If you’ve been into the reef aquarium hobby long enough and you’re ready to take on a new challenge, you might want to try maintaining a nano reef aquarium.
Although nano reef tanks can be really fun and are generally less than 30 gallons, the challenges can be disproportionately large. Aside from choosing the type of lighting, filtration, and other equipment to maintain stable conditions, livestock selection is another crucial aspect of building a successful nano reef tank.
In order to save you some time with research, we’ll share the three best corals that are most suitable for your nano reef aquarium.
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Zoanthids, also called zoas by hobbyists, are very easy to care for, highly resilient, and come in various color morphs that can transform your tank into an attractive marine ecosystem. Because of their small polyps and moderate growth rate, they can thrive in nano reef aquariums as small as 10 gallons. Also, they grow best in moderate lighting and moderate water flow.
However, one thing to note is that some species have toxins. So you need to be careful when fragging the polyps and wear safety goggles and gloves just to be safe. This will prevent palytoxin from making contact with open wounds or your eyes.
2. Starburst Polyp
Starburst polyps, also known as Mat Polyps or Daisy Polyps, are distinct for their eight-leaved tentacles on each polyp. Because they measure around 3 to 5 inches, they can be easily kept in tanks as small as 10 gallons.
When they detect severe changes in water chemistry, they retract their polyps– making them a good indicator of your tank’s water quality. They also require only moderate lighting and moderate water flow.
3. Pulsing Xenia
Pulsing Xenia, also called Pom Pom coral by hobbyists, is a type of soft coral that makes a rhythmic pulsing or pumping action that is entirely unique to this species. Although it grows fast, it can live in nano reef tanks as long as you keep its colonies under control.
These corals also come in amazing color morphs and thrive in moderate lighting and moderate flow. If you’re planning to add this fast-growing coral to a nano reef tank, it’s recommended that you go for a 15-gallon aquarium.
The corals that made it to our list are those that we have identified as excellent candidates for a nano reef tank. However, if you’re planning to set up one, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just these three.
When choosing corals for your nano reef aquarium, you need to ensure that it’s not too aggressive for your small tank size and that it will survive. Ideally, what you want to add into your nano reef aquarium are species that are hardy and resilient.
Because of the size of your tank, fluctuations in water chemistry and temperature may occur more frequently and you need corals that can tolerate these sudden changes. Preferably, the corals that you choose are compact in size and are of peaceful disposition.
With all the coral species available to choose from, we know it can be a tricky decision. So if you can’t make up your mind, you might want to get expert advice from reef aquarium experts like Pieces of the Ocean. Reliable shops that sell live corals have experts who can guide you in the right direction and provide you with some pointers to ensure success.
Good luck and happy aquarium building!