Nano Reef Tanks

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Editor’s Note: This article is the first by Karlo Martinez. Karlo is an avid nano aquarium keeper and Do-It-Yourselfer. His DIY work has absolutely blown me away. If you have time, be sure to check out his nano tank build on MARSHreef.com, you’ll enjoy it, I promise.

Just want to do a little write up on nano reef tanks, which if you go to every site online will have different opinions about what is the correct size to call a tank a nano. I would consider any aquarium under 30 gallons to be labeled as a nano tank.

Nano tanks have become very popular in the past few years, whether it be for their cost savings or just the challenged of trying to keep a small reef. Now that many companies have seen this growth in popularity there is a large selection of tanks that can be acquired with all the necessary equipment already integrated, and all that need to be done is add your livestock.

Acrylic Nano Reef Aquarium

Acrylic Nano Reef Aquarium

*Photo of this Nano Provided by the Author

Don’t be mistaken that just because it’s smaller it’s easier to take care of. They are actually more difficult to maintain because of their small size and any little change can make the tank crash. I would recommend on any nano tank to do at least one water change weekly and to always check the water quality…at least twice a week. One of the other problems that come with keeping a nano is the water temperature. With today‚Äôs lighting options and the always popular MH (Metal Halide) lighting, this is the biggest problem. It hits home for me, as I just experienced it first hand where high temperatures equals bad news. And this holds true not only MH but any other lights you use. Just the water volume alone in a small tank rises much faster. But it can be prevented by making a small investment in a chiller, which will give you peace of mind and not thinking about what could happen and all the work and money you have put into your tank can be lost so quickly.

Rear Chamber of Acrylic Aquarium

Rear Chamber of Acrylic Aquarium

*Photo of this Nano Provided by the Author

One other thing that needs to be considered and researched is what type of livestock you want to keep in the tank, if any. Do your homework, ask questions, look at other tanks and see what is kept, don’t just go out and buy a nice “Dora” or “Nemo” because your kid loves the movie. Some of the recommended inhabitants that can be kept in a tank this small would be gobies, clownfish, and invertebrates such as snails and shrimp. Keep in mind that not all nano tanks come with a filtration system that are seen in larger setups and these will not handle too many inhabitants and their excess wastes. One of the best ways to keep a healthy tank is to include a good amount of live rock and a good sand bed which will help in the filtration and break down of waste.

Nano Reef Aquarium

Nano Reef Aquarium

*Photo of this Nano Provided by the Author

There is a more challenging size tank that aquarium hobbyist have also been keeping. These are the pico reef tanks. These come with all the same responsibilities as the nano, but require more monitoring and care. These tanks, in my opinion, are anything under 5 gallons and preferably do not include any fish in them. They will require even more frequent water changes and testing than nanos.

As with all types and sizes of tank the number one recommendation is to have patience, don’t hurry trying to catch up to someone else’s tank or try and make it look like the local stores tank because it also took them time to get it that way and not overnight.

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