Nothing is more satisfying and relaxing than owning a nano reef tank. With their colorful aquatic environment and vibrant marine life, these miniature tanks offer a small slice of the mysterious, deep blue oceans at the comforts of your home.
I own a couple of nano reef tanks, and trust me, they definitely are a stress reliever and a sight to behold.
Furthermore, they are cheaper and take up less space compared to the typical marine or reef aquarium.
So, want to spice up your office, bedroom, living room, or chill-out spot with a nano reef tank? Need some help finding the best nano reef tank?
Then, check out my handpicked list of the best nano reef tank kits available in the market today.
Plus, I am going to share handy nuggets of information as you buy and maintain a nano reef tank.
Let us get started!
Table of Contents
What Is A Nano Reef Tank?
A nano reef tank is, in essence, a tiny bit of the sea that fits perfectly on your desk. It includes everything that the larger average saltwater tank holds, but on a much smaller scale.
In general, these tanks have a capacity of fewer than 30 gallons.
This tank is ideal for anyone who wants to create a reef aquarium, but do not have enough space to accommodate a large tank.
With its small and compact size, you can put a nano reef aquarium on your desk or any shelf where you can conveniently marvel at the beauty of their reef construction.
Unlike the standard reef aquariums, you do not need a dedicated stand to support the weight of your nano reef tank.
You can put it anywhere on a stable and flat surface.
And guess what? It is also easier to cultivate a reef in a smaller space.
On top of it all, stunning more minor details are easier to observe than in large aquariums wherein your eyes might miss them.
Nano Reef Tank Comparison Chart 2021
Eager to find the best nano reef tank for your office or home? A word of advice, check out this in-depth comparison and find the nano reef aquarium that best suits your needs and preferences.
|Product Name||Capacity||Design / Shape||Key Features|
|Coralife Biocube 16-Gallon Nano Reef Tank - Best Overall||16 and 32 gallons||Cube||Integrated LED 24-hour timer and built-in filtration|
|Lifegard Aquatics 7-Gallon Nano Reef Tank - Best Budget||7 gallons||Angled front||Complete kit includes heater and net|
|Aqueon Led 10-Gallon Nano Reef Tank - Best for Beginners||10 gallons||Rectangle||Complete set with heater and thermometer|
|Jbj 28-Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium - Best with Lid||28 gallons||Cube||Removable hood and wave maker|
|Gankpike 8-Gallon Nano Reef Tank - Best with Heater||8 gallons||Cube||Ultra clear glass, and complete set|
|Red Sea Max Nano 20-Gallon Aquarium - Best with Light||20 gallons||Cube||State-of-the-art lighting system with WiFi control|
|Fluval Evo V 5-Gallon Nano Tank - Best with Light and Filter||5 gallons||Rectangle||Dynamic 3-stage filter and 11000 K LED lights|
|Biorb Tube 9-Gallon Nano Reef Tank - Best in Style||9 gallons||Tube||5-stage filtration system|
|Innovative Marine 20-Gallon Nano Reef Tank - Best for Customization||20 gallons||Rectangle||Plenty of customizable options|
|Fluval Evo Xii 13.5-Gallon Nano Aquarium - Best with Filter||13.5 gallons||Rectangle||Powerful filtration system and honeycomb design|
|Lifegard Aquatics Crystal 24-Gallon Nano Aquarium||4.14, 9.98 nd 24 gallons||Rectangle||Ultra clear glass with a complete kit|
|Seaclear Acrylic 29-Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium||29 gallons||Rectangle||Made of crystal clear and impact-resistant acrylic|
|Marina Led 20-Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium||10 and 20 gallons||Rectangle||Complete set with quiet filter|
|Innovative Marine Nuvo 20-Gallon Nano Aquarium||20 gallons||Rectangle||Complete kit with powerful lights|
|Marineland Contour 5-Gallon Nano Reef Tank||3 and 5 gallons||Cube||Daylight and moonlight LED settings|
Which Are The Best Nano Reef Tanks To Buy?
Want to narrow down your options? Looking for a nano reef tank that fits perfectly with your budget, indoor space, and taste?
Take a look at this shortlist of the best nano reef tank options!
- Best Overall – Coralife Biocube 16-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
“This high-tech and cube-shaped nano reef tank is loaded with incredible features, including a sophisticated LED lighting system, quiet submersible pump, and unobstructed viewing angles.”
- Best Budget – Lifegard Aquatics 7-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
“Even with its incredibly affordable price, this wallet-friendly tank is still jam-packed with handy accessories and superb features.”
- Best for Beginners – Aqueon Led 10-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
“From its heater to its quiet filter, this 10-gallon nano reef aquarium has everything you need to jump-start your aquarium hobby.”
- Best with Lid – Jbj 28-Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium
“Not only does it come with a solid lid, but it also boasts a one-of-a-kind feature: the Ocean Pulse wavemaker.”
- Best with Heater – Gankpike 8-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
“Popular and functional, this 8-gallon nano aquarium boasts a couple of accessories that you will not find in other aquarium kits: a heating device and a digital thermometer.”
- Best with Light – Red Sea 20-Gallon Nano Aquarium
“You can control this tank’s LED lighting system with ease using your Android or iOs device.”
- Best with Light and Filter – Fluval Evo V 5-Gallon Nano Tank
“Create a perfect and thriving reef environment with this nano aquarium’s sophisticated filtration system and dazzling LED lights.”
- Best in Style – Biorb Tube 9-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
“With its breathtaking orb-shaped design, this nano aquarium will look fabulous and stunning in any indoor setting.”
- Best for Customization – Innovative Marine 20-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
“This durable and tank-only option is the ultimate blank canvass for experienced aquarists who want to customize their nano reef tank.”
- Best with Filter – Fluval Evo Xii 13.5-Gallon Nano Aquarium
“With its powerful and potent filtration system, this nano reef tank will keep your coral healthy by keeping the water spotlessly clean.”
Top 15 Best Nano Reef Tank Reviews in 2021
There is no better way to score the best nano reef tank than to gather information from genuine and unbiased reviews from real users.
That is why I have compiled these reviews for you!
1. Coralife Biocube 16-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
They do not call this Coralife Biocube aquarium the king of nano reef tanks for nothing. In fact, it is often billed as the best nano reef tank.
For the most part, this aquarium impresses people with its modern and smooth design, as well as a stylish cover that opens for easy maintenance and feeding. Moreover, the lid of the aquarium comes with an integrated LED lighting system with night and day time modes as well as sunset and sunrise features.
As a bonus, the kit includes a pump as well as a multi-stage filter that discreetly sits in a separate compartment in the tank’s backside.
- Sleek design
- Mimics natural light cycle
- Customizable filter
|Dimensions||15 x 16.8 x 17.5 inches|
|Filter||Customizable built-in filter|
- Stunning LED lights replicate sunlight spectrum
- Durable glass
- Easy to assemble
- Compact size
- Effortless customization for filter
- Slightly expensive
2. Lifegard Aquatics 7-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
Yes, nano reef and saltwater aquariums are mostly priced steeply these days. But, this Lifegard model is different.
The Lifegard Aquatics 7-gallon nano reef tank is economical and a huge bargain considering that it is a complete kit that performs just as well as other leading brands.
Another upside to this tank is that it gives a clear and extensive view of the whole aquarium, thanks to its unique design and angled front.
The glass is also durable, thick, and long-lasting.
- Unique angled front design
- Complete kit with an algae magnet
|Dimensions||15 x 16 x 11 inches|
|Filter||Built-in rear filter|
- Has a built-in filtration system with a pump
- Easy to maintain
- Has a multi-directional nozzle and insulation pad
- Filter somewhat create irk sound
- Does not have setup instructions
3. Aqueon Led 10-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
(Best for Beginners)
The Aqueon LED nano reef tank is, by far, one of the most complete and ideal kits for newbies. It practically has everything you need to start your journey into the world of nano reef tanks.
The package includes a 10-gallon aquarium, a water conditioner, a hood, an LED lighting system, a filter, and a whole lot more.
Heck, it even has a heater!
Even better, the aquarium is made of premium quality and long-lasting glass that will not leak.
To me, one of the main selling points of this kit is its outstanding LED lighting system, which mimics the natural daylight cycle.
- Complete set with a guide
- Superior LED lights that help corals grow
- QuietFlow filter
|Dimensions||20.2 x 10.5 x 13.3 inches|
- Ideal for beginners
- Has a heater
- Easy to assemble
- Lights sometimes get hot
- Filter is slightly noisy
4. Jbj 28-Gallon Nano Cube Aquarium
(Best with Lid)
JBJ 28-gallon nano cube is totally worth a shot if you wish to duplicate the beauty of the underwater world. It has awe-inspiring LED lighting effects that make you feel like you’re swimming underwater.
As a matter of fact, it helps me alleviate stress after a long day at work.
Plus, it has a 3-stage filtration system that is easy to customize and is equipped with programmable circulation pumps.
Whether you are a nano tank jedi or a newbie, this kit will do wonders for you.
- LED moonlight effect
- Superior kit
- Stunning appearance
|Dimensions||22.5 x 25.5 x 26 inches|
- Practical choice for novice and experts alike
- Superior intense daytime output for light
- All-in-one kit
- Long-lasting performance
- A little pricey
- May require a heater if you are keeping fish
5. Gankpike 8-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
(Best with Heater)
This 8-gallon aquarium is perfect for anyone who dreams of a nano reef tank but has somewhat limited space.
It is a perfectly shaped 11.8-inch nano cube with a small footprint, meaning it is easy for you to make room for this aquarium on any table, desk, or counter.
The bent corners and ultra-clear glass create a spectacular space for fish and corals inside.
Moreover, there are no corners or lines to obstruct the view.
Of course, it has an exceptional filtration system and an LED system with plenty of lighting options, like an auto-timer.
And did I mention that it has an outstanding heater?
- Comes with a superb filtration system
- Ultra-clear glass
- Complete kit
|Dimensions||13.8 x 11.8 x 11.8 inches|
- Has all the essentials, including a terrific heater
- Has a thermometer that lets you monitor the climate
- Fantastic design
- Filter cleans the water effectively
- Might be a little small for some types of corals
6. Red Sea Max Nano 20-Gallon Aquarium
(Best with Light)
The Red Sea has been, for years, a renowned aquarium brand. From experts to beginners, tons of customers and aquarists have been praising this brand, thanks to their outstanding and innovative aquariums.
And, the Red Sea Max nano aquarium is no exception.
With its rimless and contemporary design, the Red Sea Max nano gives an upscale feel wherever you put it.
Additionally, it is a self-contained system and has everything you need for a nano reef tank. With this nano aquarium, you will get a state-of-the-art HD LED lighting system with a WiFi feature that lets you control its lights with your smartphone.
- Sophisticated LED lighting system
- Classy design
- Complete set
|Dimensions||21.4 x 21 x 22 inches|
|Lighting||LED lights with WiFi control|
- Durable and crystal clear glass
- Latest LED and WiFi technology
- Circulation pump is hidden
- Full light spectrum
- Stylish appearance
- Does not have a lid
7. Fluval Evo V 5-Gallon Nano Tank
(Best with Light and Filter)
The Fluval V 5-gallon nano reef tank is made of clear and premium quality glass, which offers a full and crisp view of your reef. It also comes with a remarkable 3-stage filtration system that is hidden discreetly on the tank’s edge in its beautiful honeycomb compartment.
As for the lights, the kit comes with a high-output 11000 K LED light that offers an adequate light amount for coral growth.
Not to mention, it comes from a trusted brand with a solid warranty term.
I, however, do not recommend this lighting system to grow SPS.
- Exceptional 3-stage filtration system
- High-output 11000 K LED
- Complete starter kit
|Dimensions||24.5 x 11.8 x 16.3 inches|
|Lighting||High-output LED lights|
- Ideal for coral growth
- Sturdy glass
- One-of-a-kind lighting system
- Powerful filter
- The base’s plastic parts are somewhat flimsy
8. Biorb Tube 9-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
(Best in Style)
Want a unique nano saltwater tank for your home or office? Then, you might want to consider buying this extraordinary nano reef aquarium!
After all, it is a small yet fascinating,orb-shaped tank that will look totally stylish anywhere!
But, there is more to it than its irresistible aesthetics. For one, it uses a 5-stage filtration system.
Plus, it is low maintenance, and its orb shape makes it a whole lot easier for you to open the aquarium and clean it.
- Made of superior quality acrylic
- 5-stage filtration system
- Compact and light
|Dimensions||21.3 x 21.3 x 19.5 inches|
|Filter||5-stage filtration system|
- Easy to set up
- Stunning design
- Water is constantly clean
- Beautiful view
- Light sometimes do not work
9. Innovative Marine 20-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
(Best for Customization)
One of the reasons I love this tank is that it provides endless options for customization. For a small tank, Innovative Marine has done an incredible job of allowing you to create the aquarium of your dreams.
The aquarium’s filter sock can be replaced with 3 bio-media levels. There is also a second chamber that you can use either to fit a skimmer or as a refugium.
The final chamber gives you plenty of room for your ATO and heater. And it also has enough room to cover all the wires.
- Made of sturdy glass
- Durable build
- Perfect for customization
- Rimless and looks striking in any location
- Excellent size for both reef experts and beginners
- Endless customization options
- Not suitable for beginners
- Slightly pricey
- Open top of the tank is not ideal for some fish
10. Fluval Evo Xii 13.5-Gallon Nano Aquarium
(Best with Filter)
No list of the best nano reef tanks is complete without the inclusion of the Fluval EVO XII. With its aluminum casing and modern design, this sleek tank is perfect for those who want to add flair to their home.
It comes with an outstanding filter that cleans your aquarium water effectively through a 3-stage filtration process and a submersible 132 GPH pump. And these pieces of equipment are hidden from your view, tucked away in its honeycomb compartment.
There is an LED canopy hanging over the aquarium, producing 14000 K lighting with night and day time settings.
- Upscale honeycomb design
- Potent 3-stage filtration system
- Waterproof aluminum casing
|Dimensions||23.4 x 13.5 x 15.6 inches|
|Filter||3-stage filtration system|
- The filter cleans the water effectively
- Complete set
- Exceptional price
- Does not have a protein skimmer
- LED lighting system is pretty basic
- You have to upgrade its lighting system to keep some SPS and LPS
11. Lifegard Aquatics Crystal 24-Gallon Nano Aquarium
This Lifegard Aquatics kit is an ideal reef nano set up for those who have some space. One of the best things about this tank is that it is made of long-lasting, ultra-clear glass with an amazingly invisible joint, meaning there is nothing to block your view.
It also has a rimless design with a low iron glass that helps maintain the natural colors of your fish and color.
You are free to make whatever nano reef setup you want without having to worry about losing any of its beauty due to a cloudy or colored glass.
- Plenty of space
- Has a complete filtration system
- Clear glass
|Dimensions||24 x 15 x 16 inches|
- Includes submersible pump
- Has a glass top that helps reduce evaporation
- Sleek appearance and versatile design
- Glass seams are nearly invisible
- Filter makes some noise
- See-through back panel stand
12. Seaclear Acrylic 29-Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium
Acrylic is, honestly, not my favorite aquarium material. But, admittedly, this one got my attention because it is crystal clear and extremely durable.
I live with a bunch of clumsy pets and kids, so this one is an excellent fit for me.
Compared to other nano reef tank kits, this one is quite simple as it only comes with a light fixture and a tank.
And, though I prefer a full aquarium kit, I also enjoy the freedom that a simple tank kit offers without the heaters and filters.
Believe me, it is fun and exciting to build an aquarium from scratch. What is more, it lets you pick the equipment that you think is best for your corals and fish.
This option is not for beginners, though.
- Ideal for personalization
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater
|Dimensions||30 x 12 x 18 inches|
- Extremely clear
- Plenty of customization options
- Lid does not detach fully
- The light fixture is average
13. Marina Led 20-Gallon Nano Reef Aquarium
The Marina LED 20-gallon nano reef aquarium is another first-rate alternative for beginners. For a surprisingly affordable price, you get a complete set that makes reefing a little bit more convenient.
The aquarium kit includes a fishnet, Aqua Plus Water Conditioner, fish food, and even a tank care guide with a few pictures.
And, if you want to save some energy, this kit is also ideal for you. Though it has a marvelous lighting effect, its LED lighting system is relatively energy efficient.
- Made of durable materials
- Features an S15 clip-on slim filter
- Has everything you need
|Dimensions||26 x 16 x 20.7 inches|
|Filter||S15 clip on slim filter|
- Quiet filtration system
- High-quality materials
- Spacious chamber and sump
- Heavy for its size
- Lid is slightly tricky to use
14. Innovative Marine Nuvo 20-Gallon Nano Aquarium
The Innovative Marine tank is best for people who are searching for a medium-sized nano reef aquarium. Aside from its perfect size and dimensions, this aquarium comes with a couple of LED lights hanging above the aquarium, and have night and day time settings.
Not to mention, this aquarium comes with a 3-stage filter as well as an adjustable water pump that helps nutrients reach your beloved corals frequently.
- Superb LED lighting system
- Advanced AIO
- Removable 3-stage filter baskets
|Manufacturer||NuvoFusion Nano 20 kit|
|Dimensions||24 x 15 x 13 inches|
|Filter||3-stage filtration system|
|Lighting||18-watt LED clamp|
- Has a 1-year warranty
- LED lights are scientifically designed to help your corals grow
- High quality and incredibly durable glass
- Filter and pump are noisy
15. Marineland Contour 5-Gallon Nano Reef Tank
The Marineland Contour is the perfect solution for aspiring reef hobbyists who are not ready to enter the big leagues yet.
It has an elegant design and is compact as well as small, meaning it will look chic and gorgeous anywhere. And, it has rounded corners and a glass canopy that make it quite easy to see your reef creation from a multitude of angles.
As far as price, it is cheaper compared to other best nano reef tank kits.
- Elegant design
- Moonlight and daylight settings
- Access is easy
|Dimensions||9.5 x 10 x 10 inches|
|Filter||3-stage filtration system|
|Lighting||18-watt LED clamp|
- Phenomenal customer service
- Blue LED lights make the tank look awe-inspiring
- Rounded corners look eye-catching
- Filter is hard to set up
How To Find The Best Nano Reef Tank?
Contrary to popular belief, finding the best nano reef tank is not a walk in the park. Even though I have narrowed down the options, there are still a few things that you have to put into consideration.
Luckily for you, I have added this shopping guide to make your shopping experience even more convenient.
Nano Reef Tank Kit Components
Nano reef tanks are mostly sold as complete kits, with some components and equipment being accessories to the aquarium.
These tank components are vital since they will help you run the aquarium as well as reduce the overall costs.
If you are planning to buy a kit, make sure that it has an LED lighting system and a filter. You might want to look for a timer or remote control for managing the LED lighting system.
Some kits also come with a heater.
The nano reef aquarium you are planning to buy should suit the coral type you are keeping. Photosynthetic corals, for instance, need a lot of lights, which means a shorter aquarium works best in this case since it is better in optimizing the light source.
Shape Of Nano Saltwater Tank
There are different shapes of aquarium on the market today, including bow-fronted, cylindrical, hexagonal, cubed, rectangular, and many more.
If you do not have a clue on what is the best aquarium shape for your space, take note of these tips:
- Overly tall aquariums can be difficult to clean or decorate. Moreover, the light might not reach the tank’s bottom, which limits coral growth.
- Some aquarium shapes may restrict the quantity of fish that you keep. And, they can also limit the fish’s movement.
- The larger the aquarium’s surface area, the easier its aeration is going to be. Keep in mind that removing harmful gas is essential to the health of your marine life.
- Certain tank shapes, like hexagonal and bowfront aquariums, may distort the view of your stunning reef.
It is natural, for most of us, to go for the cheaper alternative. Everyone does it!
While the price is undoubtedly a crucial factor, it should not be the only thing that you have to put into consideration.
So, take some time to research different nano reef tank models. And do not forget to read the best nano reef tank reviews above, until you have the right one for you.
If the price of your preferred nano reef tank is pretty high, try to look for another unit with similar equipment and features.
At the end of the day, the inhabitants of your aquarium are sensitive and precious. That is why you should buy them the best haven you can afford.
Do you have a question that you would like to ask? Why not check out the FAQ section of this guide?
Who knows? It might have all the answers to all your questions!
My Top Pick
Coralife Biocube 16-Gallon Nano Reef Tank is, to me, the ultimate option, when it comes to nano reef tanks. Thus far, no reef nano tank offers the perfect combination of affordability, compact size, and superb features quite like this aquarium kit. It is, no doubt, the epitome of a five-star and top-rated nano reef tank.
Grab any of these fantastic nano reef tanks, and create a breathtaking miniature ocean at the comforts of your home! These nano reef tanks are stunning, long-lasting, and have been proven and tested by experts.