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Which Nano Tank?

  • biOrb Tube 15 £110

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fluval Chi 19L £65

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ciano Nexus Pure 15 £50

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Self build 15x13x13" 5mm Acrylic Cube £50

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


New Member
22 Aug 2018
I am going to be getting a Nano tank or building one myself soon that will be able to fit within my Ikea Expedit or Bonde bookshelf.*

Hoping to do a small aquascape in there and intend to have a single betta and maybe a shrimp or two. I already have a betta that I bought but her shipment has been delayed slightly so is not being sent for another week which gives me time to get organised plus I've just been paid at work.

Which aquarium would you prefer if you were buying this?

1) biOrb Tube 15 £110 + heater
2) Fluval Chi 19L £65 + heater
3) Ciano Nexus Pure 15 £50 + heater
4) Own build 15x13x13 5 or 6mm Acrylic cube £50app + heater filter etc

I believe the first three don't have a heater so I would need to buy one. I'm a big fan of under tank heat mats but it might not be possible on the Ciano or biOrb.

If I make my own aquarium it would be able to use more of the area of the bookshelf more effectively. The size is roughly 13"x15"x13". I believe I could use most of this space with a few inch or so gap at the top for a light and sliding cover. Then maybe an inch or two to the water level. This would give me up to around 6½imp gal 8 US or roughly 30 Litres to work with. I can always reduce the water level to lower and maybe also put a divider in there for another male betta. I would need to also buy a heater and filter for my own build. Perhaps a small Eheim or Fluval internal sponge filter.

I do love the biOrb but it is so expensive. Unfortunately, the Flex 34 doesn't fit it is slightly too big but that is another tank I love and may get at a later time for an aquascape with a half dozen Jae Barbs or CPD's if I find the room to put it somewhere else.

What are your thoughts and which option would you take? Do you have any experience with any of the above including your own build? Please let me know.


* I have already checked the weight and it would be able to take the weight. My Bonde bookcases store a lot of old vinyl records and books which are extremely heavy. My Expedit also has a Plasma and other stuff on top. I remember doing all the calculations for my Vinyl when I originally got the Bonde bookcases and I know roughly how much weight they can take. I also have a 25imp gal 29 us gal 110 L aquarium ontop of a four drawer Malm chest of drawers.


24 Dec 2014
I had a BiOrb way back when ;)
- it was the ONLY aquarium sold locally (& I couldn’t find any shop that would ship to my location :confused:)
Fortunately the local shop (Garden Lifestyles Centre) then decided to set up proper fish display area including Juwel Aquariums
(that BiOrb purchase was not wasted afterall :p and I learned that I really wasn’t an air pump filter aquarist)

A local shop has a BiOrb Flow display tank & it really is lovely, the clarity of the acrylic is amazing
Looking at dimensions, you could maybe fit a Cube 30 or Flow 15 both of which lack that curved front so viewing is less distorted (though you may prefer the curved shape)¡

Cube 30
13.6” high x 12.6” x 8” (not sure on which is your height dimension)

The website displays are all artificial decor which provides some indication of stock lighting - though I suspect you could do some moss & Anubias, and more IF sufficient ambient light - a couple hours sunlight has significant impact BUT check that sunlight reaches the location year round & not just a few months of the year (the transparent cube would likely respond to overhead lighting BUT heat would be a consideration)
The MCR light provides nice effect BUT likely provides less usueable PAR than the standard LED (confirm with BiOrb)

A Kessil 80 would grow anything ;) and not look too out of place BUT now this has just become a rather expensive bookshelf aquarium :oops:

Of course routine maintenance will be a challenge unless you have at least 4” clear above any tank ... a paludarium style tank would solve that if it’s something that interests you

In general if glass is less than 5mm, lower grade glass (ie not optiwhite) can look decent - unless you place an optiwhite tank right next to it ;)

Fluval is bringing out a new Flora tank - looks grand in the promo though I don’t see it on their FB or website
It was revealed along with the new Flex which is supposedly available in November so I’m assuming a similar release date

Ken Loach

9 Mar 2017
I’d recommend the Fluval Flex 34L, it’s bigger in capacity and size as the others but basically a 13” cube that is a great kit tank, only needing the addition of a heater to be good to go.

Black back ground, no equipment in view due to three rear compartments and a great filtration system that you can easily customise to cope with an increased bio-load and keep a few more fish.

A couple of shrimps will become a couple of hundred VERY quickly!