I purchased 2 tanks for new Betta's, they make my 4th / 5th tanks, all 5-10 gal. for Betta's and their algae/debris eating friends.
Initially what caught my eye was the design, hex front is great for viewing and just beautiful, while the straight back gives a run for the betta to get his exercise (they need to swim horizontally not just vertically, and most hex tanks are taller/thinner). The footprint of this tank is fairly small so it works well on my nightstand and desk.
What I was most concerned about was the price - how could $24.97 give me a solid tank? But, I trusted the reviews and am glad I did. The first thing I did was take it out at the Ship to Store desk and make sure it was not a 're-pack' (see some other reviews re: scratches/breakage). No problems, went home and did the initial set up in 10 minutes.
Surprisingly well put together! Strong hinges for the hood and feeder door simply fit together (not a lot of parts to break) - it feels solid, heavy in your hands not like a flimsy piece of plastic you will need to be careful with. The overall hood design I am ok with. Yes it is a one piece, but the fit is perfect and it easily sits up on it's hinges, allowing you full access to the tank.
One note: the hood is slightly higher than most, factor this in if you are putting it on / under a shelf. I would add 7-8 inches to the top dimension of the tank just in case.
The light I cannot testify to, I have a planted tank so immediately switched to a fluorescent plant light. A note on the barrier protecting the light from the water, there are 2 tabs each at top/bottom. Directions are useless, but this is pretty self explanatory. One tank was smooth, easy fit on the tabs, effortless to remove/add. The other? A 3 minute battle, but my hands were a little waterlogged by then!
The acrylic is maybe a little thinner than other tanks, a little too much movement on the bottom for me, BUT it could be that I have maxed out the weight on my setup. I have a base 2' of heavy substrate with a corner terrace in each tank, plus a few additional rocks. It should be ok as I don't plan on moving it. Guess I am used to glass .... :) For the average setup, this tank will be fine. It has enough substance to be good for kids, too.
I am currently using the filter it came with as I don't have any other internal filters laying around, and I was just curious as to how well it would work. I like the baffle / flow diffuser, I adjusted the water height to a little above the optimal which removed the last trace of noise (there was barely a whisper anyway, I just have SuperMom hearing!), and slowed the surface enough for the Betta's, they are both mellow guys used to bowl water. The filter replacement will use Tetra smalls, which I have on another tank, to which I always add a very small media bag of clay to keep the bacteria going. One thing about Tetra filters, they are economical to keep up, and WalMart always has them in stock - another reason why I chose to try the filter. I will have either a cat, otto, or a snail with each Betta and that is all, so I am not worried about overloading. To be honest, the 'Betta thing' is ADDICTIVE, so I am no longer using the serious Fluval or Marineland BioWheel filters - I have one or two fish in a tank and those filters are overkill / much more expensive to maintain.
Overall, I am extremely happy with this tank. It delivered much more than I was expecting, and I can say that I will probably buy more if I get more Betta's. There was attention to detail that impressed me, especially at this price point.
Hope this helps!
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