I started setting up the Fluval Spec V in August of 2020. Originally I was planning on bringing this to my office after the pandemic, but at this point I think I will be working mostly remote so I’ll keep this home. It’s taken a while to figure out which fish to keep in this tank. Luckily I had other tanks so I could rehome the fish that didn’t work out. I ended up settling on a dwarf puffer, kuhli loach, and red cherry shrimp. I haven’t seen any aggression from the puffer against any of the shrimp. He did start trying to attack a nerite snail, so I moved the snail to another tank. Along the way, I also tried a scarlet badis and sparkling gouramis, both of which I ended up moving to my 30 gallon planted tank. I also tried some micro rasbora which are now in my 20 gallon rock planted tank.
In order to help disperse the weight of the rock and wood, under the substrate I added white egg crate in the bottom. For substrate, I used dirt and capped it with gravel. The dirt has definitely helped the rooted plants grow healthier. I also dose the tank once a day with Seachem Flourish Excel for the plants. I’ve been very impressed with the Fluval Spec overall. I wasn’t sure how the plants would do with the stock lighting, but I haven’t had any complaints about the growth. I’m not keeping any high light plants in the aquarium which I’m sure helps.
In the beginning I kept up with weekly water changes, but as time went on I started slacking off, but even with that I haven’t seen any negative side affects with water chemistry. I’m not necessarily recommending skipping water changes, but I think in an established planted aquarium there’s a little more leeway.