Disclaimer: I officially only have one Fluval Spec III… so far. So I’m designating this one as #1, because there may be more in the somewhat-near future!
This current journey down the aquarium rabbit-hole started with seeing a beautiful Betta at PetSmart – the varieties available without going to a specialty shop or breeder are so much fancier than when I got my first Betta my freshman year in college… in 2003. I had mentioned seeing one I loved to Destin, but that I would have to get a separate tank for it and didn’t seem to think I could find room for another aquarium in the house. Since he seemed sure I could manage to wedge one somewhere, I went back to PetSmart last Friday, and picked myself out a Betta – he’s a Dumbo Half-Moon Betta, and looks mostly reddish in some lights and more blue-green in others. I swear the two photos are of the same fish.
PetSmart didn’t have any small aquariums that I was happy with, so I took my Betta home, put him in a jar, and started on some research. I ended up settling on the Fluval Spec III, which is a 2.6 gallon glass (!) aquarium with a built-in filter setup. It’s not terribly common to find glass aquarium setups that small, and acrylic scratches so easily, and the Spec had good reviews. The aquarium arrived Tuesday along with the 25 watt Marina heater that I will be able to tuck in the filter area, but the silicone sealant I ordered so that I could do one or two modifications that were recommended on Spec-Tanks.com to make the aquarium safe for Bettas, and for Red Cherry Shrimp (should I chose to get any), didn’t arrive until yesterday, and will have to cure for a couple of days before I can add water. Since the heater is adjustable, but I don’t actually see any temperature markings on it, I’ll have to make sure the temperature is stable at a safe level before I can put anything alive in the tank, too.
In the meantime, my Betta (Jack the Ripper), and the tiny Horned Nerite Snail that I got for the new tank are bunking in a plastic breeder box in my 29 gallon aquarium. I felt badly for my Betta, since they really need filtered, heated water, and I had him in an un-filtered, un-cycled, un-heated glass bowl sitting on a bookcase, but since he can’t swim freely with my other fish, I put him in a breeder box to enjoy heated, filtered water while I get his aquarium set up. The snail is so tiny that if I let it go free in my large tank, it would blend in and get lost in the gravel (that’s how small it is) if it didn’t get eaten by my goldfish or my pleco first. I’m seriously tempted to get out Destin’s calipers to see exactly how tiny it is, but I’m worried about damaging its shell with the calipers!
Since I’ve got a few days before I’ll be able to set up the tank and add water, I pulled the filter media out of it and put it in my 29 gallon aquarium to soak, and hopefully pick up some beneficial bacteria that will help the new tank cycle faster. Ideally, I’d have the new filter media hanging out in my established tank for a couple of weeks, but I’m not that patient. Hopefully being in there a few days will help!
In doing all of my research on the Fluval Spec and nano tanks in general, I ended up finding more information (and beautiful photos) on heavily planted aquariums, the best lighting options, substrate, and pressurized CO2… so there’s a redo of my 29 gallon tank in the works, too.
Updates to come as my Fluval Spec III gets set up and cycled! Any re-workings of my 29 gallon aquarium will be in separate posts.