Returning hobbyist - Low-tech lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Returning hobbyist - Low-tech lighting

Hello everyone!


I've been out of the hobby for a few years now, and feel it's time to get my fingers wet again. While many things have changed, I still have a hard time getting lighting figured out.



I'm looking to set up a small (~5gal) low-tech tank. I plan to set up with a soil layer capped with gravel, low to moderate lighting, light bioload, very densely planted, and minimal equipment/maintenance.

My go-to plants in these setups are usually C. wendtii, duckweed, Bacopa, Hygrophila difformis, Blyxa japonica, and maybe some moss or anubias.



Kits with LED lights are new to me, but I like the overall aesthetic of the Fluval kits I'm seeing. How do kits like the Fluval Spec V fare as low-tech setups? Would I find the stock LEDs in these kits meet my needs? Can anyone recommend a few ~5gal kits that wont require mods/part swaps for what I'm aiming to achieve?

Or am I better off buying the tank and light separately? In which case, what fixtures should I be looking at for this sort of setup, and how do I go about matching them to the height of whatever tank I end up with?

LED is preferred, as the low profile is sort of important to me.


If no good options exist at a ~5gal size, I may entertain the idea of going up to ~15gal.


I really want to keep things simple and enjoyable to start with, and I have a habit of setting myself up for failure with lighting that's either overpowered, underpowered, or on a dimmer but I have no idea where to set it at. *sigh*
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 02:26 AM
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The Fluval Spec V is without a doubt the best aquarium I have ever owned. The filtration is great (once you toss the carbon) the stock light (assuming you buy the freshwater version) is pretty decent delivering around 40 par at substrate according to reviews with people who have par meters.

Anyway it will grow what you want to grow. Other options are to build your own system. If you go that route and are looking for a light I can definitely recommend the Asta 20 freshwater. I have it on my Spec V (I don't have a stock light) and its doing a great job for me.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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More like "majorhero". Great reply!

I'll go with the Spec V kit then. The fact that the kit has been tested with a PAR meter really takes the guess work out of it for me.
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