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Top Fin 55 Gallon tank kit from Petsmart

Top Fin 55 Gallon tank kit from Petsmart

By "Atomic"
After being in the market for a 55 Gallon tank for a while, and after checking pretty much every price under the sun for all of the parts I would need, I decided to purchase one of those 55 Gallon kits from petsmart.
During my searching, I found that all 3 major stores (PetsMart, Petco, Wal-Mart) have a 55 Gallon full kit available, and all for comperable prices ($159.99, $179.99, and $158.99 respectively.) The only difference between the 3 is the equipment used in each. anyway.. on to the review.

Top Fin 55 Gallon Aquarium © Atomic
The outside of the box stated that the kit contained a 55 Gallon glass tank, 2 24" flourescent hoods, a HOB filter, heater, net, a sample of tropical flake food, and a "how to set up your new aquarium" video. all of this for $159.99 I found to be hard to beat. basically all I had to add was water, gravel (1lb per gallon as stated on the side of the box,) and fish.
So, I grabbed a 55 Gallon kit, 2 bags of Tahitian Moon sand, and a 20lb bag of polished stones (for my pond.) total price was $217 and some pennies.
The aquarium kit was priced on the shelf at $159.99, but it rang up less than that.. according to my math, somewhere around $135.99.. so it must have been on sale or about to go on sale. I was too excited at the time of purchase to verify, but I will have to check my reciept later.
all in all not bad.
So of course when I got home I excitedly tore into the box.. with the notion that if I found some equipment that was at least halfway decent, it would be worth the value. The outside of the box never stated any particular brands.. so I expected to find some off-branded stuff.
Below is what I found in the box:
1 - All-Glass 55 Gallon aquarium (black trim, clear seal, branded, manuf date 6/04)
2 - All-Glass 24" flourescent hoods w/lamps (branded)
1 - Whisper PF-60 HOB filter which was branded everywhere with "Tetra" and "Whisper" except on the top cover which was gray instead of black and said "Top Fin" in silver and was packaged in a "Top Fin" retail box.. go figure.
1 - Marineland Visi-Therm 200w heater (white boxed, branded on heater)
1 - Tetra 6" net
1 - stick on LCD thermometer
1 - sample packet of Top Fin tropical flake food. "Improved Formula" .. Oooo.
1 - sample packet of Tetra tropical flake food in a resealable pouch
1 - 4oz bottle of Aquarium Pharm Stress Zyme
1 - 4oz bottle of Aquarium Pharm Stress Coat
1 - "Maintaining your new aquarium" VHS video
Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the components that greeted me when I opened the box. All-Glass is one of the top aquarium manufacturers in the world.. so I was glad to have one of their branded aquariums. While the equipment in the box was not what some aquarium snobs would consider to be "absolute top shelf" components, what was contained in the box was still very good equipment and for the price it was like buying the tank and lights, and getting the filter, heater, and all the other stuff for free!
Everything needed very little in the way of assembly. In fact, all I really did was slide the uptake tube on to the filter, trim the cutouts on the hoods, and pop the hinged covers on the hoods.. and I was ready to start filling the aquarium. At this point, I did the usual stuff.. rinsed the gravel.. filled the aquarium etc.. so I will spare you.
The heater had been sitting in the aquarium underwater for a good 15 or 20 mins.. so it was time to get everything up and running. I hung the filter on the back, did one last check for safetys sake, plugged everything in. With a soft "whrrrr" the filter filled and began running just about as close to silent as you can get. Everything works great! good deal.
As of now, the tank has been set up for almost a week, and everything seems to be working quite well. The heater is of good quality and holds the temp at a rock-steady 81.3 degrees according to my digital temp probe, and is very easy to set because of the temperature scale on the side. The filter works flawlessly and smoothly. My only complaint is that the lid actually seems to increase the noise that the filter makes because it vibrates a bit.. but its not a huge amount of noise by any means, and a couple of small stick on foam squares (~69c wal-mart) fixed that right up.
In conclusion, I am very pleased with this aquarium kit, and feel that I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of it...if not more. I was surprised to find brand names when I opened the box, and well-trusted ones at that.
All that for that price.. you cant even beat that with a stick.
Name: kathleen
Comments: l live in canada and l bought the exact kit and lm very happy with it. This is my first 55 gallon tank. In Canada it cost 254.00 l am so happy everyone should get one. Its the best thing for relaxing to have fish and watch and play. Very happy customer

Name: Katherine
Comments: I have this same kit only in the 10gal size brought at Wal-Mart for like 35$ I think. Same extras, just all sized for a 10gal. Its been running for over a year and I've never had a problem with the extras that came with it. Its a good buy and come in 10gal, 20, 29 and 55 sizes.

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Comment : Last night I bought the same Top Fin Aquarium kit at Petsmart. So far I am very impressed. I found the assembly very easy on the few parts that needed put together. I already added Stress Coat to the water and I am planning to go get some fish tomorrow. I wanted to give the tank plenty of time to cycle and be ready. I am also using two filters. I already had an under gravel biological filter and I am using it in conjuntion with the filter that came with the tank. I am hoping this will do a good job keeping the water clean and healthy for my fish. Just like Atomic, I searched all over for an aquarium and I looked the kit over and decided for me it was the best deal. I paid $159 for my kit and when I priced all the things that were included, they would have cost be around $275 if I had bought them seperately. I am sure some aquarium snobs would tell me that the quality of this kit may be basic or not top of the line but that's okay, I am new to fish and fish tanks and I didn't want to pay that much top quality. Maybe after I get into this for a while, if I get another tank in addition to the one that I have, I may invest more at that point. Overall it has been a good value and I am pleased with what I got. I was glad to hear Atomic is happy with the kit. I have only had my Top Fin aquarium set up for two days and so far- so good. Darell
Posted by Darell on 2008-05-02
Comment : I got the All-Glass 55 gallon tank from someone for free and I love it (I got it off of some real estate agent on Craigslist). I have had a lot of All Glass aquariums over the years and I have loved all of them. They are sturdy and easy to clean. I do agree that the kits are great and everything is working really well. I like both the 10 gallon and 55 gallon All Glass aquariums. The only problem that I have with the 55 gallon is that it is very heavy and hard to move around when there's no one around to help, but other than that, I'm satisfied that it holds the water and holds it well. They are well built tanks. Anyways, does anyone know of a place to get 55 gallon lights and filters and heaters for cheap or free? I really need these things, but I can do with out for a little while, but I'd prefer to have them ASAP.
Posted by Alison on 2008-04-07
Comment : I just picked up the same kit. Everything looks great just waiting for tank to cycle before I transfer some fish. Looking at your pic it looks like you still have a second filter running. Do you find it neccessary to back up the Whisper pf60 with another filter? I have a smaller whisper filter on my 20 gallon that I am tearing down as soon as my 55 cycles. Maybe I should add that one to the 55 as well.
Posted by Brendan on 2008-02-26
Comment : I am from Ontario,Canada and was wondering where you bought your 55 gal aquarium for $254.00
Posted by Larry on 2008-02-03
Comment : Looks pretty cool. Did you ever check out craigslist or garage sales to get a used tank? why did you decide to buy new?
Posted by Katy Jo on 2007-05-04

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