In case you don’t know, a nano reef tank is nothing more than a small aquarium specifically made for coral reefs. Coral is of course very beautiful, even better is when you have a whole reef going with fish and all. The problem is not with maintaining the tanks, but with fining the right one. Well, we’re here today to talk about these beautiful things and how you can find the best nano reef tank. We’ve got some really great options for you to look at!
What Makes A Good Nano Reef Tank?
A nano reef tank is of course a reef tank, but much smaller, hence why the word nano is in the name (this one is our top pick). There are a variety of things that will determine what exactly makes a good nano reef tank. First of all, you do of course need the right inhabitants. Sea stars, coral, and little reef fish are an obvious starting point here, because after all, you aren’t looking to have an empty glass tank in your home. The inhabitants are by far the most important part here.
You do need some other things inside of there though. You are going to need some kind of lighting system to help the coral grow and the fish stay healthy. You are going to need a water filter in order to clean the water, something which coral does not do all that well.
Moreover, you should look into getting something like a protein skimmer that will remove harmful waste from the water, plus a UV sterilizer to kill algae does not hurt either. You should also look into getting a wavemaker or some other sort of water pump that will create a water current or ebb and flow effect in the tank. This is necessary for coral to grow and eat food. Finally, the integrity of the tank itself is pretty important too. Simply put, an aquarium that leaks is not going to be an aquarium for long.
What We Think Is The Best Nano Reef Tank
In our opinion, the following tank is one of the best nano reef tanks. This is true for several reason so let’s get right to it.
Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium
A good option to go with, the Coralife BioCube Aquarium is the 32 inch option. It is not large, but for a nano reef tank, it is not all that small either. It is the perfect size for a beginner reef tank. This model has a really sleek and modern looking black hood with an opening for easy cleaning and fish feeding.
It has a black background which makes everything in the tank stand out really well. The hood of this aquarium comes with integrated LED lights. These lights have a natural daylight, nighttime, sunset, and sunrise setting, which all happen automatically in order to replicate the natural environment of the fish.
The lights are white, blue, and they help to enhance the color of all nano reef inhabitants. This model features a submersible pump that is very quiet, and it functions to create a water flow to keep the coral and overall reef healthy and happy. This model also includes a quiet built in multi-stage filtration system that will keep the water as clean as can be. The filter is built in to the back of the aquarium to keep it out of the way and to help the tank maintain its visual appeal.
- Right size for beginners.
- Durable glass.
- Comes with a quiet built in filter.
- Has a pump for water flow.
- Automatic setting LED lights.
- Convenient hood with an opening.
- Noise is a bit of an issue.
5 Other Good Nano Reef Tank Options
Since not everybody has the same needs or tastes, let’s take a look at some of the other options out there. What are some other good nano reef tanks?
1. Fluval 10528A1 Evo "V" Marine Aquarium Kit
This is a neat little 5 gallon option to go with. Due to the build of this model, it is only ideal for saltwater fish, but it performs that function very well. This is a very sleek and beautiful aquarium to go with, as the perfectly clear glass provides for some awesome viewing. There is a dark honeycomb section on one of the sides, but that is only there to disguise the high powered built in filter that comes include with this Marine Aquarium Kit.
The filter is a powerful 3 stage model that performs mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration to keep your water clean and clear. This tank comes with high powered LED lights which are ideal for coral growth.
There is also a convenient touch and go daylight and nighttime function for these lights, which is in place in order to mimic the natural environment and daylight cycles which fish are used to. The removable hood also has a convenient feeding hole on top of it. All in all, this makes for a great all in one nano reef tank starter kit.
- Beautiful design.
- Clear and durable glass.
- Filter is disguised.
- 3 stage filtration.
- High powered lights.
- Lights have day and night time function.
- Convenient hood.
- No water pump included.
- Somewhat noisy.
- Not ideal for freshwater.
2. Marine LED light coral SPS LPS grow mini nano aquarium
This particular model is yet another good option to choose. What you do need to be aware of is that this kit is intended solely for small scale coral growth. It does not really have the size or the components to deal with fish. However, you can put some small fish in it, but you will have to buy a separate filter and pump (more on those here), as both of those items are not included. In reality, those components would take up too much room.
All of that being said this is a great tank for coral growth. It is a perfectly square cube made out of crystal clear glass for optimal visual beauty. It comes with 3 high powered lights which are ideal for coral growth. The lights do come with a controller and have several functions so you can choose the level of lighting in the tank. The very small size of this tank makes it ideal to put almost anywhere in your home.
- Small and versatile.
- Comes with lights.
- Lights have multiple functions.
- Very strong glass.
- No pump or filter.
- No lid.
- Not ideal for fish.
3. JBJ MT-602-LED Nano Cube
In all fairness, this is one of the larger nano reef tanks out there. It comes in at a full 28 gallons, which does somewhat stretch the boundaries of what we would consider to be nano. However, this is technically still a nano tank and it has some good features, so we decided to include it here anyway. The fact that this model is made of high quality glass is something that we really like. It comes with virtually everything that you need to get started.
This model includes high efficiency LED lights which are located into the built in hood. These lights have various functions and can be set to day or night time for the health of your fish and coral. These lights are fantastic for coral growth.
The hood itself is totally removable, making cleaning easy, but it does also come with a convenient hinged lid for easy feed too. Even better is that the blacked out section in the back of the tank contains an awesome 3 stage filtration system to keep the water as clean and clear as can be.
- 3 stage filtration.
- Multi-function LED lights.
- Convenient removable hood.
- Durable glass.
- Very beautiful.
- It is a full 28 gallons, which some people may consider to be too big for a nano reef tank.
4. Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion Nano 20 Gallon
A good medium sized nano reef tank to go with, this model can hold 20 gallons of water. It is larger than many other options, but like you just saw with the above review, they can be even bigger than this. This is a unique tank in the sense that it only has one visible side, that being the front, with the rest being blacked out for visual effect.
You will like the fact that this model comes with various LED lights included in the hood. These lights come in different colors and they have various functions as well, such as day and night time. These lights, combined with the blackout effect, are awesome for maintaining coral growth and for a stunning visual effect as well.
This particular tank also features a high powered 3 stage filtration system. It performs mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, all of which are necessary to keep coral alive and your fish healthy. Also, the Marine Nuvo Fusion Nano Tank comes with an adjustable water pump to create a flow in the water, the flow that corals need in order to feed and survive.
- Ideal size – not too big or small.
- Convenient removable hood.
- Awesome coral growing lights.
- Good water pump.
- Great 3 stage filter.
- Durable glass.
- Somewhat noisy.
- Seams may leak with prolonged use.
Important Things To Consider When Buying
You don’t want to go out and waste money on a nano reef tank that you end up disliking. So, here are just a few important considerations for you to make before you go out and buy any particular model.
This is a no brainer, but nano reef tanks are going to be no more than 5 gallons in size. Yes, there are ones up to 30 gallons in size, which some do still consider to be nano. There are some options which are just 1 or 2 gallons. Keep in mind, less space does mean less work and clean up, but it also means less space for your inhabitants.
You will also want to decide between classic glass and acrylic. Acrylic is usually a little bit stronger than glass, but it also usually does not look as nice.
Nano reef tanks come in a variety of shapes. Simply put, some people like round ones, half-moon ones, or square ones too. This is really a matter of personal preference than anything else.
Keeping in mind the requirements of a reef tank which we discussed above, you need to make sure that it comes with certain things. While not all are necessary, things like a water pump or wavemaker, an air pump, a protein skimmer, lights, and a good filter are all things that you should look for.
Coral reef tanks are truly beautiful things to have in your home. They are calming, they look nice, and when fish are involved, they are fun to watch too. The thing to remember is yourself. As long as you keep your own preferences in mind, you should have no trouble finding the right nano reef tank.