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Plants for a nano aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

Obviously, it is necessary to choose equipment taking into account the size of the aquarium. One of the most common options is the capacity of 8, 20 or 40 liters, which can be bought at any pet store. Finding a filter for such aquariums is not difficult, since by necessity you can take several external filters that will perfectly clean the water.

Also, if you search, you can find other options for small aquariums and tanks. A more serious problem is the selection of lighting systems.

In most ready-made covers for light aquariums, it is not enough for the growth of healthy plants. For an aquarium of 40 liters, you can buy a standard cover and screw it into a compact fluorescent lamp. You can read about how to do this better on the Internet.

For small aquariums, choose compact fluorescent desk lamps on the knob. Such lamps can be purchased at any appliance store.

They will provide enough light for containers up to 20 liters, and the amount of light can be adjusted by changing the height of the lamp above the aquarium. But if you would like to get a better and more beautiful aquarium, you will have to fork out. Several major manufacturers offer fully equipped nano aquariums, which already have all the necessary lamps and filters.

Such aquariums use good quality glass or acrylic seamless fiber so that nothing can spoil the look of your underwater garden. If you decide to purchase one of these systems, make sure that the lighting will be sufficient for growing plants (at least 2-3 watts per 3-4 liters).

There are also some specialty stores that sell small tanks for aquaculture from the countries of the Far East. The range of prices for these aquariums is quite wide.

So you can choose from affordable to exclusive options with an open top, seamless walls and excellent quality glass. Some aquariums are sold with a filter and light fittings, while for other tanks equipment will have to be purchased.

Before you go shopping, we advise you to look at online stores. It is possible that even with delivery such a purchase will be cheaper.

Aquarium in the nano-style (ill. UncleX; aquascapingworld.com)

If you plan to settle a tropical fish or shrimp in an aquarium, then in most cases you will have to buy a heater. A good option is a small immersion heater with built-in thermostat. Currently, it is possible to find heaters that are perfectly installed even in containers of 8 liters.

Unfortunately, for smaller aquariums, you can hardly find good heater options. Do not ignore other containers that could serve as a nano aquarium.

Large flat vases can turn into a charming water garden.

Some people plant aquaculture in Petri dishes and even inside a regular light bulb! Of course, such small containers are unsuitable for the life of fish, but there are some pluses: there is no need to worry about filtering and heaters.

For a nano aquarium, it is quite possible to choose plants that will not require additional CO2. But with the supply of CO2 in front of you will open the world of very interesting plants.

If you have a CO2 supply system in large aquariums, then you will undoubtedly want the same for the nano aquarium. If you have not tried the carbon dioxide supply system, then the nano aquarium is where you can start the experiments.

Most likely, after you test this system, you will find complete transformation!

What is good nano aquarium?

  • This is the small size of the tank, which takes up very little space. A ten-liter aquarium can even be installed on your desktop and enjoyed every day.
  • Regular water changes take very little time, because sometimes it is enough to replace only 3 liters.
  • Less soil is required and design is easier to make. Many experienced aquascapers regularly restart nano aquariums, literally every 6 – 12 months, as soon as the picture is tired.


The nano aquarium has one, but a very big drawback: instability. In such a small volume it is very difficult to maintain stable water parameters.

Therefore, nano aquariums are not recommended for beginners. Most newcomers will face such problems as the death of the population (both in the sea and in the freshwater aquarium) and the regular appearance of algae.

Why is this happening.

pH – A small amount of water in the nano aquarium makes it prone to pH fluctuations. The dissolution of organic matter – animal waste, dead plants, all this can lead to a drop in pH, especially in a new, freshly run aquarium, which is only a couple of months old. Also, the lack of regular weekly water changes or overfeeding of fish (newcomers very often simply do not know about water changes, and it is also peculiar to overfeeding animals) can lower the pH to a dangerous level.

All this leads to an excessive load on the mini-eco system, which will lead to the death of fish, shrimp or corals, invertebrates and fish in the nano sea.

Nano aquarium decoration

Installing equipment in a nano aquarium is no different from any other aquarium, except that the capacity is really compact. In such very small tanks in the filter and the heater there is no need. For your “chad,” we advise you to choose the best substrates that abound on the market.

If you take such substrates for a large aquarium, the amount will be pretty “decent”, but even one pack of good substrate is enough for several small nano aquariums.

If there is a large amount of organic matter in your chosen substrate, use it only as a baseline, then cover with a layer of fine-grained, well-washed quartz gravel. Thus, the water will not have to be changed too soon, when the excess nutrients from the substrate get into the total flow.

Also, in view of the small size of the tank, consider adding a few stones or snags.

You will see: a stunning spectacle can be achieved with very little means. Stones and snags can be bought at the pet store or searched on the beach or in the forest.

In the latter case, you will not only save money, but also please yourself in search of what you need. (When collecting materials, follow standard precautions, as with any material that will be used in an aquarium).

Overpopulation – Most beginners can not refrain from not populating a very small aquarium just to the eyeballs. They want to lodge more of the most different fish, snails, shrimps, invertebrates in the nano sea.

And very often they lodge fish that are absolutely not suitable for such volumes, for example, scalar or large gourami, because often in the pet store incompetent or unscrupulous sellers convince the buyer that 40 liters for a pair of scalar is enough! All this leads to the accumulation of organic matter and, as a consequence, the gradual extinction of the population.

Temperature A small amount of water nano aquarium leads to a constant temperature fluctuation. And if for most tropical fish this is not so dangerous, for shrimp daily fluctuations in temperature of more than a degree are fraught with consequences. In addition, the vast majority of aquarium fish and shrimp do not tolerate temperatures above 28 degrees, and if you have a hot summer, you will have to think about conditioning.

But for the marine life of the nano reef temperature fluctuations are very dangerous, because the sea is a constant value, there are no sharp fluctuations, the temperature is stable. Therefore, depending on your region of residence, you will need to purchase a water heater and / or a cooling device for the aquarium, which is quite a significant financial cost.

For sea creatures, temperature fluctuations of more than 2 degrees for 12 hours are severely stressed, which is very dangerous and can be fatal.

Plant selection

Due to the small size of the aquarium, you must be very careful when choosing plants for planting. It is important that the size of the leaves is appropriate, that is, large leaves will look out of place in a small aquarium. Also, do not choose fast-growing plants.

Otherwise, you will have to shorten and cut them every few days so that they do not fill the entire aquarium. But in any case, a lot of options.
Slow-growing plants that do not require good lighting, such as various mosses, varieties of small Microsorum ferns of the species “nana” or “nana petite”, and Anubias barter plants are perfect for a nano aquarium. Also a good option is a small cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne).

While the usual Javanese moss Taxiphyllum barbieri grows too fast and fills the entire small aquarium, other types of moss, such as Vesicularia montagnei, ornamental species, such as moss Flame and weeping moss, grow slower, and in many respects surpass ordinary moss in their beauty In addition, some species of the genus Fissidens look good in a nano aquarium.

You can add the dwarf sedge Eleocharis acicularis or E. pusilla, which will create a dense carpet and will not grow out of the aquarium, if that one is, of course, not too tiny. Such an aquarium will please the eye for a very long time and stay clean. If you are not away from cutting plants periodically and watching your aquasade, a whole world of possibilities opens up for you.

While the plants mentioned above grow better with additional CO2, most of them will be fine without carbon dioxide if there is enough organic matter in the substrate.

For most of the more fastidious plants, CO2 supply is very important. One of the most beautiful soil plants is Hemianthus Cuba (Hemianthus callitrichoides), which requires additional CO2. This creeping plant is distinguished by its small leaves of bright green color and gives a lively glow to the aquarium.

Low-growth Pogostemon helferi and Staurogyne repens will look good too.

Stem plants, for example, Rotala wallichii, Didiplis diandra and Mayaca fluviatilis, are also well suited for a nano aquarium. A good choice would be Micranthemum umbrosum and Hemianthus micranthemoides.

But this is not a complete list. Look through any good book on aquatic plants, and you will find many excellent options for your aquarium.

Just remember that it is better to avoid those stem plants that have large leaves or that grow too fast.

Salinity – this indicator usually refers to the nano sea. If you do not have an automatic topping system, the salinity of the water in the nano aquarium will constantly increase due to evaporation. Especially if you have fans or a fridge for cooling water.

If the nano sea remains on hot days for 2 to 3 days without supervision, evaporation will already be considerable, and without regular topping up with fresh water there will be an undue burden on the residents.

Due to these factors, a nano aquarium is extremely discouraged from starting by amateur amateur aquarists; this will only lead to problems and frustration. The best volume of aquarium for a beginner is at least 100 liters. And only when you learn how to properly care for an aquarium, making regular water changes, feeding the correct amount of food to the inhabitants, when your population will live happily and happily, without cloudiness or greening of water, then you will be ready to care for a nano aquarium

What can be said about living creatures?

The possibility of placing animals depends solely on the size of your nano aquarium, as well as how much effort you are willing to make to create all the necessary conditions. Our advice: Aquariums up to 8 liters should be used exclusively for plants.

Thus, they will become a beautiful pearl of your table, which will delight you every day. At the same time, all you need is to add a little water and, perhaps, occasionally feed the plants with fertilizer.

In small aquariums it is very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a comfortable temperature for most fish. And if you feed the fish in such a small tank, you will often have to change the water so that your inhabitants feel good, and the algae do not grow too densely.

Aquariums of 8–20 liters are too small for most fish species, but they are large enough to maintain the right temperature. If they are planted with healthy plants, then with proper feeding these plants will receive all the necessary nutrients.

An aquarium of this size can be easily revived by a colony of colored shrimp, for example, bright red, crystal species or bee shrimp. All of these shrimp eat a certain amount of algae, so it will be very useful if your pets are slightly hungry.

In this way, they will clean the plants when they are looking for food on their own. As for aquariums of 20 or more liters, you can think of various small fish that will feel good in the space they offer.

For many of these fish, large tanks will not work, as they will not be able to compete with larger or snooty fish.

Nano-aquarium will be the perfect home for them! As in the case of plants, the variants are apparently invisible, but against this background several most popular species can be distinguished.

South American tetra Amanda (Hyphessobrycon amandae) is a tiny red tetra that feels great in a flock of 8-12 individuals. It is so small that an aquarium of 20 liters or more is quite suitable for it.

Also a great option would be a lot of dwarf pestilobrikonov. The real crush lovers are the Nannostomus mortenthaleri ruby ​​petsylobrikony.

Of the Asian species, we advise you to opt for a bright dwarf fish called badis red “Scarlet” (Dario Dario) and the incredibly beautiful micro-selection “Galaxy” (Danio margaritatus). In addition to the beauty of the micro-collection, he has a calm disposition and feels rather well even in a small company, in contrast to the truly schooling fish. Ideal – a flock of 6 individuals.

Another Asian fish, which will be an excellent option to revitalize the nano aquarium, is a cardinal (Tanichthys albonubes). These fish are not very noticeable in the pet store, but when you run them in an aquarium planted with greens, they will just glow!

Also for a nano aquarium, small Killy (hazel grouse) fish are perfect. One of the preferred species is Pseudepiplatys annulatus or Killy the clown.

Individuals with blue eyes, for example, Pseudomugil furcata or P. tenellus, will look good. All these fish really need their own aquarium in which they can behave naturally.

Of course, this is only a small part of the living creatures that can be lodged in a nano aquarium.

All you need to remember is that you need to choose small fish and not overdo it with their number. (If you desperately need more fish, put another nano aquarium!) Care Care of a nano aquarium is almost no different from any other aquarium. You just do not need to think on a large scale.

A single-edged blade is perfect as a scraper. Mesh for artemia will be useful for any aquariums, if they are, of course, not too tiny.

For such cases, you can make the grid yourself. Fishing in densely planted tanks will not be easy, but the net will be useful for screening out plant residues from the surface after cutting them.

Many aquatic gardeners use special tools for planting. And while such tools can be very useful for containers of any size, they are an absolute necessity in a nano aquarium where our fingers are too big for fine work. And since we raised the issue of hands, pour some of the water from the aquarium so that the water does not overflow through the edges when you put your hands in it.

Otherwise, the wet table is provided to you! Changing the water in the nano aquarium is pretty easy.

You can use a small-diameter tube to transfer water to another container, or simply draw out water using a mug. It is important to remember that water in small tanks needs to be changed regularly.

Try replacing 50 percent of the water each week. If you have hard water in your tap, then for some species that live in soft water, it is better to buy bottled water.

It would be expensive if the water had to be changed for a large aquarium, which cannot be said about a tiny one.

If you have an open-top aquarium, you need to add water in the intervals between its replacement, as the evaporation process is quite noticeable. In small tanks dressing may present some difficulties.

If you have a bigger aquarium, one of the ways to cope with this task is to replace the water in a large tank, add the required amount of top dressing, and then pour the water into the nano aquarium. If this option is not suitable, you will need to carefully calculate everything or learn how to dispense with a pipette or make diluted solutions.

If you have used a good nutrient substrate, there will not be a need for any solid feeding for many months.

If you have fish in the aquarium, the food will also contribute to the fertilization of plants. Come with particular vigilance to plant nutrition in a nano aquarium. If something goes wrong or if you are tired of seeing your aquarium, everything will be very easy to remake.

Drain the water into a small waterproof container, place the plants and fish there, and then start over. There are specialists who sometimes wash their seamless nano aquarium in the dishwasher!

Until this, of course, extreme. Nano aquariums are not only beautiful, but also bring a lot of joy to their owners. Their design and maintenance does not cause any difficulties, and the ideal beauty will accentuate the comfort of any room.

They give you a great opportunity to try your aquarium design skills on a small scale for very little money. You can also experiment with some interesting species that otherwise would not have taken root.

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