Happy New Year! I like to take some time every year to look back at the previous year at Spec-Tanks, and look forward for what is planned for the future.
Our Two Tanks – A Relaxing Oasis in a Virus Filled World:
Any review of the year 2020 deserves mention of the global Coronavirus pandemic. We have been spared major setback in our family and are all healthy headed into 2021. That is something to be very thankful for!
Like most people around the globe, our world was turned upside down this past spring. We quickly transitioned to me working at home everyday (something I have never done) and us educating all 4 of our kids at home (also a first).
All of this added significant challenges for our family. However, it also brought great blessing. I enjoyed getting to eat breakfast with my kids every day and helping them with school work in the afternoon. I also enjoyed the freedom to take a break during the day go enjoy our aquariums.
Throughout the work day, I might change the filter media, fill the top-off water, or feed the fish. Tasks of the work week generally ended early and I could commit every Friday afternoon to performing maintenance on our aquariums.
Both the freshwater planted Spec V and the new Saltwater EVO are doing great!
Tank Progress and Future Plans:
The high tech planted nano is probably in better shape than it has ever been. I weekly trim the HC Cuba, which has made it more attractive and healthy compared to bi-weekly (or longer) trims of the past.
The saltwater is closing in on being a year old. I think the progress is typical of a first year nano tank. We went through a brutal ‘ugly’ phase a few months in, but that algae and diatom outbreak is greatly reduced these days.
For the future of the planted nano, I don’t see any changes in the near future. The substrate that I used with our rescape last year is holding strong, so I don’t think I will need to replace it for awhile.
For the saltwater EVO, I look forward to continued maturation of the system. I’d like to see the coralline algae growth take off, and we plan on adding a few corals this year.
What is Upcoming in Spec-Tanks for 2021:
I have gotten way behind on articles in 2020 and have a lengthy queue to get through. Priorities for upcoming articles:
- Fluval EVO 13.5 Review: With a year under our belt, I think I can offer a good review on this tank. It is very well made and I don’t have any major complaints thus far.
- Aquami KPS Nano Wavemaker Review: This is an awesome addition to any saltwater nano. It’s easy to use but I plan on outlining some setup tips in a review.
- AI Prime HD Light Review: We put this light on the EVO a few months ago. Even without corals, I think its extremely useful for our tank. It is as adjustable as I could ever imagine and has added great beauty to our tank.
- AutoAqua Smart ATO Lite Review: Of all the add-on bits for our new EVO, this has been the best ‘bang for the buck’. I couldn’t imagine running any saltwater aquarium without an Automatic Top Off.
- Spec V Pump Upgrade – Cobalt MJ Mini 606: I upgraded the pump in our Spec V last year and it is a worthy upgrade. I will discuss the pump and the plusses / minuses of use in a Spec V.
- Instructional Article – How to Fill Paintball CO2 Tanks: Long story, but it is very difficult to find anyone willing to fill the paintball CO2 tanks that we use for our planted nano. I bought a 20 LB bulk CO2 tank and have started refilling our paintball CO2 tanks at home. For those looking to do this themselves, I plan to write a full how-to article.
Beyond these major product reviews, I have many other instructional articles, including finishing up the Project EVO Marine series.
I hope to keep the focus of this website the same next year as in the past: Create articles that are helpful, encouraging, and informative, and present in a format that I would enjoy.
Best of luck to you and all your endeavors in 2021!