Marine Fishkeeping For Beginners Using Nano Cube Aquariums
Why choose a packaged tank system?
Most fish keeping hobbyists establish their tank set ups by choosing a tank that is suitable for their needs and the space they wish to fill. They then plan their tank to take their chosen fish and install filters, air systems and lighting to suit. By matching the right gear at the right prices they mostly end up with a great tank system that houses their livestock well.
However, there is a demand for attractive aquariums by many who do not wish to take such a detailed interest in the hobby, including appraising equipment and learning to match the size of heater with the tank system chosen! This is why there are many complete aquarium set ups sold in a balanced package that takes the guesswork out of which size of pump to buy and what non-return valve should be installed to prevent flooding in your sitting room!
During my research of the Nano Cube system packages I came across mixed views within the aquatic forums. It appears that many people have had the systems up and running for over a year in many cases without problems. In all these cases the forum comments came up with reasonable explanations why they though some of the complainants were having problems - for example leaks caused by filling the tank too full or explaining how easy it is to add an extra heater - but that for most houses and offices the tanks would not need this addition.
The Nano as a marine aquarium
Marine aquaria are recognised as being much harder to keep successfully than freshwater ones. However, it is possible these days to set up a large marine aquarium with state of the art equipment and even the beginner can successfully keep health fish and invertebrates.
If you are new to fish keeping and only want a good modest sized display, the packaged systems offered by JBJ Nano Cubes might be the answer. You can pop down to the local aquatic shop, purchase a system in a box and have the tank filled with water and ready to take fish by the evening.
You would not put the fish in straight away though as it is better to leave the water to stabilise - a minimum of 24 hours is needed to dispel the chlorine that may be in the tap water and if your are really patient it would be a good idea to wait a month! If you cant do that only stock the tank with a small proportion of the recommended population as you need time for the biological filtration to establish itself. This can take several weeks depending on the temperature that your tank will be running at.
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The Nano Cubes are manufactured by USA business JBJ who also produce a range of aquarium products, lighting systems and scientific equipment. The range includes popular tanks sizes of 12 and 28 gallons, making a great display in any home or office. They also produce mini aquaria such as the disco beta bowl which is highly suitable for kids bedrooms and is inexpensive to run - or the 3, 6 and 8 gallon smaller "cubes".
The bigger tanks are manufactured from modern glass which is crystal clear, extremely strong and unlike acrylic plastic which most packaged systems are made from, is less likley to scratch and become dull over a short period of time.
The 12g Nano Cube Delux is probably the smallest size I would dare to set up as a marine aquarium and it seems that this is a popular size for establishing mini saltwater reef systems. The 12g comes with plenty of lighting to keep corals healthy and an essential cooling fan to ensure that the lighting does not overheat the water - something that any advanced marine system would need.
The filtration system uses ceramic and plastic media to increase the surface area available for biological filtration together with mechanical particle filters and chemical activated carbon to remove any impurities and toxins that build up.
This marine tank is only 12 gallons!
On the whole it is fair to say that Nano products are well made and easy to use but like all aquariums it is still important that you take care of the fish and their environment and do not ignore maintenance simply because there is less need for routine as in conventional set ups.
However, the big plus for these tanks is that it is possible to set up a stable marine environment in what would normally be considered to be a very small tank. This it is possible for stunning marine fish such as clowns to be kept in small offices, kitchens and other places where keeping a full blown marine tank would normally be difficult to maintain and take up too much space.