Storage and Cord Management Ideas for Your Fluval Spec Aquarium

What drew me to the Fluval Spec line of Aquariums is the simplicity – Aquarium, pump, filter, light all in one container.  This was important as the only place we have to display an aquarium is on our kitchen bar.

Even with the simplicity of design, I started to wonder during planning how I would hide the cords that are coming from the aquarium.  Pump and light have separate cords, and in my case, the heater has a separate cord as well.  I knew that running three separate cords to the outlet wouldn’t look very clean. Add to that the desire to add a temperature controller and a light timer and there is suddenly a lot of junk that needed to be hidden.

On top of the cord issue, there were some basic supplies that I wanted to keep near the aquarium, so the need for storage of some sort became evident in our case.  I decided to try and look for a storage solution that would also hide the cords of the aquarium components so that we could have one cord serving everything.  I needed:

  • Something that is attractive
  • A size that works with our bar and the size of the aquarium.
  • Enough room to hide cords and (in my case) a temperature controller and light timer.
  • A litle extra space to store a few essentials like fish food.
  • Holes or the ability to cut holes for cord entry and exit.

I initially thought I would be looking for a tupperware type product made of plastic but ended up finding something better.

Rubbermaid Cube Bento Box:

I came across this wonderful solution in my search.  The Rubbermaid Bento line is a pretty good looking storage solution.  Not rubber or plastic, but a fabric lined box.  There are several colors and patterns available.  I was a bit worried about using a fabric covered box next to an aquarium, but I have had no problems with splashing or stains thus far.

Storage Box for Fluval Spec V

The box lid is sold separately and it is called the Rubbermaid Large Bento Tray.  This series of storage containers is allegedly stackable, which could be useful for those that need room for even more accessories, like planted aquariums (CO2 tank or DIY Yeast CO2 containers).

The best thing about the Bento Box for this use is that it comes with openings in each end that are meant to be used as handles, but also allow a pathway for cords in and out.


I have measured a few pertinent dimensions of my Rubbermaid Cube Bento Box and Large Bento Tray (lid) as carefully as I can, down to the nearest 1/16th of an inch. Metric values are conversions from english and rounded to the nearest mm. Know that there will be some variance from unit to unit, but these numbers will be very close.

  • Box Footprint: 12-1/8″ (308 mm) Square
  • Box Height: 6-3/8″ (162 mm)
  • Box Height with Lid: 6-5/8″ (168 mm)
  • Internal Space with Lid In Place:  11-5/8″ (295 mm) Square x 5-1/4″ (133 mm) Deep
  • Lid Dimensions: 12-1/2″ (318 mm) Square (the lid has edges that overhang beyond the footprint of the box).

Rubbermaid Bento Box

How I Arrange Storage and Wires for a Fluval Spec:

I have my storage box nestled between the outside wall and the Spec V aquarium.  The two handles are oriented to be next to and opposing the aquarium.  There is only one power cord that serves the box.

Cord Entering Rubbermaid Bento Box for Aquarium Storage

That cord is split into four outlets to power all the aquarium devices.  A small surge protector would have worked nicely as well. Inside the box, I keep:

It’s not pretty at all inside this box, as you can see, but that is fine.  It doesn’t need to look great for my use; it only has to hide everything and make it look nice day to day.

Light Timer and Temperature Controller in Aquarium Storage Box

Cord management is pretty simple.  The power cord with (4) outlets enters the end of the box.  Into this is plugged the pump cord, temperature controller, and light timer.  The light, pump, and heater cords exit the same hole and are routed tight to the aquarium and up.  Also exiting the box is the temperature sensor that I have routed into the filter box.

Fluval Spec V and Storage Box

On the other end of the box (next to the wall) exits the cord to the auxiliary light override button that came with my Leviton LT113-10W timer.  This override allow me to easily switch the lights on/off to override the current timer mode if I need do without digging inside for the timer.

Leviton Light Timer Switch

I’m sure there are any number of sulutions for tidying up the cords for a nano aquarium, but I’m happy with this product, how it looks in our home, and how it functions to keep the essentials right where I needed them.

Rubbermaid Bento Box

If you have an aquarium with a stand, like we have for our EVO 13.5 saltwater tank, I’ve got an article with tips on how to manage cords and equipment.


20 thoughts on “Storage and Cord Management Ideas for Your Fluval Spec Aquarium

  1. I really like your solution here. Unfortunately it looks like the Cube size of Bento line is no longer sold. They have a large but it’s significantly taller. Shame since it seems to fit so well next to the tank in your pictures.

    1. That is a shame. I see it on Rubbermaid’s website, but don’t see it sold online anywhere. I know I got it a Target, but it’s probable that a few years later their lineup has changed.

      Let us know if you find anything else suitable to store stuff.

    1. Sofia, thanks so much for posting this! Very good alternative to the one that I have (that is now discontinued I believe).

  2. Looks great! What light are you using on the tank? It’s a shame that the stock light on the Spec V isnt compatible with a timer.

  3. I ended up getting this: LUFOFOX Storage Box with Lids and Handles

    Open handles on both sides to slide the cords through. I had to remove one of the metal handles though to fit the fat cord for a 4 prong power strip. The handles pop off easy enough by bending back a couple of tabs.

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