National Geographic™ Aqua Oasis Starter Kit
Beautiful Aquarium, But . . . . .
This is a beautiful aquarium and I like it alot. The problem lies in the hood, specifically the LED light setup. First off, the hood is very nice and fits perfectly. At first, the LED touch sensor is very attractive and you will be impressed. However, you will see in other reviews that the led lights fail, and THEY DO. This is a design defect, and neither Petsmart nor National Geographic will so anything for you. But, here is the deal. The LED driver (a very important piece of the LED light) is a small black cube on the bottom side of the hood, along with the LED tubes. The power wire comes into the driver, and another wire goes on to the tubes. Within the driver is the "touch sensor" mechanism as well as the circuit board that makes the LED's light. The driver has two screws, so one might think they could take out the screws and remove the driver; that isn't true because the driver box is an open plastic box (open on top so the touch sensors can work), that is sealed to the hood with silicone. Even a tiny little hole in that silicone will allow water into the cube, and there is no way for it to get out. And, it is sitting in a small cube with open circuit boards and power. When mine failed, I took out the screws, pried off the cube, and found the cube full of water and the circuit board corroded, shorted and dead, dead, dead. The hood needs to be redesigned to move the driver cube OUTSIDE the tank, so it doesn't get wet. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a very pretty tank setup, and having to retrofit some type of lighting system.
July 21, 2014
You're Only Buying a Curved Glass Tank
If you get this 'kit', all you're really paying for is the Curved Glass tank and heater. Everything else is basically worthless.
The tank itself is beautiful. Nothing to hate in its craftmanship. Silicone is clean,base is strong, and the curved glass front is it's big selling point.
That's the Good.
Now for the Hood. I've had the tank it running close to 3 weeks now, and condensation is a HUGE problem. Whoever designed the hood prioritized slimness over effectiveness, and without a glass or even plastic canopy to protect them(store bought ones wont even fit with the hood), the LEDs will be quick to cloud over(mine already are), short out, or have no control the 'on/off ' buttons.
You can't buy any replacement LED strips or parts for the canopy. So once it's busted you're out of luck. Which is WEIRD because the entire LED assembly and LEDs are removable.
BE CAREFUL when popping out the hood slot for a HOB filter; they made the tabs extra thick, and if you don't take your time you'll either stress the plastic or snap it.
I didn't bother with the filter: I stuck with my HOB Aquaclear 30 with a 20gallon impeller and pre-filter sponge to reduce flowrate. I need something quiet, as the tank is in my bedroom. From what I've read, the included filter is noisy as most prefab kits.
So far the heater hasn't given much trouble as of yet, but it's the hot season now so it hasn't been put too much use.
Once the LEDS punk out on my hood, I'm cutting out the LED area, swapping attaching a canopy in its place, and setting up a DECENT light fixture above it.
July 9, 2014
LED Light stops working
I really enjoyed the curved glass feature, always wanted a tank with one and the kids really love it. We have had this tank for about 1.5 months now and the LED light stopped working completely and have had issues with the filter's air tube. At first we noticed the light fading and now it won't work at all, even when we leave the hood off to be completely dry (gets wet from natural evaporation and bubbles). I've tried looking for replacement bulbs and even the associates at petsmart said that there should have been something to cover all electrical parts. Going to return the tank tomorrow. Beautiful tank, but the hood is flawed in its design.
July 2, 2014
Aqua Oasis, not great in the small size.
I thought I would love this tank, but after a little over a month I'm ready to go through the hassle of returning it and getting another tank just to finally have something that works for me. The tank was in good condition, as was everything else out of the box. That was not the problem. The heater and the filter both worked very well too. The problems started when I realized they had a 20 gallon filter for the 8.5 gallon tank. The flow was far to strong for anything except for MAYBE danios. I bought an undergravel filter that did nicely for my betta. Then I began to notice drips because of the way the lid sits over the glass. All the condensation ended up dripping over the glass and onto my table. (To be fair, though condensation and a few drips were present before the filter change it did increase a good bit when I put the undergravel filter in) To top it off, the light stopped working consistently within a month. It now turns both the regular and the blue light on and off whenever it pleases, and the buttons don't work 1 out of 5 times. I think this would be a great tank in the larger sizes because it wouldn't have to be filled quite so full and it would be able to work with the Nat Geo filter, reducing the condensation problems. If you want less than a 20 gallon though, I'd recommend a different brand.
July 1, 2014