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Size Definitions for Pico, Nano, Mini, Large Reefs


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  1. #1
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Default Size Definitions for Pico, Nano, Mini, Large Reefs

    I wanted to have a discussion regarding the volume of tanks as they relate to our reefing terminology. The purpose for this is to work toward using these terms in our Member's Reef forum to enable members to sort by reef size.

    In my mind, I see the following classifications:

    pico (<10 gallons)
    nano (10-39 gallons)
    mini (40-180 gallons)
    large (>200 gallons)

    Did I miss any...are the ranges in line with what you think they should be? I'm figuring these would just be display volumes, not total system volume?

  2. #2
    larryandlaura - Reefkeeper
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    Looks good Jim.
    Hi my name is Larry and I'm a coral addict!

  3. #3
    Heidi - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryandlaura View Post
    Looks good Jim.
    I am glad you are doing that Jim I am surprised to see that my hex was in the "nano" category. I always wondered where the cut off was for "nano" and pico too. thanks for clearing this up for all us noobes

  4. #4
    larryandlaura - Reefkeeper
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    Yeah my tank is a mini! Time to upgraded.
    Hi my name is Larry and I'm a coral addict!

  5. #5
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    personally i see it as:

    pico = 3g or less
    nano = 29g or less AIO tanks (if it is not AIO i consider it a regular tank)
    mini = 3g-29g tanks (determined by main tank size)
    small = 29g-120g tanks (determined by main tank size)
    large = 120g+ gallon systems (again, determined by main tank size)

  6. #6
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolson10450 View Post
    personally i see it as:

    pico = 3g or less
    nano = 29g or less AIO tanks (if it is not AIO i consider it a regular tank)
    mini = 3g-29g tanks (determined by main tank size)
    small = 29g-120g tanks (determined by main tank size)
    large = 120g+ gallon systems (again, determined by main tank size)
    I'm confused. If I have a 3 gallon tank is it a pico-nano-mini then?

  7. #7
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsflies View Post
    I'm confused. If I have a 3 gallon tank is it a pico-nano-mini then?

    if it is 3g it is a pico, if it is a 3g AIO tank, it can be a pico or a nano, if it is a 3g system with a sump etc... it can just be considered a mini reef.

    in other words if it is a 3g with a hang on filter and hanging lights or clip on lights it is a 3g pico, if it has an internal filter and a hood with lights built in etc.. then it is a nano but you can consider it a pico as well, and like said above if it has a sump with it then it can be considered a mini reef.

  8. #8
    bluwc - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chort55 View Post
    Id say this is a closer size range IMO.... but personally id say small it 29-75g, average reef would go 75-180, Large 180+ as 75-180 tend to be more "common"/ average sizes
    Now are we talking what the display is or the total volume of water including the sump?

  9. #9
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    This has to be simple ...the only words that should come after the word "if" is "less than" or "greater than" followed by a number.

    I'm not seeing whether or not it is an AIO being a factor. However, we can have discussions on whether to include total volume or display volume.

    There may be good reason to use display volume rather than total volume. From a forum research standpoint, if you were reseaching pico reefs and if it was connected to a 100 gallon system...you may be interested in seeing what the person has done...lighting, pumps, etc....more so than the guy researching 100 gallon systems and finding a 3 gallon fishbowl connected to a 100 gallon sump.

  10. #10
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    ok then to make it simple

    3g or less = pico
    3g-29g = nano
    29g-90g = mini
    90g-180g = large
    180g+ = huge or massive or something, cant really thing of a good word for this one. maybe extra large?

    and yes display tank size should be all that matters. it is considered a "system" if you include the sump/fuge and at which point is is volume based example 90g tank 90g sump is a 180g system. if you are listing it as "large tanks" then it should just be the display size.

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