Fluvial Spec V or Lifegard AIO - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Fluvial Spec V or Lifegard AIO

Hi, I already have another tank, but want a smaller one than my current cube so I can have different fish. I am torn as to whether to get the Fluval Spec V or Lifegard AIO 7.4 gallon or something like the Water Box. I want something other than a cube so I have different choices for scaping and fish. I know that I want low tech, with maybe goby which would need shallower tank and fast water, or pygmy Cory with endlers so I could have a sandy bottom and wood, or celestial danio, maybe shrimp?!?. I considered a pea puffer, but they sound like more trouble! Probably not a Betta, not appealing to me. I would have to buy an LED light for the Lifegard and with the Water Box I would need an external or internal filter and light. Also may need to buy glass tops to avoid evaporation as I get a lot on my other tank. I have totally scoured the Fluval Spec V journal and keep coming back to it. Any comments, pros/cons, ideas so I can get out of my head and just do it!!

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 12:55 AM
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My best advice is to read through several Spec V journals and primarily look at posted photos to see what looks best to you. I really like mine because it's got interesting dimensions. Only took a couple simple modifications to be safe for shrimp & tiny fish.

Pros: Comes with a nice filtration system with lots of room for whatever media you like. Decent LED that's fine for lots of plants. It's semi-covered to prevent jumpers and escapes. Interesting dimensions, doesn't take up much room, can use it as a peninsula tank or cover one side of it and put it up against a wall.

Cons: Interesting dimensions, can be tough to scape if you aren't keen on seeking out appropriately sized & shaped branches or putting together nice rock work. Have to use a bit of silicone to close up two small holes in the filter system to be safe for tiny critters, have to cover the intake baffle for the same reason.

Did you know there's a 16-gallon version of the Spec? May be worth checking out.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, thanks for your input! I did see a number of the Spec V in the journals which I really liked. I like the dimensions and I like the idea of perhaps doing a sandy clear water look so the scape potential is interesting. I wanted an alternate look to my current cube look.

Do you mean this version of the Spec 16 gallon:
https://www.amazon.com/Hagen-Fluval-...gateway&sr=8-2

Don't really like the 'lid'. One of the attractions of a smaller tank, i.e. less than 10 gallons, is that I could use my very small RO system and not have to buy water!

The appeal of a Lifegard AIO or WaterBox or maybe UNS (but $$$) is that I could get greater than 5 gallon and less than 10 gallon in a longer, shorter format.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 03:08 PM
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Yep, that's the one I was thinking of.

The UNS 45A is an all-in-one that's $150ish and isn't a cube. But it's a standard aquarium size.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 04:35 PM
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The appeal of a Lifegard AIO or WaterBox or maybe UNS (but $$$) is that I could get greater than 5 gallon and less than 10 gallon in a longer, shorter format.
I don't believe the Spec uses low iron glass which makes for the big price difference from these other brands.

A new Spec V can often be found for about $50-$60 if you shop around and keep an eye out, especially with the holidays coming up. The other brands... tend to never see such deep discounts.

A few years ago I bought two Spec Vs for $50 each, one at Petsmart and the other off Amazon. If low iron glass and AIO were must have features I'd do the Lifegard 7.4, Marinedepot does free shipping. UNS tanks besides being more expensive, every site I find them on does not offer free shipping, so that's like another ~$40.

Don't ask for advice. Ask for information, gather lots of information from different reliable sources. Then use the information to make your own advice.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, good points on the low iron glass and sales coming up, I did not think of that and the shipping costs, yikes!

I just want something decent, doesn't have to be the highest quality glass, the size and glass lid option are important. As I think about it, the flow can be hard to control and the AIO can be a pain to clean in the sump, pump area so I may just try to use a good rimless with a HOB filter, maybe the Dymaxx slim, or ??? What would you recommend?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 07:16 AM
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Oh, good points on the low iron glass and sales coming up, I did not think of that and the shipping costs, yikes!



I just want something decent, doesn't have to be the highest quality glass, the size and glass lid option are important. As I think about it, the flow can be hard to control and the AIO can be a pain to clean in the sump, pump area so I may just try to use a good rimless with a HOB filter, maybe the Dymaxx slim, or ??? What would you recommend?


Whatever you like really. Everything works eventually... given that walstad tanks with no filter works too, if set up appropriately. I just pick what’s easy to maintain.

Don't ask for advice. Ask for information, gather lots of information from different reliable sources. Then use the information to make your own advice.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yikes, the shipping was outrageous for the UNS so I went with a Lifegard 9.6 gallon. From past experience, I always want bigger! Looking at the Fluval Aqua Clear filter, even though I like the very slim size of the Dymaxx slim, someone pointed out that I would be stuck using their expensive inserts and I always like to switch out and do my own thing!

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 12:12 AM
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Yikes, the shipping was outrageous for the UNS so I went with a Lifegard 9.6 gallon. From past experience, I always want bigger! Looking at the Fluval Aqua Clear filter, even though I like the very slim size of the Dymaxx slim, someone pointed out that I would be stuck using their expensive inserts and I always like to switch out and do my own thing!


I heard UNS own Buceplant.com. Buceplant.com used to offer free shipping even on tanks if the order was over $100. They ended that last year. Not only did they end free shipping, but they altered the shipping price during Black Friday sales, not price on the tanks, just the shipping, if you bought a tank during Black Friday sales you end up paying more than the day after the sales ended even with the sale discounts, at least on the tank I was watching.

Don't ask for advice. Ask for information, gather lots of information from different reliable sources. Then use the information to make your own advice.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, interesting! I don't mind paying something for shipping and I understand that shipping a tank can be risky, BUT........there is a limit! Seems like everyone is owned by someone else so the pricing is crazy. I noticed also that Aquaticarts carries Buce plants. Really need to do homework on prices and shipping costs. I like to buy local if I can, but stock is so limited. I feel for the local stores. My local Petco does carry WaterBox now, which is nice.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 06:12 PM
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I have a Fluval Spec V as well...haven't even set it up yet!

I might even convert it to a saltwater....

On that note, what small RO system are you using?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fish+plants View Post
Hi, thanks for your input! I did see a number of the Spec V in the journals which I really liked. I like the dimensions and I like the idea of perhaps doing a sandy clear water look so the scape potential is interesting. I wanted an alternate look to my current cube look.


Don't really like the 'lid'. One of the attractions of a smaller tank, i.e. less than 10 gallons, is that I could use my very small RO system and not have to buy water!

The appeal of a Lifegard AIO or WaterBox or maybe UNS (but $$$) is that I could get greater than 5 gallon and less than 10 gallon in a longer, shorter format.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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I have a countertop RO, Zero Installation Purifier, by PuricomUSA.com which does not require plumbing, purchased from RKIN. I have to manually fill a reservoir to generate water which cycles in about 15 minutes, producing 1/2 gallon. I only need small amounts so I generate and store water in 2.5 gallon container so it is ready when I need it. You can get two options for filter media; re -mineralize or not. Right now, I am using a re -mineralize cartridge and parameters have been: TDS 50, dGH 3 and dKH 2. I use it in a 10 gallon tank with micro rasboras and neocaridinas. So far, working great! Plus it looks cool on my counter and I have water for drinking and coffee!

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 06:01 PM
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Thanks...I had a look at the product. Nice and simple.....a bit pricey, but it's very convenient.

It says to change filters once a year.....given the amount of water that you use, is it necessary to? How expensive are the filters?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fish+plants View Post
I have a countertop RO, Zero Installation Purifier, by PuricomUSA.com which does not require plumbing, purchased from RKIN. I have to manually fill a reservoir to generate water which cycles in about 15 minutes, producing 1/2 gallon. I only need small amounts so I generate and store water in 2.5 gallon container so it is ready when I need it. You can get two options for filter media; re -mineralize or not. Right now, I am using a re -mineralize cartridge and parameters have been: TDS 50, dGH 3 and dKH 2. I use it in a 10 gallon tank with micro rasboras and neocaridinas. So far, working great! Plus it looks cool on my counter and I have water for drinking and coffee!
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