Buying a nano reef tankWhat is the best nano reef tank online? For beginners, it can be tricky to finalize one option. That’s because the market is filled with countless alternatives, each offering something different than the other. Moreover, a majority of the options are not worth considering simply because they either have poor build quality or lack the necessary features.

Furthermore, as a beginner aquarist, it can be especially confusing to buy a plain fish tank and piece together all the equipment. That is why we have tested and compiled a list of some trustworthy nano reef tank kits that provide all the essentials for you to start out as an aquarist. Let’s get straight into it!

Comparison Table

Product Capacity (in gallons) Dimensions in inches
JBJ 20 Gallon

20 18.26 x 16.25 x 18.70
Coralife Biocube

16 15 x 16.75 x 17.50
Fluval Sea Evo V

5 20.50  x 11.60  x 7.50


8 13.80  x 11.80  x 11.80

BioCube Coralife

32 20.25 X 21.875 X 21.50

Best All in One Nano Reef Tanks That We Recommend

1. JBJ 20 Gallon Black Cubey Aquarium


  • Seven settings of LED lights
  • Three-stage filtration
  • It has a 256 GPH, 16-Watt pump
  • Consumes only 20 watts of electricity


  • Slightly expensive

General Characteristics

The JBJ 20-gallon Aquarium Kit is one of the best saltwater nano tanks. It has an iron-glass structure that provides excellent clarity for an unobstructed view of your aquarium. The glass is scratch-resistant and sturdy, so minor accidents will not shatter the aquarium.


Furthermore, the tank is small, measuring only 18.26 X 16.25 X 18.70 inches, and can be positioned on almost any surface. The compact design and sleek look add a stylish and modern touch to any indoor setting.


A decent lighting system is essential to support the growth of corals, plants, and your fish, and with this tank, you get the best of it. The advanced LED lights let you regulate the brightness up to seven levels with sleek touch controls, whereas most other aquariums only feature two options. The lights are of three colors: white, blue, and red, and you can modulate the settings in six combinations or simply keep them dim.

A powerful and feature-rich lighting system costs a lot of money in terms of power, but it’s not the same with this nano tank because it only consumes 20 watts of electricity. The Cubey tank allows you to enjoy colorful, high-quality illumination without burning a hole in your wallet.

Filtration System

In addition, the JBJ Aquarium comes with a three-stage filtering system: mechanical, chemical, and biological. It includes sponges for mechanical filtration that collects big dirt particles and debris floating on the surface. For biological filtration, this kit comes equipped with ceramic rings that provide a large surface area for bacterial colonization.

Lastly, the filter’s chemical-activated carbon eliminates any unpleasant smells and harsh substances from the water. The three significant filtering stages ensure that the water is always clean and safe.

It has a 16-watt pump that filters water at a rate of 264-gallons per hour. Moreover, the tank comes equipped with a directional flow nozzle that allows you to manage the water flow in your tank according to your preference.

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The JBJ 20 Gallon Black Cubey Aquarium Kit is an ideal pick for you if you’re looking for a sturdy and feature-rich aquarium set. The aquarium kit offers various innovative features that are perfect for a beginner-friendly tank, and it is easy to install as well. With this aquarium, you can rest sure that you have spent your money on an efficient and worthy tank set.

The advanced features such as its lighting system and three-level filters are hard to find in other aquarium kits, making this a unique and attractive competitor among small reef tanks.

2. Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium LED


  • Easy to set up
  • It is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater environments
  • It includes an LED lighting system
  • It has a built-in 24-hour timer


  • No heater included

General Characteristics

The Coralife LED Biocube Aquarium is another aquarium kit with a diverse selection of accessories to meet all of your aquatic demands. It decreases the need for additional equipment, saving you time on making external purchases. Moreover, it is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater, making it a highly versatile kit for beginners.

It’s one of the best starting aquariums with a compact and adjustable design that’s simple to install and operate. The kit’s design will enhance any home décor and is practical for small spaces such as workstations or nightstands. To further add to its attractiveness, this tank is fitted with a curved glass that not only looks good but also increases the viewing angle without any distortion.


The aquarium includes an integrated LED bar light with a 24-hour timer that allows you to regulate the lighting. The lighting mechanism includes automated 30-minute sunset and 60-minute moonlight functions that imitate the day and night cycle. Considering that the fish need access to natural light for development and well-being, the lightning feature helps a lot.

Air Pump

Lastly, the tank includes a complimentary submersible pump with dual intakes to help ensure that your fish get adequate air. The pump comes with an adjustable return nozzle allowing you to adjust it according to the fish’s requirements.

For a good number of years, Coralife has created high-quality items for the aquatic marketplace. If you intend to buy this aquarium set, you can be confident that it will not disappoint you and perform exceptionally well.

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Overall, the Biocube is the ideal aquarium for all of your aquatic species. If you’re searching for a more specialized type of fish tank, we think this 16-gallon tank would make an excellent nano reef aquarium. This aquarium’s quality is outstanding, and it sticks out from the crowd with its thoughtful features.

3. Fluval Sea Evo V Saltwater Fish Tank


  • A durable tank
  • Powerful lighting system
  • Sleek design
  • Hidden filtration system


  • No heater included

General Characteristics

The Fluval Spec V Set is a 5-gallon small saltwater fish tank with a contemporary style. It has an aluminum casing, which offers a durable surface and a sleek look you will not find in other ordinary 5-gallon aquariums. This tank is also scratch-resistant and looks stunning because of its elegant glass paneling and metal trim.

This tank is well regarded for its honeycomb construction, which conceals the filtration mechanism, hardware, and cords from view. It not only provides a clear view inside the aquarium, but it also keeps your fish from being distracted. Another excellent design inclusion was a multipurpose canopy with an easy feeding window so that you can treat your fish without any trouble.

Filtration System

When it comes to filtration, the Evo V offers one of the most robust cleaning systems in the market. It is equipped with a three-stage filtration system for mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration of the tank water.

It comes with a large, soft sponge perfect for collecting large dirt particles and floating debris. Also, it stops your fish from being sucked into the filter. The biological filtration is handled by Fluval Biomax rings that offer a large surface area for the growth of good bacteria. Lastly, the filter’s activated carbon eliminates all unpleasant odors and harsh substances from the water.


The Fluval Spec V has a unique lighting system as well. It comes with 37 high-output 11000k LED lights and a risk-free voltage transformer. The LED lighting system also replicates the day and night cycles for the proper growth of your corals and fish.

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Both novice and veteran tank owners will find value in this product because of its inventive design, sturdy engineering, and high featured equipment. If you have limited room and want to enjoy the sight of marine life in a small, low maintenance, and modern aquarium, Fluval Spec V is the appropriate kit for you.

You can place this 5-gallon tank on countertops and desktops. It does not demand full-time attention and leaves a minimalist touch to your place too.

4. GankPike Saltwater Aquarium


  • Ultra-clear glass aquarium
  • High-quality filter media
  • Easy to set up
  • Affordable


  • Instructions are hard to understand

General Characteristics

The GankPike fish tank is a nano aquarium specifically built for congested spaces. Despite its small size, it has all the essential functions needed to keep a fish tank running well. It includes almost everything you need to get started with your growing interest in marine life.

The tank is stylish and properly divides the filtration and viewing areas. It has a decent-sized structure with a large proportion of the tank on the show, while the aquarium machinery is placed in its designated space at the back. The ultra-clear crystal glass provides the best visual experience possible. Furthermore, you can keep it as a decorative element as the sleek engineering will enhance the environment.


Another great feature of this mini saltwater tank is the LED light, which emits three colors and has five-level dimming options. It also offers sunlight and sunset settings so that your fish can experience a natural lighting cycle.

Plus, the lighting system has an auto-on/off function as well as a built-in timer. This feature is best suited for office workers as they can use the automatic brightness adjustments and cater to their fish without investing a lot of time.

Biochemical and Mechanical Filtration

This small reef tank has biochemical and mechanical filter media to keep your tank clean and provide a perfect environment for fish and coral. For biochemical filtration, the filter is equipped with sponges and ceramic rings. And the mechanical filtration is handled by an efficient protein skimmer that removes dirt and debris from the aquarium.

Air Pump and Thermometer

Considering its reasonable price point, this aquarium kit is fitted with a variety of features. For example, it has an adjustable pump with a flow rate ranging from 1-10 GPH, an LCD thermometer to monitor the temperature of your aquarium, etc. However, all these features may be slightly confusing to beginners, and the lack of straightforward instructions further makes it hard to understand.

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If you want a small yet feature-rich fish tank, the GankPike Saltwater Aquarium is an ideal buy. It is a beginner-friendly set that will meet all of your necessities. It is perfect for small setups for offices and bedrooms. You can keep some soft corals and a few fish and enjoy a tiny part of the aquatic world.

5. BioCube Coralife Size 32 LED Aquarium Reef Package


  • Easy to install
  • It has a submersible pump
  • 24-hour timer
  • It comes with an adjustable return nozzle


  • The cooling fan is a little loud

General Characteristics

Coralife is a well-known brand for making modern aquariums that sensibly combine up-to-date technologies and premium build to deliver some of the best products. One of their most favored micro reef tanks is the Coralife LED BioCube Starter Kit.

This fish tank is an eye-catching beginner aquarium kit. It has a high-quality clear glass construction with rounded edges that gives this tank a unique look. Speaking of its construction, it is about 17 inches high and weighs around 25 pounds, making it appropriate for small places.


What really adds life to this aquarium is its integrated LED lighting system, which is a rarity at its price point. The LED light comes in three distinct colors: bright white LEDs for the day, blue Moon Glows for the night, and color boosting LEDs for maximum appeal. It also has a 24-hour timer that regulates between the sunlight and sunset every 30 minutes.

Filtration System

For filtration, you get a customized filtration system with a small stature to give more space to the viewing area. This built-in filtering unit can also be personalized and is exceptionally simple to install and operate. The pump included with the set is submersible and produces zero noise. It comes with an adjustable multi-directional nozzle that lets you adjust the water flow according to your preference.

Other features of this aquarium include a hinged top that conceals the lighting and filtration mechanism and provides you with a clear view of your pets. Overall, this tank is ideal for all kinds of fish, except marine species.

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The BioCube aquarium kit is an excellent option to consider. It is constructed with high-quality materials and includes a lot of thoughtful features. Furthermore, all the features are customizable, so you are assured that this aquarium kit will serve you and house your fish for a long time.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Nano Reef Tank

When selecting a nano tank kit, you should keep the following points in mind:

Tank Size

While most nano reef tanks on the market have a similar cuboidal shape, their specific dimensions are often fairly diverse (length, width, height). That’s because adding a few inches to the length or height of your tank will change its dynamic and make it more ideal for a specific sort of ecosystem.

A longer but less tall tank, for example, would be ideal for a semi-aquatic turtle habitat because it has plenty of ground space for strolling and a pond and doesn’t require much height. A taller 10-gallon tank, on the other hand, would be far better for a fully aquatic ecosystem because it provides more vertical space for fish to swim in. As a result, getting an aquarium with dimensions is recommended.

Glass or Acrylic

It is a decision you can make irrespective of tank size. You must be confident that the aquarium you are buying will remain standing for an extended period. Glass used to be the standard option for aquariums, and there are perfectly valid reasons for it. It is sturdy, clear, does not turn yellow across time, and does not bend or scratch. However, glass aquariums are heavier and more delicate than acrylic aquariums.

Acrylic, on the other hand, is noticeably lighter but more costly. You wouldn’t have to be concerned about using a stand since it is lightweight. Nevertheless, you must be sure that it gets sufficient support so as not to deform with time.

The downside is that it scratches easily, and you need a particular pad for cleaning the sides. Furthermore, acrylic tanks commonly leak because of the poor quality of construction, whereas glass fish tanks rarely leak and have a scratch-resistant coating.


It’s essential to understand how much the entire kit will cost. Aside from the initial expenditures of setting up and stocking the tank, there are also ongoing charges. However, installing the tank is by far the most expensive component, and it requires a hefty sum of money.

You must decide if you want to buy an aquarium set or the elements separately. Purchasing each piece of equipment separately can sometimes cost more than the pre-equipped aquarium kit.

However, buying premade tanks limits your option to take on new challenges when you’re ready to experiment with more complex elements. Thus, if you get equipment separately, you’ll always have the option to customize it.


Filters are the prime element of your aquarium, and you should not overlook them. They keep the water clean and are crucial for the health of the fish. When choosing a nano tank, consider if you want an all-in-one tank with filters or one that requires you to set one up yourself.

Even though an all-in-one fish tank with a filtration system is convenient for beginner fish keepers, buying one individually can be profitable. Veteran aquarists like to purchase equipment that they can customize to fit their tank’s needs. If you buy an all-in-one fish tank, you will be bound to it for a long time.


Another critical factor to consider while choosing the finest nano fish tanks is lighting. Given the size of the fish tank, you should select sufficiently strong lighting to avoid overheating the water and your fish. Furthermore, several lights function better than the others, and some feature timers, which may make them more accessible for you.

You should also consider the different fish species in your aquariums, as they have different light requirements. LED lights are suitable for all species and do not require regular adjustment, so you can easily install them and be concern-free.


Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions related to nano reef tanks:

1. How Hard Is It To Keep a Nano Reef Tank?

Nano reef tanks are not hard to keep and maintain. However, as with other aquariums, you’ll have to make sure that you attach all the necessary equipment, such as filters, air pumps, etc., to create a suitable environment for your fish. We also recommend cleaning your nano reef tank once a month to avoid any health problems in your fish.

2. How Many Fish Can Be in a Nano Reef Tank?

Depending on the size of your nano reef tank, you can keep a handful of fish in it. If you own a 12-gallon small reef aquarium, you can have two to three tiny fish in it. However, make sure that the fish are of compatible species and you maintain the tank regularly.

3. What Kinds of Fish Can I Keep in a Nano Reef Tank?

Any fish that doesn’t grow over three inches is suitable for being put in a nano reef tank. Here are a few examples of fish that you can keep in your small aquarium: firefish, clown goby, royal gamma, jawfish, chalk bass, and ocellaris clownfish.


We examined some of the top nano reef tanks on the market. However, the JBJ 20 Gallon Black Cubey Aquarium undoubtedly stands as the market leader in this category. If you’re a total beginner who doesn’t know where to begin, this is the best product for you. Even though it’s a little pricey, it offers a variety of valuable features that make its price reasonable.

The best nano reef tankNo other fish tank provides seven distinct lighting hues and even a three-level filtration system. The power control function, 16-watt pump, and ultra-clear glass are just a few of the advanced features included with this aquarium set. You can assuredly invest your money in this 20-gallon tank and sit confirmed that you will never have to complain.

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