AIO Reef Tanks: Which one gets your vote?

Have you ever owned an AIO Reef Tank?

  • Yes I am running one now

    Votes: 401 49.0%
  • YES in the past

    Votes: 130 15.9%
  • NO

    Votes: 182 22.2%
  • No but want to in the future

    Votes: 97 11.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 1.0%

  • Total voters
    818

revhtree

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Today let's talk about popular All In One (AIO) Tanks!

What Is An All-In-One Aquarium? – It is an aquarium designed for saltwater that has the filtration installed behind the back glass of the tank. The water flows in through an overflow, gets filtered, heated, then pumped back into the tank. The discrete design of today’s AIO aquariums create beautiful centerpieces in any room. - The Beginners Reef

AIO tanks are popular because they can be set up quickly, compactly and sometimes more inexpensively. The maintenance can also be easier and cheaper as well. But today I don't really want to talk about the pros and cons of an AIO tank as much as I want to talk about which ones are most popular here on Reef2Reef! So with that being said please answer the following questions:

1. If you were buying an AIO reef tank today which brand would you choose and why?

2. What do you like and dislike most about "all in one" reef tanks?


@TinpanVA
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homer1475

Figuring out the hobby one coral at a time
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Ran a biocube for years. AIO's are great for beginners getting their feet wet. Makes it easy.

I think at some point everyone wants to upgrade to a bigger tank, which usually means a sump.
 

NanoReefLovers

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I had an AIO for a while and AIOs have a place in the hobby. However, because I had one, they are not for me.

to me they feel restrictive but that is because I am a gear head and need room. I was mostly not happy with it as there was no place for my gear.AIOs do have a place and are a great starting tank or a great tank if you don’t have the room.

While o will not get another AIO it is a welcome part of the hobby.
 

Jonddk

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I've kept a 90 with a sump and an Innovative Marine and JBJ AIO. At this point I like the simplicity of the AIO. Not as many moving parts, less equipment and easier maintenance in my opinion. While I can't keep any large fish this isn't an issue for me because I am more focused on the coral.
 

CrunchyBananas

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I’ve ran a few Biocube reefs, currently trying an acropora bonsai style tank in an IM-60 (shameless plug for my build thread). But, going from a 75 gallon with a 20 gallon refugium to an AIO has much tighter tolerances and is a bit more finicky. I feel I have it tuned in now, definitely a fun challenge!
 

ReeferBlaine

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When restricted on room, and especially in current situations like mine where I’m still renting... AIOs can be very beneficial for my tanks. Easy to break down easy to get back up and running quickly.

Innovative Marine has always been great AIO tanks for me!
 
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I've had a sera marin cube 130 before, and it was not a bad tank, but it was very limited once I got a bit more experienced.

The stock skimmer was imho undersized. The lights where at that time not strong enough for a proper mixed reef. And the amount of free space in the back was a bit low.

After a while i created a DIY hood with double the light and a hole for a hang on skimmer, it worked but I lost the clean look. Also what I don't like about a hood with the lamps build in is that when you open the tank for maintenance, you loose the light in the tank.

I now have custom tank and if I ever have to replace it I will replace it with another custom tank.
 

hllb

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When I started in this hobby maybe 20ish years ago, I had larger tanks with sumps. I liked the setup and extra room in the sump, but my husband did not appreciate the two leaking incidents we had. I left the hobby when we had two young kids and just came back. I opted for a small AIO tank (biocube 32) because it was simple and easy. I really like it and my hubby appreciates that there's no external plumbing that could leak.

If I were setting up a new tank, I'd probably look at Nuvo Fusion AIOs, though my preference has always been acrylic tanks. Ideal tank would be a custom acrylic AIO tank.
 

Nick Steele

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I totally believe there is a spot in the hobby for AIO tanks! I have a nuvo20 that I love and believe I made the perfect aquascape for what I wanted with the tank and enjoy it very much.

Now on the other hand I really wish I had a sumped system even if it was the same size 20g tank. I like the practicality of a sumped system. But I can see as beginners AIO make things much easier.
 

SammieT

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I had a Cobalt 40 AIO tank
i loved it, hated when i sold it to upgrade


everything was easy when it came to water change and maintaining it
less headache as well

especially when it comes to worrying about a sump, more equipment, more maintenance
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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I didn't drill my first tank and it's an equipment clutter monster! It's annoying to maintain because there's always stuff in the way and pulling equipment for deep cleaning seems very disruptive for my tank inhabitants. It took about a year before I couldn't take it anymore and I ordered a new tank.

I went with the IM Fusion 50 Lagoon. Similar water volume to the old tank but so much easier on the eyes! It's only just coming up on being about 6 weeks old so the jury is still out on the maintenance side of things. I figure when I hit my first algae or bacteria battle I'll have more to say. ;)

One thing I really like about this tank is that I didn't have to worry too much about what equipment I should get. Choices are great but sometimes overwhelming when you're still relatively new, and I just liked knowing that if I got the IM skimmer or the IM UV or the IM reactor, they'd all fit. I appreciate the simplicity. Just drop the equipment in the correct chamber and plug it in for the most part. Not a lot of fussing. I'm happy to not have to worry about plumbing (I had a hard enough time getting a simple valve to not leak on my RO storage container). I like that it looks nice, and professional out of the box.

I think there is a size limitation for AIO tanks where after a certain water volume there just isn't enough space in back chambers to fit the equipment required. Limited size means limited fish choices too, but I already didn't want to go above 50 gallons because I wanted to stick with 5 gallon weekly water changes.

So far I'm liking it. Maybe a year from now I'll be singing the praises of a new reef ready tank with a sump and all the advantages that go with that. But for now, this seems like the best solution for me and I hope my fish agree!
 

Big_Mclargehuge

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I have a Biocube 32. This is my first tank of any kind. If I had to do it over again i would have probably went with a waterbox aio. I like the rimless look and would like to have a better light with it still looking sleek. The biocube is nice and simple but I wish i would have shopped around a little.
 

waterskiguy

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I ran a 14 gallon biocube as my first tank. I loved that little tank because it simplified things when I was starting out.

If I were to go with an aio today, I think I'd probably go for the Innovative Marine. There is plenty of information and parts available out there for them and they seem to be pretty decent quality..
 

vetteguy53081

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1. If you were buying an AIO reef tank today which brand would you choose and why?

Bio cube 14 and 32 still wins IMO as the very best starter tanks and AIO units with ease of setup and maintenance and full cover. Would buy again
Innovation Marine makes some of the nicest units also as I had a 20g drop off tank by them as well .

2. What do you like and dislike most about "all in one" reef tanks?

The lack of room and space for a reef skimmer and reactor. My current drop off is generous with a 4.5" spacing allowing me to run both. Many have enough room for a media basket and that's about it.

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