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December 18, 2018
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Title Nano Planted Tanker: An Overview

Tanner Crawford

Last Updated



Nano planted aquariums and the growing aquascaping community

Nano Planted Tanker: An Overview


            There has been a growing interest in one peculiar aspect of the freshwater side of the aquarium hobby recently. The art of aquascaping, or the use of plants and other natural materials for the creation of an underwater garden ecosystem has become a worldwide form of artistic expression that is finding an exciting following in Knoxville. Our aim is to help you succeed in every aspect of the hobby, so we’re proud to have a staff that is versed in planted tanking and aquascaping to help you create the splash of nature you have been dreaming of.

 The technology for this style has been rapidly increasing due to increases in LED lighting, smaller filtration methods, and additional supplements that help these systems thrive at lower costs than ever before. The following is a description of the nano planted aquarium hobbyist, or tanker, and some of the tools and tricks you can use to start your own nano aquascape.

            The nano planted tanked is a hobbyist with a unique task to accomplish. There is an art between the balance of life in the aquarium and the presentation of the system from a viewing perspective. Careful consideration must be taken to make sure the fish and invertebrates that go into the system are compatible both with each other, the plants, and the size of their habitat. One common pitfall with this style of tank is the addition of too many fish, thus causing too much waste for the system to maintain or excessive maintenance. At Aquarium, we carry a variety of species of fish and invertebrates that are suitable for a nano planted tank. Many of the common species of fish and inverts available are Endler’s livebearers, Scarlet badis, Galaxy danios, and mini species of shrimp like red cherry shrimp.

            The first step to achieving success in setting up a nano planted aquarium is selecting the perfect aquarium for you. We carry only the highest quality tanks, including the Up Aqua line of nano aquariums that range from 1.5 gallons to 5.3 gallons (UA141D) and Mr. Aqua (MRA180B). Though these are some of the smaller tanks that we carry, it is generally accepted that a nano planted tank can be considered anything under 40 gallons. This allows most hobbyists the chance to add elements from aquascaping to any aquarium for an aesthetically pleasing planted tank make-over.  Once you have a tank selected, it is time to decide on the substrate and hardscape of the aquarium with plants in mind.

            The substrate is vital to the health of the plants and invertebrates you put in your tank, so we recommend one of the planted substrates such as the Plant Grower Bed in Natural Tan (AZ100) and Black (AZ101). These two varieties allow roots to grow properly and plants to produce lush leaves. If you are interested in the additional challenge of keeping shrimp with your planted nano aquarium, we carry the premium substrates such as Water Plant Soil (UA159) and Shrimp Sand (MRA113). With a nutritive substrate, it is then important to pick a few pieces of rock or driftwood. We carry a fine selection of rock that includes dragon stone, slate, mountain rock, and river pebbles for the smaller aquariums. Driftwood such as Mopani Wood (ZM2000) are great for adding tannins to the water for those nano fish that require a more acidic pH and add beneficial micronutrients that dwarf shrimp and snails feed on for a natural habitat.

            The next step to a successful nano planted aquarium is plant selection, supplement selection, and the addition of CO2. There are many different types of plants that can make your aquascape come to life. Many easy to grow species of plants are species of Anubius, Cryptocornes, and Micro Swords. These species flourish in a planted substrate with lighting such as the ZX LED Light Series by Up Aqua (UA281). These plants are generally used as background and mid ground plants due to their larger leaf structure and slow, consistent growth. For foreground plants, dwarf baby tears and dwarf hair grass are vibrant, lime green additions that make the front of the aquarium pop and allow a viewing area for the smaller inhabitants such as shrimp and snails as well as providing shelter for baby fish fry that are eagerly foraging for food. While these are great additions for a balanced tank and generally grow consistently, they rapidly grow in CO2 rich environments produced from the Pierce CO2 Starter Kit (UA125).

            With a healthy aquascape constructed, it is time to test the nano planted tank to prepare for the addition of fish and the long term success of the tank. Testing the tank with a reliable test kit such as the Freshwater Master Test Kit (APH1006) and the Carbonate Hardness/General Hardness KH/GH Test Kit (APH7076) are vital to the success of your nano planted aquarium. As parameters are achieved, fish can be added and supplements can be added to allow for the aquascape of your dreams. Come in soon to see the expanding selection of our aquariums and planted supplies soon!

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