Main things you need to know for a small reef:
1: don't skimp on live rock. 10 lbs minimum
2: live sand. Close to 10 lbs
3: water: try and get pre mixed from your lfs
( local fish store) mixing water for the first time could be difficult, require more gadgets, and contain impurities from your tap. You will still need a hydrometer to measure salt content in the tank. I recommend keeping water at 1.023, as salinity will rise fast from evaporation in a 10 gal
4: lighting: lots of options here. If you can afford it, get led
,s. It shouldn't be too expensive for a small tank, and you will need good lighting for corals. They also make power compact fixtures that would be good for a small tank. Pretty much anything but standard t8's. You are looking for 3-5 watts per gallon.
5: filter: your main filtration is going to be biological from the live rock and sand, but a small hang on back filter should be applied for mechanical and chemical filtration. I would get something that allows you to remove the carbon, as I only run it about one week out of the month (it removes good things too) also something with good water flow would save you the need for a power head.
6: flow: you are going to look for about 10x flow rate, or 100 gallons per hour in a 10 gal
. Should be enough with your filter, or you could buy a pump if you want more.
7: protein skimmer: don't get one.
8: water changes: let your tank mature about 3 weeks adding nothing but the live rock and sand. Top off with fresh ( preferably ro
) water. After your tank cycles, you are going to Change about 2 gallons of water out of your tank with new salt water. This will remove dissolved waste and replenish trace elements.
There are many "nano" fish available for a small reef, and tons of invertebrates. The cool thing is you still get the reef experience even in something so small. Good luck! Feel free to message me with questions.