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Fluval Spec V: A Good Betta Tank Setup for Beginners?

All-in-one tanks can make for great aquarium setups for beginners. They usually come with their own filtration, light, and other components. These kits make tanks convenient and easy to set up.

If you're in the market for an all-in-one kit for your betta or some other nano fish, the Fluval Spec V might be for you. For this kit, we’ll be going through:

  • What’s in the box

  • Pros and cons of each component

I'll be as objective as possible. But some opinions will be sprinkled out here and there based on my experience. Always remember to do additional research on your own.

By the time you finish reading this, you can make an educated decision if this all-in-one freshwater aquarium is right for you.

What’s in the Box

With this beginner betta fish tank setup, you get the following 7 items:

  • Glass tank

  • The 3-stage filtration system

  • Filter sponge

  • Ceramic media

  • Activated carbon

  • Water pump with tubing

  • Light fixture

  • Lid

What’s NOT In the Box

If you’re buying this aquarium tank setup for beginners, here are the components that you need to shop for separately:

  • Substrate

  • Tank décor

  • A tank background

  • A heater

  • Fish food

  • Water conditioner

Now that we’ve gone through the items that are included and not included in Fluval Spec V, let's dive into an overview of each component with pros and cons.

Pros and Cons for each Component

For the 7 items of Fluval Spec V, let’s start with the glass tank.

The Tank

For the dimensions, I decided to take the measurements of the tank. This doesn’t count the base. The elevation from the base shouldn't technically be factored into tank capacity.

To be as accurate as possible, I measured from the inside of the tank to avoid factoring in the thickness of the tank walls.

​Tank Dimensions per Fluval

Tank Dimensions

(Full tank)

Tank Dimensions

(Swimming space only)


20.5 inches

19.3 inches

17 inches


7.5 inches

6.4 inches

6.4 inches


11 .6 inches

10.6 inches

10.6 inches


5 gallons


4.7 gallons

Max. Volume

5.5 gallons

~5.3 gallons


In short, the actual swimming space is 4.7 gallons which is just under 5.

Here are other tidbits of info: the tank is made of glass with a width of 0.13 inches. And the plastic base raises the tank about an inch from the surface.

Pros for The Tank

First, the kit comes in 2 colors, white and black.

Second, it looks aesthetically great, especially if you like the rimless look.

Third, the aquarium is glass instead of cheap plastic.

Lastly, it has ample swimming space of 17 inches horizontally. This is a huge selling point for this tank, especially for being a 5-gallon.

With the full tank being 5.3 gallons and the genuine swimming space being 4.7 gallons, the advertised swimming space is only partially sacrificed by the filtration compartment.

A common thing you'll see with all-in-one kits is that they advertise a certain gallon amount. But in reality, it's lesser due to the filtration compartment taking additional space.

Cons for The Tank

The glass is relatively thin compared to other rimless tanks. But I haven't had this be an issue, so it's more of a call-out.

There's metal trim on each corner which can be a drawback for those who care about a genuinely rimless experience.

The tank's base is thin plastic, which takes away from the rimless aesthetic. On the bright side, the tank base accommodates any uneven surfaces on which you place your tank. But it is a bit flimsier than other tank bases out there.

The Light Fixture

Some general things: There are three settings:

  • On, which turns on the white and blue LEDs

  • Night light, which turns on only the blue LEDs

  • Off

In its "on" state, it gives off a temperature of 7000 Kelvins, which is on the cooler/bluer side.

Tapping the touch module on top of the light allows you to go through different settings.

One thing to note is that Fluval updated this light from its previous version. Beware of bad reviews on the light fixture. They may be referring to the older version, which was plastic. This updated version is metal.

The light attaches to a fixed side of the tank. Pre-planning is needed on your tank's orientation before you go in and scape it.

To attach the light, simply slide it into a notch and tighten a screw.

Let’s move on to the pros and cons of its lighting.

Pros for THE Light

Firstly, it's metal and aesthetically sleek and sturdy.

Second, it’s relatively bright compared to most stock lights you find with all-in-one kits. I honestly have no tools for assessing the true brightness. But subjectively, it's pretty bright.

You may ask, “Is the Fluval Spec V good for plants?” From my experience, yes. Plants that have thrived under it include frogbit, anubias, and water wisteria.

I've had algae problems in the past, and even algae blooms in this tank. The light output is not insignificant.

Another plus is the tank is timer compatible.

The light has a separate cable from the filter pump, which is a must-have if you want to be able to leverage a timer.

Sometimes you see all-in-one kits that use one plug for both the filtration and the light. This is a red flag if you're looking to use a timer for your lighting. Luckily, this is not the case here.

The light remains in the "on," "nightlight," or "off" state you leave it in when you unplug and plug it back in. Despite this being a minor aspect, this feature is essential when looking to use a timer.

I highly recommend you use smart timers like the Kasa Smart Plugs. They have more flexibility than your conventional mechanical timer because it connects directly to your phone.