JBJ Picotope vs. Fluval Spec V - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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JBJ Picotope vs. Fluval Spec V

Hey all, not really a newbie but it's been 5 or 6 years and I seem to have forgotten quite a bit. Sigh. Now I've decided that a nice little planted mini would look lovely in our kitchen : )

I'm thinking either the Spec V or the JBJ Picotope. Personally I like the look of the Picotope better but fauna choices are just so limited. : / I've looked over the micro fish list, which was lovely, but of the fish that would fit in the Pico the only ones I like and that are easily obtainable are pretty much bettas. Blah. I love neon and silvertip tetras, but would a school of 5 neon tetras even fit in the Pico? I'm doubtful. And silvertips are bigger .... What do those of you who have a Pico have besides inverts?
Anyhoo, fauna can be decided later. I've seen a lot of threads about both of these tanks and everyone seems to be swapping out the lights on both tanks. Can I have a low light setup with the stock lights on either tank? I thought perhaps the one on the Pico would be enough but if no one is using it maybe not. What about the filters on both tanks? I haven't heard anything bad about filters on either one.
I'm sure I'll come up with more questions after dinner! lol
Can't wait to hear recommendations and/or advice from this very knowledgeable group of individuals.

--Kaifyre
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 11:52 PM
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FWIW, tetras are a stretch even in the Spec V too. They're schooling fish that need bigger numbers and more room. Green neon tetras might work, or maybe CPDs, but really non-schooling, tiny fish will work better. Maybe a Scarlet badis? Shrimp?

Low light setup in a Spec V is fine if you're good with minimal growth. Bucephalandra, Anubias, Crypts, etc. will be fine. I don't have experience with the Pico.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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lol I was about to suggest a scarlet badis. Never had one before but I've watched videos and they look really neat. I've seen people have them in 5 gallons. Would a 3 gallon work for them as well? I'm okay with inverts but I'd really like something more exciting in too. If I swap the light on the Spec V for a Finnex Fuge Ray clip-on would I be able to pull off some higher light plants? Never done Co2 before so that will be something new.

--Kaifyre
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 03:01 PM
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I have the Pico. I needed the filter and light for some other small tanks, so I haven't used them on the Pico yet.
The filter is great. The light appears so blue, but grew plants well for me: pearl weed, moss, java ferns. I will upgrade the light at some point instead of replacing the cfl.
Shrimp would work in the Pico, although if you are new to shrimping you might find it challenging to keep a small tank stable for them. Plus it is best if you keep shrimp with no fish. Highly recommend a lid for the pico, too.

~~~
aquatic plant newbie (but a plantaholic above the water)
10G: shrimp only
29G: fish...needs a total redo!
~~~
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 04:27 PM
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RUBY TETRAS

Definitely one of my favorite nanos, and they are truly nano sized.
My lfs gets them periodically, you wont know what you can get unless you ask, normally they can show you thier fish providers stock sheet.

A DIY kinda GUY
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-24-2016, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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When I was in college I had a 20L gourami tank. I've always been a fan of the anabantoids : ) Never tried sparkling or licorice gouramis, would either of those work in the Spec V? I'm thinking at this point that's probably going to be the tank for me, simply because it'll give me more stocking options. Also it'll give me a bigger moss wall : } And I'll be able to hide the heater in that little compartment.

--Kaifyre
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 05:47 PM
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The stock light on the Spec V is pretty sufficient for low light plants like wisteria, moss, Bacopa, Anubias, Brazilian pennywort.
Even my AR grows ok, not the greatest but ok.
I swapped out the lights for a Current LED plus, had to dim the lights down so low because the fish were hiding so much and increased algae.
I ended up putting the stock lights back.

Daisy Mae V
According to my husband, I have a habit of jumping right in!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 01:18 PM
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I have had both tanks and while the Pico was a nice tank it was a pain to keep topped up and its very small so your livestock choices are very limited.

I kept the pico as a saltwater tank and had some coral and a goby/shrimp pair in it. It was perfect for them but then again they didn't swim much at all so they didn't need any space.

I have the spec V now for fresh water and it is a great tank. The top that comes with it does help keep evaporation at bay and it has more room to keep a decent amount of fish (within reason). The light is also good for low light plants but I opted to switch it out for the Current USA led 18" and run that with a raspberry pi controller. I have some CRS and a squad of 4 pygmy cory cats and 2 emerald rasporas in there and I think it is about perfect. I do like the filtration setup better with the Spec V as well, I hate the mini kit HOB's but that's just me.

Hope that helps.
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