Why do people buy the all-in-one only to upgrade it?

Bob Escher

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I am not a fan of these type of overflows. In the event of power issues i do not want to dump water from sump on the floor due to over flow.
There are ways to over come that I have float valves to turn off the pump
here is another instead of the skimmer you plug in your return pump and place the sensor where you need it.

i have a APEX works like a charm, I have a sensor in the sump and in the main display in case water gets too high in either one
 

Victor_C3

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Personally, I’ve never understood this either, but I’m an experienced reefer at this point and I know enough to buy the system I want from the start. I never even had an AIO when I first started the hobby. I got an undrilled 30 gallon tank and built a sump right from the get-go.

I think many people buy an AIO when they enter the hobby because they don’t know better and once they get their feet wet (pun intended), they realize they should have gone a different route.

If you just like the AIO approach and you’re not new to the hobby and know exactly what you want from the get-go, there are plenty of builders out there that’ll build you only the AIO tank you want and then leave you to fill it with whatever equipment your heart desires.
 

Kawika

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Like others have said I bought an AIO as a beginner because all of the equipment options are overwhelming and I didn't know better. Once I had the tank for a few weeks and figured out what I liked and didn't like I started upgrading. If I could go back I would have gone a different route but overall I am pretty happy. The extra money spent for me was just part of the learning curve. I will plan better on my next tank.
 

Xclusive Reef

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Personally, I’ve never understood this either, but I’m an experienced reefer at this point and I know enough to buy the system I want from the start. I never even had an AIO when I first started the hobby. I got an undrilled 30 gallon tank and built a sump right from the get-go.

I think many people buy an AIO when they enter the hobby because they don’t know better and once they get their feet wet (pun intended), they realize they should have gone a different route.

If you just like the AIO approach and you’re not new to the hobby and know exactly what you want from the get-go, there are plenty of builders out there that’ll build you only the AIO tank you want and then leave you to fill it with whatever equipment your heart desires.
Well to give you my point of view, I went from reef ready tanks to this aio due to size limitations. now i like the size and want to keep the tank.
 

Protodad

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Lots of AIOs are bought second hand at a huge discount which makes them a good target for modifications. A JBJ with no lid is had for under $100 all day long.

Additionally, some of the old AIOs were pretty terrible. They need help to keep up with modern reefing techniques.
 
Mega Meltdown After Sale
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Personal i think its a new starter thing

Fear of the hobby makes you think start small and build from there and in marine its the other way around in terms of easyer to control and adaptability.

Its mostly a sales ploy for the beginner market.

But lets be honest for a total noob The idea of an aio would be appealing to them from both cost and ease of use basically Its all there in basic form

Its only later on as your knowledge grows you find out there's more needed that the aio won't accommodate with ease and it's harder to maintain.

I've been keeping freshwater fish for years before I gave it up and moved to marine and at the beginning I started with a trickle top filter but learned that a canister filter was way better, but luckily freshwater tanks are easyer to adapt than marine

So I knew to read and read before I spent a penny and that a sump was the way to start

The best lfs would / should advise sump systems and why, but a not so good one would see it as a easy money maker.

And theres always the issue of no space to accommodate a full sump setup both in terms of monetary cost and physical restrictions on space.

Plus fear Can be a big motivation factor.
 

92Miata

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Personally, I’ve never understood this either, but I’m an experienced reefer at this point and I know enough to buy the system I want from the start. I never even had an AIO when I first started the hobby. I got an undrilled 30 gallon tank and built a sump right from the get-go.

I think many people buy an AIO when they enter the hobby because they don’t know better and once they get their feet wet (pun intended), they realize they should have gone a different route.

If you just like the AIO approach and you’re not new to the hobby and know exactly what you want from the get-go, there are plenty of builders out there that’ll build you only the AIO tank you want and then leave you to fill it with whatever equipment your heart desires.
I've been an off and on reefer for almost 20 years. My first setup was a 20L with a 20H sump. I've had big tanks with sumps and remote sandbeds and fuges and all sorts of nonsense. I've commercially maintained tanks in the thousands of gallons (both salt and fresh).

And despite that, right now I've got two IM Nuvo40s and a Nuvo10 in the house. Why? Because I don't have the time and patience to deal with it anymore - I've got a toddler and too much other nonsense in my life.

An AIO will never overflow. Unless you really screw up and break the glass, you'll never have water on the floor. You'll never have a snail in a pipe, or siphon issue, etc. They just work. Sure - my nuvo 40s have only like 6 gallons of sump, and 30 gallons of actual display - but it not being remote lowers complexity and risk so much that its worth it (for me).
 

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