7+ Best Nano Aquariums [Reviews + Buyer’s Guide]

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Nano aquariums are continually developing in popularity as they are making it simpler for you to have a stunning reef or freshwater aquarium with limited space. 

However, if you have just taken on this hobby, it can be difficult to understand what precisely makes a nano aquarium great. 

Don’t worry. We’re here for you. In this article, we’ll help you know more about nano aquariums and introduce some of the most prevalent ones on the market. You will find what most newbies don’t consider when choosing their nano tank – giving you the best opportunity of maintaining a stunning and healthy aquarium. 

What is a Nano Aquarium?

You might have heard of some terms like nanoseconds, nanometer, and nanoplankton. When it comes to units, it means one billionth, but in a more general term it means very small. 

A nano aquarium is a small, compact tank. They are different from fishbowls in that they are fully equipped with a filter, hood, LED light, and even a heater. 

In the past few years, interest in nano fish aquariums has increased because more and more people love to keep fish but don’t want to pay for a large tank. 

These small compact aquariums do not need much space and are proper for a small space such as your house or office. 

There are a number of ways to stock nano tanks, from simple freshwater setups, shrimp-only tanks to splendid nano reef tanks. They can bring a wonderful environment for various species of fish. 


  • Smaller aquariums often fit on a desk, table, or shelf and don’t require pricey aquarium stands 
  • Suitable size as a starter rank for a beginner fish keeper or for kids
  • Less pricey to start compared to a full-sized aquarium
  • Require fewer fish and decorations
  • Simpler to maintain compared to a fishbowl 
  • Appropriate for freshwater and marine habitats, covering planted, reef tanks, and fish-only setups
  • Possible for you to assemble your nano tank piecemeal or purchase an inclusive kit 
  • Fully- equipped with a filtration system, hood, and LED light fixture 


  • Water weighs about 9 pounds per gallon, so nano aquariums still need to be positioned on a sturdy piece of furniture that can bear their weight when filled.
  • Smaller aquariums require more frequent water changes compared to larger ones.
  • It’s difficult to look for suitable, quality equipment that fits in a nano tank
  • Users have fewer options in nano fish, snails, shrimps, and corals
  • If things go wrong in nano tanks, the aquarium crashes quickly and you could lose your fish 

7 Best Nano Aquariums: The Most Popular Options

There are a lot of Nano aquariums that you will find, and with that, picking the right one becomes hard. Worry about choosing because here is a narrowed-down list of Nano aquariums that you can choose from.

1. Fluval Spec III Nano Aquarium Kit

 Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit, 2.6-Gallon

Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit, 2.6-Gallon

The glass used for this aquarium is guaranteed clear and sturdy. Fluval Spec III Nano aquarium kit is the perfect one for those looking for a smaller, simpler aquarium. This aquarium is great for beginners and budding aquatic hobbyists alike. At night, it is accompanied by beautiful LED lighting, which makes it come alive, especially at night.

Fluval Spec III Nano Aquarium Kit’s filtration system simplifies the overall maintenance and cleaning process, making sure that the wastes are taken care of in an efficient manner.


It has a classic style, and the etched glass is guaranteed in good quality. This is also hassle-free to set up and comes with efficient filtration.


The size is definitely small. It only has a 2.6-gallon capacity, which is barely enough to keep more fish species.

2. Marineland Contour Nano Aquarium Kit with Rail Light

MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light
MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light

If you are looking for the perfect home for different fish species such as guppies, tetras, and other small fish, this aquarium is the one you should go for. You will have a nice view of your pets, as this comes with a canopy that does fit perfectly on top of it. This additionally comes with a beautiful LED lighting system that works great during the daytime and even during the nighttime.

The tank will remain stable no matter what kind of surface you place it on because it has a large base. This aquarium also comes with an efficient filter, which assures that waste management will never be an issue for you.


Illumination is great day and night, and it comes with an efficient filtration system. Additionally, it has a stable and sturdy base, is easy to set up, and has a nice, fitted canopy that allows a good view of the fish.


The filter cartridge of this aquarium is a bit trickier and difficult to clean.

3. Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium

Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium 57L, 15gal, Black
Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium 57L, 15gal, Black

Hagen HG fluvial flex aquarium is one of those Nano aquariums with larger capacity. It can complement any room where it will be placed because of its modern, aesthetic design. Its filtration system is also notable for doing a great job of keeping the water clean and healthy. Additionally, the right temperature inside this aquarium promotes growth even for aquatic plants. This being said, it will work great in facilitating the maintenance of the water’s cleanliness and quality.


The illuminations brighten up the aquarium, and it has a contemporary, modern design. The water flow is customized, and the Hagen HG flex aquarium comes with a multi-stage filtration system.


The filter may be a hazard, is unsafe for very small fish species.

4. Coralife LED Nano Bubble Aquarium Kit

Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Kit, 32 Gallon
Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Kit, 32 Gallon

Many admire the Coralife LED Nano Bubble aquarium kit for its truly remarkable design. The aquarium makes use of advanced ingenious technologies, and its additional features and components work incredibly well too. With this aquarium, you will be able to mimic the actual oceanic ecosystem, recreating the environment wherein your pet fish is used to.

Biocube’s lighting technology is great. It has the ability to mimic the natural, actual day cycle of every or most aquatic species or organism. If you want an aquarium that is hassle-free to set up with great features, this is definitely for you.


It has a stable base and is easy to clean and maintain. It is also good for both freshwater setups, and saltwater setups come with great illuminations and have incredible aesthetics.


The filter system may be hazardous and unsafe for very small fish species.

5. Fluval Spec V Nano Aquarium Kit

Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon
Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon

The brand mostly focuses on functionality, which is the reason for its simplicity and minimal aesthetics. This being said, it doesn’t mean that it is plain and boring. There is still a lot of room wherein you can put additional deco, aside from your fish. The overall look of this aquarium will just depend on how you would intend to decorate the aquarium, the fish that will be placed in it.

Like all the other aquariums offered by this brand, this aquarium has a stable, sturdy base and additionally comes with a very dependable filtration system. As the aquarium has a simple, minimalist design, you can be sure that setup is hassle-free and that its clear glass is easy to clean.


Easily set up, has a sturdy and stable base, comes with good lighting, efficient filtration, and easy-to-clean and maintain.  


Fluval Spec V Aquarium kit doesn’t come with a heater.

6. Hygger Horizon Glass Nona Aquarium Kit

Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit
Hygger Horizon 8 Gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit

This is another aquarium that is best for beginners in fish-keeping. Hygger Horizon glass aquarium kit may possibly be one of the most stylish, modern, and coolest Nan aquarium that you will see. With its convex arched shape, you are sure of having an aquarium with an aesthetic appeal that is difficult to match.

The Hygger Horizon glass aquarium kit isn’t just all about beauty. It also provides efficiency for giving a conducive environment to different small fish species that you may have. Its filtration system also does a good job of cleaning the water inside the aquarium. The aquarium also has a nearly realistic environment with its permanent rocky background.


Comes with different illumination settings, has an adjustable filtration system, has a unique design that is stylish, and already comes in full setup.


Replacing this aquarium’s filter can be expensive.

7. Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium

Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium 20 gal
Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium 20 gal

This Nano aquarium is highly recommended for those looking for the best build quality with advanced technologies. The Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium is one of those high-end Nano reef aquariums. Its filtration system is completely hidden, which assures that everything is looking great and stays clean. To top this all off, this Nano aquarium features a rotatable screen that allows easier access.

The 7-color channels of this aquarium can be controlled fully through Wi-Fi. Aside from this, you’ll get full-spectrum, 55 watts of Prime LED Lighting.


Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium is ideal as a reef show tank. Included with the aquarium itself is durable and top-quality equipment, and it features the latest Nano reef tank technology.


Given it is high-end with advanced technology, it also comes at a high-end price.

Why should you get a Nano Aquarium?

Larger tanks would mean more time needed for maintenance. With Nano aquariums, it is easy and less expensive to operate, maintain, and set up. Given that this aquarium is smaller in size, this would be ideal and perfect for decorative purposes and adding aesthetics to any small room or office space. Nano aquariums don’t have any specified base requirement, unlike the larger aquariums. Additionally, these aquariums require lesser amounts of the modest heater, substrate, and smaller filter. Compared to materials needed for regular, larger aquariums, Nano aquariums do not cost much, which makes them budget-friendly too. You won’t be needing any larger accessories and equipment just to keep your aquarium in good shape and pristine condition at all times.

Buying Guide for Choosing the Right Nano Aquarium

Guide for Choosing the Right Nano Aquarium

This guide will be featuring the more important and essential factors that you would have to keep in mind when picking out the Nano aquarium for you.

The Size

Be aware that the Nano aquarium has the capacity of holding at least 2.5 gallons or equivalent to 10 gallons. Anything lesser than this capacity is no longer a Nano aquarium but instead is already classified as Pico aquarium. Freshwater Nano aquariums should have a maximum size of about 15 gallons. Saltwater Nano aquariums, on the other hand, require a much larger capacity of 25 gallons. In choosing, you should consider the aquarium’s base and whether it would be ideal for the room where it will be placed. Larger means heavier, so it would mean that it should have a stable, sturdier base.

Its Shape

The majority of the aquariums come in a rectangular shape. Some fish tanks are higher than being wide, and some may be longer than the other. Keep in mind that you must pick the Nano aquarium, which will fit perfectly on the spot where you wish to place it, whether on your desk or on a table.

Fish Species that would be placed

Consider the factors of whether you have hardier freshwater fishes or whether you are going for a more colorful, vibrant aquatic life form and ocean-dwelling fishes. In terms of the aquatic environment, different fish species would mean different requirements and needs. Generally speaking, most of the time, it is best to stick with freshwater fish species because they are easier to maintain.

Is it glass or acrylic?

If you are going for the feel or look of a miniature aquatic environment or ecosystem, glass aquariums are preferable as they provide more rigidity and are more scratch resistant. Glass aquariums also tend to cost lesser, and distortion is less noticeable. When it comes to acrylic, on the other hand, it has the aesthetically pleasing style and shapes that most want. Acrylic aquariums, too, are lighter than glass ones.

Other Aquarium Features and Components

When it comes to set up, the majority of aquariums require the same basic setups. Additionally, the aquarium needs to have an efficient filtration system for managing wastes and keeping the water clean by getting rid of other impurities. You might also need to consider the appropriate lighting system and having a heater, depending on the fish species you have and your location. What also matters as well when picking out your Nano aquarium are the aquarium decorations, aquatic plant lives, and the fish aquarium substrate.

The Types of Nano Aquarium

Types of Nano aquariums

Know that there are types of Nano aquariums. This classification is based on what type of fish species or aquatic life forms can be placed in it.

Aquascape and nano planted aquariums

Aquascaping is a popular form of underwater gardening often found in nano tanks. In an aquascaped tank, the plants and hardscape are the centers and there are only several fish. Aquascape will prune the plants and set up hardscapes to imitate the natural ecosystem or other similar themes.

If you’re planning to grow a host of plans in your nano tank or want to try aquascaping, search for a kit with a high-quality LED light to support the plant development. A lot of nano kits lack lighting, as it’s unnecessary for healthy fish, but aquascaped and planted tanks need more light at the proper spectrums.

Freshwater Nano Aquariums

Most nano aquariums are freshwater tanks, and nearly all nano kits are proper for setting up this sort of tank.

  • These kits often consist of a multi-stage or internal filter with a cover/ hood and basic LED light.
  • Nano aquarium kits differ from starter tank kits because you will want to purchase substrate, decoration, and any additional equipment you like, such as a heater.
  • There are various available capacities ranging from 0.5 to 30 gallons, and in many shapes and materials.

These are the perfect kits for keeping a Betta fish with some tank mates, and larger nano’s are ideal for a Beta sorority or a small school of fancy goldfish. You do not have to buy a premium nano kit for a simple freshwater tank, but if you’re intrigued by a more intricate setup, you might need higher-quality equipment.

Nano reef aquariums

One of the most arduous to design and manage is the nano reef tank. Small reef tanks are suitable for showing off a small collection of coral frags and tiny reef fish like clownfish or goby.

These marine tanks usually contain a small sump system for biological filtration and a high-quality light to support the development of hard and soft corals.

Saltwater nano aquariums

You might easily see saltwater-ready nano kits with some basic equipment.

  • Saltwater nano aquariums are often bigger, in the 15 to 30-gallon range, simply since there is not a number of ocean fish that don’t outgrow the smaller tanks fast.
  • Fewer kits are available because the demand for marine nano aquariums is lower than planted and freshwater setups
  • Not ideal for new saltwater fish keepers, but much less pricey to begin and maintain

Nano-sized saltwater ranks are not recommended for those who have never housed marine fish before. This is because maintaining a marine aquarium needs a sufficient set of knowledge and skills. If you stick with the bigger ranks of more than 20 gallons, a marine nano kit will be a great size to learn on.

How to Set Up a Nano Aquarium?

Let’s follow the steps below to set up your aquarium beautifully. 

Step 1: Pick the location. Your nano aquarium will be far heavier when filled with water, so you need to place it in the right place to start with. Choose somewhere far away from natural light sources to avoid algae growth and away from any heat sources. 

Step 2: Clean the tank. Even it’s a new one, you still have to wipe it over to eliminate any dust. If you’re cleaning an old tank, you can use warm water and vinegar. 

Step 3: Add your decorations and gravel/sand. You will need a least an inch of substrate. The substrate type you select will depend on your fish. 

Step 4: Install the equipment. Put your heater and filter into the tank. If you’re building a saltwater tank, you might need to have a powerhead and a protein skimmer. 

Step 5: Prepare your water. This will depend on whether you are setting up a saltwater or freshwater tank. Ensure that you use either reverse osmosis water or eliminate the chlorine. 

Step 6: Fill the aquarium. You can put a small bowl on top of the sand to pour the water into it. 

Step 7: Cycle your tank. The tank requires completing the nitrogen cycle, which enables beneficial bacteria to grow to convert nitrites and ammonia. The process often takes about 4 to 6 weeks. 

Step 8: Add the inhabitants. It would be best if you allowed time for them to acclimatize by letting them float in the bag for 10 minutes. Then every five minutes, pour a cup of tank water until the bag is full. After that, you can release the fish into the aquarium.

Reviews on the best Nano Aquariums

Reviews for all the aquariums have been summed up because all of the reviews for the brands and products have been positive. Many reviews say that having and choosing to get a Nano aquarium is one of the best decisions they have made. Additionally, reviews mention that their Nano aquarium makes it easier for them to enjoy their fish-keeping hobby without worrying about cleaning and maintenance. Rates for the said aquariums are all high and remarkable, making it a guarantee that all listed are truly the trusted names for Nano Aquariums.

Overall, reviews back up why these are the best Nano aquariums out in the market. These Nano aquariums will truly provide the additional piece and aesthetic that you are looking for to place in your office space or in any small area inside your home. Additionally, these aquariums will be best for housing your pet fishes, keeping them safe, healthy, and happy at all times.


#Product NameImagePriceAction
1Coralife BioCube Aquarium with LED$$$Buy on Amazon!
2Fluval Sea Evo Saltwater Aquarium Kit $$Buy on Amazon!
3Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit$Buy on Amazon!
4Tetra Crescent Acrylic Aquarium Kit  $$Buy on Amazon!
5Penn Plax Radius Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit $Buy on Amazon!
6GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank$$Buy on Amazon!
7SeaClear 29 Gallon Show Acrylic Aquarium$$$Buy on Amazon!


Wrapping It Up

A nano aquarium would be an outstanding and interesting addition to your apartment or office, bringing relaxing and satisfying moments.

Even though nano aquariums are small, they still need the same basic maintenance as bigger ones. It’s crucial that you research your fish species carefully before adding them to your new nano tank. It’s best to choose peaceful compatible types that will not outgrow and prevent picking aggressive and territorial species.

It can be said that the Coralife BioCube will be the ideal choice as it provides the best LED and filtration system. Besides, if you want a small tank, the Marineland will be a proper option. Meanwhile, The Tetra is a budget-efficient tank, suitable for kids or teens. 

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