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Old 07-31-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
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New LED - Fluval Nano Plant Spectrum - Warning / Initial Thoughts

Just picked this guy up at the LFS today for a 5.5g Deep Blue aquarium I just started converting from a bare bottom / bones nursery with a wad of java moss into something a little more pretty with some permanent residents.

Firstly and most importantly, this light fixture is NOT DESIGNED FOR RIMMED TANKS. The mount included with the light is manufactured to fit 3-8 mm gap per the instruction manual; and with my crude tape measure skills that equates to about 1/4 inch max in 'Murica units. The packaging on this light does not mention -anywhere- that it is DESIGNED FOR RIMLESS USE ONLY. However, in defense of Fluval's poor communication, it DOES denote the 3mm-8mm gap. <(sidenote: Fluval's youtube channel responded to a concerned viewer that the mount would fit on a rimmed 10g because "it's adjustable". I do not believe this after firsthand experience)>

But if you're anything like me you have probably assumed that was standard aquarium mounting measurements because rimless tanks are still haute couture and not the standard (at least in the midwest). The rim on the 5.5g aquarium I have measures 5/8 inch across, and assuming the interior 'lip' was easy to remove I'd still have a diameter of 3/8 inch to deal with.

And the obvious question at this point is, 'Hey Skrape, you're not a huge idiot and you still have your receipt because you bought this light less than an hour ago so why don't you just return it?'. Weeeellllll, the really knowledgeable guy in charge of the LFS loves Fluval lights and they're on all their display tanks. He gave Wife and I a run-down of the unit in store, showed us the set-up on the nano-reef (not the same light! same product line!), and we all played with the settings on it for a few minutes and had a jolly good time. He sold a salesman on how awesome this light is and I wanted so badly to make it work

And now, a bit more in to the actual fixture. Listed stats are 7500K color temperature, 15W, 1000 lumens, with a 50.000 hr lifetime. The unit itself is 5inch x 5inch and IP67 waterproof certified. It comes packaged with a metal L-bracket that slides into the all-aluminum LED housing and is secured into the mount with a plastic screw that has a locking rubber nut. The mount is secured to your tank with another plastic screw, and the mount itself has a rubbery feeling pad on the exterior-tank side to better hold itself in place. All the pieces felt well manufactured, and the threading fit properly on all the screws. The light is powered with a side-ways plug, so if you're using a standard vertically stacked power strip it will only take up 1 space. Being the first 'real' light I've put on a tank this small, the illumination looks absolutely bonkers to what I'm used to; with the L-bracket adjusted all the way down or up it covers the entire tank floor and surface in either extreme.

One of the 'features' of this most recent series of Fluval LEDs is that it's controlled entirely by an app on your phone via bluetooth (if you want to stone-age it, the light turned on 100% bright when I plugged it in so you could manually turn it on/off via plug). Being a stalwart avoider of smart-home stuff, this was initially a bit of a turn off. It was such a concern I downloaded the phone app in the store before I even purchased the light. Viewing it in the app permissions area of my settings, it only asks for permissions to access bluetooth, network, and SD card. (I assume this is entirely for connectivity purposes with the light and that the SD card permissions are to save settings you can modify).

The app itself is called Fluval Smart. During the little demo we had in-store, the LFS guy showed us that you can tie your device to multiple lights; some of his own and all the store lights (each can be set individually). It gives you control of five different sliders for Pink, Blue, Cold White, Pure White, and Warm White to adjust color and intensity on the LEDs, allowing you to save four of your own light profiles for 'Manual' mode. It also allows you to save a profile for Day light settings and Night light settings, with a ramp up and down period you can choose (!) for each. This is a huge bonus for someone like me who has only had timers that needed to be purchased seperately with either a hard on/off or 15 minute ramp up/down. I was told by the LFS guy that the lights will either stay off or function strangely if there is a power outage until you reconnect your phone to the light, so this could be a turn-off for some.


PS: I ripped the rim off of my 5.5g Deep Blue tank with minimal effort.... I slid a utility knife blade under the trim on the outside of the tank on one side and it started to pull off ( I ran it under the three easily accessible sides and peeled if off no problem, tank in operation)

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Old 07-31-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
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added photos

In order to keep this light, I removed the top frame from this tank. I'm no big city lawyer or expert on anything so avoid doing this at all and let my life serve as a warning to those that witness it.

I did a little razor work after removing the trim to clean up the appearance. Quite literally just slid a utility blade under the trim along one side and raked it a few times to cut the bond. Repeated this step for the three easily accessible sides of the tank and the rim pulled off (tank running). I did a little clean up work removing the black silicon on two edges as seen in the attached photos.
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