Interpet Fish Box 64
Also known as the Interpet Fish Pod 64.
Capacity: 64 Litres (17 US gallons)
Dimensions: 60cm x 32cm x 48cm
Dimensions excl. lid: 60cm x 32cm x 37cm
This tank is a complete aquarium aimed at beginner aquarists who want an easy plug-and-go setup. It features individually switched Day and Night lighting options and comes supplied with an Interpet PF2 filter and Interpet Deltatherm 100W heater. Other accessories include a thermometer, condensation tray to fit the rear half of the tank and a small bottle of Bioactive Tapsafe for water conditioning and a bottle of Filter Start to assist cycling.
The front glass is slightly curved, measuring 32cm deep at the centre and 28cm at the sides. The convex shape combined with the seam-free curved front corners allows for an uninterrupted panoramic view. However the curvature does create slight distortion which can cause eye-ache when viewing from close distance. The curved corners can result in some strange optical effects with fish appearing unnaturally elongated as they swim past!
The lid is hinged at the back which allows for easy and convenient access to the tank. Unfortunately the bulky height of the lid requires a minimum of 9cm gap between the rear glass and the wall in order to allow it to open fully. This forces you to position the tank further away from the wall than you should have to. Also the hinged lid causes the lights to shine forwards when lifted which can make it difficult to see inside during tank maintenance.
There are ventilation slits in the roof and a wide gap at the rear of the lid to allow for air exchange and pipes/cables to pass into the tank. This design can cause a problem when running the tank at high temperatures because condensation collects on the underside of the hood and runs down the back when you lift the lid, potentially causing a hazard if there are electric sockets behind the tank. The condensation tray helps to alleviate this and should not be a problem if running the tank at less than about 27°C.
The standard lighting is two 14W CFL bulbs, one each on the left and right of the tank. The supplied lamps are a 'Cool Blue Moon' on the left and 'Bright Day White' on the right with individual switches to control each. The expectation is that you will light the right side of the tank during the day and the left side of the tank at night! This can result in areas of the tank appearing to be dimly lit and insufficient for plant growth. My personal preference is to buy an additional Day White bulb and dispense with the 'night' lighting. This will give you a more evenly lit tank and illumination for all your plants.
The tank instructions state that live plants will need approximately 10-12 hours of Bright Day light to thrive. These bulbs are considered very low lighting for the purposes of growing plants. It is perfectly possible to grow several different species under this lighting but you may find yourself restricted to low-light tolerant plants.
Upgrading the lighting in an Interpet Fish Box is a little awkward due to the irregular moulded shape on the underside of the hood but it can be done if required. Some suggested options that are known to fit easily without modification are a 15W T8 tube at the back or Arcadia Eco-Aqua LED at the front, for example.
The pictures below show how the tank might appear with different levels of lighting, including the standard default lighting and an example of upgraded lighting.
1) The underside of the hood
2) The tank without lights
3) Default supplied Clear Day lighting on the right-hand side
4) Two Clear Day bulbs for left and right side lighting
5) Upgraded lighting with two Clear Day bulbs plus an additional 15W T8 bulb installed at the rear.
Stand with cabinet (optional extra)
Stand external dimensions: 60cm x 32cm x 69cm
Cabinet internal dimensions: 37cm x 17.5cm x 64.5cm
The optional stand is an attractive design with convenient cupboard space for storage. The internal dimensions of the cabinet are not big enough to accomodate most external filters so you may find yourself restricted if you decide to fit one in there. The Eheim Classic 2213 is the largest model I could find that would fit comfortably.
I will briefly write my observations for each of the included accessories.
Interpet PF2 filter - adequate for the size of the tank and the adjustable outflow creates surface movement which negates the need for a seperate air pump or air stone. Personally I find the Interpet filters well-designed with space for two sponges and ceramic bio-media inside. Mine has become rather noisy after a few months use. Also the venturi feature does not appear to add air bubbles as advertised (unlike my Fluval filter which visibly adds air bubbles).
Interpet Deltatherm heater - I've had no problems with this except for the black dots on the casing which tend to fall off.
Therometer - a basic liquid thermometer. Mine reads 1°C above the actual temperature.
Interpet Bioactive Tapsafe - A useful water conditioner that removes chloramines as well as chlorine. However the bottle is so small that it will only last for a handful of water changes and I would recommend purchasing a more cost-effective brand when you need to replace it.
Interpet Filter Start - a bacterial additive with uncertain effectiveness. This did not help to cycle my tank as advertised. If you want to use a bacterial additive then there are better products on the market that are proven to work.
How long have you owned this product?
Ease of Use
The tank and supplied equipment come with clear instructions and is very easy to set up.
• All-in-one, easy to set up
• Smart attractive design of tank & cabinet
• Clear glass and panoramic view
• Weak lighting
• Bulky hood design
• Distorted view
• Specialised replacement bulbs
• Risk of condensation running down back of tank
Recommended for beginners as an easy first aquarium setup
Not recommended for more advanced hobbyists or for those interested in a planted aquarium.
Please note: At time of writing I notice that Pets at Home who are a major stockist of this aquarium are phasing this model out in favour of the similar-looking Love Fish 64L. I would take this as a sign that the Interpet model might shortly be discontinued which could negatively impact future availability of spare parts and the specialised Interpet CFL light bulbs.