All in one aquariums

What Is A Nano Reef Tank ?

What Is A Nano Reef Tank ?


The answer to that depends on who you ask. A decade ago, a nano reef was generally considered to be any tank under 50 gallons. However, as smaller reef tanks have become more popular the definition of what exactly a nano tank is has changed. It is generally accepted that a nano reef is any reef tank under 30 gallons, with or without a sump, with the most common sizes being between 10 and 20 gallons. This category of tank has exploded in popularity and the majority of new saltwater aquariums sold fall into the nano category. While nano reef tanks come in a variety of configurations the majority are “all in one” systems, including all Reef Casa aquariums. Nano tanks will, at minimum, have a return pump, heater and some sort of mechanical filtration. Many reefers will also choose to add a combination of a protein skimmer, auto topoff and dosing pumps depending on their setup and what corals they choose to keep. One of the advantages of a nano reef tank is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it.


Generally salt water aquariums from 10-30 gallons are considered nano reef tanks.


While coral selection may vary depending on the size of the tank, most nano reefs contain a variety of easy to keep corals such as soft corals, zoas and euphyllia. Because space is at a premium in a nano reef coral choice is key, both to allow for growth as well as to avoid coral warfare. Many reefers will choose to create “gardens” of the same coral species such as acan, mushroom or zoa gardens. Since corals of the same species can often be placed together without stinging each other this allows for more corals in a limited space, just make sure to double check compatibility.

Zoanthids gardens make popular corals for nano reef tanks

Just as coral selection in a nano reef is key, so is the choice of fish and invertebrates. Generally, it is a good idea to keep a small number of peaceful fish and inverts. Make sure to check the adult size of livestock before adding them. That tiny juvenile yellow tang may look like the perfect size but it will quickly outgrow even the largest nano tank.

A nano reef tank from Reef Casa makes a great choice for new hobbyists or experienced reefers alike.