Newb Equipment Questions


New member
Hi, I'm new to the whole reef hobby, my only experience has been with a FW cichlids aquarium. After becoming an OW certified scuba diver and going on a dive trip to Cozumel (gorgeous reefs) last month, I decided I wanted a SW tank. I started researching and nano reefs peaked my interest. At this point I'm in the "overwhelmed by too much information stage" of the research process. I've been reading a few forums and any beginners articles I can find. Next I plan to stop tonight and buy a few of the books that have been recommended in different forums. Are there any good nano specific books?

A few basic questions I have so I can start putting together a budget (yeah I know, the budget will probably go out the door once I get that kid in a candy store feeling the minute I walk into a LFS... same thing happened with my dive gear. :rolleyes: ).

1. I've been looking at the all-in-one setups. It seems like people seem to favor the BioCube, AquaPod and the Red Sea Max. I think I can easily eliminate the Red Sea because it's a bit pricey and I want a smaller tank (probably 24 or so). Any views on the BioCube vs. AquaPod?

2. I think I might wantt to have the upgraded lighting right from the start. Not sure if it's better to go with one of the raised MH options or go with a custom upgraded hood from a place like nanotuners. What are the pros/cons for each? Or maybe I should just stick to the standard lighting for now?

3. This question may effect the answer to #2. I have a bengal cat that loves water and getting into things she shouldn't. If I would go with a MH option on one of the cubes does the glass cover completely close off all access to the water? Does the standard hood completely cover all access to the water? It looks like the hood covers everything but I'm not positive so figured I'd ask. I've looked around trying to figure out if the glass tops cover everything, but I can't find the answer.

I have a million more questions, but pretty much everything is dependent on finding the answers to the Q's above. I'm going to try to take my time and plan everything out really well (partially because I'm trying to delay this purchase until my bday in November, so it can partially be a gift... but I think I'll have a hard time holding out). :D


Premium Member
Good idea starting with the upgraded lighting, I wish I would have done it myself.

I started with a stock nanocube 24. Kept a fair amount of corals but couldn't keep gorgonians and some colors didn't look that great.
Got a new 108W nanotuners hood at around the 6 month mark. Really a nice hood, went with the 2 50/50 bulbs and 1 daylight. Light output was good but I just felt something was missing.

Upgraded last week to a Sunpod 150W Metal Halide Fixture.
OMG, I was once lost and now am found!!!!!
The light is amazing, the blue color is nice and the MH shimmer is awesome.
The moonlights alone look to be about as bright as my old stock lighting.

Guess you can tell which I like????

I got a glass cover for my cube because I didn't want my livestock jumping out. I got the cover from and it allows me to have the back chambers open to the air. This is important because I put an Azoo fan (See it on Dr. Foster & Smiths Website) and the fan alone can drop the temp of the tank to 77 and the heater fights to keep it that high. I still am figuring out how to best get the fan on a timer.

I would do:

24G Aquapod w/ 150W Sunpod from Dr.Foster & Smith. They should have a 15% coupon code to use online unless it expired, the coupon is dodge or DODGE.

I've heard people complain about the AP stand, no personal experiance with it though so maybe you want to look into something else. I "think" the biocube stand will work as well ( sells biocubes & stands).

Get the Azoo fan from the Dr's, it's the 2 fan combo, works like a charm.

The titanium heater they have (Also Azoo if I remember right is a good one).

Get salt mix, some test kits, Chemi-Pure, Purigen, Sand and your set. Get as much as you can because the 15% off code is a 1 time deal.

Stock hoods cover ALL water, the display and back chambers.

Hope that helps.

Welcome to the addiction


New member
look at teh finnex 30 gal with the t-5 lights i have one and love it no upgrading needed as of yet price is 340 comes with a skimmer fuge and 475gph main pump and fuge light also

if you want to go ahead and get the mh for it you can get 150 watt with two -t-5 or the 250w with two t-5 the price is more on those of course 539 and 589 is what they cost but the guy has them for 20 dollars off
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New member
colinadam - thanks for your input and the discount code!

zann - I did some searching for the 30g Finnex, but am only finding a 20 and a 32. Is the 32 the same or is the 30 something else?
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New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10431231#post10431231 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Zann
heres the link to the 30 gal glass

Great thanks. All the Finnex tanks that came up in my searches were acrylic.

One last question. If you go the detail view for the tank, on the second photo it looks like it's open to the water under the light. Is this the case?


New member
yes theres a glass in the front with a hole in it to take it off easy and one in the back over the fuge the middle is open
i didnt get a closed system because you have to mod the lights if you want more and it isnt all that easy most of the time
with this you can put what ever light you want on it if you want 150w with two t-5 or 250w with two t-5 then you can get it easy.

you can go here and see my tank .