Which light for small low tech tank? - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Which light for small low tech tank?

Hello all,

I am reposting this from the low tech board. I am brand new to fish and aquatic plant keeping. I have a 15 gallon (23L x 12W X 14 1/3H) with plastic plants. Would like to get some real plants in there but after doing much, much, much (did I say much!) online research, I have decided to stay low-tech on this one. I could do Excel, Fert tabs or light dosing. Choosing a light has been quite difficult. At first I was leaning toward aT5NO but now I am more in the LED camp. My final choices are the Current Sat + (leaning toward this for the awsome lighting effects!), Finnex Fugeray or Finnex Planted +. Which one do you guys think would be a better choice? Or should I go back to looking at T5's?
Thank you for any thoughts on this!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 10:40 PM
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Not to make thungs more confusing, but finnex is releasing a new light soon that has similar effects to the satellite, its called the planted+24/7

One a related note im very happy with my planted+ on my 25gallon
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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I saw that! Should I wait for that one? I think is too much light for my 15 gallon but since it can be dimmed, it could be fine.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 11:06 PM
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Just commented on your other post lol...

I have something to add though, if you can dim the LED's i say they're good.
If you can't dim the Fugeray's then no. It'd be too much light for a lowtech

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Just replied to your other post!

So, I know that you cannot dim the Stingray, but you can dim the Satellite +. Are you saying that would be a better way to go in case is still too much light, I could lower it? Also, the new Planted + 2 that is coming out is supposed to be able to be dimmed. Though I think the PAR will be about the same as the Planted +. I think my problem is trying to figure out what "low-light" is. How much PAR should I be looking for? I do want the plants to grow a little!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 06:35 AM
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It's usually ,

15-30 PAR = low light
30-50 = medium
50+ =High light

The sat+ and stingray on a 15 gallon would give you a medium rating.

On my 20 gallon high the 24" sat+ Gave me a reading of about 34 par and the stingray gave me around 30 Par. So the sat is a little brighter. So running that on a 15 would definitely leave you in the medium light area. Unless you dim the lights on the sat+

I would just recommend you going into medium light...It's actually a bit easier. My first aquarium ever was a medium light planted tank and it was nothing I couldn't handle.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the info. That helps a lot. I think I will go with the Sat + for the flexibility. Though I am first going to see if I can confirm that it is able to be dimmed. I think if I ever think about needing more light, I can always buy another fixture. I will update on progress. On a different note, what top, or lack there of, do you have on your aquarium? I bought one of the versa tops when I was at Petsmart the other day and was planning on using that (I do have to get it cut, as the 24" is about an inch too big, I guess my tank dimensions are odd). Then I read that glass canopies are bad for gas exchange, raise the temperature of the tank, etc.. Any opinions? I do like that they cut down on evap, but I am worried about the lack of gas exchange.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 04:40 PM
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+1 for any light/w a dimmer.
I get double strength glass cut to fit the top of my tanks and get it a couple of inches short on one end for heater line etc. I put it where it has open space at both ends.
I feel I'm balancing between a closed top and getting some air in there.
I have two 10g tanks and both have a bit different configuration on the glass.
One of them is just one piece and the other is two pieces for ease of entry.
The double strength may not be necessary but it lets me clean them with less fear of breaking them.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Raymond, that's what I was thinking on doing: leaving the plastic strip off and then just centering the glass part to leave openings on the back and front of the tank. Glad that works. Now, do you have any fear of your fish jumping out through the openings? Right now, I have just the black, plastic top that came with the aquarium and the only opening is for the heater and filter, leaving a small open space around these. I have a betta in the tank and have read that they jump. I guess it would just depend on how much it wanted to jump?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 12:02 PM
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My gf had a betta in a 3 gallon open top for 6 months, never jumped out. I run both my tanks open top, and in the past year ive had 1 white cloud jump out.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy

Thanks. All of you guys are so much help! Maybe I'm over thinking it!

On another note, how much light do you guys think floater plants block? And should I take that into consideration when deciding between SAT + and Fugeray?
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