Re-Lighting a 75g & 37g . . . Suggestions?
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:54 PM   #1
Bruce_S
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Re-Lighting a 75g & 37g . . . Suggestions?


Hi, All!

So, I think I'm done with shopping in the local big-box stores for lights for these two tanks. Had a couple of NO T-5 fixtures (Aqueon, maybe?) from one shop, the box said don't use 'em over a topless tank - and the box was right, but I've found I like the topless look. Got a ZooMed HO T-5 for the 75, and loved it for six months - now, one light blinks out if I don't hold the fixture up by the right-hand corner. <sigh>

So, I'm looking for something to put over these two tanks (75 gallon tropical community, 48", and 37g tall goldfish, 36") that won't break in six months or put me in the poorhouse. (I've got some T-8 fixtures over them now, old-school stuff which _just_keep_working_, and never present issues.) Plants in both are crypts, swords, Ludwigia, H. difformis, Apogenotons (the ones sold as dry bulbs, and a Madagascar lace), Rotala, Lilaeopsis, Anubias, Java fern & moss ... and other things one might find in submerged pots at a big-box pet store, which are (up 'til recently!) what's been available without a three-city road trip.

Two fixtures that have come up repeatedly in my research are the Finnex (I know you guys sponsor the forum, for which my thanks!) Ray II, and the Current U.S.A. Satellite Freshwater +, which seems to be lower light, but fun to play with, with lots of different spectral possibilities. (I've read reports that it's not bright enough for planted aquaria, though...) The other day, I did find a LFS which _had_ been strictly saltwater, but now has a significant freshwater department! He managed to confuse me still further, by basically not being able to recommend any T-5 or LED fixtures - and his own planted tank seems to be run by the combination of a Metal Halide and a picture window . . .

Does anyone have any recommendations for / experience with either of these two fixtures, or something else I should really be looking at more closely?

Thanks in advance, especially if you've actually _read_ all this drivel!
~Bruce
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
DefStatic
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The Freshwater Plus from what I am told is not good enough for plants alone. At the same time it's not that it doesn't help.

Finnex is the greatest bang for the $$$, hands down. For a tall tank, depending on what you are growing, you may need a Ray2. In my tanks, the Fugeray works fine, a Ray2 would be way too much IMO for my tanks.

If I had $140 to spare, I would love to try the Freshwater Plus on my 36gal cause it looks nice. I have too many pther things to take care of though LOL
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:48 AM   #3
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What happened to the Aqueon light you put right over the tank? I have had a Coralife life right on top of my tank for almost a year now, no issues, knock on wood.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:40 AM   #4
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I have a ray 2 on my 37 g and an aqueon modular with 3 led strips and it seems to give me medium to medium high. Tall tanks r hard to decide
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:55 AM   #5
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I emailed current for their par value last week if we are talking about the same light, satellite freshwater led+ at 36" their reply: "PAR at 24" is 21 micromols and at 12" is 36 micromols." Might be too low for your tanks. I may try it when I take off my co2 and switch to a low light setup. finnex has their par values in their section listed but I remember they were stronger than the current ones.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:33 AM   #6
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Thanks, everyone!

Sounds like the Finnex is likely to be the better bet here, though possibly not with as rich of a spectrum - the sort that catches and enhances all colors?? The PAR at 24" does sound a bit low for the Satellite+, and on the 37gallon there isn't room for a lot of fixtures. It's not like a 40breeder . . .

Alipper, the (pretty sure they were Aqueons . . . ) made a small pop after turning them on, and went dark. Or were simply dark when I came home from work. (There have been three of that model of light here - 2 @ 36" and one @ 48")

~Bruce
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
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After a bit more research, and with thanks to those who offered opinions and advice here, I've gone ahead and pushed the button on a Finnex Ray II for each of the tanks I mentioned! Will keep Plantedtank.net posted, no doubt!

(On the 75, I think I'll keep my T-8 fixture, and stock it with one of those magenta "Plant-gro" lights, which ought to help with red / blue color rendition ... I think!)

~Bruce
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:40 PM   #8
alipper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce_S View Post
Thanks, everyone!

Sounds like the Finnex is likely to be the better bet here, though possibly not with as rich of a spectrum - the sort that catches and enhances all colors?? The PAR at 24" does sound a bit low for the Satellite+, and on the 37gallon there isn't room for a lot of fixtures. It's not like a 40breeder . . .

Alipper, the (pretty sure they were Aqueons . . . ) made a small pop after turning them on, and went dark. Or were simply dark when I came home from work. (There have been three of that model of light here - 2 @ 36" and one @ 48")

~Bruce
http://www.coralifeproducts.com/prod...ight-fixtures/

Click on the T5 dual fixture tab, I have the 48 inch for my 75G. I have all low-light plants though, FYI.
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