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Top Fin 10 gallon Tropical Aquarium Kit

By Dalto

I recently bought a Top Fin 10 gallon tropical aquarium kit to use as a quarantine tank at Petsmart.  I paid $40 the whole kit in the box.

Here's what is in the box along with ma good, bad or neutral rating.  Please note that ratings are in relation to what you might expect to get out of a reasonably priced aquarium kit.

10 gallon tank:
A standard glass 10-gallon tank from a major manufacturer.  It's dimensions are 20"x10"x12".  Tank is what you would expect from a modern tank for quality.
Rating - Good

Filter:
A 10 gallon rated HOB power filter.  This is a rebranded Whisper 10.  It just has a piece of grey plastic on the top that says Top Fin.
Rating - Good

Hood:
A standard black aquarium hood with a transparent plastic section for a light fixture.  It has cutouts on the back so you can cut holes for filters, cords and such.  I believe the hood is manufactured by Perfecto.
Rating - Good

Lighting:
The setup comes with a lighting fixture that holds two incandescent bulbs.  I assume that these are also produced by Perfecto.  These lights are totally inadequate.  Not only do they not provide sufficient light to even see inside the tank, but they get extremely hot.  With a tank this small that means rapid temperature changes in the water.  I left the lights on for 3-4 hours and the temperature rose from 79 deg to 84 deg.  That is less than ideal.
Rating - Bad

Heater:
A Marineland Neptune heater.  It's a glass heater.  There is knob on the top that allows you to adjust the temperature.  Unfortunately, there no markings for settings.  This means you have to set it somewhere.  Wait for a few hours and then adjust based on what the thermometer reads.  This is time consuming.
Rating - Neutral

Net and thermometer:
It comes with a small net and a stick on the tank thermometer with a Marineland logo on it.  The net is the right size for the fish that would fit in a 10-gallon tank.
Rating - Good

Everything else:
There is wealth of samples with this product:
A 15ml sample of Aquasafe(oddly, this is 3 times what you would use for this tank size)
A 5ml sample of Stress Coat
A 5ml sample of Stress Zyme
A 3g sample of TopFin tropical flakes
A 3g sample of TetraMin flakes
User manuals and a water log for tracking ammonia, nitrite and nitrate
Rating - Good

Conclusion:
This would be a great kit for the money if it wasn't for the lighting.  Having lighting that heats the tank that much is just plain silly.  Everything else is either good or about as much as you can expect from the price point.  All in all, I would have rather paid a little bit more and received some inexpensive fluorescent lighting.



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