The 7 Best Nano Reef Tanks of 2021


Keep your favorite aquatic buddies in the best nano reef tanks. These water tanks are not hard to maintain and are very suitable for your small fish. Bowls can be restricting to them so these nano reef tanks are perfect for them to roam around and play along. Plants, pebbles, and other decorative pieces can fit and can still bring the beauty of your tank like their natural habitat.

This small aquarium hobby brings about the convenience of being easier to maintain, but can still provide a mini reef habitat for your fish. With the right lighting and basic filtration lighting, this glass home for your aquatic friends is sustainable and enjoyable at the same time.

What is the Best Nano Reef Tank

See also:

Top 7 Best Nano Reef Tanks Reviews

1. Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium LED


Fit your delicate but elegant small fish inside this Coralife LED Biocube. This aquarium has a modern hood with the LED lighting attached inside. The sleek design makes it perfect from saltwater to freshwater environments.

You will never be hassled with this nano tank with its built-in 24-hour timer with individual channels. It also exudes color enhancing LEDs that can be changed to your preference.

The natural day cycle can be experienced by your little aquatic buddies. This unit has automatic 60-minute moonrise and moonset functions, as well as 30-minute sunrise and sunset features.

Another thing to love is its compact design that will fit most corners or table tops of your home. An integrated filtration system is already included so setting up won’t be a hassle.

Although the inclusions are already superb, there is no heater that comes with the unit. However, it is compatible with other accessories, seamless for your nano tank.


  • Hood with LED lighting
  • Integrated 24-hour timer
  • Automatic natural day feature
  • Compact design
  • Built-in filtration system


  • Heater not included

2. Fluval Sea Evo Saltwater Aquarium Kit


Match the beauty of your fish with this stylish nano tank. The Fluvial Sea Evo Saltwater Fish Tank Aquarium Kit seemly homes your aquatic babies in sophisticated beauty.

Filters may be an eyesore in most aquariums. But not in this tank as it is concealed in a honeycomb design. Your guests will never have to see it, yet you are assured of the health of your fish.

They boast their filtration system in three stages. The filter media has chemical, biological, and mechanical systems that deliver quality water inside.

A very powerful 14000 K LED comes with this unit that ensures adequate coral growth and optimal reef conditioning.

The easy feed door and the waterproof casing will entice you, as it just matches and fits most countertops. The machinery is ingenious inside, but the powerful suction may suck tiny corals inside. Choosing the right plants to compliment this tank can be done to avoid that dilemma.


  • Sleek design
  • Waterproof casing
  • Easy feed door
  • 3-stage filtration system
  • Powerful 14000 K LED


  • Suction may be too powerful

3. GankPike 8 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium Marine Fish Tank


Everything you need to get started on your growing love for aquariums is here with the GankPike fish tank. The kit has basically most of what you need to take a step forward and own your first nano tank.

You will enjoy your fish as they play inside with this tank’s ultra-clear glass. The filtration system won’t be a bother as it just sits at the back

A nano protein skimmer also comes with the unit. It hangs on the unit and caters up to 13 gallons of saltwater.

The LED light is another thing to be adored in this nano tank. It brags three colors and is dimmable at 5 levels. Sunrise and sunset modes are also a nice feature so they can enjoy a natural cycle.

Their submersible pump is quiet and it already comes with a nozzle and tube. The heater is at 100W and has an adjustable knob.

Having this beginner-friendly tank will get you started. However, you may want to read more on the protein skimmer and ensure your tank is in the right condition before setting it up as instructions don’t come with it.


  • Beginner-friendly
  • Very clear glass
  • Has a nano protein skimmer
  • Dimmable and natural cycle LED light
  • Quiet submersible pump


  • No protein skimmer instructions

4. Marina LED Aquarium Kit


Your aquarium hobby can get started today with Marina LED Aquarium Kit. Complete with the essentials, your small fish will enjoy living in a basic nano reef tank.

Fishkeeping will be an entertaining hobby as this aquarium kit is easy to set up. A care guide is also included so will not be worried if you go the wrong way.

The LED lighting module that this unit uses is long-lasting and it greatly mimics the natural daylight.

Additionally, fish food, water conditioner, and a biological supplement are all included upon purchase. This surely is a great buy for starters wanting to build their own nano reef tank.

Fish, corals and other aquatic babies will enjoy this new home. The filter may not be completely silent, but that gives you the assurance that it does the job in making quality water.


  • Easy to set up
  • Care guide included
  • Long lasting LED lighting
  • Fish food included
  • Water conditioner and supplement included


  • Filter not completely silent

5. biOrb Halo 15 Aquarium with MCR Lighting


If you are torn between a tiny fishbowl and a tank, the biOrb Halo 15 Aquarium is the right one for you. The size is completely perfect for those who don’t want large ones and for those with small or few fish to take care of.

Housing your fish is easy as the unit is stress-free to set up. It is made of acrylic, which makes it lighter than glass but is 10 times stronger.

A small tank should not be underestimated as this comes with a powerful 5-stage filtration system, making sure your water quality will not go bad.

You will love the 16 colors of LED lighting that can be adjusted as to brightness. It is also remote controlled for your convenience.

Everything about the biOrb delightful, especially that it looks like a fishbowl and doesn’t take much space. The filtration system may be too powerful for your fish, so make sure you have the right corals and plants around.


  • Compact size
  • Made of acrylic
  • 5-stage filtration system
  • 16 colors of remote-controlled LED
  • Bowl design


  • Filtration system too powerful

6. Red Sea Max 20 Gallon Aquarium


The latest technology brings the Red Sea Max 20 Gallon Aquarium a crowd favorite. This rimless aquarium uses state of the art machinery for optimum safe reef keeping.

An easy-access power system makes the Red Sea stand out. It is also Wi-Fi controlled so it easy to connect to your home.

Their filtration system is also top-notch and it gives you quality water for all your aquatic friends. An extra circulation system is also integrated so toxins will never accumulate.

The lighting is adequate for all corners of the aquarium. Your fish will experience the right amount of light in a day as the LED is programmable.

A skimmer is also included in the unit. However, the heater is not. It is compatible to other accessories and is upgradable over time.


  • Rimless design
  • Easy-access to power system
  • Quality filtration
  • Adequate lighting
  • Wi-Fi controlled


  • Heater not included

7. Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium Starter Kits with Stand


Let this aquarium starter kit pave the way for you to start your new hobby. It includes all the essentials you need to let your fish and corals have a new home.

They take pride in having a 24-hour timer that controls independent channels. Its LEDs come in white, blue, and color enhancing features to maximize its lighting capacity.

An automatic sunlight and moonlight features are integrated for a natural day and night cycle.

The filtration system is very compact and is customizable as well. It is built at the back of the aquarium so the beauty of the corals and fish inside isn’t disturbed.

You will not be bothered with noisy pumps as these come in very quiet yet practical ones. These features are very user-friendly but may need to be upgraded from time to time to guarantee the safety and health of your fish.


  • 24-hour timer
  • Automatic sunlight and moonlight feature
  • Compact filtration system
  • Quiet pumps
  • Easy to install


  • May need upgrades

Nano Reef Tanks Buying Guide

Starting your own aquarium requires patients and enough research. Most who have invested in these water tanks for years highly recommend that you start your own with these water tanks.

Most nano reef tanks are easy to set up. They usually come in kits that have instructions in them and generally come with all the necessities you need. The tank itself, the filtration system, lighting, a skimmer, and sometimes a heater, are included in most units.

In these tanks, it is better to buy distilled water or reverse osmosis deionized (RODI) water than investing in RODI systems which can come off as more expensive.

The lighting system needed for nanos are not as extensive as the regular aquariums. You will want to choose LEDs. Not only they emit bright light for your fish and corals, they also save much on electricity.

With regards to the water, you will need it to be stable in terms of salinity and temperature. An auto top off system can be installed to maintain stability. Having an open surface tank is also recommended to for a cooler setup if you live in warm areas.

You need to consider the fish inside relative to the size of your tank. Its temperament and nature need to match the environment they live on. Common fish that are suitable for reef tanks are:

  • Jawfish
  • Firefish
  • Clown Goby
  • Royal Gamma
  • Chalk Bass

Corals beautify your reef tanks and to some, are the main attraction of these nanos. You need corals that are easy to maintain and those that adapt easily. Here are corals that adapt to water chemistry changes and temperature fluctuations:

  • Finger leather corals
  • Mushroom corals
  • Frogspawn
  • Trumpet coral
  • Polyps and Zoanthids

Nano reef tanks are enjoyable and do provide a great home for your favorite aquatic buddies. They are low maintenance compared to larger tanks but are still a feast in the eyes for your homes.

What is a Nano Reef Tank?


A nano reef tank is an aquarium that fills up to 40 gallons or less. With its size, it can fit a few or small fish and limited corals like the regular reef tanks. It is easy to set up and move around, minimalist and is best for beginners in fish keeping.

How to set up a Nano Reef Tank

These sophisticated and cute aquariums are easy to set up. For a nano reef tank, you will need a nano reef system. These are widely available and most come in kits for starters.

Each kit usually comes with a tank, lids, pumps, lights, a protein skimmer, and sometimes, a heater.

  • Assemble the parts as per instruction
  • If not included, consider having a thermometer and a heater
  • Add your live sand at the base of the tank
  • Carefully place rocks and other corals
  • Fill in the tank with distilled or RODI water
  • Balance with 2-3 fish depending on the size
  • Don’t overcrowd your tank

Maintenance of nano reef tanks is bearable because it is a self-sufficient tank. Once you have established a stable ecosystem, you may change your water every 2 or 3 months. This will depend on the environment you built and your tank. It still best to follow tank instructions when it comes it its maintenance.

Types of Nano Reef Tank

Aquariums have gained popularity over time. Nano reef tanks come with the latest technology that maintains a self-reliant environment inside. Most aquarists and hobbyists consider these reef tanks to be more for the growth of pretty corals than fish.

With different corals inside, the right setup is needed for you to make sure they survive. Three common setups for these beauties inside nanos are:

  • Large Polyp Stony (LPS) Nano Reef Tank
  • Small Polyp Stone (SPS) Nano Reef Tank
  • Bulletproof Nano Reef Tank

If you are just about to start on reef tank keeping, consider having the bullet proof nano reef tank.

  • Comprised of easy to maintain corals
  • Simple lighting requirements
  • Corals grow fast
  • Weak stinging of corals

LPS nano reef tank setup is suitable for those who love a variety of colorful and vivid corals to choose from.

  • More beautiful aquarium set up
  • These corals are aggressive by nature
  • May need to be adequately spaced
  • More intense lighting requirements

The SPS nano reef tank setup is best if you have previous experience or a background knowledge with corals. These are harder to set up because a sudden light or temperature change will disturb the corals.

  • Corals are very delicate
  • Intense lighting is needed
  • Corals may be combative by nature
  • May require more checkups to see they’re thriving well

The kind of nano reef tank will largely depend on what you want. Placing fish inside is another consideration. If that will be the main concern, you will want a nano reef tank that requires fish-friendly corals for ecological balance.

Why Do You Need Nano Reef Tank?

A small tank with big stories to tell? The nano reef tank has more life than the usual small tank you see. Beyond the vivid colors, every movement inside has a story to tell that will surely add meaning to your elegant home aquarium.

The beautiful corals living inside these nano reef tanks are loaded with tiny creatures. At around 2 inches thick, the live sand has different, tiny shrimp-like creatures that add biologic stability to your nano reef tank.

Your fish will enjoy living with other live creatures. Aside from corals, your nano reef tank can have live rocks and plants. This beautiful exchange of oxygen and natural interaction shows us a glimpse of how nature is like under the sea.

This living space for your fish is excellent if you only need a small one, but still has the features of the larger aquariums.

Your entry into the beautiful world of fish and coral keeping is the nano fish tank. It is easy to maintain has full of life in it. It is also easy to set up, ideal for any countertop or tight space at home and is elegant to house your fish and corals in.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the most popular nano reef tank brands?

The market has a lot to offer you if you want to start your own reef tank. These tanks mostly come in kits. While some have a lot of accessories, some need to be bought beforehand, and you need to make sure it is compatible to your unit. Here are the reputable brands that has built their name over the years:

  • Coralife
  • GankPike
  • Fluval
  • Marina
  • biOrb
  • Red Sea

How to start a nano reef tank?

Before starting a reef tank, be sure to consider what your goals and purposes for your tank are. If mainly for corals, ponder on the ones that are easy to maintain for beginners. If you have outgrown them, you may step up and try other aggressive ones.

Make sure the fish you put is also compatible with the corals and other live plants inside your nano reef tank. The temperature of your region will matter as well, for the health and safety of the living creatures inside.

An adequate water source, a tank and the live creatures you have decided on will lead you to start your own nano reef tank.

Where to place power heads in reef tank nano?

Powerheads are important in your nano reef tank as they provide the water circulation inside. The more it is filtered and circulated, the better oxygenation and waste management is experience by your aquatic friends. They are commonly hung or mounted at the back or the side walls of your nano reef tank.

Timing of the powerheads are usually regulated by a wavemaker with controlling devices. Most aquarists recommend having these wavemakers.

Where to buy nano reef tank?

Marine and aquarium stores sell a variety of nano reef tanks. Some fish pet stores provide them too. Aside from physical stores, these are widely sold online.


Fish and beautiful corals are wonderful unique decorations to have at home. These living beauties teach us a lot about patience and show us a hint of how living underwater is like. Let your fish and corals live in the best nano reef tanks. Not only will they grow beautifully, but you will also have the chance to cultivate a wonderful living setup in your home. These nano reef tanks require no tedious maintenance and are best for starters or hobbyists who are interested in aquatic life. Kids and adults alike surely enjoy their natural habitat as part of their home.

1 thought on “The 7 Best Nano Reef Tanks of 2021”

  1. I bought a Fluval SEA EVO Aquarium kit last month and all in all, I’m very satisfied with it. However, the top light tends to keep turning on and off and the lack of sufficient space at the rear section of the tank.


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