Pros Cons of AIO’s

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BryanJr

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I am in the process of doing some major renovations to the house and will need to relocate/ replace my 90gal tank. I will also be screening of my 210g as it will stay in the same location while construction is going on. I was looking at replacing the 90 with a 62g AIO lagoon by Tideline. Any issues I may run into with an AIO vs your typical sump set up tanks. I know there will be less water volume but for the price it seems like a great deal. Thoughts??
 

clsanchez77

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Man I really hate to classify it as "Pro's and Con's". I think it's more about making the most of the space you have available. Cannot really peg one down as cheaper than the other as there are way too many variables, so I will not consider cost as one.

AIO's have compactness as their single strength. Everything fits in one tank. There is not external plumbing, return pumps are much smaller and you have far more flexibility for placement as almost anything can be a stand. The downside here is equipment is limited to what fits in the back of an AIO. This can be mitigated in a custom AIO with larger compartments, but comes at the space of smaller DT. AIO's still do not accommodate ATO, dosing, CaRx, etc. Also, the small skimmers that fit in ATO's are nowhere close to the power and efficiency of traditional skimmers, so IMO, you have stock AIO's with lighter bioloads with long-term success. Hobbyist experience and competence is a huge variable in this last case so there will be not shortage of examples to "prove me wrong" lol, but consider the comparison has to be apples to apples. Not much different from large systems vs nano's though.

Traditional or Split Systems or whatever we want to call them come with flexibility of equipment as their strength. Having a sump beneath the tank makes good use of the space beneath the tank and allows for flexibility in equipment selection. The assumption here is you have space under your tank. Traditional setups will. Hobbyists is small spaces and/or situations where the tank is not on a traditional stand will struggle with a traditional split system. The rest of us, there just is not substation for a traditional system.

If I were setting up a tank in my bedroom or office, I would go AIO to keep it simple and quiet. My main show tank (or currently my only tank), and AIO would never do it for me. But then my situation would not apply to your situation, so that has to be the strongest driver in the decision.

Now an AIO on a traditional stand, I don't see why I would limit myself in that scenario, except for a nano tank where the ATO, dosing, etc would take up the entire stand.

The specific one you linked looks like it has no skimmer. Would you go skimmer less I assume?
 

BryanJr

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Man I really hate to classify it as "Pro's and Con's". I think it's more about making the most of the space you have available. Cannot really peg one down as cheaper than the other as there are way too many variables, so I will not consider cost as one.

AIO's have compactness as their single strength. Everything fits in one tank. There is not external plumbing, return pumps are much smaller and you have far more flexibility for placement as almost anything can be a stand. The downside here is equipment is limited to what fits in the back of an AIO. This can be mitigated in a custom AIO with larger compartments, but comes at the space of smaller DT. AIO's still do not accommodate ATO, dosing, CaRx, etc. Also, the small skimmers that fit in ATO's are nowhere close to the power and efficiency of traditional skimmers, so IMO, you have stock AIO's with lighter bioloads with long-term success. Hobbyist experience and competence is a huge variable in this last case so there will be not shortage of examples to "prove me wrong" lol, but consider the comparison has to be apples to apples. Not much different from large systems vs nano's though.

Traditional or Split Systems or whatever we want to call them come with flexibility of equipment as their strength. Having a sump beneath the tank makes good use of the space beneath the tank and allows for flexibility in equipment selection. The assumption here is you have space under your tank. Traditional setups will. Hobbyists is small spaces and/or situations where the tank is not on a traditional stand will struggle with a traditional split system. The rest of us, there just is not substation for a traditional system.

If I were setting up a tank in my bedroom or office, I would go AIO to keep it simple and quiet. My main show tank (or currently my only tank), and AIO would never do it for me. But then my situation would not apply to your situation, so that has to be the strongest driver in the decision.

Now an AIO on a traditional stand, I don't see why I would limit myself in that scenario, except for a nano tank where the ATO, dosing, etc would take up the entire stand.

The specific one you linked looks like it has no skimmer. Would you go skimmer less I assume?
I would be looking to add a skimmer for this system. The tank would be a scaled down version of my tank now which is a mixed reef with a decent amount of Acro frags and mini colonies. Thanks for the breakdown. Im not sure the AIO will work for what I’m trying to do or not. May look into a similar rimless tank and just do a more traditional set up.
 

clsanchez77

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I would be looking to add a skimmer for this system. The tank would be a scaled down version of my tank now which is a mixed reef with a decent amount of Acro frags and mini colonies. Thanks for the breakdown. Im not sure the AIO will work for what I’m trying to do or not. May look into a similar rimless tank and just do a more traditional set up.
I wonder what kind of skimmers you can use in that system. I would probably spend more time giving that thought more so than the AIO itself. Make sure there are at least 2, if not 3, good rated/quality skimmers that will work. That way if you don't like the first one you try, you still have an option(s).

Outside that, its a beautiful tank
 

BryanJr

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I wonder what kind of skimmers you can use in that system. I would probably spend more time giving that thought more so than the AIO itself. Make sure there are at least 2, if not 3, good rated/quality skimmers that will work. That way if you don't like the first one you try, you still have an option(s).

Outside that, its a beautiful tank
I haven’t been able to find the dimensions of the back compartments. Not sure why they wouldn’t list it.
 

clsanchez77

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Interesting. Perhaps poll one of those other "national" forums and see what skimmers people are pairing with that specific tank. As much as I love our local forum, we just don't have that critical mass of hobbyists where every possible combination of tank and equipment has been tried out.
 

BryanJr

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Well got this email from Planet aquariums this morning.

Hi Bryan, Thank you for your inquiry. Attached are the approximate dimensions of the aquarium. Please do note that each tank is made by hand so there can be slight variances. We would recommend checking the exact dimensions of the tank itself before picking out a skimmer. Sincerely, Planet Aquariums
1643648141524.png
 
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