I have a couple of the JBJ DX versions and the tank is a great layout for planted tanks, but there are a couple of issues. you live in socal, which like my city is on the warmer side, with the cover down, the tank heats up like you have a heater on it. mine would get to 88-90F in an air conditioned office (77F), on the weekends with the ac off, it got in the mid 90's. what ever survived the first week of heated water is fine, but mosses and hc etc, like cooler water, and wont grow as well no matter how much co2 and ferts you pump in. i ended up dumping the hood and going with a dual 18w lighting setup with an open top (jbj 12g). plants and fauna are doing much better now. second, as mentioned before, the pump flow rate is way to high for most small fish and shrimp, i had to turn it down to almost closed to keep it from flying them around the tank like a tornado. if they made a version with an open top design, i would buy more in a heartbeat as cubes are awsome for scaping, but the heat issue is whats holding me back now.