I realized I have started to see more and more people buying the Fluval Edge tanks, and so I decided to write a review about it, hopefully it will help others make a decision as to if they want to purchase this kit or not. I will rate everything based on weight of important of the overall tank-owning experience. Packaging:
Kit comes in a nice big sturdy box. Everything is packaged very well. Empty spaces are well supported with packing cardboard inserts and the tank itself is wrapped in plastic to prevent scratches, etc. Unboxing everything was smooth and easy, the right parts came out without a fuss and the cardboard was not bulky like Styrofoam and garbage went right back into the box so there was no mess to clean up. 5/5 Assembly:
The assembly of the tank is fairly straight forward. Base + back + Tank + filter + Lights + hood. There was no need for any additional tools to hold everything together. There is a fairly specific order in which the assembly must be done so the wiring was hidden properly. There was one major problem with assembly, which was the lights, MR11 bulbs have very thin connectors and the light sockets are recessed so when putting the lights in, it always felt like the connectors were going to snap. 4/5 Pricing and kit contents:
As a kit, it comes with most of the basics. However, for the price of 100+ USD, I would like to see a heater or algae magnet included. Those are sold separately but at the Fluval premium. The other contents of the kit are all good quality. 8/10 Exterior Design:
This is probably the main selling point of the tank. Once put together, it looks FANTASTIC. There is really no con here, it will look good with most household decor and the hidden cables/equipment is a fantastic plus. The tank also has very neat and thin silicone seals, this adds a lot to the water cube effect. 25/25 Interior Design:
This is where problems start. The system to hide the cabling is very good, simple and cleaver. This is just about where the positive points end.
Firstly, positioning of the lights. The lights are on a strip that you lift up to a upright position when working on the tank. It is simple and works for the purpose of tank maintenance, but the problem is, once the lights are up, you have no light in the tank. Unless your tank is positioned in a room with a lot of surrounding light, be prepared to bring external light when you work on the tank.
Secondly, to accommodate the beautiful exterior, the only opening to the tank is a small box at the top. For anyone, even those with small hands, this is going to be an issue. The hole makes it extremely difficult to do any work in the tank, especially decor placement unless its right under the opening.
Thirdly, the tank itself sits on the bare base of the edge, which is made of plastic, with no grips. Without the physical filter holding the back of the edge and the tank together, the tank easily slides right off the base. This could be extra dangerous in times when your removing the filter to do some scrubbing and bumping the tank when turning or if children/other adults walk by it and bump into it.
Fourthly (is this a word?), cable management. I know i said it was a pro, but its also a con, to get the cables out, you must disassemble the back. Otherwise, the plugs dont fit and will get stuck as your are removing things. This means if the filter needs to come up for a scrubbing, you must carefully remove the back of the edge and i say carefully, because if your not, your tank may end up on the ground.
Overall, its really just painful to work with, lots of frustration involved. 23/35 Lighting:
This is a preference thing, but I will try to be as objective as possible. The 2 bulb placements comes with halogen bulbs. This is unsuitable for planted aquaria and run HOT, like need to let bulbs cool for 15 minutes before touching or get burned hot. The stock bulbs also give off a yellow hue. However, the sockets are standard MR11 and can be replaced with other MR11 bulbs like LEDs for pure white and other funky colors if that's what you want. The socket arrangement also leaves the tank in a spot-light kinda glow, the edges of the tank are much more poorly illuminated than the center. This really accents the water cube effect and can be quite nice, but for planted aquaria, this is not. 7/10 Filter:
Not much to say, its a Aquaclear mini branded with Fluval on the top. Aquaclear filter media (way cheaper than fluval) will fit and work all the same. It does its job well, but is a bit powerful for the tank, there is clearly a strong downward current from the filter and with the small opening would make this tank unsuitable for any bettas or gourami's (although tank is too small for gourami's anyway). 9/10 Final Thoughts:
Overall its a decent tank. It is clearly unsuited for heavily planted aquaria and definitely would be extremely difficult to aquascape. However, if you choose to do those extremely difficult and time consuming tasks, the end result is a beautiful tank. Although planting a tank and not planting a tank is a personal preference, the fact that the tank design limits planted aquaria is a definite limitation. Overall the product is solid, and the hard-working hobbyist will be well rewarded for their hard work. There are also a large amount of accessories to buy for the tank such as triangular shaped nets and angled gravel vacs. There is even sponge add-ons to the filter to reduce flow and prefilter the water and algae magnet scraper that's shaped to help get the corners of the tank. The overall design looks great, once everything is put together and you get over the pain of setting it up, its quite enjoyable to watch. Overall score: 81/100.