There is some debate regarding what exactly qualifies as a nano fish tank, with some claiming a capacity less than 30 gallons and others using a stricter 10-gallon maximum. Regardless of your chosen definition, these tiny tanks are ideal for keeping shrimp with some species, like the Cherry and the Crystal Red Shrimp, being able to survive in something as small as a 10-liter tank. It is important to remember that the greater the volume of water in the tank, the easier it is to keep conditions stable.
With that in mind, we have compiled reviews of ten of the best nano tanks for shrimp.
A Comparison of Our Favorites (updated in 2022)
The 10 Best Nano Tanks For Shrimp
1. Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit – Best Overall
|Tank type:||Tropical freshwater|
Most shrimp species might be saltwater shrimps, but there are some excellent freshwater shrimp. The Red Cherry, Blue Tiger, and Ghost shrimp are some of the species you will be able to keep in this freshwater tank setup.
The Fluval Spec comes in 2.6 and 5-gallon models, with the smaller of the two capable of fitting on desks and corner shelves. LED lamps ensure you can see in and watch the inhabitants while the circulation pump has an adjustable nozzle and a 3 stage-filter system that keeps the water and tank clean. The prices of both sizes are reasonable and with some adjustments you can ensure ideal water flow for your little crustaceans.
Easy to set up, adjustable to your shrimps’ requirements, and incorporating everything you need including the filter media, the Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit is the best overall nano tank for shrimp.
2. Tetra ColorFusion Half Moon Aquarium Kit – Best Value
If you’re looking for an inexpensive nano tank, your best option is a plastic tank. They don’t look as premium as a glass tank, but they cost less, weigh less, and should still last you for a few years. The Tetra ColorFusion Half Moon Aquarium Kit includes a 3-gallon plastic tank, a color-changing LED light, and a Tetra Whisper filtration system. The tank is quick and easy to set up and it offers 180° of clear vision into the tank. The plastic canopy has a convenient feeding hole so that you don’t have to remove the whole cover at feeding time.
Tetra claims that the filtration system includes a bubble curtain, but this is directly linked to the filter, and it can take a lot of fiddling to get the intake and bubble output just right. While the filter is called Whisper, it is louder than some of the more expensive models, but at half the price of most of the alternatives, the Tetra ColorFusion Half Moon Aquarium Kit represents the best value nano tank for shrimps for the money.
3. Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Kit – Premium Choice
|Tank type:||Saltwater, Freshwater|
The Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Kit is a premium tank, pushing the limits of what is called a nano tank with its 16-gallon capacity. However, as well as being made from durable glass, the tank is suitable for saltwater and freshwater inhabitants.
It has LED lighting with a choice of three colors and it even has a 24-hour timer to enable better mimicking of a day/night cycle. The timer even has 30 and 60-minute set and rise features. The filter is submersible, which means that the water itself muffles a lot of the noise and vibrations that it creates.
While this is a good quality tank with some useful lighting features and offers room for your shrimps, it is very expensive compared to other tanks of a similar size.
4. Aqueon LED Fish Aquarium Starter Kit
|Tank type:||Saltwater, Freshwater|
Although there are cheaper tanks on this list, the Aqueon LED Fish Aquarium Starter Kit may well present the best value of all.
It includes virtually everything you need, other than the shrimp themselves, to get up and running. As well as a 10-gallon glass tank, which is considered the upper limit of a nano tank, you get an LED hood, a heater, and a QuietFlow LED Pro Power Filter with a cartridge. The kit even includes some premium fish food, although this is unlikely to suit your shrimp. The included water conditioner helps maintain good quality water for the tank inhabitants, and there’s a convenient net to catch the swimmers. As well as a feeding door on the front, the LED hood includes a storage area at the back for the included and any extra accessories.
Although the kit is convenient for all of its contents, and it is competitively priced, there have been a lot of instances of excess sealant on the glass as well as a few cases of scratched glass panes so there are quality control issues.
5. Marineland Portrait Blade Light Aquarium Kit
The Marineland Portrait Blade Light Aquarium Kit includes a 5-gallon glass tank with rounded edges. Rounded edges are easier to clean because you can get a cloth or other cleaning material in more easily than you can with straight corners.
It also includes a three-stage filtration system to keep the water clean and an adjustable filter pump so that you can manage the water turbulence for your shrimp. The LED lighting can be set to white or blue, providing a day or nighttime feel. The lid is a sliding glass canopy, rather than a plastic lid.
This kit looks good, and the rounded edges are indeed easier to clean but the integrated filter is close to the back of the tank and very difficult to clean behind while the pump operates loudly after a few weeks. Removing the lid to feed is more effort than with a plastic lid, and it tends to cause water to splash the surrounding area.
6. Marineland Contour Rail Light Aquarium Kit
The rounded corners of the 3-gallon, glass Marineland Contour not only make it easier to clean inside the glass, but they ensure better viewing from any position.
The kit also includes a hidden 3-stage filtration system to keep the water clean, as well as an adjustable filter pump. Even on the lowest setting, the pump can be a little vigorous so isn’t ideal for gentle swimmers. The LED lighting system emits white light to emulate daytime and blue light for evenings, enabling you to offer a natural day/night cycle to the tank inhabitants.
The size and dimensions of the tank mean that it is suitable as a desktop tank, but Marineland does not sell replacement parts, which means that a broken motor can lead to you having to replace the whole aquarium. Even though this is a modestly priced kit, the ongoing cost of replacing the aquarium means that lifetime costs soon add up.
7. Koller Tropical 360 View Aquarium Starter Kit
The Koller Tropical 360 View Aquarium Starter Kit includes almost everything you need to start your shrimp aquarium on a budget.
The 3-gallon plastic tank offers full visibility right around the aquarium, making it a good choice for desks and in central locations. Although plastic is not as clear as glass, the Koller does a good job of offering visibility, aided in part by the LED lighting. With 7 color choices, including white and blue, the light is billed as energy efficient but doesn’t offer much in the way of tank illumination. Also, the aquarium is a rounded tank design, which some owners say gives them a distorted view of the fish no matter where they view from, so it can take some getting used to.
Despite being one of the lowest-priced options on the list, poor battery life, low-power lighting, and a distorted view of the tank inhabitants mean that there are better options.
8. Tetra LED Cube Kit Fish Aquarium
Plastic tanks cost a lot less than glass ones, typically coming in at around half the price. While good quality plastic is strong enough to work as an aquarium material, it doesn’t look as premium as glass, and it isn’t as crystal clear so it can distort the viewing of your shrimps and other swimmers.
The Tetra LED Cube Kit Fish Aquarium is a 3-gallon plastic tank. It has a cube design, and the 10-inch square tank sits atop a pedestal base that does a good job of dampening vibrations through the desk or other surface. It does have an LED light, although it only illuminates a bright white so isn’t suitable for nighttime. The kit, which also includes a Tetra Whisper filter, is reasonably priced and could represent a good foray into shrimp ownership.
However, as well as lacking a nighttime lighting option, the kit does not include a heater and you will likely have to buy one to complete your setup.
9. Fluval Edge 2.0 Glass Aquarium Kit
|Tank type:||Saltwater, Freshwater|
The Fluval Edge 2.0 Glass Aquarium Kit is a rectangular glass aquarium with a 12-gallon capacity, putting it at the top end of what is considered a nano tank. The design allows for viewing from all around the tank, and the lidless design incorporates a top glass side. The top cannot be removed, which makes for seamless and unobstructed viewing, but it makes the tank a real challenge to clean.
The multi-stage filter does help keep water and, therefore, the tank walls clean, and because it is made of glass, less detritus gets stuck on the surface, but the obstruction caused at cleaning time is a problem for owners with dirty inhabitants and fresh plants. The LED light does a good job of lighting up your shrimp and the kit includes water conditioner as well as biological enhancer.
The Fluval Edge is one of the most expensive nano tanks on the list and while it does look good, its inconvenience and the price will put a lot of potential buyers off.
10. Fluval Chi Aquarium Kit
The Fluval Chi Aquarium Kit is a combination of aquarium and water feature. The tall rectangular tank’s filter bubbles water from a filter that is above and out of the water, said to promote mental wellbeing and positivity. This does mean that the tank makes a bubbling noise whenever the filter is in use, which it needs to be for the LED light to work.
While the price is higher than the budget options on our list, it is a plastic aquarium which means it is expensive for a low-cost option. The filter resides in a cube in the center of the tank. The cube can be rotated to give access and to make cleaning easier. Despite being labeled as a 5-gallon tank, it is a small unit and likely only suitable for use as a 3.5-gallon aquarium with some of the space taken up by the central filter cube.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Nano Tanks For Shrimp
A nano tank is a small fish tank that can be used to hold reef, plants, decorations, small fish, and, of course, crustaceans like shrimps. They’re ideal for small spaces, suitable if power access is limited, and they’re cost-effective because they don’t take as many fish or decorations to fill.
Although nano aquarium specifically refers to the tank itself, most do come with filtration systems and LED lighting as part of a nano aquarium tank kit. Read on to find out more about the best nano tanks for shrimp and how to choose the right one for you.
Benefits of a Nano Tank
Reasons to Avoid a Nano Shrimp Tank
Nano tanks are compact, convenient, and lightweight, but they’re not the best tank option for all owners.
What to Look For
If you’ve decided that a nano tank is the right option for you, having weighed up the pros and cons, there are factors to consider before choosing which is the best tank to buy.
Glass vs Plastic
Nano tanks are either glass or plastic and there are benefits to both:
Glass is very durable, and it is crystal clear so there is less distortion when looking through the panes. It doesn’t stain or pick up dirt and grime as easily as plastic, either. However, glass is also heavier than plastic, which might be an issue if you’re concerned about shelf load. And while it is harder to chip or scratch glass, once it does become damaged it is very difficult to repair and might require replacement. Glass is also the more expensive material of the two.
Plastic is lightweight and easy to move. It is also more malleable during the manufacturing process, which means that there is a much wider range of sizes and shapes available. You can even customize plastic tanks by cutting your own holes and adding your own accessories to them, although you do need to ensure that you don’t diminish the integrity of the tank by doing so. The bottom can be weak, so the tank needs a flat surface to prevent it from breaking, and there tends to be some distortion when looking through plastic.
The capacity of the nano tank is its biggest feature. Some consider a tank to be nano if it has a capacity of less than 10 gallons, while others adopt a broader definition that includes those aquariums up to 30 gallons. There is a big difference in the size of these tanks, so measure the space you want your tank, allow a little room for movement to allow you to get in and easily clean, and then buy an appropriately sized nano tank.
Glass aquariums tend to be square or rectangular. They have flat edges and sharp corners and come in fairly standard sizes. The standard sizes are handy if you’re looking to buy a new filter or other accessories, but it does limit your design options. Plastic can have rounded corners and there are fully rounded plastic tanks that make it possible to view the contents of the tank from any angle. If your tank will sit on a shelf or in a corner, it is easier with a rectangular tank, but if it is going to live on a desk or centrally on another surface, rounded tanks do offer the benefit of greater visibility.
Most of the items on our list are aquarium kits, rather than tanks. This means that they include the pump, a filter, and usually LED lighting. Buying a kit is convenient because it negates the need to look for everything individually. They tend to be cheaper than buying separate items, too, and you can be sure that the pump and lighting are a proper fit for the size and dimensions of the tank. Some kits even include water conditioner, which helps ensure a clean living environment for your shrimps.
Shrimp are fascinating aquatic animals. They’re fun to watch, relatively easy to care for, and they can flourish even in small tanks. If you are looking for a compact but comfortable habitation for your shrimps, the reviews and guide above should help you narrow down your options and find the best.
The Fluval Spec Aquarium Kit includes a 2.6-gallon tank that is reasonably priced for a glass aquarium and its LED lamps do a good job of illuminating your shrimps, although it can be fiddly to get in and clean properly. For those on a budget, the Tetra ColorFusion Half Moon costs less, being made from plastic, and the 3-gallon tank offers 180° of easy viewing.
Featured Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay