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 significant potential projects over the next few years that 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 the light output of the stock Spec V lights (both the pre-2016 version and the current version), and I tested the 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 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 simultaneously.  By the end of the year, I had almost figured out our issues, and the tank was 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 my struggles over the past year with our planted tank, I have a few articles to discuss lessons I learned.

The most significant potential development is in starting a Nano Reef!  I have always been fascinated with saltwater aquariums but have never had the courage and resources to make it happen.  Given that Fluval has several marine-specific All-In-One Aquarium options for saltwater, 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 of these aftermarket media baskets for freshwater Spec aquariums.  For the marine tanks, I understand 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, and that will involve a 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 a refractometer, aquarium salt, power head (Wavemaker), Auto Top Off (ATO) system, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter, and 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, and 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, please leave them in the comments.  Thanks!

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