Don’t let a small space keep you from owning an aquarium. Whether you have a desk top, a shelf or a small nook, small or nano aquariums can accommodate your needs. These tanks of 30 gallons or less can house thriving communities of fish for peaceful enjoyment.

Use this step-by-step guide to set up your small aquarium:

Choose Your Aquarium Carefully
There are many aquarium kits which make selection easier for beginners. They offer “plug-and-play” components with multi-stage filtration and lighting included. Many also offer contemporary designs for better viewing.

Find a Secure Home
No matter the size, a small aquarium can weigh much more when filled with water. Choose a stable location that can bear the weight and provide a secure base.

Stocking the Tank: Keep it Simple
One of the biggest challenges of a small aquarium is keeping water quality at optimal levels. For this reason, we suggest choosing small fish species from the same region or with the same needs. If all species are comfortable at a certain temperature, for example, this will make it easier for you to maintain good water quality and a healthy community. Also, don’t overstock your tank – a common beginner’s mistake.

Monitor Closely
You can check your water quality using a test kit. Check for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. Follow the guidelines for healthy water conditions provided with the test kit.

Change Water
This means removing and replacing about 20% of your water every 2 weeks. Use a gravel vacuum to siphon the water and remove any debris in the gravel at the same time. Be sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other potentially harmful substances from your tap water in the water you are replacing.

Resolve Problems Quickly
Because of the small water volume, your tank’s chemistry levels can change very quickly. If problems arise, act fast! Waiting hours or even one day may be too late to recover and save your fish.

Always aim to keep the setup simple, healthy and enjoyable for your pet fish. In this way, you’ll get many years of peaceful enjoyment from your new aquarium!

For help choosing aquariums and supplies, ask a Pet Supermarket associate.