Fluval Spec Update

Eight months ago, I set up the 5 gallon Fluval Spec tank on my desk at my office job. I treated myself to this tank because I was so impressed with the Fluval Flex 15 which I’d also set up around the same time at home. Back then, I briefly had a large 2 gallon fish bowl with filter on my desk which I blogged about early in the year. I wasn’t satisfied with the bowl because it was too small and didn’t have the best lighting or filtration and took up a lot of space. I also wanted something that would be a little easier to maintain. With it’s narrow size, only 6.5 inches wide and 19.5 inches long, the Fluval was the perfect fit for my desk. I also love the built in filtration compartment of the Fluval tanks.

Here’s how it looked when I first set it up:

The tank was home to a female betta that had previously been in the fish bowl. I also added Kubotai rasbora to the tank. Not the best tank mates! As the female betta grew, one day she decided to terrorize the rasbora. I came back from lunch to find them missing. She’d chased them into the filter compartment and also had one sticking out of her mouth!

I decided to remove everyone, and so I replaced them with a couple of sparkling gourami and some exclamation point rasbora. Since the gourami like to hide, I filled in the large open space on the right with more plants and another piece of wood. Here’s how it looked then:

Eventually I lost the two gourami and a few of the rasbora. I replaced them with Phoenix rasbora, but was never really happy with all of these tiny fish that always liked to hide. They were the perfect size for the tank, but I never got to see them!

When my favorite local store got in some Japanese Medaka rice fish from a local breeder a few months ago, I quickly bought a dozen of them. I’d never seen these fish in person before, but they are very popular in the nano hobby online. I was so impressed with how active they were that I decided to put a few in this tank.

Here’s how the tank looks now:

You’ll notice a few changes in the plants. I removed one of the larger sword plants from around the piece of wood because it was getting too big. The Trident Java Fern in the back right in Pic 2 didn’t look so good after a few months so I replaced it with regular Java Fern. And check out how much the brown plant (Cryptocorne Wendti Brown) on the far right grew between Pic 2 and 3.

I’m well pleased with the rice fish and plan to move some of them outside next spring to see if they will spawn. They are much more lively and great eaters. They don’t hide at all. I have two of each of three different colors in the tank and after about two months now, they are still doing great.

As mentioned, I love the built-in filtration compartment of this tank. It’s the black space you see on the far left. The tank came with a sponge, media and the pump. It’s very quiet. The only problem was that the vents are large enough for very tiny fish to get through. I did block it with another piece of sponge when I added the Phoenix rasbora. The rice fish are too big to fit through it though.

The light was also included and I like the way it attaches to the side and suspends over the tank. The lid, also included, has an opening in the middle that is the length of the light. I’ve had no algae problems and I rarely have to clean the sides of the glass. I do change two and half gallons of water every Friday though. The tank does not come with a heater. There is room in the compartment area for a small betta heater where the pump is, but the rice fish prefer cooler water so I have not had to use it.

The slim design of the tank makes it a perfect fit for my desk. I’ve really enjoyed it, and so have my coworkers.

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