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What is a Reef Tank?


Anthony Miralles' 18g Reef Tank

Anthony Miralles' 18g Reef Tank

Anthony Miralles
A Reef Tank System is a Fish Only With Live Rock system with corals which requires a higher quality lighting system as well as a higher water quality and movement. A sustainable healthy reef tank also requires occupants which do not adversely affect corals:


Since corals are included in a reef tank system, sufficient lighting for the corals must be provided. The generally accepted "rule of thumb" for reef tank lighting is 3.5 watts per gallon of tank water for most soft corals and 4.5 watts per gallon of tank water for hard (SPS & LPS) corals.


Since most corals do not tolerate the levels of nitrates, phosphates and other toxins that most fish and invertebrates will withstand, water quality in a reef tank is of utmost importance. While most of the expensive "state of the art" filtration systems work well at removing toxins, they are not, by any means, required. Two of the original reef tank filtration systems were:

With the advent of more efficient filtration systems, true Reef Tanks can be of any size, which the Top 1-15 Gallon Reef Tank Photos clearly demonstrate. With the advances in science and innovation, Mini Reef Tanks are becoming more and more popular.

Many reef tank aquarists design their own reef tank filtration systems using one or a combination of a number of different filters to attain the desired results:

Reef Ready Aquariums

"Reef Ready" Aquarium systems, which have the appropriate lighting and filtration already in place are available on the market today. These systems simplify the process of assembling a reef tank system. If you want to simplify the process of designing and assembling a reef tank, the Top 1 to 50 Gallon Aquariums are some of the aquarium packages which work well for reef systems.


While most corals require a high level of water quality and lighting, the 15 Easy Corals are less demanding, requiring a lower light level and/or a lower water quality level, allowing novice reef tank keepers to attain success.

With the advances in the science of keeping corals and reef tank system designs, creating and maintaining a healthy reef tank is within almost anyone's reach.

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