How To Aquascape a Nano Aquarium at Low Budget?

Making a unique and natural aquatic ecosystem at home can be challenging but with some knowledge and preparation, any aquarium hobbyist can make a nano aquarium Aquascape on a low budget.  Nano aquariums are quite suitable to serve as a planted tank and most of the tanks available in the market are equipped with either an internal or external filter which are developed to the size of the tank. Due to the size of the tank, it could be placed in various locations inside your home such as living area, dining area, desk or somewhere in the kitchen.

In today's article, I will share my own experience on how to make a nano aquarium aquascape without worrying too much about the budget. A step by step guide includes using driftwood as hardscape selection, Amazonia soil as substrate and hair grass and pink baby tears as aquatic plants.

Step by Step Guide For Nano Aquarium Aquascape:

1. Add Amazonia soil to the Aquarium:

Many hobbyist are not certain about what type of substrate and how much should be added to the tank. In my opinion, for any type and size of tank a substrate layer should be 2 inch deep so aquatic plants can sufficiently grow their roots. Obviously, type of substrate is a separate discussion and i won't be able to cover it in this topic. I have decided to add Amazonia soil to the fish tank, it is a substrate rich in organic acid and other nutrients that helps the plants grow relatively faster than other substrates available in the market.

Planted Tank Best Substrate - Amazonia Soil
Amazonia Soil - Best Planted Aquarium Substrate

2. Prepare and sterilize Driftwood:

A driftwood obtained from outdoor or bought from a pet store might contain algal and fungal spores which can potentially take hold if introduced to the aquarium with out cleaning. The best way to prepare and sterilize a driftwood is by boiling in water. It also encourages leaching out of tannin a lot faster just like steeping a tea bag in hot water. Boiling will also ensure that driftwood sink to the bottom of the tank and it shortens the curing process.

3. Add hairgrass to the tank: 

Hair grass is the most popular choice when it comes to creating an aquarium carpet, it gives off a seaweed like vibe and increase the greenery in the tank. You can find other type of foreground plants that can create the same effect in the fish tank. Store bought hairgrass can be divided into patches of 4 to 6 blades. Trimming roots will help in better root development and grab the patch by roots with tweezers. Gently plant the hair grass half to one inch apart and shake the tweezers while pulling it out so soil can cover the roots of hair grass.

Aquarium Carpet Using Hairgrass
Create Aquarium Carpet - Hairgrass

4. Add pink baby tears:

There is a great variety of background plants available in the aquarium hobby. But i went ahead with pink baby tears, which is a very versatile plant that is happy to accept any kind of aquarium condition. Foliage can get some time very dense and high lighting will help plant produce bright red leaves. 1 stem can be considered as 1 patch and should be planted the same way hair grass was planted in the step above. Stem plants grow relatively faster then any other aquatic plants and can be easily propagated by trimming stems and replanting them again in aquarium soil.

Background Aquarium Plant - Pink Baby Tear
Pink Baby Tear - Background Plant

5. Add an aquarium light:

The last and most important step is to add an aquarium light to the newly planted nano aquarium as plants depends on light to survive and grow. Selection of light is determined by the choice of plants in the aquascape. Hair grass and baby tears are both hardy plants and doesn't require too much aquarium light so i am not too worried about the intensity of light. I have added aquarium LED lights to the tank and usually they are ON for 6-8 hours a day at most. In my opinion light should be turned ON for shorter duration in the start to avoid algae growth and once plants are slowly rooting and developing then light can be switched ON for up to 8 hours a day.

Planted Aquarium LED Lighting
LED Lighting For Nano Planted Aquarium

It is too early to add any type of fish to the tank. Allow aquarium to establish for at least 2 to 3 weeks before adding any type of fish. For any natural aquarium with aquatic ecosystem, plants are the key ingredients.

This article is a true reflection of nano planted aquarium i have setup at home. I have also uploaded a video with step by step process of setting up this natural ecosystem. If you have found this article informative or would like to ask any question or suggest anything then please feel free to use the comment section below. Please subscribe to my Youtube channel if you would like to know more about my nano aquarium aquascape.

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