Fluval Aquasky 2.0, (w/Bluetooth).

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Prior to closing my last tank down, back in 2008, my fluorescent tube starter unit bit the dust after 7 years hard labour. Over previous years, whilst the spectrums of tubes had improved for both plants and aesthetic tastes, the tubes themselves were reducing in shops, being supplemented by the 'new' LEDs.
So I acquired some LED tubes to tide me over. Each of these tubes were bright enough, but each had its own plug and switch and I envisaged having to use a timer and a multisocket arrangement, but then Life happened and all went into storage.

Now back in the hobby, LEDs have certainly and significantly advanced over the last decade.
My needs were as follows;
  1. I wanted spectrum/s conducive to plant growth and to create a good 'look' for my intended community tank of South American species.
  2. I wanted an intensity to facilitate my viewing, but I also wanted the facility to dim the lights.
  3. I wanted an integral timer, to facilitate graded on and off.

So I did my research and treated myself to a Fluval Aquasky 2.0, 16w, with Bluetooth. This wasn't exactly cheap, costing me £80.49, (excluding my Pets at Home VIP discount), but it was certainly good value when I considered the cost of a new fluorescent tube starter unit and tubes, which would need replacing on a regular basis.
NOTE that at this time, this would have cost me £92.49 from Amazon, before any P&P.

The units come in different sizes and the 16w was the one that would best fit my 30" tank. I was a little concerned that the lower output may have been too dim, but I need not have worried.

I had three options in fitting the unit;
Brackets to facilitate placing the unit over an open, lidless tank.
Adapters to fit inside any existing fluorescent tube fittings, in the tank lid.
Clips, to attach to the inside of the lid.
I opted for the latter, taking care to ensure that the unit would not interfere with the top of the filter and so allow a proper fitting of the lid. I was able to place the unit in a central position, to the rear of the tank and just above the water surface.
(NOTE that the unit is appropriately sealed and, whilst operation under water is not advised, I can say that submerging the unit created no problems! :oops: ).

Now comes the modern technical new-fangled bit...the Bluetooth and the Fluvalsmart app.

A free app is provided by Fluval, to download to your smartphone and to allow you to program the device, switch it on and off, etc..
NOTE that as far as I can see, you do need the smartphone app to be able to use this lamp. As the info says; "Operated exclusively via the FluvalSmart App on your mobile device".

So does it meet my needs?
Absolutely yes and in spades!

  1. The Aquasky allows me to control the light output of red, green blue and the "super bright 6500K white LEDs for infinite colour blends", ether manually, or by defaulting to one of the provided programs. (When setting up my aquarium, I selected the built-in 'Plant Boost' setting and this did exactly what it said on the tin, perhaps too well, as I had to later reduce the lighting as I was in danger of getting an algae problem).
  2. As it is, it's a 'nice' light...not too harsh and yet fully illuminates the tank to its full 15" depth. The program allows me to set it so I can simulate both sunrise and sunset, with a gradual increase and decrease of light intensity, together with appropriate spectrum changes. I can even have a gradual moonlit nightime, in blue, prior to a complete lights out, (necessary for the fish).
  3. See above.
With regards the programming, there are three defaults; Manual, Auto and Pro.
Manual allows to to manually set every small detail to how you want it, with regards spectrums and timings.
Auto has two settings;
Preset - Colour Boost, a spectrum to show off the fish.
Preset - Plant Boost, as it says, a spectrum to boost plant growth!
Pro appears to be halfway between the full manual and the Auto settings.

In addition, there are what are referred to as 'Dynamic Effects'.
These simulate varying degrees of cloudy days, lightning storms, phases of the moon and even a lunar eclipse! Whilst these can easily be perceived as gimmicky, if you're of the belief that our captive creatures require some stimulation to enrich their lives, then the gimmick becomes actually useful.

Whilst the idea of all this programming may appear intimidating to some, I can honestly say that it is all quite intuitive and you can play as much as you like, or not.

So how am I using mine?
As I said, to begin with, I had it set to Plant Boost and, after a fortnight, algae was beginning to look as if it could be a problem. I manually reduced the duration of light to 6 hours and this appeared to do the trick.
When I introduced my fish, I created a program I called Summertime, with the lights coming on slowly for 'Sunrise' from 0600, to full intensity from 0900. 'Sunset' then begins at 1700 and becomes a blue, moonlit night, from 2130. The 'moon' goes down and it's total darkness from 2300, until 0600, when the 'sun' begins to rise once more.

The ONLY potential issue I've discovered is that if there's a powercut, or I turn the unit off at the socket, when power is restored, I need to switch it back on via the app. If I wasn't able to do this, then the worst thing that could happen would be some plant deterioration and a possible ammonia spike.

So there we have it...a new LED light that I'll certainly recommend and will buy again when I get more tanks.
 

PADogman

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Good review.

I Googled this light and they are available on Amazon (and various stores) here in the USA, too. So many UK items are not... :(
I kind of like the older version that uses a remote control. It's a me thing. I have a personal peeve of having to rely on my smart phone to download apps just to get something to work. Getting old and cranky I guess ;)

Anyway, in trying to find one in a certain wattage I kept having this light pop up
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N197NGW/?tag=ff0d01-20

Which made choosing my wattage easy, as they are all on one page. Plus it has a controller. It appears to be very similar, if not the same. It's just branded under a different name.

I think I'll give it a try on the plant tank I am going to set up :)
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Good review.

I Googled this light and they are available on Amazon (and various stores) here in the USA, too. So many UK items are not... :(
I kind of like the older version that uses a remote control. It's a me thing. I have a personal peeve of having to rely on my smart phone to download apps just to get something to work. Getting old and cranky I guess ;)

Anyway, in trying to find one in a certain wattage I kept having this light pop up
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N197NGW/?tag=ff0d01-20

Which made choosing my wattage easy, as they are all on one page. Plus it has a controller. It appears to be very similar, if not the same. It's just branded under a different name.

I think I'll give it a try on the plant tank I am going to set up :)
I suupose that for the cheeky young sweats of today, their Smartphone IS a remote! ;)
 

WhistlingBadger

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I agree. I have an aquasky on my Sumatra tank and it's great. I have it set for a 30 minute sunrise, a cloudy afternoon period, and a 30 minute sunset. Really nice. The only complaint I have about it (besides the price--ha ha) is that everytime we have a power bump I have to borrow Mrs. Badger's smartphone to get it going again. I wish they had an option to run it from a desktop or chromebook, because even in this day and age, not EVERYONE has a smartphone.
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I agree. I have an aquasky on my Sumatra tank and it's great. I have it set for a 30 minute sunrise, a cloudy afternoon period, and a 30 minute sunset. Really nice. The only complaint I have about it (besides the price--ha ha) is that everytime we have a power bump I have to borrow Mrs. Badger's smartphone to get it going again. I wish they had an option to run it from a desktop or chromebook, because even in this day and age, not EVERYONE has a smartphone.
Having looked into this issue, it appears you can download the app to a Mac or PC. It'll then 'talk' to your lights via WiFi connection.
 

Tez_20

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@Bruce Leyland-Jones i have mine on Man settings tried the others and viewed the settings before selecting and tried it a few times but my fish freak, where they're fine with the Man :rolleyes:

So i use the Man but have mine on the light blue and wake them off a morning at 08:am on dim and at 9am i rise it by 2 so your looking at a nice glow and i start dimming them down from 16pm to 17pm then lights out.

I had to scan the code for the Roma but with the Shaker the bluetooth just picked it up.
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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@Bruce Leyland-Jones i have mine on Man settings tried the others and viewed the settings before selecting and tried it a few times but my fish freak, where they're fine with the Man :rolleyes:

So i use the Man but have mine on the light blue and wake them off a morning at 08:am on dim and at 9am i rise it by 2 so your looking at a nice glow and i start dimming them down from 16pm to 17pm then lights out.

I had to scan the code for the Roma but with the Shaker the bluetooth just picked it up.
All of which emphasises that you can set it how you want. Did you not set the timings for the Auto settings? I'm curious as to why the fish would get upset.
 

noobfish

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I picked up the aquasky 2.0 in 18W for my similarly Sized tank (33"). Still working on finding a good program balance. Been upping my levels every 5 days and plants are doing great, but noticed today that brown algae is everywhere. Lowered my levels and shortened duration. Here's what I exported tonight.
Screenshot_20210811-213641_FluvalSmart.jpg


How's your's with algae?
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I picked up the aquasky 2.0 in 18W for my similarly Sized tank (33"). Still working on finding a good program balance. Been upping my levels every 5 days and plants are doing great, but noticed today that brown algae is everywhere. Lowered my levels and shortened duration. Here's what I exported tonight.
View attachment 141371

How's your's with algae?
When I first set it up, I went with the Plant Boost option and both plants and algae did very well. I re-adjusted my timings, so that the tank was subjected to less full light and the algae practically disappeared. I now still have algae, but it isn't too obvious and keeps my Nerites and Bristlenose happy. (It also provides somewhere for my Golden Pencilfish to browse for tasty tiny creatures).
NOTE that if your algae does become a problem, you could reduce the colours that promote plant growth further. The algae will suffer more than your higher plants.
 

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