Hey guys, I just recently upgraded to a 90gal tank from my 40br and am looking at going semi-high tech. I already do CO2, ferts, and have two 36" beamswork FSPECs.
The beamsworks are 36in and so they dont fit perfectly and are an eyesore. I want to upgrade lighting but I dont want to break the bank. I was thinking at first to put a single finnex planted + but i read i would need another light on top of that. That quickly puts the lights over budget but if a single 48" planted + would do well I can afford that.
Normally I design my own led boards but with this tank it would also cost more so here is my idea. I seen in a magazine a high tech tank was using SORAA lights for their tank. Looking them up I think i could get good results with two SORAA par38 (https://www.soraa.com/products/23-PAR38.php#
) over both sides of the tank. Then lighting housings are cheap and a diy stand put me right around 200$ for what im hoping is a powerful lighting setup.
Is this viable? Are there cheaper options to get high par at substrate? Are t5 bulbs and fixture better? Should I just use LED light bars made for trucks? argggg.
(ps, I want to grow some red plants, have some carpet plants, etc. That is what i mean by high tech)
What are your thoughts?
Love SORRAS but they don't make the good K temp anymore.
Well apparently there are 5000k's out there at RIDICULOUS prices:
They also run hot though which means efficiency is a bit down.
You really have 2 issues, depth and spread.
Easiest and/or cheapest would be a t5 4 tube unit.
Simple made for an aquarium fixture will cost around $120 w/ bank of 6500k bulbs.
Doing fairly normal substitutes for color would add another say $50
200-ish watts so plenty for a 90. simple on/off, height adj or removal of tubes (if possible) dimming.
Now a bit about LED's, well for around $200 you are hard pressed to get everything you want plus the strength of LED's i.e control.
500-6500k led Chinese cheap floods would work w/ the disadvantage of no color tuning or usually dimming.
So parity output wise and cost w/ t5 but zero flexibility really.
Cheapest "retail" LED w/ almost everything.. i.e some color tuning, dimming, and on/off only timer and plenty of power and spread that
I can think of ATM:
Light bars for trucks are really no better than LED floods and many have weird split optics mixing flood w/ spot lensing (roughly).
I could almost guarantee poor CRI as well though you flip a coin on that w/ led floods as well.
Since a few are back one last (not definitive,there are a 1/2 doz other lights)
Not sure the diodes, they made 2 basic models, 1 all 6500k, one w/ a bunch of blue diodes and white.
Simply made that one could, exchange some diodes for better color (Bridgelux egg type, easy to remove/replace except w/ red diodes. One catch some new chinese black boxes are using smd diodes so not easy to replace )
Split power supplies
bad, average color and not easily dimmed as is.