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A frag tank is a start of getting serious in the coral growing and fragging hobby. I remember it being very exciting when I fragged my first coral and really started to get into the coral fragging scene. I would meet up with local reef clubs and get frags for cheap or trade my own frags for some that I never owned. Not to mention it was a great way to build up credit at the local fish store and pay for supplies and salt!
Whatever your reasons are to build a frag tank, you are on your way to really diving into the world of coral farming and the reef enthusiast world. I am excited that you found this blog post. Today I’m going to go over the best frag tanks you can purchase. As a quick disclosure, this post will contain affiliate links where I may get a commission if you happen to make a purchase at no extra cost to you. With that aside, let’s get started!
What is a Frag Tank?
The very first question some ask me is what is a frag tank and why the heck do I want it. A frag tank is a dedicated tank where corals are to be grown. These corals come from your main tank or display tank where they are cut or fragged and are placed into a frag tank where they can heal and grow in an ideal and clean environment.
Types of Tanks
There are actually multiple ways a frag tank is created. I’ll go through a few common examples and their pros and cons.
This is how most of us get started with coral fragging. We purchase a magnetic coral rack and place our coral frags on them. It’s a nice way to piece frags in our display and it saves money. The problem is that if you have a lot of frags and racks, it can really take away from the beauty of your display tank. Racks can be an eyesore.
This is usually done in Aquarium Sumps and sometimes in customer sumps where a fourth chamber is used to create a section to grow out frags. A grow out light made for nano reef tanks is installed to grow the frags. These are great frag tanks that can also save you money if you have the space in your sump.
The biggest downfall with this type of frag tank is that sumps are usually hidden away in your cabinet. The other problem is that the flow is dictated by your overflow and your return. You can try to work around it by installed an aquarium wavemaker, but ultimately there is little room to work with here. This brings us to our next frag tank.
An integrated frag tank is a separate aquarium that is connected to your display either through your plumbing. The tank is placed in a separate area, but shares the water from your display. This is a great way to connect the nutrients and stable parameters of your display tank while running your frag tank away from your main display fish and inverts.
The major problem you have with an integrated frag tank is because the tanks are connected, if you have a coral pest outbreak both tanks will get infested. This keeps you from being able to protect your frags and display tank in the event of an outbreak. This brings us to our last frag tank
The standalone frag tank is a self operating frag tank with it’s own filtration and equipment . The standalone frag tank biggest advantage is it is separate from your display tank. This allows you to keep your display tank from getting infected with coral pests if an outbreak occurs and allows you control the parameters in your frag tank separately.
The disadvantage with a standalone frag tank is they are the most expensive to setup and due to their smaller size, they are a harder to keep stable compared to the other frag tank types. The standalone frag tank is what most advanced reef eventually go to because it gives them so much flexibility and allows them to grow coral frags at scale.
A Quick Comparision
Now that we have identified that the standalone frag tank is the the go to for advanced reefers, lets look at several available on the market today.
In a hurry? I recommend the Innovative Marine Lagoon
|Nuvo Fusion 25 Lagoon||Click For Best PriceBuy On Amazon|
|Fiji Cube All-In-One Kit||Buy On Amazon|
|Lifegard Crystal Aquarium||Buy On Amazon|
|Modular Marine Rimless Frag Tanks||Buy On EBay|
|LuckReef Acrylic Frag Tanks||Buy On EBay|
The Top 5 (2023 Update)
1. Nuvo Fusion 25 Lagoon
The perfect frag tank. Shallow dimensions and with enough capacity to build a solid collection of corals.
The Nuvo Fusion 25 Lagoon I would consider the perfect frag tank. This tank from Nuvo has it all. At 12 inches in height it is the perfect size for a frag tank. The shallow height allows you to have high par with less powerful Reef LEDs and you can keep your flow dialed in much easier.
This Nuvo tank is along made of ultra clear class given you amazing clarity to show off your frags. The mighty jet DC pump is one of the best aquarium return pumps you can purchase for an all in one tank. The dual outlets are great to spread out your flow and the aquarium comes with a mesh lid to protect any high flying wrasses you may decide to house to control pests.
The only big downfall I see to this tank is the price. It’s worth the investment though.
- Perfect height for a frag tank at 12″
- Nuvo brand name
- High quality pump
- Glass – hard to move
2. Fiji Cube All-In-One Kit
A DIY's special. The Fiji Cube AIO Box allows you to transfer any standard aquarium into a function all in aquarium that can keep frags!
When people come to me and ask how to build a frag tank for cheap, my first suggestion is to purchase a standard display tank during a chain pet store dollar per gallon sale. The best frag tank for when these tanks go on special is the 20 gallon long aquarium. This 30″ long tank has great dimensions to get your started. With it only being 12 inches in height, it is shallow enough to get proper PAR with most Reef LEDs. I recommend the Fiji Cube All in One Kit when using these tanks.
This kit will convert your cheap tank into a premium frag tank. This will allow you to place filtration in the back and hide all your equipment getting you clear view of your corals. I feel that all in one tanks work amazingly well for frag tanks and this retrofit kit is perfect. If you can find yourself a 33 gallon long aquarium, you can build out an even better frag tank. A 33 gallon long aquarium is 48 inches long, by 12 inches wide, by 12 inches high. The 20 gallon all-in-one kit will fit this 33 gallon tank giving you more space to work with.
The only downfall with this setup is that the pump that comes with it is not powerful. You will want to supplement flow with a wavemaker. The kit is also considered pricey to some.
- Comes with Filter media box, pump, and return line
- Easy to install
- Works with cheap standard tanks at chain pet stores
- Pump is not very strong
- Can be pricey for some
3. Lifegard Crystal Aquarium
A good sized all in one tank that can serve as a frag tank
Lifegard’s Crystal Aquarium is an ultra clear glass aquarium with the all in one compartments built in. It holds 24 gallons of water, which is plenty to get you started. It is a solid package with an attractive price point.
The main issue with this tank are the dimensions. At 24″ long x 15″ wide x 16″ inches high it’s on the higher end of height. This does give you space to house different light demand corals so this can be seen as a benefit. The pump is also designed for freshwater tanks, so it is not as powerful as it should be for a frag tank. Because it is a glass tank, it is not portable like an acrylic would be.
- 24 gallon capacity
- Attractive price point
- Ultra clear glass
- Glass means tank is not portable
4. Modular Marine
Modular Marine is a manufacturer that I have really enjoyed seeing come to its own over the years. They have had an eBay store for many years and have been well known for delivery high quality acrylic and 3d printed products over the years in the state of Texas and beyond. The recently started to make their own frag tanks which I’m excited to talk about.
This particular frag tank is unique to the others on this list in that the overflow is eternal. This means that it needs to be mated to a sump. If you are looking at running middle frag tanks, this can be a great build for you because you can plumb all your frag tanks into a single sump adding to extra stability into your system.
These frag tanks are more expensive than others on the list, but I really like the features they offer.
- Made of acrylic
- External Overflow
- Requires a sump to run
5. LuckReef Acrylic
Portable frag tanks you can take with you to any frag swap. Lightweight and made of acrylic
If you are looking for small frag tanks that you can take with you to a frag swap or event, then LuckReef’s Frag tanks are for you. These frag tanks come in multiple custom sizes with low depths. This makes it easy for you to get the right flow and easily setup for your show. Their prices are attractive for the sizes they sell. They only sell on eBay, but my personal experience with them have been amazing and they readily answer your messages and provide great customer support.
- Good price point
- Great dimensions
- Acrylic – very portable for frag shows
- Bare bones – no pump or media
There are two clear winners in this list. The Nuvo Fusion Lagoon is an amazing starter frag tank if you have the budget for it. If you are going for a frag tank to take on frag swaps, LuckReef is the way to go.
If you are going the DIY route, the Fiji Cube kit is a great value to go with.
Frag tanks are a great way to get into coral propagation and trading with friends. At high scale you can make some good money selling corals locally. I hope this blog gets you off on the right foot. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.
Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping – both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.
I want to start a frag tank with a refugium. I want the refugium visible and stack the two tanks on top of each other, fill the refugium with a bunch of liverock, maybe have one compartment with algae, and a couple of fish.
It seems like the Fiji Cube All-In-One Kit is in itself a refugium and doesn’t require an external refugium tank.
Is that correct?
If so, what kind of aquarium & refugium combo do you recommend?
It depends on your budget. I don’t really do visible refugiums myself, but Fiji Cube does sell a hang on back version and so does CPR. Both are well built.