A neat little lamp powered with LED’s to illuminate a small aquarium, low power, cheap cost… sounds too good to be true right? Lets find out!
Ok, well not normally a product that needs to be reviewed and isn’t going to break the bank but came as quite a surprise to me the quality of this little lamp. Somehow the manufacturer managed to cram 40 small white LEDs into the head of the unit and then another 8 blue LEDs also! There are two settings, one for “daylight” so the white LEDS which should be sufficient to grow plants in a very small aquarium, I wouldn’t go over 20 litres to succeed. The other setting is the “nightlight” where the 8 blue emitters shine a seductive “moonlight” across the aquarium, and this is a totally different way to view your aquarium and inhabitants.
The build quality of the unit is suitable for the low cost of the unit, and the LEDs should last for ages and not draw much current which also saving you money. The main light is white, I would estimate around the 6500K to 8400K spectrum and is suitable to penetrate around 14″ of water and still grow plants. (Obviously with balanced CO2 and Nutrients!)
The light fixes to the glad with a little screw attachment and thats fine by me, and the metal arm hold the head in the position you set it at. All in all its a great little lamp, cheap, low power and has the nightlight feature. Downsides, none really.
The Hydor Koralia Nano 900, a neat little fan that runs inside you aquarium for making waves and increasing circulation, and as we all know, I adore Hydor products! This should be fun!
So I like Hydor products, I am not ashamed to let you all know that and straight away I am bound to be biased but there is a harsh reality I will get to shortly.
Back to the product, the Hydor Koralia Nano 900 a small water circulating fan which you can position in your aquarium for a myriad of reasons. I tend to use it to drive CO2 bubbles from my diffuser downwards as to increase the absorption of CO2 into the water column. Some use them to increase flow so aquatic plants get a better distribution of nutrients to aid photosynthesis. What they were designed for was to make waves, for aesthetic purposes and for gas exchange in the aquarium. It comes with a highly positionable arm and a magnet/ suction cup to ensure the unit does not vibrate against the glass of the aquarium. The length of the lead however is rather short and if you have to route it through a hood and then down to the lower part of your aquarium, it may be an issue, as it is with mine.
The problem, the price. This retails at £45.00 but obviously is far less than that, more like £30.00 but even still this is too expensive for what it is. I have a small pump from All Pond Solutions and it only cost me at the time £12.00 and this unit is far far more powerful than the Hydor Koralia. Obviously this review is for the Nano version but the cost is quite high for what you get. So this simply comes down to use. If you want a really nice looking wave maker for your aquarium, then the Hydor Koralia Nano 900 is great. If you want to increase flow in your aquarium, go for something less pretty and more functional like a submersible pump (All Pond Solutions also make wavemakers!)
This is the Arcadia Arc Aquarium and is available in 20 and 35 litre capacity but both have the same pros and cons, so if you are considering getting one, lets see if you should!
So Arcadia, I do not have enough to say about this company and here is why. I purchased a 35 litre Arcadia Arc Aquarium for my works office and upon delivery decided to set it up as a live planted tropical aquarium and set to work. Well after adding the aquasoil, the dragon stone rock placement and planted all the small clumps of Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC) and standing back admiring my work I left the room to get water to fill the tank, on my way back I heard a loud snapping sound, and upon my arrival saw a massive crack across the front of the aquarium. Gutted!
I immediately called Arcadia customer services and after sending them an email with photographic proof, they sent me out a brand new one, and I got a free light and filter as they didn’t want the originals back! This is very good customer service. Now I am writing this review after a few people asked for it after mentioning it on my review of the Arcadia Arc Pod Light. I will say again, the light pods are good, but not amazing.
So back to the Arcadia Arc Aquarium! Nice thick glass with curved front corners which gives a nice seamless view of the aquarium. The top glass that prevents too much evaporation and had small holes on each side to safely grip the glass with. Comes with a small internal filter which I am sure is efficient, but I immediately replaced with a hang on the back filter as I wanted a higher turnover of water for the plants.
All in all, I think the company is good with excellent service, although a few niggles on their lights but these can be overcome with care. Hopefully this will help you with your decision.
The Arcadia Arc Pod Aquarium Light, comes in both 9 watt and 11 watt versions and are standard on the Arcadia Arc aquariums, question is how good are they?
Well I have had over 3 in my time and they have all lit small aquariums well, not enough light to grow demanding live plants but enough to see the fish. Arcadia are a decent enough company, and when my Arc aquarium cracked within days of setting it up (hadn’t even added the water thankfully) I contacted them and they sent out a replacement with a Free Arc Pod Light! These units are flawed though and here is why. The clear plastic is very brittle and cracks very easily, I have cracked two out of three. These didn’t crack due to user error, I think the heat and evaporation from an open topped aquarium caused the plastic to crack on its own. The Rubber seal makes for a good seal but is tough to get on which means wiggling the two together, I ended up knocking the lamp inside against the housing which smashed the bulb. I would advise using vaseline on the rubber seal to make for easier assembly. The lamp is a 2 pin fluorescent and are supplied in two wave lengths, warm white and cool white. The light is mounted using a screw clip and the light hinges up making for easy access to the aquarium which is great but you will blind yourself in the process!
So, should you get one… maybe. Arcadia are an excellent company in my opinion but these lights just don’t seem to cut it.
This is the Interpet Fish Pod 64, a great little aquarium from Interpet, known for quality but at a budget level, although there may be a few flaws with this aquarium, there are also some great features you wouldn’t expect.
Sold as a coldwater aquarium with an optional tropical upgrade kit (read “add a heater”!) this stylish aquarium has nicely curved front glass corners which give the unit nice clean lines, almost panoramic, with no silicone visible unlike older fashioned aquariums. The Interpet Fish Pod 64′s biggest feature fro me is the dual lighting system which offers a daylight and night light mode, switchable from the white daylight for plant growth and a moonlight mode which casts a gentle blue light across the aquarium. This night light effect is becomingly increasingly popular and offers a totally different experience of the aquarium.
Filtration is Interpet’s PF Filter, which has highly rated by many enthusiasts for its easy care. Naturally as an internal filter it will take up some space but is a soft rounded shape that could be easily hidden by some tall stem plants, real or fake. The filter takes various foams and activated carbon as one would expect to ensure clean and crystal clear water. Also provided is a bacteria booster to kick start the biological filtration and BioActive Tapsafe solution to condition your water and remove chlorine and chloramines, which are very harmful to fish and invertebrates. When you cycle this aquarium, please be responsible and perform a fishless cycle.
Back to the Interpet Fish Pod 64. As you may have guessed this aquarium is 64 litres in capacity and 60cm long, 37cm wide and 32cm high. This aquarium does not come with a cabinet, but one is available to buy and it is a good looking cabinet also. If 64 litres is too big, they make a smaller version which is 48 litres, but everything else is the same.
Prices vary, but it is competitively priced against the rest of the market and worthy of serious consideration.