Fluval EBI experience needed! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Fluval EBI experience needed!

Hey all,

I have been itching to create a nano Walstad tank for a betta or shrimps or what have you. I wanted to take it with me when I go back to college. Time to finish that undergrad degree. Blah.

I have been doing some exploring, and I came across the Fluval EBI. Does anyone have anything to say about this kit? Amazon has bad ratings on this, so I was wondering what the folks here on Planted have to say.

It might be a little big for what I was thinking; 5 gallons and under. I haven't decided on if I am going to go with a trimless cube or a vase/bowl. It really needs to fit my budget. Too bad I can't afford a really awesome low iron glass trimless tank.

Ohey, I have an idea. Let's get our degree and get a job! Problem solved?

Not.

If anyone has anything for sale, too, by all means, make me a deal I can't resist!

Thanks guys,
April
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 06:33 AM
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I have the flora version, other than a few differences in substrates and other accessories it's the same tank.

The main complaints most people have with this tank:
-with shipping the tank itself isn't nearly as well packed as it should have been to prevent damage to the tank.
-filter can be a little on the loud and noisy side (rattling sound) if it's adjusted to have minimum flow
-the filter can be a hassle to deal with as it comes apart easily where the pump and chamber housing connects
-media for the filter is only foam, carbon insert can be hard to find at lfs, but can use custom media~may result in loud filter though
-like most filters, it's a baby shrimp shredder (nothing a little filter floss can help prevent)
-Lighting isn't as bright as most people would like
-bulbs are of Fluval's own, so replacement bulbs can be hard to come by at lfs
-earlier models of the light burned out earlier than what was estimated
-backdrop is foam and has a high potential to pop up on you~may result in broken tank lid and light
-removing foam will leave silicone spots on the back of the tank
-Substrates is brittle, light weight, and nearly not enough for planting
-substrate recommends rinsing, will result in loss of substrate and very cloudy water

Good things I like about the kit
-Fluval has a two year warranty on the tank and it's contents
-cheap introductory price for a good looking rimless (try ebay for $80 shipped, got free shipping)
-provides you with quite a bit of items for a good startup
-makes a nice planted nano (still growing out plants in mine)
-Running stock light seems to be enough for a low tech tank
-Despite a little strong, spray bar aimed at glass helps cut down current and is more quiet if allowed to flow at maximum strength~no rattling plus shrimps aren't being tumbled

Overall I actually really like this tank despite it's poor ratings. It looks great when it's been filled out with plants, and at 7.9~8 gallons (foam background removed) allows for quite a bit of shrimps to be raised or allows for a singled betta to be quite happy. Right now I'm growing some plants in this tank using a mixture of ecocomplete capped with the provided stratum despite them saying not to mix them. You also get less cloudy water if you don't rinse the substrate and use a airline tubing for filling up the tank, plus you don't lose some of your substrate from the rinsing as it's very light weight and breaks up quite easily. The provided light provides a nice white light that isn't too yellow nor blue, however if you want medium to higher light you could add another one of fluval's lamps as they aren't too expensive on amazon. That's all I could think of about this tank set. Overall I'm pretty happy with this purchase and the set up is nice. Hope this helps you out a bit and good luck with what ever you choose.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:39 AM
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This is why I love forums I mean where else can you get an answer like the excellent one "Soundwave2010" sent you? It is great to have a place with such helpful people.


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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:46 AM
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Heres what I would do. Run the tank Low Tech with crypts, mosses and ferns. Add some CRS.

ADA Mini S $60
Hampton Bay Desk Lamp $20
Red Sea Nano HOB $10
Metricide $20
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:54 AM
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I've got an Ebi and although it is a good tank with decent accessories....I ended up replacing most of them so in essence I paid $80 for a tall rimless tank. That and the it would have been nice if the tank had more horizontal as opposed to vertical space, my CRS seem almost a bit cramped in there and I only have 12.

For that money you'd be better off buying an ADA rimless nano and then being able to pick whatever lights/filters you want.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 12:02 PM
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You've gotta factor in the cost of shipping for an ADA tank and accessories. That makes the price easily twice that of an Ebi. (Though, definitely a better choice if you can afford it and money isn't an issue) Shipping is probably $50ish, lighting would range $50-$100, a cover (if you want one) is extra, no filtration is included.

The complaints people have about the Ebi/Flora, shipping issues (that are retailer-specific, typically) aside, have never been an issue in my experience. I'm not a fan of small internal filters, so I sold it on fleabay. Picked up a couple extra lights via Amazon. Ripped the foam background out (the silicone spots come off easily with a razor blade). Use an Eheim filter. And it's great.

Fluval Stratum isn't that brittle and doesn't really break down unless you're careless with it or rinse it vigorously. If you treat it like you'd treat ADA substrates, you'll be fine. If you're doing Walstad, though, it doesn't sound like Stratum will be an issue for you.

It's a great tank with a small footprint. Easily customized as you see fit.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:52 PM
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I've had my Ebi since February. I haven't had any of the problems that caused most of the early low ratings. I think that's because Fluval addressed the problems and I got one that had the improvements. I've not had any problems with my light/bulb and it has run for 9+ hrs a day since February. My background hasn't popped off yet, either. I like the substrate (so much so that I have 4 big bags of it that I'm going to use in an upcoming 54g corner tank). The plants I have in it are growing well.

The only complaint I have is that the glass lid isn't tight-fitting enough. I lost three beautiful little clown killies to jumping out between the cracks around the top. I had them for about a week in there and they were doing great and then I went out of town for the weekend and get back home to find all three dried up on the counter. I had read they were jumpers, but I have kept other supposed jumpers and had never lost any fish to jumping. Lesson learned.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:14 PM
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I have 2 Ebi bought at two different times. The first one during X-mas last has it's bulb burn out in 6 weeks and the filter would rattle no matter what I try. The second one's filter was hard to get air bubbles out of it after several months using. I since replaced both with sponge filters. The substrate wasn't high enough to my liking so I bought an additional bag for each one. I like the foam wall and have x-max moss crawling it's way up on it.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
You've gotta factor in the cost of shipping for an ADA tank and accessories. That makes the price easily twice that of an Ebi. (Though, definitely a better choice if you can afford it and money isn't an issue) Shipping is probably $50ish, lighting would range $50-$100, a cover (if you want one) is extra, no filtration is included.

The complaints people have about the Ebi/Flora, shipping issues (that are retailer-specific, typically) aside, have never been an issue in my experience. I'm not a fan of small internal filters, so I sold it on fleabay. Picked up a couple extra lights via Amazon. Ripped the foam background out (the silicone spots come off easily with a razor blade). Use an Eheim filter. And it's great.

Fluval Stratum isn't that brittle and doesn't really break down unless you're careless with it or rinse it vigorously. If you treat it like you'd treat ADA substrates, you'll be fine. If you're doing Walstad, though, it doesn't sound like Stratum will be an issue for you.

It's a great tank with a small footprint. Easily customized as you see fit.

I almost caved and purchased one of the few remaining ADA nano tanks...IIRC it was $55 + like $15 S/H so not *quite* $80 but almost there.

Also, if he plans on replacing the internal filter and upgrading the lighting, the value of the package quickly starts dropping off.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortFin View Post
I have 2 Ebi bought at two different times. The first one during X-mas last has it's bulb burn out in 6 weeks and the filter would rattle no matter what I try. The second one's filter was hard to get air bubbles out of it after several months using. I since replaced both with sponge filters. The substrate wasn't high enough to my liking so I bought an additional bag for each one. I like the foam wall and have x-max moss crawling it's way up on it.
I used to have the rattling issue with mine too before I gave the impeller an extremely vigorous rinsing and placed the smaller sponge block in front of the impeller hole.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:59 PM
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Mine was a dud. It was brand new. I ran the head alone with my hands holding the cap and it still made the noise.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortFin View Post
Mine was a dud. It was brand new. I ran the head alone with my hands holding the cap and it still made the noise.
Mine too, sometimes you just gotta mess around with the impeller a bit. Fluval's usually really good about replacing broken equipment too so there's that as well =).
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 09:12 PM
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I love my Ebi. Re-siliconed the background, and I am using the stock lamp filter, substrate, thermometer even the shrimp food! Looks great and plants are doing well!



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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 09:16 PM
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They did send me a replacement filter and it was working fine.

That reminds me...the thermometer is no good. Temp registered much higher than it should be.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 01:53 AM
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I have had my ebi now running since January. The only problem I have with it are the weak lights, which burned out after 2 months. I ended up getting a replacement and a 2nd light to grow plants. I have had no problems since.

Yes, the filter can be a bit noisy sometimes. Just make sure to get all the bubbles out and make sure the cord doesn't rub against anything or it will rattle. I agree with the poster that the filter does come apart rather easily.

I have to say for the price and everything included it's not a bad deal.

- Substrate
- Food
- Net
- Thermometer
- Lid (somehow I had fish jump out even with the lid on)
- Tank
- Nice background (I love it. Some people don't and they have a history of popping up, but I have not experience this with mine)
- Filter
- Light (for low-light only)

If you can get one on sale for cheap I'd recommend it definitely. Although if I had the money to spare I'd probably get a customized ADA setup.
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