Product Type: Aqua Town fish accessories
Newest Review: ... these get 5cm max. Golden minnows ***Price*** You can grab this tank for £15 from any pets at home store, which I personally think is ... more
Aqua Town Starter Tank
Member Name: nickwock
Aqua Town Starter Tank
Advantages: Good value with the filter & gravel included. Filter is very quiet.
Disadvantages: Could do with a bit more gravel
After having a quick look on the internet for a tank we found that Pets at Home seemed to be reasonably priced and they had a starter set which was good value and aimed at children. We visited our local store (Gloucester) the next day, it was nice to see what we were buying up close. The tank supplied in the starter set is just a cuboid shape, measuring 31.5cm x 18.5cm x 13cm. This will hold 12 litres of water. Aswell as the tank you receive a filter, a bag of gravel, a cardboard backdrop and some stickers, for the total of £15. The vertical edges are all sealed with a clear silicon edging on the outside and the top and bottom of the tank are edged with a black plastic rim. The lid sits inside the rim and is made of clear plastic with gaps around the edges so you can get your fingers in to lift it off, they also leave room for the filter cable and to pop food in. It is fairly thin and could be broken if dropped so we only remove it when cleaning. The packaging was a cardboard top and bottom and some polystyrene to protect the glass some of which is useful to place the tank on to ensure an even surface. Also, the bottom cardboard piece has loads of information about keeping fish so we've kept it to refer to.
There was a lot of information on display in the shop and it soon became clear that we wouldn't be buying the fish the same day, instead we had to get the tank ready. After rinsing out the tank, gravel, filter sponge and a couple of ornaments , we then started placing everything into it. I was a bit disappointed with the gravel, it looked nice in white & beige but there just wasn't quite enough of it. It says to keep the layer fairly thin, but the amount supplied barely covers the base and we put it around the ornaments not underneath! It did look nice when we had finished though, although the backdrop isn't really anything special, just some cartoon fish & Aqua town shown across the top, but the tank is for my son and he likes it. The stickers were of the same cartoon fish, I assume they are to stick on the tank but I thought they would quickly get tatty and obstruct the view, so they have been used elsewhere. We added Tapsafe (also bought from Pets at Home) to the water which helps lower the chlorine to safe levels for fish, plugged in the filter, which was surprisingly quiet and then had to leave it all to settle for 3 days before adding some filter boost bacteria treatment. After this time I think we were all quite excited to go and get 'Fred' but we had to take a sample of the water with us to make sure it was safe for him. We've now bought a kit to do this ourselves as the water needs checking fairly regularly especially at the beginning. Luckily it was fine and after the salesperson checked how long we had the tank running and what size it was, how many fish we intended on keeping etc, Oakley was allowed to choose one to take home. All staff seemed to be very knowledgeable about fish welfare, there were about three others all going through the same process and giving out advice to customers. As our tank is only 12 litres, it is only suitable for one goldfish. The packaging I kept tells me we could have 2 Platys or one shrimp or four Zebra Danio.
We've now had our tank (and Fred of course) for five months. We've followed all the instructions on the packaging , for example, only feeding him every other day for the first six weeks, when to replace the filter sponge, when to replace part water and when to do a full empty etc, and it's all been spot on. So much info was new to me, which is probably why all the fish I had when younger all died very quickly! I wasn't expecting much from the filter, it looked very basic and cheap, but it's been great, very easy to clean and really quiet. We keep ours in the kitchen but noise wouldn't be an issue if it was anywhere else. The glass is really easy to clean, between full water changes I just wipe the glass with the clean filter sponge and it's crystal clear again. One thing to mention is that there is no light and as it has a flat lid not a hood, it's not really intended to house one. Our tank is under the wall units and we have lights under them, it does brighten the tank and make it look much nicer than without, but obviously tanks with lights are so much more expensive. As a starter set for kids I think it's great value and the information on the packaging is a great plus. Although if I could make any improvements, the info would be in a booklet which could be kept easier and there would be a bit more gravel included, but these points are so minor I still have to award the full five stars.
Summary: Great value starter fish tank