Imaginarium Pro vs Fluval Spec III
I went in to buy a second Fluval Spec III (2.6gal) today but the pet store was out. I saw they had their own brand, the Imaginarium Pro 3.7 gallon, and decided to try that out.
Like the Fluval, it has its own compartment for the water pump and a sponge filter. The compartment looks bigger than the Fluval Spec III, so the amount for planted space looks about the same for both.
I noticed that there's a small hole for the lid, but instead of putting it in the middle like Fluval's lids, it's right on the edge. Right away I'm guessing I can rule out putting any snails in, since a snail could easily climb out. Has anyone had trouble with this? I know snails will just climb the glass and it's nice if they meet with a lid they won't climb on, but with a hole right there at the edge, they could just climb out of the tank. I always put a nerite snail in my tanks so this bothers me.
I'm not sure whether to keep this one or take it back and order a Fluval Spec III.
Have any of you tried these two? Which do you like better and why?
Having kept the tank, and now having both Fluval Spec III and Imagitarium Pro, I can safely say I prefer the Fluval, even if it is a little smaller in livable dimensions.
#1. The first issue I noted was the hole for the lid being at the edge, which as I said, will likely be any issue for any creature that can climb about like a snail. This can likely be solved by just turning the lid so that the hole is on the compartment side, though.
#2. The second issue was the lack of instructions. It's all in text, with no visuals.
#3. I watched several YouTube videos where people skipped putting the pump together because it's just very confusing. If you set it up one way, the nozzle won't stay on well, and if you set it up another (by flipping the tube) it's a bit of an awkward setup (I went with this so my nozzle would at least stay on).
#4. The glass lid covers so much of the top of the tank that you won't have any room for any cords sticking out. For example, I put a heater in the back compartment. The way the glass lid is set up, it is meant to rest on plastic edges that go on the edges of your tank, and settles into place against a part in the back of the tank. Now because my heater has a cord, my lid is awkwardly jutting up to make room. I think the people who designed the Imagitarium Pro never imagined adding things like an airstone, heater, CO2. I really don't know why they thought they should cover the whole compartment with the lid; even the Fluval has a built-in space for your cords.
#5. The pump nozzle is not near the top, but actually 2 inches down from the top. Even with the pump settings set to high and your nozzle tilted upward, you will only get a light ripple on the surface. I'm not sure why the designers did this, it seems a little awkward, but it is handy for people who like to have a lower water line. If I didn't have a betta coming, I would definitely lower the water so that I could focus on having some terrestial plants growing out of the water, but in a 3.7 (with a good part being taken by the compartment), that seems like a waste of usable exploration space.
#6. Not a huge issue but the rounded glass edges without any kind of divider blocking the view will make the edges of your tank look stretchy. It's barely worth noting but there it is.
At this point it's far too late for me to return it. It's been dirted, planted, seeded, and I have a fish on its way, so I need to continue cycling.
One day when I have more time and money on my hands, I might buy another Fluval and transfer the contents then, unless I can learn to love the Imagitarium Pro as it is.
If you are just looking for a very simple tank with only a filter, nothing with cords necessary, and maybe looking for something that allows a lower water line while still having a built-in compartment, this could be just right for you. Otherwise, I wouldn't advise it.
Update 06/05/19 - After taking measurements, the inner dimensions (which excludes the compartments) are 2.5 gal for each tank. The Imagitarium Pro has a rather large back compartment that apparently takes up 1.2 gal of space--another downside.
Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 06-06-2019 at 02:34 AM.
Reason: added an update