Fluval 3.0 vs Finnex PP 24/7 CC Seneye - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Fluval 3.0 vs Finnex PP 24/7 CC Seneye

Hello all!

I just wanted to post some measurements of PAR taken at the substrate with a Seneye PAR meter.

I purchased a new Fluval 3.0 because I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and the stems in the rear of the tank weren't growing as well as I wanted them to. They had a habit of shedding their lower leaves. I knew the Finnex fixture's PAR output fell sharply at distance, as I had measured it before. After doing some reading, many sources indicate that shedding of the lower leaves was a sign of a lack of light - and thanks to posters like @Seattle_Aquarist, it gave me the itch to try the Fluval light!

Well, it didn't disappoint - I actually suspect it may have to be dialed back a bit, but for now I'm going to leave it and see what happens.

The Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC light sits about 16.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 40 PAR at the substrate.

The Fluval 3.0 sits about 14.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 114 PAR! Nearly three times what the Finnex is capable of.

PUR was relatively equal - the Finnex @ 62% and the Fluval @ 60%.

Hopefully this helps with the ailment of shedding bottom leaves. The tank is on an EI dosing regimen with an 8 hour photoperiod. I frontload macros and dose micros 3x a week with a 50% water change performed religiously, adding NilocG's GH booster.

Anyways, thanks for looking. If there are any questions, comments, or criticism, please don't hesitate to post. The top screen shot is the Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC and the bottom is the Fluval 3.0 at 100%. All measurements are taken in water in an established planted tank.
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 10:19 PM
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I've been looking to upgrade my 2012 BML light. It's been a great light for me. I purchased a dimmer to use with it. It has helped me grow some really great plants, however I've been looking to upgrade to something with more customization without breaking the bank. So far, I've read reviews by people who have purchased the 3.0 and wrote a blurb a week later to basically say, "works like the ads say..." But the real question is, how effectively can it grow all types of plants? None have been as informative as yours. So thank you!
Granted it's efficacy is just one piece of the puzzle and many MANY factors go into having a tank go gangbusters.
Thanks for taking the time to do your testing and posting it here.
Please keep us updated. Pros, cons, etc..
Cheers!
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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gustercc View Post
I've been looking to upgrade my 2012 BML light. It's been a great light for me. I purchased a dimmer to use with it. It has helped me grow some really great plants, however I've been looking to upgrade to something with more customization without breaking the bank. So far, I've read reviews by people who have purchased the 3.0 and wrote a blurb a week later to basically say, "works like the ads say..." But the real question is, how effectively can it grow all types of plants? None have been as informative as yours. So thank you!
Granted it's efficacy is just one piece of the puzzle and many MANY factors go into having a tank go gangbusters.
Thanks for taking the time to do your testing and posting it here.
Please keep us updated. Pros, cons, etc..
Cheers!
Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. One thing to note is that the Finnex's light is more subdued and mild, whereas the Fluval 3.0 is bright. They gave similar PAR readings much closer to the fixture, so in a shallow, long tank, I'd suspect the difference wouldn't be as great.

If there happens to be any other measurements you'd like me to take, don't hesitate to ask!
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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
Hello all!

I just wanted to post some measurements of PAR taken at the substrate with a Seneye PAR meter.

I purchased a new Fluval 3.0 because I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and the stems in the rear of the tank weren't growing as well as I wanted them to. They had a habit of shedding their lower leaves. I knew the Finnex fixture's PAR output fell sharply at distance, as I had measured it before. After doing some reading, many sources indicate that shedding of the lower leaves was a sign of a lack of light - and thanks to posters like @Seattle_Aquarist, it gave me the itch to try the Fluval light!

Well, it didn't disappoint - I actually suspect it may have to be dialed back a bit, but for now I'm going to leave it and see what happens.

The Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC light sits about 16.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 40 PAR at the substrate.

The Fluval 3.0 sits about 14.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 114 PAR! Nearly three times what the Finnex is capable of.

PUR was relatively equal - the Finnex @ 62% and the Fluval @ 60%.

Hopefully this helps with the ailment of shedding bottom leaves. The tank is on an EI dosing regimen with an 8 hour photoperiod. I frontload macros and dose micros 3x a week with a 50% water change performed religiously, adding NilocG's GH booster.

Anyways, thanks for looking. If there are any questions, comments, or criticism, please don't hesitate to post. The top screen shot is the Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC and the bottom is the Fluval 3.0 at 100%. All measurements are taken in water in an established planted tank.
I've been looking for information like this! I wasn't too satisfied with my Finnex and was looking for additional reasons to switch to Fluval besides the warranties. This helped with my decision. I just returned my Finnex and bought a Fluval 3.0 from Aquarium Co-Op. Can't wait.
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gelums View Post
I've been looking for information like this! I wasn't too satisfied with my Finnex and was looking for additional reasons to switch to Fluval besides the warranties. This helped with my decision. I just returned my Finnex and bought a Fluval 3.0 from Aquarium Co-Op. Can't wait.


Glad to help! Also, the customization for the Fluval rocks pretty hard. Too much light? Just dial it back in less than a minute. Not enough? Pump it up! It really is a good light. Iíd still be willing to run the Finnex in a low tech tank or on a shallow rimless. But for high light, co2 injected tanks, it just isnít up to snuff.


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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:24 AM
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The PAR of lights is heavily dependant on the vertical distance from the substrate.
You can have a 130W light with low/med light if its hung too high.
That is what makes a PAR meter so important your eyes may be deceived.

My old Chihiros A601 light was only 36W and was 100+ par at the substrate on max and it was a $40 light with short 3 - 4 inch legs.

The fluval 3.0 is 59W and looks like it has very short legs (inch or two?), it likely has to be moved when doing maintenance but I would imagine on max 100% you should be able to easily get 150 - 200PAR at a height of 12 - 13".


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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
The PAR of lights is heavily dependant on the vertical distance from the substrate.

You can have a 130W light with low/med light if its hung too high.

That is what makes a PAR meter so important your eyes may be deceived.



My old Chihiros A601 light was only 36W and was 100+ par at the substrate on max and it was a $40 light with short 3 - 4 inch legs.



The fluval 3.0 is 59W and looks like it has very short legs (inch or two?), it likely has to be moved when doing maintenance but I would imagine on max 100% you should be able to easily get 150 - 200PAR at a height of 12 - 13".


I believe the 36Ē model is listed @ 46 watts but Iíll have to double check.

It does sit about 2Ē lower than the Finnex light but even at an apples to apples distance, the Fluval really outshines it, PAR wise, until you get a lot closer then the numbers arenít as far apart. However the features of the Fluval, mainly water proof and the Bluetooth app, really are superior in every way to the Finnex.

I have a Chihiros RGB thatís on hold for an upcoming nano tank. Iíve already measured the par from it and itís definitely a beast!


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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:56 AM
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Thanks. I've been wondering what the actual output was from my 36" 3.0.

I like it much better than the Finnex too.
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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 03:32 PM
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I had the 24" Fluval 3.0 on my 29g tank but returned it. I think Fluval made an oversight when designing the lengths of the fixture for "standard" tank sizes. In my 29g (30" long), there was an obvious dark pattern at the top left/right corners, since that actual fixture length was only 24". I now have the newest Finnex CC 660nm reds version (model # LT-FX-VL-CRV30 for those interested), and I'm very happy with it. Wondering if this is the model you tested? Finnex has a really convoluted model # system and it's hard to really know which is the newest.

Otherwise, the Fluval app to control the light was helpful in initial setup vs just the controller on the finnex.. Also, I believe the Fluval loses it's time setting when it loses power, unlike the Finnex. A minor thing, but some like to rely on timers.

- - - - - -
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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:46 PM
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I had the 24" Fluval 3.0 on my 29g tank but returned it. I think Fluval made an oversight when designing the lengths of the fixture for "standard" tank sizes. In my 29g (30" long), there was an obvious dark pattern at the top left/right corners, since that actual fixture length was only 24". I now have the newest Finnex CC 660nm reds version (model # LT-FX-VL-CRV30 for those interested), and I'm very happy with it. Wondering if this is the model you tested? Finnex has a really convoluted model # system and it's hard to really know which is the newest.

Otherwise, the Fluval app to control the light was helpful in initial setup vs just the controller on the finnex.. Also, I believe the Fluval loses it's time setting when it loses power, unlike the Finnex. A minor thing, but some like to rely on timers.
I had one CRV36 - Series and a 30" Finnex SE on my 40B. I think the KL and CRV models are the newest one has more white LED's and one has 660nm LED's. I returned my CRV for a Fluval 3.0 36".
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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kayak83 View Post
I had the 24" Fluval 3.0 on my 29g tank but returned it. I think Fluval made an oversight when designing the lengths of the fixture for "standard" tank sizes. In my 29g (30" long), there was an obvious dark pattern at the top left/right corners, since that actual fixture length was only 24". I now have the newest Finnex CC 660nm reds version (model # LT-FX-VL-CRV30 for those interested), and I'm very happy with it. Wondering if this is the model you tested? Finnex has a really convoluted model # system and it's hard to really know which is the newest.

Otherwise, the Fluval app to control the light was helpful in initial setup vs just the controller on the finnex.. Also, I believe the Fluval loses it's time setting when it loses power, unlike the Finnex. A minor thing, but some like to rely on timers.
Hey, ultimately in this hobby it winds up being what works best for your tank. I don't necessarily hate the Finnex fixtures, so I apologize if this post seemed demeaning. This was mainly to show the difference in potential light output for what are probably two extremely popular fixtures. I'd totally use the Finnex on a low tech 40 breeder with low light plants.

One thing I can say is that since adding the Fluval 3.0, my pogostemon yatabeanus is shedding less and less leaves, hopefully it helps that stop altogether. I also believe the boost in plant growth is helping to outcompete some pesky algae I've been battling, new algae growth seems to have significantly slowed.
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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 04:55 PM
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I had one CRV36 - Series and a 30" Finnex SE on my 40B. I think the KL and CRV models are the newest one has more white LED's and one has 660nm LED's. I returned my CRV for a Fluval 3.0 36".
Yeah, I ordered the KL model not too long ago thinking it was the newest/best and returned it for the CRV with the 660nm reds. I'm happy with it.

- I'll say again that had Fluval made a 30" 3.0, I would have kept it. 24" is too short for a 29g.
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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:16 PM
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Yeah, I ordered the KL model not too long ago thinking it was the newest/best and returned it for the CRV with the 660nm reds. I'm happy with it.

- I'll say again that had Fluval made a 30" 3.0, I would have kept it. 24" is too short for a 29g.
I've been running my new 36" tank for months on a 24" and have been putting medium/low light stuff on in the corners. Finally got a deal on Fluval 3.0.

$140 for the 36" free shipping from Petco last week.

But this week's deal is even better... coulda saved $4.80 lol. Did the math with the new promo they're offering and its $135.20 for the 36". The 48" is about $150. Beats a Finnex 48" on Amazon was $160, but I haven't shopped a deal on the 24/7s. Been waiting months for these sales at Petco. (additional 9% off via discounted gift cards from cardpool)

There are ways around MAP (minimum advertised price) mwahaha. More light, less money, sounds good to me.


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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:27 PM
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If figuring out how to use petcos sale stuff is too much effort like it is for me kensfish still does 15% off the 3.0s with coupon code "fluval" but it doesn't apply to the nano anymore
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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:57 PM
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Fluval 3.0 vs Finnex PP 24/7 CC Seneye

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Originally Posted by Wobblebonk View Post
If figuring out how to use petcos sale stuff is too much effort like it is for me kensfish still does 15% off the 3.0s with coupon code "fluval" but it doesn't apply to the nano anymore


Where were you with that code last week!?

Looks like they donít add on tax. Comes out to the same price as my big work around since they donít do tax, tho thatís with my local sales tax rate at 9.25%. Which I was using discounted gift cards to negate, but if my local sales tax were less my work around saves a few dollars. Well... like $1.40 for each percent.


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