Setting up the Fluval Roma 200 aquarium with Fluval 205 external filter

December 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm 6 comments

This has been my first experience of setting up a larger tank with an external filter.  I thought I’d share my experiences for anybody in a similar situation.  So, this is how I set up the tank and filter (with suggestions as to how you could do it better than me!):

  1. I carefully positioned the tank (remembering that, when water’s been added, it will be impossible to move!).
  2. I wiped the tank with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt.
  3. I washed the substrate and added it to the tank.  I chose smooth gravel and needed roughly 25kg.  That’s a lot of gravel to wash!  I had some buckets ready so that really helped.  I filled a bucket about  1/4 full of gravel, added water, washed gravel and poured water away.   I repeated this until the water ran clear (maybe four times).  Then, I carefully put the clean gravel into aquarium.
  4. I added water (using syphon so as not to disturb gravel too much).  I used Nutrafin Aqua Plus to dechlorinate the tap water.  I also used Nutrafin Cycle.  I’ve read mixed reviews as to the efficacy of this product but decided to try it for myself.  Both Aqua Plus and Cycle are included in the aquarium package (along with fish food and thermometer).
  5. It was at this point that I realized that in order to attach the Fluval 205 canister filter I would have to take a hacksaw to my new aquarium.  This isn’t quite as dramatic as it sounds.  The Fluval Roma tank comes with two sections which are designed to be cut to size for filter hose, air pipe, heater cable, lighting cable, etc.  How much you cut out depends on your needs.  For me, cutting roughly half of the cut out section was pretty perfect.  If necessary, at a later date, I can always cut out more.  Although I hadn’t expected to need a hacksaw, the tank is flexible and allows you easy access to add extra equipment (e.g. second filter) to the tank.  Had I realized that I would need to cut out a section of plastic, I would have done it much earlier in the setting up process (before I had even wiped the tank clean). As I’d already filled the tank, I held a cloth under the area which I was cutting to collect any mess.
  6. Next, I set up the filter.  Thanks to Hagen’s great printed instructions and step-by-step DVD, it was very straightforward.   Broadly speaking, it comes down to setting up an inflow and outflow pipe, preparing the filter canister and media and connecting the inflow and outflow hoses to the filter canister.  The manual suggested that it would take 30-45 minutes to set up.  Realistically, it took me an hour.  But it was well worth it.  The filter isn’t particularly noisy and is entirely tucked away in the Fluval Roma cabinet (all that is visible are the inflow and outflow pipes in the tank).Fluval 205 External filter
  7. Next, I positioned the Fluval Tronic heater (included in aquarium bundle) in an area of high water flow.  In my case, I chose to locate it close to the outflow pipe.
  8. The Fluval Roma 200 comes with two lightbulbs (one power-glo and one aqua-glo) which fit into the aquarium canopy.  Also, four threaded fittings are included to prevent moisture entering the electrical circuit.  The lightbulbs click into place and the threaded fittings screw onto the lamp-holder fittings..  Apparently, the bulbs need replacing annually.Fluval lighting
  9. I added plants and ornaments from a cycled tank to promote good bacteria growth in the tank which, in turn, will aid the cycling process.  I also purchased a potted plant collection from plantsalive.com.  The plants arrived swiftly and in good condition but they were unnamed so I’ll have to do a bit of guesswork to figure out what they are!
  10. Currently, I’m giving the tank time to cycle and carrying out regular water tests to check on progress.  The key thing seems to be to make it past the spikes before adding fish.  Firstly, amonia will peak and decline and then nitrites will do the same.  When the nitrites have declined to zero, it will be safe for me to add fish  Some people add hardy fish during the cycling process but the spikes will be stressful for fish to experience.  I decided that I didn’t want mine to go through that!Tank set-up complete
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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gaz Thorner  |  May 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve just bought this aquarium package andwas a bit apprehensive about the setup as this will be my first external filtered tank aswell. This is a nice detailed account and I’m sure it will be very helpful.

    Reply
  • 2. julie craig  |  September 6, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I have just bought a second hand tank which came with the fluval205.I have no instructions on how 2 setting it up or maintaining it.Is there any chance you can help me by sending me a copy of set up.Hope you can help.
    Thanks Julie Craig

    Reply
    • 3. Katie  |  September 8, 2009 at 7:08 am

      Hi Julie,

      No problem. I’ll sort that out and email you.

      Best wishes,
      Katie

      Reply
  • 4. sheri  |  November 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Hi, are the lights provided with the tank considered low, med or high? also i notice you cycled your tank with plants were there any disadvantages to this? I was going to cycle my tank with plants but was advised against this.
    Sheri

    Reply
    • 5. Katie  |  November 30, 2009 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Sheri,
      The lights provided were t8’s. The newer t5’s are brighter lamps but I understand that it’s a big job to convert the Fluval Roma’s lights (too big for me anyway!). My main reason for cycling with plants was to assist the cycling process. I am not aware of any disadvantages of cycling with plants. If anyone knows of any disadvantages, please post a reply!
      Many thanks,
      Katie

      Reply
  • 6. Judith Richardson  |  April 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Found this blog whilst locating a stockist of the Roma 200 – this is a very helpful review & may I say many thanks for this
    Judith

    Reply

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