5 reasons why nano reef aquariums are cool

Good & Bad | 15th February 2010 | Article by Curvball | View comments (10)

Do you remember the age ole’ saying that if you’re going to setup a marine aquarium you should aim for the biggest you can afford? Well, seeing as the world’s economic climate is still in a mess that means most people can only afford to setup a nanoreef. But don’t let that be a negative… here are five reasons why going nano is a good way of getting into this hobby.

1. Money

With so many great off the shelf nano reefs available today, you can simply pick the one that will work for your budget. Smaller volume means less salt to buy for water changes, less money to spend on livestock (you can only cram so many animals into that little box!), less money on running costs – you get the picture.

2. Space

I’m sure we’d all like to have a huge 6ft x 2ft x 3ft slice of reef in our houses, but as living areas are getting smaller and smaller, one needs to be practical, and well, a nano fits in just about anywhere – and yes, putting it on the kitchen counter is a great location too!

3. Observation

With a small aquarium, you can easily observe your livestock. Smaller creatures take center stage. Imagine trying to look for your Hymenocera elegans (that’s Harlequin Shrimp to you non latin speakers) in a 300g reef.

Harlequin Shrimp © daikiki via Flickr

Harlequin Shrimp © daikiki

4. Cool factor

Having a nano reef makes you cool. Besides, why would so many reefers with large tanks start nano’s – they know it to, having a nano reef aquarium is the way to go.

5. Less back problems

With a smaller volume of water, those weekly water changes will be a breeze. Changing 20litres of water once a week sure does sound better than 200litres per week. Also, if your nano goes ‘bust’ in the evening, the amount of water to mop up is a lot less than if your 100g system purges it’s on your expensive lounge (or any other room) floor.

Although these five points make nanoreefing attractive, this small side of reef aquariums does come with it’s challenges – more about that in another post.

I’m sure you have your own reasons why nano reef’s are a good choice, let’s hear them in the comments.

About the author:

Curvball is the editor and founder of nanoreefblog.com. Having kept aquariums on and off since the age 8 years old, this now 32 year old hobbyist is well versed in various types of aquariums. His passion is SPS corals and the challenges of maintaining them in relatively small amounts of water. His professional background as a designer and writer combined with his love for this hobby makes nanoreefblog.com the perfect extension of his passions.

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10 Responses on 5 reasons why nano reef aquariums are cool

  1. […] NanoReefBlog posted a entry “5 reasons why nano reefs are cool“.  And, while he is absolutely correct, here is my response, “5 Reasons why Nano Reefs […]

  2. Great post and 100% true! But, I offer a half-serious, half tongue-in-cheek rebuttal here: http://bit.ly/9kUCxO

  3. stonyreef says:

    #2, space, has always been the deciding factor for me. I started years ago with a 220 and have progressively gone down in size to my current 20 gallon. Not only does space as a physical factor play a role, but space as an aesthetic quality definitely comes in to play. The beauty of a nano reef is that it doesn't need to be the centerpiece of a room, but can be slipped in to complement the surrounding area as well.

    As to #5, now that I have only a 20 gallon w/ small sump, as opposed to a 25 gallon with 3 extra tanks plumbed inline, I find myself doing water changes bi-weekly, just a gallon at a time. We'll see if this sticks now that it's finished cycling, but it's considerably easier than having to have 50 gallons of salt mixed up!

  4. Curvball says:

    @Derek, I really loved your response.

    @stonyreef – thanks for sharing in insight, think it's interesting that you are one the few reefers who go down in size rather than going up.

    Also, the guys over at ReefBuilders.com put together their own take on this post, check it out here: http://reefbuilders.com/2010/02/16/reasons-nano-r

  5. […] “5 reasons nano reefs are cool” on Nano Reef Blog (site is currently down back up) […]

  6. -A. says:

    @derek-a)hehe and b)small tanks do have wow factor! the very fact that we can keep these microscopic pieces of the ocean on desks or nightstands alone is 'wow'.[and i'm basically teasing here….don't shoot, lol!]

  7. Reef Galaxy says:

    I think point no.3 is most pertinent.

    Watching the detail in 5-polyp'ed zoanthid trying to outgrow it's neighbour or viewing a trochus snail slowly munch its way through 10 inches of algae on a front panel is mint.

    Its no trip to the monterey bay aquarium, but its better value for money.

  8. I really like the 5th reason. I think it is the coolest.

  9. Darren says:

    I had a 20 litre reef, pieced together over a year with coral frags. It's an Aquaone c320, filtered by the Berlin method with a tiny air skimmer.
    Ran a blue t3 light (the ones used under cars for instance) as a moonlight on a different timer, and a high spectrum white fluoro. Worked a treat, with a pair of northern terrirtory percula clowns and a bubble anemone.

    Until on two hot summer days (australian summer), the heat killed the anemone. I was away, so couldn't float coke bottles (which fluctuated the temp too much anyway) and it sent ammonia through the roof. Five days, and everything was dead.

    It's now a cichlid tank. I'd thought about copying a friend's idea and chilling the water through the back of a bar fridge. Any ideas?

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