Over the years, we have seen a fantastic evolution in aquarium technology and what you can get. Aquarists can now keep a piece of the ocean that inspires peace and serenity in their lives. One type of aquarium that has gained popularity over the years is nano reef tanks. It also means that the market is flooded with nano reef tanks, and getting the best can be a hustle.
Most beginner aquarists wonder, are nano reef tanks hard to keep? What’s the best nano marine tank? What is the best reef tank? Well, you don’t have to be in the dark anymore.
In this article, we are going to answer all those questions, look at the best nano reef tank, and give you some insight to help you get what works best for you.
Video: Stunning Nano Reef Tank LOW COST
Best Nano Reef Tank Price List And Comparison Tables
What is a Nano Reef Tank
It is a small aquarium that its capacity is rated below 30 gallons. This micro fish tank is mostly used in offices and homes to bring a unique nature. Nano reef tank has made it easier and cheaper for the aquarist who want to keep reef tanks. Most beginner aquarists ask how big is a nano reef tank. Well, the biggest nano reef aquariums are approximately 30 gallons.
Why You Should Buy a Nano Aquarium
Nano aquariums can still be vibrant, serene, and even provide a healthy ecosystem. Nano aquariums have their downside, but with patience and enough research, you can get a nano aquarium that fits your needs perfectly. Here are some of the benefits of buying a nano aquarium:
- Nano aquariums can fit in small spaces. You do not need a huge space to place the nano tanks as compared to conventional aquariums.
- Nano aquariums are less expensive to buy and maintain. Reef aquariums are known to be very costly and demanding. The expenditure and maintenance hustle is reduced when you get a nano aquarium.
- They are flexible. Sometimes you want to change your oceanic siting. You can move nano tanks as much as you want without so much hustle.
- You reduce the expenditure on decoration, fish, and plant cost. Nano tanks can accommodate few fish, plants and decoration. The good thing is that you still get the same aquatic vibe that large aquariums bring.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Nano Aquarium
Although purchasing a nano aquarium is impressive, it comes with its fair share of challenges. It is easy to decide if you know both the pros and cons of the aquarium you are buying.
- Maintaining an optimum temperature in a reef aquarium is essential. However, nano reef tanks are susceptible to temperature fluctuations. This temperature fluctuations can be stressful to your fish.
- Small tanks accumulate debris and toxins fast compared to large tanks. They are also prone to rapid algae growth. You will need to frequently change the nano aquarium’s water to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
- Nano aquariums limit you on the type of fish that you can keep. You cannot keep aggressive and large fish. If you want a diverse fish colony, then nano aquarium will not work for you.
1. Editor’s Pick: Fluval 10528A1 Evo V Marine Aquarium Kit
There is nothing small about this 5-gallon fish tank. The nano reef tank setup of this aquarium is straight to the point. The tank is designed with glass, and the stylish honeycomb design hides the filtration system. One thing we liked immediately we looked at the tank was its modern design. Now to the technical stuff that supports your reef tank fishes and corals. The tank comes with a three-stage filtrations system to clear mechanical, chemical, and biological waste.
The tank’s lighting is powered by 11000K LED lights that are cased in a waterproof material. The light intensity can promote healthy coral, plants, and fish growth. This Fluval saltwater tank comes with a very simple package but delivers what is promised.
Overall rating : 3.6/ 5
2. Runner’s Up: Cobalt Aquatics 14012 Microvue3 30 Aquarium Kit
The Microvue 3 30 aquarium kit is beauty at its best. This new line comes in an array of sizes that is, Microvue3 10 which is 2.6 gallons or 10 liters, Microvue3 20 with 5.3 gallons or 20 liters and our point of focus today, Microvue3 30 with 8 gallons or 30 liters. Each kits comes bearing a foam under pad, 6 Watt LED light, glass top, clear glass cube with silicone sealant and the new Clearvue 20 internal filter.
It is the perfect choice for bettas, planted tanks, glow fish, gold fish, shrimp tanks, Nano reefs and small community fishes.
Overall rating : 3.8/ 5
3. Budget Pick: Fluval 10531A1 SEA EVO XII Aquarium Kit, 13.5 gal
Do not let its 13.5 gallon capacity trick you. This Fluval Sea Evo has the same performance features as a several times its size larger tank. Meaning you get a higher performance and flexibility as it is small enough to fit on any counter top or desk. Its 14000 K bright LED feature ensures the best conditions for conditioning, healthy coral growth and color.
The next big thing about the Fluval Sea Evo is that it features a powerful three stage filtration system with some oversized chemical, mechanical and biological media. Their cozy honeycomb design maintains its stylish and ultra-modern look by concealing the filtration system. Its all-aluminum waterproof casing also helps with the esthetic.
Overall rating : 3.7/ 5
4. Upgrade Pick: Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium LED
The Biocube Kit is now better than ever before. With its new 24-hour timer, you can easily control its three independent channels. To ensure that the coral thrives, it has 30 minute sunrise and other day features like sunset and 60 minutes moonrise functions that alternate automatically to mimic the natural day and night cycle. It is especially the best for beginners as it has a built-in customizable and compact filtration chamber to its back.
Aside from that, the LED Biocube also features; an adjustable return nozzle, rather quiet submersible pump and also dual intakes. Other improvements include a 2 inch increase in height which results larger viewing area.
Overall rating : 3.7/ 5
5. Niche Pick: Red Sea Max Nano Aquarium, 20 Gallon
This 20 gallon Max Nano aquarium is the real physical manifestation of getting the best of the technological and contemporary world. Its unconventional rimless design is the first thing that catches your eye when look at it. As a result, the fusion on state of the art technology and the contemporary concepts, you are provided with everything necessary to enjoy the diversity and beauty of a piece of flourishing coral. You therefore do not to stress about the compatibility and suitability of the components of the Max Nano aquarium.
Aside from its obvious rimless design, this eye candy also features the latest developments in the reef-keeping technology including an easily accessible power center, an automatic top-off unit not forgetting its AL’s PRIME HD LED lighting with integrated circulation, control and filtration systems. It however does not include a stand because of it design.
Overall rating : 4.2/ 5
How to Choose the Best Nano Aquarium
The secret to getting the best nano aquarium is considering your needs first. It is easy because you don’t have to be an experienced aquarist to know your needs. However, they have to in sync with the well-being of your aquatic life. Here are ideas on how to choose the best nano aquarium:
Acrylic and glass are the widely used material in making aquariums. However, both materials have their disadvantages and advantages. It will be a case which is the lesser evil to you. For example, glass is susceptible to breakage, heavy, and come in limited shapes. They are however inexpensive, hard to scratch, and maintains clarity.
Type of fish
Although nano aquarium has limited space, you still have to consider the fish. For example, if you are aiming at a saltwater reef tank, you have to get a nano tank that is designed for saltwater. Best reef tanks manufacturers will always indicate what the tank can support. You also need to consider the size of fish because some species can grow up to lengths can make them uncomfortable if kept in a nano tank.
Your decoration ideas
Customizing your fish tank is one of the most exciting things about owning an aquarium. Nano aquarium comes in different sizes and shapes. You have to ensure that you can decorate the aquarium to your liking but still have space for your water buddies to play around.
The available space
We know that nano aquariums take less space but how much space do you have? The biggest nano aquarium is approximately 30 gallon. You also need to consider the space for spills. You can choose a smaller size of nano aquarium depending on the space you have available.
Buyers Guide: Factors to consider
There are factors that you have to consider to get the best nano reef tank. We narrowed down some of the factors that separate the best nano aquarium from the mediocre ones. Here are factors that you have to consider to get the best deal for your money:
The kit components
Some manufacturers provide all in one reef tanks. Make a checklist of the accessories that you’ll need for your nano aquarium and search for a product that comes inclusive of the essentials. However, sometimes, the quality of these components can be a little wanting because it’s a bargain. Look at the functionality and efficiency of every element. Sometimes you’ll need to buy missing parts from your local fish store or online.
Size vs cost
The size of the tank is likely to determine its price. However, what should you consider first? Enthusiast aquarists will always put the well-being of their fish first. So, you know the type of fish that you want and the decoration and plants you want to be installed. These are the factors that will help you determine the size of the tank you’ll need. We always emphasize on quality. If you are on a tight budget, then you can always scale down on the size of the tank and give yourself room for growth.
However, if you have a flexible budget, you can always go for a size that will incorporate everything you want comfortably. Different products of the same sizes also have different prices. You can do a little market research to get a right nano aquarium that will not make you cry when you look at your bank account balance.
Bare vs complete package
It is much cheaper when you can get the best nano aquarium kit that comes with everything you’ll need. Most beginners have problems buying separate accessories because some are not compatible with the tank. Setup is also another issue. Most kits that come with all the components have a user manual that can guide you on the installation. Go for something that you can install and uninstall easily.
You are likely to find some nano aquariums with LED lights. However, reef aquarium requires different light intensity compared to other types of aquariums. Nano reef lighting is designed to provide the right concentration of light to support your corals, plants, and even fish. When you are looking for a nano reef tanks for beginners, go for something with lighting designed for a reef tank.
Quick accumulation of debris and toxins is one of the downsides of owning a nano reef tank. You need to have a 3-stage filtration system that is effective and efficient. This filtration system is highly recommended as reef tank filters because it takes care of the biological, mechanical, and chemical waste. You also need to consider the ease of changing and cleaning the filters.
Small reef tanks are susceptible to frequent water temperature fluctuation. Keeping a healthy ecosystem in the reef tank requires that you maintain an optimal temperature. Some brands come with water heaters and thermometer to keep an eye on your reef tank temperature. In case your tank comes bare, or without a thermometer or heater then you’ll have to buy it separately.
Selection of corals
Underwater gardening can be as much fun as regular gardening but without the dirt. Corals are some of the most beautiful and colourful creation found underwater. Selecting the right coral is as crucial as choosing the proper water treatment for your aquarium.
Learn about the various types of corals. There are multiple species of nano reef corals that you can get. It means they might have slight variation in the kind of environment they thrive in. Learning about them will give you the insight you need to prepare the right environment for the best corals for a nano reef.
Learn about the compatibility of the corals. As beautiful and colourful as corals may seem, they do have their food chain. Some corals feed on others and even can feed on your fish. Your nano reef fish and corals have to be compatible thrive.
Here are some of the best corals for nano reef:
They are common corals for enthusiast aquarists that want a nano reef. They thrive in medium-strong water flow and are tolerant of light. They are straightforward to keep.
They are considered as beginner corals nano reef. They include Sarcophyton, Xenia, and Nephthea. The soft corals are not as demanding, and they are not easily destructible. However, you need to have a steady filtration system.
These type of corals are for the intermediate expert aquarists. They demand you to have a keen eye on them. Stony corals are divided into two groups, i.e. Small Polyp Stony Corals (SPS) and Large Polyp Stony (LPS) Corals.
How to Set Up a Nano Reef Tank
You need to have the right set up to be able to mimic the natural habitat for your coral and fish. Nano reef tank setup can vary depending on the product but they all follow a silent order. Here are ideas to help you set up a reef tank:
Prepare for installation
Once you have your location, nano tank, and all the necessary accessories it is time to put everything in order. Wash the tank and everything that will go into the aquarium with lots of clean water and let them dry. During this stage fill up the reef tank with water and check for leakage.
Prepare water for your aquarium. Use RO water because tap water contains chlorine which can be dangerous. Once you have your RO water add in the reef salts and test the salinity. Always follow the guidelines of the reef salts manufactures.
Setup your aquarium
Position your reef tank where you want it and start installing the reef tank lights, filters, heater and thermometer. With your aquascaping reef tank ideas decorate your tank to how you want it. Heat up the water to the optimum temperature for your reef tank.
Put your live rock and sand the way you want it but remember to space the live rocks properly. The thumb rule here is one gallon per a pound of rock.
Fill up you nano tank with the salty RO water, and start the cycle. You will have to test the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels every day. We recommend that you do so for a week without adding you livestock.
Add you fish
When the water is settled and the salinity of the water is good then you can bring in your best nano reef tank fish. You can also add the corals to the micro reef tank and watch them flourish.
Fluval 10528A1 Evo V Marine Aquarium Kit
We have looked at some of the best nano reef tanks in the market. But clearly the Fluval 10528A1 Evo V Marine Aquarium Kit proves to be the leader in this category. It is easy to use and efficient. Beginner aquarist might have a smooth ride with this tank. Getting the best tank that will satisfy your thirst begins with planning. Take the ides above and customize them to your needs to separate the best from the rest.
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