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Fluval Spec V or Fluval Evo 5g Saltwater

Karen00

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Hello folks,

This post is an extension of my previous post looking for help with smaller tanks (<8g) and setting up filtration, etc. Most replies said it's easier to get an AIO instead of piecing a setup together. Some recommendations were given but I seem to be having a hard time finding some of the manufacturers here in Canada or they seem ridiculously expensive.

I did however find the Fluval series of AIOs and in particular the Spec V and the Evo 5g Saltwater for a fairly decent price but the Evo is about $40 more The only difference I can find between the two is that the Spec V seems to be for FW (based on the light) and the Evo is of course made for saltwater because of the light but the description also mentioned specially coated aluminum (I'm assuming to prevent sale corrosion) which admittedly I wouldn't have thought of but now has me thinking about this. I certainly don't mind paying the extra $40 if it means things won't corrode.

So....
1. Has it been a good saltwater tank whether it's for a reef or FOWLR?
2. Has anyone had a bad experience using the Spec V for saltwater (found corrosion, etc)?
3. Is the stock light fine or did it have to be upgraded to a reef light (if so which one)? I'm sure it would be fine for a FOWLR setup.
4. Is the stock pump good? I think I read a few posts that said it was kind of weak.
5. Any other issues?

Thanks!
 

MaxxuM

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I'm using the Spec V as an emergency holding tank (see my signature) and it's working out fine.

1. The only issue is that the tank is tall and thin, but some people will like that. It may be a challenge for your rockwork as there less space back to front than a regular tank. My aquascape is just thrown in.

2. No corrosion that I've noticed.

3. The stock light for the SPEC V is not suitable for a saltwater tank and the EVO one is underpowered for anything except maybe some softies. Even then, they probably won't thrive. So save the $40 and use it for a replacement light.

4. The stock pump is only around 80gph, which is pretty underpowered. I went with a wavemaker on the opposite side. You'll want to use "special grade" sand. Sugar sized sand will blow around. 6lb's of CaribSea Aragonite Aquarium Sand will do great.

5. It's a kinda tall rectangular tank and can use the inTank media basket from the SPEC III. The AI 16HD and Kessil gooseneck arms both will fit on the chamber side of the tank, but it will be tight. You can use a gravity-fed ATO with a water bottle. I lost my second fish to jumping so you'll want to DIY a top like I am to prevent that.

Pico tanks are a challenge long term. I personally would not recommend one unless you fully understand what you're getting into here. Instead, I'd look at the AIO Fluval EVO 13.5. It's more manageable and the light will work for most soft corals.

Challenges for me have been temperature and ALK. Even with no top, ambient temp of 76, plenty of surface agitation and evaporation the temperature is borderline too high. I keep SPS so ALK drops around 0.5dKH a day now. With such a little tank that swing requires 1.2mL of All-For-Reef to remain constant. The issue is 1.2mL is kinda hard for dosers to archive over a week's time. The margin for error causes a slight swing that I have to compensate for on the weekends. I'm using the Kamoer X1 and a DIY Voss water bottle (it was a REAL challenge to find the fittings that would work). Tiny bubbles are forming in the hose and I cannot seem to find where they are coming from (its at the pump not the bottle).

Anyway, hope that helps.
 
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Karen00

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I'm using the Spec V as an emergency holding tank (see my signature) and it's working out fine.

1. The only issue is that the tank is tall and thin, but some people will like that. It may be a challenge for your rockwork as there less space back to front than a regular tank. My aquascape is just thrown in.

2. No corrosion that I've noticed.

3. The stock light for the SPEC V is not suitable for a saltwater tank and the EVO one is underpowered for anything except maybe some softies. Even then, they probably won't thrive. So save the $40 and use it for a replacement light.

4. The stock pump is only around 80gph, which is pretty underpowered. I went with a wavemaker on the opposite side. You'll want to use "special grade" sand. Sugar sized sand will blow around. 6lb's of CaribSea Aragonite Aquarium Sand will do great.

5. It's a kinda tall rectangular tank and can use the inTank media basket from the SPEC III. The AI 16HD and Kessil gooseneck arms both will fit on the chamber side of the tank, but it will be tight. You can use a gravity-fed ATO with a water bottle. I lost my second fish to jumping so you'll want to DIY a top like I am to prevent that.

Pico tanks are a challenge long term. I personally would not recommend one unless you fully understand what you're getting into here. Instead, I'd look at the AIO Fluval EVO 13.5. It's more manageable and the light will work for most soft corals.

Challenges for me have been temperature and ALK. Even with no top, ambient temp of 76, plenty of surface agitation and evaporation the temperature is borderline too high. I keep SPS so ALK drops around 0.5dKH a day now. With such a little tank that swing requires 1.2mL of All-For-Reef to remain constant. The issue is 1.2mL is kinda hard for dosers to archive over a week's time. The margin for error causes a slight swing that I have to compensate for on the weekends. I'm using the Kamoer X1 and a DIY Voss water bottle (it was a REAL challenge to find the fittings that would work). Tiny bubbles are forming in the hose and I cannot seem to find where they are coming from (its at the pump not the bottle).

Anyway, hope that helps.
Wow! Thank you for the great detail!! Aargh... Why did they have to make this tank with a skinny footprint?! Haha. I was looking at the 13.5 but have to rethink where I can put it. I still have my FW tanks setup and have no intention of tearing them down. I know some people get out of FW when they jump to SW which frees up space but I still love what FW has to offer (and I love my fish too much) so they're staying put. Haha. I'm starting to suffer from "too many tanks" syndrome. LOL

You have given me much to ponder.
 

tnw50cal

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I like what Maxxum said, he had a lot of good points. That said everybody starts somewhere. Me I say get the Spec V. Get some Caribsea live rock(sorry I'd go barebottom and put biomedia(bag of gravel) in the 2nd chamber of the sump) and build a tall thin rock formation in the middle or up the sump wall. Get a Blenny or some gobies for a fish and some zoas to start. There are some good videos on youtube about what people have done with this tank.
 
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Karen00

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I like what Maxxum said, he had a lot of good points. That said everybody starts somewhere. Me I say get the Spec V. Get some Caribsea live rock(sorry I'd go barebottom and put biomedia(bag of gravel) in the 2nd chamber of the sump) and build a tall thin rock formation in the middle or up the sump wall. Get a Blenny or some gobies for a fish and some zoas to start. There are some good videos on youtube about what people have done with this tank.
Thanks for this. Yes I was looking at ways of doing skinny reef setups. LOL. I had not ruled this tank out. I like the way it looks even though it has a thinner form factor. Haha. The price is also good compared to other AIOs of the same size. What lights are you running? Do you have pics of yours? I'm looking for inspiration. I'm also glad others like you and Maxxum are using his model for sw. I was a bit concerned it might have corrosion issues but that doesn't seem to be the case.
 

NanoCrazed

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It's a great tank and form factor... All depends on what you want to do with it. Both tanks off same pump and design...except EVO V has a slightly better light and has black trim. The stock light is good for softies but not if you want to do more... otherwise, get the Spec V and upgrade the light.

I have used both for SW...

My last Evo V build for an office tank...everything stock. plus, ato, heater and PH of course.

1601505031121.png
 
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Karen00

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It's a great tank and form factor... All depends on what you want to do with it. Both tanks off same pump and design...except EVO V has a slightly better light and has black trim. The stock light is good for softies but not if you want to do more... otherwise, get the Spec V and upgrade the light.

I have used both for SW...

My last Evo V build for an office tank...everything stock. plus, ato, heater and PH of course.

1601505031121.png
Oh wow. This is awesome!! Thanks for sharing. I think I'm going to pull the trigger on this one. I've been going back and forth (and back again) on so many tanks that I was paralyzed with making a decision. Decision made. Haha. I can't believe this is a 5g! Maybe I'll find room for a 10g or 13.5g down the road. Rearrange some furniture (or get rid of some furniture). Haha. I think this will be a good start! I bet your work colleagues enjoy it as well!
 

NanoCrazed

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Oh wow. This is awesome!! Thanks for sharing. I think I'm going to pull the trigger on this one. I've been going back and forth (and back again) on so many tanks that I was paralyzed with making a decision. Decision made. Haha. I can't believe this is a 5g! Maybe I'll find room for a 10g or 13.5g down the road. Rearrange some furniture (or get rid of some furniture). Haha. I think this will be a good start! I bet your work colleagues enjoy it as well!
Thanks! Yeah, that was a good and bad... always had people swinging by to check out the tank... was the water cooler break spot. Get to talk shop and shoot the breeze, but a little less work done. hah.

When I switched jobs, I had more desk space to I set up a IM20... but still keep the 5Gs (have 3) for special projects and builds. One is being used in an attempt to hatch lightning maroons...

One of my favorite tanks!
 
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Karen00

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Thanks! Yeah, that was a good and bad... always had people swinging by to check out the tank... was the water cooler break spot. Get to talk shop and shoot the breeze, but a little less work done. hah.

When I switched jobs, I had more desk space to I set up a IM20... but still keep the 5Gs (have 3) for special projects and builds. One is being used in an attempt to hatch lightning maroons...

One of my favorite tanks!
That is funny! All you needed was a coffee machine at your desk and it would have been the new hang out spot. Haha. Did you use the light that came with it or did you switch to a reef specific light?
 

NanoCrazed

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That is funny! All you needed was a coffee machine at your desk and it would have been the new hang out spot. Haha. Did you use the light that came with it or did you switch to a reef specific light?
Folks would grab coffee from the break room and swing on by... though they never brought me any... jerks. hah.

The light on the EVO V is reef compatible for softies and LPS... The Spec V light is meant more for FW but I used it for shrooms and zoas and they were happy. Just didn't get as much pop in color since mostly white light. The EVO V light has blues firing to make colors pop a bit more.

So if you keep easy zoas, shrooms, acans, and the like, you're good to go. It's probably not the best for BTAs unless you feed the nem.
 
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Karen00

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Folks would grab coffee from the break room and swing on by... though they never brought me any... jerks. hah.

The light on the EVO V is reef compatible for softies and LPS... The Spec V light is meant more for FW but I used it for shrooms and zoas and they were happy. Just didn't get as much pop in color since mostly white light. The EVO V light has blues firing to make colors pop a bit more.

So if you keep easy zoas, shrooms, acans, and the like, you're good to go. It's probably not the best for BTAs unless you feed the nem.
Awesome. Thanks for this. Yes I would only be keeping easy stuff given it's my first tank. It seems there's general agreement the Spec V's lighting is good for the easy corals! Now that I have found my tank I can finally look to the next steps on my list like getting rocks, etc. I might actually have this up and running by year end. Haha!
 

NanoCrazed

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Awesome. Thanks for this. Yes I would only be keeping easy stuff given it's my first tank. It seems there's general agreement the Spec V's lighting is good for the easy corals! Now that I have found my tank I can finally look to the next steps on my list like getting rocks, etc. I might actually have this up and running by year end. Haha!
Lemme know if you have any other questions I can help answer...
 

Tankkeepers

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Neither id stay far far away from fluval as I had the Evo 13.5 (was used as a frag holding tank/quarantine got same time as biocube 32)and within 6 months the silicon started to split on the side leaking a small amount of water I had the receipt warranty info everything and fluval would not honor their 2 year warranty I will never buy from them again I now have a biocube 32 for 8 months so far so good no problems and in the past coralife has always honored their warranty there are other aio but I have no experience with them so can not say iv read jbjs have light problems but I use a jbj mini fuge light and its been fine for the same amount of time
 
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Tankkeepers

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I will also say that the evos 13.5 light did do soft coral just fine I till the eventual tank failer but do not get the top of the light wet at all as its not water resistant in the slightest and you will either have to take I apart and clean it (I did)or get a new one and it was mabey 3 drops of fresh water that got in right beside where the button to turn it on and off is at
 
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Karen00

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Neither id stay far far away from fluval as I had the Evo 13.5 (was used as a frag holding tank/quarantine got same time as biocube 32)and within 6 months the silicon started to split on the side leaking a small amount of water I had the receipt warranty info everything and fluval would not honor their 2 year warranty I will never buy from them again I now have a biocube 32 for 8 months so far so good no problems and in the past coralife has always honored their warranty there are other aio but I have no experience with them so can not say iv read jbjs have light problems but I use a jbj mini fuge light and its been fine for the same amount of time
Thanks for this. I have looked at the Biocubes but they're too big for the space I currently have available and are more than what I want to spend at the moment. I read they had a 10g at one time but I think they must be discontinued. The smallest I could find was a 16g. They are nice looking tanks. I'm surprised by your Fluval failure. I have not read about any failures (at least not that I would've thought about this when making my decision). This is something I will look into (and Fluval not honoring the warranty). I appreciate you offering up your experience!
 

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