Best Small Nano Fish Tanks Compared & Reviewed 2024

Nano aquariums are constantly growing in popularity, because they’re making it easier and easier for you to own a freshwater aquarium with limited space.

And you’ll be surprised at just how many options you when when picking small fish and shrimp for it.

This article is going to discuss my favorite nano tank to help you decide.

1. Fluval Flex

  • Size: 9 gallons (40 liters) or 15 gallons (57 liters)
  • Material: Glass
  • Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 13 inches (35 x 33 x 33 centimeters) or 16 x 15 x 15 inches (40 x 38 x 38 centimeters) 
  • Key Equipment Included: Bowfront aquarium, lid, pump, built-in filter, filter media, LED light, remote control

I love this tank! I’m currently using one of these for a breeding colony of blue neocaridina shrimp.

The front glass is curved, which slightly magnifies the inside of the tank, making it even easier to see your fish and shrimp.

The filtration is hidden by a built-in panel at the back of the tank. A small pump draws in water and runs it through a sponge filter that has slots for chemical and biological media. 

You can get little carbon pouches for the filter, but I don’t normally run carbon, so mine is just packed full of extra biomedia.

The light comes with a super nifty remote that lets you set the brightness and color. The white LEDs are more than bright enough to grow plants, even fussier medium light plants.

The back compartment is easy to access for maintenance. 

Like most aquarium kits, this doesn’t come with a heater, but you can purchase a heater and place it in the compartment that houses the pump. 

One gripe is that there is an intake at the bottom of the tank. Sometimes plants get stuck to this, but it’s really not a big deal.

The only other thing I don’t like is that there’s not a built-in timer for the lights.

Pros: 

  • Filtration is hidden
  • Curved glass makes viewing tank inhabitants easier
  • Remote to control brightness and color of lights
  • Sleek-looking design

Cons: 

  • No timer for the lights
  • Intake near the substrate
Sale
Fluval Flex 9 Aquarium Kit - Fish Tank for Fish & Plants - Comes with LED Lights, Filtration System & More - 36' x 18' x 18' - 34 L, 9 Gal. - Black
Fluval Flex 9 Aquarium Kit - Fish Tank for Fish & Plants - Comes with LED Lights, Filtration System & More - 36" x 18" x 18" - 34 L, 9 Gal. - Black

    Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    2. Fluval Spec

    • Size: 2.6 gallons (12 liters) or 5 gallons (19 liters)
    • Material: Glass
    • Dimensions: 12 x 11 x 9 inches (30 x 28 x 23 centimeters) or 21 x 12 x 8 inches (53 x 30 x 20 centimeters) 
    • Key Equipment Included: Rectangular aquarium, lid, pump, built-in filter, filter media, LED light, remote control

    This is another favorite of mine. My dad has had one of these tanks for several years now.

    The filtration is hidden in a compartment on the side of the tank. Just like the Fluval Flex, a small pump draws water through a sponge filter that has slots for biomedia and carbon. 

    It’s really simple to maintain the filter, when needed.

    My dad has been running this tank for over 5 years now, and the pump is still going strong.

    The light has three settings: white daylight, blue moonlight and off. The light is controlled by a small touch panel, no remote for this one. This is my only gripe with this little tank. You can’t control how bright the light is and it only has the two colors.

    But, I will say, the light grows plants like crazy!! You can easily grow even fussy carpeting plants with this light.

    I do wish that the light had a timer, but you can get an external timer to turn the white light off and on for you.

    If you add a small heater, this tank is the perfect home for a Betta or other small tropical nano fish. 

    Pros: 

    • Bright light that’s great for plants
    • Filtration is hidden in side panel
    • Reliable pump
    • Sleek-looking design

    Cons: 

    • Light only has 3 settings
    • No timer for lights
    Fluval SPEC Aquarium Kit, Aquarium with LED Lighting and 3-Stage Filtration, 5 Gallon, White
    Fluval SPEC Aquarium Kit, Aquarium with LED Lighting and 3-Stage Filtration, 5 Gallon, White

      Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      3. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

      • Size: 5 gallons (19 liters), 10 gallons (39 liters) or 20 gallons (76 liters)
      • Material: Glass
      • Dimensions: 20 x 10 x 12.5 inches (51 x 25 x 32 centimeters), 16 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches (41 x 22 x 27 centimeters) or 12.5 x 24 x 16.5 inches (32 x 60 x 42 centimeters)
      • Key Equipment Included: Rectangular aquarium, lid, LED light, hang-on-the-back filter, cartridges, thermometer, net

      This Marina LED Aquarium Kit is a great place to start if you’re fairly new to the hobby and don’t want to make a huge investmetn. I like that it comes in three different sizes.

      The filter that comes with it is a little hang-on-the-back that uses cartridges. If it was me, I’d try to ditch the cartridges and just put biomedia, like sheets of sponge material back there.

      The filter for this kit is very quiet as long as the water level is kept up, and it has a reputation for being very reliable over time.

      I like that this has such a tight-fitting lid, something that’s important if you keep fish that are notorious jumpers. 

      The light only has a white daylight mode and does not come with any sort of dimmer. You can grow low-light plants with this setup, but I wouldn’t try to grow anything fussy. Stick to options like Java fern and anubias, and you’ll do great.

      Pros: 

      • Comes in three different sizes
      • Great for low-light plants
      • Tight lid
      • Quiet reliable filter

      Cons: 

      • Light only has one setting
      • No timer for light
      Sale
      Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon
      Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon

        Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        4. Aquatop Pisces Curved Bowfront Aquarium Kit

        • Size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
        • Material: Glass
        • Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 12 inches (30 x 23 x 30 centimeters)
        • Key Equipment Included: Bowfront aquarium, lid, light, built-in filter, cartridge, filter media 

        This is one of coolest looking little aquarium kits I’ve ever seen. I love the curved front glass that magnifies your view of tank inhabitants.

        The filtration for this tank is hidden in a built-in compartment at the back. I like that the filter has a sizable compartment for ceramic biomedia, perfect for beneficial bacteria to grow on.

        The filter compartment includes a slot for a small heater that the company sells separately.

        The light is bright enough for most plants and has a blue moonlight setting for night viewing. You can control the light with a small touch pad to toggle through the settings.

        I can only find one real downside to this tank: the lid. There is a gap around the outer edge of where the lid clips to the aquarium. It’s not a big gap, but some fish may be able to jump through it.

        Pros: 

        • Bowfront glass magnifies view of tank
        • Unique shape that is quite beautiful
        • Bright light is great for plants
        • Filtration is hidden in back compartment

        Cons: 

        • Gaps in lid can allow some fish to jump out
        Sale
        Aquatop Pisces Curved Bowfront Aquarium, 5 Gallons, 53GPH – Nano Semi-Circle Glass Aquarium Kit, for Salt & Freshwater Fish Tanks, Touch Sensitive LED Light, All in One Tank with Filter
        Aquatop Pisces Curved Bowfront Aquarium, 5 Gallons, 53GPH – Nano Semi-Circle Glass Aquarium Kit, for Salt & Freshwater Fish Tanks, Touch Sensitive LED Light, All in One Tank with Filter

          Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          Pro Tip: None of these filter kits include a heater. If you plan on keeping tropical species, like a Betta or guppies, you will need to purchase a heater so the water is warm enough. See our detailed heater article.

          My Final Thoughts On Small Aquariums

          I’ll admit, I’m biased towards the Fluval tanks. My family has owned both of these and really enjoyed them.

          I’m not saying the other tanks are bad, I wouldn’t include them on this list if I thought they were, but I’ve had great experiences with the Fluval kits.

          I know they can seem a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. The pumps are quiet and easy to maintain.

          The lights are great if you want to grow live plants. We’ve grown even medium-light plants, like micro sword and dwarf baby tears under these and had awesome results.

          Plus, I really like how the Fluval tanks look. 

          I hope you find this article helpful.

          I wish you and your fish the very best!

          Christopher Adams
          Christopher Adams

          Hey there, my name is Christopher, and I've successfully ran freshwater aquariums for the past few decades. The mission of this site is to make it simple for anyone to run their own freshwater aquarium.

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