DELUXE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR MY BETTA FISH – FLUVAL SPEC AQUARIUM
Fluval SPEC Glass Desktop Aquarium – 2 Gallon
Pros: glass aquarium, 3-stage filtration, air circulation pump with settings, LED light, cover with hole to feed fish, great for betta fish
Cons: does not come with water conditioner, fish food, or tank decorations
I had been thinking of starting a fish tank when a coworker commented he almost flushed his betta fish down the toilet. After I unclenched my jaw, I offered to adopt the fish. He presented the two fish to me in a half-gallon plastic bowl with a divider down the middle so that the fish could not fight. (Male betta fish will rip each other apart if in the same tank. They are territorial.) I bought two Fluval SPEC Glass Desktop Aquariums, which hold two gallons of water. Each fish resides in his own upscale, roomy tank.
The Fluval SPEC Glass Desktop Aquarium comes in a box with: the two-gallon glass aquarium with plastic cover (which has a feeding hole in it), an LED light unit with Allen wrench, circulation pump with output nozzle and three flow settings, foam filter block, activated carbon insert, BIOMAX insert, a low-voltage transformer. It also includes a folded sheet of installation instructions.
The tank does not come with water conditioner, fish food, gravel, or aquarium decorations. Only the tank and its accessories are in the box.
The two sides and front of the tank are clear glass. The back wall of the tank is frosted glass to help hide the filter media and air circulation pump. The pump circulates forty gallons of water an hour. Overall tank size is 7.25 inches long x 9.25 inches wide x 10 inches high.
The fish have been settled and very happy in their Fluval SPEC tanks for about eight months.
For the most part setup was quick and easy. The instructions are basic, and they include illustrations. Essentially, rinse the aquarium and filter media (no soap; just fresh water). Place the filter, media and pump into the tank. The Allen wrench is used to tighten the LED light in place on the back edge of the tank. Plug in the pump adapter and light cord. Fill the aquarium with water. (I used water from my Brita pitchers and added the tap water conditioner as recommended.)
Things to consider:
1. Select the power flow setting on the circulation pump before installing it in the tank. The pump is a tight fit in its designated compartment. I selected the lowest setting and both betta fish enjoy the air circulation throughout the tank. I worried about the water current tiring the fish, though, so I have the pump and light on a timer so that it is not on all day.
2. I could not figure out how to install the air circulation pump into its compartment. To help me better visualize the installation, I went to YouTube and found a video demonstration. After the fact, I saw that one of the darker illustrations in the instructions shows that the black nozzle needs to be removed before the unit is inserted into the compartment. Once I removed the nozzle, the circulation pump was easy to install.
3. After the water has been added, it is time to decorate the tank. The two-gallon tank is vertical rather than horizontal, so floor space is limited. I added gravel to the tank bottom (rinsing it first). Then I added a silk plant to each tank. Betta fins are delicate and can rip, so I did not want possible sharp areas on plastic plants to harm the fish. The silk plants work great and the fish enjoy swimming in and around the plant fronds. I also bought a small decoration, but I had to look awhile before finding one that was the correct scale for the tank (most decorations are on the large size).
4. Once the aquarium was set up, I let the water sit for a day before adding the fish. I also added some of the water from the old fish tank to help acclimatize them to their new environment.
I placed both tanks side by side. However, I didn’t want the fish stressing out seeing each other all the time. They are fighting fish and posture at one another in aggressive shows of dominance. I cut a piece of plastic canvas and inserted it between the two tanks, removing it a few times during the day so that the fish see each other. Could be my imagination, but I think the two fish look forward to sparring with each other through the glass. (In case you are wondering, plastic canvas is a stiff open-grid constructed from plastic. It is available at most craft stores since it is usually used for needlework. Another nice feature is that the plastic canvas repels any water that touches it.)
There is a circular opening in the top of the lid. The LED light is positioned over the hole to illuminate the tank. I had heard that betta fish can jump. To prevent an incident, I cut some fine tulle and placed it across the top of each cover. (I bought black tulle at a local craft/fabric store. The black blends right into the cover so you would never know it is there.)
Before I had tanks with the air circulation pump, I had to do water changes several times a week to keep the fish healthy. I find that with the pump, I can do a water change and tank cleaning once a week. It is recommended to replace at least 20-percent of the water once a week. I usually replace 30- to 40-percent of the water. I also use a sturdy fish net to remove the gravel to clean it either once a week or every other week depending upon how it looks.
If you find the tank is growing algae, I found a solution. The tanks started to produce algae, but I pretty much stopped the process by reducing the amount of light in the tanks. I turned off one of the LED lights. I swiveled the working LED light so that it shines between the two tanks. I also reduced the amount of time the LED light is on. This solution works great. Hardly any algae are growing.
The Fluval SPEC Glass Desktop Aquariums were great buys. I would purchase them again. The tanks don’t leak. The glass and tanks are easy to clean. The LED lights are great as is the air circulation pump. I also like the ease of being able to feed the fish through the opening in the cover. My two betta fish are extremely happy as is proven by the bubble nests they build.
Enjoy the day,
Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart
Click to view at Amazon