LEDs have been tricky for the planted tank. As a new technology in the industry, LED-lit aquaria has mostly revolved around the Reef hobby - meaning most lights have been optimized for growing coral, not freshwater plants.
However, with the introduction of AQUASKY, the new LED solution from Aqua Design Amano, there has finally been a giant leap forward in the ability for LED lights to grow aquatic plants.
I'd like to take the time to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions so far about AQUASKY:
Q: What color temperature does AQUASKY render in?
A: AQUASKY uses a combination of LED lamps to produce an optimal color spectrum between 7,000-8,000k. This replicates the noon sun and contributes a great deal to the success of growing aquatic plants.
Q: Why do many other LED lights, which are advertised for aquatic plants, seem to only grow low-light plants?
A: Most LED manufacturers are geared towards Reef applications - meaning they use a lot more blue light for coral growth. So when many of these are translated to freshwater versions, they use a combination of blue/white LEDS, so half of the light is not good for aquatic plants. For some reason, other LED lights which are all white, do not get proper penetration for aquatic plant growth.
Q: If LEDs haven't grown aquatic plants as well - how is AQUASKY different?
A: AQUASKY spent a lot of time in research and development - for the sole purpose of growing aquatic plants. This means that on the aquariums they are designed for, they grow any aquatic plant even better than it's predecessor: the Solar Mini - without the need to use multiple LED strip lights.
Q: How do we know that the AQUASKY will work better than the Solar Mini or T5HO?
A: Mr. Amano has over 3 decades of experience with aquatic plants, and because ADA is ADA's single largest customer, this experience was leveraged to create an LED light that works better than the predecessor. The AQUASKY is used in the Nature Aquarium Gallery in Niigata, Japan to grow all the Mini aquariums, replacing the Solar Mini's they had before.
It is the philosophy of ADA to not create a product unless the new product is even better than it's replacement - this is why ADA never created a T5HO light.
Q: I see that the cord is not pictured, how does this look?
A: If you watch this amazing video about the world's largest planted aquariums,
you will see the AQUASKY first thing with the cord displayed. By itself, the cord drapes easily to the side and creates less of a distraction from the aquarium than the previous Solar Mini fixture. Additionally, like many other clip on lights, the cord does not sit on the back of the aquarium, creating a distraction from the aquascape.
Q: What are the tech specs of AQUASKY?
Light housing unit size: W280mm x D68mm x H9mm
Clear stand size: W300mm x D100mm x H95mm (for aquarium 30cm in width) / W360mm x D100 x H95mm (for aquarium 36cm in width)
*** AQUASKY is NOT compatible with current Cube Garden Mini S and Cube Glass Mini S (31cm in width) ***
New Cube Garden Mini S and Cube Glass Mini S with 30cm in width will be coming out soon.
Input voltage: AC100~240V 50/60Hz
Power consumption: 17W
Current consumption: 0.4A
Luminous flux: 1450~1550ml
Color temperature: 7,000K~8,000K
LED: 0.4W/each x 30
LED lifespan: over 30,000hrs (depending on operating environment)
Operating temperature range: -20 Celsius to 35 celsius
Q: What are the sizes of the AQUASKY?
A: One is 30cm for 30-C (12 inch cube), the New Mini S and any other frameless aquarium of that length (including ADA 60-P if placed front to back).
The other is 36cm for ADA Mini M or any aquarium which has a 36cm length or width.
Q: How much is AQUASKY?
A: Both models are $195 - and include free shipping in celebration of the first Nature Aquarium LED light and the 20th Anniversary of ADA.
Q: Where can I get AQUASKY?
Q: When is AQUASKY available?
A: AQUASKY ships to our facility June 4th, 2012. All orders processed before this time qualify for the special release packages - which will include a few surprises to be announced.