Nathan Hill casts his eye over this 60cm/24" aquarium from All Pond Solutions and reckons it's a real bargain.
I’m the kind of tightwad that likes a lot of bang for his buck and this tank from APS hits me right in the bargain spot.
You get absolutely loads for your cash. The tank is there, a taller than usual lump of a thing, rimless, without bracer bars and devoid of hood. This year for me is all about not having hoods.
The tank is roughly 60 x 35 x 45cm/24 x 14 x 18”, which doesn’t sound much but really looks the part.
You get a plastic cabinet, too. It’s a pretty sturdy thing, with oddly reflective insides to the doors and sides, while outside it’s gloss black. There are holes for light fittings and there’s a lot of potential to sit a sump in there.
After all, being plastic it’s never going to warp, swell or rot. That’s a nice touch, APS.
The tank sits on a ledge along all four sides, meaning that if you did get the tank drilled you’re not hindered about where to put those holes.
For some reason the base of the tank is blue and I guess this is because it’s Chinese in origin. It’s aimed at Far Eastern keepers who often avoid substrates.
The filter is the R2D2-looking EF1000, which is smart, chock-full of media and comes with all the piping you could ever want.
You also get 200 watts of heater and although the package claims to come with a thermometer, I couldn’t find mine. I’m not going to cry though as I’m still quids in!
The lighting is the way forward if you want to aquascape or even go marine. You get a canopy with four T5 tubes inside.
The version I have has 10,000K tubes, but looks remarkably blue when running, although, as standard, the tank comes with lower Kelvin freshwater tubes.
The rails to hold the lights are included in the package, as are the wires, and it’s so intuitive you don’t need instructions, which is handy as none are provided!
On the downside, the kit does look a bit rough as it comes straight out of the box: scuffed edges here and there, rushed silicone jobs and scratches that stand out on the cabinet.
The other thing that bugs me is the lay of the lighting. Because of the moulding, the lighting sits ever so slightly to one side, which I’m sure most people can live with, but if you’re a bit OCD you won’t sleep for weeks.
Overall, I’m impressed. The tank is deep enough to provide interesting aquascape potential, but it’ll also make a nice small marine set-up with a column of rock and corals — and I’ve no doubt that the lighting will support a range of inverts.
Assembly is minimal and the cabinet comes ready built. I wonder how many sales are restricted by having to home build something that holds huge weights of water…
Keep an eye out for rough edges, though. The light supports in particular had shards that could easily tear flesh and I had to tidy a few bits up with pliers and wire cutters.
But for under £300 for all this, I can handle a little bit of work.
Price: Normally £349.99, currently on offer at £299.99.
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