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Luxury Aquarium Guide and Inspiration

Updated November 2020

By Maxim B.

This Final Saltwater Aquarium guide was mainly created for inspiration and a showcase of some of the fanciest gear and setups possible in our hobby. This kind of setup would cost a lot of money and would take serious planning and time. Perhaps this kind of saltwater aquarium is what you are looking for, but we imagine that this is the long term goal and dream for the vast majority of reefers! We avoided all the more basic gear, and just put in the most high-tech and expensive things!

Table of Contents

(click on a topic to head directly to that section)

We ordered the list in importance and in the order in which we believe it is best to buy gear.

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High Tech Build Stats:

Size: 228 gallons + 40 gallon sump

Approximate Price: $14000 

Care Level: Moderate

Style: Peninsula or Standard

Placement: Office, kitchen, living room, bedroom



This saltwater aquarium is quite large and unique, as it is in the peninsula style. This means that you can set this aquarium up as a room divider and look through it, whereas standard tanks have one long viewing panel and the other panel is blacked out. Due to the size of this saltwater aquarium, it would need to be placed on strong floors and moved with help from multiple people. However, an aquarium this size opens up so many amazing possibilities and opportunities for this hobby! 


To go with such an impressive saltwater aquarium, we chose one of the most trusted and powerful aquarium lights on the market. It is also beautiful in its simplicity, just a powerful, trusted, and reliable light. For a tank this size, about 3 would be needed and your preferred method of mounting/hanging them! 


While this particular saltwater aquarium already comes with a sump, it can be upgraded to something even better. As well, there are other similar aquariums that do not come with sumps. This is simply amongst the highest quality sumps you could get, and worth the price! 

Protein Skimmer

Another piece of simple gear where we just went with quality and reputation. This specific skimmer would be able to handle a wide range of saltwater aquarium setups and sizes! 

red and clear pvc protein skimmer with close up of controller for pump.

RO/DI Water Filter

The RO/DI filter is a water filtration unit that takes your tap water and purifies it to be as close to pure water as possible. It stands for Reverse Osmosis Deionization, and if you would like to understand how it works, read this article. You use this purified water to make your saltwater from a salt mix (we show one later on!) and in your ATO. A RO/DI filter has many benefits for a saltwater aquarium, and is mathematically cheaper in the long run.

Controller and Accessories

These sets of gear are perhaps the most foreign and “luxury” of all the items on this list! This is essentially the full lineup of gear from the Neptune brand which makes controllers, testers, and other equipment that helps you monitor and automate your saltwater aquarium. This gear will let you have more data and control over what is going on inside your aquarium and with your other equipment. It is expensive but fully worth its value! 

External ATO (Auto Top Off)

An external ATO water container and ATO system is a very common and useful high-tech saltwater aquarium addition. The main reason for this is that it will allow you to leave your tank fully unattended for much longer while assuring that your water will remain stable. 

If you wanted to go on a vacation for a week or two, all you would need to do is have a larger external ATO. As well, most saltwater aquarium hobbyists only do water changes once every one or two weeks, so with this setup you could massively reduce the amount of maintenance you need to do. 


A powerhead, sometimes also referred to as a wavemaker, (although the two are different pieces of gear) is a very useful and common tool. Simply put, powerheads and wavemakers are used to provide water movement (flow) beyond that of the filtration’s return. Good flow provides many benefits to your saltwater aquarium, check out this video to learn more! Get at least 2 of these to make sure you can get good flow in a tank like this. 

Ecotech MP10 Salwater Aquarium Wavemaker with controller