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Setting up the New Fluval Edge
Fluval Edge Set-Up
Finally, the new Fluval Edge has arrived
Are you looking for something different in an aquarium?
Tired of having to buy a stand for every tank, just so the aquarium wont develop a stress crack? Do you have that perfect place for an elegant and sophisticated new aquarium? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are just like, me, you are ready for the newly introduced Fluval Edge aquarium. It is small, the capacity is only six U.S. Gallons, but it is radical.
The Fluval Edge aquarium system is truly a glass box, all six sides are enclosed, event the top! There is a collar on the access hole, but otherwise the system is completely shut off. It is a literal box of water and it makes for some interesting viewing angles. Now that I have set-up mine, I am able to look at the fish from the top, just as if they were in a clear flowing river. You simply can't do that with any of my other tanks.
Standard aquariums all use a full light canopy over them to provide the illumination for the plants and to reduce evaporation as much as possible. The downside is that the only time you can look down on the fish in a standard aquarium, the cover is off and that usually means there isn't any light to see them
The Edge design uses advanced halogen lighting (two small little bulbs) focused right in the center of the tank that light the entire system from all angles. Depending on how agitated the surface is by the power filter's flow delivery, there is a gentle rippling effect and interesting light play throughout the system. With halogen lighting I have no doubt that the nine assorted plants I put in there will do quite well as time goes by.
Since all the edges and plates of glass are completely sealed on all parts, the tank seems much stronger and should withstand any odd stresses that normally would crack a standard tank. To reinforce this thought, the system comes with its own integrated stand. The bottom pedestal actually only supports approximately a third of the bottom surface area. The rest allows unrestricted view from all angles, even the bottom if you like to look at the gravel from below.
The stand is designed to house all the electrical components for the tank. The supplied halogen lighting is supported on a light bar that swivels up and out of the way for easy hand access through the open collar at the center of the tank. The lights operate right over the aquarium surface during standard operation. They are not particularly strong, but throw a pleasant light throughout the entire tank. They create all sorts of shadows and light play that makes looking at the fish and their habitat very enjoyable.
The integrated stand also houses the integrated filtration. The Edge uses one of my personal favorite filters. It seems to be a hybridized AquaClear system. The cover has Edge etched in as the logo, but it is the same basic design as the smaller AquaClear systems. This means the filter utilizes all the volume in the filter chamber to provide maximum filtration for the space.
The three standard AquaClear style inserts are included. The small foam block for gross particulate removal, a carbon insert to remove dyes and chemical impurites and to polish the water to crystal clear. The final media, the biological pellets, provide plenty of places to colonize huge numbers of beneficial bacteria to keep the biological filtration active and efficient.
There isn't a lot of extra space in the stand to play with, but the filter fits in fine. There is space to run any electrical cords needed to run the equipment. No allowance is made for any automatic style feeder when the cover is in place.
There is a list of "Edge Friendly" species shown on the box that can be used with the unit when it is set-up with the equipment included in the box. But I am a tropical fish enthusiast, so I got my hands on one of the heaters designed especially for the Edge. It is a black metallic unit with no adjustment capability. You get what the heater is pre-set to deliver. I am told it should keep the tank about 78 F. I
have a digital thermometer probe located in the tank, if you look you can see it in the pictures. The temperature shows about 80.2 when the light is on. After the light has been off overnight, the reading shows 78.4 F. I somehow doubt the day/night change is that radical. The probe is almost directly under the Halogen lighting, so I think there is some influence there. I would say the evening temperature is the most accurate for the full volume of the aquarium, with the lights influencing the daytime reading because of probe location.
The view from the top is extraordinary, but to achieve this, the top had to be completely sealed. Since the glass plates are flat, there is the chance that some air bubbles will be trapped at the top. The perfectionist may want to "burp" the system occasionally by rocking the tank slightly to force the air to move to the collar and thus escape. This works well when there is enough water in the collar, but if it is low, air will be let under the glass plate on the other side. I also noticed that the system tells you when evaporation has become too great. The filter will blow some air bubbles under the top plate and they will begin collect when water is not high enough in the collar. If this occurs, it is usually best to add a cup or so of water to bring up the level in the collar before burping, or the result will be more air bubbles added under instead of less.
Set-up was easy and fast, it took less than a half hour, including gravel rinsing to go from box to install. I allowed the system settle for a day before adding fish, mainly because I used two types of gravel, one was soft and seemed to cloud the water when it was added. It took the day to settle and clear up.
The only warning I have to voice is that this is not your ordinary aquarium. You have to remember that when you are working with it or adding fish, if you put your hands or a fish bag in the collar, the water level rises quite rapidly. You need to drop the level at least a quarter of capacity if you need to access interior parts with your hands. Otherwise the tank will flood over the collar.
I love the look of the system, and so far the rainbows seem very happy. There are eight, four forktails and four threadfin rainbows - two pairs of each. I put a botia in there as well since I added lots of live plants. Chances are always good a snail or two will get in, even with rinsing theplants prior to placement. The tank should only be used with small fish, it is small and should not house fish that need to grow large. Otherwise, it will soon be time to add a larger tank to accommodate a rapidly growing pet.
The Fluval Edge is a tank that will sit almost anywhere there is a flat surface able to support around 60 pounds. The included stand absorbs any small surface variations, so the worry of a sudden break is quite remote. Don't try to move it much full, the sloshing could break it faster than an uneven surface ever could. You will also undoubtedly get wet! But since there are no catches or guides for the stand to tank interface, it is easy to move it slightly to burp it.