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Small aquariums for fish

maintenance, care, compatibility

Small consider aquariums less than 30-40 liters, usually from 5 to 20 liters. Often they are called nano aquariums (from the Greek nano – “small, tiny, dwarf”), emphasizing with this term not only size, but also their modernity and adaptability. There are also microaquariums, their capacity is 1-2 liters, and animals do not lodge in them, with the exception of some species of snails. The world’s smallest aquarium with fish was created by Omsk miniaturist Anatoly Konenko and his son Stanislav.

They placed in 10 ml of water a primer, a specially designed mini-compressor, small cladofor bushes and a few danio fry.

We will immediately agree that we will not call a round ten-liter jar with a goldfish a nano-aquarium because it is not an aquarium, but a mockery of fish and all the principles of aquarism.

An aquarium, no matter how large, is an equilibrium biological system whose inhabitants feel comfortable. To achieve this in a small amount is a whole science. But, if this is possible, the results can be simply amazing.

Such aquariums, where a living biotope is reproduced in a tiny volume, resemble Japanese bonsai art or large-scale models of luxury cars: small ones, but everything is real.

Of course, not all small aquariums are worthy of aquascaping competitions or books of records, but each of them should please the eye of its owner and create a comfortable environment for its inhabitants.

When choosing inhabitants for a small aquarium, first of all, of course, one should pay attention to their size. Fish should not be more than 3-4 cm long, and if the aquarium is completely “nano”, up to 15 liters – more than 2-3 cm.

In addition, the fish need a peaceful, not too voracious, not territorial, and quite unpretentious, at least if this is your first experience in nano aquariums. Well and, of course, they must be brightly and diversely colored and active, so that it would be interesting to watch them.

Under these conditions is quite a large number of fish. The most honorable place in nano aquariums is occupied by carp representatives – zebrafish, micro-assemblies, boraras.

The micro-collection of the galaxy with its amazing color is truly the queen of small volumes.

It is possible to lodge neon and tetra amanda from charicine fishes in such an aquarium, from guppies and petillia from viviparous. In addition, you can make small catfish, for example, the corridor-pygmy or otozinclus.

Feel good in a small volume of the cockerel.

Fish is better to take flocks of 3-4 pieces (of course, except for pugnacious cockerels), so they will feel more comfortable. The density of planting small fish should be about 1 individual per 2 liters of water.

In addition to fish, different types of shrimp live in a nano aquarium, dwarf crayfish (they are incompatible with shrimps), frogs hymeno-viruses.

Small recognized aquarium less than 50 liters. So, even in a 10 liter miniature pond you can settle the fish.

However, it is worth calculating your efforts, the smaller the liters, the more often you need to do the cleaning, monitor the quality of water and aeration. If you plan to keep tropical rocks in a small aquarium, then you will have to maintain an optimal temperature for their maintenance, about 26-27 degrees. In Akavirumah with a volume of less than 10 liters, this is very difficult to do, since the instruments have large scales that will not fit physically there.

Ignore these conditions, too, will not work. Without them, the fish for which you gave more than $ 100 will die.

Fish for a small aquarium should be selected depending on many factors. For beginners, it is problematic to consider them yourself, so contact the professionals who will help determine which fish can be kept together, and which neighborhoods should be avoided.

Factors important at settling:

  • The ability to survive one by one. Some species can live only in flocks, so pay attention to this moment in the first place;
  • Water characteristics for species should be approximately the same;
  • Peaceful nature of the inhabitants;
  • The number of individuals depends on the surface area of ​​the water. The larger the footage, the more fish you can start;
  • Compatibility of rocks. Sometimes peace-loving fish separately do not tolerate each other’s neighborhood.

It is important to remember that small aquariums – a zone of increased danger to fish. Therefore, the choice of neighbors fully determine the fate of your wards.

If you add predatory fish to a small aquarium, they will eat peace-loving neighbors. For the angelfish fit gurus, other fish with them will not get along.

You can get one fish, which will be the mistress of your reservoir, or keep a whole flock of miniature fish.

Depending on the volume, you can have a different number of individuals. Thus, in the 10 liter can be placed 2-3 fish to 6 centimeters.

If you do not follow the rule of displacement for each representative, then you will create an uncomfortable atmosphere, which will worsen the health and appearance of the inhabitants. In addition to the fish in the aquarium will be gravel and plants, which also take up some volume from the declared manufacturer.

Another nuance in the settlement of fish in the smallest aquarium. Consider the habitat of pets so that they do not interfere with each other.

Fish are divided into those who:

  • Swim near the bottom – bottom;
  • Swim at an average level;
  • Swim in the upper layer.

With such a gradation, the inhabitants will be evenly distributed in the aquarium, which will significantly increase its aesthetic properties. Let us turn to specific examples of ideal inhabitants.

Small can be considered an aquarium from 20 to 40 cm in length (I note that there are still nano-aquariums, but this is more of an art). In smaller than these, it is difficult to keep practically any fish, except perhaps the rooster or cardinals.

Small aquariums need practically the same equipment as for large ones. Especially important is the heater and filter.

A good lamp does not hurt if you want to keep plants or enjoy your fish to the fullest.

Small aquarium snugly located

Caring for a mini-aquarium is very simple and is based on the same principles as caring for a large one. Replacing a portion of the water is a key point, a little and often, here’s the golden rule. Very often aquarists clean the tank every month and replace all the water.

But only in one case, you need to change in the aquarium more than 50% of the water – if an emergency happens. In nano-aquariums, a large water change still introduces instability and imbalance. A good habit is to change no more than 10-15% of the water for a mini-aquarium at a time.

If you need to replace more, break for several times. Three times 10% better than one 30%.

Choose a fish for a mini-aquarium is quite a challenge. It is not enough for this simply to choose a small fish, although this is the same factor.

It is also important not to forget that the fish you choose will live in a limited place, which means you cannot stop at the types of aggressive or territorial. A common mistake is to buy male swordtails, dwarf gourami or cichlids, they can be real hooligans.

And the types of active fish, such as danios, get along well, but can interfere with other fish because of their vigor.
A good choice for a mini aquarium is small barbs, for example, cherry and many types of haracin ones – neons, rasbora, erythrozonuses. To clean the aquarium, corridors of all kinds are well suited, or algae eater – ototsinklyus.

From shrimp – Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp.
There are still not very famous fish, but which are ideal for small aquariums:

  • Pseudomogil gertrude
  • Copper tetra or Hasemania nana
  • Orizias vovora (Oryzias woworae) or rice fish
  • Tetra Amanda

For the upper layer (although they float everywhere), partilias and mollies. Guppies are also very popular, but I would not advise taking pedigreeds, because of their very weak resistance to diseases, the result of intragenital crossing, you can take an endler’s guppy.

The endlers are 2 times smaller than normal guppies, much brighter, but the fins are not voile. Breed more often, the fry are larger, but less at a time than the usual guppies.

The male cockerel can become a highlight, but only it is better to keep him alone, because of the violent temper in relation to relatives.

Not every person can afford to buy and place a large aquarium at home. Sometimes there is simply not enough free space, and one wants to decorate the interior of the dwelling and have this kind of pets at home. Often there are cases when small aquariums are purchased in order to put them in their workplace, thus decorating the office.

But it is important to remember that a small aquarium is very difficult to maintain. The difficulty is to properly maintain a sustainable biological system.

Not every novice aquarist will be able to choose the right fish for a small aquarium.

Characteristics of a small aquarium

Experts advise not to buy very small vessels. The fact is that in small aquariums it is simply impossible to maintain the parameters that are necessary for the life of the fish. For example, for keeping fish in a small aquarium, you need to maintain a stable temperature regime.

There are fish that need the temperature in the aquarium to reach 18-20 degrees, and there are tropical species that require temperatures above 25-27 degrees.

At home, it is very difficult to maintain a stable high temperature of the water in the aquarium. At the same time, the water temperature remains one of the most important parameters for keeping fish.

In addition, as long as the bacteria do not settle the filter, the aquarist will have to frequently change the water. For replacement water is suitable, which

defended for at least two days.

Selection of equipment and plants for a small aquarium

Aquariums with a small volume are sold in specialized stores. The kit usually sells a cap, an air pump, a filter, and a light.

That’s all it takes. Usually such kits are not expensive.

The choice of plants in a small aquarium directly depends on the size of the aquarium. Large and fast-growing plants in the design of small aquariums should be avoided.

They will occupy the entire volume and will cause a lot of trouble.

For small aquariums, small species of Anubias and microzoriums are ideal. The advantage of these plants is that they do not need to be buried in the ground, but only easily attached with wire to the pebbles at the bottom. Successfully will look and cryptocorynes.

You can use different mosses for decoration. Especially advantageous they will look in an aquarium with shrimp.

Selection of aquarium fish for a small aquarium

From viviparous fish for a small aquarium, you can choose guppies. This is a common and inexpensive fish. You can purchase red, spotted, black or green swordtails.

As an option – to get placium or mollies. These relatively unpretentious fish for a small aquarium, there are different colors.

You can choose barbs or danios or have catfish ancytrus from the fledgling fish.

Often for the design of the workplace choose round aquariums. When choosing fish for a round aquarium usually stop at certain species. Often you can see a goldfish in a small aquarium.

Sometimes in mini-aquariums they keep frogs, tritons, shrimps.

A betta fighting fish in a small aquarium will also feel great, as it can breathe atmospheric air. This feature explains the choice of this type of fish for small round aquariums.

It can be concluded that when choosing fish for a small aquarium, many factors must be taken into account, but mini-aquariums are worth the effort, as they will be a great addition to the interior.

The most common is an inexpensive fish for a small guppy aquarium. If you wish, you can find beautiful specimens of intricate coloring.

Swordsmen of different colors feel good in such containers. They are red, black, spotty, green.

In addition, swordtails and guppies can coexist well together.

Another small fish for a small aquarium is black mollies. It is more demanding on the temperature and mineral composition of the water.

Therefore, it is slightly salted. Particularly spectacular disc red pesilia.

All these fish are similar in terms of housing, feeding and care.

Striped Sumatran barbus looks very good, especially mossy barb – a mutant of green color.

Danio fish are small and completely unpretentious. Cute voile cardinals are also small in size and are suitable for such containers.

The smallest fish for the aquarium, perhaps, are the neons of the Haracin family, but they are somewhat more expensive. But neon (red, blue or ordinary) is considered the most spectacular fish among all freshwater schooling representatives.

A flock of 10-15 individuals will become a real decoration of any aquarium.

If you want to buy larger fish, you can stay on a pair of scalar or parrot pelvicahromis.

Small catfish (gold, mottled, green) get along well with any fish. They live in the bottom layer, feed on the remnants of food at the bottom, thereby cleaning the ground.

And catfish antsistrusy, due to the structure of the mouth-sucker, clean the walls of the aquarium from algal deposits.

The number and composition of the inhabitants of the aquarium entirely depend on the preferences and availability of finances of its owner.

An aquarium with a volume of up to 50 liters is considered small. If you want to avoid the usual mistakes in the selection of fish, use the following tips from experienced professionals.

When buying a fish, ask the sales assistant, what size it will reach when it grows up. Sometimes a small fish in time can turn into a predator, and significantly reduce the number of fish in your tank.

Maintaining the optimum mode in such an aquarium is quite difficult, so you should not buy too expensive exotic fish, such specimens die first of all in case of a violation of the eco-balance.

Calculate the optimal number of fish in the aquarium, based on the calculation – 3-5 liters of water per fish with an average length of 6 centimeters. Do not overload the aquarium with a large number of fish, they will be uncomfortable.

Try to get the fish of one “temperament”. If some fish are inactive, while others begin to rush around the aquarium, the first is unlikely to get food.

Make sure that the vital volume of the aquarium is evenly filled, that is, the fish living in the bottom layer of the aquarium should be combined with the fish swimming in the middle layer and the fish near the surface

The ideal fish in a small aquarium is a guppy. It is possible to purchase about 15 fancy colored fish, and this will be enough for an aquarium of 50 liters.

Small aquariums are well suited for swordtails of various colors. The red color plaits, as well as spotted and calico, have worked well.

Black mollies more demanding on the composition of the water of the fish, it is necessary for them to add a little salt. All of these fish are viviparous, in addition, they require approximately the same conditions.

In the small aquarium can be placed and the frivolous fish. Striped Sumatran barbs look very impressive next to mossy mutant barbs of dark green color.

The small striped danio fish are very unpretentious, the cardinal form of the voile look very nice.

Fans of larger fish should purchase several angelfish or pelvihkromisov parrots. Any aquarium will be decorated with red, blue or ordinary neons, but these are rather expensive fish.

It is useful to put catfish antsistrus into the aquarium, which have the ability to clean the walls of the aquarium as well as the plants from green algae using the suction cup.

Even if the filter, compressor and heater are perfectly matched, not all kinds of fish can be kept in 10, 20 or 30 liters of water. So what kind of fish should not be settled in a flask?

  • Large. Which require several dozen liters per individual, will die in a round aquarium immediately.
  • Nervous. Keeping the fish responsive to change is impossible in the flask. No matter how luxurious filter or heater you have equipped the flask, it always distorts light and shade, and it will constantly scare the fish.
  • Steynye. Fish that are accustomed to live in flocks, will wither. They will suffer from lack of space. And to get a full-fledged flock will not succeed, which will be an additional stress.

For the maintenance of suitable species, undemanding to the temperature (although this does not mean that the heater is not needed): swordtails, guppies, placiums, corridors, macropods, neons. Fish that are not sensitive to the oxygen content in water, which are many: cockerel, small gourami, macropods, will also get along in the flask.

It is important to note that the aquarium will allow normal maintenance for only one or two individuals. Baby-guppies and neons should not exceed 10.

By the way, the selection of equipment should be carried out after you decide on the type of fish that will live in your planned aquamire.

No matter how much you want to decorate your house with a flask with a golden beauty inside, it is better to refuse the idea.

First, goldfish are classified as large species. The ball aquarium has a small volume: one fish requires at least 20-30 liters, but not 10.

If you buy an aquarium in 20 or 30 liters, the goldfish will be uncomfortable, even if you supply the filter to the aquarium. You can stop the choice on the varieties of goldfish smaller, such as telescopes.

Having decided to start a goldfish, you will have to really often clean the aquarium, carefully control the amount of food, replace the water. Are these efforts worth keeping one goldfish (which in any case will feel discomfort)?

Preliminary preparation before the acquisition of small fish

If you have enough space and money to install an aquarium of any acceptable size, as well as the necessary equipment to ensure the life of the fish, you can proceed to the next heading of this article.

If you are cramped in something, then you need to define your desires, given that small aquariums are much more difficult to maintain than large ones, but the latter require more time for maintenance. For example, a 100-liter aquarium will suit a novice aquarist better than a 50-liter aquarium.

A large aquarium is simpler and better kept for several reasons:

1. Water temperature and quality are more stable.

2. The impact of adverse factors on the fish takes longer, which gives the novice aquarist the opportunity to influence them in a timely manner. For example, in winter time, the water heater broke, the cooling process is slower and you can manage to get off and buy a new one before the fish get cold. Or ampularia died from old age in the thickets of a small aquarium, the water became dull, the smell appeared, fish began to die.

In a large aquarium, this process will occur many times slower and you can remove the dead snail from the can without harming the fish.

3. In small aquariums there is little space for free swimming, and, accordingly, not every favorite decor can be placed in it.

4. Ample opportunities for design and decoration.

5. A large aquarium can hold a lot of large fish or a large number of small ones, it allows you to contain various types of fish.

With all the advantages of large aquariums, it is sometimes not possible to install it. Small aquariums are great for apartments, country houses or hostels, as well as for the second floors of private houses.

Large aquariums weigh a lot, they are difficult to transport, take up more space, and in unforeseen circumstances cause more damage.

The biggest advantage of a small aquarium is a financial issue. Aquarium, equipment, scenery, soil, plants, the cost of electricity, the treatment of fish cost much less.

Before acquiring you need to properly assess the benefits of both large and small aquariums. Answer yourself to the question: “What volume of aquarium would you like and is there an opportunity to contain such a volume?” If finances are not important and you do not often move, then the choice is obvious.

And if you do not want or can not afford a large aquarium, then a small aquarium is what you need for you. In any case, the main thing – comfortable conditions for the maintenance of fish.

Aquarium for beginners: care, content, useful video

The motivation for writing this article was the frequent appeal of newcomers to aquarism at FORUM FanFishka.ru. Almost every day, newly minted owners of the aquarium world ask their questions to which they either do not know the answers, or need advice, or have problems after the first launch of the aquarium.

All who asked for help on the forum, did not go unheeded! Even if the newcomer had gross or absurd mistakes, I never scolded him, and tried to explain what was what planned.

But, at some stage, I realized that I would not be enough for everyone and that I needed methodological material for beginners!

Looking at the already written materials from the site FanFishka.ru, I saw a sufficient number of articles – “about the first steps into the aquarium kingdom”. But, all of them were scattered and only mutually complementary.

After analyzing further similar materials on the Internet, my desire to write a decent, systematic material, only intensified!

For constructive conversation, let’s break down the article into sections:

1. AQUARIUM FOR BEGINNERS: arrangement, launch, frequent questions, problems.

2. FISHING AND PLANTS FOR BEGINNERS: what are the issues that are necessary, problems.

3. NUANS OF YOUNG AQUARIUM: rules that will help to avoid problems with the aquarium.


arrangement, launch, frequent questions, problems

To create an aquarium world, you need not only the aquarium itself, but also related products. Many beginners make the mistake of buying only the minimum part of the necessary equipment.

And then they begin to run in a hurry in search of a product.

Remember, as Captain Vrungel said: “How do you call a ship, so it will sail.” The first launch of the aquarium should be perfect – and this will be the key to the joy and pleasure from aquarium contemplation, eliminates possible problems and difficulties, and most importantly will give you invaluable experience.

In the future, you can miss something, lazy … but not now!

Below are links to articles in this section, in bold, priority articles are highlighted:

Running Aquarium from A to Z

An example of an aquarium design 100 liters

Aquarium decoration

Which aquarium is better


I WANT TO GO TO FISH: how to equip the first aquarium.

AQUARIUM BEGINNING: the basics of the aquarium, the basics of aquarium

FIRST AQUARIUM DAYS: Start the creation of the aquarium world of fish!




Boiled thawed or distilled water for aquarium

Seashells in the aquarium

SMALL AQUARIUM merits and demerits!

LACK OF THE AQUARIUM, but are these fish really necessary?


Other questions on the forum …

Here’s another, for convenience, as a reminder – I give a list of what ponabitsya for a novice aquarist:

– lighting, if not included;

– aquatic organisms: fish, plants, mollusks, etc .;

– food for prospective fish;

– inventory: net, siphon, aquarium silicone, sponges, buckets. Secondary – hoses, valves, windshield wipers, other;

Plus, I recommend to all beginners to buy immediately a means to stabilize the aquarium water. It is called the water stabilizer. Different brands have different names, here are some of them: Tetra Aqua Safe, Sera aquatan, Sera bio nitrivec … others.

Read about them here AQUARIUM CHEMISTRY.

The above articles fully disclose all the nuances of buying, installing and running an aquarium. Below are the blitz answers to the most frequent questions of novice aquarists.

one. Question: Is it possible to put the aquarium on the furniture? In the kitchen?

Bath and so on?

Answer: Can. It is important that the surface of the furniture was solid and withstand the weight of the aquarium with water, soil and decorations.

The aquarium can be placed anywhere, as long as direct sunlight does not fall on it. Cooking, bathing does not interfere with the life of the fish.

2 Question: After the launch of the aquarium, the water turned cloudy – became whitish!?

Answer: Nothing wrong with that. When you first fill the aquarium with water for the first time, the reservoir’s biobalance is not yet tuned, because This is a long process.

Primary adaptation processes of aquarium water occur. The whiteness of the water will pass itself in 3-7 days.

3 Question: What kind of water to pour into the aquarium? How often should it be changed?

Answer: It is necessary to fill in at least a day separated water. Otherwise, you can run into trouble, for example, gas embolus.

Yes … you can fill the aquarium with tap water – but, counting on it at random.

The substitution of aquarium water is purely individual and depends on the size of the aquarium, the number of fish and plants, and other factors. In general, it is customary to replace water once a week.

But, as the poll on our site shows, this is not a dogma.

“How often do you change aquarium water to fresh water?”

four. Question: Is it possible to decorate an aquarium with statuettes, shells, beads, etc.

Answer: Can. But, you must make sure that the material from which the decor is made is not soluble in water. The same shells undergo a gradual dissolution in aquarium water, which increases, albeit slightly, the rigidity of aquarium water.

Painted, plastic items are best not to use. Metal – are prohibited.


what is necessary, issues issues

Giving advice on choosing fish for a novice aquarist, you can immediately get rid of him with the phrase: “Choose unpretentious in the content, small fish, for example, from the family of petsilievi – guppies, swordtails, radishes, etc.”.

But who thought it up that it is impossible to immediately start large, beautiful fish – the same tsikhlazom: severum, diamond or black-striped? If you properly care for them, then there will be no problems.

And if you do not follow the aquarium and let everything go to chance, then the guppies will die in a week.

Perhaps the main qualification when choosing aquarium fish are your abilities and desires.

The opposite situation is with aquarium plants. It’s not so simple. The success of plant maintenance is LIGHT + SUPPLY + CO2.

Their deficiency leads to the death or poor health of plants.

Unfortunately, in the aquarium covers that come with, as a rule, there are 15-18 watt light bulbs, the power of which is insufficient for the normal existence of aquarium plants. Therefore, before you start a plant you need to study everything and prepare in advance.

The initial way out of this situation may be unpretentious, resistant aquarium plants that are not pretentious to the conditions of detention.

Below are the articles that fully and comprehensively disclose this section.

Aquarium Fish Compatibility



TOP: The most beautiful aquarium fish and fish!

The most unpretentious little aquarium fish


What fish live in the aquarium. What kind of fish to get?


Purchasing Transplant Fish Transportation

AQUARIUM PLANTS: let’s talk about the benefits of plants for your aquarium!

CO2 for aquarium

The benefits and dangers of CO2 in an aquarium

Why in the aquarium …

YOU CAN AQUARIUM: all the answers

Fish and snails: enemies or friends!

How much are the fish or the price of aquarium fish!

How much can the fish in the aquarium

Perhaps the most important thing when choosing fish is to take into account their compatibility and the volume of “living space”. Do not chase the quantity!

Frequently asked questions by novice aquarists in this section:

one. Question: Did the fishes get covered with white dots, bumps?

Answer: This is ichthyophthiriosis or “semolina” fish. It is treated with Tetra Contral or Sera Kostapur. Read more here:

Ichthyotiria how to treat semolina in aquarium fish


Discussion on the forum

2 Question: Fish die, why, what to do?

Answer: Here

Why die fish or the sad fate of goldfish!

The first symptoms of fish disease


We also recommend you to look at the colorful brochure “Popular types of aquarium fish”. This brochure contains all popular types of fish, with a description of their conditions of maintenance, compatibility, feeding + photos.

(to view or download, click on the image)


rules that will help to avoid problems with the aquarium


Unfortunately, they have such a job – to smell you as much as possible. Often the sellers’ advice is wrong and aimed only at one greedy enrichment at your expense.


Actually this rule follows from the previous one – it is your weapon in the fight against lies. Your own opinion based on what you read is the key to success not only in aquarism.

Read several materials on the topic of interest, for comparison and analysis.


Do not rush, do everything thoroughly. It is impossible to get ahead of time – everything that was done in a hurry will collapse soon.


Feed the fish once a day, “do not rub” the aquarium daily, do not fill the aquarium with fish and plants. In fact: aeration, filtration, normal water temperature and feed – these are the basic living conditions of the fish.


This will give you the opportunity to quickly adjust the bio balance of the aquarium, to keep it clean, and in the case of illness of pets – to take action on time.


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Goldfish (Carassius auratus) – types, description, content

Goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) Linne, 1758.Carp family (Cyprinidae). The first information about a goldfish was ...

Micro spotting spotted (Boraras maculatus) – content, breeding

Micro spotting spotted (Boraras maculatus) It was introduced to Europe more than 100 years ago, ...

Scalar (Pterophyllum scalare) – description, content, breeding

Scalpel (Pterophyllum scalare) Lichtenstein, 1823.Family Cichl – Cichlidae. Habitat: Inhabit the region of South America, ...

Black phantom (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus) – content, breeding

Family: Characteristic (Characidae). Habitats Central Brazil, the basin of the river Rio Guaporé forest forests ...

Badis Badis (Badis badis) – description, content, breeding

Badis Badis or Fish chameleon (Badis badis) HAMILTON, 1822 The Latin name for the fish ...