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FishChannel's Product Reviews

FishChannel product reviewers takes a hands-on approach to the latest products for the freshwater, saltwater and reefkeeping enthusiast.

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From LED lighting systems and canister filters to heaters, nano aquariums and beyond, all freshwater, saltwater and reef aquarium enthusiasts will want to know how these products stack up.

 

Aquariums/Stands Decor Lighting Heaters/Chillers/Fans
Aquarium Cleaning and Maintenance Fish Food/Plant Products Supplements and Salts Filters/Protein Skimmers/UV Sterilizers
Coral and Fragging Pumps/Wavemakers Miscellaneous Aquarium Test Equipment


Aquatic Life Edge LED 48-inch Aquarium Lighting System

Aquatic Life Edge LED 48-inch Aquarium Lighting System

The sunrise to sunset programmability, admirable performance over planted aquariums and excellent design mark the Edge LED aquarium light as a winner.More>> 


JBJ True Temp Titanium Professional Series 300 Watt Heating System

JBJ True Temp Titanium Professional Series 300 Watt Heating System

The JBJ True Temp heater is impervious to almost any abuse your tank's inhabitants might dish out.More>> 


Marineland 24-36 inch Aquatic Plant LED Lighting System

Marineland Aquatic Plant LED

This Marineland Aquatic Plant LED Lighting System does what it is designed to do and does it very well. More>> 



Marineland Maxi-Jet 1200

Marineland Maxi-Jet 1200

The Marineland Maxi-Jet 1200 is a multi-function water pump and power head that can serve as a power head, a Laminar flow, or a circulation pump.More>> 


KollerCraft Rapids Pro RP90 Aquarium Filter Review

KollerCraft Rapids Pro RP90 Aquarium Filter Review

The KollerCraft Rapids Pro RP90 Filter with UV Sterilizer is an all-in-one solution for those who want chemical, biological and mechanical filtration combined with UV sterilization capabilities but don't have the space or don't want several different components hanging off the back of your aquarium. More>> 


Fluval 206 Canister Filter

Fluval 206 Canister Filter

Reefkeeping enthusiasts Melissa Ramirez reviews the Fluval 206 canister filter, connecting the system to her 24g JBJ nano tank.

The system is ideal for aquariums up to 40 gallons, filtering 121 gallons per hour. Check out what she liked about the unit and what she thinks can be improved in this detailed review. More>> 


Sicce CO2 Life System Review

hydor slim skim nano

The new Sicce CO2 Life System is an excellent, simple-to-use method for adding carbon dioxide to a planted tank.

The Claims
Sicce claims that its new CO2 Life System will encourage luxurious and healthy growth of plants in an aquarium and that the pH can be maintained in the acidic range.

The Test
I ran the Sicce CO2 Life System on a 29-gallon planted tank with new plant substrate that I had been testing before installing the Sicce System. More>>

 


Hydor Slim Skim Nano Internal Protein Skimmer

hydor slim skim nano

The Hydor Slim Skim Nano Internal Protein Skimmer is an excellent, efficient compact protein skimmer for use in small marine tanks. It takes up very little tank space, as it is only 12 inches tall with a 3-inch-by-3.5-inch footprint; there is also a slightly bigger model, which is 17.5 inches tall.

The Claims
Hydor claims that the Slim Skim Nano is compact, easy to install and position, and that it will efficiently provide protein skimming for small marine tanks. Hydor also claims that it is easy to adjust and consumes little power.

The Test
I set up a 20-gallon high with water from an existing tank, live rock from that same tank and the Hydor Slim Skim Nano as the only filtration. More>>

 


Lifegard's Aqua Step Pro Ultraviolet Sterilizer 

UV Sterilizer

Lifegard's Aqua Step Pro Ultraviolet Sterilizer is another of the many excellent products from Lifegard. It does everything claimed by the manufacturer simply and efficiently.

The Claims
Lifegard claims that its Aqua Step Pro UV Sterilizer will eliminate disease-causing microorganisms and free-floating algae spores in any aquarium. Lifegard also claims that aquariums using the UV Sterilizer will not have problems with water-borne bacteria, and green water will be cleared up.

The Test
I used the 15-watt model (rated for 120-gallon tanks) in two different applications. First I tested its ability to clear a 55-gallon tank with free-floating algae (green water). I also tested the ability of the Aqua Step Pro Ultraviolet Sterilizer to manage organisms in the water. More>>

 


Lifereef Sump and Filter Review

sump

The Lifereef Sump and Filter is a well-designed and custom-crafted combination of a sump and filter and protein skimmer within the sump. This compact package provides excellent filtration and skimming, as well as options for chemical filtration.

The Claims
Lifereef claims that its Lifereef Sump and Filter is simple, complete and efficient filtration for a marine aquarium.

The Test
Lifereef specifically designed the sump and filter that I tested for my application (they will do the same for you). I had three 40-gallon breeder tanks overflowing to the Lifereef Sump and Filter. More>> 

 


Marineland 20 Gallon LED BIO-Wheel Aquarium Kit

Marineland LED Biowheel aquarium

The Marineland LED BIO-Wheel Aquarium Kit combines many of the latest improvements in lighting technology with existing filtration and heating. These technologies are combined in a good-looking and sleek package.

The Claims
Marineland claims that this kit integrates some of its newer technology (LED lighting) with its well-established BIO-Wheel filtration to provide a complete aquarium system that is easy to install and operate.

The Test
I tested the 20-gallon Marineland LED BIO-Wheel Aquarium Kit by setting one up from the box according to the instructions. For beneficial bacteria, I used sand from an existing tank and filter material from another existing tank; in addition. More>>

 


Ecological Laboratories Microbe-Lift Biologically Alive Substrate

Ecological laboratories

Microbe-Lift Biologically Alive Substrate for planted aquariums really makes a difference in the growth of aquarium plants.

The Claims
The company claims that the Biologically Alive Substrate for planted aquariums will help live plants grow better, and it will lead to a beautiful and lush planted tank.

The Test
I set up a new 29-gallon planted tank with the substrate, filling the tank halfway with water from an existing tank and half with new water. I used a fluorescent reflector with two 36-inch T5 HO lamps on for 10 hours a day. Plants included jungle val, dwarf Sagittaria, giant hygro, red hygro, water sprite, Cabomba, moneywort and a few crypts. More>>

 


Reef One biUbe Aquarium Kit

ReefOne BiUbe

The biUbe is a new addition to the line of small aquarium kits from Reef One. It is a beautiful 9-gallon tank, and it certainly stands out from other nano tanks on the market.

The Claims
Reef One claims that its new biUbe has a distinct style, while not compromising water quality or living conditions for the fish and invertebrates in the tank.

The Test
I set up the biUbe in the hallowed place on the peninsula in the kitchen that my wife, Saint Janet, allows for small tanks that I am testing for this column. I decided to test the biUbe by setting it up as a marine tank, so I used water and live rock from two of the large marine systems I have in my fish room. For livestock, I added three aquacultured clownfish--two ocellaris and one tomato--and some hermit crabs and snails. I ran the biUbe for three months, feeding the residents only dry foods. During the test period, I did two 25-percent water changes and treated the tank for some red slime algae when it reared its ugly head. More>>

 


American Marine, Inc. PINPOINT Salinity Monitor

protein skimmer

American Marine, Inc. (AMI) has an excellent Salinity Monitor. It is precise and easy to use.

The Claims
AMI claims that its PINPOINT Salinity Monitor will accurately and instantly measure the amount of salt in any marine or freshwater system. AMI also claims that the instrument is easy to set up and calibrate, and that it is durable.

The Test
I first calibrated the monitor with the calibration fluid that comes with the product. Then I used it on two different marine systems in my wholesale fish room. I also measured the same water with a plastic moveable-arm hydrometer and a refractometer. I left the PINPOINT Salinity Monitor on one system, so I could check the salinity of that system at any time. More>>

 


AquaMaxx AquaMaxx Hang on Back (HOB) Protein Skimmer

AquaSkimmer

The AquaMaxx Hang On Back (HOB) Protein Skimmer is a well-thought-out and well-designed addition to established protein skimmer technology. The improvements that AquaMaxx has made to the existing skimmer design result in an excellent new product.

The Claims
AquaMaxx claims that the new HOB Protein Skimmer is easy to install, silent in operation and will improve water quality, removing protein and other waste products from the tank better than other skimmers.

The Test
I installed the AquaMaxx HOB Protein Skimmer on an existing 50-gallon marine tank that has a new undergravel filter that I am testing. The tank has mainly soft corals and large polyp stony corals, three clownfish, a neon dottyback, snails and hermit crabs. More>>

 


Cobalt Aquatics Submersible Pump and Powerhead

cobalt aquarium pump

Cobalt is a relatively new company in the aquatics industry, and the Cobalt Submersible Pump and Powerhead is one line of products that this company offers.

The Claims
Cobalt Aquatics claims that the Cobalt Submersible Pump and Powerhead is an efficient, simple way to move water around in an aquarium.

The Test
The Cobalt Submersible Pump and Powerhead is a well-established technology. To test it, I simply installed it in a 120-gallon marine tank and ran it as one of four water movement devices I have on two wavemaker setups. More>>

 


Finnex 4-Gallon Glass Pico Tank

Finnex tank

The Finnex 4-Gallon Glass Pico Tank is a well-designed and well-crafted small aquarium, complete with a light and filter.

The Claims
Finnex claims that its Pico Tank, with its curved glass construction, energy-efficient light and small filter, makes for an excellent tank for a desk or other small space.

The Test
I set up the Finnex 4-Gallon Glass Pico Tank on my desk. I used some black sand from an existing planted tank and filled the tank halfway with water from that tank. More>>

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Manufacturers with products they would like reviewed may send an inquiry to David at FishChannel.com/Contact. 

 

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Reader Comments

Dante    Hyde Park, MA

5/15/2014 3:58:47 PM

Thank you. Good to have at least some kind of a guide.

Mike    Columbia, TN

7/28/2012 2:29:39 PM

Interesting! I hope that everyone's Saturday is going great and safe!

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