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Thoughts on AquaTop 21G Nano?


kimberbee

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I'm new to saltwater aquariums but pretty familiar with freshwater, since my family had them when I was growing up.

 

I've decided to start my own nano tank with help from my boyfriend who has a nice 45G (~3 years old) and his job is servicing aquariums so he has tons of info.

 

I was just wondering if anyone had experience with AquaTop set ups. I originally wanted a 29G Oceanic BioCube, but they are pricey new ($400), and even on Craigslist (though there's only a couple listed in my area) the price only drops about $100.

 

Dr.s Foster & Smith is having a summer sale on Nano Cubes, and has a 24G for $220 which is a nice price.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3730+18534+18524&pcatid=18524

 

I found, at a LFS, an AquaTop 21G on sale for $240. It includes a protein skimmer, which I have read is not necessary, but I don't see how it could hurt and BF really suggests it.

http://www.truaqua.com/aquatop-biotope-stand-combo.html (just for specifications reference).

 

I'm leaning towards the AquaTop, because not only does it have the skimmer, but it has all LCD lights meaning I don't have to worry about switching out/upgrading any CFL bulbs.

 

Anyone want to chime in with recommendations?

 

Thanks so much!

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thats a really good price, and with what it comes with (lights, skimmer...) you would spend a lot more if you were to put it together individually. only thing to keep in mind: this tank will be good for zoas, lps and softies. if you want to keep sps, the LEDs are not powerful enough - PAR reading is quite low even near the top of the tank.

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If you are a fan of "good gear" I would recommend saving up a bit more and getting something a little nicer. The lights on this tank aren't that great and would require an upgrade. If you just want a basic set-up its a great deal though. The LEDs on this tank are likely 1W LEDs in a very basic spectrum. The posted PAR values are pretty low. They will last a long time though.

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That's helpful, thanks!

 

I've been looking at different corals and I tend to like things that "move" or sway in the current. Duncans, Daisy Polyps, Feather Dusters, Pusling Xenia... you get the idea. I also really like Ricordea, and very badly want a Sun Coral. From my understanding most of these are softies, right?

 

I don't mind upgrading the lights in say, a few months time. Never had a saltwater tank before so I'm planning to go slow and carefully.

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That's helpful, thanks!

 

I've been looking at different corals and I tend to like things that "move" or sway in the current. Duncans, Daisy Polyps, Feather Dusters, Pusling Xenia... you get the idea. I also really like Ricordea, and very badly want a Sun Coral. From my understanding most of these are softies, right?

 

I don't mind upgrading the lights in say, a few months time. Never had a saltwater tank before so I'm planning to go slow and carefully.

You are correct that most of them are softies, but the duncan is an lps, and the sun coral is non photosynthetic. They should all survive under lower lighting, but I suggest you get a quality light as soon as you can. Once you get your first piece of coral, the addiction takes hold. You don't want your light to be a limiting factor on what you can keep. I originally planned on cheaping out on the light for a while, and start out with softies, but I ended up getting a quality light to begin with. I'm glad I did. Especially since I don't care for most of the softies. Good luck!

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I toured a bunch of LFS's over the weekend to see what I have available to me and no one had a sun coral under $70 or smaller than my fist. I'd be looking for something half that size so it has room to grow. So that's something I'll be waiting on. I'll put duncans on my waiting list too.

 

Thanks for the help!

 

I'm going to try to finish making room (I just moved and have a few straggler boxes to unpack) this week so I can get the tank and fill it this weekend to watch for cracks or problems with the pump/filter/heater.

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the corals that you mentioned will all do very well in the low PAR leds that the 21G has. If you are indeed going to upgrade lighting in the near future, do consider the feasibility of upgrading lighting in a cube. Its quite difficult. Most good LED fixtures need to be suspended above the aquarium and will not fit in the small lid that the cube comes with. In that case you will have to get rid of the lid altogether.

 

If you like corals that sway or move you will love hammer corals, and frogspawn. Torches are good too but they have aggressive stings and can easily kill other corals in a small tank, so not advisable.

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the corals that you mentioned will all do very well in the low PAR leds that the 21G has. If you are indeed going to upgrade lighting in the near future, do consider the feasibility of upgrading lighting in a cube. Its quite difficult. Most good LED fixtures need to be suspended above the aquarium and will not fit in the small lid that the cube comes with. In that case you will have to get rid of the lid altogether.

 

Good point. Definitely gives me something to think about.

 

However, for the price, and for a first tank, I think this will suit my needs. I have a feeling if I ever want to "upgrade" it will probably be to a bigger, better everything. ;)

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