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compensate
New Member
Username: compensate

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 12:31 pm:       

I know there are a variety of aquarium kits out there, but wanted to know if anyone has an opinion regarding which brand of kit may be the best, in terms of quality.

I would prefer a kit that includes a bio-wheel filter, heater, and fluorescent hood. I have yet to find such a kit on a 29g or 55g that includes a bio-wheel filter.

Any advice?

Thanks!
What is popular isn't always right, and what is right isn't always popular!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9505
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 12:58 pm:       

They sell a 55 gallon set-up at Petco that includes the 400, but it is overpriced at $300. I got one for my planted tank, because it had glass canopies instead of plastic lighted hoods, so upgrading lighting was easy. It is designed for SW, and includes a bag of marine salt to make the first 55 gallons. I used that for my brackish tank instead.

You can get a 55 with lighted hoods at PETsMART for $119, on sale sometimes for $99. Go to BigAl's on-line for the same 400 for $38 and a top of the line 200-250W heater for another ~$20 and any other accessories you want...and save a bundle.

What is the advantage of having someone else pick out your accessories for you?

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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compensate
New Member
Username: compensate

Post Number: 10
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 01:55 pm:       

I was trying to save some money on getting items in a kit, but I see your point. I'd probably be stuck with a cheap heater and light anyway going that route . . .

I found a pretty good aquarium supplier that manufactures all sorts of glass and acrylic tanks for great prices. Makes a lot of custom tanks,too. I did some searching and found this was a Mom & Pop operation with great customer feedback.

And they are made near where I live in Dickson, TN. Here is the link, if I am allowed to post such . . .

http://www.glasscages.com/
What is popular isn't always right, and what is right isn't always popular!
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Jeff Lefkowitz
Regular Member
Username: jeffedl

Post Number: 215
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 05:24 pm:       

I'm a big fan of the Marineland Eclipse systems, the largest of which is a 29 (though I've heard of people using 35 with the same footprint). The Eclipse comes with a mechanical filter, chemical filter in the charcoal under the mechanical filter, and a biowheel, as well as a lighted hood (everything is in the hood).

I have the 29, and its served me very well. Plus, if you look online patiently and find a sale, you can find them as low as $75-100 for the whole shebang.

The only con I would have about it is the old saying: "The problem with an all in one, is that if one part goes then it all is a problem." That said, so far on 4 Eclipse hoods (2.5, 10, 12, 29) the only problem I've had is the 10 changed models and I can't get a replacement impeller (an upgraded component would be $44.).

J
"Peter, the fish did not bite you through the glass"
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russ
Ancient Member
Username: rasaqua

Post Number: 3876
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 09:06 pm:       

I was going to suggest an Eclipse System also. I didn't know there was a third generation system though. I remember the originals had impeller issues, but that had been fixed with the 2nd generation pump units and impeller assemblies. The filter cartridges have not changed as far as I know.
"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
(George Bernard Shaw)
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 212
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 09:08 pm:       

Im with Cindy.
www.bigalsonline.com

Purchase a tank, stand & maybe a hood at the lfs. Then buy your own setup online. Thats what I do too. Personally, I like All-Glass-Aquariums and Oceanic Systems. www.all-glass.com

I would be more then happy to help you pick out a setup if you need assistance.

Just give me a budget and what you plan on keeping, I love spending other peoples money!
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9517
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 09:34 pm:       

PETsMART and lots of others carry the Eclipse in the 37 gallon size. They are cute tanks, but IMO, the biowheel looks way too small to be useful to me.

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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larry
Regular Member
Username: gomezaddams

Post Number: 725
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 11:47 pm:       

Ive seen the glasscages.com website and considered them,their prices sure are attractive,worth considering esp since they are local to you.I like the aga tanks with the one piece top frame better.And yes your better off selecting your components yourself in the long run versus a kit.I do most of my shopping at drsfosterandsmith.com
Waiting will fill
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Jeff L
Regular Member
Username: jeffedl

Post Number: 221
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 08:46 am:       

Cindy, on my 29 it looks like the Biowheel is the same size as on the Penguin 200...
"Peter, the fish did not bite you through the glass"
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Michael Bryant
Advanced Member
Username: michaelb

Post Number: 2173
Registered: 07-2004


Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 10:39 am:       

when I bought my 55 gal kits I just went with the All Glass Kits. Didn't want the filter or the heater that came with it. As my LFS stocked those kit items in their inventory as well as the filter and heater that I did want, I simply asked them if I could exchange the unwanted pieces for the ones that I did want and pay any difference. They did not have a problem with that as they stocked them anyway. Paid an extra $5 for the filter I wanted and about $10 for the heater. I was happy! Most stores will do this IF they stock the unwanted pieces. Ask and ye shall receive!!
Many seek advice, only the wise profit from it.
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9529
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 11:28 am:       

It may be, I've never opened one of the boxes at PETsMART to see. The drawing of the Eclipse 3 on their website doesn't appear to be the best quality filtration:
http://www.marineland.com/products/diagram_ecom/n_ecl_3.asp

Not when a full 400 is less than $40:
http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/product.xml?product_id=22137;category_id=172 1;pcid1=2885;pcid2=

If I ever set up a nano-reef tank, I thought the Eclipse 3 would look very nice, but after looking into it, I thought I would be better off sacrificing aesthetics a bit for quality.

Maybe it's just that dang sketch, and maybe I ought to ask them to let me lift the top of the display tank next time and give it a good look...

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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compensate
Junior Member
Username: compensate

Post Number: 14
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 10:32 am:       

Wow! Thanks for all the input!

The Eclipse systems are pretty good, and I'm a HUGE fan of the bio-wheel, but they don't leave a lot of room for upgrading (although there are a few out there).

I'm leaning toward a 38g acrylic tank with glass hinged cover from glasscages.com. I've yet to find a cheaper-priced acrylic tank with positive customer feedback anywhere else (no shipping charges since it's local). I'll probably get the unfinished oak stand there, too, that I will stain myself to match our furniture.

The Drs. Foster & Smith site seems to have decent prices, and that may be where I buy the filter and heater (fully submersible). I'll check a local nursery for some pea gravel - LFS gravel is usually coated/painted, which I do not like.

Thanks for all the links!!
What is popular isn't always right, and what is right isn't always popular!
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 228
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 02:03 pm:       

You are on the right track! Did you see www.Tenecor.com ? I doubt they are cheaper but have to point them out.

Dr. Foster & Smith is great, I just found better prices once on BigAls and stuck with em ever since.

Keep us posted.....
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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compensate
Junior Member
Username: compensate

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 03:42 pm:       

I did some checking on Big Als and I have to agree that those prices are hard to beat! Big Al's prices beat Dr. Foster & Smith on most items, except for maybe one or two sale items.

It will probably be at least a month or two before I can afford the tank and all associated supplies and get it started cycling, but I'll keep everyone posted once that happens!
What is popular isn't always right, and what is right isn't always popular!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9547
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 03:54 pm:       

Check in at Big Al's every week while you are waiting...twice since the New Year they have posted free shipping for a limited time on the front page, and that could save you $10-20. You wouldn't want to miss that!

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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compensate
Junior Member
Username: compensate

Post Number: 22
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 - 08:20 am:       

Will do! Thanks for heads-up!
What is popular isn't always right, and what is right isn't always popular!
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