Nano Aquarium / Nano fishtank

What is a nano aquarium?

Nano Aquarium
VivienneHarper, 12 litre aquarium, CC BY-SA 3.0

The trend towards the Nano Aquarium originates from Japan and is based on the bonsai art of plants.

It is the smallest aquarium form available. It is designed exclusively for keeping small freshwater animals such as dwarf shrimps, crabs, snails and nano fish.

The capacity of such a mini aquarium is between 10 and 60 litres.

However, nano fish should only be kept in a larger tank with a volume of 60 litres or more. The shape can be either rectangular or square. At the moment the square or cube-shaped variants are modern. These are available under the name Nano Cube.

The right choice regarding the size is determined by the type and number of inhabitants:

  • 10 litres: 20 x 20 x 25 cm and about 15 kg. Suitable for 1 kind of shrimp or 2 kinds of snails
  • 20 litres: 25 x 25 x 30 cm and about 30 kg. Suitable for 1 shrimp variety or 1 crab variety and 1 snail variety
  • 30 litres: 35 x 35 x 25 cm and about 40 kg. Suitable for 2 types of shrimps, snails and crabs
  • 60 litres: 38 x 38 x 43 cm and about 75 kg. Suitable for 1 kind of shrimps, 1 nano fish shoal, snails and crabs
]It is important that the inhabitants can always pursue their joy of movement, their desire to hide and search for food independently. Larger animals and a higher number require a correspondingly larger and equipped mini aquarium. If possible, a large floor area, measured by edge length, is an advantage.

A minimum size of 30 litres is recommended for keeping dwarf shrimp. In such an aquarium the shrimp can move around extensively and the owner has more design options than with a smaller model

What are the advantages of a nano aquarium for shrimps?

Nano Aquarium
Sergei Schink, Nano-Aquarium, CC BY-SA 3.0

A Nano Aquarium is visually very attractive and decorative. It is easy to find a place, easy to set up and stable. The tank does not make great demands on beginners in aquaristics either.

Shrimps and especially the dwarf shrimps belong to the robust, frugal and peaceful living aquatic animals. They prefer living in larger groups and also live together with other peaceful species. They feel comfortable in a small but suitable tank and, if kept in a species-appropriate manner, form a varied and exciting society. The interested aquarist gets with them interesting and beautiful animals, which can be easily multiplied by a specific breeding.

In a larger community aquarium there are also other inhabitants such as fish in addition to the shrimps. There is always something going on and there is a lot of movement. If there is too much hustle and bustle, the shrimp retreat to their hiding places and are hardly to be seen.

If, on the other hand, they live in a nano tank and without fish as neighbours, they remain free from stress and swim or run around. In addition, the animals reproduce remarkably vigorously in such an environment and the offspring develop particularly well.

The requirements for a nano aquarium

A mini aquarium is particularly suitable for keeping dwarf shrimps. They require less space and are considered peaceful and frugal. Basically, even a small amount of equipment is sufficient for species-appropriate keeping:

  • A large basin corresponding to the number of inhabitants
  • A nice bright place to set up
  • A group of 8 to 10 shrimps
  • A not too densely packed arrangement of aquatic plants
  • Decoration from roots, stones and/or other hiding places
  • Subsoil of fine gravel or sand
  • Some technology like thermometer, filter, lighting and timer
  • Ideal water quality
  • Various tools
  • A healthy and varied range of food
]In addition to the equipment, there is regular good maintenance. The constant costs for water, electricity, food etc. are low compared to the experience.

Shrimp are considered to be very sociable invertebrates and do not like to live alone. With the right socialization, peaceful roommates are to be taken into account. Suitable are: other shrimp species, certain types of snails and crabs and nano fish. It is equally important that different genera only come together to a limited extent, so that the original forms and special characteristics of the animals are preserved.

Special keeping in the Nano tank

In addition to an attractive show tank, a Nano aquarium is also used exclusively as a practical second tank:

The quarantine tank:

It serves to separate shrimps from each other. It is always used when sick animals have to be separated from their group until they are fully recovered. It helps them to recover and become stable again.

If they are new arrivals, incompatibilities to bacteria can be detected and avoided in advance. It can be prevented that harmful invaders such as planaria, parasitic algae or suction worms enter the community tank and infest the existing crew. Last but not least, keeping them in a nano tank gives the newcomers enough time to get used to their new environment and to the aquarium keeper without stress.

The breeding tank:

This is a pure species tank. Only shrimps and at most a few harmless snails may live in it. The main function of this nano aquarium is to offer the animals living in it optimal conditions for reproduction. This is especially important if there should be no gene mixtures between the different forms.

Furthermore, keeping the snails in an extra tank protects the new hatch from possible dangers from other roommates or technical equipment in the community tank. The young animals have time to develop healthy and strong in peace. After they have reached a certain size, they are placed in the original tank.

In contrast to a show aquarium, a Nano Aquarium is clearly arranged. It attaches importance to a fine substrate, to plants such as mosses, floating plants and food made of leaves or dust-feed, for example. There are no dangerous filters that can suck in and damage the small shrimp. Apart from the juveniles, some harmless snails can live in the tank for company.

When planning the purchase of a nano aquarium, various criteria must be considered in advance. Decision makers for the size and equipment are the future inhabitants. For beginners in the Nano aquaristic a trustworthy dealer offers a suitable complete set and good advice.