Fluval Spec III Has Been Updated, In Depth Post - The Planted Tank Forum
View Poll Results: Do you like the Spec Changes?
Yes 23 67.65%
No 4 11.76%
Indifferent 7 20.59%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
overgrown's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 135
Fluval Spec III Has Been Updated, In Depth Post

Apparently Hagen has silently given the Fluval Spec line an upgrade. I ordered 2 Spec III's from Petco. With their discount code I paid around $37 for each, which was a steal for me.

When I opened the box, I was very surprised to see boxes that I did not recognize (I own another III and a V). Gone is the classy Apple like design.
I know my photos aren't the best, they were taken with my phone in a dimly lit room late at night.

Here is a photo of the boxes side by side.



I'm going to note a few major differences that I found with the tank. Let me start by saying that the tank really is basically the same, other than aesthetic design. The LED is the major change.

Black Pump Tubing:


Black Silicone instead of clear:


No more pretty "frosted" glass effect. It now has this weird textured spidery webby mesh design. Not sure how I feel about this honestly.


Pic #2




Now lets get to the LED light. It has been MASSIVELY uprated in light output. Like seriously. This thing is BRIGHT. My old LED was a relatively dim. This thing is like a damn Finnex Megaray (not literally.) It casts light all over my room. The light is extremely thin and has many more LED's. They aren't the round kind either, these are the serious square LED's, like you would find on a Finnex light. It is anodized silver even on the black. It now functions with a touch button on top of the light, and has a moonlight function.
The light only has white and blue LED's, and in my opinion is honestly a little bit too blue. I might try to run a light yellow film over my LED to warm it up a bit.

Update: A thread was just posted showing the output of the light. Here









In summary, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this "upgrade". I feel like they stepped far away from the classy look of the Spec. I can't comment on the Spec V as I only ordered Spec III's, so I don't know if the V got updated.

I think the light is now capable of growing higher light plants, but in no tech tanks, I would imagine it would contribute to algae. I also thought the light was much too cool. I don't know why the blue LED's have to run even when the light is running on it's normal mode.

I actually kind of enjoyed my Spec III with a dimmer light, and I'm pretty sure my betta did too. As soon as I mounted the new light and turned it on, he started flaring and swimming all over the tank.
afonseca827 and afonseca827 like this.

Last edited by overgrown; 02-12-2016 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Updated title with better description.
overgrown is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 09:43 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 236
I ordered the white version. Disappointing they both get the same silver light. As the previous light was perfectly capable of growing anubias, I really wonder what this one can do. When my spec used the stock light and no CO2 it didn't get a spec of algae on an 8 hour photo period.
MoreyFan is offline  
post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
overgrown's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreyFan View Post
I ordered the white version. Disappointing they both get the same silver light. As the previous light was perfectly capable of growing anubias, I really wonder what this one can do. When my spec used the stock light and no CO2 it didn't get a spec of algae on an 8 hour photo period.
I am a bit concerned as all I have in my current Spec is anubias. My natural sunlight + the spec LED was very capable. This new light is extremely bright and I don't think it will stay algae free without at least excel.
overgrown is offline  
 
post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 11:01 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by overgrown View Post
I am a bit concerned as all I have in my current Spec is anubias. My natural sunlight + the spec LED was very capable. This new light is extremely bright and I don't think it will stay algae free without at least excel.


I think it is a great move simply because a better light for the Spec III is really difficult to find. The 8x8 display area makes it MUCH harder than the Spec V to modify on the cheap. I bought the Finnex Stingray clip and not only is mounting awkward, the light hood is too long. (and the light looks cheap)

I won't be setting mine up right away but am more excited about the possibilities now.

Do you plan to set yours up soon? Will be interested in results. I wouldn't worry too much. When you start the new tank go with a shorter photo period, away from sunlight and add some Staurogyne repens, Lilaeopsis mauritiana, and watch it thrive with root tabs.
MoreyFan is offline  
post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
overgrown's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreyFan View Post
I think it is a great move simply because a better light for the Spec III is really difficult to find. The 8x8 display area makes it MUCH harder than the Spec V to modify on the cheap. I bought the Finnex Stingray clip and not only is mounting awkward, the light hood is too long. (and the light looks cheap)

I won't be setting mine up right away but am more excited about the possibilities now.

Do you plan to set yours up soon? Will be interested in results. I wouldn't worry too much. When you start the new tank go with a shorter photo period, away from sunlight and add some Staurogyne repens, Lilaeopsis mauritiana, and watch it thrive with root tabs.
I got two new Spec III's. One for the lady, the other for a family member's poor betta who lives in a Petco type keeper (basically a cup ). I will be switching their light out with mine as I'm positive they won't be able to deal with the extra potential maintenance of the higher light.

We will be setting up her tank on her birthday later this month.

The part I like least about the new light is that it is such a cool tone. Also, with the top on it reflects the light everywhere onto the walls. It's not as bad with the top off, but with the betta it's just good insurance to have the top on.

I'm thinking of adding indian almond leaves or a bag of peat moss to my filter (I love the spec filter for the media slots) to add some tannin to the water to warm up the look a bit.

What do you think of running some sort of tint over the LED? Would that reduce it's effectiveness at providing photosynthesis? If I could just warm the light up a bit I would be much happier with it.
overgrown is offline  
post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 02:18 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
TLE041's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by overgrown View Post
I'm thinking of adding indian almond leaves or a bag of peat moss to my filter (I love the spec filter for the media slots) to add some tannin to the water to warm up the look a bit.

What do you think of running some sort of tint over the LED? Would that reduce it's effectiveness at providing photosynthesis? If I could just warm the light up a bit I would be much happier with it.
I wouldn't bother. You're just adjusting to the drastic difference between the old light and the new one. Over time you'll get used to it and wouldn't notice the cold color temp any more.


Tony

My
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and my
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TLE041 is offline  
post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 02:35 PM
Algae Grower
 
BK-201's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 42
I think it would've looked a lot nicer is they had kept the frosted glass but I do like all of the other changes to the tank, I'm also a little disappointed that because I'm new to the hobby with the old version of this tank (which I just got) and I want the new light.
BK-201 is offline  
post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 05:17 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Old tank with the frosted glass combined with the new light would be perfect.
Just curious though... With that light now controlled by the touch pad, does that mean running it with a timer is out the question?

Sent from my D6503 using Tapatalk
davelp is offline  
post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 06:33 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
RWaters's Avatar
 
PTrader: (30/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: On an Island
Posts: 1,986
I like the old frosted section better then this new version. I also like that the old light was the same color as the tank. Not a fan of the silver. Also, if it doesn't work with a timer, I better grab another old version Spec III right now. I really like that tank.

Have you succumbed to the pleasure of Multiple Tank Syndrome? I feel your pain!
RWaters is offline  
post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 02:07 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 236
Totally works with a timer. Resets to daylight.
MoreyFan is offline  
post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 02:20 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 236
For the reflection problem, cover the lid with something black and non reflective or cut the light hole bigger. Problem solved.

If you want frosted glass, buy frosted spray paint, film, or just etch it. Will probably only be an issue for people with the tank sideways. People used to mod their specs to have clear glass with tape (not a very good solution).

Easy to frost, not easy to unfrost. Upgrade IMO.

Last edited by MoreyFan; 02-13-2016 at 02:32 AM. Reason: add
MoreyFan is offline  
post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
overgrown's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreyFan View Post
For the reflection problem, cover the lid with something black and non reflective or cut the light hole bigger. Problem solved.

If you want frosted glass, buy frosted spray paint, film, or just etch it. Will probably only be an issue for people with the tank sideways. People used to mod their specs to have clear glass with tape (not a very good solution).

Easy to frost, not easy to unfrost. Upgrade IMO.
That's actually a great suggestion for the reflection. I'll have to give that a try. I I can dremel the hole larger.

I'm curious to see if the new side coating will come off easily with a razor blade.
overgrown is offline  
post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 03:08 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 66
They've upgraded the Fluval Spec V as well.

I do like the new version. I can live with the black mesh and the new light is really thin and much brighter. They say 20% brighter and I believe it. I added Red Root Floaters to soften the light blast for my Betta. He's blowing bubbles today, so I guess that was a sufficient modification. LOL

They only thing I really don't like is that you can't set the light on two timers, one for the daylight and one for the blue night light. That is almost a deal breaker.

I really love the Finnex Planted Tank+ light on 24/7 mode and may eventually end up updating the lights for both tanks.
gmdiaz is offline  
post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 03:27 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
The Big Buddha's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Montreal (But I have a U.S. address as well)
Posts: 945
I have 2 original specs from when they first came out. Both led puck lights had LEDs start burning out within 6 months. They replaced them both, but within another year they both started to burn out again. I hope the newer lights are of better quality, doubt they can be worse.

.

Askhole :

Someone who asks for advice, then does the exact opposite.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
The Big Buddha is offline  
post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 05:51 PM
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
any body have any feed back on the lights? good growth?
bosajames is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome