Maintaining a nano reef tank has become a growing area of interest for those who like to keep aquariums as part of their home or work environment. The special attraction of live coral has a strong appeal for those who love having aquatic life around them.

The beauty of live coral can draw an aquarium aficionado to the possibilities of keeping a live mini-reef. But for the beginner in this niche of fish-keeping, there are some key things to learn before spending the money on live coral.

Just What Is a Nano Reef Tank? 

A reef tank is a saltwater or marine aquarium that contains live corals specifically, along with other marine invertebrates. It can include such fish that help maintain the environment of a tropical coral reef. This type of aquarium will need proper lighting, a very stable water chemistry, and continual water movement. The selection of which reef animals to include must be done carefully, to make sure that they will thrive together in the same environment.

A nano reef should not be regarded as a toy version of an ocean reef. A well-kept nano reef is a full-fledged marine habitat, that has to be carefully maintained. None of the tasks involved in keeping a tank reef are difficult, it is just that they must be performed on schedule. The environmental balance needed to keep your coral alive has to be watched over.

Getting Started 

The first thing you need to select when planning a nano reef tank is what size of aquarium you want to use. Typically, anything under 37 gallons would fall into this category. Some good starter sizes are considered to be a standard 10 gallon, 15 gallon or 20 gallon tank. Because of the growing popularity of reef-keeping, the beginner may actually be able to find product packages that include the compact high intensity lamps, specialized filters and smaller water pumps the reef tank would require. Choosing the proper equipment will keep your nano reef habitat in the most viable condition.

Challenges in Keeping a Nano Reef 

A nano reef will not take care of itself. In fact, because it is a smaller sized aquarium, the keeper will have to pay greater attention to the basics of the water quality in the tank.  You may have to check the water chemistry twice a week, even changing the water once a week. There are many chemical levels that have to be checked, in order to keep your coral thriving. Even slight changes in temperature can have an effect on your nano reef.

Given the smaller size of the tank, and the fact that it is a marine environment, the choice of inhabitants needs to be carefully considered. The smaller sized fish, such as clownfish or gobies, are a better choice. But in any case, you need to be certain that the inhabitants can get along well in the limited space. Get the advice of an expert on which species should do well in the presence of the coral.