Help Experience With Tetra Starter Kits?

tum0r

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My walmart has a 10 gallon Tetra starter kit for just under $50. If any of you have expierence with these aquariums and the filter/light/heater they provide, let me know please!
 

JenC

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If I may generalize a bit, starter kits can be good deals (especially when they're on sale, which they often are in chain pet stores). However, you'll probably want to upgrade the filter as the basic cartridge units they include are typically junk. I swapped the default for an Aquaclear 30 and it's much better in several ways.

Starter kits don't usually come with heater but you can get one for <$15.

The hood LEDs are probably weak but they should illuminate the tank well, and as long as you choose appropriate plants they should be fine. The tank in my profile pic is a starter kit with six little LEDs and the plants flourish; it's a jungle now.
 
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tum0r

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If I may generalize a bit, starter kits can be good deals (especially when they're on sale, which they often are in chain pet stores). However, you'll probably want to upgrade the filter as the basic cartridge units they include are typically junk. I swapped the default for an Aquaclear 30 and it's much better in several ways.

Starter kits don't usually come with heater but you can get one for <$15.

The hood LEDs are probably weak but they should illuminate the tank well, and as long as you choose appropriate plants they should be fine. The tank in my profile pic is a starter kit with six little LEDs and the plants flourish; it's a jungle now.
The kit I'm looking at comes with a heater, however I doubt any of the equipment will be any good. They should be able to hold up a reasonably functional tank for the time being until I can get my hands on better equipment—my main concern is the tank itself. If it's a really low grade tank I'm concerened there may be leakage, maybe not now but at some point in the future. It's the cheapest ten gallon that comes with equipment in my area. My only other options are 10 gallons at a minimum of $100 that don't include anything else. Do you think it's worth it or should I save until I have enough to buy realtively quality items seperately rather than as a part of a kit.
 

JenC

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The kit I'm looking at comes with a heater, however I doubt any of the equipment will be any good. They should be able to hold up a reasonably functional tank for the time being until I can get my hands on better equipment—my main concern is the tank itself. If it's a really low grade tank I'm concerened there may be leakage, maybe not now but at some point in the future. It's the cheapest ten gallon that comes with equipment in my area. My only other options are 10 gallons at a minimum of $100 that don't include anything else. Do you think it's worth it or should I save until I have enough to buy realtively quality items seperately rather than as a part of a kit.
I wouldn't assume the tank itself would be low quality. I've been quite happy with my 10g starter kit tank for several years. I think it's a Top Fin brand - whatever the house brand is at Petco or Petsmart.

If you're in the US you can get a 10g for $10 + tax at Petco, then buy the hood and extras separately. But if you catch the starter kits when they're on sale (and/or find an online coupon) they can be cheaper than buying the pieces individually.
 

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I have a 15g TopFin kit bought second hand with all the original accessories and it's been holding up surprisingly well. I trust Tetra a lot more than I do TopFin so I'd say go for it. You can put your own media into the filter they give you and upgrade later if you feel like it. I had a tetra whisper filter I used originally for my betta and then for my snails and it only ever stopped working because I accidently let it suck up a bunch of sand.
 

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Basically any starter kit will run too small of heater and filter which also won't provide enough flow either. The only exception to the heater thing I've found is topfin. You're better off getting a $1 per gallon tank and getting the rest separately.
 

Michael.j.gomez

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Hello, I've have a walmart strater thats been in use for 3+yrs(everything still in working order). I keep bn pleco fry in it now. Modified whisper filter by layering coarse sponge bottom(lrg particles), then fiberfill(sm particles), last pot scrubbiers(bio media) & drilled holes for a piece of plastic coat hanger to hold it all in. Hope this helps you!
1564349697070.jpg
 

CindyVBPets

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Do you have a link to the deal? Tetra is a good brand. I like it if it's the one I think it is.And I used to own a pet store with fish.

Is it this one? (ignore that it says goldfish lol) They're calling it goldfish since it has no heater. Maybe not since this has no heater and I just saw you said has a heater.

It's a Whisper filter so should be fine and you can hack it anyway.

This page has a video for setup:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Goldfish-LED-Aquarium-Starter-Kit-10-Gallon-Tank/752072552

I see one (different brand) for $32.00.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Culture-10-Gallon-Aquarium-Starter-Kit-With-LED-Lighting/35326017?adid=22222222254418684945&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=b&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=291938340609&wl4=dsa-504748227745&wl5=9011845&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&veh=sem&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImbTYlsvY4wIVCZ6fCh0n_wiaEAAYASAAEgIWyPD_BwE

There are some tricks to these.

LIke if you like the hood or whatnot but they're all returnable just don't open up the media cartridge and keep the packaging neat.

You can improve any filter by hacking the media that goes inside. But that one is good it has the biofilter AND the floss cartridge. (can still be improved DIY). As was mentioned above my post ^^.

The question is only it's power and noise. You just put other media inside the chamber, basically instead of the carbon filter if you want. Sponge instead of the floss, probably. Possibly a coarse filter sponge on the intake. I'd have to see it.

The lights only matter if you care about how bright or dim they are. OR in my case, the LED strips annoy me for the most part because I don't like seeing all those little lights like xmas lights from different angles. But in this case it's inside a full hood not sitting on top like a strip light so it's probably fine. UNLESS you decide it's too dim, then you can't use that hood and need to replace it. Now we're talking bigger money.

Tetra is a good brand and it's been around longer than Top Fin (unless Top Fin used to be something else I don't know about.) But even Petsmart Top Fin has some good tanks in the smaller range though.

IMO the biggest expense is hoods/tops and lights!

Post a link to the setup if you want.
 
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Islandvic

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If there is a PetSmart nearby, check on their in store sales. Most times their tanks are marked lower versus what their website shows.

Often, their Top Fin Starter kits are routinely 30% - 50% off.

My kids have their 5.5g kit and I just set up a 55g kit from their (using a different filter though).

Their hang on back Silentstream filters aren't bad if you toss the cartridge and load them with sponges and other media, like @Michael.j.gomez suggested.

BTW, that is a great way to hold down the media michael.j.gomez!!
 

Michael.j.gomez

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If there is a PetSmart nearby, check on their in store sales. Most times their tanks are marked lower versus what their website shows.

Often, their Top Fin Starter kits are routinely 30% - 50% off.

My kids have their 5.5g kit and I just set up a 55g kit from their (using a different filter though).

Their hang on back Silentstream filters aren't bad if you toss the cartridge and load them with sponges and other media, like @Michael.j.gomez suggested.

BTW, that is a great way to hold down the media michael.j.gomez!!
@Islandvic thanks for compliment. They are actually a good filter if modified correctly. I have 5×10i & 2×40i. They do a great job when modified in this manner. I also keep them below water line they seem to work better without gravity inhibiting flow. Hope this helps!!!!!
20190304_135018.jpg
 

jinjerJOSH22

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I've had a couple of Tetra kits from the Uk(Idk if they're different) .

The tanks have held up ok.

The lights are ok, they light the tank well and Easy plants are fine but i've not tried anything else.

On the smaller sets the filter was ok but had a cartridge system which I don't like.

Heaters are preset to 25c and in my experience don't work well.

Can't say whether it's worth it but a 10 gallon with a Hood and Light for $50 sounds ok to me.
 
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tum0r

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Basically any starter kit will run too small of heater and filter which also won't provide enough flow either. The only exception to the heater thing I've found is topfin. You're better off getting a $1 per gallon tank and getting the rest separately.
I was thinking of only doing a betta in the tank, so flow wouldn't be too much a problem I figure. I was worried the heater would be quite bad, so I'd have to purchase one seperately, but for a few days just while I'm setting it up the ehater should be able to keep the tank within reasonable parameters, right?
 
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tum0r

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Do you have a link to the deal? Tetra is a good brand. I like it if it's the one I think it is.And I used to own a pet store with fish.

Is it this one? (ignore that it says goldfish lol) They're calling it goldfish since it has no heater. Maybe not since this has no heater and I just saw you said has a heater.

It's a Whisper filter so should be fine and you can hack it anyway.

This page has a video for setup:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Goldfish-LED-Aquarium-Starter-Kit-10-Gallon-Tank/752072552

I see one (different brand) for $32.00.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Culture-10-Gallon-Aquarium-Starter-Kit-With-LED-Lighting/35326017?adid=22222222254418684945&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=b&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=291938340609&wl4=dsa-504748227745&wl5=9011845&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&veh=sem&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImbTYlsvY4wIVCZ6fCh0n_wiaEAAYASAAEgIWyPD_BwE

There are some tricks to these.

LIke if you like the hood or whatnot but they're all returnable just don't open up the media cartridge and keep the packaging neat.

You can improve any filter by hacking the media that goes inside. But that one is good it has the biofilter AND the floss cartridge. (can still be improved DIY). As was mentioned above my post ^^.

The question is only it's power and noise. You just put other media inside the chamber, basically instead of the carbon filter if you want. Sponge instead of the floss, probably. Possibly a coarse filter sponge on the intake. I'd have to see it.

The lights only matter if you care about how bright or dim they are. OR in my case, the LED strips annoy me for the most part because I don't like seeing all those little lights like xmas lights from different angles. But in this case it's inside a full hood not sitting on top like a strip light so it's probably fine. UNLESS you decide it's too dim, then you can't use that hood and need to replace it. Now we're talking bigger money.

Tetra is a good brand and it's been around longer than Top Fin (unless Top Fin used to be something else I don't know about.) But even Petsmart Top Fin has some good tanks in the smaller range though.

IMO the biggest expense is hoods/tops and lights!

Post a link to the setup if you want.
I'm worried primarly by how much water the filter will be able to pump through within an hour. If it's weak enough of a filter I might have problems even if I modify and boost up the media, especially if I decide to go a little heavier on the stocking. I know I will be buying new lights for the aquarium because I love planted tanks and I really can't stand aquariums without nicely aquascaped plants.
Unfortunately I live in Canada, and while we do have Petsmart they are fewer and farther in between and it seems we don't get the same deals in my area. I haven't actually ever come across any Top Fin products here.
I can't seem to find a link online to the specific one I'm looking at I'm afraid.
 

CindyVBPets

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I'm worried primarly by how much water the filter will be able to pump through within an hour. If it's weak enough of a filter I might have problems even if I modify and boost up the media, especially if I decide to go a little heavier on the stocking. I know I will be buying new lights for the aquarium because I love planted tanks and I really can't stand aquariums without nicely aquascaped plants.
Unfortunately I live in Canada, and while we do have Petsmart they are fewer and farther in between and it seems we don't get the same deals in my area. I haven't actually ever come across any Top Fin products here.
I can't seem to find a link online to the specific one I'm looking at I'm afraid.
Well you can't keep a lot of fish in that 10G anyway and with Betta it's risky but worst case scenario you just replace the filter with a little sponge filter connected to an airline/air pump and that's about $10 - $15 USD. Most all professional fish people on youtube/aquarium stores that I follow use them especially for a Betta.

LIke this one. There are many in different sizes and prices but don't get a huge one.

You get the air pump, connect a check valve so it doesn't siphon out water if you have a power failure, then splice in a "flow control valve" so you can increase or decrease the flow.

https://www.amazon.ca/Powkoo-Aquarium-Driven-Sponge-Gallons/dp/B01MA2Z15M?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_15601860011

Hard to comment on the filter without seeing which one it is.

Example video:

 
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tum0r

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Well you can't keep a lot of fish in that 10G anyway and with Betta it's risky but worst case scenario you just replace the filter with a little sponge filter connected to an airline/air pump and that's about $10 - $15 USD. Most all professional fish people on youtube/aquarium stores that I follow use them especially for a Betta.

LIke this one. There are many in different sizes and prices but don't get a huge one.

You get the air pump, connect a check valve so it doesn't siphon out water if you have a power failure, then splice in a "flow control valve" so you can increase or decrease the flow.

https://www.amazon.ca/Powkoo-Aquarium-Driven-Sponge-Gallons/dp/B01MA2Z15M?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_15601860011

Hard to comment on the filter without seeing which one it is.

Example video:

Yeah, I've got a spong filter in a 20 gallon right now and it works very well, I'm just not very fond of the look of them. There are smaller schooling fish I could do in a 10, I was thinking a school of either cherry barbs or celestial pearl danios. Potentially even keeping it a shrimp or snail tank?
 
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tum0r

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Cherry barbs are better in a bigger/longer tank. They're very active swimmers.
The tank I'm looking at is a 10 gallon long, and the cherry barbs I was going to use are from my current 20 gallon. I've found them a bit atypical of most cherry barbs, they're not very active in heavily planted tanks.
 
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