Review of the Fluval Roma 200 Aquarium and Cabinet PackageMarch 6, 2009 by: Katie
As I’ve had my Fluval Roma 200 aquarium set up and running for a while now, I thought I’d attempt a review of it’s main features.
The tank itself has external dimensions of 100cm(W)x40cm(D)x55cm(H) and holds 200 litres of water. It is a rectangular tank which is made of 10mm thick glass. The aquarium set comes with lighting, heater and filter. I only needed to buy a suitable airpump, substrate and plants. It is a great product package if you’re new to keeping 200l aquariums. However, perhaps less useful if you already have an appropriate filter or favour a different brand of filter. The Fluval Roma package is Hagen all the way!
The flat-pack cabinet comes in two colour options: light oak or black. In addition, reversible doors mean at the point of self-assembly you can choose between mocha (with light oak) or silver (with black). The cabinet’s dimensions are 100cm(W)x40cm(D)x70cm(H). Straightforward instructions should mean a straightforward assembly. However, several retailers offer a cabinet building service if you prefer to pay someone else to build it for you (as I did).
The filter which is included is the Fluval 205 external cannister filter. Hagen have included an instructional DVD as well as printed instructions which is very useful. The aqua-stop valve is a real selling point as it enables detachment of the cannister whilst maintaining a vacuum in the hosing. The intake and output hoses have a minimal impact visually on the tank interior. I have had no problems with water quality whilst using this filter since the tank was cycled. The filter is fairly quiet and tucks away in the cabinet below. (If this filter does make a considerable noise when first switched on, it is likely that there is still air in the filter. Switch off immediately and use the manual pump vigorously to pump out any remaining air bubbles.) Included with the filter is media which will last maybe 4 weeks. When the filter media needs replacing there are a variety of Fluval products for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums if you wish to stick with the brand.
The 200 watt Fluval Tronic heater included is suitable for 150l-250l tanks. It has suction pads which attach it to aquarium walls. Also, it is fully submersible, has a temperature dial and a light to show when it’s in operation. A heater guard is available at extra cost if required. The Fluval Tronic heater reassuringly maintains a constant temperature in my aquarium.
Incorporated into the design, the Fluval plastic canopy has two sections along the back of the tank which can be removed. Something feels wrong about cutting your brand new aquarium canopy with a hacksaw. However, it is a very practical way of customizing the tank for your equipment and is essential in order to install filter hosing, air line, etc. With the cut out sections, you are free to create the appropriate size gap for installation of your specific equipment. This would be particularly useful for those whose aquarium inhabitants might be tempted to make a bid for freedom if a too large gap was available.
Inside the canopy there is a rim with adjustable wire or pipe holders which serves to tidy cables and pipes inside the tank. This enhances the visual aspect of the aquarium.
The lid is fully removable and comprises three access panels which span the length of the tank. The central panel holds the light fitting. All three lift off for easy access to the tank. However, there is no feeding hatch or hole in the Fluval Roma’s standard canopy. To feed fish, you must raise one of the long access panels.
The Fluval Roma 200 at the time of writing comes with two 36″ 30watt fluorescent T8 lighting as standard. It is my understanding that, should you wish to upgrade to T5, it is a job for a qualified electrician. However, I’m very satisfied with the lighting I get from the power-GLO and aqua-GLO lights included in the aquarium package (I should point out that I haven’t experienced T5 lighting yet and may become a convert at a later date!).
A Nutrafin care pack is included which contains: LCD external thermometer; 100ml of Nutrafin Aqua Plus and Cycle; 26g of Nutrafin Tropical Flake Food. Hagen also include a step-by-step guide to setting up your tank as a freshwater aquarium.
Overall, the Fluval Roma 200 represents good value for money (tank and cabinet package currently available online for around £300). The equipment which is included with the aquarium is reliable and good quality. You might be put off this aquarium bundle if, for example, you have a filter suitable for a 200l tank or if you want to have the freedom to choose a different brand of filter. However, equally, if you are looking for everything you need for a 200l freshwater tank, this just about covers it! In addition, should you have any problems with your Fluval tank, Hagen have an excellent customer services department who are easily contactable and very helpful. I have had absolutely no regrets about buying the Fluval Roma 200. It has given me so much enjoyment to see my fish so happy!
(Needless to say, if you agree, disagree, have any questions or want to add anything that I’ve missed out then please leave a comment below.)