Desktop Aquariums

Desktop Aquariums are meant to be “fun” tanks. They are relatively inexpensive, attractive to the eye and fit almost anywhere. They are not very sophisticated aquariums, however, and their limitations must be observed in order to achieve success.

Set-Up: Assemble filter and light fixtures as per directions included in aquarium. Rinse gravel until clean and add to tank. Fill three-fourths to top with water. Add chlorine neutralizer and aquarium salt. Add decorations and top off with water. Wait at least 24 hours before adding live fish or plants (anacharis or hornwort).

Temperature Control is probably the most limiting factor in desk top aquariums. A few of the larger models will accommodate a submersible aquarium heater, but most often, the light bulb is the only source of warmth. Since the light is not controlled thermostatically, the tank temperature may fluctuate greatly. Generally, the light should be left on when the room temperature is the coolest (e.g. at night) and turned off when room temperature is higher. Lower wattage light bulbs help keep the temperatures more stable, but fish that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations should be avoided.

Fish Selection: Many pretty and popular aquarium fish are not suited to miniature aquariums due to size or temperature requirements. The following fish and animals are usually among the best suited. Please refer to our Fish Compatibility Guide (blue sheets) or ask us when mixing.

  • Danios – zebra, leopard, pearl. or gold.
  • Barbs – tiger, gold or rosy.
  • Tetras – black, serpae, red minor, or bloodfin.
  • Rasbora – scissortail or brilliant.
  • White Cloud Mountain fish.
  • Guppies – common.
  • Catfish – green or albino.
  • Goldfish (while small).
  • Amphibians – african frogs or newts.

Keep no more than two one-inch fishe than two one-inch fish per gallon of water.

Maintainance: Feed fish sparingly once per day. Any excess food must be removed promptly – small tanks foul easily. Change up to one-half the water each week – new water should have chlorine neutralizer and aquarium salt added and be same temperature as tank. Inspect fish often for signs of “ich” or fungus disease.