Preference Between Kit Tanks And Buying Everything Separate?

SheebShoob

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New fishkeeper back with another question!

Is there a general consensus that buying separate parts for a tank is better than buying a tank kit that is all inclusive, i.e comes with a heater, filter etc.?

I did read that the filters that typically come with kit tanks are usually meant for the size smaller than the tank they are packaged with, and that the heaters can be hit or miss. Does anyone have any experience or opinions either for or against kit tanks?
 

kallililly1973

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Buying a kit usually will work But eventually you will always upgrade most all the equipment.. Depending on stock, live plants and all around what you decide to do with your tank. If i knew then what i know now ( which isn't a whole lot more ) Instead of getting my 55 kit i would have gotten a blank 40 breeder or 75 and built it with the nice filters heaters and lights. Which is basically where i am now with my 55. Everything has been upgraded.
 

david1978

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Most of my setups I put together myself. The only "kit" I ever bought is my 75 but that was a display by my lfs and was the best of the best at the time. Most kits put together by manufactures are made using their cheapest products. Cartridge type filters. Cheap leds. Press wood stand.
 

Bry

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My 5 gallon betta was a kit. Within the week I upgraded the filter because it didn't do anything.
I would recommend if you're on a budget, try to find someone rehoming their tank on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or something. Sure, maybe you'll have to upgrade later, but most of the time they're free or half the price you'd normally pay.
 

LadyGrey

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i have been super happy with my fluval kit (fluval premium 29 tall). The only 'upgrades' I've done are replacing the carbon bag in the filter with more ceramic media and adding a heater guard. I'm interested in going beyond low-light plants so I may add another bulb to the hood. I got my kit on sale and I don't think I could have bought the components separately at a cheaper price.

My fluval chi, on the other hand, came with an absolutely useless filter and light so I am replacing both.

Just make sure you do your research. I know a lot of the kits i looked at had filters with those replaceable cartridges and I knew I really didn't want one of those.
 

Celestialpearl

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Depends on the kit. Fluval has some nice kits that I could see myself using if I had the money to buy a couple! Lol I would literally go get a Flex today I just don’t have the spare cash.

As for a kit like tetra marineland, or aqueon I’d only by one for a quarantine tank of it were cheap enough. I prefer to get my own stuff now.

I do not use stock lighting (unless it has a decent light of course) or the filter media. I threw the last cartridge in the trash without opening it. I’ve never seen one come with a heater so no comment there. I prefer heaters I can set but I do have preset heaters on three of my tanks.

My thing with the kits is the stupid filter cartridge. I don’t like them. I just stuff the housing with sponge, filter floss or ceramics to maximize the use of it.
 

Tol

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I bought a 10 gallon top fin kit for my daughter which worked at the time and we didn't know any better. I quickly replaced the filter because the included one was horribly loud and not all that great. I actually managed to keep some live plants going with the included LED lights, which I assume just because of how small the tank is, it was enough for lower requirement plants. The heater has held up fine so far (I haven't use that tank in a while). I have since bought my own tank, and accessories individually after researching what I wanted and would recommend always doing that unless there is a nice all in one system you have your eye on. There are good kits out there, they just expensive compared to the basic kits.
 

FishGirly

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I used to really like kits up until a couple of months ago. I moved to a different house and I had this closet space that I wanted to turn into a mini fish closet room. However the kits were all different and it just didn’t fit into what I wanted. I kept the tanks, but purchased different lids to all look the same, and special plant lights. Looking at my fish tanks now I’m super happy I did this. Never have my plants thrived as well as they have now. The lighting that comes with the kits I don’t think is all too good to grow foreground plants and a lot of delicate plants. I guess my issue was that the good kits were really expensive and the least expensive ones were not so good, so I decided to do research and just sort of set it up my way.
 

LagerthaM

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I personally prefer to buy things separately because I keep bettas and kits don't always accommodate their fragile fins and need for heat in my experience. I have also seen that a lot of kits that are "for bettas" are WAY too small and don't have everything they need. I usually go to PetCo when they have sales or I buy their 5 gallon travel tanks to use for a while, which I find is a lot cheaper!
 

Somthingfishy01

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SheebShoob said:
New fishkeeper back with another question!

Is there a general consensus that buying separate parts for a tank is better than buying a tank kit that is all inclusive, i.e comes with a heater, filter etc.?

I did read that the filters that typically come with kit tanks are usually meant for the size smaller than the tank they are packaged with, and that the heaters can be hit or miss. Does anyone have any experience or opinions either for or against kit tanks?
Yeah....i got a kit tank and before i even started adding the fish I noticed my filter broke, usually they have cheap items that's usually a marketting gimmick, buying everything separately is better...especially the filter like I did
 

huntress1181

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For myself personally, I bought a tank kit. I did not like the filter in the kit nor did the heater last a year. I most def will be sticking to buying individual items. I look around for deals in certain items, my light, the heater and my filters all under 50. I have a 26 gallon bow front tank, It was a kit. As I said, nothing lasted a year actually. The Filter did not work good either. I am also using a glass top and not the plastic top it came with. Just going to say, its a matter of preference to each of us.
 

Noroomforshoe

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I bought a 55 gallon top fin kit because it was cheeper then just the tank. But the filter wasnt even a 3 stage filter, the heater would not hold keep a steady temp. The food samples were junk food. "i did use them while transitioning a picky eater to better foods once, so glad i didnt toss them" But the rest of the samples did get tossed. I had to replace the lights it came with as they were just cheep flouresent, bulbs that would not hold any size of other bulbs.
The tank itself lasted several years before it started leeking.
 
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SheebShoob

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Thanks a bunch for all the responses, its really helped me get a good idea of what to expect. I think I might go what seems to be the popular route and research and make my own set up! It seems trying to be "budget friendly" and getting a kit normally results in most things getting replaced anyways.

Thanks again everyone!
 

AmStatic

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I bought a 55 kit and little by little have upgraded absolutely everything but the glass container. New stand, better lighting, canister filter, better heater, better hood... In the long run it will cost you more to do it that way, but at least you can start immediately and upgrade as you have the budget for it.
Remember. It's a hobby, not a piece of artwork.. so it's normal to want to try new things, move things around, change plants, substrates, stock until you have the exact perfect setup... Just in time to break it all down and do something completely different with it!
 

david1978

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Depending what fish you want you can start with the bare essentials and from there. Basically a tank, stand and filter.
 

coralbandit

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Build a tank that will last for years without having to replace it all.
Buy a tank the size you want ; Petco Dollar per gallon sale ..
Filter ; Aquaclear Hang on Back
Heater; Aqueon pro
Light; BeamsWorks DA FSPEC

Order all accessories on line to make them affordable.
 

Julabean

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SheebShoob said:
New fishkeeper back with another question!

Is there a general consensus that buying separate parts for a tank is better than buying a tank kit that is all inclusive, i.e comes with a heater, filter etc.?

I did read that the filters that typically come with kit tanks are usually meant for the size smaller than the tank they are packaged with, and that the heaters can be hit or miss. Does anyone have any experience or opinions either for or against kit tanks?
I bought my 10 gallon long as a kit. Because it's a planted tank I upgraded the lighting. You always have the option to upgrade pieces on your own schedule.
 

Leland

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I buy the tank kits really for the tank, hood, and lighting. Generally for some tank sizes it’s much more economical to get the tank kit which comes with a hood that actually fits the tank. I’ll upgrade the filter in most cases and/or the lighting if I am doing a planted tank.
 

Fahn

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I buy everything separately. I'd rather pay more and know I'm getting better quality hardware than get a kit with an under-powered heater and filter and a light that can't grow anything.
 

McFly

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I'm with the majority, and put my own equipment together. Usually included
equipment is 'bare minimum' performance wise, and lower quality. For years
I would buy tanks used on the cheap, and spend extra on filtration, heater and
lighting.

These days I pretty much know what I want equipment wise, through lots of
trial and error, and will never find what I want in a kit.
 
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