The Biorb Life is marginally better than the standard round Biorb, but still not great. The filtration system is inadequate and the tank has very restricted swimming space and room for fish to set up territories. It also has limited surface area and the undergravel style filtration requires the use of Biortb's very rough substrate which rules out any bottom dwelling fish. The types of fish that can be kept in it will be very limited because of the design.
Not sure which Fluval you mean? If you meant the Edge range, these too are vey restrictive in terms of what you can keep and the largest is only 46L.
Really these tanks are very overpriced and are "form over function" (IMO).
A standard rectangular tank (long rather than tall) with a good internal or external filter gives you more options and a healthier environment for fish at fraction of the price.
I would tend to agree with Fishlady here. It also really depends on what you are expecting to keep. A single male betta would be more suited to a Fluval edge than say a shoal of white clouds which are more active and have higher oxygen requirements. For a single male betta 46L would be plenty big.
If space is an issue and you don't like black lids you can get some good looking cube tanks. Find out just how much you can squeeze in - whether it be a two foot tank or something smaller.
Thanks for the feedback and I will check out the link you gave.
I think we were looking for a small shoal, probably 6-10 fish, obviously like more but the confines of these small tanks wouldn't allow and I wouldn't want to cram them in - otherwise no point in having them in the first place.
We were initially thinking cold water, we saw some cold water guppys typically that type of size fish
james15 wrote: You can of course try making your own lid if you like - I believe Fishlady has already done exactly that.
I certainly did
I made a hood for my old 5ft tank from beech effect Conti Board. It was essentially a rectangle made from four boards, with a small ledge all the way round inside near the bottom so it sat on top of the tank. The lid was two more boards sitting on a second ledge near the top of the inside of the "box" which made them sit flush with the top of the sides. The wider rear board had reflectors and lights screwed to the underside and the narrower front board was attached to it with hinges so I could lift it for easy access when feeding etc. The whole thing was a bit "rough and ready" as I'm no carpenter, but it was very easy to do and someone with a bit of skill in that area could do a really nice job.
I would recommend using plywood rather than Conti Board though as it's lighter weight and if properly sealed with varnish will last longer. I couldn't do that as I have nowhere to do the varnishing.
The basic clearseals are nice "minimalist" tanks, (although not as pretty as the Dennerle one, or the expensive Optiwhite ones) and the black trim around the top is easily removable. You can then either build your own hood or place some coverslips on the top and clip a light to the side (or hang a lumiere from a ceiling/shelf above the tank.)
As for fish, as I'm sure you know it depends on what your pH and hardness is, and how big a tank you can fit in the space you have. If you can find them Variatus Platies and Least Killifish (Heterandria formosa) would both be good in a 60L (although not the same tank- Least Killies are tiny, and really only work in a species only set-up).
Add an external and a powerhead and you could keep Hillstream Loachs, Gobies, etc. They can be territorial, so you'll need to scape the tank to give lots of breaks in line of sight. White Clouds would go well with them, but they're pretty active so you need at least a 60cm long tank.
If you have space for something 2'6 - 3' long I'd also consider any of Paradise Fish, or American Flag Fish, or Odessa Barbs. Both Paradise Fish and AFFs are both aggressive, and AFFs will nip fins. On their own with suitable tankmates they're fabulous fish, and when coloured up Odessa Barbs will put many "tropical" fish to shame.