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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All - I've been swept back in to my aquarium hobby that I had when I was a kid.

I want to get a nice clean looking tank with nicer features/glass than the cheap aqueon's I have now.

I'm one year in and have a 29G community, a 20G long with a couple of paired bolivian rams and a 10G blue dream shrimp breeding tank.
I have an array of canister filters, HOB and sponge depending on tank and purpose. I also have a 20G cube and 6G cube on the way after the online waterbox sale that I don't even know what I'm going to do with. haha.

I'm strongly considered the JBJ 45gallon - https://www.marinedepot.com/jbj-rimless-flat-panel-aquarium-45-gallon-starter-kit
I like the clean presentation it would provide and that it would be easier maintenance (presumably) than my canister. I like the idea of the heater and filters being totally hidden from sight.
Does anyone have any experience with this tank, or other similar all in one styles for their planted tanks?

It will be a community tank for bolivian rams, neons, cories, rasboras, otos and shrimp. Driftwood, rocks, plants, etc...

Thanks for your help and insight! This forum is great.
 

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I have used fluval aio tanks in the past. I really liked them over my setups with canister filters. No need to worry about establishing siphons and as you said, everything is hidden in the back. The one advice I’d give is to make sure the back chambers are easily accessible (and large enough to get your hand down). They get filthy and need to be cleaned out regularly. Also you need to make sure to put a fine mesh on the overflow, otherwise your smaller fish and shrimp may end up in the sump area. One of my favourite discoveries was a partially grown white minnow fry. I had never realized they had spawned. I guess one made it through the overflow and survived in the pump chamber until I discovered it.

As an additional suggestion, you might want to consider waterbox aio and IM Nuvo aio as well - though I believe they are both more expensive, I have heard good things about them. Good luck and make sure to do a journal once you get a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have used fluval aio tanks in the past. I really liked them over my setups with canister filters. No need to worry about establishing siphons and as you said, everything is hidden in the back. The one advice I’d give is to make sure the back chambers are easily accessible (and large enough to get your hand down). They get filthy and need to be cleaned out regularly. Also you need to make sure to put a fine mesh on the overflow, otherwise your smaller fish and shrimp may end up in the sump area. One of my favourite discoveries was a partially grown white minnow fry. I had never realized they had spawned. I guess one made it through the overflow and survived in the pump chamber until I discovered it.

As an additional suggestion, you might want to consider waterbox aio and IM Nuvo aio as well - though I believe they are both more expensive, I have heard good things about them. Good luck and make sure to do a journal once you get a tank.
Thanks - I did check those out and consider but I couldn't find any real distinct advantage. Perhaps a few less reports/reviews of leaking down the road but that type of metric is so hard to measure.
Do you have any insight on them? It didn't seem like they'd be any easier to clean or maintain so I couldn't really see justification for spending more.
 

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My marine system is a Red Sea reefer so I have no personal experience with either waterbox or Nuvo. However I hear lots of positive comments about both in the marine forums so I wanted to bring them to your attention in case you were not aware of them. JBJ seems to have declined in popularity for some reason. Five years ago they were at the top of everyone’s list. Perhaps because so many manufacturers are now offering affordable sump based tanks that AIOs in general are falling out of favor. It does not diminish their value though. if you do not want to take the plunge into full sumps, they offer a lot of the conveniences - a place to hide your equipment, lots of space for media, easy to clean and the return flow will not loose its power if you skip your cleaning cycle. I enjoyed AIOs until I decided to experiment with canister filters. I truly dislike canister based systems. Although they do a nice job of filtering, they are a pain to clean, establishing siphon can be maddening, they loose flow when dirty and your tank is as cluttered as ever. So now I am going to upgrade to a full sump. If I didn’t have experience with a full sump with my Red Sea, allowing me to overcome the initial learning curve, I probably would have gone back to an AIO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Really seems like taking the plunge to full sump would be a good way to go... But I may be moving in a few months so am trying to keep things simple for now. I may just hold off on my nice display tank until life is more settled.

If my tap water didn't have chlorine the canister wouldn't really be an issue if I could use the higher pressure of a shower head to wash things more quickly. But the task of getting everything clean using a bucket of tank water is the most cumbersome. My last canister cleaning I decided to blast the pads with tap water, keep the bio balls away from the chlorine and hope for the best. I keep sponge filters running in my tanks so if I lose a little good bacteria it's probably not a problem. So far my cycle looks healthy and not stalled so that may make life easier for now.

Thanks for the insight. I'll keep thinking and remaining in indecision land. :)
 
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