Fluval Spec V or Marineland 10G - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Fluval Spec V or Marineland 10G

Eventually I want to convert my 20G high to a South American biotope tank and will need to relocate my Betta. I've never done a planted tank before and thought a nano would be the route to go for both the Betta and the planting practice.

I've been reading a lot on the forum about the Spec V and how with a few mods it can be a great little tank. I had originally planned to do a low light/low tech setup but after doing some pricing I found that for around $20 more I could get a Marineland 10G kit and a FugeRAY Planted+. This would give me a larger tank, plus the heater, no mods and a far superior lighting setup. I know this means I'll have to introduce CO2 in the near future. I also know the Spec V needs some mods to make it safe for Betta.

Just looking for input from individuals that have experience with either type of setup. Trying to weigh out the pros and cons of each.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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I'm trying to fit this setup on a night stand which is why I was originally drawn to the size of the Spec V. After drawing out and comparing the footprint of both tanks the cheaper and higher volume 10G is worth the loss of space. (Spec V is 17.2"L x 6.3"W / Marineland 10G is 20"L x 10"W)

The next issue is lighting. I was looking at the FugeRAY Planted+ but learned there is a "24/7" model set to be released. It includes a built in timer that cycles color and intensity to mimic sunset and sunrise. The timer setting is a must since this will be in the bedroom and I like the idea of the sunset and sunrise features.

One thing I really want is to have the light switch on a timer from day to moonlight. I'm not tech savvy enough to put together something like an Arduino based system so this leaves me picking a pre-programmed light.

Being that the Finnex 24/7 won't be out for a while I researched the Current USA Satellite Plus and found it's only compatible with the single ramp timer which dims the light out but doesn't actually transition to moonlight (correct me if I'm wrong). This leads me to the Satellite Plus PRO (18"-24"). I haven't seen any specs on the Finnex 24/7 so I don't know how it will compare but the Plus PRO looks amazing. I know all of its specs are a little overkill for what I want to do but with the dim feature I would be able to tame it down to work with the 10G. Perhaps suspending the light off the tank a little would be an option. The fact that the tank will be in the bedroom is why I'm willing to splurge on the extra lighting features. I could always move it to my 20G high if it's too much light.

These lights are pretty new but does anyone have experience with the Satellite Plus PRO on something as small as a 10G? I know the Ecoxotic E-Series is comparable but is it worth the increased cost?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 08:55 AM
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I'll start off by saying I'm a huge fan of the Spec line of tanks, so my comments may be biased. Further, I have zero experience with the Marineland tanks, or Finnex lights. (although I know the latter are reasonably well respected)

For a betta tank, however, I really don't think there is a much better tank than the Spec series. The sole modification that's needed, IMO (other than adding a heater, obviously), is tear off a tiny pea-size chunk of sponge and stick it in the outflow to reduce the outflow... IF your betta seems bothered by the flow. Some are, some aren't. Other than that, it's a nearly perfect tank right out of the box. (once a heater is added) I LOVE that it's all in one with no exposed equipment necessary in the tank, and a well-designed filtration system that incredibly easy to maintain with zero ongoing costs.

The stock light on the Spec V is not great. BUT for a low tech tank with low light easy plants, you do NOT need more lighting than the stock light provides. Further, sticking with a low light tank means Algae is extremely unlikely. It even has the night mode you want, although moving to moonlight mode is a manual switching process.

If you do want to upgrade the stock lighting, though, the Current Sat+ (original, not PRO, although yes the Pro is great, too) is a great light for the Spec V. You don't need to be tech-savvy to assemble (note that I didn't say "build") the iAqua Lite controller designed by AnotherHobby. You just need to wait for someone (it may be me, shortly) to convert the code for use with the Sat+ instead of the Ecoxotic E-Series (or just go with the Ecoxotic E-Series 18" light instead of the Sat+ Pro, basically the same thing in a slimmer package). Then you'll have a great light with far superior control than the controller on either the Sat+ PRO or the upcoming Finnex light can offer. The light can be dimmed enough that you won't have to add co2.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. While this is primarily a re-homing tank for the Betta I want to utilize it as an opportunity to delve into aquascaping as well. After comparing tanks I think the 10g will give me more room for that and allow me to upgrade (lights, CO2, etc.) in the future. Though I will probably get a Spec III or V at some point as well.

I like the idea of the iAqua on a Sat+, especially being cheaper and lower PAR for this small of a tank. The Sat+ PRO would almost be a waste having to dim it down so much. What I really want in a light is the sunset and rise feature with moonlight at night. The stock light with the Marineland is definitely not enough to sustain any plants (22 White/2 Blue LED, 0.11w each), so I will need to make a decision on lighting soon.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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I've decided on the Marineland 10g. Here it is set up with EcoComplete, LFS beach sand, temporary fake coral from an established tank, and a couple Marimo.

I've decided to use this tank as a propagation tank for my South American biotope tank, in conjunction with re-homing my Betta. I'm looking for a list of plants that originate in the SA region that will work for a medium light/medium tech setup. I plan to use Current USA Satellite Plus PRO on the 10g and 20g high, 18-14" and 24"-36" respectively, and GLA Gro Paintball C02 regulators.

Comments and insight would be much appreciated.
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