Fluval Chi 5 Gallon Tank Review

Quick Overview of the Fluval Chi

Fluval has released a small Feng Shui inspired five gallon desktop tank. With a very small footprint and rimless design, it does make a nice looking tank. A solid black cube acts as the water circulation and filtration system. Slate like patterns on the side of the black cube give a water fall like affect as well as oxygenate your tank water. It does make a nice looking addition to any room, but will work as your next shrimp tank?

Fluval 10505 Chi II Aquarium Set 5 galWhite

With a very small footprint and rimless design, the Fluval Chi does make a nice looking 5 gallon tank. Packed with some serious engineering, filtration and lighting. It makes for a nice showcase zen inspired shrimp tank. If you are in the market for a desktop shrimp tank, the Fluval Chi just might be for you.

Fluval Chi Power Filter Features

A very unique design with some pretty cool features, You can quickly see a bit of engineering has gone into this cube. Taking a closer look, Fluval solved for mechanical filtration, lighting and water oxygenation while creating a calming zen like water fall. But as a shrimp keeper, you know there is always more than just bells and whistles when it comes to shrimp tanks. Lets dive in and take a closer look at what is under the hood of the Fluval Chi Power Filter System.

Fluval 10505 Chi II Aquarium Set 5 galWhite

Mechanical Filtration: Pretty slick how they did this black box unit. Hidden in the cube is a lower voltage motor that circulates water over a filter pad that takes care of the mechanical filtration. With no pipe descending down into the tank, it appears to mainly clean the upper portion of the tank water. Heavier debris may required vacuuming or stirring to for deeper cleaning fo the tank.

LED Lighting: Under the cube are 17 LED's mounted to mimi natural sunlight. The color temperature, for all you techs, is in the range of 7600 K. Because of the clear sides all the way around and the size of the tank, these lights might just be sufficient.

Oxygenation: Fluval got really creative by building in an oxygenating waterfall affect that is both calming and functional. The sides of the cube are staggered similar to stacked slate or a rocky mountain side. As the water trickles from the filter overflow it creates a soothing water fall sound. Secondly, and more importantly, the staggered edges create opportunity for water to re-oxygenate before going back into the tank.

Pros and Cons of the Fluval Chi:


Small Footprint: Obviously a great size for a desktop shrimp tank. At five gallons, it also gives you enough volume to setup a great looking tank to showcase your favorite shrimp.

Power Filter Cube: A lot of great engineering went into that black cube. Having it double as a lighting and filtration saves a lot of space. The water fall feature is also a nice touch.

Filter Media: Included with your Fluval Chi is a Filter Pad and a Foam Pad. Both work together to remove debris to keep our water clean. Both pads are replaceable.

LED Lighting: Again, having LED lighting inside the cube is really great. Creates a natural light spectrum that can showcase your shrimp colors.


Filter Zone: With no pipe going down into the lower portion of the tank, the concern is how will that debris ever get cleared out? Yes, you can use a vacuum or simply stir the tank a bit. Maybe that continuous waterfall is enough to stir the water and keep it clear.

No Heater: With limited space, there is no place in the cube to hide a heater. You can of course place a heater in the tank, but that just adds clutter to a zen inspired tank. I guess you can't have it all.

Can the Fluval Chi Work as a Shrimp Tank?

In the end, taking all into consideration, it looks like the Fluval Chi could be a nice way to showcase your favorite shrimp. Small enough to sit on your desk or table. Compact engineering provides for minimal wiring, hoses, filters, etc. Just plug it in and listen to the waterfall affect.

Shrimp are really small, using a large tank tends to visually shrink them even more. Using a small five gallon tank like the Fluval Chi could be a great way to bring some shrimp into our office or living area.

Final Thoughts...

Rimless tanks and Nano Tanks are very popular. It gets a bit more exciting when larger companies like Fluval throw their engineering and design teams into the mix. With continued design and filtration improvements, small tanks are becoming a serious consideration. The Fluval Chi is a step in the right direction. Shrinking down filtration and lighting into a small cube that hovers above the tank is pretty incredible. Considering all the hoses, outlets, wires and timers once used, it's kind of nice to have only one thing to plugin to get this zen inspired tank up and running.

Fluval 10505 Chi II Aquarium Set 5 galWhite

Considering all the hoses, outlets, wires and timers once used, it's kind of nice to have only one thing to plugin to get this zen inspired tank up and running.

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