Best Nano Reef Tank for Beginners

What is an excellent looking Nano Reef Tank Made of?

Nano reef tanks are smaller reef tanks with 20 or fewer gallons. There are so many things that define an excellent looking Nano reef tank. In most cases what is right for you isn’t good for me and vice versa. Therefore, it is hard to answer this question accurately. However, some components have to be there to make a Nano reef tank complete. For example, there must be creatures that inhabit in right, coral, sea stars and small reef fish. How all these will look like at the bottom of your tank is up to you.

Coralife Fish Tank BioCube

The 32-inch Coralife BioCube is the best as it is not so small or large for your aquarium. This is the best choice for a beginner reef tank. Has a sleek and a modern black hood that is easy to open while cleaning and feeding your fish.

The pump is submersible and functions quietly as it supplies water to keep the coral and the whole reef healthy. Additionally, its nozzle is dual intake and returnable. It has an inbuilt filtration that is compact and customizable. The black background makes everything else in the tank have a stunning look.

The LED lights are integrated into the hood, and they give it a natural sunset, daylight and nighttime setting. All of these light settings are automated to duplicate the natural aquatic environment. These lights have both blue and white color to improve the appearance of all the Nano reef inhabitants.

Fluval 10531A1 Evo XII Aquarium Kit

This model of Fluval Nano reef tank is a sleek and advanced tank which is covered with an aluminum case. It’s a 13.5-gallon tank with dimensions of 22 x 11.5 x 15. Its filter is situated on the inner side, and it filters the water with a 3 stage filtration system and a 132 GPH submersible pump.

Its canopy hangs over the tank, and it’s a multi-functional one that creates a feeding door. The LED lights can produce 14, 000K illumination that automated for day and night purposes. The Evo XII is a bit larger than other Fluval models, and this extra capacity increases its stability.

It comes with a modern honeycomb that is strategically designed to cover the back filtration area and still looks modernized. However, this is disadvantaged as it doesn’t have a filter output nozzle to let oxygen move at the surface. Therefore, when changing the water one has to put water up to a higher level.

JBJ MT-602 LED Nano Cube

JBJ Nano reef tank is a 6 gallons’ reef tank with the dimensions of 16 x 16 x 11.5 inches. It’s made of acrylic plastic. It has an advanced 3 stage filtration system. To cool it when temperatures are high, it has cooling fans that have manual day and night lighting.

It’s made of high-quality and robust glass. The LED lights are high efficiency and are situated on the built-in hood. The lights are multi-functional and are adjustable from day to night mood for the health of the fish and the corals. The lights are an ideal for the survival of the corals.

One can completely remove the lid during cleaning, and this makes it very easy to do the cleaning. There is also an appropriate hinged canopy to facilitate feeding. To make the water inside the aquarium as clean as possible, the blacked out section has 3 stage filtration system.

Fluval 10528A1 Evo “V” Marine Aquarium Kit

Fluval model is one of the largest Nano reef tanks and is an excellent choice for a beginner Nano reef aquarium. It has a 11000K high-output LED light that produces adequate light for the growth of your coral. Nonetheless, this light is not suitable if you intend to grow SPS in your aquarium.

It is made of a transparent and high-quality clear glass to allow you have a full view of the aquarium. This model is of 13.5 gallons with 8.3 x 21.3 x 12.5 dimensions. Its filtration is a robust 3-stage with large mechanical, biological and chemical media. The canopy is a multi-functional, and it acts as a feeding door.

Fluval is an ideal feed tank for the saltwater fish, and it correctly serves this function. There is a dark honeycomb fixed on one side, and it cloaks one of the high powered built filters which is sold together with this kit.

Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube

Coralife Biocube Starter Kits comes with a matching stand combo. It has a sleek modern canopy and an exciting LED lighting that is best for both marine and freshwater environments. It has an automatic color changing device for bright white, sparkling blue and color enhancing LEDs which all are independent channels.

To imitate the natural da cycle, the reef fish tank has an automatic 30 minutes for sunrise and sunset and another auto-60 minute for moonrise and moonset. Coralife BioCube can be excellent for beginners because it has features that are compact and a built-in filtration system that is customizable.

Its pump is quite and submersible with dual intake and customizable nozzle. This model of reef tank has an aquarium which is 2 taller compare to the original BioCube tank to expand the viewing area of the inner side of the aquarium to 16 and 32 inches. Most of BioCube accessories are compatible with this model.

Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium

This is an all in one model of Nano reef tank. This gives you an ample time to enjoy the aquatic diversity inside your house including coral reefs and the fish. You won’t waste more time moving from one shop to another in search of compatible and suitable components. This aquarium his made with a modern, rimless that is designed with the state of art technology.

Its design supports live corals and the minute marine fish. It is a 20-gallon aquarium system with a filtration system and protein skimmer. It comes with the most modern coral keeping technology like the AI’s Prime HD LED illumination and a Wi-Fi control. It comes with both circulation and filtration systems. The top-off unit is automatic and easy to access power center.

It has a beveled-edge and ultra-clear glass so that the owner can comfortably view the inner side of the tank. The water enters the internal filter system via a surface- gliding surplus. However, it’s not shipped with a stand.

Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion Mini 40 Gallon Aquarium

It is made of transparent glass, and it is a 40 gallons’ tank. Its qualities are the most outstanding. The production tank is made of a clear and stunning glass. This tank comes with a double overflow which is exceptional, and the mesh canopy does not block too much light. The black sealant is robust and durable.

The tank is ideal for both marine and freshwater fish. Being an example of an innovative container, it is compatible with most of Nano reef tank accessories. Has a 150 LED gooseneck, which perfectly matches the tank.

Nonetheless, it is shipped without some accessories, which you will have to buy them later. Protein skimmer and hydro koralia ego 425 circulation pumps are not part of its purchase. Besides, if you enjoy your Nano reef while on an elevated surface, you will have to get a stand later as it is also not included.

NUVO Fusion 10 Nano All-in-One Aquarium

This Nano reef tank model has 10 gallons with dimensions of 12 x 15 x 13 and a 6mm clear glass of high clarity and low iron. Its mesh screen and the clips are situated on the top part for easy opening when cleaning or feeding the fish. The overflows are built-in.

The NUVO Fusion 10 tank creates a welcoming environment for the owner with some of the modern AIO. The tank is compatible with high-quality accessories, and the Nano 10 provides enough space for aquascaping and customizable filter walls to support both the current and the future innovation marine products. The tank is sold together with a raiseable bar to increase the tank’s surface area.

It has a return pump of 8W 110v/60Hz 13-92 GPH. The hose is flexible, the elbow is returnable and the nozzle supports a directional flow. However, the three-stage filter basket and the skyye light are not included unless you want to upgrade your tank.


What is a Nano Aquarium Tank?

For us to understand what a Nano Aquarium Tank is, let’s first try to understand what is the meaning of the word Nano. Maybe you heard of Nanosecond which is combined to make up one second. Likewise, Nano aquarium tank and tiny aquarium tanks.

There is no clear data to implicate the smallness of Nano tanks. However, been smaller than other models qualify them to be Nano tanks. Most of the fish tanks that have 30 gallons or less are classified as Nano tanks.

If a saltwater fish tank can support only 15 gallons or less, then it is a Nano tank. Nonetheless, to some people, a Nano tank should not hold more than 10 gallons. Besides, there are those that think that Nano tanks are the tabletop aquariums.

Why should you buy a Nano Aquarium Tank?

  • Not expensive, easy to set and operate
  • Does not occupy larger space compared to its counterpart

Many are lighter weight with less than 20 gallons

Pros and Cons of a Nano Reef Tank

Pros of Nano Reef Tank compared to the Traditional Saltwater Reef Aquarium and other types

  • Maintaining a Nano reef tank is much cheaper compared to the maintenance of the Traditional Saltwater aquariums or other tanks. Some of the larger saltwater aquariums may can as much water as 125 gallons. Therefore, changing even 20% from these tanks you will, not even be near a 100% volume of some Nano reef tank.
  • In aquarium tanks sometimes weight increases with size. Since these tanks have small sizes they are, not much heavy. Some of the aquarium the tanks are up to 125-gallon tank system, and this might be too much to some floors. Besides, this will also give you trouble when changing their location. But with the Nano reef tank, some are much lighter that you can move them every hour without any assistance and struggle.
  • Nano is also incredibly cheap compared to other tanks, and you will save a lot when you get this type. Some will even come with lights, gravels, live rock and substrate content (mostly the freshwater tanks). For the saltwater reef tank, one may be forced to little synthetic sea salts.
  • Sometimes you may not even realize that the tank is in your room regarding space coverage. This aquarium tanks covers a minimal space and that why they are most preferred in small apartments or dorms that they counterparts. Besides, sometimes they can even be placed on top of a desk.

Cons of Nano Reef Tank compared to the Traditional Saltwater Reef Aquarium and other types

  • Tank size and Number of Fish

Considering their size, one can’t put so many fish inside. You will have to maintain the number of your fish to one or two. In case the species are not territorial then you might add one or two more. With the Nano reef tank, you will be limited to the dwarf or pygmy fish species for example dwarf croaking and dwarf rasboras. Slender pygmy and pygmy sunfish swordtails can also be a nice fit. This makes these type to prefer by many people who want to have numerous fish inside their aquarium.

  • No room for naturally correcting human errors

Again due to the minute size of these tanks, when a human error occurs there is no room to correct them. For example, if you happen to pour excess food during feeding, the extra food is fed by the bacteria, and this might badly pollute water inside the tank. This is unlikely with the bigger tanks which hold water enough to correct this mistake by diluting these foods and prevents pollution.

  • Prospect for terrible outcomes when the unusual happens

Just like in an ideal incidence, when an accident occurs to limited space, catastrophic damages are likely to be experienced than when this happens to an extended surface. For example, if forest fire catches a small tree plantation, the result won’t be the same as when fire catches a natural forest. In a natural forest, the surface to be covered is bigger giving rescuers an ample time to fight back.

Likewise, in a Nano tank is something stupid happens, it’s likely that the results will be disastrous. For example, if the heater or the cooling system of a Nano tank fails to operate just after you have left the house, coming back after few hours you may come home to dead fish. This is not common with the larger aquariums because the amount of water in the tank can absorb the shock.

Your options for fish limited in a Nano Reef Tank?

Considering the Nano Reef Tank’s small space, the type of fish to keep is limited. Some of the factors to consider when selecting the fish to put in your Nano tank includes:

  • The size of the fish
  • Their safety while staying in a reef environment
  • Their natural characters

In most cases, the best fish is the dwarf species.

How to set up a Nano Reef?

The first step when setting up a Nano reef tank is to purchase the tank of your choice and its accessories including the LED light and the filtration system. Then place the right amount of salt according to the size and the amount of distilled water that you have in your tank. When properly mixed, 1 cup salt should be dissolved in 2.2 gallons of water. Add sand to ensure that water is clouded then release some crustaceans that are o the size of daphnia.

Then after several days add some live rocks and rubble rocks in a pile to cover the organisms. These rocks will also introduce bacteria into the tank. Later on introduce big creatures like fish and the corals.

How do you maintain a Nano reef tank?

Even though Nano reef tanks are light enough to relocate now and then, it would be wise if you consider placing it at a permanent location. Once you have filled the tank with all the materials, you would wish to see in it, no need of disrupting it. Therefore, consider placing the tank in an area with minimal disturbances to avoid too many disturbances.

Since heat is one of the most significant threats to your Nano tank, please place it where there is less heat accumulation. Considering the possibility of temperature rise in a small container like Nano, make sure that your tank is where the temperature is regulated, or you can easily access it to heat it up or cool it when necessary.

When you have poured water into the tank, consider placing all the component in their appropriate locations. Don’t use a lot of pumps because you don’t want to increase temperatures inside the tank. Ensure that you use one pound of live rock in every gallon and the live substrates should be maintained at half-inch thick.

During cleaning, use an appropriate freshwater dip to clean the live rock first then the clean the aquascape.

Ensure that the live rock remains moist.


The best Nano reef tank among these is Coralife Fish Tank BioCube. It is the best for the beginners for many reasons. Its price is affordable, and it’s sold together with a pump and LED light that has automatic day and night settings. Its stunning look with giving your room a relaxing mood.

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