Fluval Flex Owners - Experience, Mods, Advice

cLoWDy

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Hello Reefers,

Im a first time reefer but certainly not new to the aquarium lifestyle. I decided to start my journey with an AIO (all in one) Fluval Flex 32.5 Gallon. I have had so many questions about the best way to go about setting up this tank as there are many ways to modify and improve it. However, with the tank being an AIO there are some restrictions to what you can do.

For example if your like me and in a household with other pets or kids that make the “hood” of the tank a must for you than lighting may be troubling you a bit like it has for me.

So.... I wanted to create this thread for everyone using these tank kits to get some answers and advice on ways to improve their tanks! I would love to hear your experiences and what you have kept or changed about the tank with its stock hardware and equipment. Tell us about your modifications or ideas to overcome some restrictions and ways for improvement! Pictures are encouraged so please feel free to share!

All questions are good questions so ask away and hopefully a fellow Fluval Flex owner will be able to answer or brainstorm ideas.

I will personally be keeping an extra close eye on this thread as I am very excited to see and hear about all the possible ways to improve these setups! I’m on my second week and waiting for a few items in the mail but will soon post some pictures and a detailed message on my tank specs and mods.

Look forward to hearing from you all!
-cLoWDy
 
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Flippers4pups

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I would recommend looking and posting in the "All-in-one" tanks forum here:


I can move this thread to that forum if you would like for more eyes to see it.
 

802ScubaFish

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Hello! I also have a ‘Fluval Flex 32.5’. A few modifications and light things I hve learned so far:

- Purchase inTank Aquatics 3-tier Media Baskets. They are light years ahead of the big black sponges that came with the tank.

- Upgrade the stock return pump. What pump you choose depends on different factors. I personally have a Nero 5 and Aquamai kps for powerheads, so there is already tons of flow in the display - I currently have one of the Eheim return pumps. There are others in here that went with something more powerful, but I have found even with one return nozzle aimed at the surface I still have great flow all the way around and through the center of my tank.

- Lighting, I and others have found the one Marine 3.0 light that comes with the tank is great for softies all the way up to LPS. If you are going SPS you will need a second light. At this point you can either remove the hood completely and mount Ai’s or some other lights - or keep the hood and use the brackets that came with the tank to mount a second Marine 3.0 LED beside the original (side by side instead of the one center ).

I’m currently deciding between building a custom “refugium” basket or installing the Icecap nano k1 skimmer (the recommended fluval PS1 is really poorly rated online) in the center return chamber.

I think that’s all I have for you so far haha. There’s someone on here that installed custom fans in the hood for heat issues, I forget their name though.. but hopefully they see this too..

(clowns are okay, just sleeping near surface at night now since the BTA has gone rouge lately plowing around the tank o_O)
996A6325-A0A5-4C52-825C-20217D8589B8.jpeg
 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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Hello! I also have a ‘Fluval Flex 32.5’. A few modifications and light things I hve learned so far:

- Purchase inTank Aquatics 3-tier Media Baskets. They are light years ahead of the big black sponges that came with the tank.

- Upgrade the stock return pump. What pump you choose depends on different factors. I personally have a Nero 5 and Aquamai kps for powerheads, so there is already tons of flow in the display - I currently have one of the Eheim return pumps. There are others in here that went with something more powerful, but I have found even with one return nozzle aimed at the surface I still have great flow all the way around and through the center of my tank.

- Lighting, I and others have found the one Marine 3.0 light that comes with the tank is great for softies all the way up to LPS. If you are going SPS you will need a second light. At this point you can either remove the hood completely and mount Ai’s or some other lights - or keep the hood and use the brackets that came with the tank to mount a second Marine 3.0 LED beside the original (side by side instead of the one center ).

I’m currently deciding between building a custom “refugium” basket or installing the Icecap nano k1 skimmer (the recommended fluval PS1 is really poorly rated online) in the center return chamber.

I think that’s all I have for you so far haha. There’s someone on here that installed custom fans in the hood for heat issues, I forget their name though.. but hopefully they see this too..

(clowns are okay, just sleeping near surface at night now since the BTA has gone rouge lately plowing around the tank o_O)
996A6325-A0A5-4C52-825C-20217D8589B8.jpeg
Wow Great information!!! I’m curious as to what return pump you upgraded to as the size will have to be a good fit! Thanks for the picture!
since you seem to know your stuff about the light... the part number if I’m not mistaken is 14513 correct? Because there is a Separate Fluval marine 3.0 that does not fit the light and has adjustable arms/legs that is 46 wats not 42. I ordered a second one and my question is “will there ever be an instance where two of these lights would be too much?” I still haven’t gotten a clear answer as to what the PAR readings are for this light so I’m hoping two will not be too much but with the app and ability to adjust the lighting I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Waiting on that and some MP10’s then I’ll post my picture and list of hardware!
 

802ScubaFish

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Wow Great information!!! I’m curious as to what return pump you upgraded to as the size will have to be a good fit! Thanks for the picture!
since you seem to know your stuff about the light... the part number if I’m not mistaken is 14513 correct? Because there is a Separate Fluval marine 3.0 that does not fit the light and has adjustable arms/legs that is 46 wats not 42. I ordered a second one and my question is “will there ever be an instance where two of these lights would be too much?” I still haven’t gotten a clear answer as to what the PAR readings are for this light so I’m hoping two will not be too much but with the app and ability to adjust the lighting I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Waiting on that and some MP10’s then I’ll post my picture and list of hardware!
Yes, 14513 is the one you want. 14516 is the same but wont fit as it has extendable arms/legs.
You can buy 14513 right here from Fluval. The only issue is heat. Two of these lights at full blast would fry the stuff in my tank currently. To be honest 2 of the #14516 would be nice and then ditch the hood for heat (not ideal in your situation I saw) but at that point I would buy AI primes with a mesh top or something.

As far as par goes, without your own meter this chart is about as close as you will get to a starting point (based off of part #14516)

C8231022-7471-4770-9D78-34746506670E.png


Current return pump is a eheim compacton 1000 I believe.. looking at a Sicce Syncra silent 1.5 just to up the gph a little bit.
 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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Yes, 14513 is the one you want. 14516 is the same but wont fit as it has extendable arms/legs.
You can buy 14513 right here from Fluval. The only issue is heat. Two of these lights at full blast would fry the stuff in my tank currently. To be honest 2 of the #14516 would be nice and then ditch the hood for heat (not ideal in your situation I saw) but at that point I would buy AI primes with a mesh top or something.

As far as par goes, without your own meter this chart is about as close as you will get to a starting point (based off of part #14516)

C8231022-7471-4770-9D78-34746506670E.png


Current return pump is a eheim compacton 1000 I believe.. looking at a Sicce Syncra silent 1.5 just to up the gph a little bit.
This is good stuff and super helpful! Can’t thank you enough! Please keep us posted on the return pump!
 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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If you decide to make a build thread for your tank keep me posted!
Will do!

quick question tho!
With two lights do you get double the PAR? And I’m thinking with two lights I just them a lower setting... what’s you light schedule look like on the Fluval app? I’m thinking with two lights I’ll have blue and violet at about 75% in peak hours of the day and run low white... what’s your advice?
 

802ScubaFish

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Will do!

quick question tho!
With two lights do you get double the PAR? And I’m thinking with two lights I just them a lower setting... what’s you light schedule look like on the Fluval app? I’m thinking with two lights I’ll have blue and violet at about 75% in peak hours of the day and run low white... what’s your advice?
I’m not sure on the par question to be honest. Another member here recommended I purchase a par meter on black friday, so that has been the plan.

This is current schedule with one light
9CC43C56-E25A-4F08-8955-6E4EA4C2D57C.png
 
AS

Lsuhunter

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I have the same tank and love it so far. I upgraded my return pump to the sicce syncra 1.5 which fits perfectly with no mods. I also have 2 of the inTank media baskets. For powerheads I bought the Current USA duel wave pump kit with controller for like $130 and it is working well for me. I like how I can mount them to the back glass and angle them back towards the middle. I think my blue and purple lights top out around 75% and my whites are around 15% and everything has been extremely happy. In fact with the lid on so tight, I didn't even need to add any water for 6 weeks, and still have not done a water change since I started it. My tank does get up to 81-82 though because of the tight fitting lid.
 

802ScubaFish

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You’ve reminded me, has the center of your lid begun to bow at all? Mine did a while back.. it seems to hve stopped and it is only minor. But I don’t think they accounted for the hot marine lights when converting the Flex’s from freshwater tanks to saltwater tanks.

a new hood is only $20.. but would probably happen again and it’s so minor anyways
 

Lsuhunter

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Not that I have noticed, but the lid by the back right media basket doesn't sit down flush which drives me crazy. I am not sure if that has always been the case or if the light made it bow as you suggested which makes this area stick up 1/4 of an inch.
 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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You’ve reminded me, has the center of your lid begun to bow at all? Mine did a while back.. it seems to hve stopped and it is only minor. But I don’t think they accounted for the hot marine lights when converting the Flex’s from freshwater tanks to saltwater tanks.

a new hood is only $20.. but would probably happen again and it’s so minor anyways
im now second guessing installing the second light with all the news im hearing about heat.. the hood is a must for me unfortunately with our cat and not having a specific stand... maybe ill run both lights together but lower settings? I have already ordered is so if anything ill have a spare. my final touches come tomorrow so hopefully i can get my first fish and frags Saturday!! ill be sure to post picks and do a tank build thread!
 
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Lsuhunter

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You can put computer fans to suck air out of the back compartments but then you will have more evaporation and top off constantly. Most people get the temps they want doing it this way. As for me, my tank is stable at 81 and everything is happy and growing so I would rather not deal with constant top offs for a couple degrees. Either way, stability is key.
 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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finally got the tank in full effect! Got a Duncan, red star fish, two stormy clowns, one blue tank and for cleanup I got a couple emerald crabs and some snails for now! So glad the cycle finished with success in exactly two weeks today! Everything is happy and healthy! I’ll be making my build thread tomorrow once I install my MP10’s!
3AF82E05-7BE5-4C3D-B93D-56D3CB90781A.jpeg
 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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If you decide to make a build thread for your tank keep me posted!
Finally made my build thread in the AIOL Build section.

 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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You’ve reminded me, has the center of your lid begun to bow at all? Mine did a while back.. it seems to hve stopped and it is only minor. But I don’t think they accounted for the hot marine lights when converting the Flex’s from freshwater tanks to saltwater tanks.

a new hood is only $20.. but would probably happen again and it’s so minor anyways

I'm having trouble keeping my PH high enough... ive dosed it two days in a row and dont want to keep doing that as it can be harmful and raise ALk levels ive read. im thinking this may be due to the hood and not getting enough fresh air.... someone suggested an air stone to be ran at night or during the day in the sump for some air flow. Any thoughts or suggestions since the hood is a must for me?
 

802ScubaFish

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Could keep the small back portion of the hood off as well, or leave the feeding cover open too. I know some people have installed fans in the hood as said above but I’m not familiar with that or running a bubbler unfortunately.. what is your ph during the day usually?
 
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