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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I've had my Betta fish for about a month now. He's a cellophane butterfly veiltail and I house him in a headed 1 gallon bowl. He seems quite content with it and is crazy active! I just got some birthday money from relatives and I was thinking about getting a Fluval Spec III. I've always wanted a Fluval tank, they're gorgeous! But because I live in a college dorm would it be possible to maintain a cycled fish tank? I've heard that cycling nano tanks is hard as it is, and I'd be moving the tank back and forth to home and back quite a bit. So would it even be worth it?:-? If I got one I'd house him and get an apple golden snail, with some anubias and java fern.
 

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Hi!

I got a Fluval Spec II for Valentine's Day. I was concerned about cycling it also, it's the smallest tank I have. I used a bottle of Safestart and some seeded media from an older tank and it cycled in a week and has stayed stable ever since! I think part of the reason is that it actually has a pretty large filter for such a small tank, it seems identical to the one in my Spec V., with the three stage filtration, the large sponge area,etc.

It is really a lovely little tank, I have a small female in there and she seems to totally enjoy it.

I know the Spec III's are bigger, but I believe the Spec II are on sale at Petsmart right now for less than $30.

I can't help you with the moving issue though, haven't had to do that. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will pop in!

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've seen the spec II going on sale recently and it only tempts me more lol. I just like the look more of the spec III with the square light and the slightly bigger space, but hey I'm a broke college kid I'll take whatever comes my way. How long did it take you to cycle your tank?
 

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. How long did it take you to cycle your tank?
With the Safestart added ~ it was cycled in one week! I couldn't believe it. And it has stayed cycled. It's such a great filtration system.

I have some basic plants in there - swords, a frilly-like java fern and some floating dwarf lettuce, and they are doing just fine with the little light.:)
 

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If you're going to be moving it if just suggest going with gravel rather than sand, it'd swirl everywhere if you had sand and moved it a lot. Otherwise they are great tanks, just baffle the filter a bit if you need to and you're good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I actually just switched over from gravel to sand XD. I didn't like how food and waste got stuck between the stones and crevices.
 

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If you decide to go with the SPEC III - be prepared to make some modifications to the tank BEFORE starting it up - for the safety of your Betta.

The intake grid for the filter can/will shred your Betta's fins. Most of the users on the SPEC conversation thread have solved this by covering the intake grid with plastic needlepoint mesh sold at craft stores - ziptie it onto the grid and the holes are small enough to keep from shredding fins, but large enough to not impede the waterflow to the filter.

Secondly the filter output even with the pump set to the lowest will probably be way too powerful for your Betta and will toss him all over the tank. There are a couple of different modifications you can make to solve that (several actually, again see the SPEC thread on this list) the easiest and probably cheapest is to ziptie a Fluval Edge prefilter over the output nozzle to baffle the waterflow.

Finally the open hole in the center of the lid (for the light) also poses a couple of problems. If your room has low humidity you will have evaporation like crazy, and if you have an adventuresome Betta, you could come home to find him dead on the floor - there is more than enough room for a fish to jump out. Again many owners resort to covering the opening with craft mesh to prevent escape, but you will still be dealing with the evaporation issue.

I have a SPEC III, and after these modifications, it's a nice tank. Yes you can cycle it just fine, and if done properly you should be able to keep it stable. I got a second tank - a TopFin 2.6 gallon cube tank - way less costly, put a sponge filter in it, and I greatly prefer it over the SPEC. No need to modify filter, lid is entire, and the light (very similar to the light on the SPEC III) has a hinged base so you can flip it out of the way to access the tank rather than have to take it off to get to the entire tank.

Good luck with your new setup,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, and the Top Fin 2.6 is glass too!? That was the main reason on why I wanted a fluval tank! Thanks for the comments guys, you've all helped me so much :)
 

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Yes the Topfin is glass with an acrylic top. Here are pictures for comparison. The sponge filter in the SPEC tank is there to cycle for another Topfin I'll be starting next month. The one with the black background is the SPEC. The one with Indigo, my Blue HM Male is the TopFin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So wait, you put a sponge filter in the tank instead of using the inter filter that came with it? Also, what do you use for heat?
 

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In the TopFin I have a sponge filter for it's filteration. In the SPEC III, I currently have a sponge filter setup in addition to the SPEC on-board filter. The sponge filter is there to cycle for a new TopFin I will be setting up next month. It's just a temporary guest in the SPEC tank.

For heaters I started out with the preset mini heaters made for 3 gallon or less tanks, the kind you hide under the gravel. But I wasn't happy with the temp settings and saw some big fluctuations in temperature with them. I have switched to 25 watt submersible adjustable heaters in both tanks. In the SPEC the heater is hidden in the back pump compartment. In the Topfin, I have it mounted horizontally on the back of the tank about an inch above the gravel. I am much happier with these as each time I check the tanks the temps are right where they are supposed to be. As I live in Michigan and we are having huge swings in the weather this brutal winter, I'm very pleased that my 2 guys are snug with a constant temp in their homes. Better than what I have been dealing with. More snow on the way at the end of this week...Grrrrr
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have an under gravel heater too its a 7.5 watt or something. It heats my fish's bowl nicely. I live in New England so this cold weather can just go somewhere else lol. The only thing I have an issue with is the water heating up takes forever, even if I start with warmer water. But I just deal with it. Oh, and Im 95% sure I'm getting the Top fin tank :D. No live plants though, some snail species snack on them.
 
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