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Fluval Chi- There IS a tldr ;-)

1037 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  IndeedPanda
Okay, so this is reeaaally early and- Oh it's 1:56am where I am, so it's early in many ways... Anyway, my mom saw the Fluval Chi and she adored it. She's losing her vision (She's had a worse life than anyone I've ever met so if you're the praying sort I'd appreciate the nod in her direction) and the simplistic look of the Chi really seemed to speak to her. She is an int- WAS an interior decorator and used to have a big 250 gallon aquarium and she raised me to throw paint on walls so I was surprised.

The more I look at it, the more I must admit that it's a very nice look. She'd never have people telling her it was messy or having to worry about not seeing the fish- she loves animals. If she missed noticing the fish getting sick it'd crush her. Seriously, she saves spiders. A dog bit her once and he still took him in and told people "I understand him. He's just seen the worst in people and needed to be able to do that without getting kicked to the curb again."

So her birthday is August 31st and I thought this would be a good gift to save up for (I'll let her pic the fish, I just want to get the tank set up so I only need a 90% water change, which I'll use to also move the tank wherever she wants it. The problem is some of the reviews I've seen.

She knows bettas can't be kept in little filter-free .7 gallon tanks because she's been learning along with me with my rescue betta. Bettas are new territory for her since she had always heard the bad rumors, and because she fell in love with salt water fish. I can promise those concerned that she would love the betta and I could easily set up it's area so she'd know which container was food and which was medicine and that she'd watch for behavior changes. She does have some vision, after all. She has MS, so her vision is deteriorating, and I guess it's fading out in some areas more than others. She noticed Bo's hurt fin before I did. I can also swear to you that if she ever did lose her vision to the point where she could not see the fish well enough to care for it, that I'd step right in and take over and even hire a maid/fish keeper ... once I get monies. Until then, the fish would still be card for.

I'm rambling...

Teal Deer time: My mom loves the Fluval Chi. Some reviews I've read suggest that it's best to have real plants with it so the water stays in better condition.
Anyone have this tank?
Is the little box at the bottom something I could fix a moss to? Maybe something that would look like the default grass, but help keep the tank clean?
What else does it need to be betta safe?
I read a review today about bettas dying because the water got low, what other problems should I be weary of?

I know maybe I should get her a different tank, but when I first got Bo, mom stared at that tank and tried to get me to buy it for a solid 30-minutes.
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I think it's sweet that you want to do this for your mom. I'm sure she'll love it.

I recently got a 5-gallon Chi and I'm still cycling the bloody thing. Anyway. I, too, love the look of it. My fish hasn't been able to live in it yet, since I'm still establishing the cycle, but I have one small hitchhiker pond snail in there and he seems happy! :)

To make it a happy betta home, I bought a small filter sponge and rubberbanded it to the filter on top of the bubbler/waterfall to reduce current. Without that, I could see the plants swaying in the current, and I was worried it would be too strong for my little guy (he's only a juvy). I also went on Amazon and bought the Chi cover for like $10. It makes it harder for Fish Stick to jump out, harder for the cats to get in, and mitigates the evaporation issue slightly. I still wind up adding water about every two days, since there's still a fairly large open area, around the "floating" filter in the center.

I don't use the planting box that came with the Chi at all. I thought about it, but I decided I wanted a substrate bottom and a more planted look. I've had silks in there for the last few weeks, but I'm ordering live plants today. User JKhoi on this forum has one of the most beautiful tanks I have ever seen and s/he has a planted Chi:

You'll also need a heater, obvi. I got Fish Stick a 25-watt Hydor Theo submersible and it keeps the presently unoccupied tank a steady 81 degrees. :)

Good luck with your mom's tank. I'm sure she'll love it, and be an excellent betta mom! :)
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Thank you so much, bananafish! Please keep me posted on how long yours takes you cycle. I'm saving up and thinking I'll get the tank in June/July so I can cycling it and then give it to her for her birthday.

So now I know that it comes with a planter box... I'm betting I could get some substrate in there and maybe some java moss if she wants the simplistic look.

Shopping list so far:
Fluval Chi
Small filter sponge
25-watt Hydor Theo

I love the look of that tank! Though I'm hoping to stick with the Chi's zen look at first since that is part of it's charm IMHO. Though for my next aquarium I'm definitely loving the black gravel look!
Might try either Drawf hairgrass or Dwarf Sagittaria for that zen look. I know some bettas like to hide and if hers is one then I'll maybe get some bambo and make him a little wigwam.
I agree that the fluval chi is a very attractive tank... I almost bought a couple of them
There's a few options for frameless tanks out there, you might want to check Amazon and do a little research since you have a bit of time. I did mine and went a completely different route.
I didn't want to commit to a style of tank or a filter and the fluval does have it's limitations but I still wanted a frameless tank so I just went with an all glass tank I found on Amazon without a filter. I got a sponge filter and a premade clear lid for it and it turned out exactly what I wanted.
I love rimless tanks in general. I've got a 3-gallon Mr. Aqua bowfront rimless that I bought from as well. My "work fish" is in that one.

I think the OP was sold on the Chi because her mom was ogling it. :)
Yeah, usually I research ideas for decorating a tank and then go get the tank. With the Chi, however, it's the decor that sells it for me. I could get the Edge or the Bio or a number of other all glass designs, but this one is just so calming to look at. With her vision it was perfect because she could focus on the fish. How many times have you said "I'll get a pic when the fish comes out of hiding?" Well, that's with good vision. She can't really search out the fish- not reliably.

I do agree that you should research before you get a tank, and I promise that I am doing that, I'm just trying to see if I could make this work. If in the end it wouldn't work or she sees something else then I'll change. For right now, however, I know she loves that aquarium. She wouldn't want to do anything to make the fish unhappy, of course, but it's all about temperament. Some bettas hide, some like open water, and she's probably get him a betta log since she thinks they are cute and knows how much Bo loves his log.
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I have the chi and I have to say I'm very happy with it. I do a lot of mods to it to make it safe though.
1. I have a lid I bought on Amazon.
2. I tie some sponge around the box filter to baffle the water falling down so the surface is still.
3. I shove foam strips inside the filter pipe attachment thing so my fish won't go in there.
4. I have one betta and 5-6 plants in there and I never have cloudy water.

Now, it does seem like a lot of work but honestly I would have made any tank betta safe like an obsession anyway so I don't think it's the tank's fault.

Btw, I just bought another Chi for my second betta. I love that tank!
Thank you, Eiksaa!
I saw amazon selling a version with a lid, and I have a pre-filter sponge.

I'll tie a sponge around the box filter as well.

How frequently do you do water changes?
I used to do two 40% water changes every week for the first month since my tank wasn't cycled. Now I do weekly 25-40% water change every week, depending on what my water readings are.

However, some people here mentioned I might be changing too much water considering I have a lot of plants.
Oh also, I don't use that little box at the bottom. I feel it makes the tank look crowded and limits how I can decorate it.
i'll cycle it with ammonia, and probably keep the same changing schedule you do since my plan is to plant dwarf grass in that little box so it looks like the display model, only it'll be safe for a betta and use real grass.
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