Nano Aquarium Fish Tanks

Nano Aquarium preview

Nano aquariums are smaller saltwater reef tanks that are typically around 8-30 gallons. Pico tanks are even smaller which usually contain around 2-5 gallons of water. It is important to note that nano and pico aquariums are not beginner level aquariums. The smaller volumes of water means that the water parameters will change daily. This is the reason why they are not for beginners as you have to know how to test and adjust the water parameters. When you know enough about basic water chemistry as well as advanced water chemistry for corals, then nano aquariums are great for a compact reef tank.

Choosing the Nano for you

There are many different brands of nano aquariums out on the market. Oceanic, JBJ, Aquapod, Red Sea, these are just a few of the brands in the USA, with many more found in Asia and Europe. They all come in various sizes and each has its own features as far as filtration and lighting are concerned. My experience with nano aquariums have been with the oceanic biocube 14 and 29 gallon aquarium. The oceanic biocube 29 is a great aquarium for intermediate level fish keepers, it provides good 3 stage filtration and comes with two 36 watt power compact lighting which is fine for lower light corals. When picking which nano tank is right for you, look into the aquarium size, know which type of animals you want to keep, look into which lighting upgrades you can add, design, price, and guarantee.


If you choose to turn your nano aquarium into a reef tank, you have to be aware of the type of lighting the aquarium provides. Most come standard with power compact fluorescent fixtures. Compact fluorescents are fine for lower light corals such as zoanthids, polyps, mushrooms, soft corals, and lower light LPS corals. This form of lighting doesnt produce that much heat making a nano chiller not a must. If you wish to keep higher level corals then you might need to upgrade your lighting to T5 or Metal Halide lighting systems. There are websites that sell modified stock hoods fitted with MH and PC actinic fixtures. This is the best way to upgrade your lighting without loosing the design of the aquarium hood. Another option would be taking off the hood and buying an advanced lighting system that fits your nano aquarium. Overall, nano aquariums come ready to use out of the box and are best for lower light corals.


Disclaimer: Read First

Saltwater fish keeping just like anything in life, people will have varying opinions and experiences. The following information throughout my site are based on my personal experience and in no way the rule to fish keeping. What works for me might not be the same case for someone else. It is important to remember that these articles are not meant to draw any form of profit and cost just my time and the time of our contributors so please respect our opinions as we don’t trash others opinions. These articles have been created with the best intentions and with the hope that they help our viewers and others who want to do low tech saltwater aquariums. Thanks for reading and respecting.

Product Review: Purple Up

This product review is for Purple Up by: CaribSea. Purple Up is a USA product that is a purple coralline algae accelerator. This product from my experience with it is a true “All in One” supplement. I have been using this product for the last 4 months and I have noticed an increase to the purple coralline algae in my aquarium. It is the only supplement I add to my aquarium and keeps my calcium, iodine, strontium, carbonate, levels right where they are suppose to be. It is important to note that you must have some coral line algae in the aquarium already as this product accelerates the growth and doesn’t not have any inside. Also you will want to make sure your phosphates are down as it can encourage the growth or algae even though it claims not to. I do recommend this product for those nano keepers who want little to do with supplements and an awesome looking tank.

Aquarium Flow:

Currents are really stressed for reef tanks. Corals will produce waste and will need a way to move this waste which is why currents are needed. In general the aquarium filtration system will provide a good main current but may not get all of the aquarium which can create “dead spots” where there is little to no water movement. This could cause problems with your water quality in the long run. Typically you can add a simple powerhead to the aquarium to eliminate most of the dead spots and provide flow that is different than the return of the filtration system. In nano reef tanks there are specially made powerheads that are small enough to fit into a nano and provide excellent GPH ratings. I would recommend the hydor nano which is a great small in tank pump that will not suck up tank inhabitants and provide a flow of your choosing.

Local Reef Clubs:

Local reef clubs are just one of the great resources available for reefers. Many organizations don’t require dues or memberships so they make great places where to meet new people who have similar interest to you. Local reef clubs will often have members with tons of experience and are great to learn from. Also many people in your area are looking to buy/trade/or sell reef tank equipment, livestock, and in some cases even whole reef setups. If you have a local reef club in your area, I would highly recommend that you check out their website for meeting times and what others locally are selling. This is a great resource to learn and buy aquarium components for cheap.

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