The Right Corals For Nano Tanks

Cnidarians for Nano-Reefs.

A nano tank is generally 30 gallons or less. Via Clay vanSchalkwijk/Flickr

Not all corals will do well in a nano-reef. So if setting up a small reef tank, research your corals well. To be a successful nano-reefkeeper, realize that some corals will grow too large, and some will require constant pruning. Some corals produce slime and metabolites that can be harmful to themselves or others if not carried away by a strong water current. And because space is limited in a nano-reef, you must choose corals that will not outgrow a small aquarium, and these corals must be able to survive in such a small environment. Nano-reefs differ greatly from normal-sized tanks in that you may not be able to provide adequate lighting, trace elements or water movement.

Good nano-reef coral characteristics are easily pruned or fragged, not aggressive and are slow-growers.

Some good corals for nano-reefs include:

Large Polyp Stony corals

Acans (Acanthastrea spp.)
Pineapple corals (Blastomussa spp.)
Caulastrea species
Euphyllia species, such as E. ancora and E. paraancora

Soft Corals

Tree corals (Sinularia, Lemnalia and Litophyton spp.)
Sarcophyton species
Xenia species
Clavularia and Pachyclavularia species


Mushroom anemones, such as Discosoma
Ricordea species, such as R. floridea
Rhodactis species

Article Categories:
Fish · Reef Tanks