Has Fluval given the hobby the best all in one nano reef system?
Awhile back the great people at Fluval sent me one of their Premium Aquarium Kits to review. As this blog is focused primarily at the nano side of our wonderful hobby, the supplied system was the smallest in their marine range, the Fluval M-40.
What arrived was two boxes, one containing the tank and equipment with the other box containing the stand. The stand is straight forward to assemble, you just got to give the instructions a once over before jumping in. Build quality is very good with a modern touch to it.
On to the more important box, the one containing the tank and the equipment. What you get for your money is pretty much everything you need to get started in nano reefing world. Contents consist of:
- Clear siliconed all glass aquarium with sandblasted ‘rim’ and built in sump zone.
- Fluval Sea reef/marine full spectrum LED unit
- Fluval Sea protein skimmer
- Fluval return pump and all required plumbing
- Fluval 50w heater
- Fluval Sea 1600lph powerhead
If you look at that list, you’ll see that pretty much all the main areas of gear are covered. You could really just put it all together (thanks to the easy to follow instructions included, throw in your favourite substrate ( I like aragonite), a few kilograms of live rock (amount depends on your desired aquascape) and fill it up with sea water of your choice (again, natural sea water is always the best option if you have access to it).
One of the best features of the M series from Fluval is their integrated drain system which can be found in the final chamber of the internal sump system. The larger versions of these tanks have the drain drilled directly into the base of the tank while the M40 has it’s drain in the rear panel. Not a train smash but it does mean you need to have some clearance behind the tank. The beauty of this drain in the M series – it makes changing water so quick and easy. A very clever concept. Although, even though the drain is there, I would still recommend siphoning directly out from the display when doing maintenance so you can remove any accumulated debris. For the more adventurous of hobbyists, this drainage hole can be a really simple way of attaching an external sump or even a canister filter.
So far I’ve really sung the praises of this system but in order to offer a fair overview there are a few aspects of the system I think would make it even more impressive. Where is the auto-top system? The addition of just this one key bit of equipment would really make this the perfect tank to get started with. Keeping water parameters stable in a nano reef are never easy but having an auto-top up system in place will go along way in ensuring salinity remains constant.
The price tag of the above setup hovers around the £380.00 mark depending on which retailer you opt to buy from and gives you an excellent starting point for a nano reef. If you find the M40 is a little small at 54litres, why not look up their systems in the range – M60 and the M90 (which was featured on an episode of Fish Tank Kings).
Here are a 2 great examples of what others are doing with their Fluval M40…
In 2014 this Fluval nano reef will take shape with the aim in running it using the stock equipment and see what results can be achieved. Do you already run one of these Fluval systems? If so, please share your experiences, tank build links etc in the comments below.