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chipz

Biocube 16 vs. Fluval Evo 13.5

Biocube 16 vs. Fluval Evo 13.5  

17 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Which would you choose for a lidded, desktop LPS tank?

    • Biocube 16
      6
    • Fluval Evo 13.5
      11
    • Other
      0
  2. 2. Why?

    • Larger volume
      0
    • Prefer the peninsula footprint
      3
    • Prefer the cube footprint
      4
    • Those *@!& rounded corners on the biocube
      8
    • Lighting is better
      0
    • Other
      2


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chipz

Hi everyone,

 

Trying to decide on my next tank. Looking for something to sit on my desk, prefer something with a lid because of jumping fish, and more kid/cat/electronics friendly. I found good deals locally on used biocube 16 or used fluval evo 13.5 (only about $25 difference), and I need your help deciding which it will be! My current tank is a 29 gallon biocube, with upgraded Steve's LED lights. 

 

 

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chipz

Ok, in the hopes of getting some discussion going, I am going to call out people with active tank journals for their Biocube 16s and Evo 13.5s. If you were starting over would you stick with what you have, or switch teams?

 

Lookin' at you: @mipster @banasophia @ValerieR @Ash1176 @Dirté Sanchez @colinadam@Centurion @McCune @Xanthine @Blklexus74 @sadie @Scotty Amen @ninjamyst

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Centurion

I’m only about a month into this so take my thoughts with a large grain of salt, but I’m really enjoying all the vertical space for the scape. It feels like I have several options for coral placement across the PAR spectrum, and I think it’ll help keep multiple distinct habitats for the fish. Also since you’re planning to put the tank on a desk, you may benefit from the footprint of the cube over the rectangle you’d get with a Fluval, although I haven’t checked out the dimensions so I can’t be certain. Seems like everyone with a Fluval 13.5 loves that tank so clearly there are no bad choices; best of luck with your decision!

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ninjamyst

will never ever get a biocube...because aesthetic matters and biocube looks ugly.  just my opinion of course.

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Dirté Sanchez

The Evo is a peninsula so the thing I learned after buying it was that I ended up losing the view of two sides- it sits on my dresser sideways. Had to put a background on it to make the backside less reflective and trashy looking. So there’s that unless you can set it in such a way that you can use the peninsula aspect of the tank. Otherwise it’s perfect for my dresser, my clown pair is happy and there’s room for the corals I have to grow. I ditched the lid and light that came with it and got a Cleaviewlids screen instead with an upgraded RedSea LED 50. But it runs easily for me, so seems the AIO design is a sturdy one.

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mipster

I'd stay with the EVO 100%. I'm not a huge fan of the look of the bio cubes, I think they're kinda ugly (sorry biocube lovers out there) I like the rimless look of my Evo. I took the honey comb pattern off around the edges to make it nice and clean (easy to do with a razor blade, just make sure you do it before you get the tank wet otherwise it's harder). 

 

I don't run the stock hood which with this heat is a very good thing. I'd be concerned about being able to manage the heat with a hood on which would also be a big issue with the Biocube. I have a mesh screen to keep the jumpers in.

 

I also think you can upgrade the lighting on the Evo easier because if you take the hood off the biocube, you still have the thick rim all around which makes mounting with many light brackets difficult. 

 

If you need to upgrade the lighting on the Evo and keep the hood, @Ash1176 did a great retrofit inside the evo hood you could follow.

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colinadam

I have done Biocubes and open top tanks (IM). Never doing open top again, evaporation, even with an ATO is a PITA

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McCune

I have had a biocube 29 in the past. That tank was arguably my least favorite tank I’ve ever had. The curved corners distort the tank and are a pain to clean. The first rear chamber is tiny can’t Do much of anything with it. I had pc lights which were not great especially when to today’s lighting. The top constantly had salt creep building up I had to clean
My least  favorite of any AIO I ever ran was the biocube. I have run many AIO setups 

I’ve run 

Current Solana 34

Fluval evo 13.5

Waterbox 20 

innovative marine Nuvo 40

 

in my opinion all of these tanks were better then the biocube, I tried it and it was not for me. Just my two cents 

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Scotty Amen
31 minutes ago, chipz said:

Lookin' at you Scotty Amen

I currently have both a Fluval 13.5 and a Biocube 32.

 

I think if i was starting another nano right now I would look real hard at the Fiji 20 gallon nano.

 

In retrospect I'm not a huge fan of the curved glass of my biocube. There's no angle where everything just looks stunning. No matter which angle you look from, something is distorted.

In hindsight I think a flat pane box is better.

 

I would get another Fluval if I wanted to stay that small, it's been excellent all around.

 

Great thread idea, OP.

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Scotty Amen

BTW I keep the Fluval next to my desk at home.

 

You can get a glance of how it looks next to me at the beginning and at the very end of this video:

https://youtu.be/aVLZ5mx6g6Y

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Ash1176

Yah the weird corners don’t do it for me at all, most acrylic tanks in general... I like the look of glass.

i wanted to keep the lid on too, and I did. I’m not gonna lie I do I think about taking it off, but i dont think anytime soon!

if I could pick a tank again I would go with a waterbox 20, really stylish rimless cube. 

there are so many rad little tanks that are not as commercially available but more unique, but I guess it all depends on what you want to achieve. 
still on team Evo though! 
hope whatever you get works out for you
and get that journal going haha

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Blklexus74

Well...   truthfully for the size I’d stick to the Fluval.  
 

Set up stock I had good zoa growth.  Mushrooms rooms and gsp were perfect and splitting/growing.  Even had sps up high doing well.  
 

At this size I’d stick with the Fluval. If I did it over I might would go larger and IM NUVO fusion.

 

 

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banasophia

I have a Biocube 16, Biocube 32, Fluval Evo 5 and previously had a Nuvo 10... To me they’ve all had their strengths. I would definitely consider the size and shape and the spot where you’ll be keeping it... as Dirte mentioned, with a peninsula shaped tank on a desk, you’ll want to consider how you will position it. I have my Evo 5 in my home office next to my printer and I had to make a background for one of the sides that serves as the back of the tank. 

 

The Biocube 16 and Evo 13.5 both seem pretty big for desk tanks, have you considered going smaller? I’m pretty happy with my Evo 5 as a home office tank so far.

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chipz

Thanks for the input everyone, this is all such good food for thought! I think @Centurion summed it up pretty nicely:

On 7/15/2020 at 9:01 PM, Centurion said:

Seems like everyone with a Fluval 13.5 loves that tank so clearly there are no bad choices

 

On 7/15/2020 at 9:06 PM, Dirté Sanchez said:

The Evo is a peninsula so the thing I learned after buying it was that I ended up losing the view of two sides

 

22 hours ago, banasophia said:

I had to make a background for one of the sides that serves as the back of the tank

These are really good points, and I'll have to measure it out more precisely to see how it will best sit on the desk. I really liked the way @Scotty Amen had his situated by his desk. 

 

If I go with the evo I will NOT miss trying to scrape the curved Biocube corners. On the other hand, if I decide to do a pearly jawfish habitat, the extra height of the Biocube could come in really handy for a deep sand bed. Decisions, decisions!!!

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McCune

If I were you I would be looking at the Waterbox 20 cube or the new waterbox 25 peninsula 

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MKolaide

Fluval Evo 13.5 hands down.  I am new to reefing, but I have started with the Fluval, and it is a wonderful tank.  Share pics of the setup when you decide! 

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chipz

Thanks for all the input! The Fluval Evo 13.5 received almost twice as many votes as the Biocube 16, so that's what I went with for my new desktop tank:

 

 

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505nano

So I'll be the weird one here and say I like the curves on the biocube lol. Maybe I'm biased because I have one, but I just feel like where I have it, the curves are not a problem. I have mine on a stand cornered to the wall so to me, when I look at it, it looks clean with no seams because you are pretty much forced to see it from the front.  Now if I were to maybe have it on a flat surface not cornered, then maybe the curved tank would obstruct some of the view. I think it all depends on placement. I will say that changing and cleaning filtration is a little bit of a pain being that it's located in the back where as the fluval has it on the side, which would make maintenance easier imo. I don't think you can go wrong with either, ultimately, you have to be happy with whatever you get 🤘

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chipz
1 hour ago, 505nano said:

So I'll be the weird one here and say I like the curves on the biocube lol. Maybe I'm biased because I have one, but I just feel like where I have it, the curves are not a problem. I have mine on a stand cornered to the wall so to me, when I look at it, it looks clean with no seams because you are pretty much forced to see it from the front.  Now if I were to maybe have it on a flat surface not cornered, then maybe the curved tank would obstruct some of the view. I think it all depends on placement. I will say that changing and cleaning filtration is a little bit of a pain being that it's located in the back where as the fluval has it on the side, which would make maintenance easier imo. I don't think you can go wrong with either, ultimately, you have to be happy with whatever you get 🤘

For me the real down side of the corners of my biocube 29 is cleaning the algae out of them. The front and sides are easy to get with a magnetic algae scraper, for the corners I need to get my arms in the tank to do a thorough job, so it just doesn't happen as often. I don't mind the distortion, it seems pretty minimal--but then my freshwater tank is a 46 bowfront (and actually, my first reef tank was also a 46 bowfront back in 2003 or so), and I guess some people hate the distortion on those, too.

 

And yes, to your point that you'll be happy with whatever you get, so far I'm very happy with the Fluval. I had a lot of fun aquascaping with the rectangular footprint and additional viewing angles, but I also love the simplicity of my older biocube tank. 

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505nano
47 minutes ago, chipz said:

For me the real down side of the corners of my biocube 29 is cleaning the algae out of them. The front and sides are easy to get with a magnetic algae scraper, for the corners I need to get my arms in the tank to do a thorough job, so it just doesn't happen as often. I don't mind the distortion, it seems pretty minimal--but then my freshwater tank is a 46 bowfront (and actually, my first reef tank was also a 46 bowfront back in 2003 or so), and I guess some people hate the distortion on those, too.

 

And yes, to your point that you'll be happy with whatever you get, so far I'm very happy with the Fluval. I had a lot of fun aquascaping with the rectangular footprint and additional viewing angles, but I also love the simplicity of my older biocube tank. 

I actually have a pretty good algae scraper made for the biocube to get the edges. I also have a somewhat bowfront 54gal aqueon corner tank in my living room lol so I guess that's partially why I don't mind either. For me, it was more convenient to go with the biocube 16 just for space. I talked my wife into letting me get a small aquarium for our bedroom that would not take up alot of space, so that's why I went with the biocube. I got it with the stand and it fits super snug in the corner. 

IMG_20200824_110351.jpg

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