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Tom Sarac on Fluval: Advancing Aquarium Technology and Sustainability through Innovation and Collaboration - An Exclusive Interview.

Sunil Dcosta

1 Nov 2023

Fluval ongoing commitment to innovation underpins its strategy, offering cost-effective solutions for aquatic enthusiasts at all levels.

Tom Sarac - Senior Brand Decelopment Manager (Hagen Group)
Tom Sarac - Senior Brand Decelopment Manager (Hagen Group)

Q. Fluval has a well-established presence in the global aquarium products market. Could you discuss Fluval's current business strategy in India?

Tom Sarac: In 1975, Fluval introduced the world's first 3-stage aquarium filter, revolutionizing the aquatic industry with asynchronous motor technology. This innovation led to various Fluval filter systems, including internal, hang-on, and canister types. Our ongoing commitment to innovation underpins our strategy, offering cost-effective solutions for aquatic enthusiasts at all levels. Despite global challenges, we maintain our status as the leading aquatic brand on social media, reinforcing our global business strategy. In India, our initial efforts fell short, but a turning point came three years ago with an exclusive partnership with Maple Pets. Together, we established a comprehensive approach, encompassing sales, marketing, spare parts, and after-sales support. In India's competitive aquatic market, where many products are Chinese-made, Fluval's Italian-engineered and manufactured filter, pump, and heater lines give us a distinct advantage.

Q. What are the standout features and benefits of Fluval's Fx and 07 series canister filters for aquarium enthusiasts?

Tom Sarac: A key engineering achievement for the Fluval canister line is the modular approach to housing filter media. The result of the engineering teams’ meticulous approach is a canister that is very low in void space and has high filter media efficiency.

In the 07 series, a vertical mechanical filter media basket, easily accessible after motorhead removal, streamlines maintenance of the primary mechanical foam media. This unique design optimizes space and permits quick rinsing, enhancing water quality by expediting waste removal from the aquarium.

From our innovative AquaStop valves that support quick maintenance, as well as being very suitable for filter flow adjustment, to our evolved lift-lock motor head clamps that are both robust and secure while contributing to overall consumer convenience, the evolutionary improvements continue.

Q. How does Fluval Bug Bites, with its insect-based composition, enhance growth and well-being in freshwater aquarium fish?

Tom Sarac: Fluval Bug Bites is a comprehensive line of fish nutrition products with Black Soldier Fly larvae as the primary ingredient in most of the range. Since many fish are omnivores and insects are a significant part of their natural diet, Bug Bites offers exceptional palatability and digestibility. This high digestibility benefits the fish’s health and promotes a cleaner aquarium by reducing waste production. Bug Bites provides an excellent amino profile, promoting tropical fish's growth, health, and overall well-being. Additional protein sources like salmon, herring, and shrimp further enhance the nutritional content.

Bug Bites stands out by excluding fillers, preservatives, and artificial colorants while ensuring high levels of essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. Fluval is committed to transparent labeling, allowing consumers to see precisely what they're investing in, many other brands do not provide regarding expensive additives.

Q. What are the recommended maintenance practices and filter media replacement schedules for Fluval canister filters like Fx and 07 series?

Tom Sarac: To maintain the peak efficiency of your Fluval canister filter, make use of its quick-access design. For the Fluval 07 series, after removing the motor head to access the filter body, simply pull out the mechanical filter basket and rinse the vertically positioned foam pads. The frequency of this maintenance depends on the number and size of fish in your aquarium. Larger, heavily stocked setups benefit from monthly cleaning, while the FX series should be cleaned every two to three months in similar conditions.

The impeller, continuously rotating during filter operation, should be cleaned and checked for wear when performing media maintenance or replacement for the 07 series. Occasional replacement is expected. For the FX series, impeller inspection can be done every 6 months. If you hear unusual noises from the motor area, stop the filter, remove debris, and inspect the impeller for wear or damage. The hose assembly should be flushed twice a year.

Q. How does Fluval gather and leverage customer feedback to drive innovation and enhance aquarium filter products?

Tom Sarac: Innovation is central to the evolution of Fluval's filter categories, with our 07 canister filter line now in its seventh generation, maintaining a dominant global sales position. As the top-ranked brand on social media platforms, we actively engage with consumers, listening to feedback through our Global Technical Support email, We value perpetual feedback from our fans on social media and offer online warranty registration for key electrical items, providing consumers with information.

Fluval's consumer service department can be contacted directly through our website,

We prioritize consumer input in product development, drawing from the sources mentioned, and share this feedback across our Global Offices.

Q. How does Fluval integrate sustainability into its product design, manufacturing, and packaging, with goals for reduced environmental impact?

Tom Sarac: Fluval wholeheartedly embraces environmental sustainability starting with our Global Head Office building, the first in Quebec, Canada, which was built from the ground up to meet stringent Canadian LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), featuring geothermal heating and much more.

We as a company do pay close attention to ensuring all our products are designed, produced, labeled, packaged, and shipped to be compliant, meeting the various country environmental and other standards that are required in today’s challenging business environments. 

Q. Has Fluval collaborated with companies, organizations, or experts in the aquarium field, resulting in mutual benefits?

Tom Sarac: Fluval engages in collaborative product development, often keeping specific details proprietary due to the associated investment costs. 

These collaborations aim to benefit consumers and hobbyists by bringing specialized expertise into the development process. 

On social media and the website, Fluval openly shares partnerships with Fluval Experts and brand ambassadors, like Oliver Lucanus, known for his explorations in South America and Africa, importing rare species, and his photography and videography. You can explore these ambassadors on the Fluvalaquatics website.

For example, a video featuring Oliver's expedition to Colombia has garnered over 196K views on YouTube. He also maintains his YouTube channel, sharing informative videos about various tropical fish species. Fluval collaborates with social media influencers, exposing users to events and contests initiated and supported by the brand. These collaborations enhance the experience and knowledge of aquarium enthusiasts.

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