Low Tech Lighting for Beginner in 75g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Low Tech Lighting for Beginner in 75g

Hi guys.

I'd like to start a 75g with some earlier plants like amazon sword, java moss, java fern, and anubias. Not sure what light to go with though. Options seem to include Finnex Stingray 1/2, NiCrew Classic LED, and Beamworks (not sure which one is best). Can anyone give me a good recommendation on what might work for me?

I don't want a ton of algae of course but want something that will help low tech plants. I don't plan on doing CO2.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 08:01 PM
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Any of those should work.

You could go with 2 T5-HO 54w as well... 8 hours a day max. Start off with 6 hours, and over a few months slowly bump it up. That would be more medium light rather than high light though.

Elbow grease, super clean tank conditions, proper fertilizer routine, water changes, filter cleaning, Excel / Metricide 14 dosing are all good ways to keep algae at bay, even if running stronger light that you "should" be running.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 08:05 PM
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Can't go wrong with a Fluval 3.0, either. Yeah it's a little more spendy (check kensfish ;-) ) but you can dim it and have ramping times, and it would give you room to grow as your hobby progresses.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 08:56 PM
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Beamswork or current USA are what I reccomend.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I'll take a look at those. Which Beamswork model should I look for in this case if I go that route?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 04:20 AM
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Low Tech Lighting for Beginner in 75g

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardotmnt View Post
Thanks! I'll take a look at those. Which Beamswork model should I look for in this case if I go that route?


My DA FSPEC on my 75 is yielding about 40 PAR at the substrate. I consider that low tech lighting if you are using a nutrient rich substrate like capped soil or aqua soil, or if you’re good with fertilization.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 02:57 PM
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You will find a good analysis of PAR and PUR values for the Beamswork DA FSPEC here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-pur-data.html. Note that these readings are with new units. The LED's do fade over time, especially low-end units, but should last for several years, depending upon how many hours / day you run them. You won't notice the fading, but it can be measured with a PAR meter and can be significant. In my case, my DA FSPEC has begun to lose PAR after 1.5 years and is now 25% lower PAR than when new.

As @varanidguy implied, it is a good idea to 'future-proof' your decision so that you can move to high-tech if you wish to do so and the DA FSPEC can supply this need (caveat being the above-mentioned fading issue). If I had to do it over again, I would have spent the extra dollars to get a better quality unit such as the Fluval 3.0. If you do decide to go with a high-light capable unit, such as the DA FSPEC , make sure it is dimmable for your low-tech needs. In the case of the Beamswork, you can buy this dimmer: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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After researching some more I think I have it mostly down to 3 options.

Current USA Satellite Plus
Fluval Planted 3.0
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV

I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with low light and not get into pressurized co2. I suppose I could end up dosing with Excel if need be, though I don't have a lot of knowledge about all that.

The Current USA is definitely cheapest and looks to have good PAR values in a 75g for low light. I think one of the reasons I'm not sure about this choice is the inability to ramp up and down the light without the expensive Ramp Timer Pro and the inability to put on a schedule. How important is ramping the light up and down in my situation?

Some people have said the Finnex looks better than the Fluval because of the higher K temp. And I think you can have split photo periods with it while you can't with the Fluval. Is that correct and should I care about that in my situation?

I like the app of the Fluval more than the remote of the Finnex. It also has a much better warranty. It's also the most expensive of the 3.

For both the Fluval and Finnex it looks like you can adjust intensity throughout the day if you use 24/7, right? I like that idea because at full intensity both are way more than what I need but without a PAR meter how am I going to know what intensity to put so many colors of light at and how long to run them for?

If you decrease light intensity by half will it also decrease your PAR value by half or is it not linear?

Sorry about all the questions but the lighting aspect seems like it might be the most difficult part of the setup from what I can see. If anyone can help answer my questions and give me an opinion on which light you think is best for me I'd really appreciate it.

I just can't tell if I should get all the bells and whistles if I plan on staying low-light and low-tech or if they'll really bring value. I'm afraid of spending more and complicating things if I don't need to.

Thanks in advance!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:12 PM
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I have a finnex planted+,(not the 24/7) on 2 tanks,finnex 24/7 on 2 tanks,(older one,no letters) and the fluval 3.0 on a 29 i just set up that's still cycling.I like the control as well as the light on the fluval best.you can control nearly every aspect of the light with the fluval from the app,and I think it works way better than the finnex remote.you can control the intensity of each color,and there are some nice presets too,and you can control the times,etc.I like the fluval so much it's the only light I will be buying in the future.

Hope this helps,from the perspective of an owner of both of these lights.the fluval is more spendy,but to me it's well worth it,plus I saved 6 bucks or so not having to put it on a timer.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! It's good to hear from someone with firsthand experience.

I was leaning toward the Fluval if I went the more expensive route. Still need to decide if that's better than the Current USA in my situation.

I'm a little concerned with the Fluval I'll have too much light and have issues with algae or not be able to keep the light on long enough to actually see my fish. I know there are ways to mitigate that but how easy is it to figure out light intensity and duration if I have to lower it myself?

It seems in some ways that the Current is easier to "set it and forget it" because the PAR values are already about what I need. The control and 24/7 on the Fluval are also good to have though.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardotmnt View Post
Thanks! It's good to hear from someone with firsthand experience.

I was leaning toward the Fluval if I went the more expensive route. Still need to decide if that's better than the Current USA in my situation.

I'm a little concerned with the Fluval I'll have too much light and have issues with algae or not be able to keep the light on long enough to actually see my fish. I know there are ways to mitigate that but how easy is it to figure out light intensity and duration if I have to lower it myself?

It seems in some ways that the Current is easier to "set it and forget it" because the PAR values are already about what I need. The control and 24/7 on the Fluval are also good to have though.


I would start out with 30% intensity on the Fluval and go from there, at about 6-8 hours a day depending on how heavily you’re planted. Every 2-3 weeks that remain algae free, bump it up 5-10% until you get some algae (just the beginning of, don’t let it get out of hand), then go back to the previous setting that didn’t produce algae.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a good idea to start low and ramp up.

So it would be best to steer clear of the 24/7 mode when starting out?

Would that be 30% of every color?

And would that be enough illumination to see the fish well?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardotmnt View Post
Sounds like a good idea to start low and ramp up.

So it would be best to steer clear of the 24/7 mode when starting out?

Would that be 30% of every color?

And would that be enough illumination to see the fish well?


24/7 mode on the Fluval should still be perfectly fine to use, especially because you can determine the length of sunrise and sunset. I would do 30% of every color just to start, once you get used to it and learn more, then play with different color intensity. And yes, 30% should be perfectly fine for viewing.


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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From what I'm reading it does look like they've updated the Fluval so you can make 10 different lighting periods which is good.

It seems that it doesn't do well with power outages though because it resets the internal timer to midnight when the power comes back on. Does this mean it'll start back up as if it were midnight on your most recent setting or will it remain off or blue light until the app is resynched?

Is it possible to connect it to a regular timer to mitigate this issue when I go on vacation or will the unit not turn back on immediately if you just have it in the regular "on" setting when the power goes out?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardotmnt View Post
From what I'm reading it does look like they've updated the Fluval so you can make 10 different lighting periods which is good.

It seems that it doesn't do well with power outages though because it resets the internal timer to midnight when the power comes back on. Does this mean it'll start back up as if it were midnight on your most recent setting or will it remain off or blue light until the app is resynched?

Is it possible to connect it to a regular timer to mitigate this issue when I go on vacation or will the unit not turn back on immediately if you just have it in the regular "on" setting when the power goes out?
It basically reverts back to the factory setting that it has pre-programmed from the factory. I will resume the schedule you have programmed once you connect to the light again via bluetooth.


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