Get the Ehiem Aquastyle, it has a super powerful LED that can grow baby tears and hairgrass. It also creates a nice shimmer effect. It may be more expensive, but all fish keepers should know that Ehiems are the best... And it is a German company lol. TherethereTBKON (Youtube) has one check it out and see if you like it. Downside is that it is acrylic...
Thanks for all of the help! Wow, the enheim looks amazing! Maybe one day, but it's a little out of my price range right now...
I think im leaning more towards the aqueon evolve... I like the shape a lot better. If I can find one without blemishes, then I'll probably get it, and return it if I don't like it. My brother has the mini bow 2.5 and loves it, so I'm more comfortable with aqueon than fluval, plus the LED light is a BIG plus. I don't know... Has anyone had glaring issues with the evolve long term?
IMO the biggest issue with the evolve is that it is acrylic. I currently have a 5 gal acrylic set-up and the amount of scratches on it is crazy. I despise the tank and I refuse to buy acrylic other than something cheap like a critter keeper.
I would definitely pick the Spec over the Evolve any day. IMO it looks MUCH better. As an owner, I can tell you that the Spec's filtration is much better than any other system you'll find on a nano its size. Construction quality is very good in general as well. The LED light is ok, and you'll be able to grow low-light plants like anubias, java fern, java moss, etc.... I bought Fluval's 13w light (also used on the Ebi) and it's amazing for growing plants. It lets me grow basically anything I want to. Algae issues are kept at bay by either DIY CO2, or if you're lazy like me, a nerite snail. All in all, I don't see why you would get an acrylic tank that looks pretty ugly to me instead of the sleek looking Spec. Just my opinion though.
Keep in mind ugly is in the eye of the beholder. :) The Evolve in person (imo) looks REALLY nice and sleek. :) Just expensive for the size.... The Spec went down in price a lot since I first looked at it which makes it more tempting a purchase, and is around $20 cheaper then the evolve.
(I personally wouldn't recommend getting an evolve any smaller then the 4 gallon only because I looked at the smallest one and it's too tiny. The 4 is about the size of a 2.5 with usable swimming space.)
If you catch sales you can often pick up one of the Aqueon 2.5 mini bows for around $20. I actually like the Aqueon mini bow tanks quite a bit too except for their light design which could be designed a lot better. Aqueon has beyond superb customer service as well if you ever need to deal with the company.
Agreed. The Evolve just looks "childish" (? not sure how to describe it) to me...maybe because of the LED light? Plus its cube-like shape makes aquascaping more difficult IMO. Again, just my opinion though!
I do agree that if you opt for an Evolve, you should consider the 4 or 8. There's also a new Spec V that makes a fantastic betta tank in my opinion (lots of horizontal swimming space, good filtration). I've heard various things about the LED light, though. Again, sufficient for plant growth, but not amazing.
Thanks for all the help! I really appreciate it, as I hope to go tomorrow to petco and buy a tank. How do you replace the filter on the spec? And has anyone had any issues with live plants in the spec? Thanks again, I really don't want to get stuck with a tank I don't like.
You don't need to to replace the filter on the spec - just rinse it with tank water (not tap water) to clean it every now and then. I guess if you wanted to, you could replace the activated carbon insert. All my tanks are well planted - the light that comes with the spec is decent, but not great. Then again, I'm not sure the LED lights on the Evolve would be much better. Definitely fine if you're newer to the planted tank scene, but if you're not, or if you want to try your hand at plants that require ferts/co2, it might be a different story. Hope you're happy with whatever tank you pick!