Vertaal met Google


the HMF Outflow redone

Sometimes it takes a long period of time and just a splitsecond to think of an improvement over an existing design. The same happened to me with the HMF Filter and the outflow I was using. Time to share it with you!

As can be seen in my earlier posts, I had my outflow passing over the long side of the tank, passing over the short side as well via a 90 degree turn to end up opposite to the HMF filter. At the time I chose efficiency over aesthetics - that much is clear. 

The idea:
I noticed that there was an abundance of waterflow in the tank, which reduced the need for my 'efficient' solution. I also remembered the more traditional HMF setup, where the water simply gets dropped on the frontside of the filter through an airpump or pump. Have a look at this site to see what I mean:

I decided to take away the tubing that bridges the long side of the tank as well as the second 90 degree bend. I then twisted the upright tube with the first 90 degree angle attached to it by 90 degrees counterclockwise. I reattached the tubing for the short side that also holds the outflow. A week of testing proves that the design works just as good as the previous, while keeping all the tank's mechanics on one side. Which of course looks a lot better!

A picture of the new outflow is attached at the bottom of this post.

Note: I first thought of the abundance of waterflow that makes this redesign possible after I cleaned up my clogged up pump. An important tip: clean out the pump regularly or you will stop your waterflow!!

The outflow exiting the filter over the shortside.... easy does it :)


Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy Review

After selling the Superfish Aqualed on eBay because of disappointing lighting intensity*, I quickly rushed into buying new lighting. 

I had done some internet-research on hang-over lights and the lights from Aquatic Nature seemed to be well-fit for the job. I was positively surprised by the price level of these lights and as I also found out, there was hardly a lower price to be found on the internet than what you pay in the typical brick-and-mortar petstore. And then the brick-and-mortar pet store gives you better service and warranty conditions over the online RMA procedures that -- even in the best circumstances -- are usually a headache.

Here is a quick review of my experience with the Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy

I would recommend this piece of lighting to any nano-aquarium enthusiast in both the 13 and 26 watt version, depending on the size of the tank and the plants' needs for light! It is not the cheapest of solutions, but there are certainly much more expensive lights out there. This probably gets the prize for being best value for money. It is a decently built light, with plenty of options to vary color and light-color, without a hassle. 

The good:
  • Steady and intense lighting, much better than the LED
    • My plants clearly love it!
  • It comes with an adapter to fit it to a range of glass thicknesses
    • The fit is good, the light is really steady!
  • No external power adapter
  • Night-time lighting through 2 LEDs
  • It comes in multiple colors to choose from
    • I picked the silver one
  • There are multiple PL lights and color spectra that can be bought and fit into the lighting
    • I only used the default supplied light thus far
  • There is a 13 and a 26 watt version
    • I bought the 26 watt version, as that is more intense than the AquaLED 28
The bad:
  • Switching between daytime and night-time lighting is done manually. 
    • This gives little added value in night-time lighting as you will either have to manually switch every night and morning, or have it stuck on daytime lighting with a timer to use the convenience of automation. I chose the latter
  • It has a much higher power consumption over the Aqualed 28
  • It has no option for dimming the intensity. It is either ON or OFF.
There is the option to buy the Solar Vision. Do note that it is the exact same light, but with the option to change the color of the cover through LED lights that are embedded in the cover. I leave it to your own judgement if you see the added value in that feature. I certainly do not.

* See my other review for the Aqualed. It is not a bad light, but it doesn't fit the needs for this tank.

With limited knowledge of electronics, but with a brother that has good knowledge, we are both convinced we can easily change the electronics scheme of the light, such that daytime and night-time lights can run on separate timers. If I decide to void my warranty, I will let you know. Encouragements are welcome in the comments below :)

Buying advice: 
I had the luck of buying a 'tank only' version of the Aquatic Nature Cocoon series. It usually comes with a hang-on filter AND the Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy. That basically means you get the filter for free! So if you like the Cocoon series and you like the Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy, buy it in a set! I have missed out on a free filter by being stubborn.

As you can see in particularly the last set of pictures, a much larger part of the gravel is lit even at a daytime picture as compared to a nighttime picture of the Aqualed. 

After: Solar Duo Boy (in daytime!)
Before: AquaLED (in nighttime!)
After: Solar Duo Boy
Before: AquaLED

After: Solar Boy Duo
Before: AquaLED


Superfish Aqualed 28 Review

One of the things that caught my attention soon after starting up the tank, was the lighting, so here comes a review!

I purchased the SuperFish Aqualed 28 in my setup, because LED lighting is starting to become good value for money. That is, you don't pay the world for energy efficient lighting anymore. I was actually surprised by the low price of the SuperFish Aqualed 28, when I found them at Veldhuis. Since I could hardly find decent review of this article on the internet, I hope to spread a helpful one for potential buyers. Here is a quick summary of my experiences. 

The good:

  • It is extremely energy-efficient: only 3 watts of power consumption!
  • It is decently built
  • It has is flexible boom for the light to hang over the tank
  • It has a built-in dimmer (!) that allows for continuous ('analogue') dimming

The bad:

  • It has a separate power transformer. The connection of which is slightly loose, so may fall out accidentally
  • The flexible boom didn't quite make it for my tank
  • Even when set to the brightest setting, doesn't light a 35liter tank well enough

To confirm the last bullet point, I have attached some images. Take special notice of the third picture, as it shows the lighting without direct exposure of the camera to the LEDs. Although I am still quite fond of the idea of LED lighting, the bad shape of my plants makes me conclude nothing else than that I needed to buy a new piece of lighting. A quick response at Veldhuis tells me that it should be enough for a 35 liter tank. I dare to argue that the fun ends at a 20liter aquarium. Even then you will only enjoy the light if the tank is high, not wide like a typical aquarium. 

So in short: the SuperFish Aqualed 28 is the perfect light for economically and environmentally conscious aquarium enthusiasts that want to use it for a nano tank up to 20 liters. Anything above asks for more serious lighting. 

Next up: a review of the newly purchased Aquatic Nature Solar Duo Boy!

Daytime action of the Aqualed 28

Nighttime action of the Aqualed 28

Daytime action shot from above