AquaTop 2.11g Pico Cube Build
I'm going to break this intro up in to two parts:
- Background / Unboxing (skip if you don't like reading)
- The Build Plan
Disclaimer: I don't work for TruAqua or AquaTop... just wanted to get that out of the way. In fact, AquaTop (if you see this) should give me a free tank or something for this review / tank build! Haha... J/K
I'm not usually an 'early-adopter' for anything but I decided to give this little tank a shot! I hate taking risks and like to dig up as many reviews as possible before buying something. I could hardly find anything on these tanks but for $30 shipped, it seemed like it was worth the risk on a low-iron high-clarity glass rimless tank (see figure 1 for low iron vs. standard glass example
). I think I've been spoiled with this whole "low iron" thing by having a GLA 36-L and ADA 60-F in my house -- once you go low-iron, it's hard to go back IMO! Moreover, I've always found interest in those tiny Do!Aqua 2g cubes but didn't feel like spending $56.99 ($38 + 18.99 shipping) for such a tiny cube -- especially when it's normal clarity green tinted
glass (no pun intended for those that own Do!Aqua or most of Mr. Aqua's line -- still nice tanks IMO). So a Do!Aqua-like cube + low iron ADA-like glass = "clicked buy" and here we go!!!
So I ordered this tank from TruAqua.com and they shipped it out pretty fast. The site doesn't specify the brand but it is branded as an AquaTop tank (are these the same company BTW?).
Here are some details about this tank (source
- High clarity glass for an enhanced viewing experience
- Low iron glass with a 91% light-through rate
- Polished beveled edges
- High-grade German silicone for a seamless appearance
- For both salt and freshwater systems
- Dimensions: 7.87" x 7.87" x 7.87"
- Capacity: 2.11 Gallons
Here's what the site doesn't tell you (or at least I couldn't find it)...
- AquaTop branded tank
- 30 day warranty (no 3 year ADA warranty here - but you get what you pay for...right?).
So on to my experience receiving this tank:
- speedy delivery.
- Packaged extremely well with a HUGE box, thick crumpled paper padding all around the tank, and extra padding with foam and cardboard on the tank itself. Man, they spare no expense here which makes sense for a new company IMO, less negative reviews = more potential for future business.
- Shipping carrier = Here's where they had to have saved money from spending a fortune on packaging. They used OnTrac as the carrier. I don't know about you guys, but this is probably my least favorable shipping company since I've had numerous bad experiences in the past. Luckily this time around, despite seeing some damage to the exterior of the shipping box (see pic below, top left side) I received the tank without a hitch and no damage.
Here's the un-boxing. Just look at all that packaging and the size of the box in comparison to the tank! I removed all the paper used to cushion the top.
Here's some close-ups of the glass, edges, and silicon work. For reference on the glass clarity (tint), I have the AquaTop (right) next to the ADA 60-F (left).
And here is the AquaTop (left) next to my GLA 36-L (right)
I found 1 minute glob of extra silicone on a corner of the AquaTop. This was easily remedied with a razor.
Overall, this tank seems like pretty darn good quality for the lower price-point. Excellent silicon work in which all the edges line-up nicely. As long as this thing can hold water and last, this is a quality looking rimless tank and worth taking a look at if you're in the market for a rimless. They also offer other dimensions to suite your needs. It would be nice to see TruAqua offer the larger AquaTop rimless tanks for shipping as well -- currently they are only offered as local pick-up in California.
on comparison pictures between the AquaTop & ADA 60-F glass:
Note: My GF wasn't satisfied with the test conditions of my original comparison pictures. Given that the room was dark, I used an LED flashlight, and that the ADA 60-F was on top of a brown towel which can affect the color being transferred through the sides of the glass panels. AquaTop tank is pictures with substrate in it.