Top Fin 5.5 Gal Aquarium Starter Kit
Okay but needs improvements.
After getting a Marineland 3 gallon tank for my first betta, I decided to get another betta to keep in my bedroom. Wanted to go a little bigger so after finding this kit (which was cheaper than the Marineland 5gal), I brought it home and set it up before even getting my betta. Good thing I did because I had to make an adjustment.
The filter that comes with it doesn't have a flow control and it's so strong it pushed my plants all over the place. My poor fish wouldn't have made it through the night. So I had to baffle it, fill the tank almost to the top and get an extra filter sponge to lay on the output ramp. Even after all this, when I finally got my fish, there was still a spot or two where he had to swim a little harder to get through. As long as the adjustments hold up, I guess we can both deal with it.
Another issue I have is with the light. The hood itself is totally different from what is shown, so it isn't an incandescent bulb. Instead you get a flat top with 3 LED lights in the center of the hood. It looked nice and bright when I first tried it but once the tank was decorated and filled, it left me with dark corners. That's an issue with live plants, which I planned on adding more of. For now, I only have some small ones in the center right under the light. I'll have to figure out how to add more lighting later.
Overall, I guess it's okay for beginners. Especially for the price. I kinda wish I had dropped a few more bucks on the Marineland 5 gallon. Maybe I'll just get a 10 or 20 gallon later. At least I'll save on the filter because I'll probably be able to use this one. HA!
November 19, 2014
Pretty good tank but some issues
So, as a first time fish owner, who knew what I was getting into? ;o) I got Bettas for my kids who wanted a pet. I thought fish would be easy...not so much.
My kids each wanted a colorful fish. I wanted an easy fish. Betta were sold as the easiest fish to take care of. But I needed 2 and I didn't want to clean two bowls (kids are just 2- can't put them to work just yet!)
I decided on a split tank and went from the betta bowl (ugh, that just seemed mean) to the betta bow (2.5 gallons- better but geez, one of the bettas had his tail destroyed, either by the filter or through the divider as he was nipped by the other betta.) That wasn't so good.
So, I did my research, found how to make a divider and decided on a 5 gallon tank. This tank seemed cheap and easy because of its square shape to fit a divider so I bought it.
The divider was pretty easy to make (just search online for Betta divider...) but the tank glue makes it difficult to fit so that it is close to the tank wall on the bottom. In fact, on the bottom, there is slim opening where the fish will flare at each other. I have adult fish so they can't get through but they definitely see each other. But I figure that from what I'm reading, a couple of weeks and they will calm down. They haven't been able to cross (yet) so I'm hoping I was successful.But it does make the tank seem a bit cheap.
The top is indeed different than what is pictured. This now comes with a LED light- I prefer this because I hear incandescent lights warm the tank and while these are tropical fish, I'd like more control over the temperature. However, it definitely looks cheaper. There's a row of three LED lights and they don't look centered so the right side of the tank is a little brighter. It could be just the way I divided the tank? But I'm not sure that that's it...I think the light would always be brighter on one side.
The filter is NOT good for many Bettas including mine. The poor fish was thrown around. However, I made a bottle baffle (again, online...what would I do without google?!) and it's fine now. Don't forget to buy a prefilter sponge for the filter intake- I'm still not sure of that is what destroyed the Betta's tail or was it the nipping from the other betta but I'm not taking any chances!
I think that the Betta Bow is much prettier but obviously, the fish now both have more than 2.5 gallons to themselves, which seems to make them happier. I feel like they display themselves more, the betta with the torn up tail looks like it is healing and they seem to be settling in. So, I'm happy. Now, if only they could clean themselves...
By the way, the tank comes with the filter, a thermometer (which doesn't work well so I have to buy a glass one), and a net (which I apparently shouldn't use because the Betta have such sensitive tails - SO it looks good but I'm not sure if it's very functional).
November 10, 2014
Cheap hood cover not as advertised.
They advertised this fish tank comes with Aquarium, 16" Incandescent Hood and Bulb, but I didn't receive that. I got some plastic cheap cover and its very disappointing. So please double check the product and don't end up like me.
October 8, 2014
Not as pictured
It doesn't have the same hood as pictured. It is a cheaply made, flat hood, with a (hard to put in)snap-in white LED light. The glue in the seams is messy and makes the edges look milky.
I gave it 3 stars because of the price, it's a nice heavy glass, it comes with goodies, and doesn't leak. I had a filter, so I can't comment on this one.
I wish they had the pay and pick up when I got this. Maybe I could have gotten what I really wanted. My tank was cracked and I really needed it. Eventually I will try to find the hood shown and purchase it. I guess I just lost my savings though.
October 6, 2014