Looking for alternative to fluval plant 3.0 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for alternative to fluval plant 3.0

I'm looking for an alternative to the fluval plant 3.0 that has maybe 50% to 100% more par. I've look at a lot of lights (hygger, beamwork, twinstar, ...) but it seems like all of them are in the same ball park as the fluval. I'm looking for 36 inch unit for 40 breeder and 48 inch unit for 120 gallon tank.
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Are there any reasonable alternative that will boost light output ?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 03:55 PM
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since you have a 40B maybe another thing you can do is just add more strips of light? maybe get another 1 or 2 fluvals and have them gradually ramp up together and have a spread from front of tank to back.
It'll give you better spread and control of lights

are you looking for mid or high light?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 04:19 PM
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I use two 36" Fluval 3.0 on a 56 gallon tank (36" L x 21" H x 18" D). I've just reduced the peak intensity from 85% to 75% of the red, blue and cool white LEDs. The other colors are lower for visual preference. The reason for this is the stems were growing much too fast. I was tired of trimming the jungle weekly. Anyway the point is on a 40 gallon breeder, you have more than enough light in my opinion. You might purchase a second one for better light spread though.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 04:26 PM
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Same, I have two 24" cubes that weren't where I wanted them with a single strip. Added a 2nd 3.0 to each and it looks like 5x the light. You could probably go cheaper on the second strip if you didn't want to pony up for a pair of Fluvals and still be okay.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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The glass canopy on the 40B makes it bit difficult to add a second light because it really needs to be over the lid hinge or lids themselves. Also i'm thinking the myro needs a stronger light (penetration) not more spread.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 05:19 AM
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I use two 36" Fluval 3.0 on a 56 gallon tank (36" L x 21" H x 18" D). I've just reduced the peak intensity from 85% to 75% of the red, blue and cool white LEDs. The other colors are lower for visual preference. The reason for this is the stems were growing much too fast. I was tired of trimming the jungle weekly. Anyway the point is on a 40 gallon breeder, you have more than enough light in my opinion. You might purchase a second one for better light spread though.

I always thought you need to have all the lights on 100% to get the full power. Is this not the case? I always disliked the warm white. Makes the tank look too yellow.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 06:14 AM
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The glass canopy on the 40B makes it bit difficult to add a second light because it really needs to be over the lid hinge or lids themselves. Also i'm thinking the myro needs a stronger light (penetration) not more spread.

Can you clarify that? My 40b has a STUPID brown hinge in the middle. 2 lights, one on each side beats one in the center.
I cut my one piece hinge into 3 small pieces for that very reason.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 01:55 PM
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I always thought you need to have all the lights on 100% to get the full power. Is this not the case? I always disliked the warm white. Makes the tank look too yellow.


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Yeah I'm definitely not running full power. I have crypts, sagitaria, viet nam erio, star grass and various ludwigia species and they grow just fine. The ludwigia might be a bit leggy but not noticeable since it's behind the Star grass which grows like a weed. I still have to trim once a week but with lower light and blasting CO2, algae is easier to manage.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 06:02 PM
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Yeah I'm definitely not running full power. I have crypts, sagitaria, viet nam erio, star grass and various ludwigia species and they grow just fine. The ludwigia might be a bit leggy but not noticeable since it's behind the Star grass which grows like a weed. I still have to trim once a week but with lower light and blasting CO2, algae is easier to manage.

This is great news. I will turn down the yellow and see what happens. Was thinking about getting an aquasky 2.0 for the front to add lights to help with dwarf hair grass and improve the color of the tank


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2020, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Old thread; but in the end I ended up getting an ONF flat+. It is approx 2x the intensity of the fluval plant 3.0. I've noticed increase growth of my plants (esp the red plants) from this light but have not yet noticed an increase in algae; on the surface the algae seems to be reducing but i need more time. Currently i run it at 90% for 5 hours and 10% for 4 hours - the 10% is for view ability the 5 hours is for plant growth.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2020, 09:09 PM
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Old thread; but in the end I ended up getting an ONF flat+. It is approx 2x the intensity of the fluval plant 3.0. I've noticed increase growth of my plants (esp the red plants) from this light but have not yet noticed an increase in algae; on the surface the algae seems to be reducing but i need more time. Currently i run it at 90% for 5 hours and 10% for 4 hours - the 10% is for view ability the 5 hours is for plant growth.
Thats a cool light. I want to try it on the next planted tank I set up.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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There are some negatives to the light as well as positive so i will try to list them here:

I purchased the 36 inch non hanging type for a 40breeder. It sort of fits (the brackets are not adjustable - i knew that) and it is designed for exactly 36 inch rimless tank. On the aqueon tank i have it sitting on the black rim and set far enough back i can open the glass canopy. When the canopy is open it is just far enough back that i can lean it against the light.
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The app is not as bad as folks say - there is one annoyance to adjust the times you have to delete all previous times in the sechdule and re-enter them. To delete them you swipe them to the left. They should make it easier to adjust the times.
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I have the warm version (I debated long and hard between the warm and cool version. It is not clear to me if the higher blue spectrum of the cooler version would allow for better plant growth than the red spectrum of the warm version nor do they provide spectrum of the two lights just the range in K so you don't really know how much red, green and blue each light has.
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The warm version is very pleasing to the eyes but i can't comment on the maximal effectiveness and I've only had the unit turned on for a month now which is not a long enough evaluation period for a low tech tank. The light is very expensive but part of the reason for purchase is to evaluate it for a much larger build i will be doing in 18 months - basically a pair of 500 gallon tanks - for those bulids i would use a hanging version.
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I thought about adding co2 to the 40B but there would be some head-aches i don't want to deal with right now and in 16 to 18 months i will have to tear the tank down when i move.
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probably in 2 months or so i'll post a final update. The three plants that i have noticed improved growth with this new light are the -- Myriophyllum tuberculatum, Helferi One and Ambulia Limnophila. All three were on the verge of dying to nothing with the fluval plant 3.0 so it does seem that high intensity does in fact benefit the low tech tank.


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Thats a cool light. I want to try it on the next planted tank I set up.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 03:10 PM
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I'm in a similar boat wanting to get more red out of some plants on the lowest level of my substrate in a 20" deep tank. I've ordered another Fluval 3.0 to do it since both can be easily programmed in the app.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-08-2020, 10:44 PM
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Check out sbreef lights. They are supposed to be capable of throwing crazy high PAR.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-08-2020, 11:08 PM
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I got my second Fluval 3.0 LED and what a difference (50G 20" deep). My goal has never been to see pearling, I know it's some kind of rite of passage but I did not care about that or pursue it. Added the second light and surprise surprise, plants are producing bubbles everywhere, everyday. The brightness difference was stark and I thought the original light was bright to begin with. It was certainly growing plants well enough. I got the second to try to produce more red in plants that go red in response to light.

Form factor wise I don't know how it compares to lights other than the Finnex 24/7 that I have, the Fluval is extra low profile, more slight than the Finnex and sits on top of the aquarium with no extra "offset" to add to the distance to the substrate. Two of them still does not take up much real-estate. With the Fluval app I could easily move my first light "PRO" settings to the new one although I tweaked them to "front" and "rear" light profiles. Had it setup in minutes.
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Last edited by ahem; 10-08-2020 at 11:08 PM. Reason: clarity
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