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Nano and Pico Aquariums: Small Tanks, Big Fun

Nano and Pico Aquariums: Small Tanks, Big Fun

Are you looking to dive into the world of aquariums but don’t have the space for a massive tank? Or perhaps you’re an experienced aquarist wanting to add a little extra flair to your collection? Nano and pico aquariums might be the perfect solution for you! These small tanks are not only space-efficient but also offer a unique and enjoyable challenge. In this blog, we’ll explore the joys and benefits of nano and pico aquariums, and we’ll reference some great products from Charterhouse Aquatics to help you get started.

What Are Nano and Pico Aquariums?

Nano aquariums typically range from 5 to 30 gallons, while pico aquariums are even smaller, usually under 5 gallons. Despite their size, these compact tanks can house a variety of fish, plants, and invertebrates, creating a miniature aquatic world that's both captivating and manageable.

Why Choose a Nano or Pico Aquarium?

Space-Saving Design

One of the most significant advantages of nano and pico aquariums is their small footprint. They fit perfectly on a desk, countertop, or small shelf, making them ideal for apartments, offices, or any space where a large tank isn't feasible.

Recommended Product: Maxspect Pico Aquarium

Easy Maintenance

Smaller tanks generally require less time and effort to maintain. Regular water changes, cleaning, and upkeep are more manageable, allowing you to enjoy your aquarium without feeling overwhelmed.

Recommended Product: Aquael Shrimp Set Smart


Nano and pico aquariums are often more affordable than larger setups. The initial investment, including the tank, equipment, and livestock, is typically lower, making it easier to start your aquarium hobby.

Recommended Product: Dennerle Nano Cube

Creative Freedom

These small tanks offer a fantastic opportunity to get creative with aquascaping. Whether you prefer a lush planted tank, a minimalist rockscape, or a vibrant coral reef, nano and pico aquariums let you experiment with various designs and layouts.

Recommended Product: Maxspect Pico Aquarium

Setting Up Your Nano or Pico Aquarium

Choose the Right Tank

Select a tank that fits your space and aesthetic preferences. Many nano and pico tanks come with integrated filtration and lighting systems, making setup even more straightforward.

Recommended ProductFluval Spec Aquariums

Proper Filtration

Even small tanks need good filtration to maintain water quality. Look for filters designed for nano and pico aquariums that provide efficient mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

Recommended Product: Eheim Aquaball Nano Filter


Adequate lighting is essential, especially if you plan to keep live plants or corals. LED lights are a popular choice for nano and pico tanks due to their energy efficiency and customizable settings.

Recommended ProductAI Prime 16HD LED


If you’re setting up a tropical tank, a reliable heater is crucial to maintain stable water temperatures. Choose a compact heater suitable for your tank size.

Recommended ProductSicce Jolly Heater

Substrate and Decorations

The substrate and decorations you choose will depend on the type of tank you want to create. Fine gravel or sand works well for planted tanks, while live rock and coral fragments are ideal for marine setups.

Recommended Product: CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate

Stocking Your Nano or Pico Aquarium

Fish and Invertebrates

When it comes to stocking a nano or pico aquarium, less is more. Overcrowding can lead to poor water quality and stressed inhabitants. Choose small, peaceful species that thrive in limited space.

Recommended Product: Endler's Livebearer - Perfect for nano tanks.

Plants and Corals

Live plants and corals not only enhance the beauty of your tank but also contribute to a healthy environment by providing oxygen and natural filtration. Select species that fit your tank's conditions and size.

Recommended Product: Java Moss - Easy to care for and great for nano tanks.

Maintenance Tips

Regular Water Changes

Frequent water changes are vital for maintaining water quality in small tanks. Aim for a 10-20% water change weekly to keep your nano or pico aquarium in top shape.

Monitor Water Parameters

Keep an eye on key water parameters like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and temperature. Regular testing helps you catch any issues early and maintain a stable environment.

Recommended Product: API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Feed Sparingly

Overfeeding can quickly foul the water in a small tank. Feed your fish small amounts once or twice a day and remove any uneaten food promptly.


Nano and pico aquariums are a delightful way to enjoy the aquarium hobby without requiring a lot of space or time. By selecting the right equipment and carefully choosing your tank inhabitants, you can create a stunning and healthy miniature aquatic world. For all your nano and pico aquarium needs, especially the fantastic Maxspect Pico Aquariums, visit Charterhouse Aquatics and explore their fantastic range of products.

Dive into the world of nano and pico aquariums and discover the big joys of small tanks!

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