lightning suggestion for new tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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lightning suggestion for new tank

Hi gang,
Long time lurker, limited poster.

I am looking at getting a project tank. 55g 48"L 12"w 21H ( roughly).

I am currently using a current usa LED PRO+ on my 26G bow, but finding it hard to grow anything demanding high light. I do also run pressurized co2.

So we my new tank I'm gonna need an upgrade in light! But I really don't know what to upgrade too? All I know is wife wants a carpeting plant in the tank, and I don't really want to break the bank on a light.

I am debating between a fluval 3.0 or a finnex.
Any suggestions?

thanx
richard

Last edited by xrayguy; 01-22-2020 at 12:55 AM. Reason: more interest
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 04:37 AM
fpn
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I find 21 high pretty tall for a carpet - you likely will have other plants creating shade?

You will need to run the finnex at Max and even then it will be a stretch. I never really succeeded with carpet on my 24in tall tank with a finnex 24/7 SE - S. Repens grows, but tall (which is a sign of low light) - then again it has eco complete.

In my 10g with a NICREW ClassicLED Plus and potting soil with ADA Amazon the DHG carpet is easy. Both tanks have CO2.

For that depth I would be looking at a light with lenses that can direct the light down as well as a significant PAR/wattage. The better lights for a tank like this do break the bank, which is why this will likely stay a jungle tank in my case, unless I add some DIY flood lights.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 04:47 AM
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Personally I try to stay away from lightning. Wreaks havoc with electronics and kills people.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrayguy View Post
Hi gang,
Long time lurker, limited poster.

I am looking at getting a project tank. 55g 48"L 12"w 21H ( roughly).

I am currently using a current usa LED PRO+ on my 26G bow, but finding it hard to grow anything demanding high light. I do also run pressurized co2.

So we my new tank I'm gonna need an upgrade in light! But I really don't know what to upgrade too? All I know is wife wants a carpeting plant in the tank, and I don't really want to break the bank on a light.

I am debating between a fluval 3.0 or a finnex.
Any suggestions?

thanx
richard
I would recommend the Fluval 3.0.

Doing a little googling it's not really clear how easily a single fixture would grow a carpet in a deep tank however, Staurogyne repens would probably do fine though as it can adapt to lower light conditions better then the other types of carpeting plants.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Quesenek View Post
I would recommend the Fluval 3.0.
Why would you recommend the Fluval over the Finnex? Does it have higher PAR, grow plants better, have a higher output in lumens?

I'm also looking for a reasonably priced light for a 48" 75g tank that's 20" high. As a lighting noobie, I'm having trouble determining from the specs of the various lights which is best. Obviously PAR is the best way to compare, but that data isn't available for most lights. I've currently got a Beamswork DA FSPEC on my 55 g tank with 5000 lumen output and it grows undemanding plants well. Looking at the 48" version it's only got 5200 lumens, compared to the 36" light with only 200 lumens less. At $70 for the Beamswork, I could get two lights/10,400 lumens for $140, vs $149 a Finnex Planted. The Fluval Planted is $209 most places. How much better is the plant growth on the more expensive models? Other than fancy apps that allow you to control everything from your phone (do I really need to be able to reprogram my lights when I'm halfway around the world?), what are you really getting for the extra money?

Enquiring minds (and thin wallets) want to know....
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 03:31 PM
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Looking at the PAR charts it seems to me that both are in the same category as your beamsworks DA DSPEC.

Basically you are looking at something like a SB reef freshwater, chihiros vivid or kessil.

The Twinstar S & Chihiros WRGB seem to be half way between the first and second category.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpn View Post
Looking at the PAR charts it seems to me that both are in the same category as your beamsworks DA DSPEC.

Basically you are looking at something like a SB reef freshwater, chihiros vivid or kessil.

The Twinstar S & Chihiros WRGB seem to be half way between the first and second category.
Thanks. But doing some more research, it seems PAR isn't the be all end all either. So that still leaves the question of which lights grow the best plants for the money. Maybe one of our lighting gurus like @jeffkrol can weigh in?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
Thanks. But doing some more research, it seems PAR isn't the be all end all either. So that still leaves the question of which lights grow the best plants for the money. Maybe one of our lighting gurus like @jeffkrol can weigh in?

Well .. Can't tell you exactly what does what but some of the generalizations I've gleaned:
1) Carpeting plants can do well under lower than usual lighting if using CO2. Catch is getting the CO2 to the plants themselves.i.e flow characteristics.

2) High lighting isn't difficult nor expensive if your "wants" are minimal. i.e dimming/color control/specific look. Simple LED floods ect are cheap and work well. Mid-high range (to high range ) Leds w control run about $400 plus for this type of need.
AI Prime Freshwaters (x2) or SBReef freshwaters are sort of the 2 go to lights.
Quote:
Chihiros WRGB 2 Aquairum RGB LED Light with Build-in App Moudle, App dimmable

@ $300 China direct is probably THE lowest high light controllable unit tailored to freshwater.
Only avail on eek bay atm. Note Chinese New Year is approaching and there may be delays.
293381683535


That said, w/ proper delivery/level of CO2 don't see any issue w/ the Fluval 3.0 alone.


There are numerous sort of mix/match cheaper lights even in pairs.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X9WMKW5...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
x2
Sort of just pop up..



YMMV
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
Why would you recommend the Fluval over the Finnex? Does it have higher PAR, grow plants better, have a higher output in lumens?

I'm also looking for a reasonably priced light for a 48" 75g tank that's 20" high. As a lighting noobie, I'm having trouble determining from the specs of the various lights which is best. Obviously PAR is the best way to compare, but that data isn't available for most lights. I've currently got a Beamswork DA FSPEC on my 55 g tank with 5000 lumen output and it grows undemanding plants well. Looking at the 48" version it's only got 5200 lumens, compared to the 36" light with only 200 lumens less. At $70 for the Beamswork, I could get two lights/10,400 lumens for $140, vs $149 a Finnex Planted. The Fluval Planted is $209 most places. How much better is the plant growth on the more expensive models? Other than fancy apps that allow you to control everything from your phone (do I really need to be able to reprogram my lights when I'm halfway around the world?), what are you really getting for the extra money?

Enquiring minds (and thin wallets) want to know....
It's simply down to seeing youtubers and various other people get results out of the Fluval 3.0. When it comes down to it, maybe a beamswork or two puts out a ton of light, but does it look good? The Fluval can be tuned depending on what spectrum you want to see plus the no hassle timers with the app make the Fluval more appealing. If none of that matters then the beamswork lights would probably suit you fine.

IMO the best bang for your buck is DIY when dealing with large high light builds, but with that it does require you to be handy with electricity and building the fixture to save the most money.
For example look at the build I currently have over my 55 gallon:
Luxeon ES Warm WHITE 3 Watt LEDs 4,000K x36 = $36 at stevesleds
3w red green and blue leds x2 each about $15 at stevesleds
6 meanwell drivers $30 at $5 each
48v 350w power supply $30 (depending on where you buy it)
tc420 to run everything $20

This doesn't include the fixture pricing because that all depends on how fancy you want to make it, but the main power is all accounted for at about $130 before shipping or tax or misc items needed to put it together.
I'm getting about 11.5k lumens at 100% out of this thing and it provides enough light at only 50% power to cause the water to become soda water from all of the pearling throughout the day.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpn View Post
Looking at the PAR charts it seems to me that both are in the same category as your beamsworks DA DSPEC.
.
Where did you find the PAR charts on all these lights? I haven't had much luck?

thanx
r
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Well .. Can't tell you exactly what does what but some of the generalizations I've gleaned:
1) Carpeting plants can do well under lower than usual lighting if using CO2. Catch is getting the CO2 to the plants themselves.i.e flow characteristics.

2) High lighting isn't difficult nor expensive if your "wants" are minimal. i.e dimming/color control/specific look. Simple LED floods ect are cheap and work well. Mid-high range (to high range ) Leds w control run about $400 plus for this type of need.
AI Prime Freshwaters (x2) or SBReef freshwaters are sort of the 2 go to lights.

@ $300 China direct is probably THE lowest high light controllable unit tailored to freshwater.
Only avail on eek bay atm. Note Chinese New Year is approaching and there may be delays.
293381683535


That said, w/ proper delivery/level of CO2 don't see any issue w/ the Fluval 3.0 alone.


There are numerous sort of mix/match cheaper lights even in pairs.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X9WMKW5...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
x2
Sort of just pop up..

YMMV
Thanks, Jeff. I should've clarified I'm going low tech (maybe medium tech--since I'm aiming for moderate light so I can experiment with some easy red plants, and I do dose Excel) And I'm not set on growing a carpet--putting in some crypt parva, and might experiment with something like Staurogyne repens, but that's about it. That Hygger light looks like it might fit the bill perfectly--so thanks for that recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quesenek View Post
It's simply down to seeing youtubers and various other people get results out of the Fluval 3.0. When it comes down to it, maybe a beamswork or two puts out a ton of light, but does it look good? The Fluval can be tuned depending on what spectrum you want to see plus the no hassle timers with the app make the Fluval more appealing. If none of that matters then the beamswork lights would probably suit you fine.

IMO the best bang for your buck is DIY when dealing with large high light builds, but with that it does require you to be handy with electricity and building the fixture to save the most money.
For example look at the build I currently have over my 55 gallon:
Luxeon ES Warm WHITE 3 Watt LEDs 4,000K x36 = $36 at stevesleds
3w red green and blue leds x2 each about $15 at stevesleds
6 meanwell drivers $30 at $5 each
48v 350w power supply $30 (depending on where you buy it)
tc420 to run everything $20

This doesn't include the fixture pricing because that all depends on how fancy you want to make it, but the main power is all accounted for at about $130 before shipping or tax or misc items needed to put it together.
I'm getting about 11.5k lumens at 100% out of this thing and it provides enough light at only 50% power to cause the water to become soda water from all of the pearling throughout the day.
Thanks. This tank will be in my living room, so looks do matter. Have a high vaulted ceiling, so suspended lights aren't really feasible. And I live on the San Andreas fault, so not sure I want that crashing into the wall every time we have a temblor LOL. If it were in a fishroom I could just do a cheap LED shoplight.

Agree DYI is always the most bang for the buck. Not much experience w/DYI electronics, but would be willing to learn to to get what I want at a good price. But this is something of a "rush job" because the baby angels I got a few months back matured way ahead of schedule and are already pairing off and terrorizing the others. So don't have time except to get something off the shelf. The Hyggen is cheap enough I could always add another later if needed, or I when I've got the time & bandwidth I could try a DIY build as you suggest

Thanks both for these great suggestions--it's a huge help
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
Thanks, Jeff. I should've clarified I'm going low tech (maybe medium tech--since I'm aiming for moderate light so I can experiment with some easy red plants, and I do dose Excel) And I'm not set on growing a carpet--putting in some crypt parva, and might experiment with something like Staurogyne repens, but that's about it. That Hygger light looks like it might fit the bill perfectly--so thanks for that recommendation.



Thanks. This tank will be in my living room, so looks do matter. Have a high vaulted ceiling, so suspended lights aren't really feasible. And I live on the San Andreas fault, so not sure I want that crashing into the wall every time we have a temblor LOL. If it were in a fishroom I could just do a cheap LED shoplight.

Agree DYI is always the most bang for the buck. Not much experience w/DYI electronics, but would be willing to learn to to get what I want at a good price. But this is something of a "rush job" because the baby angels I got a few months back matured way ahead of schedule and are already pairing off and terrorizing the others. So don't have time except to get something off the shelf. The Hyggen is cheap enough I could always add another later if needed, or I when I've got the time & bandwidth I could try a DIY build as you suggest

Thanks both for these great suggestions--it's a huge help
Yeah that's a caveat of DIY, if you are trying to get competitive results by making a DIY version or need multiple of an AI PRIME for example it's simple enough to save money from going the DIY route.
However if a cheap light like the Hyggen light would be enough for your application then DIY is massively over priced. Of course that all depends on the quality of the diodes that you build with also, personally I would only ever recommend stevesleds luxeon stars if you want high quality 3w stars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xrayguy View Post
Where did you find the PAR charts on all these lights? I haven't had much luck?

thanx
r
Not sure which chart they were talking about but here is a comparison of par between the finnex and the fluval website
Tell me if it doesn't work, I had to access a cached version of the website.

Last edited by Quesenek; 01-22-2020 at 09:56 PM. Reason: added quote
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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nope, i got a blank page
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 10:24 PM
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nope, i got a blank page
This image from the page might work, par comparison.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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thanx
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