How To Get Started At


Hi, I’m Justin the creator of If you want to keep a small reef tank but don’t have the space, money, or time to keep up with a larger tank you’ve come to the right place.

full jar 6 months

My goal is to help people like you create a successful and beautiful pico reef at home with minimal investment of both time and money. I’ll be showing you:

  • Successes – What you can accomplish and how to do it.
  • Failures – Where I went wrong and why.
  • Helpful tips through text, picture, and video!

This site also serves as a pico reef archive. Reef keeping in general is still largely misunderstood and pico reefs even more so. All documentation recorded will be beneficial to the marine hobby and possibly global marine sciences.

Okay Great. Let’s Get Started!

6 Month Review – A great post to start with is my 6 month review. This shows you what I accomplished in 6 months.

Tank Setup & Maintenance

Choose A Pico Reef Tank & Lid – Find out why I’m using a cookie jar for my reef tank and why a flower vase is also a very suitable option over traditional tanks. If you’re looking for a larger tank, scroll down to my Fluval Spec V posts.

Pico Reef Lighting – Lighting is often a big expense in the marine hobby. Here I discuss what I use to keep all types of corals including LPS (Large Polyp Stony) and SPS (Small Polyp Stony) corals for less than $50.

Temperature Control – Maintaining a stable temperature is extremely important. Most of us will require a heater and thermometer. Here are some options and best practices.

Circulation & Flow – Corals need moving water to help keep them clean and your tank needs movement to prevent it from becoming stagnant. Here is why air power is the most ideal option for a jar or vase pico reef.

Sand Or Bare Bottom – Both have their pros and cons. I make points for each and let you decide which you prefer.

Live Rock – The filtration benefits outlined here are essential to getting your tank off the best start possible.

Marine Salt & Salt Water – Finally you need water, salt, and a means of testing it. Here I cover the basics to get you started.

Livestock – This is massive topic and I will cover more as time progresses.

Cleaning – The key to keeping a successful pico reef is the cleaning and maintenance schedule.

Feeding – ​Super charge your corals and make them fat. Here is what you need to know about feeding your corals and inhabitants.

Dosing – If you want to boost the growth in your pico reef, dosing may be for you.​

Common Problems & Solutions

Algae – The best solution to killing algae that I’ve come across is by using H202. Check out How To Kill Algae With Hydrogen Peroxide for the method I use.

Fluval Spec V

Equipment & Livestock Checklist & Prices – In December of 2016, I started another pico system in a Fluval Spec V. Here is an ongoing checklist of equipment and livestock. This is a SPS Dominate reef.

Thank You!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.

I’d love to hear from you about your pico reef keeping journey. I’d also love to know how I can help you better. That’s one of the ways how we can learn and grow together, including me!

I do my best to respond to comments and emails as soon as possible. I’m really excited and passionate about pico reef keeping. I truly want to make pico reefing a larger topic in the marine hobby and in marine sciences.

Let’s make some history together!