Posted in Fishkeeping

Fluval 2.6 Gallon Spec III Aquarium

I bought this 2.6 gallon aquarium kit as a way to re-enter the fishkeeping hobby after about a dozen years out of it. In particular, I wanted to try nano aquascaping which had piqued my interest. After eight months though, I am realizing the challenge and limitations of such a tank.

When I first got this kit, it came with a filter and water pump section that filled about 1/4 of the back of the tank. I’m not sure how effective it was and as many others have commented, although it pushed out a lot of water, it also created a build up of protein slime in the pump section.

I aquascaped the tank with an Aqueon Shrimp and Plant substrate covered with gravel, a piece of vinewood attached to some Ohko stone and then added the plants you now see in the picture above (Anubias barteri, Java Fern and Staurogyne repens). None of the plants did exceptionally well.

Most people I read suggested this tank was too small for fish so I tried adding shrimp on two occasions but they quickly died for unknown reasons. I got a Nerite snail and it continues plug along.

After about 6 months I started having string and bearded algae problems. It’s then that I decided to do a tank overhaul.

I removed the filter divider and replaced it with a small Finnex PF7 HOB (Hang on the Back) filter. I like it but it stands out in such a small tank.

I decided to do a dirted substrate with a pool filter sand cap. I had a hard time finding the right soil to use and then it took almost 2 1/2 months to get the nitrites and nitrates down to near zero ppm. I thought the sand cap was thick enough but the dirt still finds its way to the surface and I would not choose a white sand. I’m not sure I’d do a dirted tank again even if it is cheaper. The plants are certainly thriving, but I’ve also developed a mild case of green water. Another thing I would do if I did another dirted tank is add live nitrifying bacteria to quickly address the nitrites/nitrates. I’ve done 30% water changes at least once a week and twice a week when the nitrates were very high.

So that’s where things are at right now. I added three male Endler’s Livebearers and will see how they do in this small tank.