News / Species Spotlight / Nano Tank Residents (03/30/17)

Nano Tank Residents

Species Spotlight - Nano Tank Residents
Nano tanks have been all the rage lately! However, choosing residents is not as easy as you may think. The fish and invertebrates must have a small adult size and not need a large amount of swimming space. Tryout some of the suggestions below...
The Panamic Barnacle Blenny is found near El Salvador to Panama and sometimes near Ecuador. They look similar to the Eyebrow Barnacle Blenny, except the Panamic has red lips, a red iris and red on their dorsal fins. They are a very entertaining fish that will race around the aquarium in search of food. They are known for taking up residence in barnacles and quickly snatching food from other fish. Their bodies are very slender, which allows them hide in small spaces. Also, they have a small adult size, which makes them ideal for hobbyists with smaller aquariums. With minimal effort these colorful fish can be kept very happy, healthy and well fed. The reef safe blenny generally acclimates quickly to the captive environment, though they will jump if startled. They are omnivores and require a mixed diet which should include finely-chopped marine meaty foods and pellets.
Looking for a very active, hardy and brightly colored fish? You cant go wrong with the newly described Exquisite Firefish. They dont need tons of room, meaning they can be comfortably kept in nano reef aquariums for their whole life. This fish enjoys hovering near the aquarium substrate. However, they are very skittish and may not be seen much if housed with aggressive species. Exquisite Firefish are known for jumping out of uncovered aquariums if startled. Hiding places may help them acclimate quicker and lessen the chances of tank jumping. Dont house them together in one tank, and caution against having more than one, unless they have a very large tank. Feed them a mix of meaty foods here, and generally will accept pelleted food after a few days.
The Yellow Clown Goby is the perfect recommendation for any size aquarium, but they work especially well in nano tanks. They are a very hardy fish that ships well and make a great addition to seahorse tanks. Since this fish is docile, it is a good idea to pick tank mates with a similar temperament. Keep them happy and healthy by feeding a varied diet of marine pellets and frozen meaty foods.
The Yellowhead Jawfish is an extremely unique fish, due to their beautiful colorations and interesting behavior. They are known for burrowing and being mouth brooders. These fish will spend much of their time digging a burrow and guarding it. Yellowhead Jawfish tend to take frozen (thawed) meaty foods well, but on occasion they may need to be target fed to ensure that they are getting enough food. After a few routine feedings, these fish will tend to understand and begin leaving their burrows at feeding time. Providing the correct tank mates is important in any aquarium, this jawfish would prefer tank mates that are not aggressive or predatory.
One of the great things about nano aquariums is that they present hobbyists with the opportunity to feature a lot of small invertebrates and fish that would otherwise be lost in a larger system, so the Pom Pom Crab is the perfect candidate. These hardy crabs get their name because they harvest small anemones or similar looking corals and carry them around like a pom-pom for self defense. Interestingly, the anemones are also used for collecting food off the substrate. Make sure they get some meaty food at least a couple times a week.
The Royal Gramma is a great starter fish to recommend to the beginner hobbyist. They are brightly colored, easy to care for and readily take prepared foods, which make them very appealing. Since this fish has a very small adult size, they are a great addition to nano and reef aquariums. This fish is known to find a hole in the live rock and make a home out of it. Then they will defend their territory with tenacity. The Royal Gramma is usually peaceful towards their tank mates, but can become aggressive towards others of the same species or later additions to the aquarium. For continued health provide a varied diet of frozen meaty foods and marine pellets.
The White Blenny is a beautiful recommendation for nano tanks. With minimal effort these colorful fish can be kept very happy, healthy and well fed. The reef safe blenny generally acclimates quickly to the captive environment, though they will jump if startled. An aquarium with a good mix of open swimming space and rockwork will make a suitable home for the life of the blenny. They can be aggressive with similarly sized and shaped fish like dartfish and gobies (including other White Blennies). They are omnivores and require a mixed diet which should include finely-chopped marine meaty foods and pellets.
The Mini Carpet Anemones are easy to keep and acclimate quickly. This anemone comes in a variety of colors and patterns; no two are the same. Since they can tolerate a wide variety of conditions and have a small adult size, they make a great addition to smaller aquarium set ups. Also, they propagate themselves easily and frequently. So easily in fact, that they will do it without any extra work by the aquarist, soon there will be an array of them attached to the live rock. As this anemone propagates it will begin to create a beautiful tapestry across the rock. Be aware this anemone has been known to migrate around an aquarium, even if totally happy. If a moving anemone is not desired, then one trick is to place rock rubble around it to slow down movement. These anemones prefer strong lighting and medium to high water flow. For continued health provide a supplemented diet of frozen chunks of meaty foods. Be sure the foods are small enough to easily fit into their mouths.