Sunday, December 25, 2016

Product Review: Tetra 29g Aquarium Kit

Stock Image, Tetra
I will confess that I loved the Tetra 29 gallon aquarium kit at first. It came with everything I thought I'd need to get my aquarium habit back on its feet: tank, filter, heater, LED lighted hood. It even came with a warranty, though I admit I should have read the fine print more closely; as it turns out, the warranty only covers the glass itself. So what did I discover...?

The tank itself is of good quality, and I would trust it to hold up for a good number of years. The silicone job was a tad bit sloppy, but that's more a cosmetic issue and easily concealed. Rating: 9:10

The filter included in the kit was only a Whisper 30 EX HOB, which is the bare minimum required for a tank of this size. Anyone wanting to stock a 29 gallon tank to its capacity would need to add a secondary filter or replace it entirely. Also, contrary to its name, I found that this filter ran quite loudly: a constant droning buzz. I've run Whispers before (though not of this size) and never had this issue, so I'm uncertain if this problem was unique to this individual filter or is a sign of some wider problem in production. Rating: 7:10

The LED hood was lovely...for about the first seven months. The one by one the cells began to flicker and die. When I removed it to see if I could figure out what was going on, there was visible corrosion to the connective wiring between cells inside the plastic screen that was supposed to protect the LED. Ultimately, I had to buy both a new aquarium lid and light. Rating: 2:10

The heater, which was a Tetra 150, worked wonderfully for the first seven months after which it began having extended periods where it would run and not shut off. I didn't think much of it at first, since it was late January and the weather was fairly cold. Then just shy of a year, it imploded. Spectacularly. It didn't just stop working, oh no. The thermostat failed overnight, and I woke to fish stew in my display tank. I could feel the heat emanating when I raised the hood, and the thermometer registered about 90. Rating: 3:10 (if only because it lasted longer than the LED)

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