5 Best Nano Tanks For Saltwater Or Freshwater Aquariums

What’s the best nano tank?


Whether you’re new to the fish tank game or looking for a compact aquarium that packs a bunch, you should consider a nano fish tank! These small yet amazing looking tanks work as excellent decoration as well as a stress reliever for your work and house.


When I first started out keeping tropical fish I was running about 5 – 7 nano tanks. I tested and tried them all! That was before I started getting larger tanks instead, and now I mostly only keep small aquariums for fry or quarantining fish. Nevertheless, these tanks are great for those just starting out with fish tanks, and there are a number of good options to choose from.

Best Nano Aquarium 2020


best nano aquarium


As the name suggests, a nano tank is basically a small-sized aquarium that’s noticeably smaller than your average standard aquarium.


This means that they hold a small amount of water, which is usually under 30 gallons at best. In fact, most nano tanks lie in the range between 5 to 15 gallons. However, it’s not unlikely that you find ones that are even smaller than that. We do have a post rounding up the best 3 gallon aquariums so head over there if that’s the exact size you want – though it’s this is only for literally one or two fish.


What’s great about nano fish tanks is that they don’t take up a huge amount of space like some aquariums and reef tanks do, so you can easily place them anywhere, such as work desks or office tabletops.


In addition to being small and compact, a nano tank is usually a great value for its price because it comes ready with all the accessories and decorations needed for a plug-and-play experience. Thanks to their great prices, such tanks are great alternatives to spending a lot of money on a larger aquarium that will also need tons of maintenance and care.


With that said, you should know that it’s still an aquarium, so you’ll need to dedicate some little monitoring and maintenance to keep it in top condition. You should expect to spend 1 – 2 hours a week on cleaning and maintenance, but a lot more time just watching and appreciating your new fish.


Coralife Biocube Aquarium LED Nano Fish Tank


biocube nano tank review

Starting with the overall best option on the market for either saltwater or freshwater tank. The Coralife Biocube aquarium is one of the best nano-sized tanks that comes ready with multiple features. It’s super popular and looks great in any room!


It features a sleek-looking hood that supports a wide range of LED lights. They even change color to suit the lighting of the room for better visual and enhanced aesthetics. Whether you want to impress your guests or simply yourself, this will do it.


This tank is available in two different sizes, 16 or 32 gallons, so you can kick the size up a notch if you have enough space for it. Despite being ultra-small, the nano fish aquarium features a built-in filtration system that keeps the water clean from toxic wastes and debris to boost the healthiness of the tank. Check out the following video to try and imagine what it will look like in your home or office.



In addition to the filter, the fish tank features a small submersible pump that allows for water circulation to ensure the maximum efficiency of the water filter. There are plenty of set-up resources for the BioCube, so you don’t need to be intimidated.


All in all, it’s a great starter kit for anyone excited about having a fully-fledged fish tank without taking up huge space, despite being relatively pricey.



  • comes ready with decorations
  • Features a powerful filter and a pump
  • An integrated timer to adjust lighting according to time


  • Pricey


Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

best nano tank

Another amazing option that you should check out is the Fluval Spec III nano tank. It’s a lot cheaper than the previous version and isn’t quite as cool, but it’s a lot smaller and will be great for some.


Of course, the fish tank is noticeably compact and space-efficient. However, that doesn’t stop it from being perfectly organized to look as sleek and spacey as it can be. This nano tank has an overall capacity of about 2.6 gallons, which means that it can be placed anywhere, such as work tables and even study desks.


The tank is made of etched glass and features aluminum trim to give it a unique look while supporting its mainframe. It features a LED lighting system with 31 colors to give you a mesmerizing look at low light settings.


One of the only drawbacks of this tank is the thickness of the sponge on the filter. However, it’s quite easy to modify it with a small piece! There is often the odd modification that needs to be made with any fish tank – even a nano.



  • Features a 3-phase filtration system
  • Offers 31 LED light system
  • Durable and sleek construction


  • Unsuitable filter sponge


Marineland Portrait Blade Light Aquarium Kit


best nano aquarium

Next up we have the Marineland Portrait Blade nano fish tank with an aquarium kit. This means that it features the needed elements for a plug-and-play fish tank without costing a lot of money!


When it comes to night aesthetics, this wonderful nano fish tank has some features that make it worth its top spot. However, whenever you want to remove these lights to change the water, you’ll be pleased with how easy it is to pull that off.


The system features a glass canopy that you can use for easy access to feeding and cleaning the tank. However, it lacks an easy handle to make the process easier. See our Marineland Portrait review for more info.



  • Good value for its price
  • Features an easy access glass canopy
  • A remarkably quiet filtration system


  • The top lid lacks a handle for ease of use


JBJ 12 Gallon Nano Cube Deluxe Aquarium


mini fish tanks


The JBJ is an impressive and stylish nano aquarium that will mesmerize you with its amazing lights and decent performance.


It’s quite larger than other fish tanks, standing at 12 gallons of water. However, it’s still compact enough to fit in tiny places and looks fantastic on a desk.


It has a 3-stage built-in filtration system that allows you to worry less about components and focus more on enjoying the amazing reef tank. Also, it features fluorescent bulb lighting, which is protected against moisture and does an excellent job of displaying the tank at night.



  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Features a rugged filtration system
  • Powerful 106 gallons per hour submersible pump


  • Can be large for some


Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kit


nano aquarium review



The last nano fish tank on our list is one of the most inexpensive nano fish tanks. However, it still has plenty of great features and will look amazing with a couple of small fish. The 5-gallon tank could have 5 – 7 neon tetras or a couple of guppies. It would also be perfect for a single betta fish.


The fish tanks come with a specialized built-in 3-stage filtration, which keeps all physical, chemical, and biological wastes off the water to maintain a healthy ecosystem for the small fish. There’s no need to add extra tank care accessories such as a protein skimmer. What’s great about the tank is that it’s quite calm while working, thanks to the QuietFlow technology used in both the filter and the pump.


The fish tank is small enough to work anywhere and features energy-efficient LED lights as well as food and water care samples to keep you assisted through your first days with the aquarium.



  • Ideal for buyers on a strict budget
  • Quiet filtration system
  • Features water care samples and food packets


  • The stock filter is a bit flimsy


Nano Fish Tanks


There you have it. A short guide that walks you through some of the best nano fish tanks that are available for you to purchase and enjoy. You can do it a bit cheaper by simply buying a plain tank without a lid or any accessories, but it depends on what you personally need to get started.


When I was keeping smaller tanks I always preferred the full kit out. It’s important to have a lid as most tropical fish will attempt a jump or two, and the under-hood lighting is always nice. Make sure you read the nano tank reviews on the product listing page to find out the quality of the extras. Sometimes they can be a bit gimmicky and won’t last long. However, the products we’ve listed here have been tried out to test the quality and have many happy buyers.


If you’re looking for an amazing nano fish tank that comes ready with all the needed tools, you should consider the wonderful Coralife Biocube Aquarium LED Nano Fish Tank. It comes with multiple LED lights along with a filtration system and a pump to support the health of the aquarium’s ecosystem.


However, if you’re on a budget but looking for a stress-relieving nano tank, you should consider the Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kit. This one comes with everything you might be looking for in a compact-sized fish tank without breaking the bank!


I always loved my nano tanks and can look back on those days really fondly. I was also living in a small apartment at the time, so they were the perfect set-up for that. Fish make great pets for small apartments, and could even be the only pets allowed in many circumstances.

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