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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking for a low profile lighting solution for a 14g cube and could use some advice.


Not planning to go co2 on this tank so I don't need high light.


I really liked the look of the Fluval 3.0 nano, but losing settings on a power outage and the app requirement are major downsides.


The Chihiros C series is a lot cheaper, but no dimming or full spectrum control. Has anyone used any of the Chihiros external dimmers and know if they retain dimming on power cycle?


Are there any other nano lights I should be looking at? Ideally I'd like to avoid any side brackets and stay sub $100 if possible!
 

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TC-420 will retain settings on power out. You'd only use 1 channel........
Only $23 and free ship on the bay.
 

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I've read the chihiros commander is crap, no battery... such that it is just off when the power flickers because it doesn't remember the schedule either until you reconnect through the app. Fluval remembers schedule but the time resets to like 12am or something on power loss and you are just setting the time again when you reconnect... which isn't ideal but better than just off. I also believe I read the commanders don't really do ramping it's like 1 update per 30 minutes.

TC420 is annoying in that it doesn't do ramping on it's own / has 1 minute settings intervals so to make it ramp you do like 8:00 1% 8:01 3% 8:02 5% etc... the 421 is a little more but it's way more convenient for it to ramp between the 30 minute intervals automatically.

The S2-Pro which is also offered with the C series (i'm thinking of trying some for some beamsworks... but I've never used it) claims to have a battery to remember settings, does ramping and ... is like 13$ on aliexpress or 15ish on the bay? Single channel... 5.5mm/2.1mm id but some people use little converters to 5.5/2.5 for some twinstars or some such.

I'm trying to talk myself out of a TC421 and some stupidly expensive yuji rgbww 5050 led strip. I probably would have done it if they didn't list 18W/m max and then 28.4W of leds per m... what's up with that?!
 

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I've read the chihiros commander is crap, no battery... such that it is just off when the power flickers because it doesn't remember the schedule either until you reconnect through the app. Fluval remembers schedule but the time resets to like 12am or something on power loss and you are just setting the time again when you reconnect... which isn't ideal but better than just off...
The Fluval losing power isn't really all that much of a problem in most cases. As you say, it just needs to reconnect to the app again. You don't need to go in set up anything again.

If you don't have a smart phone or tablet and/or don't like using an app, then that's obviously an issue. On the other hand, that makes setting up and controlling the light much easier/better.

Power loss could be a problem for someone who travels and doesn't have anyone else there to reconnect it. There are some workarounds that you could do with a timer but that's kludgy and inconvenient and getting away from the light itself. At a practical level it's not been an issue in my case. I have UPS on most all of my tanks which carry them through flickers and short outages. When we've had longer outages I've got other things that are more of a concern than that light. When it comes back up, simple to reconnect. The one time that I wasn't here when there was a longer outage I just had the wife reconnect it using a tablet here instead of my phone. I was dependent on her being here to do other stuff with the tanks while I was away anyway.

But, yeah, would be better if it just picked up wherever it left off on power loss. Not sure why they wouldn't have built in some means of maintaining clock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Kessil A80?

I do like the look of this light and it should be powerful enough for what I need. Main downside here is price at around 150 with the mounting hardware.


The Fluval losing power isn't really all that much of a problem in most cases. As you say, it just needs to reconnect to the app again. You don't need to go in set up anything again.

If you don't have a smart phone or tablet and/or don't like using an app, then that's obviously an issue. On the other hand, that makes setting up and controlling the light much easier/better.

Power loss could be a problem for someone who travels and doesn't have anyone else there to reconnect it. There are some workarounds that you could do with a timer but that's kludgy and inconvenient and getting away from the light itself. At a practical level it's not been an issue in my case. I have UPS on most all of my tanks which carry them through flickers and short outages. When we've had longer outages I've got other things that are more of a concern than that light. When it comes back up, simple to reconnect. The one time that I wasn't here when there was a longer outage I just had the wife reconnect it using a tablet here instead of my phone. I was dependent on her being here to do other stuff with the tanks while I was away anyway.

But, yeah, would be better if it just picked up wherever it left off on power loss. Not sure why they wouldn't have built in some means of maintaining clock.

If it is just the clock that is reset on the Fluval I can live with that. I just don't want to have it get stuck off or on for days if I'm away. The hundreds of one star reviews on the bluetooth not connecting or lackluster app features is a bit worrying but it's not like I need to adjust it daily.


That S2 Pro on the bay looked good, I'd probably go with that if I get the c series light.
 

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The Fluval losing power isn't really all that much of a problem in most cases. As you say, it just needs to reconnect to the app again. You don't need to go in set up anything again.

If you don't have a smart phone or tablet and/or don't like using an app, then that's obviously an issue. On the other hand, that makes setting up and controlling the light much easier/better.

Power loss could be a problem for someone who travels and doesn't have anyone else there to reconnect it. There are some workarounds that you could do with a timer but that's kludgy and inconvenient and getting away from the light itself. At a practical level it's not been an issue in my case. I have UPS on most all of my tanks which carry them through flickers and short outages. When we've had longer outages I've got other things that are more of a concern than that light. When it comes back up, simple to reconnect. The one time that I wasn't here when there was a longer outage I just had the wife reconnect it using a tablet here instead of my phone. I was dependent on her being here to do other stuff with the tanks while I was away anyway.

But, yeah, would be better if it just picked up wherever it left off on power loss. Not sure why they wouldn't have built in some means of maintaining clock.
I didn't say it was that big a problem I said it loses the time... which is way better than what the chihiros commander does (which loses everything not just the clock).
I don't really worry about it (fluval power flicker) either, even if the light period gets thrown off. I just reconnect to them all about once a week to fix the times if they are even off at all. I've mostly got my fluval 3.0s on low tech tanks anyhow so I'm not really concerned with exactly when the light cycle happens though it could potentially be annoying if I had short flickers/outages all the time.
I wouldn't ever get a ups for a nano tank though... frankly I have far too many aquariums to get UPSes anyhow. I thought part of his goal was to stay sub 100$...

I personally haven't had a huge issue connecting to them with bluetooth but you need the device to be fairly close to them and just hit retry a few times sometimes. It takes me less than a minute every time to connect to all 4 to set the "times" correctly whenever I get around to it.
 

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I didn't say it was that big a problem I said it loses the time...
Didn't say that you did... I was agreeing with you and commenting on the OP's impression that it was a problem.

I'd rather have had them do the lights as WiFi clients vs Bluetooth. Then you could check and control them remotely. But their last attempt at WiFi was a mess so I guess they didn't want to repeat their mistake. Mostly due to their implementation though and not WiFi itself.

If it is just the clock that is reset on the Fluval I can live with that. I just don't want to have it get stuck off or on for days if I'm away. The hundreds of one star reviews on the bluetooth not connecting or lackluster app features is a bit worrying but it's not like I need to adjust it daily.
I believe what it does is default after power loss to whatever you have set as night mode. Whether it ever comes out of that mode over time and cycles around again, I've not confirmed. Haven't let it run that long to see.

Bluetooth issues likely are mostly user error as they are with most other devices. I've never had any problems with pairing or control with multiple 3.0 lights and a variety of IOS and Android devices running different hardware and firmware versions. Some work a little differently depending on how it's set up on the device. e.g., Bluetooth timing out to save power, which means that you need to reconnect to the light. That's not really on the light itself but how Bluetooth works on the controlling device and it's just one extra tap. Same as you have to do if you have multiple lights to select the light you're controlling within the app.

Features-wise, there are some things that I'd change but overall it's pretty good. I've not seen anything better. Way better and more feature-rich than the setup/control for my Current, or Finnex that I had, or my other non-smart device-controlled lights.

I would prefer that the Nano had an independent switch on the light as the other bar-type lights do. With the Nano, it's device-controlled only. Now and then it would be more convenient to just tap a switch while I'm standing there vs having to go get my phone and open it up with wet hands, etc. But admittedly that's rare. Still would like to have it.
 

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So anyhow I blew out a fuse last night while I was out, and I only reset the schedules on 3 of the 4 fluval lights, (I thought I found this out originally from a 48" model being on at the "wrong" time originally but wasn't sure...) and it definitely still runs the schedule the nano I didn't reset the time on was "on" at the wrong time this morning. I'm pretty sure it doesn't store the date and just counts a 24 hour period starting from when it turns back on or sets the time from the app.
 

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So anyhow I blew out a fuse last night while I was out, and I only reset the schedules on 3 of the 4 fluval lights, (I thought I found this out originally from a 48" model being on at the "wrong" time originally but wasn't sure...) and it definitely still runs the schedule the nano I didn't reset the time on was "on" at the wrong time this morning. I'm pretty sure it doesn't store the date and just counts a 24 hour period starting from when it turns back on or sets the time from the app.
Thanks. So it does continue to run the programmed cycle, just off from whatever correct time. Helpful to know.
 
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