You can make your own easy. It's the extra stuff you have to buy to make it that will add up for your costs. underground filter, heater,air pump, air tubing,gravel overhead desk lamp if you want a light overhead, craft suppies to do lid.The container size of under 2 gal. they do not make heaters for that size if you are making a Eco-system tank then any size container like large pickel jar of 1 gal. is good.
I bought the container at Costco 3 gal. plastic Pretzel container or other large plastic container, I drilled a hole for the air line tubing above on the top. I also cut a notch for the heat cord at the top.
The lid I cut notches out and unsed plastic Kyrlon paint to paint the lid top. safe for kids and pets.
I bought a blk. plastic grid at a craft store and made a lid, I used black tie wraps to attach it to the lid.
The underground filter I bought on-line at www.petmountain.com
The small heater at Petco
I had a exrta small air pump and had extra vavle check vavles, air line tubing
To keep cost down in making your own you can skip the heater, underground filter and make a Eco-System set up. You can Google how to make a Eco-systerm aquarium.
Use live aquarium plants that filter out ammonia, nitrate,nitrite from the water. Good examples are Hornwort, Wisteria,Egeria densa. Java moss, Guppy grass. you can look online to see what plants work best for a Eco-system tank. Only a few fish like endlers, whitecoulds tetras work well for this type of system as they are cool stream fish and are cheap and sold as feeders at most aquarium stores. I found one aquarium store that sells them foir 10 gor $1. I used whitecloud tetras from there to cycle my 20 gal. tank. I did not lose any whiteclouds in the cycling process. I rehomed all on craigslist. You would need to get a snail for your eco-system tank also. Most snails come in on plants you buy at the aquarium store. Some aquarium stores or a friend may just give you one for free. You will only need one as they reproduce without a males most of the time.
Good starter fish for your eco-sytem tank is:
Try to keep the fish numbers low and not overcrowd.
Endlers- smaller then guppies same care, Try to get all males ( females added will overpopulate your small tank with endless amounts of babies being born each month. (Livebearer fish)
Guppies- Again males only 1,2 at most in a small set up of 1-3 gals.
Ghost shrimps ( cheap sold as fish food)
If you want to try something a little more expensive that is easy Red Cherry Shrimps, or other dwarf shrimp in this family, Crystal Red shrimps will require more water changes and those type like softer water or R/O water mixed awith about 1/4 of tap water that has been treated. The cost of these are high like $5 each. (you must do water changes to keep shrimps as they are sesitive to ammonia spikes)
If you get dwarf shrimps refer to this web-site that I like: www.planetinverts.com/
Freshwater Dwarf puffers if the tank set up is 3-5 gal. size ( I would just get one in a tank this size) These are cute but really messy I've heard and like to eat snails so you need snails on hand but they can eat other foods also (Do the research on them first)
White cloud tetras, dwarf harleqen rasboras should be kept in a small school( I picked these as these are hardier then some other type of tetras.
If the tank set up is 2 -3 gal. I would only put up to 3-4 inside depending on what you pick, Whatever you pick do research on them online.
Baby fry til they grow bigger- great for kids to watch grow up. I know lots of people that give them for free ( liverbearer fish) have endlers amounts of babies every month- If you get any livebearer fish stay with males only besides they are nicer and colorful.
NOTE: Do not use Platies, swordtails, mollies,goldfish as these are big waste producers and can really make your small set ups water go bad really fast with poop from my experience. Overstocking anything small in size requires more water changes of 20-25%
Hope this helps anyone thinking of making your own. Maybe you can post a new thread with your pictures of your made or bought nano tanks.It would be intersting how they all came out.