October 2 2015,

We love rare fish, exotic corals, and fancy new reef aquarium gear, but the best part, the real point of it is how it all comes together to create a beautiful reef tank. We’ve seen a number of spectacular reef tanks in the recent past, these are masterpieces of reef aquarium creation, and serve as an inspiration to those of us who aspire to have truly beautiful mini reef aquariums.

1) Masanao Shibuya

In this exquisite example of a reef display by Masanao Shibuya, no detail has been left to chance to create a reef tank that is world class by any standard.

masanao-shibuya-sps-acropora-reef-tank-2

Attention to details is what can make the difference between a nice reef tank, and a great reef tank.

2) Public display at the Long Island Aquarium

Featuring luxuriant coral growth and a dense and eclectic mix of large and colorful reef fish, for a decade this reef tank has been an artful work of inspiration.

long island aquarium big reef left side-5

The 20,000 gallon reef tank in Long Island NY designed and maintained by Joe Yaiullo has long been the apex of large reef aquarium displays.

3) Full tank shot of S.E.A Aquarium 

There are reef tanks, there are Tank of the Months, and then there are masterpieces in progress. The large reef display at S.E.A. Aquarium in Sentosa Singapore falls squarely in the latter category, and it firmly leads the pack, especially in the public aquarium space.

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This 2000 gallon-ish reef display has the most impressive aquascape of primarily stony corals that looks great already, and is primed to look even better in the near future when the corals grow in.

4) Suzanne and Walter Scott

When you think coral and saltwater fish, Nebraska would probably not come to mind immediately. Being triply landlocked, Nebraska is as far away from the sea as you could imagine. Somewhere within Omaha however is home to the Henry Doorly Zoo, the world’s best zoo, where it features a public aquarium with a pleasant surprise.

Coral reef tank

Reef Tank at the Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha Nebraska

5) Triton display tank

Where do we even begin. The Triton display tank is really a work of art, both aesthetically and biologically. Few systems can compare with this set up in terms of coral brilliance and colony growth.

Triton elements reef display tank

Triton display tank, which hands down is without a shadow of a doubt one of the, if not the most beautiful privately owned aquariums anywhere.

6) Martha Spano

The dynamic reef structure of Marta’s reef tank is truly something to behold with hardly no live rock visible under a living carpet of stony corals. Even when we tried to look ‘inside’ the reefscape the foundation rocks beneath it are very few and they form an incredibly complex matrix to this reef.

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