Upcoming in Spec-Tanks for 2020

Happy New Year!!  I love this time of year because I get to look forward to all the potential upcoming projects, articles, and reviews I’m dreaming up for the next year at Spec-Tanks.

I have some major potential projects over the next few years that I think will be entertaining and informative to the Fluval nano aquarium community.  First, a look back may be in order:

A Look Back at 2019:

I had quite a bit of activity in product reviews in 2019.  I started with using our Seneye Reef to test light output of the stock Spec V lights (both the pre-2016 version and the current version) and I tested light performance of some old lights (such as our Finnex Planted+) and two new lights.

par testing aquarium lights using the Seneye Reef PAR meter and monitor

Those were the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 SE (obsolete – don’t buy) and the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 HLC (very good light).  The HLC is my new favorite light for the Spec V aquarium.

I threw in a detailed review of the Seneye Reef aquarium monitor and light meter.

Seneye Reef PAR meter and aquarium monitor

Beyond the product reviews and testing, we rescaped our Spec V in January of 2019. I spent much of the year struggling with algae issues and slow plant growth.  It’s interesting how things have slipped over time and I ended up battling several issues at once.  By the end of the year I had almost figured out our issues and the tank is back looking good again.

I finished the year with an article on Dry Dosing fertilizers for planted tanks.  This one has been in the works for years and I finally got it done.  It has a nice calculator to help determine a schedule and dose quantity for your tank size and type.

dry fertilizer dosing in the filter section of the Fluval Spec V Aquarium

A Look Forward at What is Upcoming in 2020:

Here are a few ideas of upcoming projects/articles/reviews for 2020. . .

removing HC cuba grass in plated nano aquarium

  • Rescape the Spec V:  It could go a bit longer, but the substrate is about a year old and it’s getting a bit broken up and depleted.  I have used Up Aqua Aquasand since 2015.  It is a good substrate, but I have always been curious about ADA substrates.  I have a bag of Amazonia II that I plan to use on the next tank breakdown.

ADA amazonia ii planted aquarium substrate

  • More Planted Tank Articles:  Based on some of my struggles over the past year with our planted tank I have a few articles to discuss some of my lessons learned.

The biggest potential development is in starting a Nano Reef!  I have always had a facination with saltwater aquariums, but have never had the courage and/or resources to make it happen.  Given that Fluval has several marine specific All-In-One Aquarium options for saltwater, I think I might just have a go. Going with a marine aquarium will open up numerous opportunities to learn and share.

  • Fluval EVO 13.5:  Full setup and review.  This will be interesting as I will be doing this as a first time reefer.  I’m sure many mistakes will be made and it will offer lots of insight to others who may want to follow along in their own saltwater adventure.
  • In-Tank Aquatics Media Basket:  I have never seen the benefit to these aftermarket media baskets for the freshwater Spec aquariums.  For the marine tanks, I’m understanding there can be many benefits to getting rid of the stock sponge filter (that Fluval also provides with their saltwater tanks).
  • How to Make Saltwater:  Just filling up a marine aquarium is an adventure.  I anticipate setting up my own water factory that will entail an RODI system and a saltwater mixing station.
  • Saltwater Tank Ancillary Equipment: There is a ton of supporting equipment and accessories that I will have an opportunity to use and review for a saltwater aquarium.  This could include: Refractometer, aquarium salt, power head (Wavemaker), Auto Top Off (ATO) system, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter, aftermarket marine LED lights.
  • Saltwater Aquarium How-To: In addition to saltwater mixing that I already mentioned, there are many Marine aquarium skill sets to write about.  A few off the top of my head: saltwater parameters and testing, how to make a mesh aquarium top, filter options, how to cycle and start a saltwater aquarium, how to grow coralline algae.

If all of this saltwater adventure comes to fruition, don’t worry – I will still keep our planted Spec V up and running as well.

If you have any thoughts on projects you’d like to see or other product reviews, feel free to leave them in the comments.  Thanks!

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Upcoming in Spec-Tanks for 2020