Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

By Harry RamosLast update: 2024-04-15
Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

When starting a new nano reef tank, one of the most worthy-considering things is the choice of saltwater fishes. There are at least three things to keep in mind:

  • Is their size suitable for living happily in a nano reef tank?
  • Can they live with other nano reef fishes? Are they peaceful or aggressive?
  • How to take care of them? Is it easy or complicated?

In this article, I’m going to tell you about the 7 best fishes for nano reef tanks. Read on!

Banggai Cardinalfish

Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

This fish might be one of the best species to work with if you care about breeding marine nano reef fish. The reason is that Banggai Cardinalfish is only found in one itsy-bitsy region of the world. In fact, they’re threatened highly by collection for the aquarium trade.

For those who haven’t known about this beautiful fish yet, it is an invertebrate feeder and plankton from Indonesia, size up to 3”

Their signature strait is a bold black striped pattern, which comes in handy in real marine life to help them hide among the spines of sea urchins when threatened.

It’s best to keep them either in pairs or groups of eight members. They might occasionally break apart or form loose associations but in general, Banggai Cardinalfish lives very peacefully. About breeding, they do readily breed in captivity and in pairs.

Similar to several Betta and Cichlids species, the male mouth-broods the eggs.

The young once hatched are big enough to easily eat obtained live food items and Brine Shrimp Nauplii and live independently.

Hi-Fin Red Banded Goby

Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

This endearing creature has a long, black dorsal fin, charming bright yellow eyes and nose, and vertical slanted stripe body. At the first glance, it looks like a candy cane or an old-style barber pole.

The maximum length it can reach is up to 2” and would live happily in 10-gallon tanks or larger.

This species is relatively peaceful and easy to care. You can feed them with either staple flakes or frozen foods.

But take note that they might not eat anything in the very first period of time you bring them home, regardless of right water chemistry or perfect tank environment. Don’t worry, they usually need time to adjust to their new home.


Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

Having a pair of clownfish in your nano reef tank would look extremely flawless and lively since they’ll always swim together and their appearance is eye-catching. Brilliant orange with black stripe divisions between the orange and white bands, and white vertical stripes.

Compared to a full-sized Ocellaris Clownfish, they are a bit smaller.

In turn, they are a captive bred, which means they accept home aquarium conditions and frozen plant-based foods faster than wild captured fish.

It’s best to keep only one pair for a nano reef tank because clownfish breeds easily and rapidly. Not to say that they’re territorial, which probably results in aggression issues with other nano reef fish in a tank.

Fire Goby

Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

They have some other different names, such as Magnificent Darter, Fire Fin Goby, and Firefish.

This is a nice choice for community tanks because they live peacefully with other inhabitants. Plus, they’re easy to care for.

Fire Goby is commonly found hanging around at midwater to near the bottom levels, collecting suspended food particles such as Nauplii and Brine Shrimp.

It’d be better to keep no more than one in a nano reef tank. Otherwise, chances are that they harass each other to death because Fire Goby all has its own bolthole to defend viciously from one another.

Last but not least, the max length of this species is 3”.

Blue & Green Chromis

Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

When it comes to a nano reef tank, Blue and Green Chromis identifies themselves as two of the most well-known species.

They stay small and won’t grow bigger later no matter the fact that they eat everything fed. When in groups, their signature, outstanding blue color looks catchy and attractive. A perfect choice for dainty reef tanks.

Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

Take note that Blue and Green Chromis might often quarrel with other fishes but don’t worry, this species is arguably tough and long-lasting.

Yellow Watchman Goby

Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

Their scientific name is Cryptocentrus cinctus. As the name implies, this species loves to perch on the lip of a burrow and observes what is happening around them.

They have wonderful vision but no defenses.

If detecting any danger, they will immediately vanish by digging into the substrate so it’s best to keep Yellow Watchman Goby in a nano reef tank with deep san substrates. I love it because the species easily accept various food options, including the prepared and the fresh.

Besides, they’re hardy about water chemistry. You can pair this fish with Pistol Shrimp as in wildlife, they create a wonderful symbiotic relationship.

The excellent vision of Yellow Prawn Gobies combined with the defensive specialized claws of Pistol Shrimp will deliver the best effect. Not to say that Pistol Shrimps live well in tanks with deep substrate.

Royal Gramma

Best Fishes For Nano Reef Tank

Why call it Royal Gramma? Simple! Its signature appearance of vibrant yellow and purple color throughout the body is similar to symbolizing royalty in the past.

This is another great selection for nano reef tanks for more lively and colorful looking.

In terms of their habitat, Royal Gramma loves to inhabit the coral and rock formations inside a tank.


And that’s everything about the best fishes for nano reef tanks, what is your favorite? Have you found out the right ones for your reef tank? Kindly let me know in the comment section down below.

I’m Harry Ramos, who's crazy about all things green. I’m here to share some experience in my gardening adventure and how to choose the best products for your garden. Let's dig in, get our hands dirty, and celebrate the simple, earthy pleasures of the garden together!

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