Here’s the deal:
Nano aquariums are perfect for people who are just starting to get into the fish keeping world.
They require less maintenance, and you can buy them in several sizes.
We’ve rounded up and reviewed the top 10 best nano aquariums including the best all in one nano reef tank for you to compare side by side.
Our buyer’s guide will give you the essential criteria to remember when you’re shopping for your new aquarium.
The Top 10 Best Nano Aquariums
1. Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit
This five gallon nano aquarium comes with aluminum trim and an etched glass tank for added durability. It comes with a powerful 37 LED light that illuminates the entire tank. This kit also comes with BioMax bio rings, activated carbon, and a foam block.
- The aquarium is made out of thick etched glass for a greater durability.
- The aluminum trim is lightweight but very strong so that it can support the tank.
- You get everything you need in this kit to get your aquarium started.
- Smaller fish or guppies can get sucked into the filtration system.
- The LED lights tend to collect condensation and have to be cleaned regularly.
- The lights may be too strong for the tank and cause algae blooms.
2. Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium LED
This sleek aquarium setup comes in two different sizes. It features a LED light strip with a 24-hour times and an automatic shutoff. You get an automatic 30 minute sunrise and 60 minute sunset feature as well. The pump is submersible and quiet when it runs.
- The aquarium features a very sleek and modern design with bright LED lights.
- The lighting system mimics the natural day/night cycles with timers.
- The tank has a quiet submersible pump and a built-in filtration system.
- It can take a while to program the day and night cycles so they sync up.
- The corners tend to be weak points and are prone to cracking or breaking.
- The tank’s lighting system collects condensation and tends to flicker on and off.
3. Penn Plax Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit
This nano aquarium comes with a unique bent glass frame to give you a 360-degree view of the tank. It comes with a small filtration system you hang on the side of the tank, a fish net, and a thermometer. The hinged plastic lid is easy to open and close.
- Aquarium has a bent glass design that offers a 360-degree view.
- The tank’s lid is also a clear plastic that features a hinged design for easy opening and closing.
- The small 2.7 gallon size is compact enough to fit in small spaces or on desks.
- The filtration system might not be powerful enough for the tank.
- There is no lighting system included when you buy this tank.
- The hinge lids are plastic and prone to cracking or breaking with repeated use.
4. Tetra LED Cube Shaped Aquarium with Pedestal Base
You’ll get a clear 360-degree view of this three gallon aquarium when you purchase it. It comes with a small LED light that illuminates the entire tank. This aquarium comes with the small but powerful Tetra 3i filter to keep your water clean and your aquarium clear.
- The tank sits up off the ground on a pedestal base.
- Aquarium offers a 360-degree view of the entire tank, and the lid is transparent.
- The filtration system is small and quiet but powerful.
- The LED lighting system might not last long and tends to dim.
- The tank may not fit flush onto the base, creating stability issues.
- The aquarium is made out of acrylic and it is easy to scratch.
5. Fluval 10531A1 SEA EVO XII Aquarium Kit
This aquarium comes with a stylish honeycomb design that cleverly hides the filtration system. You get a multi-functional canopy with a small door that allows you to quickly feed your fish. The casing features a sleek design with a waterproof layer and a three stage filtration system.
- The honeycomb design gives a modern look while hiding the filtration system.
- The three-stage filtration system is powerful, and it runs quietly.
- You get bright LED lights that run along the top of the tank.
- The liner on the top of the tank tends to peel off with saltwater.
- The lighting system won’t withstand corrosion or saltwater without dying.
- It can be difficult to set the filtration system up for the first time.
6. Vepotek AQUARIUM FISH TANK NANO Kit
This nano aquarium can handle freshwater fish and saltwater fish. It comes back by a one-year warranty against damage. The aquarium is made with high-quality tempered glass that is resistant to scratching. You’ll get a bright LED lighting system to illuminate your entire aquarium.
- The aquarium is made out of tempered glass to reduce scratches or nicks.
- The three-watt aquarium filter pump is powerful enough to keep the tank clean.
- The bast of the aquarium is supported by a durable stand.
- The pump system is prone to failing or not running properly.
- There is no way to set the LED lights on a timer.
- Aquarium doesn’t come with an instruction manual and it can be difficult to set up.
7. MarineLand Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Kit
The filtration system on this nano aquarium is cleverly hidden in the back panel of the aquarium. You get shimmering white and blue LED lights that light up the entire tank. It comes with a sliding glass canopy and a hinged lid for a sleek and modern look.
- The tank is supported by and sits on a small stand.
- The filtration system is hidden, so the tank has a sleek look.
- The glass canopy is easy to maneuver and it gives you a complete view of the aquarium.
- The aquarium may not sit correctly on the base or along the back.
- The filtration chamber is difficult to clean due to the small size.
- The filtration system may be too strong for certain fish breeds.
8. Fluval View Aquarium
This four-gallon aquarium is made out of a lightweight but durable plastic. It comes with 10 while LED lights and one blue LED light. You’ll get an integrated filtration system with a pump with this aquarium. the cover is easy to remove or reattach and it’s a clear plastic.
- The aquarium has a slightly curved and modern design along the front.
- It comes with a hidden pump and filtration system for a sleek look.
- The open design gives an almost unobstructed view of the entire tank.
- If you remove the hood, the lights shut off automatically and makes it hard to see to clean.
- The filtration system may be too weak to keep this aquarium clean.
- The area for the filter is narrow and it can be difficult to clean.
9. MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit
This nano tank comes in a three or five gallon size. It comes with a three-step filtration system and a filter pump with an adjustable flow that’s hidden in the back of the tank. It sits on a hidden stand so it looks like it’s floating.
- The aquarium has LED lights with daylight and moonlight settings.
- The tank’s base is hidden and gives the illusion that the tank is floating.
- It has a glass canopy for easy cleaning and feeding access.
- The aquarium doesn’t come with a heater system included in the kit.
- The intake flow may be too strong for some fish to handle.
- The lid is slightly too large and it doesn’t fit tight.
10. Fluval Flex LED Freshwater Kit
This sleek curved tank comes in two different sizes. It has a 7,500K LED lighting system that’s great for plant growth or showcasing fish colors. The three stage filtration system has chemical, mechanical, and biological media. The hidden rear compartment hides the filter. The tank has an easy open lid so you can feed your fish.
- The front of the aquarium features a curved glass for a modern look.
- The filter compartment is hidden in the back of the tank.
- The LED lighting is bright enough to support plant growth.
- This aquarium doesn’t come with a stand and sits directly on the furniture.
- The pump system doesn’t have a way to adjust the flow rate.
- The company’s customer service can be difficult to get in touch with if there’s a problem.
Nano Aquarium Buyer’s Guide
Although your new nano aquarium requires very little maintenance, there are a few important considerations you want to keep in mind to ensure that you get a good aquarium for your money.
Defining a Nano Aquarium
A nano aquarium is a tiny fish tank that is attractive to hobbyists and beginners because they’re relatively easy to care for. Generally, a nano tank is an aquarium that is under 30 gallons. They’re also great for people who only have a small space to keep an aquarium.
Nano Aquarium Important Specifications
Two of the most popular mediums for nano aquariums are glass and acrylic. A glass aquarium is slightly heavier and more breakable than an acrylic one. However, glass is also harder to scratch as you move it around and clean it. Acrylic is for people who want a lightweight and more durable aquarium.
The filtration system on your nano aquarium will help to keep it clean and reduce the time you spend cleaning and maintaining it. You want to make sure that your filter is large enough to support your tank without being too strong for your fish to swim around.
Your aquarium’s shape can plan a huge role in how well it fits into space you designate for it. The cube-shaped aquariums are easy to fit into a variety of areas, and a cylinder-shaped aquarium can fit in a more narrow space.
Some nano tanks come with a stand included. This can provide a small buffer for the bottom of the tank because it won’t be sitting directly on the table or ledge. The stand can also make it easier to pick up the tank without adding a lot of pressure to the bottom of the tank.
Tank or a Kit
You can buy just the nano aquarium tank, or you can buy a kit. A kit is more expensive, but it has everything you need to get your tank up and running. If you buy just the tank, you’ll also have to buy a filter system, pump, thermometer, growth medium, decorations, and chemicals.
Reasons to Have a Nano Aquarium
There are several reasons why people are so enthusiastic about nano aquariums. They’re continuing to rise in popularity as the year goes on.
Simply put, a nano aquarium is a cheaper alternative to having a large aquarium. They use less electricity overall because the only thing that runs on electricity is the filtration system. The lights typically run on batteries. Also, the kits come with everything you need to set up your tank and run it. You don’t have to buy anything extra.
Nano aquariums of small. This means that you don’t have to worry about setting aside a lot of space to set up and maintain your aquarium. You can have a small aquarium at your desk, in a small apartment, a house, or even in an RV without many problems. As long as you have electricity to run the filter, you’re good.
A larger aquarium can take a lot of your time as you try to clean and maintain it. The nano aquariums won’t take up a lot of your time. You can change the water and get it set up again in less than an hour. This includes cleaning all of the parts and putting them back in the tank.
A large aquarium that is full of water can weigh upwards of 500 to 1,000 pounds easily. This makes it tricky to put the aquarium on a stand or in certain parts of your house. A nano aquarium is relatively lightweight even when it’s full of water. This makes it easy to set down, pick up, and carry.
Nano Aquarium Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good size heater for these aquariums?
These nano tanks only need a small heater. A 25-watt heater should be enough to heat even the bigger nano tanks.
Do you have to replace the filter block if your tank has one?
You shouldn’t have to replace the filter block. This block stores the good bacteria that helps to keep your nano aquarium healthy and thriving.
Is there a minimum nano tank size for a Betta fish?
You need at least three gallons to keep your Betta fish happy. They do very well in five-gallon tanks as well. If you put them in smaller tanks, they can get sick, and you’ll have to change the water more.
Do the tanks come with a protein skimmer?
A lot of nano tanks don’t come with a protein skimmer included in the setup. However, the tanks and the skimmers are popular, so it’s relatively easy to find a skimmer that works with your tank without spending a lot of money.
Can you buy replacement filters for nano tanks?
Yes. These tanks usually have a small universal filter that is easy to find, buy, and use as a replacement. However, you can rinse the filter out thoroughly every few weeks to prolong the life of the filter.
Is glass or acrylic better?
Acrylic is a more lightweight option for your nano aquarium, but it’s also prone to scratching relatively easily. Glass has always been a popular tank medium because it is more heavy-duty and resistant to scratching.
Do the nano aquariums come with chemicals?
No, most of the aquarium setups don’t come with any starter chemicals. You have to purchase these as a separate unit and add them to your tank to treat it before you add your fish or plants.
Should you get a pump with an adjustable flow?
Yes. Ideally, you want a pump with adjustable flow. This will ensure that you can set your pump’s flow to suit different types of fish. Betta fish need a slower pump flow to be happy, and other fish can tolerate a faster one.
Do all nano aquariums have hidden filtration compartments?
No. Some nano aquariums have submersible filtration systems, and other aquariums have hidden compartments. The hidden compartments can be more difficult to clean, but they give the tank a seamless look.
Do they all have hinged lids?
No, some nano aquariums have hinged lids. Some have lids that snap on and off, and others have lids that slide.
What type of lights do nano aquariums need?
You can get away with typical aquarium lights. However, most nano aquariums have a bright LED light system.
Can you buy nano aquarium kits?
Yes, nano aquariums come in kits as well as just the tank. The kits usually have medium, the tank, and the filtration system included. They are more expensive.
Are nano aquariums expensive?
Nano aquariums start at around $20 and go up depending on if you buy just a tank or the kit. The kits can range between $100 to $200 easily.
How often do you change the water?
How often you change the water depends on how many fish you have. You should do at least a partial water change once a month and a full change every three months or so.
Do you need a thermometer?
You should get a small thermometer for your aquarium. This will allow you to monitor your aquarium’s temperature carefully and ensure that it stays at the optimal temperature for your fish and plants.
Can you attach a fish feeder to these aquariums?
If you have a tiny fish feeder, you can attach it to the back of the aquarium by the filter opening, so it automatically feeds your fish.
How does the filtration system stay on the tank?
Most of the filtration systems hook over the side of the tank and hang in the water. Other systems stick with suction cups and are submersible.
Do the aquariums come with rocks included?
If you buy a nano aquarium kit, it usually comes with a small bag of rock or medium. If you buy just the tank, you’ll have to buy the rocks separately and add them in.
Are these nano aquariums quiet?
For the most part, the tanks are almost silent. The filter may hum slightly depending on where it is positioned in the aquarium.
Do the tanks use a lot of electricity to run?
No. Because the nano aquariums are smaller, the only thing that uses electricity is the filtration system. This is usually below 10 watts.
Can you have saltwater fish in these aquariums?
Yes. You can set up your nano aquarium to house either freshwater or saltwater fish without having a problem as long as you maintain it.
Does this tank require a lot of maintenance?
As long as you set the tank of correctly and don’t have a lot of fish in it, it should require very little maintenance. You will need to change part of the water occasionally.
Can you have other things besides fish in these aquariums?
Yes. These aquariums are great for live plants, coral, sea monkeys, frogs, snails, and other small aquatic life.
Do nano aquariums come in different shapes?
You can buy nano aquariums in the traditional rectangular shape. They also come in cubes, cylinders, and with a curved front.
Do all of the aquariums come with stands?
No. Some aquariums and aquarium kits come with the aquarium alone, and it sets on the table. Others come with a hidden stand that makes it looks like the tank is floating in the air.
How long do you have to cycle the tank before you add fish?
You shouldn’t add your fish or plants as soon as you set up the tank. It needs at least a week to cycle and balances out the chemicals you add to the water.
Should you buy a water testing kit with this aquarium?
Yes. You want to buy a water testing kit so you can ensure that your tank’s water has the right chemical levels to support your fish or plants.
Can the LED lights heat the tank’s water up?
Yes. Both LED, and aquarium lights can potentially heat your aquarium’s water up if you have them on constantly.
Do all nano tanks come with warranties?
No. Some nano tanks have a no return policy, so if it breaks; you’re out of luck. Other aquariums come with a one-year warranty.
Will salt water corrode parts of the tank?
Saltwater is corrosive. It will eventually eat at parts of your tank or anything that may be on the glass-like decorative elements or pieces that hide the water’s line.
Now that you can compare the ten best nano aquariums side by side in our comparison table and read our reviews, you can choose the tank that's going to suit your needs the best. Our buyer's guide and frequently asked questions give you criteria to keep in mind when you're shopping to ensure you choose a good nano aquarium.