The Aquatic Gazette

EcoPico Desktop Aquarium

In Tank on April 26, 2011 at 07:52

When Dennerle launched the Nano Cube 3 years ago, nano tank systems were still in their infancy. The success of the Nano Cube has spurned others into coming out with their own. Better designed systems with decent filters and lighting, are positioning these nano tank systems as a respectable choice for established aquarists, and not some marketable gimmick for newcomers. The draw of a nano tank system is undeniable, an all-in-one package, in which each component fits the other in design and operation.

Dennerle Nano Cube

Today, we have a wide range of nano tank systems to choose from. Some of the more popular ones are:

Dennerle: 10 | 20 | 30 | 60
Dymax: IQ3 | IQ5.
Eheim:  Aqualife Nano Aquarium
Fulval:  Edge | Ebi

Besides these systems and all other systems that are in the market, a particular one has caught our attention, it is the EcoPico Desktop Aquarium.

Ecoxotic EcoPico

Almost immediately, you can see how far the nano tank systems market has progressed in the last 3 years by comparing Dennerle’s Nano Cube to Ecoxotic’s EcoPico.

The internal filter of Dennerle’s nano cube and other nano tank systems typically come with spray bars. While they work for cannister filters, we prefer the lack of one for a better rate of flow and cleaner profile. EcoPico’s internal filter does not have a spray bar and it is a low profile filter that wisely sticks to the simple design of a black rectangle. Our eye looks out for unnatural shapes in the aquarium, a rectangular filter that sits in a tank, which is a rectangular by itself, will attract less attention. When compared to a round or corner filter, like Eheim’s Aqualife Nano, EcoPico’s internal filter is better in design. Fulval’s Edge and Dymax IQ aquariums have filters that are hidden and those are actually even better. But we prefer an internal filter compared to an inbuilt filter as we gain flexibility with the filter’s position for optimal filter flow and possible lack of visibility.

Dennerle’s Nano Cube’s lighting unit was a revelation in nano lighting design when it first appeared. But Ecoxotic’s EcoPico’s LED lighting unit clearly shows the way forward into a very bright (pardon the pun) future. For us, the LED light unit is reason enough to purchase the EcoPico. The light unit has 3 LEDs (9W) attached and for those who want to grow plants that need high lighting levels, it is possible to add another two more LED strips to the light unit, bringing the total number of LEDs to 9 (27W). For those that are trying to cultivate algae, just add more light units with 3 LED strips each. We do not see any reason why these LEDs will not be enough to grow any plants you desire with the right modifications. The LEDs come in 3 colour variations – EcoPico LED Strip, 12,000K White, EcoPico LED Strip, 453nm Blue and EcoPico LED Strip, 12K White/453nm Blue.

12,000K white may be too blue for planted tanks, we will try to bring in a set and test it out as the EcoPico is not available locally at the moment.

Ecoxotic EcoPico

The EcoPico tank looks well made when examining the pictures and videos of those who have it in the United States. Silicon work looks neat and tidy and the glass looks well aligned and clear. The only thing we would like to see improved is the use of clear silicon instead of black silicon, a lot more aquascapers will be pleased with that.

Aquarium Design Group has several EcoPico systems running, do check out their facebook page for more pictures and videos. We hope that the EcoPico will be made available to our local market, we think it will be a hit among those that want a well designed and thought out nano tank system.

Ecoxotic EcoPico

Here are two videos by Aquarium Design Group, the first is a fresh water set up, the second is a marine set up. Notice the modification done to the light unit for the marine set up, there are 5 LED strips instead of 1.

EcoPico is now available for sale locally, through our partner, Petmart.  


credit: Ecoxotic | EcoPico Aquarium

credit: ADGVibe | Aquarium Design Group


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