Lighting options for a 180 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 7
Lighting options for a 180 gallon

Alright guys, I've got a dilemma. I currently have two 55 gallon tanks that are planted, but I'm getting ready to move up to a 180 gallon. One of the 55's is pretty low light, but the other has a 4x54 T5HO on it, although I only run one pair at a time. I plan on combining the fish in these two into the 180, and mothballing the two 55's. My problem is that I don't know if I have what I'll need to light the 180 to a medium level, and if I do, whether LEDs would be a better option anyway.

Here are my questions:
1. Will the 4x54 setup provide medium light on the 180? I know it'll only cover the middle of the tank, and thats ok, but I've never dealt with a tank this deep.

2. I'm thinking about going with LED lights anyway, so can someone give me some recommendations on manufacturers and how much light I would need? I know they'll cost more on the front end, but I like the idea of them not burning out as quickly, lower energy cost, and the fact that they only emit very specific wavelengths. I know household fluorescent lights put off a tiny amount of UV, but I don't know how much our 6700k plant lights do. Maybe it's the same insignificant amount, or maybe it's a ton more.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 08:54 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 1,701
One led source to look at is They have a diy app that allows you to custom design [they build it for you] an led light or you can choose a premade led light. If you go the diy you can achieve a color temp of 5500-5900k with a CRI of 98. That's a nearly impossible combo with other lights, florescent to be specific with the possible exception of plasma lighting.
From what I've heard here on this forum BML is very helpful with your questions.
DIY approach
470nm Blue
505nm Cyan
505nm Cyan
525nm Green
525nm Green
590nm Amber
625nm Red
590nm Amber

Last edited by Steve001; 05-13-2013 at 09:02 PM. Reason: .
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 09:54 PM
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Location: MN
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get a couple ray 2 48". Done.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 10:17 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NH USA
Posts: 309
Lighting options for a 180 gallon

I have a canopy on my 180 so for LEDs I went with 6x 26w AH Supply LED modules.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 11:14 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 225
DIY CFL's is what I would(did do). I was happy with it on my last tank, and on this tank.

Finally joining the big boys!
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