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I need a little tank 101... I got on here wanting to "fix" my existing tank and decided to go a whole different route and try a nano tank. I was looking at tanks that I can get at petco/petsmart etc.
They have a neat looking (at least online...) 5gal tank that I was interested in, it's the Marineland Eclipse Hex 5 aquarium kit.
I was going to ignore some of the things it comes with, but am interested in the filter etc. Here is the product description

Perfect for home or office or any location, the silent-operating Eclipse Hex 5 is the only aquarium of its kind with total three-stage filtration--the same high-efficiency filtration employed in Marineland's much larger aquatic systems. And the Eclipse Hex 5 has Marineland's patented BIO-Wheel, the leader in biological filtration.The super-efficient Hex 5 provides the best in mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration--aerating and filtering the water seven times each hour. Water is pumped silently through the Eclipse Rite-Size Filter Cartridge (packed with fast-acting Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon) and over the BIO-Wheel, where beneficial bacteria work to remove more toxic ammonia and nitrite with every turn.
The hexagonal tank delivers optimum design profile and leakproof durability. All filtration media is inside a top-mounted access hood--no hoses, no filter boxes, and no noisy air pumps. The contoured light hood plugs into any standard household outlet and includes a convenient front access port for easy feeding.
Requires only minutes per week to maintain.

  • Distinctive Hex-Surround Design
    Provides a panoramic 360° of prime viewing area.
  • Eclipse Filter Cartridge and BIO-Wheel
    Ensure easy installation, easy operation. Cartridge comes preassembled and changes in seconds. BIO-Wheel never needs replacing.
  • Compact 15-watt Illumination
    Incandescent 15-watt lamp. Molded moisture-resistant collar prevents corrosion at the socket.
  • Hinged Hood Panel
    Opens effortlessly for stress-free feeding, maintenance, and media changes.
  • Safe, Silent Epoxy-Sealed Motor
    Silently pumps water through the system and requires no maintenance, no oiling.
What do you think? Do you think the lighting and filter would be sufficient? I don't want to buy it if that's not going to work, because I could spend less on the tank and buy other supplies if needed, I just liked the price for the package if it'll work... I'm not planning any fish etc for a while, want to get everything going first. I guess I could do a DIY CO2 but would prefer not to unless absolutely needed.
 

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You can get the same thing at Walmart for much cheaper. I got mine at Walmart.

Hex tanks are incredibly difficult to aquascape. The filter is fine, it actually produces decent flow as long as you keep the water level high. I switched out the filter pads made for the filter and use a sponge block in the media chamber. Note that the filter will overflow very easily and spill all over your floor if you put too much media in the media compartment. You will also have to switch out the bulb for a compact flourescent bulb, because incandescents just dont cut it. I grew valisneria under CF lighting in this tank fine, but stem plants languished. The acrylic the tank is made out of scratches very easily.... after 2 years of use, the plastic is very cloudy and difficult to see through. I made the mistake of using an "acrylic safe" algae scrubber on it, which ruined the plastic. I use the tank now as a fry tank.

Overall, I would not choose this as my planted tank of choice.
 
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