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Old 01-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #31
Pooky125
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Tranquility to me is key when it comes to my aquariums.. Loud buzzing from some poorly made submersible pump is just annoying. The Evolve8 concept is great but the quality, for me anyways, It's just not there, especially at the high price of $87. Essential, you're getting a cheapo plastic tank (with scratches in it from shipping more than likely) a loud pump, a not so great filter and insufficient lighting at a nice premium price. The Eco Pico, Ehiem, Finnex nano tanks etc are a better purchase in my opinion. No disrespect to Aqueon as some of their products are decent. I've used their plant food, heaters and fish food with no complaints. The only thing I liked about this tank was the size, the curved corners and the fact a heater could be hidden in the rear chamber for that stealth, minimal look.
I would LOVE to know where you found an Eheim 9 gallon aquastyle for 80 dollars shipped to my doorstep. Or an 8 gallon Finnex. No really, no sarcasm here. I scoured the internet looking for a reasonably priced Eheim and was disappointed when I couldn't find one.

The Eco Pico is also closer to 90 or 100 after shipping, is only 5 gallons over the 8 of the Evolve, and from the reviews I've read, the lighting is fairly subpar for anything beyond plastic plants.

And really, while these are all setups that come with everything, I don't really know that I'd consider any of them to be a true all in one system, like a Nano Cube, or Oceanic Biocube. At least in the, clean lines, no equipment in the tank, sense.

Now granted, the Nano Cubes only come in 6, 12, and 24 gallon sizes, but even the 6 gallon tank is running for 120ish before shipping prices. And the 8 gallon Biocube is nearing 200. Not to mention both companies also usually have some pretty serious over heating issues. I've heard a lot of complaints on the noise issue with them to. I think the manufacturers are having a hard time finding a small, quiet submersible pump.

Yes, the tank has it's flaws. It's price is not one of them, at least compared to what else is currently on the market. With any luck, in a few years, more companies will have worked this out and we can start seeing better quality for smaller price tags.

As for me, I didn't need the powerful lighting. I don't do co2 injection, I don't use water column fertilization, and I'm not on a mission to try every new plant that comes into the hobby. I wanted a low maintenance, simple aquarium with a clean look. I got that. I'm happy. Especially since it fit into my budget, which none of the others did.

Also, my pump is pretty quiet, and it's flow adjusters work. I'm wondering if you got a faulty one? Or if I got the unusually well functioning one? This has been a common complaint from people I've talked to so far. Aqueon must be having some quality control issues.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:20 AM   #32
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I saw a Finnex 4 gal online with light and hob filter for 50, looked pretty good. But, youre right not much out there in the complete system market for under a 100 that is 8 gallons. I returned my Evolver btw and purchased a 6 gal aquastyle. It was a few bucks more but i'm really liking the look of it and the filter setup. In retrospect the evolve tanks are pretty cool looking and yours btw looks real nice. Just that dang sub pump on mine was soo loud and the tank itself had some scratches in it, kinda bummed me out.
Does your filter move the water around enough on the top? My evolve was pretty stag and hardly moved water around.
btw youre right about the biocubes. i also own a 14 gallon biocube and the fan is pretty loud and at times it goes into a frenzy even. The lighting is great, tanks beautiful, filter is meh.. picked it up brand new for 119 at petsmart last year, what a deal. Currently im not using it, but at somepoint hope to do a small reef setup of sort. Good luck with the Evolver, may it be problem free.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:30 AM   #33
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Yeah, it seems to move water just fine. If I position the outlet just right, I get the little cyclone like a lily pipe. I wonder if your impeller was sitting in your pump wrong? That could have accounted for the noise and the lack of movement.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:04 AM   #34
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Well, at this point I don't own the thing. It could have been what you described? I'd buy one again perhaps, but would wanna open the box and look it over of course, checking the pump out via plugging it in etc. The three they had at my Petsmart were jacked as hell (In terms of scratches, pumps etc.) Which was most of the reason for my return. An exchange wasn't to be had.
On a sidenote, how are you plants doing in the Evolve 8?
Also, You're using Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting soil? That's a first for me. Didn't know you could use that stuff in an aquarium? Does it harm fish? Create ph changes or anything? It looks really natural, i'm digging it. Is a bag of that cheaper than eco complete or aquarium plant substrate?

Cheers! ps. Sorry for all the q's.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #35
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Yup. The MGOC is alot cheaper than those substrates. It won't harm your fish but it will have an ammonia spike and will mess with PH some. If you plan on going the Dirt route then plant very heavily (75% of the bottom) with stem/root feeding plants. That way the plants start taking up the nutrients and ammonia before it gets too high. But now that the plants have plenty of food, they'll want more light to fuel growth.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #36
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Well, at this point I don't own the thing. It could have been what you described? I'd buy one again perhaps, but would wanna open the box and look it over of course, checking the pump out via plugging it in etc. The three they had at my Petsmart were jacked as hell (In terms of scratches, pumps etc.) Which was most of the reason for my return. An exchange wasn't to be had.
On a sidenote, how are you plants doing in the Evolve 8?
Also, You're using Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting soil? That's a first for me. Didn't know you could use that stuff in an aquarium? Does it harm fish? Create ph changes or anything? It looks really natural, i'm digging it. Is a bag of that cheaper than eco complete or aquarium plant substrate?

Cheers! ps. Sorry for all the q's.
I think pulling it out and looking it over would be a wise choice. Often they'll let you do that if you tell them your reservations about it.

So, due to life taking a few unfortunate side roads, instead of going where I expected it, I haven't actually been home to see my aquarium, in almost 3 weeks now. My sister in law is dropping in food for mr betta, and doing water changes and top offs for me, and reports that all is well, but I'm anxious to see it for myself. As it stands, the next time I see it I'll be moving it, so, the sooner the better in my world.

I've used MGOCPS in a few tanks before all with great success. Crypts in particular really seem to love it. A bag of it runs about 5 dollars, can be found even in the dead of winter, and can easily do several small aquariums. I bought a bag, and have soiled a 10 gallon, a 5.5 gallons, this 8 gallon, and have enough left for at least one more nano, if not 2 or 3. It doesn't take much, I put maybe 1/4-1/2" on the bottom of the tank, then cap it. In this case I capped it with only the finest particles of eco complete. Most people cap it with basic pea gravel, pool filter sand, or blasting sand. Eco just happens to be what I had on hand at the time. If you pick your capping material correctly, it can be much less expensive then plant specific substrate and, in my experience, the plants grow MUCH better. I've used flourite, laterite, and eco complete in the passed. Nothing has come even close to the level of growth I've experienced with soil these last few years.

Mr betta seems to appreciate the slightly softer water and faster growing plants I get from it, but I would be hesitant to use it with fish prone to digging. The kuhli loaches I had in the passed didn't bother it, but the dwarf cichlids did a number. They thought it was fabulous for laying eggs on though, so, I guess there's a plus to that... Pain to clean up though.

It's also not for someone who intends to rescape regularly. Pick where your plants are going once, and leave them there. Shuffling around pulls up a lot of the dirt from under the capping material and makes it all a mess. You don't want to go there.

Don't apologize for asking questions. If it weren't for people asking questions, this forum would not exist!
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #37
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So I think I'm going to be buying this tank too, the 8 gallon. When you get home pictures would be very welcome! I plan on only putting anubias, java fern and moss in it. I have soil tanks too and for this one I think I'm planning on keeping it soil free so I can mess with it all I want!

Thanks for all your input about this tank and it's lighting it was very helpful!
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:21 PM   #38
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So I think I'm going to be buying this tank too, the 8 gallon. When you get home pictures would be very welcome! I plan on only putting anubias, java fern and moss in it. I have soil tanks too and for this one I think I'm planning on keeping it soil free so I can mess with it all I want!

Thanks for all your input about this tank and it's lighting it was very helpful!
I will most definitely be taking photos!

Glad my rambling was useful to someone. Haha. Please, PLEASE post pictures when you get it up and running. Can't wait to see it!
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:28 AM   #39
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I will do, i just bought it today, it wasnt going to be on sale anymore after today, so after free shipping, the sale price and a five dollar coupon from my pals card the total was 80.99.

Its for my female betta thats in a three gallon bowl. Im having an issue with clado algae with it, plus i think she needs a bigger tank now that she is well feed and has grown.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:26 AM   #40
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The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:
I FINALLY managed to go and retrieve the aquarium today, after a solid 3 weeks since I'd last seen it. The plants had grown in well, the crypts had stopped melting, and it all was starting to look like it was settling in nicely. The verdict, this light is perfecly comfortable with low light plants. And, as an added bonus, the new tank brown algae had yet to appear, so the water was crystal clear, and the plants a lovely, luscious bright green. I was quite pleased with that aspect of it.

The Bad:
Mr. Betta passed last night. My sister in law fish sitter said he looked fine yesterday when she fed him, but by the time we had arrived there today, he was quite dead. I suspect it had been a fairly fresh death, as the snails hadn't gotten to him yet. Poor Mr. Betta. The aquarium will stay empty for another week or two while it adjusts itself to our local water here, and then I shall try restocking again. At this point, I'm thinking a small colony of a currently unknown shrimp, a couple of sparkling gouramis, and possibly a small school of chili rasboras, but I'm totally open to other peoples thoughts.

The Ugly:
Needless to say, the dead Mr. Betta caught me a bit off guard when I got there, and I forgot to take pictures of it in its pre-teardown state. Now it's set back up, but as I was pouring in water, I sneezed, which led to a large splash, which lead to foggy water. Go me! Anyway, needless to say, the water is a bit mucky at the moment. The filter is on high and it's clearing up fairly rapidly, so I'm hoping to have an updated picture either later tonight or tomorrow evening. Ultimately though, it looks pretty much the same.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #41
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Aww, im sorry about your Mr. betta....mine also just jumped ship, the one i bought this tank for actually, she had a two inch area to jump out of and she did...i bawled!

When the water clears i would love to see the tank! I should get mine on Wednesday, im not going to rush into setting it up because i dont actually have a fish to put in it now, but im going to be on the hunt for some good drift wood and what not.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:39 PM   #42
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I'm starting to think maybe these tanks weren't meant for bettas. Also, are you going to use the filter cartridges that come supplied with the tank? Or are you going to swap them out for something else?

I opted for the switch method, and bought a set of foam filter inserts for a fluval 104/105 They fit across filter compartment perfectly, but were about an inch to short. So I pushed one all the way to the bottom, and pulled the other up to cover the intake, and stuffed the rest of the compartment with filter floss. So far, so good. At some point I might buy some of this to stuff down in there as well, for better biological filtration, but we'll see.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:30 AM   #43
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Not sure yet, I need to see it in person before I start changing things. I do think I will be adding some kinda of bio media too. However I'm not a fan of carbon, it's great if you need to remove chemicals but other than that the filter is there to push water around, filter big particles and provide living area for beneficial bacteria. So in the end I will probably change it too.

I am also planning on buying this piece of driftwood for it...

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sw...driftwood.html

I know I will have to trim it down to fit in the tank with the hood on but I really think its going to look great! I'm thinking some round rocks in front of the wood, with anubias attached to them with the roots between the wood and rocks, then some needle leaf java fern attached to the back of the driftwood with the leaves above the wood to create a nice background. Then I'll get some mini pelia, and rub it on the wood/ make it stay somehow to create a nice mossy looking forest look. Then I would really love some marselia minuta for a carpet. I think that would look fab! Now I only need to do it, aquascaping always sound easy and simple but it doesn't always turn out the way you envision it!
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:46 AM   #44
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I saw that piece and admired it. I worry about it overpowering the aquascape though. That's a big piece of wood for a fairly small footprint.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:51 AM   #45
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Very true, I plan on taking the dremmel to it as well, shortening it and what not, I saw a small tank with some similar wood and I loved it, if I find the journal I'll shoot you the link, I'm hoping to have enough contrast too, with the green plants and the rocks and substrate to not let it look dark and dreary.
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