Fluval Chi Review

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fluval chi 5 gallon fish tank lighting upgrade

If your search history looks something like “cool fish tanks”, “best fish tanks”, “small fish tanks” etc, you’ve come to the right place. Choosing the right fish tank provides a challenge for anyone, especially for people that just started meddling with household aquariums.

The Fluval Chi is a 5 gallon aquarium that will fulfil all your needs in a collected but full package. It’s a small tank that can look really cool with the right decorations and also provide a safe long-term home for your fish. 

The size makes it convenient for cleaning, moving, or general maintenance that would’ve taken real time off your day to complete in a bigger aquarium. 5 gallon tanks can be limited in a stocking but choosing the best fish for your 5 gallon tanks gives your aquarium life and colors. If you’d ask owners of fish, they’d probably tell you they owned a Fluval fish tank at some point, or if not owned, definitely heard about it.

The Fluval Chi fish tanks are beloved in the aquarist community and the Fluval Chi 2 is no exception. It checks most boxes and it’s a team favorite of ours too. Below you’ll find a detailed review of all you should know and consider before purchasing. Keep in mind that the products mentioned are a great choice and the decision should be made whilst keeping in mind your personal requirements.

Walls MaterialGlass
ShapeCuboid, Cube
Size Options5-Gallon
LightLED Lighting
FilterIntegrated Filtration System
Air PumpNo
Require aquarium stand No
Ideal ForFreshwater and saltwater
ExtrasDecor tray provides the opportunity
change out plants and decorative
objects for optimal appearance

Fluval Chi Overview

The Fluval Chi weighs around 16 pounds and is made of pure glass and shaped in a rectangle. You might think that because it’s not an acrylic aquarium it won’t be as durable but that’s as wrong as it can get. The way this tank is made provides longevity not only from the materials used that are obviously of high quality, but also the care behind putting it all together and the thought process that led to its production.

fluval chi 5 gallon fish tank review

It’s a tank made by a trusted company and is sure to last you years unless you throw it from the window in a fit of rage. And since we mentioned rage, this aquarium was made in a way to soothe your soul and mind, avoiding the fits of rage or sadness altogether.

What Fish Can You Keep in Fluval Chi?

The Fluval Chi aquarium is a nano aquairum, meaning there’s a selective kind of fish you can put in it. Betta, Guppies, Cherry shrimp, Mollies, Neon Tetra, Rasbora, and other similar fish can be kept in this tank. In addition, you may keep any low-light plants in this tank. Of course, small marine animals such as shrimp are no problem either. 

Keep in mind to always include something for your pets to hide from the light or each other.

What’s Included in the Box?

The Fluval Chi aquarium comes with all of the necessary accessories:

  • Low voltage filter
  • LEDs
  • Filter media
  • Replacement foam pads
  • Filter pads
  • In-tank plant basket surrounded by natural pebbles
  • 1 oz Nutrafin cycle biological supplement
  • Low voltage transformer (for safe electrical conversion in the aquarium)

All of these come in the box, with no additional expense. This is very convenient and a thing to be appreciated because only one of these products can go from $70 and higher. Not many aquarium kits include all you need to set up your tank and in high quality too. 

Fluval Chi was a surprise in the value per money department. It’s crazy underrated for all the pros it has and the price-point that it provides them in. The other benefit to buying all these separately is that these were custom made for the Fluval Chi aquarium and there won’t be any problems in size or fit. There probably won’t be any need but rest assured, you can always upgrade each of these as you wish to fit your needs.

How to Set it Up?

The Fluval Chi fish tank is simple to set up. All you have to do is select a suitable location and position it in a visible area that is safe from random accidents and near a power outlet. After you’ve placed your Fluval Chi fish tank, you’ll want to add the in-tank plant basket and pebble tray. 

Get some clean water that’s either warm or cold and fill the tank with it after sprinkling the pebbles over the bottom. Connect the efficient filter and detachable cover, then turn on the tank to get started. When the water conditions are perfect, you may introduce the fish to the tank. It’s wise to wait a couple of hours to a day before putting your fish into a new tank.

Features and Benefits of Fluval Chi

The Fluval Chi has such an overwhelming amount of benefits, even our most picky team member had difficulty in finding something to complain about. Actually, they couldn’t. The only problems that might arise are a consequence of a certain personal situation since this tank is basically foul-proof in most generic cases.

Design & The Tank

This cube aquarium kit is beautifully adorned and meant to provide positive energy to aquarium inhabitants. It’s characterized by a feng shui-inspired design to improve the look of your house and provide a spiritual experience. It would be an ideal décor for a small room or workplace with limited space. 

Fluval Chi 5 Gallon Fish Tank Overview

The moment you see the product you’ll notice the care and thought put behind the way it was built and what it was imagined like. It lets off a warm, inviting scenery and with all the Fluval Chi accessories included, it will reach its full potential and make you feel like you’re in nature’s temple.

The tank itself is built in a masterful way, with real high-quality glass that not only looks nice, but it’s sure to last you long. The squared shape and the small size make it easy to fit in almost anywhere you’d want without the need to go shopping for an aquarium stand. 

Its dimensions are 10 x 10 x 13 inches, so anything with the base equal or bigger than that should be fine. A 5 gallon fish tank with filter and heater, fish and all the decorations will barely go to 62 lbs, which is a weight supported by most things already in your home.

The Fluval Chi II has a continuous cascading flow of water from the pebble basket that not only oxygenates the water but also calls for a calming and soothing experience. There are many things to love about this tank and the design is definitely one of them.

The Baskets

The top-of-the-tank pebble basket is another appeal of the Fluval Chi. We mentioned above how the water comes out of it to produce a wonderful waterfall effect. Yes, you may change the pebbles with rocks of your own choosing, natural crystals to go full-on in that spiritual path, or even any type of ornamentation. 

A very stylish choice to add to the tank’s uniqueness. The tank inside includes another basket for a plant. This plant basket is detachable, allowing you to conveniently care for the plant when you want by just pulling the basket out of the tank. And just like you could change the pebbles you can change the plant too rather it be fake or real, to suit your taste and needs.

Filtration System

The unique design is functional as well, for the black box has several functions in itself. A lower voltage motor hidden within the cube pumps water across a filter pad, which handles mechanical filtering. 

Fluval Chi 5 Gallon Fish Tank Filter

Because there is no pipe descending into the tank, it looks to mostly clean the upper section of the tank water. Heavier material may necessitate vacuuming or stirring to ensure thorough cleaning of the tank.

Lighting System

To prevent water damage, the lights housed beneath the cube are 17 LEDs that try to reproduce the natural sunlight at around 7600K warmth. They’re more than adequate considering the size of the tank and the clear sides. Submerged lights are a pretty cool feature that not many aquariums have. It provides a pretty nice appearance on its own besides all the other things they contribute to.

Fluval Chi 5 Gallon Fish Tank Lighting

The second pair of upward-facing lights are focused towards the water pouring out of the pebble basket above the tank offering a pretty cool dual lighting effect, illuminating the whole tank and the surrounding environment.

The lights also help to keep a healthy biolife in your tank, so it’s important they are part of your setup just as your tank. They enhance that soothing natural vibe of the tank and also provide better lighting than most.


  • Very good design
  • Everything included in the box
  • Strong and good quality
  • 3 stage filtering
  • Good for beginners
  • Affordable
  • Incredible mood setter
  • Good lighting system
  • Convenient size


  • Limited fish quantity and plant species
  • Needs attention to notice water changes


Fluval Chi has everything an aquarist is searching for, a silent and powerful filter, a lighting system, a sleek design, and more. Not everyone’s tastes are the same. Maybe you are searching for a different aquarium design that best suits your home or workspace or maybe you are looking for something bigger.

Fluval Chi 5 Gallon vs Fluval Flex Fish Tank

So, what do you think about the Fluval Chi? Would it make a good addition to your aquarium setup? Well, we have some great alternatives that will help with this decision and could even be easier than purchasing from them!

Fluval Spec V

Best Fish Tank Fluval Spec V Aquarium
Fluval Spec V
Best 5 gallon tank for shrimps

Compact design

Durable etched glass

Water flow adjustment

High quality LED light


The Fluval Spec V is ideal if you don’t want a large tank and prefer a clean, professional appearance. It has everything you’ll need and is built in a compact format that’s ideal for minimalist households. 

It’s not very heavy, at 5 gallons, so you won’t need to buy stands for it, and it’ll be easy to carry if you want to change things up around you frequently. Inevitably from the same company, it’s a lovely tank with high-quality equipment that will likely last you a long time and meet all of your tank-keeping needs.

Fluval Flex 9 and 15 Gallon

Best Fish Tank Fluval Flex Aquarium
Fluval Flex 9 and 15 Gallon
Best Betta fish tank

Proper filtration system

Flexpad remote control

Nice sleek design

Sufficient lighting


Look no further, if you’re seeking something comparable but larger. Your best bet is the Fluval Flex 9 or 15 gallon size. The size and design are the primary distinctions between this and the Fluval Chi. It also has LED lighting and a three-stage filtration system, in addition to all of the other components. 

The Flex has a lot of flairs and fits in many homes, especially modern ones, thanks to its distinctive design. Considering both aquariums have a distinct look, it comes down to preference and interior design when making your choice. Aside from its appearance, this tank has a larger capacity and can hold more fish or provide more open space for single fish to swim in. Overall, it’s a fantastic solution with no flaws in any area that will probably check all your boxes.

Marineland Contour

Marineland Contour Fish Tank Review
Marineland Contour
Best small fish tank for office

Silent Filter

All-rounder kit

Aesthetic look

Excellent price


Last but not least is the Marineland Contour aquarium. It’s an excellent aquarium for both new and seasoned fish keepers. Along with the tank, you’ll get a filter and lighting system that are equally as amazing as the ones we talked about for the Marineland Portrait

The experience we had with Marineland was unmatched, everything went smoothly, and it’s held on amazing through the time. There’s no place or situation that this tank wouldn’t suit so you can’t really go wrong here. It’s simple, functional, cool tank and a safe option that won’t break the bank for any circumstance you might be on.

Final thoughts

To wrap it up, the Fluval Chi is such a nice 5 gallon fish tank, you’re going to want to live there yourself. There’s all your fish would need, to be wrapped in a beautiful package that’s going to enhance the look of any room you put it in. It’s an overall perfect choice for anyone that just wants to have a functional tank that doubles as a beautiful piece of ornament and also contributes to your own health. 

If you choose to get the tank we recommend getting other Fluval Chi accessories to reach this tank’s full potential. Rather it is a Fluval Chi light upgrade or a Fluval Chi heater or even a filter upgrade there are all sorts of things to further complete your setup. We provided you with all you need to know about the Fluval Chi, and hopefully, we contributed some clarity for making the final decision.

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I am Mario, a experienced fish keepr and the editor-in-chief of Epic Aquarium.

At Epic Aquarium, we take our commitment to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews very seriously. Our team carefully reviews each product, and we only recommend the very best in terms of quality. We also consult with leading fish keeper experts to ensure that each article is based on the most reliable and up-to-date information available.

Disclosure: EpicAquarium.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.