Aquatop Recife is the company’s first foray into the all-in-one aquarium designed for just the marine or reef system in mind, but our first impressions are its good, but not great. Like other products like Red Sea MAX, this is designed to be a turnkey setup to take the guesswork out of cobbling a reef system together.
The AquaTop Recife came on the scene earlier this year and features four systems to choose from including two cubes, a 24 gallon nano and a 40 gallon, and two rectangular systems with a 32 and 48 gallon option.
Each tank features a rimless design of high-clarity glass (we’re assuming low iron glass) that is pre-drilled for overflows and returns. It also includes what they call “reef-ready” LED lights, an AquaTop protein skimmer, AquaTop HTG heater, AquaTop Guard Maxflow return pump, and a stand with concealed sump system.
At first glance, these look like a nice system, but you’re not buying a high-quality name when it comes to the equipment. AquaTop isn’t known for being high-quality equipment and is more of a economical choice. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you need to keep expectations in mind when you look at the whole package.
For example, in the 24G Reef Cube Nano Tank package, it calls out it includes the Guard MaxFlow SWP-2300 Pump. Jumping over to Amazon, the pump has a 3-star rating with not the best feedback. The HTG heaters are rated a little higher, but these aren’t top end heaters. Probably best to replace these with something more robust and keep the pump and heater for backup.
The Xyclone Protein Skimmer that comes with it is about what you’d expect for a $99 skimmer and would do in a pinch, but would never recommend using this on a serious reef tank. The LEDs call out being 20W for the nano cube putting out 12,000K light with a combo of blue and white diodes, but will probably be good for basic corals.
Overall, for the sticker, its hard to get excited about the whole kit. The tank and stand look nice, but not being able to really see the integrated sump makes it tough to pass final judgement. The pricing range from $999.99 for the 24G Cube to $1599.99 for the 48G system. To put this in perspective, the Red Sea MAX nano system retails around $900 and s Red Sea MAX Reefer 250 that holds 54 gallons runs about $1300 without lights, pumps, skimmer, etc.