Planted Aquarium Help + Lights (Long post) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Planted Aquarium Help + Lights (Long post)

Hey all,

LONG POST WARNING. Skip ahead to last paragraph for the question.

I REALLY suck at plant keeping. It's no different with aquatic plants apparently. I have a question on lighting primarily, and currently, this is my set-up:

Tank: Top Fin Essentials Aquarium Starter Kit - 5 Gallon
(the lights on the tank hood/lid have stopped working, and I need a new light replacement)

1. Repens - Staurogyne Repens (This plant is doing the best in my tank, which is to say it is still green, and was growing when I had light - It has since stopped growing, but at lease is still green)
2. Java Fern - Windelov Java Fern (This plant is latched to my driftwood in the tank, Over 50% of the leaves are now fully black...... Yes, I suck. Also, it has had a massive fungus outbreak of some sort which covers its roots and I had read it would 'clear up' in time (it came on during the time I was cycling the tank, of which I used fish food... I would use a different method probably, but that was the method I had used to cycle, being new and all, so I can't take it back now, lolol)
3. Amazon Sword (this plant was slowly 'melting' (I think) during the nitrogen cycle. As the months have gone by, I have cut off the fully clear/translucent leaves - No new leaves have grown in it's place, and I have one leaf left which is about 85% clear/translucent......)

1 driftwood piece (medium size), 1 catappa leaf, 2 stick driftwood pieces (tiny), 3 marimo moss balls (which seem to be in good condition still, but I just added those 2.5 weeks ago), 3 rocks, 1 betta log

1 male betta fish (seems healthy, he swims around, seems curious, active, no fin biting, had him for about 1.5 months now)

1 amano shrimp (I thought he was dead but apparently he's been hiding, and I saw him for the first time today, so I guess he's okay...... I got him about 2.5 weeks ago)

The tank is heated with a small heater, and the tank is filtered with the filter that came with the tank kit.

While I would love to learn if I can improve my plants, I think the first step I need to do is GET A REPLACEMENT LIGHT. The one that came with my kit stopped working, so I did buy a light just today, but I... don't like it. For reference, I bought this:

It proclaimed "4 light modes". Notice my quotes, because their 'white light' consists of a single small white LED and SIX BLUE LEDs lit at the same time - it's blue. It's not white. Their blue light mode just turns off that one single white light and makes it... more blue. I wanted a WHITE light and I was duped! DUPED!

I'm going to have to return it, but the reason I got it is because the other lights seemed like they wouldn't work with my tank lid (they were screw-in lights of some sort, which doesn't apply to my tank lid.

I miss my white light (for reference, it's been about 1-1.5 weeks since the light has gone out, so my plants are not getting nearly as much as they were, which I think is the reason the java fern has taken a deep nose-dive in quality (the black leaves came on suddenly during this past week). But at the same time, they are supposed to be low-light plants, so it could be something else. I am REALLY bad at keeping plants, and the tanks I see here are lovely. Sorry if it seems like I'm a plant-killer . I uh... sort of am, but not on purpose. (Also, I have not added new plants since the beginning of the tank set-up 3 months ago, because I read that shrimp can be sensitive to that sort of thing, so I didn't want to overwhelm it until it got adjusted - not sure if that might be my best bet once I get lighting set?).


Long story short, I am looking for a good light (WHITE! PLEASE!) that will work with the Top Fin Essentials 5 gallon tank lid without too much additional cost (I just feel safer having a lid for my tank). I spent $40 on that one light I'm going to return - Ideally, I'd spend less than that but under $50 would be good, too. If that's not possible, I'm open to other options - I just don't know much about lighting, and it seemed my only choices were that type of light or a clip on light.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-20-2020, 01:34 PM
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Look for something like this

RGB leds emit a white light using only red, green, and blue diodes. It will have the spectrum your plants need and bring out the colors in your fish/plants/decorations as well. The light in the link is fully adjustable for spectrum and intensity.

75g...medium tech...?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-30-2020, 12:55 AM
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Thanks for the link, but no one in reviews is using it for fish tank?

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