Best LED Lighting for planted tank
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:47 PM   #1
aquaxenobia
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Best LED Lighting for planted tank


my tank dimensions are Length 51" x width 22" x Depth 24"

I've found many brands, and various prices of LED lighting.

However, aside from the obvious difference in features,(such as moonlights/timers etc) I've noticed that they have a difference in lumens.


Thus my question is what is the best 48" 6500k LED lighting? ones with the highest lumens?? is there a point when the lumens become too much and hurt the plants? or encourage algae growth?
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:46 AM   #2
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First: Go read the sticky in the Lighting section so you can get a primer on lighting basics.

In order for anyone to recommend LED fixtures, they'll need to know if you want to be low/medium/high light and whether you dose ferts or use pressurized CO2.

What kind of plants do you keep? How many inches from the substrate would you like your fixture to be? Will it rest on the tank itself or will you be suspending it above the tank?
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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I'd call it Medium tech, Pressurized co2, dirted tank, minimal if any ferts (cause of the dirt)

I'm planning on about 3inches substrate, and since the lights will be placed on the glass braces it should sit 21 inch/20 inch away from the substrate.

Mainly I'd like to grow lilaeopsis brasiliensis
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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A Finnex Ray2 may be a good option for you. But you'd probably want to supplement it with something in order to have less of a washed out look.

There are other fixtures on the market, as well, but they're more expensive.

Is there a budget you'd like to stick to?
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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I've read a lot of positive reviews on finnex LEDs, or you can make your own. You'll most likely get the highest PAR for your dollar by making your light.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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Finnex Ray2 is a little too blue and your plant may eventually lose color. You can try buildmyled, which really allow you to customize your light to your satisfaction.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #7
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Ray2, maybe add a Monster Ray if you want to punch up the color.

Wheeling - too Blue? It comes in all 7k daylight for freshwater/planted, are yu refering to the 10K + actinic saltwater version?
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:03 AM   #8
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I'm glad that you're all suggesting different options. It's good to know of more

However, I wonder what it is that I should be looking for in a freshwater planted tank lighting system, other than brand. Has a sort of "formula", so to say, been developed that helps you determine the minute effects on plant growth. Ultimately, I'd like health well colored plants. jbrady33, you mentioned kelvin effecting plants coloration, and somewhatstocked, you brought up using another system to supplement the tank I believe you're also referring to the color/kelvin.

I've also inquired on the effects of kelvin on plants. I've read some posts of users whom combine 6500k, and 10k, and jbrady33 you recommended a system that uses 7k. I've also read that plants adapt well to different lighting, but I don't wish to invest $100's on plants for them adapt to conditions that aren't closer to optimal.

plus being that light is a wave aren't the waves attributes altered when two light source combine, creating a new wave? thus if 6500k is accepted to be a effective plant growing kelvin, then combining delivers less than optimal conditions?

Has anyone who has owned a full tank of plants observed anything like this? or anything else? I'd like to go more in-depth.

Again, thank you all for the feed back, I love this stuff and I'm sure you all do to. There is alway so much to learn, and often even what is believed is worth questioning because there are many methods.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:18 AM   #9
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also, bitfuul, you're right!! I think we all want the best bang for our buck.

Though experimenting on lighting may be fun, and I am completely a DIY kind of guy, I'd rather not play too much with something that spans my own understanding. I don't know too much on lighting(hence the reason I'm posting) perhaps in the future when I know more about the effects of different kelvin on plant growth( or any other variable that plays a roll in successful plant keeping) from either my experience or from those who have owned planted tanks for several years, then I'll play around with LED's. But for now I want a safe bet, that'll increase the chances of optimal plant health, assuming of course that all other variables unrelated to lighting are accounted for.

Budget is important but i think long term i'll spend more time and money trying to work out kinks in systems that failed because of something as small as a few kelvin's difference. So I rather invest well on lighting. I'm probably being melodramatic about the effects of kelvin but from own fishes throughout the years I've learned that you could never be too cautious.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaxenobia View Post
also, bitfuul, you're right!! I think we all want the best bang for our buck.

Though experimenting on lighting may be fun, and I am completely a DIY kind of guy, I'd rather not play too much with something that spans my own understanding. I don't know too much on lighting(hence the reason I'm posting) perhaps in the future when I know more about the effects of different kelvin on plant growth( or any other variable that plays a roll in successful plant keeping) from either my experience or from those who have owned planted tanks for several years, then I'll play around with LED's. But for now I want a safe bet, that'll increase the chances of optimal plant health, assuming of course that all other variables unrelated to lighting are accounted for.

Budget is important but i think long term i'll spend more time and money trying to work out kinks in systems that failed because of something as small as a few kelvin's difference. So I rather invest well on lighting. I'm probably being melodramatic about the effects of kelvin but from own fishes throughout the years I've learned that you could never be too cautious.
I'd second buildmyled for, if nothing else, a worthy primer on light spectrum and depth ect ....If I wasn't such a build it yourself type I'd consider them one of my first choices..
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:56 AM   #11
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I got my light from buildyourled.com. They were encreditably helpful and designed a light for my needs. The light is well worth the money.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I got my light from buildyourled.com. They were encreditably helpful and designed a light for my needs. The light is well worth the money.
The correct link is buildmyled.com. I'm not sure if there was a play on words here or what.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:07 AM   #13
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I have Finnex Ray 2's combined with a Finnex Monster Ray on my 60" 120 gallon discus tank. Love the light spectrum. Looks better than my T5's IMO.

Here is a video review of the Finnex Monster Ray I posted. Also shows the Ray 2's.

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Old 06-05-2013, 06:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrady33 View Post
Ray2, maybe add a Monster Ray if you want to punch up the color.

Wheeling - too Blue? It comes in all 7k daylight for freshwater/planted, are yu refering to the 10K + actinic saltwater version?
Just as you said, you probably need a Monster Ray to make the color out. Ray 2 alone makes the color washed out. I did mean the dual 7K. Someone some time ago posted photos of Ray 2, it looked washed out. DX3Bash just posted a video, also demonstrated this.

Ray 2 was my first choice. Due to the same issue, I passed it and bought Buildmyled. It is customizable and cheaper than Ray 2 plus Monster Ray, and significantly brighter than the Finnex combination.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaxenobia View Post

plus being that light is a wave aren't the waves attributes altered when two light source combine, creating a new wave? thus if 6500k is accepted to be a effective plant growing kelvin, then combining delivers less than optimal conditions?
A bit in the 'way over thinking this" department. Google "double split experiment", be amazed at the weird nature of light, then totally ignore it when it comes to your tank.

The wave/particle nature of light will have no effect on the temp (K) or the growth potential of whatever lights you use.
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