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Is this a good tank to buy? Red Sea Max?


Jul 15, 2007
Here is a tank I found onsale... it include a lot. I went and spoke to somebody at the LFS for awhile and is seems to be a good tank. I would simply have to screen off a small section near the top back to prevent my octopus from slipping into the back filter...


I new to all this, still have to setup, cycle... but is this a good starter tank? It has a bio filter, protein skimmer, etc. There is a section I could use to attach a pump for a refugium that I would keep underneath in the cabinet...

I would also replace the actinic lights with 10k lights all the way...

What does everyone think? If not... I'll go back to the LFS and start assembling a regular tank and include parts for a sump underneath that has all the standard goodies. But I would like know everyones opinion pretty soon as the petstore sale (20-30 % off) ends tonight at 9pm PST, July 15th!! Please let me know!! This is exciting!!
Other than the size, would this be okay? Does is have everything else I need? My apartment is a little smaller. I figured this was a better than an the other brands aqua nano tank / biocube at 29 gallons. Also, this tank gives me flexibilty as far as what I could possibly want to keep in it in the future should octopi not work for me or are difficult to come across...
I hope others will respond before you decide but timing is difficult! This is a rough call. I assume you are planning for a pygmy based upon the size of the tank, otherwise, it is too small. I think you will find that long timers will universally advise that you will end up replacing virtualy everything or starting over eventually with any preassembled kit. Esthetically, it is terriffic and I happen to like some of the Red Sea products but kits typically consist of the bottom of the line for all components.

We have recently restarted our very first nano as an invert tank (unused for several years and lacks much of the sophistication of this system). I will warn you that we upgraded (DIY, not manufacturer) the lighting and will add an external filtration system even for this purpose and are not using anything that came with the tank except for the physical tank itself (including pumps and the way the pumps were designed to create waterflow). The good news is that the tank was reuseable even after setting up numerous larger tanks, the bad news is I would only keep the smallest of fish in a nano. If you do go with this system or any other fully contained system, I recommend regular weekly water changes rather than bi-weekly or monthly.

If you planned this tank as a beginning SW reef tank for soft corals only with a couple of small fish, I think it would make a very attractive and successful aquarium but I have strong hesitations about its use for anything else.
The Red Sea Max is a very nice system. It has a lot of features that most other nano's do not like protein skimmer, T5 lighting, and others. Buying this because it is bigger than the 29 gallon Biocube is not a good reason. The show part of the tank is acually only 29 gallons, like the biocube, and it includes a 5 gallon sump, making 34 gallons total. So the only good reason because it's bigger is more water volume.

Most people replace the stocked bioballs with live rock rubble, and most end up needing a chiller for their system to keep it cool. This is a good deal, but I think you would be better off assembling your own take from scratch.

This is a wonderful tank for a reef, but for an octopus I would go with something else. A cuttlefish would fit nicely into this system, and you would be able to keep some corals with him too.
I would recommend this small a system for a young S. bandensis, once it is about 6 months old, it will need a larger tank, like a 55 gallon.

You might want to try finding a used aquarium that someone is trying to sell (provided it doesn't have any copper in it...). I still think you would be better off getting a tank and then adding the components you need (pump, protein skimmer, live rock, etc.). You will learn more if you put it together, or have someone else help you put it together. Some local aquariums in your area (Cabrillo or Aquarium of the Pacific) have workshops on setting up a home aquarium. You might want to consider taking a workshop to help you understand what is involved in maintaining an aquarium.
Okay, enough said. I understand that the pet store is trying to make a sale... even though I told him I was willing to build everything from scratch. He said this was more cost effective and it had essentially everything required otherwise everything would have to be custom built.

However, after reading on this forum further (and with the excellent advice from all you experts above!) I have decided to just build my own. I understand that although many on this site are using 30 gallon tanks, its the total volume of water (including the sump) that benefits the octopus through a more diluted concentration of waste dispursed throughout the enclosed system. The total gallons doesnt only apply to the room for the animal to move about, but overall water/environment quality. 50 gallon minimum it is! (I would think the octopus would appreciate being able to jettison from one side to the other!)

And despite some of the challenges, building my setup will be more fun and rewarding in the end.

Thanks for all the quick replies. Its funny how much more information is available on this site than there is from the "professionals" at the petstores!

Thanks again and I'll be posting many more questions soon!!

Wish me luck!
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