Aquarium kits - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Aquarium kits

I'm thinking of putting a nano tank on my bar in the basement and I have been looking at the all-in-one kits. I would like something 5 to 10 gals. with a decent light for growing some plants. All the reviews I see seem to be mediocre. Does anyone have a kit setup they really like or do you think the best bet is to just buy the components individually?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 12:19 PM
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Fluval Spec V is extremely well thought of on this forum. There are several threads dedicated to these tanks both in layout and modifications. The light that comes with the tank is fine for low light plants and edging towards medium light.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 01:53 PM
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I would go for purchasing the components separately. I picked up 20 gallon starter kit a bit over a month ago and replaced the filter and plastic top with a glass one. For the price I paid for the kit and upgrades I would have been far better off buying them separate. I'm not sure if it's still going on but Petco has a 50% off on all their tanks. I have to agree the Fluval kits are nice but over priced in my opinion.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 06:55 PM
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Depends upon your goals and budget. If you want an all-in-one system for simplicity? There are quite a few on the market. I have three at the moment - Fluval Flex 9, Spec V, Spec III - and each work really well, have great lighting for plants, great filtration, interesting dimensions.

You can certainly piece together a tank setup for a decent price but if you want something that looks nice, it's tough to do without spending more than $100.

If appearance isn't everything, then you could pick up a 10-gallon tank, glass cover, Aquaclear filter and LED from Amazon or fleabay and call it a day.

Should your budget be large enough, you could pick up a rimless tank and separately buy an LED and filter. There are also all-in-one rimless options that would mean you don't have to buy a separate filter - only a light.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 04:16 PM
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Rimless tanks are cool, I've been going into smaller tanks lately... you can do so much with it!


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20 Gallon jungle tank
2.8 Gallon Fluval Spec
2.5 Gallon DHG shrimp tank
2 Gallon Sparkling Gourami underworld

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 04:38 PM
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I also have the Fluvel Spec V and Fluvel Flex 9 gallon. I really like the contemporary look/lines of the Fluvel Flex. When people see it they are always drawn to it because of the gently curved glass and the black background that makes all inside pop. I have it on my kitchen counter, and the all-in-one design makes it clutter -free. Eventually, I want to get the 32 gallon of same model.

Not that I dont like the Spec V. It actually, to me, is a better tank for viewing shrimp, a single Betta-fish, or micro-fish in general. Where I like the Flex for its aesthetic value and "wow-factor," I like the Spec for its practicality ( although it is attractive in its own right). The Spec V is a solid tank for most low-tech applications where a 5 gallon is appropriate.

I also ordered the Spec 3-- I didn't like its dimensions at all. Didn't help that it came shoddily packaged with the front glass broken. But, that was a problem with the seller/shipping not an issue of the manufacturer.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 09:10 PM
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Had a Marineland Eclipse-6 a while back, found it mediocre at best. Thin walled injected plastic tank with cheap incandescent lamp fixture, filter was basically a small bio-wheel system using the same style cartridges. The current equivalent lineup seems to have similar quality tanks, but reverted to the internal cartridge filters used in their bargain priced starter sets.

In all, I'd avoid any of the bargain brand starter kits or all-in-one's such as Tetra, Marineland, Top-Fin, Penn-Plax, and stuff of that level.

People seem to really like the Flex system, and the Spec system. Seen a lot of happy people with BioCubes, RedSea Nano's.... but those are saltwater systems and probably larger than you're looking for.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 02:27 AM
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I have 2 of the Spec V tanks and like them a lot. Only thing I added was a small heater in the pump compartment. I have low light plants, mostly java fern and anubias. I got each of mine on sale at different times at Petsmart for just $50. So if you decide on one of these, check around.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I'm going to check on components vs. Fluval kits, only. Just not sure of which Fluval is best for me
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 01:58 PM
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I vouch for the Fluval series of tanks...they are well integrated and you don't need to worry about external/internal filters that would otherwise not be concealed.

I have the same tanks as you.....none of them set up yet though Taking my time with them.....I agree that the Flex has a nice look from the traditional type tanks - this tank does make a conversation piece I"m sure.

The lighting I"m hoping on the Flex is ample for low to medium light plants. What do you have in your Flex right now?


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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I also have the Fluvel Spec V and Fluvel Flex 9 gallon. I really like the contemporary look/lines of the Fluvel Flex. When people see it they are always drawn to it because of the gently curved glass and the black background that makes all inside pop. I have it on my kitchen counter, and the all-in-one design makes it clutter -free. Eventually, I want to get the 32 gallon of same model.

Not that I dont like the Spec V. It actually, to me, is a better tank for viewing shrimp, a single Betta-fish, or micro-fish in general. Where I like the Flex for its aesthetic value and "wow-factor," I like the Spec for its practicality ( although it is attractive in its own right). The Spec V is a solid tank for most low-tech applications where a 5 gallon is appropriate.

I also ordered the Spec 3-- I didn't like its dimensions at all. Didn't help that it came shoddily packaged with the front glass broken. But, that was a problem with the seller/shipping not an issue of the manufacturer.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua07 View Post
I vouch for the Fluval series of tanks...they are well integrated and you don't need to worry about external/internal filters that would otherwise not be concealed.

I have the same tanks as you.....none of them set up yet though Taking my time with them.....I agree that the Flex has a nice look from the traditional type tanks - this tank does make a conversation piece I"m sure.

The lighting I"m hoping on the Flex is ample for low to medium light plants. What do you have in your Flex right now?
Its a shrimp tank.Here is a picture:



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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 05:47 PM
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Very nice! I like the huge centerpiece.....what are all the plants that you have?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 05:51 PM
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Very nice! I like the huge centerpiece.....what are all the plants that you have?
Thank you


Java fern "Trident"
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 06:00 PM
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Thanks for listing out the plants. Did your Fluval come with the water filter intake guards at the top and bottom?

Is that centerpiece one big chunk of driftwood? How long did it take before it stopped leaking tannins and making your water brown I wonder.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua07 View Post
Thanks for listing out the plants. Did your Fluval come with the water filter intake guards at the top and bottom?

Is that centerpiece one big chunk of driftwood? How long did it take before it stopped leaking tannins and making your water brown I wonder.

The tank did not come with guards but I got some pieces of window screen from a friend that I siliconed onto these areas to make shrimp-safe.



This piece of wood is years old and was in another tank--- so it has long released its tannins.


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