The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Looking to buy a light for my tank.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 02:30 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 19
I'm amazed no one is answering your question. I'm shopping LED lights too and I've done a ton of reading so I'll see if I can get things started. I'll assume your tank is 21" tall.

1. The Aqueon Modular LED is intriguing but an almost complete unknown. Mixing their daylight with colormax bulbs is certainly appealing too. But, we don't know the PAR values nor even the wattage of each of the strips. That makes it hard to know how well it will perform. I think I saw that the 24" uses 3w strips and the 30" uses 4w. Given all of the searching I have done, I'm sure the Aqueon will support low light plants but I simply don't know about medium. It may be perfect or it may not be enough.

2. I've read repeatedly that the Marineland DoubleBrights are not enough for medium plants. I've inquired directly with Marineland and they same the same. Some people have done alright and the 48" light on a shallower tank may work out for you but the general consensus is no for medium light plants.

3. The Marine light is just that, a marine light. It uses 12k white and actinic. fine for coral but not really for plants. Plants need the 65k-7k light. Algae reportedly loves actinic.

4. The current mainstream T5HO should work quite well. Your comparing apples to oranges but 4T5HO lights burning 216w should do well. Just remember that many, many people report that you need to replace your bulbs every 10-12 months. That and the likelihood that something like the Aqueon LED will use 93% less energy and should last years on the same bulbs makes LED a popular direction.

I'll give the obligatory nod to Finnex who makes some potent lights at a reasonable price. I'd likely take this route myself if they were out of stock for the next month on 36" lights. The dual 7k lights seem to be on the high end of right for plants. Since you have a shallower tank, the Fugeray may be right for you. Give them a call, they are helpful just don't try to contact them through their website, the address is wrong.

Personally, I'd love to see someone try to use the Aqueons with medium plants. The ability to mix and replace lights is very appealing. The color mix seems perfect and not having to throw out the whole system if bulbs burn out or fail sounds great. They are also fairly cheap compared. As I said, they are just an unknown right now.

Hopefully some folks with some first hand experience will feel free to jump on the band waggon now and give us some more insight.

Good luck.
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