Pet Age

Nano Tanks Make a Big Splash in Small Spaces

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The saying “good things come in small packages” certainly rings true in the fish keeping world with nano tanks and aquariums.  

If you have customers who want to own a fish tank but don’t have much space, it’s now possible to provide them with a solution.

Experts seem to have varying definitions of what exactly a nano tank entails. Some feel that a nano tank has to contain saltwater fish or reef; others include freshwater tanks in the category of nanos. Either way, most seem to agree that nanos are small in size, often all-in-one (meaning they contain a built-in filter and light), and do not require a stand.

These mini tanks have become quite popular in the aquarium industry over the last 10 years. The niche started in late 2003 around the time when JBJ Aquariums launched its Nano-Cube, a product geared toward the reef aquarium hobbyist, Adam Jackson, spokesman for JBJ, said.

Released in late 2003 and early 2004 JBJ’s original Nano-Cube was not eagerly adapted initially as it was seen as a gimmick or a fad, but sales were strong and this small all-in-one aquarium quickly became one of JBJ’s cornerstones, according to Jackson.

The original 12-gallon nano cube was simple, with built in rear filtration, a return pump that served to circulate water, and slip-top canopy that housed a single 24 watt 50/50 power compact fluorescent light.

“The original Nano-Cube not only changed the direction of our company, becoming a more inclusive brand selling a full line of aquarium products versus the lighting systems we were known for, but it also changed the industry.” he said, adding that with their huge popularity, products evolving, dishing out new models to sell on a regular basis.

JBJ redesigned the Nano-Cube and now offers it in a deluxe version to meet the needs of the serious reef enthusiast. The New Nano Cube Deluxe offers double the light output of the original model, providing corals and invertebrates 48 total watts of compact fluorescent illumination. All models come standard with two built-in cooling fans to dissipate excess heat, a new highly efficient remote electronic ballast with disconnect cable and return nozzle for directional flow output. The cube is available in 6 gallons, 8 gallons, 12 gallons, 24 gallons and 28 gallons.

Damian Hall, marketing and events manager for Rolf C. Hagen Corp., also says that nanos continue to evolve in the aquarium industry, with companies putting more attention to detail into their creation so that they can stand out from the competition.

“Over the past couple of years we have seen rapid growth in nano segment,” he said. “These aquariums appeal to first time buyers who see them as a less intimidating first tank as well as expert aquarists who want to try something new.”

One of Rolf C. Hagen Corp.’s most popular models on the market today are the Fluval Spec, which is known for its sleek contemporary look that makes for a good centerpiece on a desktop or countertop.  The aquarium has etched glass with aluminum trim. Included with the tank is an overhanging lighting system, consisting of 31 powerful LED lamps, that arch above the aquarium to provide brilliant illumination for plants and décor.

Also included is a powerful circulation pump with adjustable output nozzle and a large three-stage filtration system that provides more than enough filtration for ultra clean and clear water.

It also comes with all the necessary filter media: A porous foam block with convenient handle, activated carbon, and BioMax bio rings for effective and thorough mechanical, chemical and biological filtration.

The pump and filtration system are conveniently located in a separate chamber at one end of the aquarium to simplify maintenance.

Taking advantage of the calming effect aquariums can have, Rolf C. Hagen Corp. has also created the Fluval Chi series. The design of these aims to create a perfect balance of sight and sound. It helps inspire positive life flow energy or Feng Shui.

The calming aquatic setting creates a profound sensory and spiritual experience by combining the soothing sound and motion of bubbling water with ambient illumination.

It is available in 5 gallons and 6.6 gallons. The 5-gallon model includes an efficient filter and lighting system, an in-tank plant basket and pebble tray, natural pebbles, Nutrafin Aqua Plus Water conditioner, Nutrafin Cycle Biological Aquarium, and filter media.

JBJ’s presence in the nano industry hasn’t slowed down.

One of their current premiere products, the Rimless RL-30, highlights how nano aquariums are part of the mainstream and modern hobbyist crowd, rivaling tanks 10 to 20 times its size. The 30-gallon rimless model departs from the classic look of the nano cube in favor of a more modern open-top look.

The tank offers a panoramic view of the aquarium and includes 8mm bent glass; tempered glass lid and clips; acrylic filter wall with dual overflows; three-stage filter media basket; mechanical sponges; activated carbon sponges; biological ceramic rings; dual return nozzles; designated heater column; and designated refugium column.

Bill Kolbenschlag is a freelance writer and chief communications specialist at Radiant Tribes.

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