Eclipse System 6
I received an Eclipse System 6 for my birthday and decided to write up a review of the system.
The actual tank of the Eclipse system would best be described as a baby bowfront. It has a trapezoidal cross section with a curved front pane. For those of you like me who detest bowfronts don't despair. The bow is slight and distortion is not noticeable. It also narrows very slightly from top to bottom. It's not obvious until you fit a background on it so be aware. I had to trim mine to get it to fit without hanging out. I was surprised by the base of the tank. Rather than being flat the bottom is molded with several round feet across its width. To be honest these concerned me as they look to be a good number of stress concentrators and could be a problem if you don't place the aquarium on a level surface. In my case I used a piece of foam board insulation under the tank to even out any irregularities.
The filter that comes with the system is a modification of Marineland's HoB designs. Rather than using a vertical cartridge it has the traditional blue cartridge laying horizontal. Water is pumped up from the tank and poured out over the top of the cartridge. The bottom of the cartridge section is shaped to encourage water to flow horizontally through the fiber and carbon before spilling into a reservoir. The water fills the reservoir then spills over into a compartment with a biowheel. The wheel is underflow driven much like the Penguin series of filters. The filter is quite powerful for its size and kicks out a good deal of flow. Like I've come to expect from Marineland the filter runs silently.
The hood for the Eclipse encloses the entire top of the tank, hiding the filter from sight. The Eclipse's 8W light is also housed here. Fitting in the filter and the light results in a tight space inside the hood. This leads to two issues, first there is very little room to feed your fish if the hood is left on and you use the access door in the top of the hood. There is no way to work with the tank through the hood at all. Second, with the filter tanking up the rear half of the hood the light must be mounted on the front half. This results in a light shadow in the rear of the tank as the front is well illuminated. Depending on the look you are going for this may or may not be a good thing.
The primary reason I chose this tank over assembling my own with off the self parts was this tank was intended to be kept at work. As such the fully enclosed hood and modern shape helped this tank not look out of place in an office environment.
Overall my initial impression of the Eclipse 6 is favorable. I will update the thread as time progresses.