Questions & Answers + Info


What is the best size gravel / substrate for my 5 gallon NCA? 

In general, standard sized aquarium gravel works best. Anything a little bigger or smaller than .25" is fine.  If it's too small it may fall through the grill holes.  If you want to use larger stones, first create a blanket over the grill with the smaller gravel, then place the larger stones on top.

How much gravel do I need in my 5 Gallon NCA?

One 5 pound bag of standard aquarium gravel will achieve a successful height of 1.5" for optimal cleaning performance.  Do not go higher than the Gravel Wall in case you want to upgrade your Dazzle Wall color. 1.5" of substrate provides good spreading area of roots for a planted tank.  The roots will benefit from the nutritious debris as it passed downward into the horizontal cleaning chamber.

Is the gravel amount and size really that important for the functionality of my aquarium?

Yes! This tank will not work properly without gravel.  The gravel creates an actual tunnel below for the horizontal cleaning chamber under the grill. Without this tunnel, there will be no one-way directional water flow as you pour water in the top.  So basically, the gravel creates the ceiling to the cleaning chamber which enables the vacuum power needed for one-way water flow.    

What is the Gravel Wall for?

The Gravel Wall prevents gravel from falling into the vertical cleaning chamber while removing the sliding wall for a color Dazzle Wall upgrade.

Besides if I have gill breathing fish, is the aeration kit still recommended in the 5 Gallon NCA if I'm only doing a planted aquarium (No Fish) or adding a *labyrinth* breathing fish such as a Betta (* they breathe atmospheric oxygen* vs. gill fish)?

Yes. While we definitely do NOT suggest if for the 1 Gallon Betta tank, it's a good idea for the following reasons, EVEN if you barely turn it on, like once a month.

1. The pump creates water movement.  This help break down / erode debris even more which eventually passes through the stones, down into the horizontal cleaning chamber. 

2.  Floating Proteins: Blast them with bubbles. The bubbles disrupt and cause them to break up, sink to the bottom and make their way into the horizontal cleaning chamber below the grill.

3.  The amount of oxygen needed in the water for a healthy aquarium depends on several factors, including the size of the aquarium, the number and types of fish and other inhabitants, and the temperature and other water conditions.

In general, a healthy aquarium should have a minimum dissolved oxygen (DO) level of 5-6 mg/L.  A higher oxygen level is generally better for the health of the fish and other inhabitants.

To maintain adequate oxygen levels in the water, it is important to provide adequate surface agitation to promote oxygen exchange with the atmosphere, and to avoid overstocking the aquarium with too many fish or other inhabitants. In addition, proper filtration and water circulation are important in maintaining a healthy aquarium environment.

Where is the "FILL" LINE located (picture coming soon)?

You will see it located underneath the NoClean Aquariums Logo on the grey stone colored, food grade, silicone grommet that get's plugged into the oval hole.  After a water change, top off your aquarium so the water level is just at the "FILL" LINE.


Before a water change, make sure you top if off again due to water evaporation. For best results start the water change with a full tank of water (up to the "FILL LINE").


Should I add the "Silent USB Pump" to my 2.5G, 3G or 5 Gallon Aquarium for water agitation?

Yes, water agitation, or surface agitation, is important for an aquarium for several reasons:

  1. Oxygen Exchange: Surface agitation helps in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide at the water's surface. It allows oxygen from the air to dissolve into the water, which is essential for the respiration of fish and other aquatic organisms. Adequate oxygen levels are crucial for their survival and well-being.

  2. Removal of Carbon Dioxide: As water agitation promotes the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the water into the atmosphere, it helps prevent the buildup of excess CO2, which can lead to reduced pH and negatively impact aquatic life.

  3. Preventing Stagnation: Agitated water prevents the formation of stagnant pockets in the aquarium, which can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, algae, and other pathogens. Stagnant water can also accumulate waste and debris, leading to poor water quality.

  4. Temperature Regulation: Surface agitation can help regulate water temperature by promoting heat exchange with the surrounding environment. This can be important for maintaining a stable and suitable temperature for the aquarium's inhabitants.

  5. Distribution of Nutrients: Water movement helps distribute nutrients and fertilizers evenly throughout the aquarium, ensuring that plants receive the necessary resources for growth. It can also prevent the accumulation of excess nutrients in one area.

  6. Surface Scum Removal: Agitation helps prevent the formation of surface scum, which can be caused by organic matter and oils. This scum can hinder gas exchange, light penetration, and overall water clarity.

  7. Aesthetic and Aural Benefits: Surface agitation often creates a visually pleasing effect with ripples and waves on the water's surface. The sound of gently bubbling water can also add a soothing and natural ambiance to the aquarium environment.

  8. Preventing Biofilm: Biofilm, a slimy layer that can form on the water's surface, can be unsightly and reduce gas exchange. Surface agitation helps prevent the buildup of biofilm.

  9. Reducing Algae Growth: Algae growth can be inhibited by surface movement since some types of algae thrive in stagnant conditions. Proper water agitation can help keep algae in check.

  10. Enhancing Water Quality: Overall, maintaining good water quality is essential for the health and well-being of the aquarium's inhabitants. Proper water agitation can help ensure that water remains well-aerated, properly mixed, and free from harmful pollutants.

The extent of water agitation required in an aquarium can vary depending on the specific needs of the aquatic life and the preferences of the aquarist. It's important to strike a balance to provide the right level of surface agitation without causing excessive turbulence, which could stress some fish species.

How much time do I save with a NoClean Aquarium?

Cleaning any size aquarium is annoying and time consuming. With all the steps like gravel vacuuming, removing dirty / adding fresh water, extra algae control and still wondering if you removed enough debris, NoClean Aquariums consolidates all these steps into a simple water change that takes about 45 second.  Clean water in, dirty water out.

Why are NoClean Aquariums water changes so important to the health of my aquarium?

In general, water changes are critical in preventing the growth of algae in aquariums because they help to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients and water chemistry. Algae thrive in water that has an excess of nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates, and an imbalance of pH levels. Water changes help to regulate these levels and keep them within the ideal range for the fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium.

During a NoClean Aquariums water change, not only is a portion of the old water removed and replaced with fresh water, it also simultaneously removes the worst of the old built-up debris that has nowhere else to go, but BACK upwards into your gravel / substrate and eventually overflowing into the main body of your tank. Yes, the equivalent to adding more waste to your stinky kitchen garbage while it's already overflowing, or even worse, not flushing your toilet for a week!  The NCA water change signifcantly helps to reduce the accumulation of waste products, such as nitrates, phosphates and detritus, that can contribute to the growth of algae and harm aquatic life. Regular water changes can also help to control the pH level, ensuring that it stays within a safe range for the fish and other aquarium inhabitants.

In addition to helping control the levels of nutrients and pH, NoClean Aquariums water changes also improve the overall water quality by quickly flushing out dissolved organic matter and other impurities. This can help to prevent the spread of disease and improve the overall health of the fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium.

In conclusion, regular water changes are an essential aspect of aquarium maintenance, and they play a critical role in preventing the growth of algae and maintaining a healthy and clean environment for the fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium.

 Do NoClean Aquariums water changes help prevent algae?

Algae growth inside an aquarium is caused by several factors, including:

  1. Excessive light: Algae thrive in high light conditions, so too much light can cause an overgrowth of algae in an aquarium.

  2. Unbalanced nutrients: Algae feed on nutrients, especially nitrates and phosphates, that are present in aquarium water. If these levels are not properly balanced, it can lead to an overgrowth of algae.

  3. Poor water circulation: Algae can thrive in stagnant water, so poor water circulation in an aquarium can contribute to its growth.

  4. Overfeeding: Excessive food can cause an increase in organic waste, which in turn can lead to an overgrowth of algae.

  5. Inadequate filtration: Proper filtration is crucial in controlling the growth of algae in an aquarium. If the filtration system is not adequate, it can cause an overgrowth of algae.

  6. Presence of dead plant matter: Dead plant matter provides a source of nutrients for algae, so if not removed promptly, it can contribute to its growth in an aquarium.

Besides the "excessive light" factor, NoClean Aquariums "flush and remove debris" water changes will aid all of the above points. Even so, we love our Nerite snails and recommend adding about a month after initial set-up.  


 Do I need to actually add fish to my aquarium? 

Whether or not you need to add fish to your aquarium depends on the type of aquarium you have and your personal preferences.

Aquariums can be set up as either fish-only or planted aquariums, and some people choose to have an aquarium without fish, known as a planted or fern aquarium. In a fish-only aquarium, fish are the primary inhabitants, and the water conditions and other elements are designed to support their health and well-being. In a planted or fern aquarium, plants and other decor elements are the primary focus, and the water conditions are tailored to support their growth and health.

In both cases, having an aquarium can be a peaceful and calming addition to your home or office, and can provide a relaxing environment for you to enjoy. Whether you choose to add fish or not is up to you, and ultimately depends on your personal preferences.

What is the optimal placement for an aquarium inside my space?

The placement of an aquarium inside your house is an important consideration, as it can affect the health and well-being of your fish, as well as the overall aesthetic of your living space. Here are some general guidelines to follow when choosing a location for your aquarium:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause algae growth in the aquarium and can also raise the temperature of the water, which can be harmful to your fish.

  2. Choose a stable location: Make sure the surface on which the aquarium will be placed is stable and level, as an uneven surface can cause stress on the aquarium and lead to leaks or other issues.

  3. Consider traffic and noise: Avoid placing the aquarium in areas with a lot of traffic or noise, as this can stress the fish and make them more susceptible to disease.

  4. Keep it away from electrical outlets and sources of heat: Placing the aquarium near electrical outlets, heaters, or other sources of heat can be dangerous and can lead to electrical hazards or overheating of the water.

  5. Make it a focal point: The aquarium can be a beautiful focal point in your home, so consider placing it in a prominent location where it can be easily seen and enjoyed.

Overall, the ideal location for your aquarium will depend on the layout of your home and your personal preferences, but following these guidelines can help ensure a healthy and enjoyable environment for your fish.

What is a Wabi Kusa style aquarium?

A Wabi Kusa aquarium is a style of planted aquarium that originated in Japan. It is a small, self-contained ecosystem that features a variety of aquatic plants arranged in a decorative manner to create a natural and harmonious landscape. The plants are grown in small soil balls called "kokedama" or moss balls and arranged in a shallow dish of water or aquarium. The dish may also contain rocks, driftwood, and other natural elements to create a miniature landscape. Wabi Kusa aquariums are designed to be low-maintenance and are typically used for aesthetic purposes rather than for keeping fish or other aquatic animals. They are popular among aquarium hobbyists and nature enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty and simplicity of this unique style of aquarium.

Can you tell me a poem describing the nature of a Wabi Kusa style aquarium?

In a Wabi Kusa aquarium,

Nature and art become one.
Where plants and mosses intertwine,
And life blooms brightly in the sun.

A miniature landscape of serene delight,
Where water and earth coalesce.
Where rocks and wood are placed just right,
And colors mingle and express.

The tiny world, so peaceful and calm,
A home for creatures of all kinds.
A joy to watch, a soothing balm,
And tranquility for the mind.

In a Wabi Kusa aquarium,
A new world is brought to life.
Where beauty and nature combine,
And the senses are free to thrive.

What guidelines are considered to be a nano aquarium?

A nano aquarium is typically considered to be an aquarium that is 20 gallons or less in size. However, the exact definition of a nano aquarium can vary depending on the source and context.

In general, nano aquariums are designed to be compact, low-maintenance, and easy to set up, making them ideal for beginners or those with limited space. They typically feature smaller filtration systems, compact lighting fixtures, and simple heating and aeration solutions.

When setting up a nano aquarium, it is important to consider the specific needs of the fish and other inhabitants that you plan to keep, and to choose equipment and products that are appropriate for the size of your aquarium. Additionally, it is most important to perform regular water changes made easy with NoClean Aquariums patented convenient water change system to ensure a healthy and stable environment for your fish.

Overall, nano aquariums can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it is important to carefully research and understand the needs of your fish and the equipment that you will need to maintain a healthy and stable aquarium environment.

Why might I want an aquarium?

People own aquariums for many reasons, including:

  1. Relaxation: Watching fish swim and interact with their environment can be calming and soothing.

  2. Education: Aquariums can be educational for people of all ages, teaching about aquatic life, ecosystems, and biology.

  3. Decoration: Aquariums can serve as attractive decorations for homes and offices, adding a touch of nature to any setting.

  4. Therapy: Owning an aquarium has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for some people, reducing stress and anxiety.

  5. Bonding: Caring for fish and maintaining an aquarium can be a fun and rewarding hobby for individuals, families, or friends.

  6. Research: Scientists and students can use aquariums to study aquatic life and their behaviors.

  7. Wildlife preservation: By owning an aquarium, individuals can play a role in preserving aquatic species and their habitats, some of which are threatened in the wild.