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Opinions on 240L aquariums. Fluval Roma vs Eheim Vivaline vs Juwel Rio

jkh13

Member
Joined
9 Nov 2014
Messages
68
Hi all, not 100% planted tank relevant but thought I would ask anyways...

I am currently in the market for a ~240L aquarium to house my fancy goldfish and weather loach, upgrading from a 140L tank.

I am looking primarily at 3 options, the Fluval Roma, Juwel Rio and Eheim Vivaline. All three are around the same price where I live and come complete with the cabinets/filter/lighting etc. Has anyone got any experience with the above aquarium kits? I was initially leaning towards the Roma 240 but saw some people mention issues with the bottom drillout holes for the canister filter. I am wondering if the above tanks have good cutouts for running additional piping and or wires for things like airstones and additional filtration. How is the Eheim Vivaline for build quality and lighting? Are there also any alternative brands/kits I should be looking at that are similar in size and price?
 

Courtneybst

Member
Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
592
Location
London
Hey! I can give a little insight...I've owned the Roma before and I currently have a Rio. Can't speak for the Eheim.

In terms of cabinets, I think the build quality on the Rio is super solid and better than the Roma. In fact, the overall build quality of the Rio setup is just better.

Both have cutouts for equipment but the Roma's weren't enough. If I remember correctly there was only one cutout so another had to be made whereas the Rio comes with two.

I can't say much about lighting because both of mine were fluorescent bulbs and I believe both tanks now come with LED lights.

Whilst I enjoyed them, I don't think I'll ever buy a covered tank again. Amongst many other things my main gripe is lack of flexibility in equipment placing.
 
Joined
17 Dec 2020
Messages
156
Location
Gloucestershire
I like the Aquaone oak style.
It is slightly taller and slightly smaller width. Beyond that they are all about the same.

I suppose one you sort out the issues with the roma drilled out holes, they are all much the same and the choice becomes down to the slightly different dimensions and the space you have for the tank.
 

John q

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
556
Location
Lancashire
From a fish keeping bias the Roma is a cracking tank, if your needs are more weighted towards aquascaping then it's probably not the best choice.

The cabinet build quality seems pretty good to me and is solid, although I haven't seen the others to make a direct comparison.
The new roma tank includes 2 access cutouts, 1 back right and 1 back left, each cutout will comfortably house 3 wires/air lines.

Fluval 307 filter flow is a tad on the weak side for any serious plant mass in a tank this size, i switched to the 407, otherwise I like the 07 filters, almost silent and really easy to maintain.

The light, mmm; how do I sum it up... its very easy to control via an app on your phone and is capable of growing non exotic or light demanding plants.

Now for the bogey man ~ The through tank fittings only become an issue if you either plan a full on aquascape, or want to switch canister filters to anything other than the fluval 07 series once the tanks set up (this can be done but requires 70% of the water to be dropped.)

Hope some of that helps.
 
Last edited:

jkh13

Member
Thread starter
Joined
9 Nov 2014
Messages
68
Thanks for the replies people. I am keeping goldfish in the tank with some anubias so high lights are not a real concern. I suspect none of the tanks have enough filtration included and I plan to supplement the bundled filter with another canister which is why I am interested in whether the tanks have good cutouts for additional piping.
The cabinet build quality seems pretty good to me and is solid, although I haven't seen the others to make a direct comparison.
The new roma tank includes 2 access cutouts, 1 back right and 1 back left, each cutout will comfortably house 3 wires/air lines.
Do you think the included cutouts could house 16/22 piping without modifications?

Also does anyone have opinions on the Fluval 307 (included with Roma) vs the Eheim Ecco Pro 300 (included with the Vivaline)?
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,706
Juwel are solid, no thrills but reliable. We used to joke with the rep that the only thing that had changed in the last 30 years was that they brought out a white cabinet. I know of plenty that has been wet for over two decades and they just keep going. The heater used to be cheap but I guess you get the same with every package tank, not that goldfish need it. I run the biggest Rio with an external filter on the other end to the internal and I've not needed to do any modifications. I'm fairly sure that's the same for the smaller sizes as well but the lids are easy to knick a bit out of if you needed.
A few people had problems with fluval tanks that I had to deal with but they are pretty decent as well.
The eheim I've not seen, the old ones were very good but also much pricier than this range.
 

John q

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
556
Location
Lancashire
Do you think the included cutouts could house 16/22 piping without modifications?

The semicircular cutouts are 32mm wide but only 12mm deep, so would struggle with those dia pipes.
The lid is made of 3mm plastic, notching out a 50x50mm corner would be fairly easy though.
 

RuthL

Seedling
Joined
11 Jun 2021
Messages
10
Location
Beckenham
Hello. New here and have the same question on recommendations for a 240-300 litre tank. I love the AquaSys but I need one with a lid as I have a cat! Currently have a Juwel 125 but not keen on another Juwel as a) I don’t like the look of them with the tank bigger than the cabinet and b) I don’t think the internal filter is necessary on a tank this size, it takes up room in the tank and develops algae around the silicone.

The Fluval doesn’t sound great if you need to upgrade equipment. I don’t really understand about water changes, are these a problem only with the Fluval?

Other options? Is the Eheim Vivane the only other choice? I will not have live plants or be aqua scaping but would like the option to in due course!
 

RuthL

Seedling
Joined
11 Jun 2021
Messages
10
Location
Beckenham
Hello. New here and have the same question on recommendations for a 240-300 litre tank. I love the AquaSys but I need one with a lid as I have a cat! Currently have a Juwel 125 but not keen on another Juwel as a) I don’t like the look of them with the tank bigger than the cabinet and b) I don’t think the internal filter is necessary on a tank this size, it takes up room in the tank and develops algae around the silicone.

The Fluval doesn’t sound great if you need to upgrade equipment. I don’t really understand about water changes, are these a problem only with the Fluval?

Other options? Is the Eheim Vivane the only other choice? I will not have live plants or be aqua scaping but would like the option to in due course!
P.S. what does the “integrated filter” on the Eheim mean? Are they referring to the external filter?
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
58
Location
Germany
P.S. what does the “integrated filter” on the Eheim mean? Are they referring to the external filter?
Afaik, there is no reference to an "integrated" filter on the Eheim product page. The Vivaline 240 features an EHEIM "ecco pro 300" external canister filter. The smaller Vivaline models have an internal EHEIM biopower filter. The ecco pro filter is ok for a nano tank. The internal "biopower" filter makes no sense since it is huge and has a very low filtration rate. However, the ecco pro is inadequate for any of the Vivaline aquariums, especially the 240, since it fails to meet the most basic water circulation requirements. Also note that the LED light on the Vivaline 240 liter is rated at ~1700 lumen (7 lm/liter) and this is a 50 cm high aquarium. It consists of a single row of LEDs that are quite directional and only illuminate a part of bottom of the aquarium. So, at the very least, you will need to upgrade to a proper filtering and water circulation solution. You should also consider replacing the lights or adding a few more lights to the system. In short, these "packaged" systems from Eheim, Fluval, Juwel, etc. are basically the tank and the cabinet because you will need to buy the technical equipment to have a proper low-tech setup...

Hello. New here and have the same question on recommendations for a 240-300 litre tank. I love the AquaSys but I need one with a lid as I have a cat! Currently have a Juwel 125 but not keen on another Juwel as a) I don’t like the look of them with the tank bigger than the cabinet and b) I don’t think the internal filter is necessary on a tank this size, it takes up room in the tank and develops algae around the silicone.
Specialists stores sell aquarium covers. If you are considering a white or black AquaSys you can easily get a matching cover. Maybe even can sell you a cover. Contact them.
The Fluval doesn’t sound great if you need to upgrade equipment. I don’t really understand about water changes, are these a problem only with the Fluval?

Other options? Is the Eheim Vivane the only other choice? I will not have live plants or be aqua scaping but would like the option to in due course!
Have you considered buying just the tank + cabinet from a specialist store without any equipment and then buying the equipment separately? These packages are not a good value for money since the equipment they feature greatly increases of having problems, especially due to inadequate water filtration.
 
Last edited:

ForestDave

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Joined
12 Nov 2020
Messages
281
Location
Forest of Dean
Hi.
I have an old Roma 200. It’s ok but the ends of the fluorescent tubes are too far from the edge of the tank which creates dark areas either side. I made my cutouts bigger without too much stress and tidied up with black silicone. The bar in the middle is a pain but necessary as it bows about 5-7mm. I bought an Iquatics 4 tube light which is great but means access is a faff as I need to move the whole lid. The fish don’t care though and I like the square design rather than the tank jutting out either side of the cabinet but that’s just my taste.
 

jamila169

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
165
Location
N Derbyshire
Have you considered buying just the tank + cabinet from a specialist store without any equipment and then buying the equipment separately? These packages are not a good value for money since the equipment they feature greatly increases of having problems, especially due to inadequate water filtration.
I concur -even on E's very basic Ciano aqua 60 we've had to add extra lighting (only a cheap nicrew submersible stuck to the lid, but still) and I've just changed to a Biopower160 from the supplied one that had a supposed flow rate of 350 lph (probably what the motor can throw out completely unburdened) and the difference is night and day. If I knew then what I know now , I'd have bought a naked tank and then the filter and lights separately -it would probably have been cheaper . IMHO the complete tank set ups are for people who want to throw gravel and plastic plants in with a few 'easy' fish and be done with it. I wish someone would do 'pick and mix' packages specifically for different purposes with what they consider to be the best beginner kit for that use case, they'd have more longevity.
 

RuthL

Seedling
Joined
11 Jun 2021
Messages
10
Location
Beckenham
Afaik, there is no reference to an "integrated" filter on the Eheim product page. The Vivaline 240 features an EHEIM "ecco pro 300" external canister filter. The smaller Vivaline models have an internal EHEIM biopower filter. The ecco pro filter is ok for a nano tank. The internal "biopower" filter makes no sense since it is huge and has a very low filtration rate. However, the ecco pro is inadequate for any of the Vivaline aquariums, especially the 240, since it fails to meet the most basic water circulation requirements. Also note that the LED light on the Vivaline 240 liter is rated at ~1700 lumen (7 lm/liter) and this is a 50 cm high aquarium. It consists of a single row of LEDs that are quite directional and only illuminate a part of bottom of the aquarium. So, at the very least, you will need to upgrade to a proper filtering and water circulation solution. You should also consider replacing the lights or adding a few more lights to the system. In short, these "packaged" systems from Eheim, Fluval, Juwel, etc. are basically the tank and the cabinet because you will need to buy the technical equipment to have a proper low-tech setup...


Specialists stores sell aquarium covers. If you are considering a white or black AquaSys you can easily get a matching cover. Maybe even can sell you a cover. Contact them.

Have you considered buying just the tank + cabinet from a specialist store without any equipment and then buying the equipment separately? These packages are not a good value for money since the equipment they feature greatly increases of having problems, especially due to inadequate water filtration.
Thanks for your reply, really appreciate the help!

If I go for the Eheim, what filter and lights would you recommend? Or alternatively can you suggest a separate tank, cabinet, equipment etc? I’ve been looking for months and can’t find anything I like and that will fit into the space I have available. I can provide dimensions for the space if that would help.

I did already contact AquaOne about a lid for the AquaSys, they said they could provide a glass cover from one of their reef tanks. Not ideal with the cat. I also contacted a few fish shops, only one got back to me. He said he could make a matching lid, but couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t look like a near miss to the black tank. He said the only way to ensure it properly matched was to provide a sample of the tank material, and even then it wouldn’t make sense financially in terms of manufacturing and postage costs.

Any help gratefully received, desperate to get my fish out of their 125l as soon as possible. It’s too small for them and gets dirty within days!
 

RuthL

Seedling
Joined
11 Jun 2021
Messages
10
Location
Beckenham
Hi.
I have an old Roma 200. It’s ok but the ends of the fluorescent tubes are too far from the edge of the tank which creates dark areas either side. I made my cutouts bigger without too much stress and tidied up with black silicone. The bar in the middle is a pain but necessary as it bows about 5-7mm. I bought an Iquatics 4 tube light which is great but means access is a faff as I need to move the whole lid. The fish don’t care though and I like the square design rather than the tank jutting out either side of the cabinet but that’s just my taste.
I have an old Roma 200. It’s ok but the ends of the fluorescent tubes are too far from the edge of the tank which creates dark areas either side. I made my cutouts bigger without too much stress and tidied up with black silicone. The bar in the middle is a pain but necessary as it bows about 5-7mm. I bought an Iquatics 4 tube light which is great but means access is a faff as I need to move the whole lid. The fish don’t care though and I like the square design rather than the tank jutting out either side of the cabinet but that’s just my taste.
I also don’t like the tank jutting out! I like the look of the AquaSys, Vivaline and Roma but none of these seem suitable for different reasons. I am not very technical or practical and would like to buy something that works without me having to make adjustments to it.
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
58
Location
Germany
Hello. New here and have the same question on recommendations for a 240-300 litre tank. I love the AquaSys but I need one with a lid as I have a cat! Currently have a Juwel 125 but not keen on another Juwel as a) I don’t like the look of them with the tank bigger than the cabinet and b) I don’t think the internal filter is necessary on a tank this size, it takes up room in the tank and develops algae around the silicone.

The Fluval doesn’t sound great if you need to upgrade equipment. I don’t really understand about water changes, are these a problem only with the Fluval?

Other options? Is the Eheim Vivane the only other choice? I will not have live plants or be aqua scaping but would like the option to in due course!

Thanks for your reply, really appreciate the help!

If I go for the Eheim, what filter and lights would you recommend? Or alternatively can you suggest a separate tank, cabinet, equipment etc? I’ve been looking for months and can’t find anything I like and that will fit into the space I have available. I can provide dimensions for the space if that would help.
Have a look at the Oase Highline 200 and 300. They have a lid and matching cabinet and might be in the same price range as the AquaSys. You will have to buy all technical equipment separately. Note that these Oase models are 50cm deep while the Juwel Rio 240 and Eheim Vivaline 240 are 40 cm. A specialist shop can build you an aquarium and cabinet according to your dimensions, but unfortunately I cannot make recommendations of a good shop for you since I am not based in the UK.

Regarding the equipment. As a rule of thumb, you should aim at filters that (claim that) can circulate 10x the total water volume of the aquarium per hour. For a 240 liter aquarium, which will have a water volume of ~200 liter, depending on the hardscape, you should aim at ~2000 l/h. To get close to this number you will need something like the Eheim professionel 3 1200XL (1700 l/h), professionel 3e 700 (1850 l/h) or Oase 850 (1500 l/h). As an alternative, you may consider two filters instead of one, such as 2 x Oase 350 or 2x Oase 600 or 2x Eheim professionel 4 600. If you are planning to have a moderately planted setup and a low biological load, one large filter might be enough, but the more circulation you have the better. If you go for the Eheim 240, you can use the small ecco pro filter that is part of the package plus a large filter.

The lights mainly depend on the amount of plants you are planning to have and if you are going to have CO2 injection or not. If you go for the Eheim aquarium, and to keep it simple, just add one Eheim PowerLed to the LED strip that comes with the tank. You can add a third LED strip later if needed. But there are dozens of alternatives on the market.

I did already contact AquaOne about a lid for the AquaSys, they said they could provide a glass cover from one of their reef tanks. Not ideal with the cat. I also contacted a few fish shops, only one got back to me. He said he could make a matching lid, but couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t look like a near miss to the black tank. He said the only way to ensure it properly matched was to provide a sample of the tank material, and even then it wouldn’t make sense financially in terms of manufacturing and postage costs.
In Germany you can have a custom quality lid for 120x50 tank made for ~200 EUR. You can also consider ordering a cover made of acrylic or plexiglas with some basic reinforcements that will make it cat safe and looks good on a pool aquarium. But this will end up being more expensive. Good luck with your search!
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
58
Location
Germany
What about the Eheim Proxima 250? I think this comes only with lights?
The Proxima is basically the modernized edition of the Vivaline. It has 50cm depth instead of the 40cm of the Vivaline, a "better" cabinet and thicker glass (at least in the larger models). It comes with lights only and features 2 x classicLED. The Vivaline has just one light strip (btw, each of these strips is 50-60 EUR). Later, you might need to add one Eheim powerLED or a LED strip from another brand. The Eheim powerLED are quite good and they can be installed on Eheim aquariums without special adapters. Anyway, the Oase and Eheim Proxima tanks sell for around the same price around here ;)
 

RuthL

Seedling
Joined
11 Jun 2021
Messages
10
Location
Beckenham
Have a look at the Oase Highline 200 and 300. They have a lid and matching cabinet and might be in the same price range as the AquaSys. You will have to buy all technical equipment separately. Note that these Oase models are 50cm deep while the Juwel Rio 240 and Eheim Vivaline 240 are 40 cm. A specialist shop can build you an aquarium and cabinet according to your dimensions, but unfortunately I cannot make recommendations of a good shop for you since I am not based in the UK.

Regarding the equipment. As a rule of thumb, you should aim at filters that (claim that) can circulate 10x the total water volume of the aquarium per hour. For a 240 liter aquarium, which will have a water volume of ~200 liter, depending on the hardscape, you should aim at ~2000 l/h. To get close to this number you will need something like the Eheim professionel 3 1200XL (1700 l/h), professionel 3e 700 (1850 l/h) or Oase 850 (1500 l/h). As an alternative, you may consider two filters instead of one, such as 2 x Oase 350 or 2x Oase 600 or 2x Eheim professionel 4 600. If you are planning to have a moderately planted setup and a low biological load, one large filter might be enough, but the more circulation you have the better. If you go for the Eheim 240, you can use the small ecco pro filter that is part of the package plus a large filter.

The lights mainly depend on the amount of plants you are planning to have and if you are going to have CO2 injection or not. If you go for the Eheim aquarium, and to keep it simple, just add one Eheim PowerLed to the LED strip that comes with the tank. You can add a third LED strip later if needed. But there are dozens of alternatives on the market.


In Germany you can have a custom quality lid for 120x50 tank made for ~200 EUR. You can also consider ordering a cover made of acrylic or plexiglas with some basic reinforcements that will make it cat safe and looks good on a pool aquarium. But this will end up being more expensive. Good luck with your search!
Thanks for all your help 😊

I just looked at the Oase Highline, it’s nearly £1.5k for the tank alone! Way over my budget.

I might just go for the Vivaline! Do you think this is a sensible option? For the foreseeable future it will only have gravel and 2 goldfish. I would like to aquascape as some point but I have been told there is no point now as the goldfish will dig up the plants and honestly, just finding and trying to understand how a larger tank + external filter will work is hurting my head! 😂. Do you think the Ecco pro filter will be okay for my purposes for the time being? I’m not really sure I have any other options without spending a fortune. I also wanted to ask, can I put the filter anywhere in the cabinet? And how often do you think I will need to clean/access it? Because we have bikes in front of the space at the moment. Ideally it would go on the far left so I could just angle one of the bikes out.

How would I add an LED strip to a tank, if needed?
 

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