By Austin Dugan
on 2011-04-27 Way better than the price would foreshadow
I decided to buy this after I saw the price and several good reviews.I have had this aquarium for a few weeks, now I can personally say my Betta has never been happier in his new home. He swims around more, instead of sitting on the leaf of one of the plants in it, like he did in his old 1 gallon bowl. I personally like the sleekness of the design. It looks great in my room. It having a single cord to power both the light and the filter is a great feature. The Instructions are in English and Spanish and very easy to read with detailed pictures. The only two replacement parts for it are the Glass bowl and the power cord. The filter is, I believe, the Tetra Whisper 3i filter. The only difference I see is that it is powered by a very quiet impeller that attaches to the bottom of the filter instead of an annoying air pump. The filter cartridges (Use the Tetra 3i filter cartridges) are suppose to last about a month each and it comes with one filter cartridge. The Waterfall is also relaxing, oxygenates the water and removes chlorine and the fishy smell. The waterfall looks just as it does in the picture, by the way. I thought it would be more of a drizzle, but I was wrong. I'll list everything out for you:
-Glass bowl had some imperfections- slightly warped (But not very noticeable) lip and 2 weird air bubble-looking things I found. At first I thought it was an air bubble inside that just stuck to the side of the bowl, but it actually was just imperfections in the glass. At least the glass bowl is replaceable.
- The flat bottom of the glass bowl is only about 4-5 inches in diameter- makes it harder to put some types of plants or ornaments in. you could put in more gravel, but you'll have to keep ornaments and plants toward the center- no big deal, really.
-The hinge on the light hood is a little loose and wobbly. It doesn't rattle, But I wouldn't be surprised if it is the first part that brakes. Nothing a little duct-tape and super glue won't fix. The rest of the plastic parts seem sturdy, otherwise.
-Quiet- You can only hear a faint hum when you are within 3-4 feet when it is dead-silent in the room.
-8 bright white LED lights give a nice "moon light" effect at night.
-Soothing Waterfall that also oxygenates the water- seriously, I had 2 Aponogeton plant bulbs in my old tank for 2 weeks and they haven't even started to sprout. 2 days after I put them in this bowl, they started growing, 3 days later, they were already 3 inches tall.
-Water stays crystal clear for months at a time.
-Easily change filter cartridges.
-Perfect for showing off exotic small fish. I wouldn't put more than 3 or 4 small fish in it, though.
-glass globe magnifies things when you look through it at the right angle.
-you can fill water up to the lip without worrying about the waterfall making it overflow.
-I think the current of the waterfall makes the fish more active. My Betta, Finwick, was always kind of lazy in his old bowl, he would swim around sometimes, but usually just hung out on a leaf on one of the fake plants that was in it. In this bowl/aquarium (I honestly don't know whether to call this a bowl or an aquarium) he is almost always swimming around, otherwise he is hanging out on his favorite leaf.
-If you plan on putting a Betta or any other type of fish that is use to having little or no current, Try filling up the bowl to the lip. This will keep the current coming from the waterfall low and it also looks good. Not better or worse, but good
-If you find that your filter cartridge (Tetra Whisper Bio-Bag Cartridge small, 2-Pack
) needs to be replaced, but you don't have any replacement cartridges on you at the moment: unplug the power cord; remove the "spent" filter cartridge; rinse it in the sink with the Cotton meshy side facing up, this will remove some of the gunk that prevents the water from flowing easily through it. The carbon bits that are in it will probably be spent so it won't remove chlorine or the fishy smell, but it is a good temporary fix that will keep large particles from floating around in the tank.. Stock up on filter cartridges to prevent this from ever needing to be done. I can only find them in packs of 2 on AlumiGogo, but they are nice and cheap.
OVERALL: I am VERY pleased with my purchase and am now a fan of Tetra products. This is definitely a well-built/designed aquarium. I definitely recommend it to anybody and everybody. I will make a review video when I have to replace the first filter cartridge.
Oh and you don't have to worry about your fish being sucked into the impeller. It has a guard on it and even if it did, the water will still be crystal clear when you notice your fish is gone.
Also, the sculpture in the center of my aquarium is the Marina 12205 Betta Kit Marble Sculpture