What Would You Do With A 1 Gallon Nano Reef Tank?

Lollipop0912

The title says it all. What coral would you use? Would you do fish? What inverts? Any Macroalge? I just am curious. This may never happen but a reef tank in my future seems likely.
 

Lorekeeper

Well, first off, if you've never done saltwater before, a 1 gallon is REALLY pushing it. You'd be much happier with at least a 2.5, if not a 5.5 or a 10.

But, that aside, I'm actually in the process of cycling a 3 gallon for a yellow clown goby and some macroalgae. In a 1 gallon, here's what I'd stock:

Fish:
None. 1 gallon would be too small for any fish, IMO. At most, you could look at a Trimma Goby, but they're cool water and would be a bit cramped.

Inverts:
4-6 dwarf ceriths
1 pom-pom crab
1 Pederson Cleaner Shrimp

Coral:
Pick some zoas that have your favorite colors.
Get a few different colored mushrooms.
Get a kenya tree as a "centerpiece" near the waterline.
Get some frogspawn for the extra movement it adds. You'd have to give it it's own corner, but it'd be well worth it.

Macroalgae:
Dragon's breath is beautiful, but I've had trouble with it. But, it's cheap. So dragon's breath...
Caulerpa. It CAN go sexual, but I've not experienced that. I'd go with the palm variety. Just keep it trimmed back.
Red Mangrove. Great nutrient export, and it can add some personality to your tank.

Now, that tank, coupled with something like an ABI PAR 38 a foot or two above the water, a tiny heater and maybe something like a Uniclife 80 powerhead would be really fun. But, you run into pico issues, such as massive water evaporation (which causes salinity swings), temperature swings, cramped corals (leading to chemical warfare), and limited food, which can sometimes result in aggressive inverts. But, tanks like these have been done and can be GORGEOUS. Check out the pico section on Nano-Reef to get a good look at some tiny tanks. You'll be surprised!

Upgrade that tank to a standard 2.5, and I'd say to go ahead and add 1 fish. Maybe a yellow clown goby, or something like a neon goby.
 

Lollipop0912

Thanks. It actually wouldn’t be my first SW. I currently have a Dwarf Seahorse tank running. I do have a few 10 gallon heaters and a few 1 gallons laying around. The heaters have to be set to 78 degrees. Do you think that’d be a problem? Thanks for the advice.
 

Lorekeeper

Thanks. It actually wouldn’t be my first SW. I currently have a Dwarf Seahorse tank running. I do have a few 10 gallon heaters and a few 1 gallons laying around. The heaters have to be set to 78 degrees. Do you think that’d be a problem? Thanks for the advice.
In that case, then a 1 gallon is a fun challenge! I started off with a 0.5 gallon betta tank with a couple of mushrooms... I loved that tank!

78F is a great temp for tropical reefs. I run my 10 gallon at 80F, and my 3 gallon at 76F. IMO, 76F-82F is perfect, unless you get something specific that requires warmer or cooler temps.

I would be concerned that some heaters are constantly on, and would quickly overheat a 1 gallon. If the heaters you're talking about have a thermostat (they get to their target temp and then shut off), then they'd be fine to use.
 

Lollipop0912

Thanks. The thermostat variaty of heater is exactly what I’m talking about. I really do hope to have some coral in my future. ( dwarf tank had to be treated with panceur so no coral in that tank.
 
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