain type of fish species that you have residing in your nano aquarium is one of the most important considerations, since you don’t want to put just any small species of fish in the tank. You want a fish species that are easy to maintain, live well together in smaller crowds, and you also want ones that don’t lay eggs easily (2).

What to Put into Nano Aquariums

Other than decorations and little objects for you small fish to occupy themselves with, there are various different types of freshwater and saltwater fish that are great for nano aquariums (3).

Freshwater fish:

  • Beta fish
  • Bumblebee Goby
  • Endler’s Livebearer
  • Green Neon Tetra
  • Chili Rasborg
  • Scarlet Badis
  • Salt and Pepper Cory
  • Sparkling Gourami
  • Pea Puffer

Saltwater Corals:

  • Xenia polyps
  • Zoanthid polyps
  • Green Star polyps
  • Clove polyps
  • Toadstool corals

Saltwater fish:

  • Firefish
  • Neon Blue Goby
  • Panamic Barnacle Benny
  • Banded Possum Wrasse
  • Pygmy Coral Croucher Goby

Plants (for either saltwater or freshwater):

  • Anubias nana
  • Dwarf hairgrass
  • Staurogyne repens



Given the difficulty of taking care of and maintaining nano aquariums, here are some helpful things that you may want to consider while taking care of the fish tank (4).

  • Don’t replace more than 20% of the tank’s water volume per week
  • Place the plants on different levels
  • Don’t overcrowd the tank, since it stresses the fish out
  • Chose hardscape that has the most texture, since it’ll look more natural for the fish
  • Small bioloads require less maintenance, since the environment is more stable
  • Choose plants that are shaped in convenient ways

Best Nano Aquarium Reviews

1. Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium

Product link:

The Hagen HG Fluval is classified as the best nano aquarium because it’s capable of fitting up to 15 gallons of water for various types of fish. This aquarium kit comes with lights as well as a filtration system that’s able to work best for this tank, so you don’t have to do your own research and find filters and lights on your own.

Not only that, but this nano aquarium comes with 48 white LED lights as well as a 7500K LED lamp. These lights and the lamp are able to not only provide enough illumination for the fish in the tank to see, but they also help the plants in your tank grow effectively. In addition to that, you can conveniently control the settings of the lights with a remote control.

Furthermore, this nano aquarium kit includes a full fledged glass tank, and it also has a 3-stage filtration system that’s able to filter healthy water back into the tank for your fish. The front portion of this water tank is curved in order to create the illusion of a larger tank for your fish.


  • Comes with lighting that can be controlled with a remote
  • Includes a 3-stage filtration system
  • Presents a curved front-portion to make the tank look larger


  • More expensive than some of the other tanks on this list

2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

Product link:

This nano aquarium is labeled as the best nano aquarium because it has the ability to hold up to five gallons of water as well as various types of fish and decorations. Not only that, but this product is recommended for you because it comes with everything that you would need in order to run the tank, so it’s great for beginners.

Moreover, this nano aquarium is highly advised for you to check out because it comes with a water conditioner that’s able to ensure that the water is safe for all types of fish to swim in. This aquarium kit also comes with a filter that can be easily installed for your convenience. More specifically, you can simply clip-on the filter and change it when needed.

In addition to all of these beneficial features, this nano aquarium kit also includes an LED aquarium light that’s able to shine a natural light for your fish. The light also comes as a part of the upper canopy of the tank, so you don’t have to install it anywhere.


  • You can choose between either a 5 gallon, 10 gallon, or 20 gallon tank
  • Comes with a filter and lighting system
  • Easy setup


  • Doesn’t include a water heater

3. Penn Plax Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit

Product link:

You’re recommended to check out this nano aquarium kit because it includes everything needed in order to have the tank functioning. More specifically, it comes with a glass tank, a hang-on water filter, a fish net, and it even includes a thermometer for your convenience.

The glass tank included in this kit presents a bent shape, so it gives the illusion of being a larger tank. It also has a frameless design, so it gives a more modern style than other nano fish tanks on the market. Furthermore, this nano aquarium comes with a plastic lid that can be opened by the hinges, and you can easily feed the fish and clean the tank this way.


  • Affordable
  • Includes everything needed in order to function the fish tank
  • Presents a bent glass shape and has no frame


  • Is only able to hold less than 3 gallons of water

4. MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass Aquarium Kit

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The MarineLand Aquarium Kit is recommended for you to check out because it comes with an advanced 3-stage filtration system that’s hidden in the rear of the tank to add an attractive appearance while looking from the front. Not only that, but this fish tank kit comes with white LEDs that are able to add a natural, shimmering light in the water.

In addition to that, this aquarium kit comes with blue LEDs as well that are able to produce a natural glow at nighttime when the tank is in a darker environment. This helps the fish sleep better, since it looks more realistic to them being nighttime outside.

Overall, this product has everything that you need in order to start your first nano aquarium, since it comes with a hinged light, a sliding glass canopy, a filter, and different-colored LEDs.


  • Includes a 3-stage filtration system
  • Comes with white and blue LEDs
  • Affordable


  • Previous customers complain that the tank isn’t able to support 5 gallons of water when it’s filled with decorations and fish

5. Hugger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit

Product link:

You should check out the Hugger Horizon Glass Aquarium Kit because it comes with all of the vital equipment in order to help you setup your aquarium. For instance, this aquarium kit comes with a power filter, an LED aquarium light, and it also has a #d rockery mountain background that offers a natural look.

Additionally, this tank kit has an LED light that offers different settings, and it can be altered using the digital controller. The light can shine either white, blue, or red LEDs. Moreover, this fish tank offers a curved shape in the glass, which makes for the illusion of a larger fish tank.

Lastly, this aquarium kit comes with a powerful filter that’s both durable and quiet. The filter offers a 2-stage process, and it’s great for water levels that are lower than normal. This product also comes in extremely safe and convenient packaging that will prevent any damage from occurring when it’s shipped to your house.


  • Holds up to 8 gallons of water
  • Comes with a 2-stage filtration system as well as multiple LED lights
  • Has a rockery mountain background that gives a natural look


  • More expensive than some other aquarium kits on the market


Overall, each of the nano aquariums included on this list have the ability to provide you with a wide variety of benefits, including the ability to fit in smaller spaces of your home. Not only that, but each of these products is able to hold various types of fish species, and they can all make maintaining the nano fish tanks easier.

Given these benefits, you should consider purchasing a nano aquarium for your house hold. But it may still be difficult to choose the best fish tank for your specific home as well as your schedule. Consequently, you’re most recommended to purchase product #2: Marina LED Aquarium Kit. This product gives you the best benefits overall, while still being available for an affordable price.

More specifically, this aquarium kit comes with a water conditioner, a clip-on filter, and a long-lasting LED light that displays a natural light for the fish during the day. Not only that, but this product also comes with a water conditioner that helps to ensure the water is safe enough for your fish to swim inside. Given these benefits, you should check out this aquarium kit on the market.

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