All in one fish tanks are a great choice due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, it might be cheaper than assembling the different parts together, especially when you are not an expert in knowing the prices of every single fish tank accessory. The other benefit is the time saved, unless you really know tinkering with the fish tank.
One of the best choices for all in one reef tank is the Biocube 29 or 14 that I have already reviewed in this article: best nano tank for beginners. To summarize, it is a complete all in one system with a built in led lighting, filter and top. The only thing missing is a heater. However, from my experience, the warm from the light is sufficient so no heater is really needed.
The Biocube 29 or 14 is really great for reef. If you want only the reef with no fishes, the the Biocube 14 is sufficient. If you want to have some fishes, then I suggest buying the Biocube 29.
One thing to note is the Biocube nano reef tank is heavy, without the water. Add in the water and you will need to make sure whatever it is sitting is strong enough to hold the weight. My suggestion is to get the Biocube stand as well because it supports the tank very well. Below is a mini review of the stand:
The best thing about the stand is that it functions as both storage and display. You can put the Biocube aquarium on top of the stand and leave the accessories inside the shelf. In this way, it minimize messiness while keeping the place neat and tidy.
Having said that, there are things that can be improved.
For one, the price should be lower because the material is just ply wood. I don’t mind paying this price is it is made of something better but it is not.
Another thing can gets to me is the door. It closes at a funny angle and is probably due to the design of the cabinet. Very strange look indeed.
Instructions can also be made clearer. I am pretty handy guy so fixing this up was no easy but I can imagine others having difficulty. This is especially so if they blindly follow the instructions given. It is better to go to Youtube and watch a video of how to really install the stand.
Another all in one nano tank suitable for keeping reef is the Fluval Spec. This is the one I got for my office a couple of months. To date, it is still working well and I love watching it.
Its filtration system is its biggest strength as it can easily keep salt water reef alive. Even if you decide to change from a reef tank to a normal one, you can adjust the pump strength so that fishes such as Betta can survive in it. I tested it once by throwing some dirt into the water. The filtration clean it up easily within just 10 minutes. My hat is off after watching it in action.
The Fluval Spec V comes with the above mentioned filtration as well as led lighting. It also has foam block, activated carbon and BioMax bio rings. Like the Biocube, the only thing missing is the heater, which is not included in this kit.
Set up was pretty easy. After getting it up, it looks absolutely gorgeous in my office. Takes very little space and draws a lot of positive comments from my colleagues. I also like the material as it feels solid and durable.
Noise wise, the filtration system is pretty quiet so it doesn’t affect anyone working around me.
An alternative to the Fluval Spec V is the Marineland contour aquarium kit. I pick the former over the latter due to one reason only: no need for additional setup. The Marineland’s filtration is not as good as Fluval Spec V so it definitely wouldn’t support a reef setup. If I was to get, I need to change the filtration to the Aquatop NP-302 that will fit it nicely with the tank. I could do it but I am lazy so I decided to go for the Fluval Spec V instead.
Besides the filtration system, everything was perfect for the Marineland contour fish tank. It looks gorgeous and the curved glass makes the viewing more interesting. It is also a quiet tank as you can’t really hear the motor of the pump from the back of the fish tank.
The price is another attractive point as it is cheaper than the Furval Spec V from the last time I checked. Unfortunately, the cost is lower quality accessories. I have also talked about the filtration pump. The lighting isn’t the best out there as well. If you intend to grow lots of plants in this tank, I suggest changing into stronger ones for them to survive.
Nano tanks have made rearing reef a much easier and convenient affair. This is especially so if you buy one of these all in one reef tank, which saves you the trouble of even setting it up. Have fun shopping.