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Old 01-20-2013, 08:54 PM   #11 
Hallyx
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The Tetra Whisper 3i is worthless as a filter. If you were to operate it in a bowl (without the cartridge installed), you'd notice that the water flow almost entirely misses the cartridge chamber. Therefore it does not filter, nor will it provide area for a bacteria colony.

The pump, while weak, is adequate and pretty quiet.

I have go to get this message stickied ... sheesh!
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:51 AM   #12 
Shadyr
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I have aquarium sponges stuffed in it all around the sides so the water does actually get forced to flow through *something*.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:46 AM   #13 
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I got the Petco Bookshelf over the weekend and set it up! Hurray!!! Sparkie seems to be really enjoying the new space. Here is a picture.



Specs:
* 6.6gallon Petco Bookshelf aquarium, using included filter and hood.
* Replaced filter media with Aquaclear sponge and biobag.
* Fluval Edge pre-filter sponge on intake
* Replaced bulb with 15W T8 "LifeGlo" 6500k bulb
* Heater: Hydor Theo 25W
* Substrate: eco-complete
* Live plants: java fern, anubias, mossball, hygrophilla, and some "unknowns" - the LFS threw in some extras for me to try.
* Real driftwood, fake "betta log", and fake cave. - I was trying to go all natural, but couldn't get rid of those last two as Sparkie likes them so much.
* Chemicals: Seachem Prime for conditioning, Seachem Flourish excel for plants


My review of the aquarium itself:
Well, so far, mixed feelings.
I love, love, love the size of it. Love the long horizontal space. Fits great on my kitchen counter. Seems like a great amount of space for betta swimming.
Filter seems ok. Pretty quiet, although I do hear a "hum" if I listen closely. There are no water flowing or bubbling noises. With the flow turned down as far as possible, I don't think it is bothering my fish. As I wrote above, I replaced the media in it. No problems with the light so far, although I have noticed that it gets pretty hot on top when I put my hand there, and it seems to heat up the water quite a bit. As I wrote ablove, I replaced the bulb with one that should be better for the plants.

Now for the bad. When I opened the box, the back corner of the clear plastic cover was cracked. That really sucked. After a night to think about whether to send it back, I decided to go ahead with setup. The crack is not visible behind the light hood anyway. I super-glued it and it seems to be holding.

Next bad. I read all the reviews about this tank scratching easily, and I thought, "Well, I'll be careful." and "Should be the same as other acrylic tanks, right? Like I already have, and haven't scratched yet." Well, right away, putting in the eco-complete (which is very sharp and gritty, unlike usual rounded aquarium gravel), I put some major scratches on the inside. Argh!!!! Is all acrylic the same? I don't know. But it seems to me, that this tank is scratching easier than our other acrylic one.

Well, that's it for "bad". Everything else seems good. I am a little concerned about the light getting so hot, but not sure what I can do about that. I mean, I could replace it with that Marineland LED strip that I wrote about in the original post, but that costs more than the aquarium itself! So I will probably stick with this set up for now and hope it doesn't cause any problems. The tank being "non-standard" size means you can't just go and replace the light hood with a different one. It is 22.5inches long - definitely not standard. Although it uses a regular 18" bulb. A 20" hood would fit on top fine, but leave extra space on both sides. The Marineland LED strip is adjustable from 18 - 24" so that would work, but it would not cover up the view of the filter and stuff so well.

So, my heater keeps the tank around 78, which is perfect. With the light on during the day, the temp climbs up to 82. Then drops again at night. Maybe this is not a problem, as it mimics nature, right? Usually temps rise a bit during the day. Is 82 too hot? Another idea I had was to put the light on a timer and run it 5 hours in the early morning and another 5 hours in the evening. Those are the times when we are at home and like to see the light on anyway. During the day when we are out of the house, the light could shut off and therefore avoid building up so much heat. Does anyone think that kind of "divided" lighting period would be a problem for the fish or the plants?

Whew long post. If anyone else is thinking about this tank, I thought my information above might be useful.

Janice
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:10 PM   #14 
MrRomero
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Looking good! Thanks for the review and the info!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:26 PM   #15 
Roemgie
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Never keep the light on with that tank. It's so bright that it really stresses out the bettas (unless they're use to it of course) every time we turned it on for my boy he would flip! And I'd say just use a sponge filter in my opinion
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:30 PM   #16 
Myates
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I use it no problem.. have issue with the light getting loose and turning off.. but the light isn't all that bright. It's rather dim compared to most of the smaller fluorescent lights out there.

Your fish may be easily startled, especially if the room is pretty dark when you turn on the light.. or isn't prepared. Try tapping on the lid a couple times before turning on the light.. do it each time you turn on the light and he will eventually associate the tapping with the light and it should stop him from becoming startled at it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:05 PM   #17 
MrRomero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
I use it no problem.. have issue with the light getting loose and turning off.. but the light isn't all that bright. It's rather dim compared to most of the smaller fluorescent lights out there.

Your fish may be easily startled, especially if the room is pretty dark when you turn on the light.. or isn't prepared. Try tapping on the lid a couple times before turning on the light.. do it each time you turn on the light and he will eventually associate the tapping with the light and it should stop him from becoming startled at it.
Good ideas! I leave to work early in the morning when it is still dark outside. I will typically turn the room light on 10 -20 minuted before turning the tank lights on as to not startle the bettas :)

I know I hate being woken up early with a bright light in my face!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:43 AM   #18 
Roemgie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
I use it no problem.. have issue with the light getting loose and turning off.. but the light isn't all that bright. It's rather dim compared to most of the smaller fluorescent lights out there.

Your fish may be easily startled, especially if the room is pretty dark when you turn on the light.. or isn't prepared. Try tapping on the lid a couple times before turning on the light.. do it each time you turn on the light and he will eventually associate the tapping with the light and it should stop him from becoming startled at it.
Ours seems incredibly bright hahaha but it's fine :) I only ever turn it on if I'm worried about him but he's at home with my sister and she doesn't always pay him much attention :( but thank you for the advice :)
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:32 PM   #19 
jpottle
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I'm trying to grow plants, so I plan to use the light. It doesn't seem to bother Sparkie. It does seem to heat the water 1 or 2 degrees. Also, I have the light on a timer and I'm not usually around when it comes on. Perhaps I need to also put the room lights on a timer so they will come on a few minutes before and help with the startle factor. :)
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:35 PM   #20 
Hallyx
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Room lights on a timer? LoL What spoiled fish we have.

I'm surprised your CFL (compact florescent) light can raise your water temperature. Do you have enough ventilation in your hood?

And, yes, there are grades of acrylic from cheap lower density to expensive scratch-resistant stuff. Guess which Petco uses.
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