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Novice - Fluval Flex 57l Or Superfish Home 60l

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Offline BobbyB

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Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« on: October 14, 2017, 06:43:24 PM »
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Hi all,

Well I'm a complete novice to fish keepig but have decided to take the plunge and get my first tank.   I'm currently torn between the Fluval Flex 57l and the Superfish Home 60l - both about 120 including filter and pump.

Aesthetically I prefer the Fluval, but even though the volume is about the same, the Superfish is nearly 50% longer (58cm vs 41cm) - so was wondering if this would be better as it provides a 'longer swim' (if that makes sense).

I've not finally decided on my fish yet but am considering a combination Neon Tetras (males), Guppies (Males) and Corys (although I've not yet checked if they require similar ph or water hardness yet).

If anyone has any views on the Fluval Flex vs the Superfish Home it would be much appreciated !  Alternatively if anyone's a better suggestion for a similar price then I'm open to changing!!

Cheers Bobby

Offline Sue

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 07:49:08 PM »
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Hi Bobby, welcome to the forum  :wave:

Could you post a link to the Superfish aquarium, I can't find a 60 litre one anywhere but second hand sites. And the ones coming up as Superfish Home only go up to 40 litres  ???

The Fluval flex does look like an attractive tank. I saw them in the person when I was buying my new betta about a month ago. The thing that would put me off is that fancy light with its handset  ;D I just use timers that switch the lights on and off.
As you have noticed, shorter tanks provide less swimming room, but that can be got round if you choose fish that 'pootle' around rather than dash around. And at ~60 litres, you can't have very big fish anyway.

I'll wait for a link before commenting in the Superfish tank.


Other things to consider are -
The filter. What is the media? Some filters for small tanks have just cartridges that contain carbon. If the Superfish tank has this type, I would change the filter. I know the Flex doesn't, but it does contain carbon which isn't necessary. Just swap it for more sponge.

The heater. The guideline is 1 watt per litre. They don't make 60 watt heaters so you would need the next one up. If the supplied heater is 50 watts or less, you would need to replace the heater. And you need a good make, not a cheap far east import. The cheap ones tend to fail more easily, and that is often on the on position resulting in cooked fish.

Ease of access. Some tanks have horrible lids which make it very difficult to do maintenance on the tank. If possible, play with a display model to see how easy it is - even if you then go and buy on-line.



You definitely need to check on your tap water hardness, which is more important than pH, as guppies are hard water fish while neons and cories are soft water. Your water company's website should have your hardness on there somewhere - we need the number and the unit as there are about half a dozen they could use.

Offline BobbyB

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 08:36:40 PM »
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Hi Sue, thanks for the prompt reply.   The Superfish link is....  https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/product/superfish-home-60-aquarium

I'll check out the hardness and come back to you.

Bobby

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 09:05:02 PM »
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Hi there, and welcome to the forum.  :wave:

They are both nice tanks.

Sometimes it's worth having your water information & list of possible fish before making a final decision on a tank.

Offline Sue

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 09:46:31 PM »
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Thanks for the link, Bobby.

I saw the smaller ones of those as well as the Flex when I got my betta. This is one tank I would definitely have a play with first - it does look a bit awkward to get your hands into.


The two tanks you have mentioned are 'designer' tanks. Would you consider a non-designer tank, something along the lines of a Juwel Rekord https://aquatics-direct.co.uk/juwel-rekord-600 ?
Or the Eheim Aquapro?
I know these have fluorescent lights rather than an LED but there are LED tubes that can be used in place of a fluorescent tube - I have some in my 180 litre tank and I used the same brand in the 50 litre tank I had to close down last year (we had the kitchen altered and there was nowhere to put it  :'( )

Word of caution about the Eheim Aquastar. They say it is 54 litres. It isn't. This is the tank I had to close down. By the time it had substrate, decor etc, it held 45 litres of water.
This is something else to be aware of. When a tank manufacturer says it is an x litre tank, that is not necessarily the amount of water it holds. A lot of them give the volume of the tank as the amount of air it displaces. The volume includes the thickness of the glass and the air space you have to leave above the water (or the tank would overflow too easily). If you look at tanks in real shops, take a tape measure and some form of calculator with you.

Offline BobbyB

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 09:47:54 PM »
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Ok - I think this is the information needed (although I'm not completely clear on where it means!)...

Clark: 16.98
French: 24.26
German: 13:59

I think this means it's hard water - but I'm not sure what that means regarding fish!

Offline Sue

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 09:56:36 PM »
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We use 2 units in fish keeping. Some fish profiles use one some use the other. These units are German degrees - called degrees of dH by fish profiles - and ppm.

Your 13.59 German degrees (dH) converts to 242 ppm. Your water is hard but not very hard.


One of the best sites for looking a fish profiles is http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/ It is a site written by fish experts and ichthyologists rather than people who just keep fish like some other sites. It also has a lot more species than this site.

You do have some time before you will be ready for fish, time to draw up your wish list. If you don't intend having live plants, you will need to do a fishless cycle before getting fish; and even if you intend to have a jungle, you will need to set up the tank, plant it and make sure the plants are growing well before getting fish.

Offline Matt

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2017, 10:54:51 PM »
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Regarding the choice between the 2 tanks...

The superfish has an open top meaning fish snails and Shrimp could far more easily escape.  I have a tank with a lid yet have lost 1 fish and a couple of shrimp to jumping out of the tank. Also I know cat owners prefer tanks with lids for obvious reasons.  I also vastly prefer the flex personally due to:
looks generally
the more hidden equipment
better filter flow rate
my research also shows that the lighting can be controlled with an analogue timer.

FYI you can search for fish by water hardness (and other criteria) at https://en.aqua-fish.net/fish/

Offline fcmf

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2017, 09:39:20 AM »
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Welcome to the hobby and the forum  :wave:  :fishy1:

If there is scope for a larger tank, I would strongly suggest opting for the largest you have space for. There are two reasons for this:
* it's almost inevitable that you'll be tempted by other species as you get into the hobby and wish you had a larger tank;
* it's actually easier maintenance on larger tanks in terms of water quality and parameters being less prone to fluctuations than in smaller tanks.

You'll see from the seriouslyfish Fish Profiles that many species have a requirement of minimum tank 'footprint' of 60x30cm, so, if you have the space for a tank of at least that size, I would strongly recommend that. There are a few micro-sized species which are suitable for 45x30cm 'footprint' but these are increasingly being recommended to be kept in larger numbers in which greater tank volume is required - and so a 60x30cm gives you greater flexibility/options. If a larger tank is a possibility, then we can provide further suggestions to that effect.

Offline BobbyB

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2017, 05:27:46 PM »
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Thanks a lot for all the feedback - fish keeping appears to have a very helpful community!

As for the footprint.  The Fluval is 42cmx39cm whilst the Superfish is 58cmx30cm (Fluval holds more depth of water as the actual tank is deeper). Is it the overall volume that counts or is it better to go long and thin? 


Offline fcmf

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2017, 05:46:07 PM »
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Is it the overall volume that counts or is it better to go long and thin?
When the tank is small such as these two that you've eyed up, then long and thin is best because it gives you some options. However, if you can go bigger (esp longer than 60cm), then so much the better as it vastly expands your options.

This http://www.completeaquatics.co.uk/aquarium-accessories/aquarium-tanks-and-cabinets is quite a good website for looking for inspiration in aquaria of different sizes albeit by volume. If you can't go any larger than say an 80-litre tank, is there anything else in the 36-80 litre category which is long and thin (or shallow) and which appeals?

Offline Sue

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2017, 07:25:42 PM »
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If I was buying a tank about 60 cm long, I would go for the Eheim Aqua Pro. Why? It comes with an Eheim Aquaball filters which I've used in smaller tanks (I use Eheim Biopower filters in my big tank). They are very good filters, have sponges rather than carbon cartridges (though there is an optional carbon sponge if you really want carbon) and the flow angle and speed can be adjusted. And they come with Eheim Jager heaters which are just about the best you can buy.

The downside? They look like standard tanks, they are not designer tanks if that is what you are looking for.

Offline BobbyB

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2017, 10:58:13 AM »
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Thanks for the information on the Eheim tank - 60cm is likely to be my limit (for now) and am more interested in getting the right tank for the fish than a 'designer' one!

Offline BobbyB

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 03:44:42 PM »
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Hi again,  I've been doing some more investigation into your Eheim recommendation and and am thinking of following that.  However a couple of quick questions....

Eheim offer the 'standard' version and also one with LED lights (which costs a bit more) - is it worth paying the extra for LEDs or are you just paying for the latest trend? (I guess they're cheaper to run - but it would take a while to recoup the initial cost).

Also I noticed they do an cheaper Aquastar range as well as an Aquapro range  - the difference appears to be glass thickness (4mm vs 5mm) different filters and the Aquapro is 5cm deeper and 10cm taller (so it's 84l vs 54l).

I appreciate that the larger tank has a benefit due to size, but do you know if there's much difference in the quality of filter or if the glass thickness is important (or is it a requirement due to the increased depth of water)

Thanks

Offline Sue

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2017, 04:17:11 PM »
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Looking at Eheim's website they do 2 different sizes of Aquastar - 54 and 96.The 54 is 60 cm long, the 96 is 80 cm long.

They say that the 54 is 54 litres. It does not hold 54 litre of water. I had this tank, I had to close it down when we altered the kitchen and there was no longer any room for it; so I sold it. Empty, it held 50 litres. By the time I had put substrate and decor in, the water was down to just 45 litres.
Unless you can squeeze in an 80 cm tank, I would recommend going for the aquapro. It is the same width but bigger front to back and taller. They say the 60 cm aquapro is an 84 litre tank, but bearing in mind my experience with the aquastar, it will actually hold less than 84 litres.

The choice is up to you and your wallet. Both tanks are the same width, but one will hold ~45 litres of water, the other will hold something like 70 to 75.


As for LED vs fluorescent, again the choice is up to you and your wallet.
LED's last longer while fluorescent tubes should be changed every year as the light output falls.
LEDs are a bit cheaper to run, but the difference is not as great as comparing LEDs to old fashioned light bulbs or even halogen light bulbs.
You can choose a different fluorescent tube quite cheaply if you don't like the one that comes with a tank. Some give an orange light, some give a purple light, some give a white light. The tubes that came with my old Juwel Rio were dirty yellow - it looked as though someone had used the tank as a toilet.
Looking at the Aquapro manual, the LED looks to be a flat strip which fits onto 'profile strips' on the sides of the tank. That, combined with the flat shaped lid, will probably mean that you are tied in to using this LED strip and no other make. If you don't like the colour light it emits, you are stuck with it. 6500 K should be quite a white light. If your house bulbs of whatever type have a K rating on them, see if you have one at 6500 K and decide if you like that colour.


Or go for the fluorescent option, because you can replace them with retrofit LEDs should you later decide to go for LED. That's what I did with my Aquastar This A shop quite near me sold them, so I looked before I bought. The colour plus turned the tank orange so I got superbright. I also have these tubes on my 180 litre tank.



As for glass thickness, the taller the tank, the thicker the glass needs to be. I had no problems with the Aquastar.

Offline BobbyB

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Re: Novice - Fluval Flex 57l or Superfish Home 60l
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2017, 11:37:35 PM »
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Thanks Sue - it looks like the Pro with fluorescent lights is the way to go ! 
Thanks again, you've been a great help

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