There are many types of chest from many different mods and each has its own unique size but there is nothing like an AE chest. The AE chest will require power to work and will also need a AE Cell. Cells will hold items within them but to get access to these items you will need a AE chest or a Terminal and a ME Drive.
The chest is a great start and also helps better understand the sheer volume a cell can store. There are a total of 4 different Cells (up to 8 with the Extra Cells 2 Mod), each cell can hold a different volume of items, the higher the volume of items the more expensive the cells gets. All the cells can hold up to 63 different types of items or they can hold a certain amount of stacks of 1 item:
|With 1 Item In Cell Stacks of items||With 63 Items in Cell|
|1K ME storage Cell||127||65|
|4K ME storage Cell||508||260|
|16K ME storage Cell||2,032||1,040|
|64K ME storage Cell||8,128||4,160|
Storage Cells have limits of size, and limits of types, plus you need to consider the resource usage of your cells, to decide what your best options are. Each storage cell can store a fixed amount of data. Each type consumes a number of bytes (which varies with the cell size), and each item consumes one bit of storage, so eight items consume one byte, and a full stack of 64 consumes 8 bytes, regardless of how the item would stack outside of an ME network. For instance, 64 identical saddles don't take up more space than 64 stone.
Gunning straight for top tier storage cells is not generally the best idea, since you use more resources, but don't get any extra type storage.
You can throw any of the above cells into a ME chest and by right clicking on the top of the chest you can access the terminal. This terminal will allow you to toggle how the terminal looks and how items are sorted on the right and allow you to search for items on the top.
You will soon grow out of the ME chest and find that you need more cells and more space.
Via Extra Cells 2 mod there are also much larger cells that have been added:
Fluid storage cells are also added by this mod adding 1k all the way up to 4096k fluid storage, these will fit into normal ME drives but will need a fluid terminal to be accessed. You will also need a bucket to be able to pull out liquids by hand, these can be exported by Fluid import and Export busses:
If your system is not taking in water, try taking the cells out and putting them back in again.