Randall Tiny aquatic gardens are all the rage; perfect for the aquarist with limited space, or for those who simply enjoy the aesthetic of a scale-model planted layout, with all the benefits and challenges that come with it. Most people get started in the hobby with the typical or gallon tank because these sizes are widely available as inexpensive starter kits.
Tony Terceira The most significant trend in the fishkeeping hobby continues to be the move toward nano tanks.
While small aquariums come complete with their own set of issues, such as temperature control and more maintenance when you look at time spent per gallon, their challenges to the aquascaper in all of us cannot be denied. The style can be Nature Aquarium, Leiden, or biotope, or it can be somewhere in between, but one of the most interesting questions is what species to house in the tank.
Forget the plants and invertebrates for a minute and consider all those possible fish. The original wild-color form of this species is quite beautiful. Well, the males are anyway.
As with guppies, they are much more colorful than the females. It may be extinct in the wild, and the frequent hybridization with the guppy in captivity to create new color patterns may make it impossible at some point to find true, wild-type fish.
While all these newfangled color patterns are interesting, I would encourage you to seek out fish with the original wild-color pattern. The males are absolutely spectacular with their green, orange, and black markings.
Plus, you get the big upside of helping to maintain the original strain. Females should outnumber males so that some can rest while the males are flirting with the others. There are some reports of females being a bit territorial toward each other, but I have not seen that.
However, there is a dominance hierarchy, and that may be the behavior to which they are referring. They prefer their water to be somewhat hard and alkaline, and are tolerant of salt. This makes them a poor choice for a blackwater setup, but if your water is on the high side of neutral, they should do well.
Scarlet Badis Dario dario The genus Dario includes a number of species that make great choices for nano aquariums, with new species frequently reaching the hobby as collectors work new areas in places like Myanmar and India.
The most colorful of the group is probably the scarlet badis D. Oddly, females seem to have two distinct color patterns. Some feature the same vertically banded red-and-blue pattern sported by the males. Others are drab with very little patterning. This makes sexing them more difficult than it might seem at first glance, but when a group is maintained, they seem to sort things out on their own.
While they can certainly be converted to prepared foods over time, D. Newly hatched brine shrimp nauplii are almost always accepted.
Other good choices are vinegar eels, microworms, size-sorted Daphnia and Cyclops, and most anything else that will fit in their mouths.
Over time, they can be converted to frozen foods, and some specimens will learn to accept crushed flakes or tiny pellets. Other than the small challenge of getting them to feed, maintaining them is pretty straightforward. There will be a definite dominance hierarchy, and males will establish territories, so their behavior can be pretty interesting.
They also look their best in such a setup, helping to get the most out of what may seem to be subtle coloration. Unfortunately, these fish seldom photograph well, but they show very well in a planted aquarium with their light-colored bodies, which vary from white to silver to tan, and electric-blue markings around the top of their eyes.
Salt-and-Pepper Cory Corydoras habrosus What selection of nano fish would be complete without a bottom dweller? The salt-and-pepper cory Corydoras habrosus fills this niche nicely.
As the smallest of the bottom-oriented Corydoras species, it is one of the best for 2 nano aquariums. If the substrate has sharp edges, these entertaining little guys may cut their barbels, which results in significantly less cuteness.
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