AquaManta Nano 35

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Since rejoining the hobby, after a 13-year hiatus, I've been somewhat disturbed by the appearance of the all-in-one 'Nano' tank, with their ridiculous box illustrations, showing them housing fish that wouldn't cope well in a tank twice the size of more.
I was also aware that many would be bought on impulse, as they appeared to be very good value, required no thought about necessary equipment and that they'd easily fit on office desks and on a kid's bedside cabinet.

I've since learned that as prices rose, for just about everything, aquarium manufacturers were struggling to find customers...especially new ones. Fishkeeping, in the main, has never been a cheap hobby and as prices rose, it began to become exclusively for the well off.
Then came the 'nano' tank and with it, lots of new fishkeepers and, potentially, lots of new aquarists.
To be sure, many poor fish were abused as a consequence, by the many who knew no better an who were taken in, both by the aforementioned box illustrations and the readiness of certain store owners to make easy money.
BUT...
They also provided an opportunity for those who otherwise would never have joined the hobby and then found a Forum such as this for their essential knowledge.

So I'm a relatively experienced keeper of aquatic creatures and I'd decided that I needed a Quarantine Tank, to supplement my current aquaria of two.
Whilst I did already have a large cubic tank I made for myself, what seems like aeons ago, complete with all the spare necessary equipment, I was actually gifted an AquaManta Nano 35, from a set of very good buds, who I've assisted in the past and who were well aware of my need for a QT.

This is my review of that tank, made with full knowledge by those too-generous mates, one of whom has decided to buy one for themselves.
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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AquaManta Nano 35

The tank measures 33 x 33 x 33cm, from inside edge, to inside edge.
(The glass is a comfortable 4.5mm thick).
Officially, on the box at least, this tank is of 40 litres capacity. On filling it, after I'd added the substrate, bogwood and hard landscaping, I actually got 48 litres of water in it.

I feel that it's worth noting at this point that 40 litres equates to 8.8 Imperial Gallons, or 10.5 US gallon.
However, 48 litres takes us to 10.5 Imperial Gallon, or just under 12.7 US Gallon.
Given that the majority of YouTube vids aimed at the 10 gallon tank are US-based, this means that we have some flexibility in stocking. ;)
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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One of my concerns of the budget Nano was the potentially 'cheap and nasty' equipment that was supplied with it.
I'm actually reassured and, so far, pleasantly surprised.

Heater - Aquatherm AT-50
This is a small 50w heater, more than adequate for the tank and is adjustable, which is a definite bonus.
It comes with a protective end-cap and two suckers and lives within it's own compartment, in the rear of the tank.
Whilst there was no problem whatsoever dropping the heater into place, it was well-nigh impossible to get a hand in, so as to press the suckers against the back of the tank. There just isn't the space, so the heater is left 'floating'.
(I suppose I could use a sturdy ruler and try to press the suckered heater against the back wall, but I'd be cautious of my leverage putting strain on the tank).

Filter and Pump
The supplied filter provides for both mechanical and biological filtration. Water enters the filtration system via an open grill, drawn in by the small pump, in the upper righthand corner of the rear wall.
It consists of two sponges, affixed around a plastic handle in the first compartment, to facilitate easy removal. The supplied sponges are black in colour, but these are not carbon. As they are split, it means that one can be cleaned, whilst the other is left in place.

After the water passes through the sponges, it passes over two supplied mesh bags, one containing carbon chips and the other containing 'PhosNitra'. This is an AquaMantra product and will apparently remove 'phosphate and nitrate to help reduce nuisance algae and slime.'

The water carries on over the heater and is then expelled by the small pump, out of an outlet at the top left hand corner of the tank wall.

The pump is an Aqua One P-200, (Flow rate to follow).
This sits inside the final rear compartment and, like the heater, comes with suckers and is impossible to press against the rear panel, for the same reasons as the heater...so this too hangs loose.
It comes with a length of pipe and two 'elbow' joints, ensuring that the outlet exits through a hole in the rear wall, into the tank proper.
A 'duck bill' is supplied for the outlet, but this was too loose and would not attach.
Anyway, the current isn't too strong and my three young Dwarf Gourami are happy enough.
If they weren't, there's an adjustment on the base of the pump that would allow me to reduce the flow significantly, if required.

To facilitate cycling the tank, I added a used filter sponge and floss pad, from a well-established tank, on top of the supplied filter sponges.
If I wanted to, there's ample room to add more filter media in the second compartment and that's before removing the bags of carbon chips and PhosNitra.

Lighting
This was a pleasant surprise.
The light is a modern LED device, comprising of blue and white LEDs.
Attached to the tank by a clamp and a flexible arm, the lamp has 3 settings;
  • All on, (white and blue LEDs)
  • Just white LEDs
  • Just blue LEDs
The switch is on the top of the lamp and there is even a dimming function. Having selected any of the 3 settings listed above, holding the switch down will progressively dim the lamp until the desired intensity is reached, before moving onto the next setting in the sequence.
On full intensity, the lamp is more than bright enough for any plants in the tank, (bearing in mind that there's only 30cm of water to penetrate).

Lid
The final component is a glass lid, which sits on two supplied plastic runners. NOTE that the plastic runners did not resemble those in the instructions illustration, but it wasn't complicated and the glass lid sits securely over the water surface.
Whilst more than adequate to prevent most jumping fish from escaping the tank, I suspect that there's enough of a gap to facilitate evaporation of water. I'll need to keep an eye on this, but with regular water changes, I cannot really see this becoming an issue.

Summary
This was a gift, so my wallet was unharmed. That said, I believe that this was quite a good value tank and is more than adequate for my Quarantine Tank purposes. I'll also be happy to use it as a 'proper' nano Tank, once my need for a QT is over and, whilst taking the limitations of a 10 gallon tank into account, I'd be happy to recommend this to anyone wanting a Nano Tank...although I'll always, always say that bigger tanks are better. ;)
 

xxBarneyxx

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This just goes to show you can do some nice things with a smaller tank if you are careful about it. I see this type of setup come up all the time on Facebook marketplace as well. Normally for less than £30 with equipment included.

I have a 58L tank that was previously a small soft corals reef tank. I really want to set it up again. Up just don't have space.
 

xxBarneyxx

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Do it! You don't need to eat for a week... ;) :rofl:
I basically have all the kit. Would just need lights, salt and test kits (and livestock). I have probably about 40KG of dry rock in storage that I could use and access to some liverock in my MIL's tank I could borrow from.

Just don't have any place in my house where it would fit.
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Update

Now that my tank has been in use for a while now, I've discovered one relatively minor issue, that could easily become a full-blown niggle if you're not aware of it and take appropriate measures...
Bear in mind that the sole purpose that this tank is sold for is nano...small creatures.
I've discovered that small shrimp and chili rasbora, for example, are well able to enter the rear filter compartment of the tank, via the inlet slots.
Because of the small dimensions of the rear filter boxes and the compartments for the heater and pump, extracting waifs and strays could prove difficult...you simply cannot get your usual small net in there.

Fortunately, with the breeding of brine shrimp now a 'thing', the 'Net (Hah!) is awash with a variety of very small nets, of a fine mesh and suitably long handles. I got myself one of these that has since proved invaluable.

I can also confirm that the flow adjustment on the base of the actual pump is very effective. I mistakenly adjusted it the wrong way and the ensuing mini-torrent would've kept Zebra Danio quite entertained! Switching it to the lowest setting, my Dwarf Gourami and now my Sparkling Gourami were/are quite content.
 

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