Current USA vs. Finnex vs. T5HO - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Current USA vs. Finnex vs. T5HO

Hi everyone! This will be my first planted tank. I'm intending to use Carib Sea Eco-Complete, along with excel and excel flourish (slowly adding any nutrients I might need to my arsenal). I have some Dwarf Hairgrass that i'm going to try and carpet which is sitting in my tank right now waiting for its new lights and substrate. My biggest concern is my lighting. So much information! I swear my head might explode! My goal is in the future to be able to move on to more advanced plants that are more demanding as I gain experience. I would also like my plants, with Co2 and ferts, to grow rapidly and for the tank to be heavily planted. I have a 20 gallon that is 17 inches deep and am thinking of using the 18-24 or 24-36 Satellite Freshwater LED+. So my question is, would this be an adequate set up for a heavily planted tank? Would it be capable of sustaining plants that require high lighting? Is there anything else I should be concerned with or a different light I should use? I can only afford about a hundred or so on a light, and i'm not completely opposed to T5HO lighting but would prefer LED because of the energy savings. Another option would be the Finux Ray2 Which searching here has shown is popular, but I really love the features of the Satellite. Is one going to be better than the other for what I'm hoping to achieve?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 03:49 PM
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The SAT+ definitely won't allow you to grow high light plants. It will only give you about 30 PAR at a depth of 16". The 24" Ray 2 will get you at the upper end of medium light or the lower end of high light (around 50 PAR at depth of 16"). In order to stay firmly in the high light range, you're going to have to combine fixtures or get a T5HO fixture. A 4 bulb fixture will definitely put you in the high light range, but a 2 bulb fixture will get you there too if you get the right one.

One thing to note about going high light is that you're probably going to need pressurized CO2 to prevent algae outbreaks. I don't know if you can get by with just Excel or even DIY CO2.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for responding! I was looking into Pressurized Co2 because I was worried about that. You mention mixing fixtures to get the result I want. Would combing either the Finnex Ray2 with the Satellite or two Satellites work? I heard that there are rumors of a few new fixtures coming out in October that might fill this void in LED lighting. I might just stick a T8 lamp in my stock fixture for now and see how things pan out in October. I just have some Hair Grass in my tank right now so I think i'd be able to keep it alive until then.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 03:17 AM
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Green element EVOs with 3w diodes will put you in the upper end of high light.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romnen View Post
Thanks so much for responding! I was looking into Pressurized Co2 because I was worried about that. You mention mixing fixtures to get the result I want. Would combing either the Finnex Ray2 with the Satellite or two Satellites work? I heard that there are rumors of a few new fixtures coming out in October that might fill this void in LED lighting. I might just stick a T8 lamp in my stock fixture for now and see how things pan out in October. I just have some Hair Grass in my tank right now so I think i'd be able to keep it alive until then.
If you're willing to wait Current (not sure about other brands) is releasing a plant specific LED fixture. The rumor was October, but not sure anything official has been said yet. And with all the talk I'm not sure if they've leaked any PAR data yet either.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 04:08 AM
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Finnex is also coming out with a fugeray planted + in the fall. Par data on the 24" version is already posted on this forum to give you an idea.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 04:41 AM
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buildmyled.com has incredible fixtures that will give you high light. I highly recommend them!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 10:30 PM
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The buildmyled.com site does claim to have very high lighting from their LEDs. However, for this guy's intended tank and price range, it is too high. For example, the 36" 7000k LED system (Iwagumi) will cost $229.00, so more than double what he can afford at the moment.

How do these lights stack up against Finnex or Current?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 12:55 AM
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If you're trying to carpet dwarf hairgrass, invest in pressurized CO2. It'll be much happier, and happen sooner than with just excel.

I too would also like to know how buildmyled stacks up against finnex and current.
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carpet dwarf hairgrass, finnex ray2, led, satellite freshwater led+

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