Review: Marina Vue 87 aquarium set

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Yay! A new tank that isn't a nano! You have no idea how happy this makes me, writes Nathan Hill.

So, where to start? Marina has always (for me) been the slightly budget side of Hagen. But let me be clear about this. I’m not talking budget as in ‘all the chaff from the factory floor sweeping, rehashed into something grotesque’ kind of budget. No, the Marina stuff is just the bare bones, stripped down version of fancier gear. It lacks some finesse, but oh my, is it functional... 

What we have here is a basic 87 l/19 gal set-up with the basics you need. The tank is actually smart, not just a cube of badly siliconed glass. Rather, the front edges are curved 

and seamless, for a smooth viewing transition. 

The hood looks a little bit 'Russian army' if you know what I mean, but it’s practical enough.

There’s a feeding/access flap, and the whole thing pivots easily on hinges. 

On the underside you’ve got an LED strip, incorporating Hagen’s 'soft start' technology, meaning that the lights ramp up slowly instead of just going from dark to bright. In white mode, the light adheres to a plant-friendly 7,500K colour temperature (so it’s nice and white), but there’s also a nocturne mode with just blue diodes running. It’s nice enough, nothing that makes my toes curl, but hey ho. The light’s already fitted, so there’s no faff involved. 

Filtration is a Marina ‘i’ series filter which is easy enough to work with. It’s a basic design, three stage filter with foam, carbon and biomedia, and though it might not be a Fluval U, it does the job to a high standard. Maintaining it is shockingly simple, though.

Heating is included too, all 100W of classic heaterstat. There are smaller models in the range, but note that they don’t have heaters as standard.

Dimensions of the tank are 76cm long, 30.5cm wide, and 46cm tall (30.4 x 12.2 x 18.4in) , and if you fancy it, you can also buy a purpose made and rather pleasing looking cabinet. 

Would I buy one? Yeah, probably. These definitely have a market, and the fishkeeper on a tighter budget shouldn’t rule the Vue 87 out as a balance of looks and affordability. The most diehard aquascapers might be sniffy about its non-optiwhite glass, but for the everyday fishkeeper, it gives you everything you want for a reasonable price. 

Oh, and the version I have came with a Fluval AquaVac included. If that’s standard with all the Vue tanks being sold, then they really are the bargain of the year!

Verdict

Much better than it might look at first glance. Perfect first community tank for a newbie. 

Ease of use:

5/5

Features:

5/5

Value for money:

5/5

Price:

Currently selling for around £125.

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