What LED fixture (non Finnex) for hi-tech 125 gallon
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:19 AM   #1
luca
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What LED fixture (non Finnex) for hi-tech 125 gallon


I'll start by saying that I'm a happy owner of two Finnex fixtures (FugeRay+). Unfortunately Finnex has recently stopped selling their product in Canada.

The tank is 125 gallon (21" depth - substrate), or if budget allows (or I get a good deal) a 180 gallon (24" depth - substrate).

Are there any alternatives to Finnex that don't break the bank, or should I just pretend that this is 2004 and look at T5HO fixtures? Is there any point in considering T5HO vs LED - other than availability - in this day and age?
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:43 AM   #2
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almost 140 views and not one comment. I understand Finnex is a sponsor, but are there really no alternatives for a fixture that anyone could recommend? I'm looking at these alternatives:

- buildmyled 72" "Dutch planted" type lights (x2)
- Kessil A150W-E Amazon Sun LED Pendant (x4?)
- GroBeam 1500 Ultima LED Light Tile (Natural Daylight) (x3)

How is buildmyled regarded on this forum? Anyone have any experience or input to offer?
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:33 AM   #3
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I have 1 horticulture light and 1 aquarium light from BML. I LOVE them both. They are great lights and well built. If I had the money I would buy more. They are a little pricey and sometimes shipping can take a while, but it's a great product. As far as LED vs T5HO, go with LED! Only con to LED is the intial cost. They last longer, run cooler and more energy efficient than T5. Other brands to consider would be Sat + or Fluval.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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You will not be disappointed in the BML fixture.

I have a 24" 10k XB suspended about 20" above substrate at about 75% power. I've seen amazing growth with with this thing and beautiful pearling. Light is no longer a limiting factor and that has really allowed me to step up my game in the plant growing business Ive had no complaints/issues with this light since ive had it up and running. Its extremely well built and probably the most impressive piece of aquarium equipment i have.

The downside as was mentioned...it may take a couple weeks to actually ship the light since they build and test to order. You also may need to get their dimmer especially if you go with the XB. And with a tank your size...you may need 2, not sure.

Check out the BML club thread, there's a lot of reviews in there and a few may have a similar tank as you.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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There's always exotic eseries...
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:56 PM   #6
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:23 PM   #7
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A least a couple of the Chinese LED companies will modify reef lights for you. Reef Breeders and DsunY will. Both offer manual dimmable, dimmable 2 channels and DsunY offers dimmable 4 channels as well.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:51 PM   #8
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly312 View Post
You will not be disappointed in the BML fixture.

I have a 24" 10k XB suspended about 20" above substrate at about 75% power. I've seen amazing growth with with this thing and beautiful pearling. Light is no longer a limiting factor and that has really allowed me to step up my game in the plant growing business Ive had no complaints/issues with this light since ive had it up and running. Its extremely well built and probably the most impressive piece of aquarium equipment i have.

The downside as was mentioned...it may take a couple weeks to actually ship the light since they build and test to order. You also may need to get their dimmer especially if you go with the XB. And with a tank your size...you may need 2, not sure.

Check out the BML club thread, there's a lot of reviews in there and a few may have a similar tank as you.
It looks as though I'll follow the BML route, and I'll definitely check their thread. At a glance, one strip might be OK for a 125, but two are needed for a 180 gallon tank.

Going through the BML wizard, 2 strips are recommended for both the 125 and the 180 gallon tanks, no matter if HO or VHO (XB) are selected. I'm guessing for better coverage. Also wondering if the beam angle may be reduced with two strips.

Thanks everyone for their advice.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:08 AM   #10
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Let me just say this, if you want a heavily planted tank, like a Dutch, 1 light strip (BML or any other LED) wont do. The spread wont work. You need several stips to cover the entire width of the tank, something I stupidly went thru. My dutch was suffering because I had just 1 bml fixture over my 45 gal. I had to prune them every week because the lower leaves would die out due to low light. Thats the main problem with leds. T8s and t5ho you always see 4 or more bulbs over a big tank, that covers the entire tank.

Besides that when I was tired of changing bulbs on my t5hos, so I wanted a led. From what I saw, bml was the best from all other fixtures. Not only did it give out the most PAR from all other fixtures, but you could also customize the wavelengths. In the end, bml was cheaper than others as well by a little.

Also t5hos, t8 and any other form is brighter than leds. I had to put my old t8 on my 45 as well because the leds were so dark, it was depressing.
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:54 AM   #11
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Have you explored the Ecoxotic E-Series? Great RGB high output LED fixture with a programmable ramp timer with automatic sunrise/sunset to moonlight cycles.
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samee View Post
Let me just say this, if you want a heavily planted tank, like a Dutch, 1 light strip (BML or any other LED) wont do. The spread wont work. You need several stips to cover the entire width of the tank, something I stupidly went thru. My dutch was suffering because I had just 1 bml fixture over my 45 gal. I had to prune them every week because the lower leaves would die out due to low light. Thats the main problem with leds. T8s and t5ho you always see 4 or more bulbs over a big tank, that covers the entire tank.
This is very true, I wonder why it is not mentioned more often. It also depends on how you aquascape; a flat plain can get away with it, but if you have alot of driftwood or high rocks there can be odd shaded areas. Metal halide pendants for all their power also suffer from this, even more so actually because they are point light sources. Tanks that have a lot of depth should consider this seriously. A side effect of the light spread for technical aquascapers is that plants directly under the center-line of the LED will grow faster than say plants that are six inches away from the center-line. If you have a very steep slope that exaggerates the incident angle of the light beam, stem plants further away from the center line may bend towards the light as well. In my 3ft tank, where I did quite a steep slope, i find that having the lights (bmls) closer to the front pane, then tiliting them to shine at an angle towards the back gave more favourable growth direction. For most tanks, 2 strips would give very good coverage.

A side note on lower leaves dying off; it varies from species to species, but it is not always caused by merely low light/lower portions being shaded. For many species, lower shaded regions can retain their leaves (right to the base) for months if they're healthy. For example, in a high light tank, a fast growing plant suffering from deficiencies/stress may draw nutrients from its lower leaves, whereas in a lower lighting scenario, the same plant can be growing more slowly but healthy. Stronger light generally gives faster growth, but faster growth isn't always the healthiest.

On ecoxotic; the PAR values are a bit low for the price, especially for tall/deep tanks. BMLs xb series have more than 50% PAR for similar price. On the other hand, it seems like many BML users dim their lights by a lot anyway, so....
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Last edited by Xiaozhuang; 11-16-2014 at 03:38 AM.. Reason: Stuff
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