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AIO vs sump


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I would like to do a 12" rimless cube reef but im not sure on how I want it laid out.


The two options I am thinking of:


1) Drill and add a simple strainer intake with a Y locline return

2) create a false wall for the heater and possibly a skimmer


They will cost a similar amount.

I think I like the drilling option better but i'd like to hear some reasons for either or better options.



My main plan if i drill:


Tank: 12" cube 3 sides starphire (It will cost me 30$ more for starphire so on a tank this size is it worth it? The money isn't an issue if I will be able to see a differnce). Two holes drilled for bulkheads


I would use some side table for a tank stand about 14" footprint and do a 10g hex sump (a bit weird of a sump size but thats that best sump option I know of that would fit in the stand style i want.


Light:- I plan to do some led spotlight


Sump- The sump will be the 10hex with a jager heater and a mag drive return (I have this). Id like to possibly add a skimmer in the future. I was thinking a tunze nano though for my sump I wanted to do no baffles. If I was going tunze I hear you want a constant water level so should I add a baffle so part of the sump has a constant water level or would you recoment a differnt skimmer?



The pros of a aio is the tank is more compact but the cons are it doesnt look as good and I probably would lose tank volume if I wanted the total size 12" cube.


The pros of a sump are it hides the plumbing well and probably gives me better filter options though I couldnt do a hob skimmer like a remora

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Go with the sump. More customization options and it makes the display look better.

Also given the odd sump size, I would say you should go for a either a custom built sump or a larger stand. The hex will be pretty difficult to work with when it comes time to place baffles and pumps/skimmers.

You could put together a small glass/acrylic tank very cheaply for this purpose.

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I'd like to keep the sump cost down so a hex is probably the best I can do for cheap. Considering the display is 7.5g I think a 10g hex is more then enough with a 10g sump. I don't want a refuge as then Id need more lights and there already isnt a ton of tank footprint for equipment so with a return pump, heeater and skimmer there probably won't be a ton more room.



What do you think about:


Water draining through a filtersock in to the sump. Fo the skimmer I may have to do a simple single baffle with the skimmer in the section with the constant water level then the return on the other side?

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