LED Lighting for 300 gallon - Please Help!
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
easttech
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LED Lighting for 300 gallon - Please Help!


Hello,

I am new here but looking forward to learning and hopefully one day contributing, In the mean time I really need some help.

I just purchased aa used 300 gallon Marineland Deep Dimension tank stand and hood used. It came with a very expensive LED light from Vertex. At first I was not sure which type of tank I was going to go with, marine, reef, african or Discus.

I settled on a planted (first time) Discus and now I m not sure I can or should use the Vertex LED lighting and if so what exactly the settings should be, in general for Amazonian based plants.

This is a 5' fixture that comes with the following LED modules:
White
Dark Blue
Blue
Red

Can anyone help with some direction on settings and if maybe I should bail on the LED and buy a good quality flourescent?

I also have a C02 generation system.

Thanks in advance and apologies if this has been asked somewhere else in the forum.

John
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
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If you use that light you should also buy a PAR meter, so you can adjust the brightness to an appropriate value for a planted tank. It looks like the light is designed for reef tanks, so it is capable of providing way more light than you can use on a planted tank. I think it would be worth the effort to make it work, just to be able to adjust the color temperature of the lights to what ever you want.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:04 AM   #3
easttech
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Determining the proper settings is my problem. I have complete flexibility on the settings for the white, red and blues, just dont know what the right mix and intensity should be set to.

If I had a PAR meter, what is the ideal reading? If I knew that then I think I could dial it in on my light.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easttech View Post
Determining the proper settings is my problem. I have complete flexibility on the settings for the white, red and blues, just dont know what the right mix and intensity should be set to.

If I had a PAR meter, what is the ideal reading? If I knew that then I think I could dial it in on my light.

Thanks again!
I don't think anyone can tell you what the ideal reading would be, because it's a bit complicated. You have to take into consideration the photosynthetic needs of the plants and visual aesthetics of the resulting light. Only trial and error will work I think.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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I don't think anyone can tell you what the ideal reading would be, because it's a bit complicated. You have to take into consideration the photosynthetic needs of the plants and visual aesthetics of the resulting light. Only trial and error will work I think.

I am ok with trial and error, but in a 300 gallon setup and error could be quite costly if I were to lose all the plants. Was hoping to dail it in a little closer from the start. If and when I do get the prper settings I will post for sure.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:42 AM   #6
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The PAR readings you get in an aquarium vary with where in the tank you measure it. It will be highest at the water surface and lowest at the substrate. I like to use the PAR reading at the substrate to characterize how much light you have - at least that is just one number, easy to measure. I haven't kept any discus, but I believe they much prefer lower light intensity, which goes well with sword plants, vals, crypts, anubias, etc. If you stick to low light intensity you can either use CO2 or not, but if you do use it, the plants will grow much faster and in better health, and, for low light, you don't need to jack up the CO2 concentration so high that it threatens the fish's ability to live with it. Based on that I would try for about 25-35 micromols per square meter per second (25-35 PAR) at the substrate over most of the substrate. If you can get this intensity with the light hanging a foot above the tank, that is even better. Then, if you find you want more light you can just lower the light closer to the top of the tank.
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