An Unbiased Review of the Marina LED 20 gallon Aquarium Kit

Getting started with fish keeping is a lot more complicated than you think. There are many factors that you need to consider when you want to keep fish, starting from the species of fish themselves, to the pH levels and the temperature of the water. In short, you can’t just pour water in your tank and slap the fish in and call it a day.

If you’re looking to start with fish keeping, then you should definitely consider the Marina LED 20-gallon Aquarium kit. Dubbed as one of the best aquariums by both aquarists and customers, this entry level kit is inexpensive, reliable and just overall awesome.

Design and Features

As far as design goes, Marina LED 20-gallon tank is very simple. It has a simple rectangle shape, so nothing extravagant. However, due to its simple shape, and relatively small volume, this tank is splendid for home or office environments. Its simple design saves space and is none too obtrusive, so it won’t jump out at you and break your feng shui, or disrupt your work.

The Marina LED 20 gallon aquarium is still beautiful and captivating in its own right. This is all thanks to a little clever and strategic lighting. The hood that you will receive with the aquarium is fitted with a neon bulb that is not too bright so as not to disturb the fish, but is bright enough to show them in their best colors. The bulb creates just enough lumens to imitate the sunshine, and your fish will certainly enjoy it, especially if you keep saltwater species. The hood is also top-notch and provides a nice and wide opening for you to feed your fish through. That being said, the lid closes nicely and quietly, again not to disturb and scare the fish, which is a problem on many aquariums.

And while on the topic of saltwater, it is important to state that not all aquariums are made to hold this kind of water. The problem is that the glass oxidizes, and it weakens over time. This problem can be bypassed by using acrylic in the construction, which is more resistant to the oxidization process. Be that as it may, acrylic is a more expensive alternative, so many manufacturers stick with glass.

Our product too is made of glass, but this shouldn’t raise concerns – Marina is well aware of the problem glass faces, so they coated the inside with a special substance that will stop the oxidization process, and protect the structural integrity of the glass. The glass is tempered too, so it will be more scratch resistant and be able to withstand more pressure and more physical trauma. Still, you should not try to drill the glass (if you want, for example, to install some accessories), as tempered glass shatters if its structural integrity is compromised.

Now let’s move on to water treatment, and the capabilities of this aquarium to create a safe habitat for your fish. Everybody knows that you can’t put the fish in tap water. The chemicals used to treat water used by humans are much too dangerous for small fish. The chlorine and the sediment too, along with the presence of arsenic and lead (these are dangerous for humans too, and that’s why we have water filters) are deadly for the fish. The bacteria that may be present in the tap water is very dangerous for the fish, as they can contract many diseases from it.

The way Marina combats these problems is that they will give you a Slim S20 clip-on filter, along with Aqua Plus Water Conditioner and a Cycle Biological Supplement with your purchase. The Slim S20 clip-on filter is very powerful and very efficient at removing all the alkaline residues and chlorides. But the entire thing is very quiet and creates as soft a vibration as possible, so as not to disturb the fish (angelfish especially are sensitive to disturbances and will get nervous). Also, the best part of the filter is that it is small, so it won’t take much space at all.

As for the Conditioner and the Supplement, they will make sure your water is suitable for marine and freshwater life. Like we said already, fish can’t survive in tap water, and the supplements will ensure that the water is more akin to the fish’s natural habitat.

Lastly, we would like to examine the price and the overall value of the product. At the time of this post, the price tag on Amazon shows to be still in the double digits. In our opinion, this is a very fine and balanced price for such an outstanding aquarium and such an outstanding kit. Indeed, Marina LED 20-gallon Aquarium kit offers amazing value to the buyers. Between the sturdy construction of the aquarium, its universal design and the supplements and filter you’ll be receiving, the entire thing is well worth the money you’ll be paying for it. In fact, the kit is less expensive than Tetra 20 Gallon Aquarium kit, which is also outstanding, that has similar characteristics, making the Marina a better choice.

All in all, this is an outstanding beginner’s kit. It is fairly inexpensive and offers amazing value for the money. Everybody loves it, from the absolute beginners to pros, and you should definitely give it a look.

Summary

Well, there you have it, all you need to know about Marina LED 20-gallon aquarium kit. To reiterate the last statement, the aquarium is a brilliant combination of efficiency, design, sturdiness and value. Combined with the filter and supplements, the kit is prime and ready to take in any kind of marine and freshwater life. The tempered glass is scratch resistant, and very strong, making it excellent for busy households with children or pets.

Lastly, the lighting in the aquarium is very well thought out, and will provide the aquarium with just the perfect amount of light – not enough to be obtrusive and distracting, but just enough to show off the beautiful and colorful scales of your fish. In our mind, the tank is excellent, and any fish lover should check it out.

Review of Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit

If an aquarium is the thing you want, then Marineland is the manufacturer to turn to. The Marineland ML90609 aquarium is one of the best on the market, with fish lovers basically swearing by it. Either for in home or in office, this outstanding aquarium is always in tune with the setting and the overall atmosphere of the place it’s been put in.

If you’re thinking about getting this aquarium, and you don’t know anything about it, you may want to stick around, and listen to what we’ve got to tell you in this here Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit.

Design and features

First off, let’s just agree upon one thing – ML90609 (now known simply as ML in the text) is one sleek-looking aquarium. What immediately strikes the observer is how well-designed and how insightfully designed this aquarium is.

The distinct advantage of the ML is its portrait orientation. This makes the aquarium much more compact, allowing it to fit into much smaller places, but still retain a decent volume. As we all know, the volume is important for the fish, as they will grow increasingly dissatisfied and even aggressive in confined spaces. This, for example, goes especially for betta fish. The males are extremely territorial and will attack and kill other males. So, a bigger aquarium is a necessity, if you’re going to keep them, and the fact is that many people do keep this species of fish.

The overall volume of the aquarium is 5 gallons. This volume should be enough for about 1 betta and a few other compatible fish. The size, or course, is always related to the species of fish you’re keeping, and we strongly advise you check the requirements, the biology and the behavior patterns of your pets to ensure you’re giving them a pleasurable habitat to live in.

The entire aquarium is made of very high-end glass. This glass is crystal clear, but very thick and sturdy. That being said, it makes the aquarium quite hefty even without the water in it, but it is, in our minds, a great trade-off, considering how resistant this glass is to damage.

The aquarium boasts a standard rectangular shape, but with nice curved edges. These edges are much appreciated, as one of our writers here says, because they will help with carrying the thing (the poor soul had to carry it up to the third floor). It also makes the edges protrude less, and reduce the risk of you, or somebody else, catching it and knocking it over.

On that note, the weight of the aquarium is of great help, and it is very hard to move the thing when filled with water. The fact is even more impressive as the stand upon the aquarium stands is just plastic, and is not coated in rubber or anything that would prevent slippage. Yet, the aquarium stands, as if bolted down.

Another great feature this aquarium offers are the LED lights. The lights come with a 3-position switch and 2 modes of operation. Of course, one of the positions is to turn the lights off, but the other two create an excellent ambiance for both the fish to frolic in, and for you to watch them frolic. The lights can be set to blue and white, which does an excellent job at mimicking the refraction of sunlight in the water, creating tropical colors that your fish will greatly enjoy (if you’re keeping tropical fish, of course). The other setting creates a wonderful blue-hued light which is amazing at replicating moonshine, giving the aquarium a very serene nighttime feel.

Overall, this is a very likable aquarium. In fact, it is an awesome aquarium! With great LED lights, the entire thing will greatly pop up, and its beauty is made safe thanks to its weight and sturdy design.

Filtration system

There is another feature to the aquarium, but this time, we have mixed feelings. The entire filtration system is placed in the back of the aquarium. In this way, the filter is hidden from view, allowing the one looking at the aquarium to really concentrate on the entire scene. However, when cleaning time comes, you might experience a great deal of trouble, as you have to reach behind the aquarium, which will require you to move the entire thing, which will be tricky because of the aquarium’s weight.  So it might be wise to give a little space behind the aquarium when deciding where to put it.

Of course, no tank can go without a filtration system. Marineland has made some great adjustments to their filtration system which makes it worth our while to write about.

The filter for this whole setup is the Marineland’s very own 3-stage Rite-Size Z Cartridge filter. Fish produce waste, and the water needs cleaning constantly to ensure the safety and the health of your fish. Unfiltered tanks are the perfect kind of environment for the development of bacteria and fungi, especially if you intend to keep tropical fish like bettas, as you will probably use water at a higher temperature. This may result in the development of fish diseases like fin rot that can be, if not deadly, then severely traumatic for your fish.

The way Rite-Size Z Cartridge works is that it pulls the water through carbon micro-cracks. Carbon is an element often used when filtration is required, because of its ability to hold down to any particles due to its mesh-like molecular structure, but let the water through. The filter is made to ensure that the water comes into contact with the largest surface possible, to ensure the extraction of harmful elements in the water.

You will also receive the Marine Bio-foam. This Bio-foam further increases the effectiveness of the filter. The filtration needs to happen in 3 separate stages, as we mentioned before – mechanical, chemical and biological. While the Rite-Size Z Cartridge performs the mechanical part of the filtration process, the Bio-foam handles the chemical and biological stages. The foam extracts the harmful chemicals that might already be in the water, and removes the chemicals that made its way into the water by the way of fish excrement.

Bottom Line

What more can be said about this outstanding tank? Such a combination of elegance, sturdiness, and efficiency is worthy of every praise, and the Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium is any fish lover’s dream. So, if you weren’t convinced about it before, we hope this article convinced you, and that your fish will soon enjoy an amazing new home.

 

Review of SeaClear 40-gallon Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

If you boast a larger collection of fish, or you possess a larger individual fish, then you might consider getting a bigger tank. Well, if that is so, then let us present to you the SeaClear 40-gallon Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set. This aquarium is one of the best large tanks (one of the best 40-galloners, we should say), and is definitely worth checking out.

If you are indecisive about which aquarium to get, then we might be able to help. The following article is a short review of the SeaClear, and it will, hopefully, teach you something about the aquarium, and make the decision less difficult.

Design and Features

Like we said, and like it says in the title, this is a 40-gallon tank. We’ve done reviews of quite a few 5-gallons aquariums, so it might be a little hard to grasp just how big this aquarium is. In fact, many people become intimidated when they see the 40 in the title, and think that this is a huge, lumbering object made of glass, and that it will be inhumanely heavy.

However, if you were to think that, you’d be wrong. 40 gallon aquariums are actually medium sized, and their larger 50 gallon aquariums carry some serous weight and overall size. In fact, 40 gallon aquariums are quite fitting for regular sized living rooms, and slightly larger offices, and even lobbies. Such aquariums are perfect for tropical fish and recreation of reefs and other reef marine life.

On the other note, this aquarium is not made of glass, but acrylic (again, in the title). Acrylic is much lighter, but much tougher than glass. This, in turn, does a great bit of merit to the aquarium itself, as it makes it more manageable. Not only that, but the aquarium is much less prone to breaking (which would be a REALLY bad thing with 40 gallons of water), making it an excellent choice if you want to expand, but are worried because you’ve got unruly kids, or, worse, pets.

Another great thing about the acrylic is that it retains heat much better than glass. Glass does not hold much energy, and dissipates it over its surface. Acrylic keeps the heat trapped and stationary. This, on the other hand, further reinforces the fact that this aquarium is perfect for schools of tropical fish. If, for example, you’ve got bettas (and many people do, they’re very popular) you must know that the males are very territorial. If kept in a confined space, the males will start lashing out on each other, and will attempt to kill one another. In this sense, SeaClear is very good for bettas, because it presents a nice and warm habitat for them to live in, and a large enough space not to have them at each other’s throats.

As far as the shape and the design of the aquarium is concerned, SeaClear is very simple. It is a standard acrylic rectangle. However, we wish it had rounded edges. SeaClear has standard edges, and these edges can be caught by people passing. Naturally, it will be very hard to move a 40 gallon tank, but it could lead to structural trauma that could stack and create micro-cracks until one day the whole thing breaks. Again, the acrylic construction is there to prevent that from happening, but we would still like a bit more reassurance, because 40 gallons of water on your apartment floor is quite a big deal.

This being a combo set grants you access to a free hood and a lamp that come with it. However, we must say that neither are entirely satisfactory in any way, and that you may be better off without them. If you have your own hood, pray use it, and a couple of LED lights will be both prettier and more energy efficient than the power guzzler that the manufacturer has provided with the purchase.

Lastly, we have to say something about the warranty. SeaClear are very confident in their product. For that, they included a very extensive warranty that covers both the aquarium and the other parts. In our thinking, this is a great way to show off your product and to gain the customers’ trust. And indeed, the aquarium is quite as good as they make it out to be, and anyone buying it will scarcely regret it.

Overall, SeaClear aquarium is one of the best products in its class. It is simple, but elegant, beautiful in its own simplicity. But more importantly, it is sturdy and extremely resistant to trauma because of its acrylic construction. That being said, the acrylic also makes this aquarium one of the best habitats for tropical fish and reef mini ecosystems.

One final note, before we wrap the article up, and it concerns the price of the item. SeaClear may offer one of the highest quality products, but their aquarium doesn’t come as cheap either. This is one of the pricier aquariums of its size. Even so, considering the quality of the product, it is okay to state that the price is very fair.

Bottom Line

Well, there you have it, that’s all you need to know about the SeaClear 40-gallon Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set. It doesn’t come at the most nominal price, but its value is pretty high, so we can’t argue with the manufacturer. Of course, there are some things we don’t like about it, mainly the lamp and the hood, and we think that you could do well without them, but, hey, free’s free. Again, we can’t stress enough the quality and the sturdiness of the acrylic, and if there is one reason why you should get this tank, this is it.

All in all, this is a nice product, and we are sure you will like it. It is not too intrusive, but it is still prominent, in a kind of elegant and non-obtrusive way. For anyone looking for a quality 40-galloner, this is the one you need.

 

Review of the EcoQubeC Aquarium

The EcoQube is a very innovative and an outstanding piece of equipment. Indeed, EcoQube is one of the rare aquariums that uses this particular system. However, the idea of a self-cleaning fish tank isn’t a novel one. There have been many similar aquariums on the market that used a plant to cleanse the water, some of them very popular too. So, what makes this EcoQube’s filter special?

Honestly, nothing. Like we said, this is not a novel idea, and many more aquariums use the self-sustaining system. Moreover, EcoQubeC is a Kickstarter project, and, even though it met its fund goal, and even though its creators delivered on the product, I must remind you that bigger companies have a better grip on such a system, as they are more experienced.

However, EcoQube has something they don’t, and that is personality. EcoQube is not a mass-produced aquarium. In a sense, it has its own soul, and was crafted carefully and inspected thoroughly. This is what sets it apart from other products of its kind.

But, now we have another question – does it work, and, if it does, how does it work? To answer the first question, I have to answer the second question first, for the sake of reference.

The main thing about the EcoQube, the main principle upon which this aquarium (rather, its filter) operates is that there is a plant that purifies the water. When fish in the tank produce waste, it is the job of the filter to clean that waste out, so as to avoid things like fin rot. The waste the fish produce are rich in nitrates, but those nitrates are actually a very important food source for the plant, which is why there are so many fertilizers that use them.

The plants pick up the nitrates and convert them into food. The plant grows, and, as a result, needs even more food, so it absorbs the nitrates even more efficiently. This leads, ultimately, to 90% water use reduction, and 50% energy use reduction. Essentially, what the creators of EcoQube suggest is that this system will get more and more efficient over time, and save you a lot of worries about changing the water and cleaning the filter.

Now for the first question – does the system work? Well, I don’t know. And I’m not saying out of my own ignorance, but nobody actually knows if this system is really as efficient and as great as they say it is.

The main problem is that there is no actual proof that the plants can extract enough nitrate to make the water clean. I mean, you could try it out, and see how efficient the system really is, but I bet you wouldn’t rather sacrifice your precious pets in the name of science. Also, like I said, there are other, more noteworthy companies that produce the same system, and they are bound to have more experience.

So, my suggestion is – don’t overly trust the system. Change the water like you normally would, to ensure that your fish are living in pristine conditions.

As for other traits, this aquarium is pretty compact. As such, it might not be as good for large schools of fish, and this goes especially for tropical fish. If you’re planning on keeping bettas in it, try not to have more than one male in the tank. Like I said in a previous article, these fish are very territorial and will attack one another.

But the compact size of the aquarium is actually very appealing. The simple cubic design, coupled with clear and sturdy glass and the plant on top, is very aesthetically pleasing. The tank is very suitable for desktops and offices. It will go well with a bland working environment, as it will represent a neat and refreshing detail, while being none too intrusive, and not breaking the overall flow of the room.

But the aquarium doesn’t stop there. It also features a set of very bright but very efficient LED lights. If you really want to wow the audience, and really make your fishes shine, these LEDs will make quite a show. They will be most prominent in a darker setting, and your guests for dinner will have a really fun time examining all the colorful underwater little critters inside.

In addition to the design, the aquarium is very therapeutic. The sound of running water and watching the fish swimming slowly around is very calming. If you’re at work and having trouble concentrating, having this tank is more than a welcome addition, and it will help calm your thoughts and help you collect yourself.

So, what’s the final verdict for EcoQubeC? Overall, I think this is a very nice little fish tank. I mean, the system is not exactly surefire, but I think this is a side matter. The aquarium is very pleasing to the eye, and its compactness is very useful if you’re having trouble with space. The self-cleaning aquarium system may even contribute and come through on its promise of decreasing your water and power expenditure, but, like I said above, don’t rely on it completely. In addition, the plant on top serving as the main drive behind the filter will not be an excess in any way, but a really nice addition.

All in all, EcoQubeC is an aquarium to have if you’re a little braver than most. If you don’t trust all the nature talk, then I suggest you go for a classic one. For those looking for something more eco-friendly, as well as something with a little bit more personality, you will find that EcoQubeC is just according to your liking.

Finally, I’ll put a list of pros and cons for you of little patience. It will still benefit you more to read the whole article and get to know the aquarium a little better, but I’ll try to summarize it for you here.

Pros:
  • A very aesthetically pleasing aquarium.
  • A very sturdy and damage resilient construction.
  • EcoQubeC goes very well with office décor due to its compactness and overall appeal.
  • The self-sustaining system promises you more efficiency when it comes to water and power expenditure.
  • This is a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food, which guarantees less hustle with maintenance.
  • The aquarium features very bright LED lights that increase the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium and add a little flare to it.
Cons:
  • The system is not proven to be as efficient as it is stated; it may be, but no one knows for certain.
  • The aquarium, though suited for keeping tropical fish, is not suited for keeping a large number of them (about 3 or 4 max).
  • It is not recommended you keep more than one male betta fish in the aquarium.