Product Type: All Pond Solutions fish accessories
Newest Review: ... looking at in similar sizes were around double the price but without a lot of the accessories this came with. The cost for our tank (180 l... more
Tanks a million
All Pond Solutions Bullet Shaped Fish Tank
Member Name: SpiderDreams
All Pond Solutions Bullet Shaped Fish Tank
Advantages: Great price, strong, sturdy, a real feature, loads of accessories
Disadvantages: none that I can see
After several hours of web browsing we came across a supplier called All Ponds Solutions. I hadn't even realised they did aquariums, assuming they were just pond suppliers.
The Bullet tank caught our eye immediately. I think it was because so many tanks we have seen were functional but not really a feature in themselves. Since we were going bigger tank-wise we wanted something that looked good because it would be a large presence in the living room.
We opted for the 180 litre tank. Tank Dimensions: 1010 x 401 x 690 mm / 39.8" x 15.8" x 27.2"
One of the first things we noticed was that unlike more tanks, this had 8mm safety glass making it wonderfully sturdy and safe. This does make the tank heavy indicating it is solidly built.
The tank is built with three pieces of glass, one piece for the flat narrow end, one for the base and then the rest of the tank is one solid piece of glass that curves around at the other narrow end, giving it this great "bullet shape" hence the name.
The tank is taller but not as deep (i.e, front to back) as many typical large tanks this means you can see the full depth of the tank rather than missing a lot of the action that may happen at the back.
One of the features we liked about this tank was the lid was completely removable. There is only a thin strip of brown plastic that runs around the perimeter at the top of the tank and the lid slots on top.
The lid follows the shape of the tank so curves around at one end. There are three lift up flaps on the lid, these are hinged and remain attached. They are almost the full length of the tank (less the curved section) There is one at either side and a larger one in the centre that lifts up to reveal the built in filter system (see details below).
The two flaps that open to allow feeding are not very wide so if you needed to reach in to remove anything, it is necessary to remove the lid. The lid is a little bulky for this but if you find you don't need to keep reaching in then it wouldn't be too much of a problem.
The lighting system is contained within the lid (more details on this below) and the on/off switch for the lights is located at the curved part of the lid along with some vents.
One of our smaller tanks had a similar design with a plastic lip around the rim of the tank which wasn't well fitting, so condensation would run down the front of the tank between the plastic panel and the glass, and because the plastic was fixed we couldn't clean underneath it. Thankfully with the vents and the way the plastic rim and lid sit on this new tank, we no longer have that problem.
Another point to mention is that on the short straight end of the tank, the lid has two large cut away holes that allow all the electrical cables, filter pipes and plastic airlines to pass through. The lighting cable is connected to the lid directly.
I should note that we have electrical cables for a heater and an internal filter head (we use this for water movement), 6mm PVC line for our air stone, a second 6mm airline for our CO2 injection and the outlet pipe from the external filter to spray bar all going through one of these cut aways. It is a little tight but does fit and the other cut away has the inlet pipe for the filter (so these are definitely big enough for almost anything you would need).
The tank comes designed for two T5 fluorescent tubes (bulbs are included in the sale). Please note T8 bulbs will not fit. However T5 are readily available from most aquatic stores.
The lights also stretch almost the whole length of the lid giving a good amount of illumination to the tank.
There are good quality reflectors above both lights and a plastic shield for each light. These shields are easily removed by sliding them out of the lid. This is a great feature as our last two tanks had no shielding and moisture and grime would end up coating the bulbs making additional cleaning necessary.
The filter system the tank comes with is standard trickle filter system mounted in the lid. Basically the entire system is included with the tank.
You have an inlet pipe that is mounted inside the tank where the water is drawn up by means of a power-head (basically a pump, also supplied). The water travels through the power-head into a spray-bar. A spray-bar is just a length of plastic piping with holes in it. The spray-bar runs along the length of the lid in the middle. The water sprays out through the holes onto a long tray mounted inside the centre of the lid.
This long tray is divided into three smaller trays. A cotton pad is in each of these three trays. The water travels through the cotton pad, into the tray where your filter medium (e.g. activated carbon) sits and then there are holes in the base of these trays and the water passes through and back into the tank.
However we did not want to use this kind of filter system so cannot comment on how well it would work, but it does appear easy enough to set up. Instead we opted for an external canister filter, purchased from the same company (review for this to follow).
Included with the tank is a standard aquarium heater. The heater is sturdy and working great. The heater we received was designed for not just our tank size but larger ones so with trial and error we found the temperature on the heater needed to be set slightly below the temperature we actually needed for our size of tank.
The cabinet was well packed with cardboard and plastic wrap to make sure everything was securely delivered.
The instructions were unbelievably awful. They were just a single A5 sheet with bad diagrams that did not even fully match our tank and no written instructions. Personally it sounds like there would be a good job for people to write instructions for things like this!
It was mostly guesswork and a lot patience that allowed us to build the cabinet correctly. As there will be around 200 kg (tank + ornaments + gravel + water) resting on the cabinet you do want to make sure the cabinet is put together well so I recommend taking your time.
It is not real wood, feels more like a heavy dense MDF type material (as most tank cabinets are these days) and we purchased the walnut version. However just to be clear this was not stained but instead a plastic wrap sheeting stuck to the MDF. It does look great when put together and as long as you don't chip it you can't really tell.
One of the things we loved about this tank is the cabinet strength and dimensions. Many aquariums these days come with cabinets that are smaller (e.g. not as long or deep as the tank) and made with flimsier material that do not feel sturdy.
This one felt very solid and gave us much better peace of mind that it would hold the tank well. The height is perfect, lifting the tank so it is at eye level when we are sat on the sofa so makes a lovely view.
The design of the cabinet / tank allows it to be a room divider, with its short end flush against a wall. Due to this there is no real "back" as both of the longest sides have two doors with handles allowing access from either side. The doors take up about ¾ of the tank and at the curved edge there are two curved open shelves great for ornaments.
The cupboard towards the short flat end is used to house our canister filter. There is even additional space to allow us to fit a folded plastic sheet (for when we are cleaning so we don't spill). The short end of the cabinet has a large hole that fit both filter pipes and the filter's plug. The second cupboard in the middle of the cabinet did come with a dividing panel however as our tank is against a wall this was not required and the full size allows us to house a CO2 extinguisher, regulator, bubble counter, box of cleaning equipment and medicines, plant food, fish food and the air pump for our air stone.
One point to note, it came with 7 plastic feet. I personally did not like the idea of all that weight supported on plastic feet or that this would allow dust collecting beneath. We found it to be sturdy without them and much safer.
As well as the tank and cabinet the following items were included in the price:
* 2 x T5 bulbs
* Trickle filter system
* Inlet pipe, power-head and spray-bar (for the filter system)
* Sticker thermometer for glass
(Please note thermostats on heaters are not 100% reliable and you should always have a thermometer to verify the actual temperature. And also, on a tank this size, it is good to have additional thermometers at different places to make sure the overall temp is correct).
There were no instructions on how to set up the filter system for the tank however such information is readily available online.
This tank can be used as a room divider where the short flat end can go against a wall. This is why the cut away holes are on the short side and not the longer side.
Initially we were not happy with this, having been used to cutaway holes usually being located on one of the long ends of the lid in our other tanks. However what we found was that the heater, filter head, out-and-inlet pipes and CO2 diffuser can all be mounted on the short side of the tank and are then easily covered by tall plants leaving the rest of the tank looking picturesque and unobstructed with equipment.
We could not use our tank as a room divider (much is the pity) because we have cats that would have been sitting on it all the time and scratching the lid! So instead it is against the wall in the corner, however the curved side still makes a great feature and is a lovely talking point.
Upon ordering this the courier got in touch to confirm a date as due to the size/weight it was necessary that two people be available to take delivery.
As with most large purchases, the tank needed to be opened and checked before signing to make sure it wasn't damaged. We felt no pressure from the drivers while we opened and inspected everything.
Also, I should mention this company offers FREE delivery to UK mainland.
~Supplier / Customer Services~
We have never heard of or used this company before so we did have some reservations regarding spending this kind of money. However they were the only ones we could find with this tank so we took the plunge.
Due to a problem with the lid when it arrived we had reason to contact the customer services. I contacted them within an hour of the delivery via email and I have to say the customer services department was the best we have ever dealt with. They came back quickly, apologised for the inconvenience and problem and offered an immediate solution that was more than we had expected. They were friendly, polite and efficient in their dealing of the issue. I cannot recommend them highly enough!
A point about cleaning, because it is so tall, you need to be fairly tall yourself to clean down to the bottom comfortably, or have a step ladder, otherwise it can be awkward trying to reach to the gravel. Also we noticed when the lid is removed for cleaning, the tank is very dark even though it is near a large window. This could be due to the glass thickness or the height of the tank (not sure).
The supplier offers a few different colour options for the bullet shaped aquarium: black, white, walnut wood effect and metallic silver. The website includes photos of the different colours so you can see them before purchasing.
We opted for the 180 litre tank as that was fine for our needs but again, the supplier offers the same tank in the same colours in a 230 litre option.
I feel this is a great tank for anyone who wants to move to a larger size, as it gives you more options / space for things like CO2 injections, air pumps and external filters.
If you have a smaller tank and you are looking to size up, this is definitely a good tank to choose from. Not only is it sturdy, but also very eye-catching as the tank itself is part of the feature.
We are so pleased with this tank that we are definitely going to be purchasing a second one that will mirror the first in location and house cold water fish.
You really can't go wrong because you get a gorgeous and solidly build tank and cabinet, it comes with everything you need to start up (in terms of appliances), the customer services are first rate and other tanks we were looking at in similar sizes were around double the price but without a lot of the accessories this came with.
The cost for our tank (180 ltr) from All Pond Solutions was £299.99.
This meant we were about to purchase the aquarium, an external filter, CO2 system, gravel, ornaments, live plants and additional fish for just under what some other companies wanted for just an aquarium of the same size! An absolute bargain!
Summary: A great product and supplier, excellent price for what you receive and the quality of the product
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