Best nano reef tank aquarium kit

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Coralife Fish Tank
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Coralife Biocube
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JBJ 602-LED Nano Cube
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JBJ Nano Cube
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Fluval SEA EVO XII Aquarium Kit
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Everything you should know about a Nano reef tank and how to set it up

Whether you are a saltwater aquarium enthusiast and want to get the best Nano aquarium, or you’ve just decided to cultivate a Nano reef aquarium, this is the perfect place for you. Here you will learn a thing or two about Nano tanks in order to find the best Nano aquarium.

C’mon, we don’t have time to waste, let’s get started right away.

What is a Nano aquarium tank?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “Nano fish tank”, I’m going to explain it.

A Nano cube aquarium is a small aquarium that has a capacity of less than 30 gallons. This mini fish tank is ideal for those who have always wanted to cultivate a reef tank but have limited space in their homes. While a standard cube fish tank takes up a plenty of floor space, this type of a reef tank is so small that you can place it on a solid shelf or even on top of your desk.

That being said, a Nano saltwater tank is also a great choice for those of you who want to liven up their office and make it more welcoming.

Why do people love a Nano fish tank?

Yes, this little aquarium is simply adorable. However, don’t for a second think it doesn’t require your time and money in order to be the best it can be. Compared to a traditional reef tank, in this one, you can only have small species of fish (obviously). Moreover, the best Nano reef tank should always have proper water quality, and this is not easy to maintain considering the size of a tank. Not to forget proper lighting needed to encourage healthy coral growth.

But don’t let these facts keep you from having the perfect Nano reef tank at your home because even though cultivating a Nano reef tank can be challenging, it is well worth it. Thai said, here are some reasons why so many saltwater aquarium hobbyists love these tanks.

Not only this type of a tank will completely change the look of your office or home, you will truly enjoy cultivating it. Compared to a standard cube aquarium, that is far more expensive to set up and keep it in a good condition, this type of a Reef tank could cost you less than two hundred dollars.

Not only that, but a small fish tank also provides a better experience when it comes to viewing the tank. Obviously, in a larger tank, the details will be hardly noticed. Well, that’s not the case with these little tanks. In fact, they are all about the details! You will love sitting in front of it and admire your own piece of the ocean (and your fish and corals will enjoy the aquarium too).

Another benefit of this aquarium is that it is a whole lot easier to maintain it. You won’t have to spend a half of the day in order to clean it. That’s why this little aquarium is a good option for newbies. Plus, newbies or those of you who don’t want to bother with separately buying all needed pieces for a reef tank, can get a Nano reef tank kit, and make everything simpler.

These kits usually come with all the basic items needed to get you started – the tank itself, filtration and lighting, and in some cases with extra features (for example, a tank hood).

Is this type of an aquarium hard to maintain?

Contrary to what most people think, maintaining a nano reef tank is as complicated as maintaining any other aquarium. In case you aren’t willing to commit to taking a good care of a nano (or any other) reef tank, you should not even think about buying one of these. However, if you are ready to invest your time (and money) in cultivating one of these small tanks, then rest assured that you will be successful at that (of course, after learning how to set it up correctly and how to maintain it).

Types of a Nano reef tank

When it comes to choosing the best nano reef tank, you should know that there are corner fish tanks, a cube tank shape or a traditional rectangular shape. Whichever one you opt for, you will need to buy supplies and set it up perfectly, in order to build a lovely habitat for your fish.

For those of you who are new to the world of these aquariums, you should know that the best way to keep your fish healthy and happy is to make the tank feel like home. This especially refers to a nano reef tank. Since this tank is so small thus it doesn’t offer much space for improvising, you have to create perfect conditions and make the best possible environment for your fish.
Whether you are looking for cheap fish tanks or a quality corner aquarium, below you’ll find just the perfect tank for your home.

Best nano reef aquarium tank

1. Coralife Nano reef aquarium


Now, if you want only the best for your future fish and corals, you just can’t go wrong with this tank. This is a great starter kit that comes at a reasonable price. It includes a submersible pump, dual iintakes adjustable return nozzle, customizable built-in filtration, integrated 24-hour timer and a sleek hood with vibrant LED lighting.

While the 24-hour timer features three channels to make lighting unique, there are also automatic sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset functions to mimic natural day cycle.

The filtration is customizable which makes it very easy to set up. In addition, you will easily keep it in a good condition.

Since the pump is submersible, no need to worry about where you will put it. It is also very quiet, so it won’t bother you.

However, what will bother you is the fan. Apparently, it is a bit noisy.


  • Comes at a great price
  • Timer
  • Filtration is easy to clean
  • Submersible pump
  • Lighting


  • The fan is a bit noisy

2. Coralife Biocube


Last but not least. Here we have one more tank from well-known Coralife. This one will take your breath away because it’s just that cool. Black adds a mysterious touch to the tank, making it ideal for your living room.

This is all in one system. Meaning, it is a breeze to set up and is an ideal choice for newbies. It includes a tank, light filter, top, and a filter pump. As you can see, you won’t have to think about what items to buy for your aquarium, since this one really has it all.

Thanks to this amazing all in one system, setting up and maintaining a healthy nano reef environment has never been easier!

The unit also comes with the LED light that will come in handy at night, as it will make your aquarium look bright and wonderful. Not only that, but you will be able to see what is going on in the dark in your tank.

As for the downside, the tank is a bit pricey, since it is too small.


  • A good choice for newbies
  • Comes with the main features for a tank
  • Looks great and stylish
  • LED light bar
  • Incorporated wet/dry biological filtration


  • Too small
  • A bit expensive

3. JBJ 602-LED Nano Reef Cube


If you are ready to spend a few extra bucks on a top-notch aquarium, you should definitely go with this one. Since it comes with all the bells and whistles this is one of the best all-in-one reef tanks.

The tank has a capacity of 28 gallons, offering a plenty of space for small fish and corals.

It comes with 150-watt Compact Fluorescent Quad Lamp, two programmable circulation pumps, and Customizable 3-Stage filtration system so the Setup is simple and fast.

The lamps provide enough lighting to promote coral growth, which is definitely something you will appreciate. Since the bulbs are compact, they offer more light (compared to similar models) at the same time consuming low-level of energy.

Thanks to head pumps, your tank will feel like a real ocean, since they will mimic natural reef environment.

You can add a plenty of features to the filtration system on the back, such as a UV sterilizer and get the most out of your aquarium.

On the downside, the illumination is very bright, so this tank would not be the best choice for big eyed fish.


  • Big
  • All in one system
  • Easy to set up


  • Since the lighting is too bright, you should not keep big eyed fish

4. JBJ Nano reef aquarium


If you’re looking to buy an affordable nano aquarium with panoramic view, this one won’t let you down. It looks magical, and will certainly be a wonderful home for your corals and fish. This is a 12-gallon tank that has a recognized nano cube shape.

This well-built aquarium is also all-in-one, making cultivating a reef tank a whole lot easier. The unit comes with a 3-stage filtration, a removable filter basket, a ventilated reflector, two 25 watts lamps and directional flow nozzle.

Not only you will set up this tank without any hassle, you will also clean it and change water easily. This model is easy to maintain and your fish will definitely love it.


  • All in one system
  • Affordable
  • Easy to keep it clean
  • Panoramic view


  • The pump tends to rust

5. Fluval SEA EVO XII reef Aquarium Kit


If you want to buy a top notch aquarium kit, at a great price, this is your best bet. Meet Fluval 10531A1 SEA EVO XII Aquarium Kit – a 13.5-gallon tank that will be an ideal home for your fish.

This is one elegant aquarium since it has a honeycomb design. The filtration area is on the back, making the tank easy on the eyes.

The unit comes with a strong 3-stage filtration that will keep the aquarium super clean and also safe. Of course, this means that your “underwater world” will be healthy and happy. Thanks to a handy door, feeding fish is easy.

There are remarkable start day and night illumination, which makes this aquarium one of the most beautiful on the market. Combine illumination with the colorful underwater world, and you get a mesmerizing reef tank at the comfort of your home.

As for the downside, the top/lid consists of two parts, making it very easy to move, which is not so great. Especially if you have adventuresome kids who would want to take a look at the little ocean world.


  • Top notch aquarium kit at a great price
  • Comes with great illumination
  • Elegant
  • Powerful 3-stage filtration


  • A two-piece lid

Reef Aquarium Set-up

Tropical fish tanks are breathtakingly beautiful so it’s not surprising why they can be found at numerous homes all over the world. But how do you get such a nice aquarium that will impress everyone around you? Well, you’re about to find out.

As already mentioned, if you are a newbie, your best bet is an aquarium kit with built-in lighting and integrated filtration. This will certainly make set up a whole lot easier. Choose the kit that comes with all the essential features for your tank (including a tank itself of course) and you only need to get a fitting heater.

If on the other hand, you want to buy a tank on your own, a nano cube aquarium is the best nano aquarium since it comes with fancy bow front design with panoramic viewing.

The next step is to choose where you will place the tank. Even though I have mentioned that you can place it on a well-built shelf or on top of your desk, you should think twice about that. Meaning, keep in mind that the tank will weigh over 120 pounds when filled. That’s pretty heavy, so you definitely don’t want to place the unit somewhere where you risk flooding the room. Luckily, there are high-quality aquarium stands (apparently designed with safety in mind) that can withstand your aquarium. In addition, it will free up some space and will give you peace of mind.

Well, now that you set up the aquarium, you clearly need to put fish and corals in it. For this part, read the next section of the article (“Which fish are best for small aquariums”), as I am going to explain it there.

Now, when it comes to the overall look of the tank, I hope you don’t think that artificial plants and structures will contribute to a better look because they won’t. So, use live rock, sand, eco-complete gravel and of course live plants to make your tank outstanding. Moreover, all this will have a huge impact on the water quality and will help create one healthy nano-system.

When buying a tank kit, usually you won’t have to buy additional lighting. I mean, it is not necessary, the tank will be fine without an extra lighting. However, keep in mind that better (additional) lighting will encourage plant growth.

Which fish are best for small aquariums?

Considering its small size, a nano aquarium can accommodate different types of corals such as Polyp Corals, Tree Corals, Soft Corals, Thick Finger Leather, and Mushroom Corals. If you want to add fish in your nano fish tank, make sure to get gobies, blennies, or firefish as these are most suitable for living in the nano environment.

If you want to have your very own portion of the ocean, you have to avoid overcrowding since this will seriously decrease the quality of water and also the health of fish.

The best way to make your aquarium a perfect home for fish is to introduce only a small number of fish at a time over two or three months. Of course, you should choose the smallest fish possible.

As far as Soft and Polyp Corals are concerned, it’s best to opt for species that grow slowly. Fast-growing species can overtake less resilient species and can also take up the aquarium space.

How do you maintain a reef saltwater fish tank?

Okay, so you have got the best nano saltwater tank, but what now? If you want to keep species in your tank stress-free and healthy, you definitely need to take a good care of your small saltwater tank.

And the best way to do that is to observe species in a tank every day. If you notice some strange behavior with your fish – gasping, darting or hiding you definitely need to test water quality.

Another thing to do is to change 10% or 20% of the water every week. This will carry away toxins.

We hope this guide provided you with all the useful info you needed regarding reef tanks and that you’ve learned something new today. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about the topic at hand. Take care, folks!

Also, you might be interested in reading our article about nano protein skimmers.

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Tags: nano reef tank