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.
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.