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Tinder 02-23-2013 06:30 AM

Looking to buy a light for my tank.
Hello! So its tax time, and I am looking to upgrade my lights in my 55 gal tank to a more medium light setup. currently, due to budget restraints I had to use a 40 fiture. Now im looking for something to help my aquarium thrive. I plan in some glass canopies and some good lights, here are some that I will be able to afford and seem to be decent on reveiws and specs. If you know a great light, please do not keep it to yourself.

Aqueon LED Light

Marineland Double Bright LED Light - 36 in. to 48 in

48" 260w Pl Aquarium Light Reef Marine Fish Tank Hood Light

This light looks like an amazeing deal for the money, but the reviews say the brackets are flimsy and prevent canopies from fitting correctly. hanging from the ceiling is not an option, and the canopies are required due to my fish being species known for jumping and I have a cat. So i think this one may not work well.

Odyssea 48" T5 HO Quad Aquarium Light Fluorescent Hood Fixture w/4 LED - Plant 4x54W

Those are the Amazon ones I found. I also live close to and have been looking into there inventory as well.

So sujestions anyone? Lighting seems to be much harder then initially expected, but I am looking for decent med lights that will work well for lower tech (non c02 injected yet.) plants.

Atari 02-24-2013 02:30 PM

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.

owens81jw 02-24-2013 05:19 PM

From What i Know, 4x54watt on a 55 gallon is too much light for that tank

I'll say look at these two lighting systems

1. Finnex Ray 2 LED light (48in model) $150 i think
2. Catalina Aquarium ( They have a 3x54watt system for $148.99), but i think you should only run 2 bulbs (all 3 will cause algae)

you will need a CO2 system for medium to high light system

Bryk 02-26-2013 04:07 PM

I just purchased a 30 inch Aqueon LED fixture and 2 extra colormax for my 37
I just purchased a 30 inch Aqueon LED fixture and 2 extra colormax for my 37 gallon. It has mostly low light plants. I'm looking to see how well this setup will penetrate the tall tank.

I currently have a single T8 plant spectrum and most plants look ok, but it's been only half a week. I'm hoping it will work, as I am planning on testing it for a few months to see how well. I will move this 24 inch T8 over to my 46 gal to give it some extra lighting for the low light plants in there.

I figure I'll be able to compare the 36 + 24 plant spec T8 46 gal versus the 1 white + 2 colormax Aqueon setup and see if I want to go that route with the 46 or get something stronger.

Ideally I only want them both to be heavily planted low light plants tank. I currently use LeafZone and Flourish, but am considering Flourish Excel as well. I do not want to go to high light/CO2.

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