Putting together our Fluval Spec aquarium was straightforward enough; the only part of assembly and setup that had be a bit stumped was how to orient the pump and get it installed in the bottom of the pump section. A few factors made me wonder how best to accomplish this:
- This pump section is really small – how do I get the pump down in there?
- There are several ways to orient the pump – what’s the best way? Does it matter?
- I’m trying to fit a heater in this same section – where will it fit?
How to Install the pump:
The easiest way to put the pump in is to assemble the necessary pieces first outside the aquarium. Place the neck fitting in the outlet of the pump and put the outlet tube on the neck. If you are modifying your outlet tube with holes to improve flow, now is the time to do this.
It’s easiest to lower the pump into place by hanging onto both the outlet tube and the power cord. Once you get it roughly into place, there is no way you can get hands down to adjust the position a little or to press it down to suction it onto the bottom of the aquarium (unless you have super tiny hands). I used a wooden spoon to scoot it around into the best place and then press down on the top of the pump to suction it down.
Once you get the pump into place, assemble the upper elbow and collar through the wall and install the outlet nozzle. When I got it all together, it seemed that the outlet tube was a bit longer than it needed to be. I took it out and cut the smallest bit off, reassembled, and it was perfect. If you need to do this, take care to only take off a tiny bit and re-fit to check. You don’t want to end up with a tube that is too short.
What’s the Best Way to Orient the Pump:
I was a little confused trying to read the instructions and decipher if there was a correct way to orient the pump. The side opposite the cord is the inlet and it seemed to me that the best place to put the inlet is toward the center of the aquarium, where the inlet is direct toward the water that is coming from the filter section.
After messing around with the pump in several rotations, I don’t think it matters much if the pump is oriented with the inlet pointed toward a wall instead of the filter section.
In the end, this is how I placed the pump. The inlet is pointed toward the back wall. I scooted the pump away from the wall a bit (using my trusty wooden spoon) to ensure water could flow into it.
Where to Place the Heater:
In short, the heater goes wherever you can fit it and will probably be different from model to model. I came to the above pump orientation because it led to a nice spot for the heater – wedged in between the center wall and the outlet tube. I have detailed pictures of the heater installed in my Hydor Theo Aquarium Heater review.
How to Remove the Pump from a Spec Aquarium
This might be obvious to most, but it took me a minute. You might feel trapped once you get the pump wedged down into the pump section and then discover you need to take it out. If you want to remove the pump, it is easy. Don’t pull up from the silicone tube. Instead, just pull up on the electric cord. It is plenty sturdy to lift the pump up from the suction cups on the bottom and get it out. Sometimes it may get wedged because the plug pulls the unit up crooked. In that case, pull up gently at the same time on both the flow tube and the electric cord.