Why I chose Fluval Edge
I have always liked having a small aquarium, and when we moved to our new house out of state I had given away our fish and gotten rid of the old aquarium because it was getting old anyway. I was looking for awhile before I picked this aquarium. I looked everywhere and ended up picking up this high end fish tank at PetSmart. The price tag nearly stopped me from buying it but it was so cool that my husband talked me into it.
The Set up was easy. You hardly needed to read the directions. the stand snaps together and the glass tank, which is separate just slides into the stand. It took just a few minutes. There were no hassles.
How it looks
The look was the reason I picked the aquarium. Essentially it is glass on the top, sides, back, and bottom. It sits on a stand which is black. It does come in other colors but I felt the black was sleek looking. I think the other colors are orange and silver. It is really neat to be able to view the fish from the top of the tank through the glass. It is especially fun with snails since they have more surfaces that you can view them through. I use a clip that suctions to the top and I feed my snail zucchini. Our algae eater seems to like it too. The design of the unit makes viewing the fish a lot more fun.
I have my Fluval Edge sitting on the kitchen counter in a corner. It does not take up a lot of room yet is a dramatic part of our kitchen. I like that it has a light so at night its kinda a fun feature as well.
One of my favorite features of this aquarium is the stand. Inside the stand are the water filtration system and the lights. The cords all go through the bottom in the back of the stand so you do not see any of the mechanics or cords. It is a very visually pleasing design. There is a cover on the top of the stand which is easy to remove, so that you can feed your fish, or tend to lights. The light assembly flips up easily to change bulbs or pour water into your tank, or feed your fish.
Here is a url to a video of my fluval edge
What is it made of
The tank part is all glass
The rest of it is plastic.
The filter is mostly plastic too
Size of Tank/ Fish
The tank is only 6 gallons when full so you can not put too many fish in it or it will not stay clean. I have a snail, an algae eater, and 6 neon tetras. this grouping is fine for the tank. If you wanted bigger fish you could only have one or two and I find the fish schooling to be very relaxing. Before I had this set up I tried bigger fish and they kept dying. So this seems to be the perfect Eco-system for this tank. The dimensions of the tank are: 17″ wide, 9″ tall & 10″ deep. This is the glass only part. The entire thing with the stand measures 17″ wide, 14″ tall & 14″ deep
The aquarium does not come with any decorations but they do have an optional accessory that holds plants etc. I do not have it because I did not see it but might get it. I have not seen it in the store but have seen it online.
I put black gravel on the bottom and got a rock type formation for a focal point and then three silk plants to add visual interest as well as to provide something for my fish to hide in. Of all the fish tanks I have had this one is the nicest looking..
I have seen pictures online of people who have put live plants and mosses and this tank really shows off these items. I did not choose live plants because I like having a snail and they tend to eat all the live plants off from the bottom and that is not very attractive.
What is included / Cost / Value /
The Fluval Edge Retails for $129, but I paid $100 at PetSmart. I am not sure if it was on sale at the time, but since I got it, the price has gone up.
Included with the aquarium is the tank, the stand, lighting and the filtration system. The only thing you need to buy is decorations and fish and if you want a heater. I have not seen the heater in the store but it is available online. I am not sure you need a heater but I did buy one. I think it is broken now but my fish are fine so I am not sure I will replace it.
I feel that the price is a bit steep especially considering that the filter system is pretty much worthless and I had to replace it with something else, but honestly the thing is so cool looking that I have no regrets in spending the money.
The filter system that comes with the Fluval Edge to me did not work at all. The pump works and the water is going, but it does not keep the tank clean enough. I was forever doing water changes. I finally went to Meijer and found a small filter system called “cascade 80” which seemed to fit in the aquarium just fine and does 10 times the job the included filtration did.
The filter system sucks water up through a tube in the tank into the filter which sits up outside the tank, and through filter media and then pours it back into the tank. The entire filter system is hidden by the stand. There is a cover on top of all of it, which has some holes for air circulation but it also is easy to remove, so that you can tend to the filter or lights or feed the fish.
The filter system that comes with the aquarium is pretty much worthless to me since it does not do the job of keeping the water clean. It has a system that draws water through the filter media from the bottom to the top and then back into the tank. on the bottom is a sponge to catch particles. then a bag of charcoal in a flow through fabric. Then another bag full of these white stone like things that I guess are supposed to retain the biological filtration. I think that the sponge needed to have much smaller holes to actually catch the debris, and keep it from flowing back into the tank.
The other thing that I did not like about the filtration system is that in order to clean it you had to lift the entire filter system out of the edge and dump it in the sink. Given that the cords are all in the back of the tank it means dismantling everything unless you have a bucket to dump it in or it happens to be right near your sink. If you just lift the basket out with all the filter media most of the debris is sitting on the bottom of the filter and will go right into your tank when the filter is turned on again.
The Cascade 80 that I bought for it uses a cartridge type filter media that all the water has to flow through before flowing back into the tank. It has charcoal inside and you can just open your tank and slide out a dirty filter without messing up your tank. The dirt will be embedded in the filter and not get back into your tank. I think the filters for the cascade 80 are cheaper than replacing all three parts of the Fluval Edge filtration system.
One thing I forgot to mention is that the filtration has a low to high flow rate setting which makes no difference because it does not work but thought I would mention it. The Cascade 80 which I paid $15 for at Meijer has the same feature!
The included filtration is a total waste of time and money. Does not work and is expensive to maintain.
Time required to Maintain
I feed my fish twice a day which takes a couple seconds each time. I do it when I turn the light on and off. Once every couple weeks I do use a vacuum and suck some of the dirt off the bottom. I do not do this on schedule and it can go a month before doing it. I probably change out 1/4 or less of the total water. I add some conditioner to the water when I do this but all in all it only takes maybe 15 minutes. At that time I also change the filter media with a fresh one. The amount of cleaning necessary will depend on what kind of fish you have and if any sunlight is hitting the tank. Mine never gets any sunlight and I have never once had to scrub algae off the inside. then again I have a snail and algae eater who do this job well!!!!
The aquarium comes with a lighting system, also hidden under the cover. It is easy enough to reach in to turn the light on and off by removing the cover and flipping the switch. to install the bulbs which come with it (two 12volt halogen lamps) flip up the whole lighting system and press the bulbs into place. You do have to be careful that you do not knock them out since they just press into place. I did that with one of mine and it fell in the tank. It did not work too long after that even though I dried it off before putting it back. I keep a couple bulbs, so it was not hard to replace it.
One thing to remember is that this lighting generates a lot of heat. You have to be careful not to burn yourself when you are working inside the tank. I actually like the heat aspect because I feel it heats the water sufficiently that it keeps it around 76-78 degrees. I turn my light on in the morning when I get up and turn it off before I go to bed. I feel that it is natural for fish to have water that warms up slightly in the morning since the sun does warm the water in nature. That of course is just my preference. Some people leave the lights on 24/7, and some just turn them on at night. That is totally up to you.
When I first got it with the bad filter I had fish dying and was not sure why so I did purchase the optional heater which fits into the tank and is not visible. It is black and the cord slides down through the back with everything else. It is a heater that is designed to be under water. It has a dim red light to let you know it is working. Mine is no longer working so I guess these are not very durable. Since my fish seem fine with just the lights heating the tank I will not replace it.
Final thoughts: Overall I am very happy with the look and function of the Fluval Edge.