Best Live Aquarium Plants

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Review of the Tetra Cube Aquarium Kit, 3-Gallon

Introduction


I have been out of fish keeping and aquarium for a long time and just finished moving. I used to own a 20 gallon and 10 gallon filled with tetras and live plants. Since moving I have more limited space and thought the 3 gallon cube would work well on a desktop or bedroom dresser. Here's my review.


Where I Bought it


Wal-Mart had these for $31.99 which is not a bad price for a full kit. They had the same 1.5 gallon cube for $19.99. The difference in size is that this one is just a larger cube. The height is the same, but there is a small increase in width. It looks like both are the same price on Amazon as of this writing.

Taking it Out of the Box - Initial Thoughts


I was quite surprised at how light weight this tank is. I should have realized it was cheap plastic but was very concerned with how it light it was coming out of the box. Upon further notice the top of the plastic was severly scratched right below where the lid is placed. Already I was dissappointed.  The worst was yet to come!

What this Start Kit Comes with


The Tetra 3 Gallon Cube comes with a whisper filter, LED light, a cartdridge for the filter and the two corresponding power supplies for the devices. The filter has a suction cup attachment on the back but I am very weary of suction onto plastic tanks.

The Filter


The Whisper Filtration System is supposed to be well know for keeping things quiet so I did buy it on that principal alone. Though I was displeased at the sheer lightweight of the device and the poor construction of it. It is flimsy and does not fit with its corresponding parts all that well. This leads me to believe its usage is quite limited as many reviewers on the Wal-Mart and Amazon site suggest.

Perhaps the most unsettling find was that the instructions for the Whisper Filter are missing. The general directions state that it is very important to follow the directions included with the separately packaged Whisper Filter so as to ensure the quality and performance of the unit. There were no instructions! To anyone new to aquarium filters or someone new to these mini junk ones this is very frustrating! The parts do not look like they assemble well and appear to be very fidgety.

The LED Light


The LED light looks pretty and conveniently clips on to the tank so as to allow the top to be completely see-through. This is one of the features that I thought was really cool about this unit and convinced me to purchase it. The LED though which has a number of lights on it is very bland and very weak. It is useful for looking at fish at night but certainly not for a planted tank.

Final Thoughts


I will be returning this tank to Wal-Mart for a full refund and take my business elsewhere. This is the second time in the last month that I have tried to buy a Tetra Starter Tank and have been very dissappointed by the lack of quality instruction and the flimsy irresponsible filter systems.

Thus, I will likely be buying a nice glass tank by itself (5-10 gallon) which is not made by Tetra and buying a nice filter separately.  I'm looking at getting the Marina S10 Power Filter or the Aqueon 06079 QuietFlow 55/75 Power Filter, 400-GPH.

Lately I've come to the conclusion that with aquarium keeping, patience is the best solution. Patience will allow me to learn more about what I need and slowly acquire good quality equipment that will last and not cause me or my fish headaches.

1 comment:

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