Anyone with AIO Experience - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone with AIO Experience

Hi,

I am currently in the planning process for a new 45-50G tank. During my research I am finding a lot of All-in-One options like this: Rimless Flat Panel - JBJ Aquariums or https://waterboxaquariums.com/collec...cts/marine-aio

Essentially a rimless tank with a sump built into the back. These types of tanks appear to be very popular with saltwater/reef keepers but I am not finding many posts from freshwater/planted keepers.

Does anyone have experience with these and could you speak to the pros/cons over a traditional rimless tank & canister system? From what I can tell these AIOs would allow me to hide all equipment and could be easier to service.

I can only find/think of a few downsides to the AIOs?
- The overflow leading to the sump might be louder than a canister (I am guessing, as I have never seen one in use)
- You are stuck with a black background (I am planning an iwagumi style and I am worried black will not show well)
- Most of the options have the return nozzles top center and they can't be relocated (however given the black background this probably isn't an issue)

None of the above are specific deal killers, but I am really getting hung up that I do not see these types of tanks mentioned much on the freshwater forums.

Am I missing something?

Thanks for the help.

Somail
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 04:59 AM
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Nope. I have an AIO reef tank and it's great. Wish I went this route for my planted tank too. Only thing is that you do get reduced foot print because of the back panel taking up maybe 10-20% of the tank's volume. Oh yah and also you might lose some nano fish through the overflow unless you put mesh over the front.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 10:13 AM
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I have IM Nuvo Fusion 20 for about 7 months. I absolutely love AIO style tanks. Heaters diffusers filters skimmers all hidden and tucked away. Very little noise from mine unless I let the water get to the point where the pump runs dry.

Which brings me to my only negative. Gotta keep a very close eye on evaporation. I ended up setting an ATO on mine
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 02:53 PM
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Hi, I have had the IM 75 gallon and now have an IM nano 10 gallon. I do like them, they are just different. I found it is best to put a screen on the intake to not suck in small fish if you have them. Siphon out the back sump area periodically keeps the pump and sump area cleaner. No pump noise from either, very quiet. Kind of a pain to remove and clean pumps, but then again, canisters can be annoying as well. On the larger one, you can add spray bars, customize the nozzle, etc. but not quite as easily as you have to match the pipe sizes. I did add a powerhead close to the bottom to get better water circulation as my tank was heavily planted and tended to get dead spots. Don't put it too close to a wall or too high as it can be hard to get inside the sump area to clean or change out media. Nice, clean look.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. So it really sounds like this is a preference things more than anything else.

None of you have regretting having the permeant black background with a planted setup? I guess it would hide algae better, although the tank probably doesn't look at open or bright.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by somail View Post
Thanks everyone. So it really sounds like this is a preference things more than anything else.

None of you have regretting having the permeant black background with a planted setup? I guess it would hide algae better, although the tank probably doesn't look at open or bright.
A black background is very common and plants do stand out but you can still change the background color with a piece of vinyl. Go to a plastics shop or sign shop and check out your options.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 04:01 PM
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It seems like these are largely aimed at reef setups, but do you actually have to make any adjustments for a freshwater planted tank? Other than protecting small fish from the intake as has been mentioned. It doesn't seem like it, but don't know anything about saltwater.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 06:26 PM
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Hi, no adjustments needed for planted tanks. I like the black background, but depends on what will be behind it in your room (too much stuff can detract and make it look busy).
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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A black background is very common and plants do stand out but you can still change the background color with a piece of vinyl. Go to a plastics shop or sign shop and check out your options.
Can you really modify the background? I think the black is normally part of the actual unit/tank? Is it possible to put the background in the water?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 09:14 PM
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Thanks everyone. So it really sounds like this is a preference things more than anything else.

None of you have regretting having the permeant black background with a planted setup? I guess it would hide algae better, although the tank probably doesn't look at open or bright.
Consider the "peninsula" style to have a clear background. Also you do not want to hide algae. You will want to neutralize the cause of it :-)
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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ha, very good points on the algae. Thanks.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somail View Post
Thanks everyone. So it really sounds like this is a preference things more than anything else.

None of you have regretting having the permeant black background with a planted setup? I guess it would hide algae better, although the tank probably doesn't look at open or bright.

It's personal preference but I run black backgrounds on all my tanks, I like the contrast and the (arguable) depth it creates. Seemingly frosted backgrounds have become very popular with aquascapers, and it does look good on photos but I'm not sold on how it looks in reality in a home installation.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 05:29 PM
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I have one AIO, but is custom built with glass (you can check it in my signature). I decided for it to hide all equipment and have a very clean look (for a nano tank). It is a decision that I do not regret at all. It is more silent than the eheim canisters I have experience with.

If you want a white background, you could probably do the same as I did and cut a piece of acrylic and place in front of the glass that separates the filtration. However, I would not recommend that you drill holes for the overflow as I did, because it doesn't skim the surface and I usually end with surface film. If you can, make slits.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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I have one AIO, but is custom built with glass (you can check it in my signature). I decided for it to hide all equipment and have a very clean look (for a nano tank). It is a decision that I do not regret at all. It is more silent than the eheim canisters I have experience with.

If you want a white background, you could probably do the same as I did and cut a piece of acrylic and place in front of the glass that separates the filtration. However, I would not recommend that you drill holes for the overflow as I did, because it doesn't skim the surface and I usually end with surface film. If you can, make slits.
Thank is good to hear about the sound. I am running an Eheim Classic right now on my other tank and I am not super happy with it. I actually read over your build thread before posting, you had an interesting journey with the tank and you have a ton of patience. It definitely turned out well.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2020, 11:49 AM
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Eheim classic canisters are tanks and work forever, but I'm also not 100% happy with them, specially the fact that they do not have media baskets and ways to quickly purge the filter. Anyways, I would go for the AIO and fiddle with it a little bit. You will definitely find a setup you like


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