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Aquariums & Furniture


December 13, 2018 | By Tom Sarac

by Tom Sarac

As attractive and amazing as large aquariums are, they usually take up more room, time, expense and effort than some people are willing to invest. Although it’s true that larger tanks make for a more stable environment, there’s no arguing the fact that it takes much longer to change out 20 to 30 gallons of water versus only 2 to 3.

Enter the desktop, or “nano” aquarium. These small formats have gained in popularity over the last several years, are not only inexpensive to set-up and quick to maintain, but can also be placed virtually anywhere – from your desk at work to your kitchen counter.

Did you know that Fluval offers a wide assortment of innovative nano aquariums? Let’s explore the Top 3 series from this category in greater detail: EDGE, CHI and SPEC.


The Edge is all about design. It’s a really cool rimless, 6-sided aquarium that fits within today’s modern lifestyle, allowing it to make a bold statement in any environment. Fluval has even developed a specific line of Edge-branded decorative items and maintenance tools to help set up and maintain this aquarium. The decor is, of course, sized proportionately with the tank, and the maintenance tools are specifically designed for this series (although they can certainly be used with other tanks as well).

The Edge has certainly become a family within Fluval that is here to stay and, in fact, will be expanding in the near future. The tank is available in the original 6 gallon volume (the format that defined its launch), and now a 12 gallon volume, which is taller and offers a larger presence.


The Chi epitomizes Feng Shui. Its integrated cascading filter system and light makes it an all-inclusive aquatic system, delivering additional tangible qualities beyond just visual aesthetics. The gentle sound and movement of cascading water, while efficiently oxygenating, is a great place for many types of small fish to thrive.

Given the unique dimensions of the Chi and its well-defined proportions, Fluval has developed an ornament series under the same name.

If there is an ideal end table or coffee table conversation piece, this is it. It’s really a delight to see a clean, uniquely decorated nano tank such as Chi, with a school of small tetras or barbs playfully enjoying the current.


The Spec series is likely the most aptly named nano family in our industry. This family of 3 shares a common integrated filter design and LED lighting system that supports great plant growth, albeit, for lower light level plants.

The cubic-to-rectangular shape offered by the Spec series is framed beautifully by an aluminum corner trim, which adds a nice finished look. The integrated filter systems come complete with return pump and effective filter media combinations, which are very capable of providing complete mechanical, biological and chemical filtration abilities.

Lighting is handled by LED strips that provide good coverage and are sufficient for low-to-mid level light requiring plants. There is also a deep blue night time mode.

The original Spec and the Spec 3 models are ideal for feature type set-ups with a specific fish or small group of very small fish, 1 plant type and a couple of natural decor pieces. The Spec 5 (the largest model at 5 gallons), on the other hand, delivers really interesting potential with its longer rectangular shape. Here, you can consider a somewhat larger school of fish as the filter area is larger.For more information on all of Fluval’s nano aquariums, consult our Lifestyle Aquarium series section. I encourage everyone to try one out on your desk or counter as soon as you can – you might just be surprised at how captivating it can be.


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