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Old 12-28-2003, 11:03 PM   #1
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Aqua-Tech kits at Walmart look like Eclipse Systems

I just saw some aquarium kits at Walmart that look like the Eclipse Systems with Bio-Wheel, but the brand name was Aqua-Tech, and they were significantly cheaper. For instance, the 5-gallon hex kit was only $30 compared to about $45 for the Eclipse counterpart. From my brief look at the hex box, the kit looked identical to its Eclipse counterpart. In fact, the pictures on the box looked like they were taken from the Eclipse box! I thought that Aqua-Tech must be the Walmart brand for Eclipse -- maybe just a brand switch with identical contents. Does anyone know whether there are differences to these kits?

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Old 12-29-2003, 07:58 AM   #2
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AFAIK, a lot of the Wal Mart stuff is made by Marineland. I know some of the Aqua Tech HOB filters are identical to the Penguin filters. I'd say, based on your description, that the 5g hex kits are the same.
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:40 AM   #3
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The carbon filter packs for the wal-mart tanks are slightly different from the eclipse branded tanks.

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Old 12-29-2003, 01:09 PM   #4
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OK, so my new fish died with five days in the 2-gallon hex tank with undergravel filter that I bought. I don't know if I want to try another fish or invest in a better tank first. In that case, I could buy an Aqua-Tech tank from Walmart or the Eclipse system.

I assume those of you who responded have bought products from both lines (?). Do the Aqua-Tech products say it's made by, "Marine Land"? Why do you think the tanks go by a different name at Walmart? To avoid competition with the traditional fish stores?
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gchen
OK, so my new fish died with five days in the 2-gallon hex tank with undergravel filter that I bought.
How many fish? How long was the tank running? Was it cycled?

I think the fish died from 'new tank syndrome'...
and a 2 gallon hex is too small for any fish
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:58 PM   #6
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Not too small for a betta...but yeah, how many fish did you have in it and what types?

And I do believe the name difference is because aquatech is the wal-mart generic brand, just as equate is for things such as dish soap, asprin, and other kinds of household products. I but almost all of my supplies from wal-mart because they are cheaper. I have also had luck with fish from wal-mart, although I haven't bought any lately because they didn't look too healthy. HTH and Good Luck.

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Old 12-29-2003, 05:04 PM   #7
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My first tank set up was a 10g kit from AquaTech. I still have the filter today after all these years, and it still runs perfectly. However, I have also owned Eclipse setups in the past, and I couldn't get rid of it fast enough.

I was never crazy about the all-in-one concept of tanks with built in filters anyway ... I find them to be very impractical. If I want to upgrade my filtration, I do not want to have to reconstruct my entire tank to do it !
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by malkore
Quote:
Originally Posted by gchen
OK, so my new fish died with five days in the 2-gallon hex tank with undergravel filter that I bought.
How many fish? How long was the tank running? Was it cycled?

I think the fish died from 'new tank syndrome'...
and a 2 gallon hex is too small for any fish
I had one small Oranda goldfish (about 1-inch) in the tank. The tank was running for two days, and I added some water conditioner right before putting in the fish. What do you mean by cycled? What's new tank syndrome? How long do I need to run the tank before adding fish?
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by freshwatergal
Not too small for a betta...but yeah, how many fish did you have in it and what types?

And I do believe the name difference is because aquatech is the wal-mart generic brand, just as equate is for things such as dish soap, asprin, and other kinds of household products. I but almost all of my supplies from wal-mart because they are cheaper. I have also had luck with fish from wal-mart, although I haven't bought any lately because they didn't look too healthy. HTH and Good Luck.

Tiff
But I don't think generic brands of household products are made by the same manufacturer.

Well, I bought the 5-gallon hex tank from Walmart convinced that it was the same tank. The front picture was identical. The description even mentioned an Eclipse filter at one point. Woops! ). At the bottom of the box, it said "made by Marineland".

Now, what am I going to do with two hex tanks??? They won't look good together side by side. I guess I can use the smaller tank as a quarantine.
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:17 AM   #10
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2 gal is way too small for any goldfish. They generate a lot of waste and need a large tank. Just running the tank will not cycle it...you have to have ammonia and nitrite present to get the bacteria going. I would suggest going to the articles link on the home page and doing some reading. I believe there is an article there on the nitrogen cycle as well as some info on fishless cycling. The fishless cycling is probably in the SW section, but it works the same for FW. Here's the short version:

You have to have bacteria present in an aquarium. The bacteria controls the waste products generated by the fish. The primary waste products are ammonia and nitrite with nitrate being a secondary waste product. Ammonia burns the gills of the fish. Nitrite inhibits the ability of their blood to carry oxygen. Nitrate doesn't bother them except in extreme concentrations. It takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks for this bacteria to get established. You still, even after the tank is cycled, have to do regular water changes to remove other contaminants that the filter won't get. New tank syndrome is when either ammonia or nitrite levels reach lethal levels and kill all the fish. If, after reading the articles, you still have questions, by all means ask them and we'll do our best to help. I think the articles will answer a lot of your questions though. There is also a search option at the top of the screen that will provide lots of info. I'm not trying to discourage you from asking questions, just providing a quicker way to get the basic info.
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:59 AM   #11
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gchen,

The nitrogen cycle is a very simple biological process involving a small bit of chemistry that is essential for one to know in order to have healthy fish. It is a process that every tank goes thru, but if your fish are introduced before this process is complete, it places them in grave danger and subjects them to large amounts of dangerous, life-threatening chemicals. I would recommend that in order to keep fish, that you take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the nitrogen cycle and understand its purpose before adding any more fish. Not knowing this concept is setting any fish that you buy up for disaster.

My friend and mentor, WetmanNY aka The Skeptical Aquarist, was one of the early pioneers of the Fishless Cycle phenomenon, and he has written some of the best articles on the web about the nitrogen cycle and how understanding it is essential for the health of our fish. Here is his easy-to-understand explanation of this most important process :

http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/doc...t/nitcyc.shtml

He has also written about accomplishing this cycle with the use of ordinary household ammonia so that the health and lives of fish were not put at risk. Here is the link to his easy-to-understand article, written in a language that beginners can understand.

http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/doc...fishless.shtml

Now that you have read and hopefully understand the nitrogen cycle, you may better be able to understand what happened to your fish - and to this I offer my own profile that describes the condition to which your fish succumbed :

http://tropicalresources.net/web/dis..._syndrome.html

Good luck
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Old 12-30-2003, 03:42 AM   #12
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Woo... Lots to read. I perused some material, and this cycling sounds like a lot fo time and work. I came across a link to Bio Spira from Marineland.

http://www.marineland.com/products/m...l_biospira.asp

So, is this the quick fix?!
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Old 12-30-2003, 04:53 PM   #13
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Yes, BioSpira will get your tank cycled quickly. It can be difficult to find and kind of spendy, but works great according to all I've heard about it. However you need to know that fish will always require some time and work. You will need to do watcher changes (I do a 30% change once a week), gravel vac, provide quality food, treat illness, etc. If you want to see your fish live longer and grow to be healthy and happy so that you can enjoy them without being frustrated then you do need to take some time to learn about your new pets. Ideally you research your fish and the environment they need before you ever buy aquatic life. You'll save yourself a lot of grief in the long run.
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Old 12-31-2003, 02:35 PM   #14
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Man, this bio-spira is kind of hard to find. I've found two stores in my area that have it. One only has the 3 oz size in stock for $21.99. The other has the 1 oz size for $14.99 and the 3 oz size for $24.99. This is pretty expensive, especially since I only have a 5 gallon tank. One store owner says the stuff keeps for a year in the fridge. It still doesn't seem like I would use that much unless I upgrade to a bigger tank within a year. Does anyone use bio-spira at times other than starting up a tank? Maybe, when adding new fish or when they're sick (?).
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Old 12-31-2003, 03:32 PM   #15
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gchen...

Bio-Spira is basically a bacteria culture that contains the organisms necessary for the steps of the Nitrogen Cycle. Your lfs is correct in saying that it will last a year in the refrigerator (don't freeze it though). Get the 1 oz size and save the left-overs in case you ever have an emergency that requires you to completely re-do your tank or in the off chance that you get MTS and get another tank.
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Old 12-31-2003, 05:29 PM   #16
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OK, I got the 1 oz bio-spira for $14.99. I used a dropper to add 2 ml of the solution to my 2-gallon tank and 5 ml to my 5 gallon tank. I carefully poured the rest into a 1 oz dropper bottle and put it in the fridge. I don't know why the bio-spira doesn't come in a bottle. I guess they want people to dump the whole bag in!

The water in my Aqua-Tech (Eclipse) hex tank is really warm! I haven't turned on the lights since yesterday (the hex tank comes with an incandensent bulb). I guess the heat stays in the water a long time.
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Old 12-31-2003, 11:16 PM   #17
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You might try one of the spiral compact fluorescent bulbs on the hex tank. You can get them at Home Depot and I imagine some pet stores are carrying them now too. They still get hot, but not nearly as hot as the incandescent bulbs.
The only other thing I feel compelled to say is that nothing good happens fast in an aquarium. Patience is the key. While there is nothing wrong with using the Bio Spira, be very suspicious of anything that claims to eliminate the need for maintenance or make things happen faster in your tank. Keeping an aquarium does involve some work, but it's not too hard or time consuming and it's worth it.
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Old 01-02-2004, 01:04 AM   #18
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OK, this bio-spira really works! I added the new fish in with the bio-spira yesterday, and they're all happy and active! In contrast, the fish that died last week just sat on the bottom of the aquarium from beginning to end.

By the way, I'm pretty sure the Aqua-Tech kits at Walmart are the same as the Eclipse systems. What a deal! Even more important is that the Aquatech filter cartridges are signicantly cheaper than their Eclipse counterparts, so we save on maintenance too!
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Old 01-02-2004, 01:09 AM   #19
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So, can you put a florescent bulb to an incandesent fixture?

Alternatively, do incandesent aquarium bulbs come in wattage ratings lower than 15?
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:56 PM   #20
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If you want to stick with incandescent (as long as you don't want to grow plants, that will be fine) I don't think you can get a lower wattage bulb that will fit that socket. In such a small tank it does not take much incandescent light to heat up the water, so I too recommend getting one of those "pigtail" fluorescent bulbs, which you can get in large, bulky sizes and small more compact sizes and see if it will fit. It might not, as their circumference is greater than the bulb that came with the tank. You will have to keep an eye on these tanks carefully, as it is very hard to maintain good water conditions in such small tanks. If you are just starting out it is much easier to learn with a bigger tank, as it is more forgiving.
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