Upcoming in Spec-Tanks for 2018

It’s not great that my ‘Upcoming in Spec-Tanks 2018’ update is coming out in April.  It’s also not ideal that much of what is upcoming in 2018 I hoped to do in 2017 but didn’t.  What can I say –  it’s busy around here.

We completed the adoption of our two year old girl from China last summer.  She is our 4th child.  Busy.

At any rate, here are some projects that I hope to finish sometime in 2018:

  • Update Spec V Review Page:  I did purchase a new Spec V aquarium.  The version of Spec V that we have is the old (original – pre 2016) version.  The new version (mid-2016 and later) has some changes, notably a brighter light.  I will update the review page with new pictures of the aquarium’s revised portions and highlight the changes/updates from the original.  I hope to test and show PAR light values for the new light – more on that below.

Spec V Aquarium with Updated Light Fixture

  • Finnex Planted + 24/7 SE Light Review: I got this light in hopes that it would be a good candidate for those looking for a light upgrade for the Spec V.  The draw to this product is the ability to change the light color and the light intensity, which would allow people to turn up or down the intensity to match what plants they have (unlike the Planted + which has one intensity).  The light may be suitable for larger aquariums, but it doesn’t work well at all for a smaller aquarium like the Spec V.  I’ll write a review that will outline the pros/cons and pass on a Spec V specific wishlist that hopefully, Finnex will look at.

Finnex Planted + Compared to Planted + 24/7 SE

Seneye Reef Monitor

Other things I can hope to get to this year:

  • In-Line CO2 Diffuser:  I’m currently using an in-tank CO2 diffuser.  It’s working well, but I’d like to see if I can fit an in-line CO2 diffuser in the pump section between the pump and outlet.  It will be challenging to get it all connected and fit into that section along with the heater.
  • Aquarium Automation: I use smart plugs and an Inkbird ITC-308 temperature controller as a budget automation system.   I want to share more details about how to set this up, how much it costs, and how it compares to purpose-made systems like the Neptune Apex Jr.

iHome smart plug for use in aquarium automation

  • EI Fertilizing Methods:  I want to write a simple article about dry-dosing fertilizers for low-tech and high-tech planted aquariums, specifically for nano tanks.
  • Filter System Mods: This one has been on hold for years, but I plan to play around with the filter system of the Spec V and III and find simple DIY projects to improve their performance.
  • Other Finnex Tanks: Finnex has expanded their lineup of all-in-one tanks both inside the Spec lineup and beyond.  I probably won’t obtain these tanks (this year), but I would like to make a summary post explaining all that they offer and even delve into other comparable all-in-one tanks from other manufacturers.
  • New Fish: We are down to one green neon.  He is named ‘Uno’.  We may get more green neons, or we may try something new.
  • Re-Scape the Tank: The last time I tore the tank apart was in November of 2016, and I’m getting the itch to redo the whole thing.  I might use driftwood instead of rocks this time, or maybe both.

Please feel free to offer any input in the comments on what you would find beneficial on this site in the upcoming year.  Thanks!

10 thoughts on “Upcoming in Spec-Tanks for 2018

  1. Could you briefly mention what you didn’t like about the Finnex Planted + 24/7 SE for the spec? I was looking at the new CC version for a tank I’m setting up, and may end up making my choice before the full writeup.

    1. It has cords coming out each end – one for power and the other has a (remote) sensor on the end. I think the extra cord and sensor gets in the way for many aquariums. Specifically for the Spec, it’s too big and the mount is too bulky/complicated.

      1. Thanks. I thought the huge mount might be an issue but one I could tolerate, but the double cords thing seems excessive. Thanks for pointing out the double cords – I’m surprised this light needs a cord attachment when nearly every other remote controlled appliance manages to integrate it into the body.

        I should probably see what I can grow with the updated included light anyway before pursuing an upgrade, and see if I can save a few bucks there.

  2. Hey Nate love your thread. I just purchased a Spec V and saw in another post that you put a Fluval Edge sponge filter on the output to manage the flow. I can’t for the life of me get mine to stay on as the hole is too big for the nozzle. How did you secure yours?

    1. Mine stayed when I pushed it on. Maybe try a zip tie tightened just enough to hold.

  3. This blog has been a huge help on my Spec V journey and has provided valuable insight. I’ve been running a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 for almost three years now, and am in the market for something new. The excessive cords notwithstanding, I immediate found the programming to be horribly limiting — the “24 hour” mode doesn’t give enough light intensity to be useful, and putting it on a regular timer is useless — the light defaults to 24 hour mode when it loses power. So, it requires manual adjustment several times a day. That said, when on “Max” for 10 hours, I’ve seen decent growth. However the output is useless without the ability to really program length of desired intensity.

    So, I’m in the market for a new light.

    I’m glad to see you’re still active here, and I can’t wait for your 24/7 review and update!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on the Planted+ 24/7. I’m thinking the only way to manage the complexity of programming we want (control over color and intensity, over time) would have to happen through a phone app. However, I’m not expecting to see this any time soon.

  4. Hi Nate –

    Any updates on the the PAR levels of the newer, stronger stock light on the Spec V? I’m in the process of putting together a paintball CO2 system and I’m wondering if the light levels are adequate for medium difficulty plants.

    Thanks for all the great info!

    1. I’m just setting this testing up now. I’m seeing around 40 par with the new and improved Spec V light. I hope to have this published at the beginning of the year. Hope this helps in the interim.

      1. Sounds good. Looking forward to the full results of your testing. Thanks!!!

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