All-in-one Saltwater Tank or Piece by piece aquarium?

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Tanman19az

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Hey guys! I just wanted to get your thoughts about whether I should buy one of those all-in-one Saltwater setups like the 29 gallon bio cubes, JBJ Nano cubes, or Red Sea's 34 gallon one, or I was thinking about getting a 30-50 gallon tank and buying all the necessary equipment individually. I don't have any experience with Saltwater yet, but I do have 3 perfect freshwater tanks. Let me what you Saltwater experts think would be best to do. Thanks in advance!
 

Jaysee

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Im not a salt guy, but any time ive bought a complete setup i end up buying a new filter, heater and hood - my standards are much higher than the manufacturers.
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I'm not a salt tank keeper either. I have bought aquarium kits in the past and I too usually end up upgrading the filtration and heaters. I keep what I don't use as spares in case of an emergency.

I've also bought them piece by piece. I think either way is fine.

For beginners I think a kit may be much easier, give them a chance to get familiar with the hobby, it's equipment, how everything works. As they learn more and decide they love the hobby, then they can start doing upgrades to bigger and better products. If they see that fish keeping is not for them, then they may have saved some money.

Ken
 

ATP

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Hi,

biocube or the JBJ nano is really good for beginners since its less complicated and have everything needed to have a nice little reef. (I prefer JBJ)

They're overall really good systems, but if you're up to it, research a bit and start a tank from scratch. The cost might be slighly higher if you purchase everything new (also depends on what you purchase), but depending on what you get, it could be better and easier than the cubes.

If you were to go with a 50 gallon, I would do a 20 gallon sump. You could put baffles in by glue and insert the glass into the tank. Than just silicone them so the're water tight.

Things that you should look into if to start own tank:
Sump (DIY cheaper. Rady made is redicoulusly expensive)
Skimmer
Return pump
Refugim (beneficial, but not needed)
Powerheads
Lights (VHO,HO,Metal Halides, LEDs-if a reef tank)

You could also look on craigslist or any local groups for any complete systems used. Those could save you a ton and sometimes get betterequipment that the on you were thinking.
 

locoyo386

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Tanman19az said:
Hey guys! I just wanted to get your thoughts about whether I should buy one of those all-in-one Saltwater setups like the 29 gallon bio cubes, JBJ Nano cubes, or Red Sea's 34 gallon one, or I was thinking about getting a 30-50 gallon tank and buying all the necessary equipment individually. I don't have any experience with Saltwater yet, but I do have 3 perfect freshwater tanks. Let me what you Saltwater experts think would be best to do. Thanks in advance!
I would prefer the peice-by-piece ones simply because you can buy whatever equipment you want and not settle for the equipment provided.
 

harpua2002

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If you're wanting to try a low-tech reef with some easy corals, the all in one kits are a good way to start IMO. The lighting in any of those kits (PC models) is adequate, without modifications, for low light corals and even some easy LPS like euphyllia, acanthastrea, etc. Some brands (JBJ, Current, and Oceanic I think) have models available that include metal halide lighting if you want to get into some more advanced corals. The Red Sea Max is really overpriced IMO for what you get (lighting, overall quality is not better than cheaper brands); I'd suggest considering a different brand. If you want a plug and play setup and prefer the look of the all in one, go for an all in one.

If you want the option of choosing every piece of equipment (and probably getting a little more bang for your buck overall), then take the time to do plenty of research and piece together exactly what you want. Hope this helps!
 
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Tanman19az

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Thanks for the advice! This forum always proves to be a great helping hand whenever you need it! I'll let you know what I decide to do.
 

snuggs86

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hey i brought an aquaone reefmarine tank that was all ready set up and i ve had no probs so far. my lights aint brillant but they are good for the corals i wanted to keep.
 

new_sw_gurl

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If you get the Nano, Be careful of the MH lighting. I've heard some people had to purchase a chiller because of temp swings.
 

pep372

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I am a first time Saltwater person I read the reviews on the red sea max 250 its an all in one and so far I am very impressed. They seem to have accounted for everything. the fans in the hood so the water temp doesn't rise with lights. nice skimmer. one plug for everything not a bunch of cords all over the tank is rounded glass edges.
 

aaron

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I was struggling with this very question. I decided to go piece by piece and I am very glad I did. It forced me to read more about the equipment I needed and I learned a lot just by learning why I needed each piece of equipment and what it did.

If you decide to go with a all inclusive system make sure you read consumer reports on them. Some of the systems have minor and major "aggravations".

I disagree that a all in one is cheaper. I went with a 65 gallon tank and a 20gallon sump and pieced it together for about 1400(including my rock). I went with quality equipment also. I built my own sump and it is super easy. I am 19 and I have no experience with DIY.

The red sea 65 gallon would cost me 1500 and all I would have is a tank. Not to mention you won't have a sump.

Let me know if you have any questions about what I bought or setting stuff up.

Aaron
 
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