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Fluvial Roma Lighting

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Offline Helen

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Fluvial Roma lighting
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:20:55 PM »
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Hi. I have a fairly old Fluval Roma 240, that has T8 fluorescent tube lights. The tubes desperately need replacing. But I've not seen T8 tubes for sale on the couple of websites I've looked at. And I've noticed that the Fluval Roma tanks now come with LED lights. Does anyone have a new Roma with the LED lights? What do you think of the light level and do you have plants (what do they seem to think of it?)

Can I still buy T8s, where from? If not, will the new LED tubes fit in the old light unit? Will I have to buy a new light unit to replace my tubes?

I'm not adverse to changing to an LED set up, I just like to do a bit more research than I've probably got time for right now.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fluvial Roma lighting
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 09:32:51 AM »
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T8s are still available in most shops I've been in recently.

If you have T8 sockets obviously you can't use T5 tubes. LEDs have their own power supply. Some will use the T8 sockets as supports but not the power supply. Other LEDs are on 'legs' that slot over the side of the tank and hold the tube a few cm above the tank though this style might not fit under the lid of your tank.
There is one LED tube, by Arcadia, which uses the T8 sockets and the power supply but not if the ballast is electronic. I couldn't use these on my main tank as the controller instructions said it was electronic.

I went for Superfish retrofit LEDs. These have end caps that are shaped like the ends of fluorescent tubes so they can slot in to the T8 sockets for support. But they have their own power supply. My main tank had a power supply that wasn't wired into the lid so I just took that out and put the LED cable in its place but with the 50 litre tank I used have I carefully disconnected the fluorescent light's mains lead, labelling every wire so I could reconnect it if necessary. I had to take the lid off the 50 litre to do a water change so the old cable got in the way, but if you don't need to remove the lid of your tank you could just leave the wire there.


Offline Helen

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Re: Fluvial Roma lighting
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 07:30:49 PM »
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Thanks Sue. I'm an electrical engineer, so not too worried about a bit of rewiring if necessary. But short on time (and a bit lazy) when it comes to home electrics, so if I can retrofit that would be better. Since posting I have read about the Arcadia tubes and about magnetic or electronic ballast. I have a feeling that my Fluval Roma has electronic ballast. But Hagen seem to do their own retrofit LED light sets for their T8 units. But at 90 a "tube" I'm thinking a bit more about whether to purchase a pair! One thing that worries me about LEDs is that all the reviews I've read mention the light levels at 20cm depth. My tank is deeper than that, (though I'd have to measure it to check how much deeper) and LEDs are notorious for having a very definite cut off distance. So I want to find out how much light would get to the bottom of my tank. For something that costs so much and lasts 10 years, it's not a case of trying it and if it doesn't work, try something new next replacement time (year!).

Offline Sue

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Re: Fluvial Roma lighting
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 07:45:32 PM »
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My main tank is a custom build as I didn't want it too tall to make it easier for me to work with. It is 18 inches (45 cm) tall with a water depth around 16 inches. I find the LED light reaches the bottom of my tank, I've had to get water sprite to float on the surface to cut down the light for my fish. But I have only slow growing, low light plants in my tank.

A lot of people would go for replacement T8s. Do you have 2 tubes in the lid? If you do, someone on another forum who knows what they are talking about recommends one 5000 K and one 6500 K T8 tube as being the best combination, with the slightly redder 5000 K tube being good for photosynthesis. They don't have to be 'aquarium' branded tubes; as long as you go by the Kelvin rating you can get tubes from any lighting shop.

Offline Andy the minion

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Re: Fluvial Roma lighting
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 08:31:56 PM »
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@Helen I upgraded a tank to LED lighting at the start of the year (1m Zetlight Lancia) if you want to look up the spectrum and output. It certainly provides enough light in a 60cm deep tank that, like Sue now has a good covering of floating plants. With the old tubes I was struggling to keep plants alive and had stretched the day length. By contract with the LED's I had the opposite situation, not being smart enough to initially compensate I had an explosion of algae growth caused by too much light. I have now cut the lighting back in total by 5 hours per day. The lower temperatures under the hood have also cut the amount of evaporation and condensation considerably plus they are running much more efficiently.
I spent some time mithering over the spec and worried it wouldn't be sufficient or the wrong spectrum and probably ended up over-specing it. The strip is literally blinding if you look at the light directly and there are lots of control options if you want to upgrade and get the app driven lighting effects (I didn't). So from my experience, look for a brand with published data and a good output and I'm sure it will do the job.

Offline Helen

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Re: Fluvial Roma lighting
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 12:53:40 AM »
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Hi.

Thanks Sue - I'm pretty sure I have 2 different colour tubes in my tank. I can't remember what, but noticed when doing a bit of sorting that I had cut the spectrum graphs off the boxes, so I didn't have to remember!

Thanks Andy. Your comments have reassured me that LEDS should be fine. To be honest, my current tubes are so old that even like for like replacements are going to look bright!

Now I just have to decide if I want to make the capital outlay of LEDs. I have read enough articles showing that the lifetime cost is about the same (if not better), but at the back of my mind is that no-one has actually had decent quality LEDS for 10years, so if they don't last as long as they should, then they are more expensive.

But I do like the idea of not having to change the tubes again till my youngest is at secondary school! (He's not 2 yet!)

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