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Your thoughts on the Fluval Flex tanks


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Well my hillstream loaches have spawned again.  I kept the previous babies, and they have grown up.  There are at least 15 new ones.  Being that the tank is only 29g, I can't keep them all.  I plan to eventually move them over to another tank to grow them out.  My LFS where I bought the originals has already said they would be interested in trading / buying them from me.

They do take a while to grow out (almost a year), so I want to have something nice to look at.  Also thinking of picking up some young cardinal tetras, and I need to grow those out so they aren't snack sized for my Angel lol. 

I really love the look of the Fluval flex tanks.  I have limited room, and the footprint of the Flex-15 is perfect for the space I want to put it. 

I have read that people have had some major issues, and wondering if any of you have experienced issues at all? (am aware I'll have to mod the intakes to protect the fry, that's easy enough)


eg:  I
have read;  the glass is more fragile than standard tanks.  Some stating cracks in shipping, pulling it out of the box etc. (surprises me being fluval)  Some have reported bad silicone jobs, failing light, also issues with the pump overheating. 

 

Fluval_Flex_15G_1_15006_15007.webp

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I had a Flex9. I would say the Flex line is "OK".

PROS:

Mine had no issues with cracks or leaks the whole time I owned it- but they are thin glass. There was someone here that did have a crack and made it into a frog tank. My mind is drawing a blank as to who that was.....

They are pretty (though I will tell you taking pics of them is near impossible due to the curved glass).

They are perfect for Hillstreams because it would be near impossible for them to excape. 

There are plenty of aftermarket (3D printed options on sites like Etsy) that take care of some of the Flex's flaws.

The light is "ok" for low light plants and won't scare the fish, plenty of remote control options.

CONS:

The light will not be great for high light, harder to modify this. 

I did not like the enclosed system- I had to modify/hotrod mine and if your Fluval pump breaks they are IMO to expensive to replace so I bought an aftermarket one (that is adjustible flow- the Flex line wasn't for the 9) So basically you have to do a lot of jimmy-rigging if you are particular. Mine ended up having so many issues with staying clean I wanted rid of it and sold it to somebody who was going to shrimp tank it. I've sworn off enclosed system tanks. 

The vents to the back of the tank are too big for something like a shrimp tank (but there are aftermarket mods for that)

I had a few fish chronically jump the back wall and weirdly a Nerite escape as well. 

 

 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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Thanks Phoenix....some great info.  I've never had a tank with an enclosed system.   Still debating.  I mean whatever tank I get, an old sponge filter is going into the main area (I find the fry like to feed off it ), and I'll be tossing in a few air stones, so having the enclosed system really doesn't really matter much to me.   I think I'm just obsessed with that front curved glass.  something different. 

May look into some other basic cubes.  I like the extra depth front to back that the flex has.

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@Arcticgypsy Funnily in the end I added a small sponge filter to mine with a battery backed air pump in case of power outages and due to the unrelability of the enclosed system. So it would be good for you to do. 

If you just really like the tank I can't blame you it is a good looking one- but you're losing a lot of real estate with that back area- some people have cut that area out....including in this video: 

 

But it is an expensive tank so do you want to do that or not is the decision! 

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I have 2 flex 15's. The report on jumping is correct. I had thought I lost 5 of 6 lemon tetras over time. Turns out they were a bit skittish and jumped over the divider. All are fine. My kuhli loaches like to hide behind the divider instead of their cave. Haven't had any other issues though. have been thinking changing to sand. The back bottom inlet limits how much you can raise it from the floor. so, no high corner banking. 

The other thing to think about, the totals gallons it says are not the total gallons the fish can use. So, a 9g becomes a 7.5g a 15 into a 13

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I have a flex 15 also. I do like it. Just like everyone else I have found faults with it. My main gripe is the light. It is a gimmicky piece of junk. I ended up replacing it after it failed. I had it on a timer and the light would not hold the settings. After it started setting itself to all blue (which was at the one year mark) I installed an Aquasky in the hood. I have been happy with it since. 

I used to keep some Amano shrimp in it and they would simply dissappear into the filter chamber with no intention of returning to the front. I used to worry about my reticulated hillsteam loach sliding over the top to the back, so I kept the water level low to prevent that. After a while I saw he wasn't going to do that, and now I keep the water level up high. 

The last complaint I have with it is the lid. You cannot just open the lid to do water changes. You must remove it. It drips water everywhere when you do remove it. What a pain. Also the design of the hood put the light close to the water surface which creates an annoying glare. I fixed that by running a strip of 3/4 inch black plastic electrical tape across the top edge of the tank. Now no glare.

With that all said, I still really like the flex and would recommend it. I like the filter and I like the looks of the tank overall. 

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The flex looks nice but for what it is - it is limited and way over priced. I rather just go with a 10; a sponge filter or two; a small quiet air pump and then put money in a quality heater and light (how much depends on your budget and what you stock). At the end of the day it is your choice of course 😉

 

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On 1/27/2024 at 9:48 PM, anewbie said:

The flex looks nice but for what it is - it is limited and way over priced. I rather just go with a 10; a sponge filter or two; a small quiet air pump and then put money in a quality heater and light (how much depends on your budget and what you stock). At the end of the day it is your choice of course 😉

 

I'm beginning to think that.  I do love the look but from what I'm seeing, I'd mod it to a point I'd be better off just going with a basic tank.  Will be using it to grow out baby Hillstream loaches.  takes them a good 10 months or so to grow up enough to sell off to my LFS, so I want to make something that looks good...gives me an excuse to setup a 2nd tank lol

 

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On 1/27/2024 at 11:28 PM, Arcticgypsy said:

I'm beginning to think that.  I do love the look but from what I'm seeing, I'd mod it to a point I'd be better off just going with a basic tank.  Will be using it to grow out baby Hillstream loaches.  takes them a good 10 months or so to grow up enough to sell off to my LFS, so I want to make something that looks good...gives me an excuse to setup a 2nd tank lol

 

Keep in mind that while square tanks can be convenient in some locations; they aren't great for most fishes due to lack of overall swimming room. This is the aquarium i keep in my bathroom counter (where a square tank wouldn't work well); 10 gallon so the length just fits on the counter from front to back.

nn1.jpg.9d1fe8dd9ade8f609e473f29f4ff7cb3.jpg

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On 1/28/2024 at 8:19 AM, anewbie said:

Keep in mind that while square tanks can be convenient in some locations; they aren't great for most fishes due to lack of overall swimming room. This is the aquarium i keep in my bathroom counter (where a square tank wouldn't work well); 10 gallon so the length just fits on the counter from front to back.

nn1.jpg.9d1fe8dd9ade8f609e473f29f4ff7cb3.jpg

May go with a 20G high tank.  Will still fit in the space, and better grow out tank for my fry.......Nice tank.  What substrate are you using there?  Was looking at Eco Complete Black for the new tank.  this one looks nice as well.

 

Edited by Arcticgypsy
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On 1/28/2024 at 8:59 PM, Arcticgypsy said:

May go with a 20G high tank.  Will still fit in the space, and better grow out tank for my fry.......Nice tank.  What substrate are you using there?  Was looking at Eco Complete Black for the new tank.  this one looks nice as well.

 

that is estes stoney river. Much better than eco complete because it is rather fine and my fishes require fine substrate. Unlike caribsea fine substrate i've never had problem with aernobic pockets forming in this stuff (and i wonder why but that is a side issue).

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On 1/29/2024 at 2:34 PM, anewbie said:

that is estes stoney river. Much better than eco complete because it is rather fine and my fishes require fine substrate. Unlike caribsea fine substrate i've never had problem with aernobic pockets forming in this stuff (and i wonder why but that is a side issue).

Thanks.  I've been looking at the stony river stuff as well.  Actually found a plant substrate called "Active-Flora"   Nice fine black stuff.  Reviews seem to be good, and think my loaches will love it.  have been running Caribsea Chrystal river in my main tank, and my fish love it. (hillstream loaches) do prefer a more sandy substrate.

 

Edited by Arcticgypsy
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Thanks for all the feedback.  Have since decided to go with a standard 20g tank.  For the price of that flex, I can get a kit and a stand....I know I'll prob spend a little more because I have some equipment preferences.  Must say excited to be setting up tank 2.  This could be the beginning of MTS (do I really need a couch??)  lol  😄

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On 1/30/2024 at 10:57 PM, Arcticgypsy said:

Thanks for all the feedback.  Have since decided to go with a standard 20g tank.  For the price of that flex, I can get a kit and a stand....I know I'll prob spend a little more because I have some equipment preferences.  Must say excited to be setting up tank 2.  This could be the beginning of MTS (do I really need a couch??)  lol  😄

No, the only remedy for mts is another 20g😂

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I hated mine, and only had it up and running a few months. You have to either rig up or buy props to keep the lid up. The pump that comes with it is junk. Cleaning behind the plastic wall in the back is not fun, it's very difficult to keep clean. The light in it blew out within the first two weeks. Definitely go with a traditional tank, I am not a fan of any of these all in one style tanks.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/30/2024 at 11:12 PM, Tony s said:

No, the only remedy for mts is another 20g😂

MTS is hitting me now...I am actually planning the 3rd tank....shhhh don't tell the hubby lol.   The nursery tank will be a 20 long... I will buy the stand for the 40. The 20 long can sit on it for now.  After I sell the babies will buy the 40 and put it in place of the 20.   😄

 

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