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Old 10-13-2014, 02:21 PM   #1
Cam-t1
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Whats the best light for my (coming soon) tank?


Hey all, following on from this thread - http://goo.gl/2klydE

I'm setting up a new tank as seen above, so sorted out all of the substrate questions, but I thought earlier on I may aswell get a new light.. Only issue is I really don't know anything about lights D:

Tank is 122 x 45 x 45cm
Will have a CO2 System
Will be dosed with Liquid Ferts
Plant list will be high stemmed plants, few anubias and HC.

Current light is an:
  • AquaOne Coral Pro T5 (2x Red Bulbs, 2x White bulbs (all 54w each)).

Looking at a
  • Maxspect Glaive 70w Freshwater LED Lighting System
Specs:
  • Built-in basic controller
  • Comes with infrared remote control
  • Cycle and demo modes
  • Maxspect licenced 4 core Multi-chip LED chip (7w each core)
Basic Controller and Infrared Remote Control:
  • Turn on/off fixture
  • Adjusting intensity of 4 channels of LED
  • Cycle / Demo mode
G4-F (Freshwater) Channels:
  • White Channel
    6000K Warm White Cree EZ1000
  • Blue Channel
    450nm Blue
  • Green Channel
    520nm Green
  • Red Channel
    620nm Deep Red
The only issue I noticed was that in the description it says
Quote:
The Glaive LED system was designed for freshwater planted aquariums with low light requirements.
Im also under the impression you're able to change how intense the light output it (for different plants) because of the "Adjusting intensity of 4 channels of LED" - but again not sureI looked online, dunno if this is a newer product on the market but I literally couldn't find a review on this product..

Cheers!

EDIT: Further looking into it, this product only came out a few months ago, hence there being no reviews..
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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I've seen that same quote on the web, worded differently:

Quote:
The Maxspect Glaive LED system was designed for freshwater planted aquariums and reef aquariums with low light requirements.
There's some ambiguity if the "low light" belongs on both, or just the reef end of that, and it looks like someone edited the "and reef" part out without thinking about it.

Regardless, at 70w of LED, I don't immediately think "low light only", although I'm not sure how close it is going to come to your current 208w of T5HO.

I also don't tend to think of 620nm as "deep red", as this is around the color of common red LED's you see as power lights everywhere. A few folks call it "orange red". Not that this is a bad color, I'd just not call it "deep" since it is so close to the orange spectrum.
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
I've seen that same quote on the web, worded differently:



There's some ambiguity if the "low light" belongs on both, or just the reef end of that, and it looks like someone edited the "and reef" part out without thinking about it.

Regardless, at 70w of LED, I don't immediately think "low light only", although I'm not sure how close it is going to come to your current 208w of T5HO.

I also don't tend to think of 620nm as "deep red", as this is around the color of common red LED's you see as power lights everywhere. A few folks call it "orange red". Not that this is a bad color, I'd just not call it "deep" since it is so close to the orange spectrum.
yeah, it looks like someones made an error aye.
Well I was only running two of the bulbs (108w) and that is on a 60cm high tank, being said different plants/circumstances.

I'll probably contact the company today to find out this whole 'low light' thing - I really just want a good quality LED - that will also hit the bottom of the new tank without an issue.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:18 PM   #4
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I would consider 70W of LED a low light setup for your tank dimensions. As a VERY ROUGH rule of thumb:

1W per gallon = low light
1-2W per gallon = med light (Can also be 1-1.5W)
2+ W per gallon = high

Your tank will be roughly in the 60gal range. I've kept a tank similar to those dimensions with both a 54Wx4 T5HO fixture and a 64x3W LED fixture and growth was better with the T5HO. (This is all anecdotal though, there's probably some human variables involved like how much maintenance I put in etc.)

How much is that fixture coming out to? I wouldn't even consider it if it's more than $120 USD. You'd be better off spending 2x the amount to get a much higher wattage light system where you can turn off half of the lights (or dim all of them 1/2 way). This way, if you decide to upgrade to a high light tank setup, you can just turn all your lights on.

Bump: Btw, being able to change the intensity for this most likely means max intensity = the equivalent of 70W full blast. I'm not using technically correct terms, but that should make more sense than I used the more technical terms.

Basically, when you "turn down your knob" it will lower the intensity of light below what you would expect from 70W of equivalent lighting at full intensity. So basically you can adjust the light to ~70W or less depending on your tank needs.

Also, I forgot to mention -- your lighting needs depend highly on your plant selection, planned CO2 injection, and fertilization schedule (not just type) in order of priority.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam-t1 View Post
G4-F (Freshwater) Channels:
  • White Channel
    6000K Warm White Cree EZ1000
  • Blue Channel
    450nm Blue
  • Green Channel
    520nm Green
  • Red Channel
    620nm Deep Red
The only issue I noticed was that in the description it says
Im also under the impression you're able to change how intense the light output it (for different plants) because of the "Adjusting intensity of 4 channels of LED" - but again not sureI looked online, dunno if this is a newer product on the market but I literally couldn't find a review on this product..

Cheers!

EDIT: Further looking into it, this product only came out a few months ago, hence there being no reviews..


@30cm.....

Even @ 45cm this NOT low light...roughly 40-60PAR


620nm is NOT deep red.. btw.. just red..


Last edited by jeffkrol; 10-13-2014 at 11:51 PM.. Reason: image
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ced281
I would consider 70W of LED a low light setup for your tank dimensions. As a VERY ROUGH rule of thumb:

1W per gallon = low light
1-2W per gallon = med light (Can also be 1-1.5W)
2+ W per gallon = high

Your tank will be roughly in the 60gal range. I've kept a tank similar to those dimensions with both a 54Wx4 T5HO fixture and a 64x3W LED fixture and growth was better with the T5HO. (This is all anecdotal though, there's probably some human variables involved like how much maintenance I put in etc.)
Hmm, I mean I could save myself a few hundred and go with the T5 I just love the look the LED lights give the tank, but from what you're saying, yeah the glaive wouldn't be near enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ced281
How much is that fixture coming out to? I wouldn't even consider it if it's more than $120 USD. You'd be better off spending 2x the amount to get a much higher wattage light system where you can turn off half of the lights (or dim all of them 1/2 way). This way, if you decide to upgrade to a high light tank setup, you can just turn all your lights on.
lol, it retails at about $400-500 AUD..
Well that's the thing with my current T5 setup - There's two switches so I could have only two T5 bulbs on if needed, or amp it to all four.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ced281
Also, I forgot to mention -- your lighting needs depend highly on your plant selection, planned CO2 injection, and fertilization schedule (not just type) in order of priority.
So what light intensity do you recommend? Do you think i'd need atleast 200w LED to keep those plant selections? As said above i'd like to go with LED because of the look (also because of the look of the unit (my T5 unit is bulky as)), i'm trying to limit my options to the maxspect range http://www.maxspect.com/ as I can get their lights cheaper.

EDIT: Sorry Jeff, just saw your post, I'll be honest I don't understand it lol, care to explain? :P
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:46 AM   #7
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PAR is a more "pure" way of measuring the "quality" of a light. The problem is most people can't measure it well. It's the correct apples-to-apples comparison of light quality e.g. 1W of T5HO is not equivalent to 1W of LED, but 1 PAR of lighting from a T5HO is more similar to 1 PAR of LED.

Even though the PAR is 40-60 I'd still say it isn't enough light for for high light need plants esp. any plants that turn red. But again, I don't have a PAR meter so I can't accurately say what my PAR is for my LED fixtures.

Just tell us what plants you want to put in and we can tell you what probably will and won't work.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam-t1 View Post
Hmm, I mean I could save myself a few hundred and go with the T5 I just love the look the LED lights give the tank, but from what you're saying, yeah the glaive wouldn't be near enough.

lol, it retails at about $400-500 AUD..
Well that's the thing with my current T5 setup - There's two switches so I could have only two T5 bulbs on if needed, or amp it to all four.


So what light intensity do you recommend? Do you think i'd need atleast 200w LED to keep those plant selections? As said above i'd like to go with LED because of the look (also because of the look of the unit (my T5 unit is bulky as)), i'm trying to limit my options to the maxspect range http://www.maxspect.com/ as I can get their lights cheaper.

EDIT: Sorry Jeff, just saw your post, I'll be honest I don't understand it lol, care to explain? :P
The Green Element EVO Quad 48"-52" LED Aquarium Light Fixture is what I use on my 75gal (48"L , 21"H, 18"W). I consider it to be one of my "medium" to "high" light tanks based on how my rotala butterfly and rotala rotundifolia grow in it (their foliage doesn't turn red until they reach about ~12" from the light). I have tanks with even more light on them, so I might just have a skewed perception of light intensity. This light IMO was inferior in pure plant growth capability to the 48x4 T5HO I was using a few years back. But again, I don't have a PAR meter so I can't give you the objective measurements. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ced281 View Post
PAR is a more "pure" way of measuring the "quality" of a light. The problem is most people can't measure it well. It's the correct apples-to-apples comparison of light quality e.g. 1W of T5HO is not equivalent to 1W of LED, but 1 PAR of lighting from a T5HO is more similar to 1 PAR of LED.

Even though the PAR is 40-60 I'd still say it isn't enough light for for high light need plants esp. any plants that turn red. But again, I don't have a PAR meter so I can't accurately say what my PAR is for my LED fixtures.

Just tell us what plants you want to put in and we can tell you what probably will and won't work.
PAR of 40 at the substrate level can grow almost anything..
1/2 to 1/3W LED's is arguably equal to 1W T5/8...

http://www.apsa.co.za/xenforo/thread...g-hobby.11329/
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:57 AM   #9
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And, honestly, save the money you were going to spend on substrate additives and reallocate it to better hardware (either better CO2 or better lighting).

Bump: The link in Jeff's article makes a good point about CO2 being more important than light, so keep that in mind! You definitely can photoburn plants with too much light (and also cause algae problems), which is why I'd recommend a higher watt LED fixture where you can dim or at least modulate the amount of light output.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam-t1 View Post
EDIT: Sorry Jeff, just saw your post, I'll be honest I don't understand it lol, care to explain? :P
The Maxspect Glaive is enough light for your tank.. but it still has some tweaking they should have done.. Like substituting cyan for the green and using both true "deep red" (660nm) and royal blue..
Shows a mild misunderstanding of fw planted needs..
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:26 AM   #11
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The "deep red" and the royal blue are probably for reef setups. (Which would also explain why the light costs so much, since the market for reef lights is expensive).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
The Maxspect Glaive is enough light for your tank.. but it still has some tweaking they should have done.. Like substituting cyan for the green and using both true "deep red" (660nm) and royal blue..
Shows a mild misunderstanding of fw planted needs..
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:30 PM   #12
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Cheers for the link, Jeff - i just got home but i'll have a read of it later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Just thought I would put this here just for info - basic specs Freshwater vs. Marine, so seems they did try to optimise it for freshwater, well partly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ced281
Just tell us what plants you want to put in and we can tell you what probably will and won't work.
So I had a quick look through my LFS' plant supplier (Pisces Enterprises), this is what I could find that I would like (not sure if they're all true aquatic plants, because I know some that the supplier stock aren't):

  • Dwarf Blyxa
  • Hairgrass
  • HC
  • Lilaeopsis
  • Bolbitus
  • Wisteria
  • Amazon Swords
  • Mayaca
That would be all I can think of at the moment

EDIT:I was trying to look at other maxspect lights, and found the Maxspect R420R M 16,000K LED 160w however looking into the specs a bit more, they say its for freshwater aswell but the site shows the R420R has a much higher blue colours for reefs obviously.

I didn't get around to it today, but hopefully tomorrow I will call the company, see what they say about the whole 'low light' that it states on the page, see if they can recommend another maxspect light that would be much more suited for my tank, unless you guys think the glaive will be fine, or can suggest an LED light unit that will be perfect for up to $300-330 at the most.

Ah so confused! lol

Last edited by Cam-t1; 10-14-2014 at 02:29 PM.. Reason: Added Info
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:52 AM   #13
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Go by the PAR charts that jeff posted if those match the fixture.

Please do not go by wattage - it is not at all indicative of the amount of light your plants will use from the LEDs. The watts per gallon rule is not what you should go by (especially for LED).

http://food4fish.co.uk/lighting/prod...p?n=glaive&i=5

IMO you're looking at medium lighting at best @ substrate level near the edges. That fixture is also going to have poor spread because it is just a thin strip light (unless the beam angle is very wide). IMO you would need 2 to get good spread and solid lighting throughout the tank @ substrate level. At like $500 you could probably do better. $500 can probably get you the nicest T5HO fixtures out there.

If you're willing to spend the $$$ I would get a few BMLs and a dimmer knowing that you will have lights that are engineered for plant growth / can produce a ton of PAR.

Right now a lot of the more expensive reef manufacturers are whipping out freshwater fixtures because the market is there. These fixtures are all expensive and may seem like they are amazing but research can show that a lot of them are not the best options for planted tanks. LEDs are awesome but very few companies are offering great fixtures specifically for planted tanks. I might be wrong about the maxspect but I'm not seeing enough evidence to confirm it will be a great plant fixture (especially for the price)

Also when you call maxspect they will probably just tell you that their light will do whatever you need it to do. They want to sell you the fixture lol
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Last edited by klibs; 10-15-2014 at 01:10 AM.. Reason: do what i want
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs
If you're willing to spend the $$$ I would get a few BMLs and a dimmer knowing that you will have lights that are engineered for plant growth / can produce a ton of PAR.
BML = Build my LED? If so, couldn't find anyone in AUS that does it D:

Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs
Also when you call maxspect they will probably just tell you that their light will do whatever you need it to do. They want to sell you the fixture lol
Lol yeah I figured that, so decided not to call them haha
Cheers for your help, klibs!


Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs
IMO you're looking at medium lighting at best @ substrate level near the edges. That fixture is also going to have poor spread because it is just a thin strip light (unless the beam angle is very wide). IMO you would need 2 to get good spread and solid lighting throughout the tank @ substrate level. At like $500 you could probably do better. $500 can probably get you the nicest T5HO fixtures out there.
Yeah well if I'm looking at medium at best I wont go with it, I want something that can be adjustable or just high lighting - as I said i'm not sure with the plants I want, what lighting will suit them all (if something will suit them all lol), I know HC need strong light at substrate don't they?

I found some other ones, not a crazy priced brand like maxspect - these guys aren't "specialist" in aquarium lights or anything though.

They units are 49w each, and they say its equivalent to 3x 54w T5 globes.
Unfortunately, can't find anything on PAR with the products.
I do believe there is two switches on this so you can just have the White on or Red/Blue/Green, or both.

Thoughts?


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Old 10-16-2014, 11:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Regardless, at 70w of LED, I don't immediately think "low light only", although I'm not sure how close it is going to come to your current 208w of T5HO.
His 208w of T5HO has probably ~3x more PAR than that 70w LED. Not much electricity savings per PAR going from T5HO to LED.
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