An All In One Aquarium is an aquarium where the filter is built into the actual design of the aquarium. Unlike other sytems where water leaves the aquarium to be filtered all in one’s or sometimes referred to as AIO filter the water without the need for plumbing or sumps.
While there are countless shapes and sizes of tanks available in the hobby, virtually all tanks fall into two basic styles, sump-based systems and All in One (AIO) setups. While both tank styles have their own advantages and disadvantages, an All in One style tank is often a better choice for new hobbyists or for those looking for a simple “plug and play” setup, combined with simple maintenance.
A reef tank with a sump separates the display tank from the equipment, which is contained in a sump that is generally hidden in the cabinet. While this style does offer more customization options, the water levels need to be balanced between the sump and the display tank and there is a risk of overflow if a drain becomes blocked. Even the benefit of increased customization can be a drawback, as many new reefers find the choices overwhelming and increased customization and complexity also complicates maintenance and increases costs.
All in One tanks are relative newcomers to the reefing hobby and have exploded in popularity. At one point they were only available as nano tanks, but today they are available in sizes from 5 gallons all the way up to 50 gallons and larger. The fact that they are available in such a wide range of sizes is a testament to their popularity. An AIO system uses rear or side chambers to house equipment such as the return pump, heater and skimmer out of sight. Filtration is also taken care of in these chambers, and some reefers even create small refugiums. The fact that all the water is contained in one tank virtually eliminates the possibility of overflow. All in One systems can be as simple or as complicated as a hobbyist desires. A simple setup can include a light, return pump, heater and some mechanical filtration such as filter floss and be put together literally in minutes. Over time, reefers can add more equipment as desired, such as a skimmer or media reactor. This reduces the upfront cost of the tank and makes reefing much more accessible. This simplicity also reduces maintenance and allows for more time to enjoy the tank. Lastly, because there is no need to hide a sump, an AIO tank offers more flexibility in terms of placement.
Since every reefers needs and goals are different if you have any questions about which tank style is best for you please contact us and we would be happy to help you decide what setup best suits your needs.