26.. Aqua One is evil

| | Comments (49)

I've probably ranted about this before, but I'm rather annoyed with Aqua One. They deliberately make their aquarium hoods a non-standard size so that you have to buy "their" fluorescent light bulbs. Stinks if you ask me. And of course noone actually sells the replacements because they're non-standard size. So I'm down to one light, which I'm sure the plants aren't appreciating.

I lost my last Danio yesterday. And I think I'm down to 10 neon tetras in the big tank, and 7 in the small tank (one died from there the other day). May soon be time to start thinking about replacement fish. Although I saw the cutest little angels today, and I wondered if mine could ever have been so little :)


Stephanie Coombes said:

Wow, I was gonna buy an an Aqua One AR380 tank, but what you said put me off a little. What tank do you suggest that is in a nice price range with built in filter + light?

January 22, 2004 3:45 PM


LESLEY said:


January 9, 2005 8:38 PM


Melissa Weston said:

If anyone is looking for any info on Aqua One tanks including Lights or anything please contact my stores Hi-Tek Aquariums Brookvale 9905-1414 or Hi-Tek Aquariums Pymble 9440-2255 we would be happy to help with any questions. We are solution providers cheers Mel

March 12, 2005 12:04 AM


RK said:

Do you guys have a website?

April 6, 2005 8:14 PM


Serina said:

Does anyone know where you can buy octopus?


June 7, 2005 5:34 AM


Manaz said:


I've just bought an AV-980 (same as the AR-980, but rebranded Aqua Vital for a chain of aquarium shops). It definitely takes standard sized tubes (36" and 30").

Some of the tanks will take non-standard tube sizes, because the tanks themselves are non-standard sizes. We were going to buy the AV-850, but the aquarium shop warned us about the non-standard tubes, and had the AV-980 on sale for only $100 more than the AV-850 anyway - so we picked up the tank and stand for $700 (a bargain IMHO).

June 27, 2005 8:41 AM


James said:

I just bought an AR 850 but I can't see the heater. PLEASE can someone help me?!

P.S The shop down the road sells AV 980 on offer for $370!

August 25, 2005 4:59 AM


Mordred said:

AR 850's dont come with heaters. You have to supply your own. How much did you pay for it. I am looking at one at the moment at 599 for the tank and the beech stand.

September 3, 2005 4:42 PM


lurch said:

hi i am just about to buy an AR-980 i am wondering if some one can help me with any info ill be needing iv been looking around and there isnt much on the net and i was wondering what is the around about normal price to buy a tank and stand is about $1020 with filter and all that aready there i dont think there is a heater but for this price should there be one i live in perth australia and if u recament some good shops please let me know
thank you

January 20, 2006 1:30 PM


Richard said:

We currently have full stock of all Aqua One ligt tubes. We also carry many spare parts eg Imperllers, motors, cartridges, sponges etc. HI-TEK AQUARIUMS new web site is www.keepfish.com.

June 9, 2006 11:26 AM


Graham said:

Aqua-one is cheap plastic rip off shit. Ive seen so many defects and such little warrenty support, i dont know why people bother. I guess its good for biggners that have cement floors, no carpet to ruin.

June 9, 2006 12:27 PM


Lunchbox said:

I only have good things to say about Aqua One so far. The inbuilt filtration system has proven to be excellent as has the available lighting and provided heater - other tanks come with crap lighting etc Aquaones provided lighting has been suitable for me to grow a dense number of plants. I go over any tank I consider buying with a toothpick, long and short, any tank can have problems, just make sure you spot it, when you're making thousands of these things there are bound to be screw-ups as with anything. Never presume it to be perfect when it comes to holding large volumes of water!! That's just ignorant.
If you take the time to go over tanks and do the research you'll end up with the best tank you can. Simple.

June 11, 2006 1:52 AM


Jasmina said:

We went to Hi-Tek Aquariums Pymble yesterday. Not only were the tanks well overpriced but so were the fish. Some fish were reasonable but most outpriced Strictly aquariums and auburn aquariums... It was unfortunate as they have a nice selection but really, the prices were through the roof.
We were after an Aqua Vital 850 or 980. We saw a 620 for $499 on a stand. We can get the 850 on a stand for $499 at strictly aquariums... Nice store - but the ones we were looking at were at least $100 more than anywhere else for their aquariums...

August 12, 2006 7:45 PM


Richard said:

Hello I'm glad that you enjoyed visiting Hi-Tek Aquariums at Pymble and I would like to make you aware that we do match our competitors prices. It would be a honour for us to match prices as this means you have done all the hard work running around for us and we have still remained on the top on your list. Please remember priced matched items have to be identical. Hi-Tek Aquariums also offers a loyalty program for regular customers so there are a number of ways we at Hi-Tek reward our customers.

August 14, 2006 1:19 PM


Fleaman said:

Hi new to this forum but i just bought a AR850 with cabinet today from Reef Aquariums in Hornsby.They were the cheapest in my area.Went to a couple of places in Pymble and Auburn but Prices were way off.Even told the guy in pymble i was a serious buyer and i will give him cash there straight up but he came back with a price that was $150 way off and $15 less for cash LOL.
So straight down to Reef aquariums and they came to the party with the price i wanted and even ordered me new stock in the colour i wanted instead of giving me the display model.Now thats what i call good Aussie service and i know where to go to get my fish supplies from now.

August 24, 2006 10:33 PM


David said:

Hi. I am looking at setting up an aquarium and liked the AR850 because of it's filtration system. I was wondering if anyone knows of a stockist in Melbourne (who hopefully won't rip me off) that sells aquariums at a reasonable price.

August 25, 2006 9:11 PM


Fleaman said:

Hi david good choice of tanks.I don't live in Melbourne but i am pretty sure prices will be pretty similar to Sydney.Go into a unknown aquarium(not ur LFS)and the price most of them will quote u will be $499 for tank and $200 for the matching stand.That is basically full retail price.If a fish shop quote u a price of $599 or less for tank and stand than they are gettin pretty close and want ur bussiness.Now go to ur LFS and see if they can do better.Guarantee them u will get the heater,gravel and accesories from them and i am sure they will look after u well as they know u will be back for fishes and plants as well.Anyway just as a rough guide the aquaone Ar850 with cabinet should be around$580-$630 for a average price and if u can get one for around $550 just grab it its a bargain.But if the fish shop ask u for more than$640 i would just walk out and find somewhere else.

August 25, 2006 10:29 PM


Peter said:

Hi I live in Brisbane and I am also trying find a decent price on an AR980 (215 litre). The best I could get so far was $780 for the tank and stand. Is there anyone who knows where in Brisbane to get a better price ? I have budgeted another $250 for gravel, external filter and accessories. I have had a price for the AR850 (155 litre) - tank and stand for $560.


August 26, 2006 6:05 PM


Sarah said:


I'm in NSW and thinking of purchasing an AV-980 (Aqua Vital) I was wondering what people thought of it... How does it compare to the Aqua-One AR-980?

Is there a disadvantage in getting a "plastic" tank compared to a glass tank?

I'm able to get the AV-980 and stand for $599 in total... I think this is a good price... What do you guys think? (i'd love to know which shop Jason was refferring to which was selling the AV-980 for $370!).


October 1, 2006 7:02 PM


mark said:

Gday, I have just purchased an AR850 from Aggies Aquariums in Pooraka SA for $500 with the stand. They had the AR980's for $730 inc stand.

January 17, 2007 6:42 PM


watto!! said:

hay my sons PH level was 6.2!! does any one no why that is? what should i do now??? my fish is dieing!

May 1, 2007 12:40 PM


Evan said:

If your looking for an Aqua one setup and live in Vic i don't think you can go past the petstock franchise they carry a full range of replacement parts the staff are very friendly and are more than happy to replace / warranty items / order in stuff if they don't have it, I personally think it doesn't matter what brand of tank you buy it's the service of the store selling it that makes the experience. However i have an Aqua one AR-380 and apart from replacing the filter cartridges have had no problems with it the only extra feature that could have been built into it could have been a light timer but a 12 hour plug in one works just as well. all in all i am very happy with it and am already planning my next tank acquisition :)

May 1, 2007 1:28 PM


Evan. said:

watto: A PH lvl of 6.2 is very bad for your fish :) i will try to explain why .. A ph lvl is a balance 7 being neutral any lower is acidic any higher is alkaline not many fish will live in acidic water and if you have snails in the tank the acid will eat their shells. you should probably also note that tap water should have a ph lvl of 7 (neutral), anyways to correct this you are going to need a ph kit the one is use is the aqua master brand and is very easy to use and comes with a test vial dye and ph up and down solution simply test and treat in an AR-380 tank i used about a tea spoon of ph up and that did the trick .. once this has been corrected your fish should slowly come back to life over the next few days :) also make sure that the tank is at the correct temp as that will kill a tropical fish faster than anything else esp if you live in a cold climate, i hope this helps :)

May 1, 2007 1:53 PM


David said:

I have to disagree with you evan, this all depends on what type of fish you have. If they are tetra's they prefer slightly acidic water. My tank has a ph of less than 6 because of my discus and all my fish do fine. And when you do adjust your PH it normally climbs back slowly and you have to keep trying it at the PH you desire.

June 22, 2007 4:36 PM


Mickey said:

Hi guys,

Do you know any good freshwater shrimp species for aquarium? i am looking for something small to medium (3-5cm) to put in my current aqua one guppy tank (AR380) and cichlid tank (AR850). and roughly how much are they and where can i get them? i am in sydney eastern suburb.


July 28, 2007 9:00 AM


kim said:

Hi i was looking at getting the AR850, i have been quoted from our shop 499- for the tank and 199- for the stand. Can anyone give me any places around the melb area that have them cheaper, im in the latrobe valley so its a fair drive. thanks for any help, kim
P.S i have read the coments about the lights and that but i like the tank lol

August 12, 2007 12:28 PM


James said:

Hi all, This is an email I sent Aqua One yesterday.

I have just purchased An Aquagrande 180.

I must say I am very disappointed.

1, The gap between the filter and the light.

2, The fit and finish of the trim, joins and general workmanship.

3,No way of accessing the tank without removing the light box.

I have two 620t's, they are a nice tank and finished nicely. This is what led me to buy aqua one again even going to the extreme of paying over $500 to ship it from NSW to W.A.

Any one of the other brands that I rejected to get this one would have been better, and I looked at them all. Now seeing the Aquagrande180 in person It is defenatly the worst one of all the large curved glass tanks on the Australian market

I have been kicking myself all day for getting ripped off with this inferior product.

Aqua one will never see another dollar from me, anyone I know or anyone that will listen to one of the worst buying experience of my life.

The sad thing is that it is going to be staring me in the face every day, for to enjoy my fish I have to look at this example of bad design and poor workmanship.

Thanks for nothing Aqua One


October 22, 2007 7:50 AM


James said:

Once again I find myself looking at this poor excuse for an aquarium. I can't bring myself to waste another cent setting it up.
You have destroyed my will to experience having a really great setup.
I cannot express my disappointment enough, and to not even reply to my last email just shows your contempt for your customers.
Be assured I will make my experience as well known and public in as many forums online and off as possible.
No wonder no one in Western Australia stocks these tanks.


November 7, 2007 9:46 AM


Molly said:

Hi there, just came across this forum whilst trying to find a lamp for my tank (again).

I bought an AR380 five years ago as it was on mega special and to be honest, it was a complete whim ($200 for the stand, tank, plants, fish, gravel, food and chemicals). It's been nothing but trouble since. It sprung a leak at one stage, and the light is an odd size which I can't source anywhere.

Does anyone know anywhere that stocks lamps for AR380s? It seems to be an 11 1/2 - 12 inch size tube, but i've been caught out buying something I thought would fit in the past and being completely wrong.

I live in Melbourne, but will order online if I can. I'm now at the point where I am seriously considering buying a new tank, but I'd love to find something that would fit on my existing stand.

November 27, 2007 8:27 PM


Chris said:


anywhere that stocks aquaone products is able to order the light tubes in for you, if they say they can't, they are lying.

Ar-380's came with 3 different tubes (so far!!), from memory the 11.5" is the shortest of these tubes.

Hope this helps you!!


December 2, 2007 12:41 PM


Jo said:

I have an aqua one 850 and seem to be having trouble with the filtration. The tank doesn't seem to stay clean. In the filter box on top the water that passes out that tube just seems to flow to the end and straight out the overflow pipe back into the tank- not being filtered.

any ideas to what I am doing wrong?

December 15, 2007 7:33 PM


Tarsh said:

how long have you had the tank? my globes have lasted two years so far.

December 27, 2007 5:24 PM


Chris Hills said:

Make sure you clean your filter pads out, as they clog with gunk, water finds it hard to flow through them and wont work correctly. When you rinse them, never use tap-water, this will kill the beneficial bacteria living on them.

Also, from my experiences, and common sense, the order of which you set up the filter is very important. The tank should come with a black coarse filter pad, a white fine (or carbon cartridge) pad and ceramic noodles. Place them in that order top to bottom (i.e. black-first stage, white-second stage- noodles-final stage). This will help you out because the black pads are less likely to clog than the white ones, and hence cut down on the amount of maintainence you need to do!


January 12, 2008 6:50 PM


dan said:

I think its great for the money, I just lift the lights onto the filter to feed them or through the end filter box as the duckbill spreads the food out nicely.
I DO HAVE TO AGREE that the 2cm gap beteewn the lights and filter is pretty shoddy:(
However I did find the filter pretty average at keeping the water clear so my solution to that was to replace provided media with the following
Efisubstrate (bottom)
Cheap filter floss (middle)
Blacke sponge (top)

This makes sure there is no run off as the wool pads do clog easy

Since then I have removed the powerhead and connected a ehiem 2028 cannister to the trickle filter and now water is spotless (may be a bit over the top but hey :)

January 13, 2008 11:49 PM


lotte said:

I was wondering if anyone could help me? I have an aqua one tank with none of the pieces. I now need a protein skimmer and pump filtering system to fit the compartments at the back of the tank. where could i get the right parts?

please can someone help???

July 2, 2008 4:26 AM


Stephanie said:

Hi Everyone,

I'm from Adelaide and in the market for a 200L or so tank.
I really like the look of the Aqua one AR980 and have seen it at the Pet Stock chain of stores for about $850 - with stand,
as well as with cravel, heater, ornamental plants, water treatment, ph test kit and other goodies, as well as $100.00 worth of fish!

Now, I think this sounds like a good deal, but, how good are these tanks? Are they well lit? Is the filter easy to clean?
Anyone had any leaks? I dont want to buy and set up this tank, only then to find that this type of tank has basic faults.

Advice anyone?
Cheers, Steph

February 23, 2009 10:01 AM


BB said:

Hi David,

I am not sure if someone has replied to your post asking about aquarium petshops in Melbourne yet, but I am personally a big fan of Upmarket Aquarium and Repltile petshop on Queen St, just opposite the Vic Market carpark. It's just on the right turn after almost completing the round about in the direction of Vic Market.

I hope you like it there, I found things to be reasonably priced and it is a family business so the staff are very nice and actually remember you if you become a regular customer.

Hope you enjoy it there,

August 19, 2009 2:22 AM


tbone83 said:

do your home work
sera make a range of hi tek tubes that fit the 120.150 and 180

September 11, 2009 9:37 PM


Vik said:

I have just been given an Aqua One 850 with cabinet and lights but without a pump or filter. I have not had an aquarium before. While I would love to set it up for my five year old feedback on this blog indicates not a good idea. Any solutions? Should I dispose of this Aquarium? Will it be to costly and to time consuming to maintain?
Seeking opinions from folk who are in the know about aquariums.

September 19, 2009 6:52 AM


tbone83 said:

yes aqauarium's are time consuming and they do cost money but if u do your reserch get a good filter for cheep and keep on top of your waterchanges you shouldnt have a prob, i would recomend a external cannister filter pref an Eheim classic, change your lights if you want plants becouse if there 2nd hand you dont know if there still putting out uv rays, keep your fish stock simple pref biotope community, which means they all live in the same natural enviroment.
i would also recommend not keeping the tank in your kids room, u wouldnt want it to get knocked over or any other foreign material put in there, bad for fish, but i encourage kids to get into wild life and animals at an early age so they will respect them when there older, hope this helped you out:)

October 12, 2009 4:47 PM


Kyrah said:

I just bought an AR-980 including stand, 25kgs of gravel, new and improved fitration stones, heater, 48"/120cm airstone, 2 check valve air pump, glass thermometer, magnetic glass cleaner, large net, conditioning salts, KH generator, fluid filter medium, the best tropical fish food, test kits for PH & KH levels, vac-a-tank, background, plus lots more, aswell as $400 credit to spend on whatever i want in the shop for $1000. Just wondering if anyone knows if that was a good deal or did i get ripped off because i haven't had an aquarium for a couple of years now.

October 27, 2009 3:34 AM


Gemma said:

I need new a new light for my 850. What size does it use? I know there are 2 long and one shorter one but I don't really want to take it apart to see until I'm ready to install the new light. The one I need is the shorter one, but it would be useful to know the size of the longer one too. And are these the non-standard sizes that I will have hunt around for? (and probably pay more for too). I got my tank second hand, all set up and never realised the problems people are having with them. Here's me thinking I got a bargain! I don't even know which colour lights I should use either, or which are available for this tank. I'd hoped to use a blue one but now I don't know if that will be an option, although I think the smaller one had a purple-ish hue. ANY help regarding lighting for this tank would be very much appreciated.

January 18, 2010 6:10 AM


Robert Dom said:

I have got an AQUA-ONE AV-850 tank and beech stand for sale, its in perfect order, no cracks or scratches, and approx. $200 in accessories, chemicals, heaters, etc. I am after $450 for the lot. I am moving house and need to sell it. The tank is in Quakers Hill, NSW, which is near Blacktown NSW.

November 1, 2010 3:46 PM


Robert Dom said:

I am also selling a WOLF CICHLID approx. 50cm in length, beautiful fish, BEST OFFER. Can sell on its own or with a tank.

November 1, 2010 3:52 PM


Isaac said:

Hi Robert,

Do you still have the AQUA-ONE AV-850 tank and beech stand for sale. I am 9 years old and have saved up for one. My daddy is going to help me pay for it.

December 12, 2010 3:06 PM


Orville said:

The lights in my AR-850 tank need replacement. Can anyone help me on where to buy them?

January 24, 2011 8:43 PM


Chris Hills said:


Anywhere that stocks aquaone should keep the correct tubes in stock. The AR850 has 2 different sized tubes (Ie 2 long ones and one short) and not all aquariums will stock the small one as it is an AquaOne specific length. The 2 long tubes are 30" and the short one is 23.5" (this is an 'old' ar620 tube).

If you live on the North Shore or Northern Beaches, pop in to either Hi Tek Aquariums store. We have what you need!

February 10, 2011 11:06 AM


Matt Smith said:

Hi all,

Wondering if anyone out there would possibly be able to help me out with wiring pictures or diagrams for the complete fluro setup in the hood of an Aqua One AR-980? I bought it second hand on ebay only to find that the wiring ballast in the hood was completely rusted out obviously from salt water use. I have sourced all the replacement parts from fish shops and electrical stores but am having trouble re-wiring it as the old one was in such bad condition and a lot of the wires had come loose of their fittings or broke. Be wary of this if buying one of these tanks second hand as i see a lot of them for sale on ebay, and a lot say that the lights don't work and that it may just need a new tube (as mine said). Appreciate any help. Thanks :)

July 12, 2011 10:53 PM


Shane said:

Hi all I bought a aquaone 180 tank with the curved glass 6ft the filter has me stuffed it is the long black box that sits on top and connected to power head. I thing I might be missing a few bits as not sure what all the holes are for did by second hand can't find instructions or pics anywhere

December 5, 2011 7:28 PM


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IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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