A Look at the Best Small Fish Tanks

small fish tank & nano aquarium
Care & Maintenance

Small, or ‘nano’ fish tanks are becoming increasingly popular with people who want to keep fish in their apartment, or in their office – areas where space is at a premium.

What is a Small Fish Tank?

There are lots of small fish tanks on the market these days. A tank qualifies as a small or nano reef tank if it can hold 30 gallons or less of water. A tank can be called a small saltwater aquarium if it holds no more than 15 gallons of water, and a small saltwater fish tank holds 10 gallons or less.

Why Choose a Small Tank

Buying a small tank is a good option if you want to keep fish but don’t want to spend a lot of money. Small tanks are less expensive, need less in the way of accessories, and heated tanks cost less money to heat.

Maintaining any fish tank will cost money, but a small tank will be less expensive to maintain. It also requires far less space – you can just put them on your desk if you wish. They’re lightweight, too, so you can move them around easily, and they’re far less hassle to take care of – changing the water doesn’t take long at all, whereas maintaining a full sized 125 gallon tank can be time consuming and hard work.

Issues With Small Tanks

With smaller tanks, you need to either keep just one or two fish, and make sure that the fish are not territorial. If you want to keep more fish, then they’re going to have to be smaller species that live happily in small spaces.

You also have to be mindful of how you feed your fish and heat the tank. If you put too much food in a small tank, then bacteria can take hold quite quickly, making the fish sick. This is a risk with bigger tanks too, but it takes a much bigger mistake, or one made over a longer period of time. In terms of heating, if a heater fails in a big tank, then it will take a long time for the tank to cool down, so there’s more chance of you noticing the issue. With a big tank, if a problem goes un-noticed for a few hours, then the tank could cool to a level that is fatal for the fish.

A Look At The Best Small Fish Tanks


Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

This tabletop aquarium holds 2.6 gallons of water and is just 8.7 x 10.8 inches in footprint, and 11.8 inches tall. It is made from etched glass, and features 31 LED lights and a powerful circulation pump with a three stage filtration system to keep the water clean and safe for your fish.

Tetra Cube Aquarium Kit

The tetra-cube aquarium kit is a three gallon kit with a 10inch x 10 inch footprint. It features a clear canopy with a feeding hole, and an air pump and LED light. It’s a low-maintenance tank, just plug it in, fill it pu and you’re good to go.

Aqueon Evolve LED Aquarium Kit

This tank comes in two versions – a lightweight 4 gallon version, and a bigger 8 gallon version. The 4 gallon tank has a 10.8 inch square footprint and is 12 inches tall. It is made from plastic acrylic, and is designed to be seamless. The tank weighs in at just barely over 5lbs, and the kit comes with an acrylic cover, a filtration system that relies on a pad with activated carbon, and an LED lamp. The kit also comes with some fish food samples and water conditioner to help you get started.

Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit

This three gallon kit is a 12 x 12 x 12.5 inch tank that weighs just 10.5 lbs, and is made from curved glass, to ensure that there are no ugly seams. There’s also the option of a slightly bigger five gallon kit, which has a similar footprint, but is taller. Both tanks are a great option for people who want something that can live on their desk at work, and the tanks are quite easy to maintain, with quality filtration systems.

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