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If you could make a beginner tank kit, what would you include?


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 I've been thinking, What would I include in a beginner tank kit?

Here's what I came up with.

1 10-gallon tank (perfect beginner size)

1 adjustable 50-watt heater

1 glass lid

A sponger filter or Seachem Tidal 35

Small net

Dechlorinator

A LED light cable of growing low-light plants.

Mopani Wood (I like tannins and you can attach rhizome plants)

Water test kit

A booklet with basic information on cycling tanks, water changes, maintenance, and low-light planted tanks. Maybe it would cover a few fish species like bettas. 

What would your beginner tank kit include?

 

A few substrate options you could purchase on the side. Pool filter sand, small natural-looking gravel, black sand, or black diamond blasting sand (I live in a metro area BDS is hard to find).  

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sairving
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That is a great list! I'd just add a thermometer- or better yet,  a heater that has the temperature digital readout on it. After I bought one of those it was a game changer. I have them in all my tanks now!

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I would actually change the tank to a 29g. Even though pretty much everyone starts with the classic 10g, I do t think it’s the best for beginners. More water volume gives you a little more wiggle room for your parameters and it opens up a lot more stocking options. That said this sounds like a gift for someone and they may only have room for a 10 so it might be specific for who it’s for.

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On 6/25/2023 at 1:32 PM, sairving said:

Here's what I came up with.

1 10-gallon tank (perfect beginner size)

1 adjustable 50-watt heater

1 glass lid

A sponger filter or Seachem Tidal 35

Small net

Dechlorinator

A LED light cable of growing low-light plants.

Mopani Wood (I like tannins and you can attach rhizome plants)

Water test kit

A booklet with basic information on cycling tanks, water changes, maintenance, and low-light planted tanks. Maybe it would cover a few fish species like bettas. 

What would your beginner tank kit include?

Oh.... I like this challenge!

My only comment on your list would be to not include the seachem tidal 35 just due to the issues it can present.

For mine, I want it to focus on a specific setup, but to ensure that you also have partnerships and benefits that make sense!  Certain things I would include and other things I would specifically avoid.

Here's what I mean:

Items Included in the box:
-20G Long aquarium
-Glass lid, custom made to actually fit.  This would be a side mount lid, not a front to back lid.
-Substrate, preferably something like UNS black Contrasoil
-Pinsettes and s-wave scissors for planting, heck let's get some nice UNS ones.
-A piece of mopani wood
-A packet of Alder cones
-Seachem Net
-Marineland Penguin pro filter, including the prefilter sponge added
-Dechlorinator (fritz / seachem)
-All in one fertilizer (preferably easy green)
-Aquarium salt (2 lb bag of fritz salt)
-Fluval E-Series 50w Heater (YEP, let's actually get this thing available in the US)
-2-3 "aquascaping rocks" that vary between lava rock, dragon stone, seiryu stone
-Medium size python
-Diffuser for refilling aquarium
-Specimen container
-Towel
-Handbook / guide to all items included and why some items were omitted.  I would add in that book a few scaping examples, using this actual kit, as well as a list of some recommended plants.  Main talking points include cycling a tank, setup process, how to clean a tank, how to care for fish, how to deal with common issues, how to find help, how to plant a tank, recommended plants, hardscape details, and where to go if you want to learn more (i.e. recommended youtube resources and online information that is trusted and reliable)

Coupons for items specifically omitted:
-Test kit (I want it to not be expired)
-Fish food (recommend certain foods, but I want it to be fresh food)
-Plants (buy 2-3, get a discount)
-Aquarium meds (buy 2-3, get a discount, not expired)
-Fish (just a general coupon here for a discount on certain types of "community fish", i.e. buy 5 get 1-2 free, to help people have a good school size easier)
-Light (this is sort of where a big partnership can either be included or not, trying to alleviate the cost of other products.  My preference is to recommend a few lights available at places that have this product)
-Aquarium related books
-Stand

On 6/25/2023 at 4:55 PM, Peaceful Fish said:

Agree list is good. I would probably not do the Tidal 35 but another small HOB, sponge or UGF. I just don’t like the surface skimmer on the Tidals or their price. 

The tidal 35 isn't like any of the other tidals or pretty much any filter at all.  It's definitely all skimmer because the pump is basically the entire intake.

Edited by nabokovfan87
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On 6/25/2023 at 8:46 PM, BlueLineAquaticsSC said:

I would actually change the tank to a 29g. Even though pretty much everyone starts with the classic 10g, I do t think it’s the best for beginners. 

I agree. The problem with the 10 gallon leader tanks, there is not a good upgrade path ie: bigger tank using the same equipment. So a beginner package could be a 20 gallon long or add a $12 upgrade for the 29 gallon tank.

 

Siphon tube with a gravel cleaner. I would package all the equipment in a 5 gallon bucket for water changes.

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On 6/26/2023 at 1:57 AM, madmark285 said:

 

I agree. The problem with the 10 gallon leader tanks, there is not a good upgrade path ie: bigger tank using the same equipment. So a beginner package could be a 20 gallon long or add a $12 upgrade for the 29 gallon tank.

 

Siphon tube with a gravel cleaner. I would package all the equipment in a 5 gallon bucket for water changes.

I like the 5 gallon bucket and syphon idea. Maybe add a cheap toothbrush and a pack of scrubbers meant to remove algae from glass as well. 

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It just dawned on me. A 10 gallon kit could be marketed as a betta tank kit. Too many Betta kits come with inappropriately sized tanks. Drop the Tidal filter and use a sponge filter instead. The Aquatop Forza HOB filters are nice too. 

Focus the species information in the book on just bettas. Include a decent heater and a coupon for a backup heater. Add in some of the suggestions everyone has made and people would have a decent betta tank setup.

 

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One advantage of a 10 gallon over 20 or 29 is that it can go in/on a lot more places. For a 29, you probably need or want a dedicated aquarium stand, but a 10 gallon can go on a desk or some other useful place like an cheap wire rack or end table. 

I also think you MUST consider what's going into the tank in order to inform what items or equipment you need. If you're doing neons and cherry shrimp, you will rarely need a heater. If you're putting in a long-finned betta you need a filter setup that won't create too much flow. 

Ultimately, pet stores have already asked this question, just in a slightly different way: what's the least amount of equpiment that almost every new aquarium owner will need (want to pay for)? In other words, what are the things that 99% of folks who don't have an aquarium, who are considering getting fish, will definitely need? Tank and filter for sure. Lid with built in light almost all the time, and definitely helps to see the fish you buy, regardless of what light is in the room. Almost everything after that will vary depending on the user and the fish they get. 

So @sairving my challenge (helpful challenge) question is, what is it about the already-available starter kits that doesn't work for you?

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I have never given any consideration of a packaged aquarium kit…

I just know there would be items I wouldnt be happy with..

I like 10 gallon tanks for quarantine and treatment tanks, but they seem too small to really be all that satisfying as a display tank.

If you go with schooling fish, you are sort of maxed at a single species of schooling, 1 centerpiece and some cories for cleaning.

 

Even my 29 gallons are feeling small now, but it is a great size to start with…

Edited by Pepere
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A starter kit is usually a tank, heater, filter, light, thermometer, net, air pump and stone.

A restaurant near me offers a "build your own burger" option. They provide a list of toppings and options for a fixed price.  I would apply this to the "build your own aquarium"

Best add-ons so far for me: guide book, bucket, towel, specimen container, LED lighting, algae scrapers, and coupons.

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On 6/26/2023 at 8:27 AM, TOtrees said:

 

So @sairving my challenge (helpful challenge) question is, what is it about the already-available starter kits that doesn't work for you?

The lighting and lids are a big one. Most kit tanks do not come with lights that can grow low light plants. If you update the lighting, chances are the plastic lid that came with the tank can no longer be used. Put a decent light and a glass lid in the tank kit. 

Heaters - Winters are cold in WI. Even if the fish or shrimp may not normally need a heater, there should be one to maintain some stability in temperature. I have WCMM. They technically do not need a heater but I have a heater that maintains 72 degrees. My tank would be in the 60s during the winter and fluctuating day to day. Especially when the artic air moves in. 

 

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On 6/26/2023 at 9:14 AM, Tanked said:

A starter kit is usually a tank, heater, filter, light, thermometer, net, air pump and stone.

A restaurant near me offers a "build your own burger" option. They provide a list of toppings and options for a fixed price.  I would apply this to the "build your own aquarium"

Best add-ons so far for me: guide book, bucket, towel, specimen container, LED lighting, algae scrapers, and coupons.

I like that idea! Provide several size tanks to choose from, say a 10, 20, and 29 gallon. It comes with a lid, light, and heater. Then you could choose your own filter, substrate, some driftwood, a standard maintenance kit, etc.

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On 6/25/2023 at 3:32 PM, sairving said:

 I've been thinking, What would I include in a beginner tank kit?

Here's what I came up with.

1 10-gallon tank (perfect beginner size)

1 adjustable 50-watt heater

1 glass lid

A sponger filter or Seachem Tidal 35

Small net

Dechlorinator

A LED light cable of growing low-light plants.

Mopani Wood (I like tannins and you can attach rhizome plants)

Water test kit

A booklet with basic information on cycling tanks, water changes, maintenance, and low-light planted tanks. Maybe it would cover a few fish species like bettas. 

What would your beginner tank kit include?

 

A few substrate options you could purchase on the side. Pool filter sand, small natural-looking gravel, black sand, or black diamond blasting sand (I live in a metro area BDS is hard to find).  

 

 

 

 

 

And a baby Red Tail Catfish as their first inhabitant 😂

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