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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2015, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Question Nano Newbie

Hi,

I'm getting back into freshwater after many, many years. I have a JBJ nano cube (24g) that was a reef system and I'm breaking it down and will rebuild it as a planted freshwater system.

My biggest dilemma is what to do for lighting. I removed the hood and had a Kessil mounted on a gooseneck on the reef system. What would be a good option for planted freshwater?

I'm open as to options, but would prefer something with good light that I can mount over the tank.

Thanks,
Deb
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 04:06 AM
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Hi Deb,

First, welcome to the forum and welcome back to freshwater! Hope you enjoy the forum, lots of great tanks and great information on here!

I will be honest and say I'm partial to LED fixtures. I have zero experience with T5's, metal halides, or the like (though I have used a desk lamp before). And in the end it depends on your goals for the tank. If you want some nice, easy plants that don't require much attention, then you can opt for some cheaper fixtures that don't pack as much of a punch. If you think you'll want to delve into plants that require more intense lighting, then you'll want to consider adaptable fixtures (such as those with dimmer functions or easily adjustable heights). So consider that carefully when deciding.

So, onto lights...if you're used to Kessil, they do have the relatively new "Tuna Sun" which is a more intense, controllable pendant light tailored to planted tanks. There's a 160 and 360 model. I'm not sure how they will do on this tank, but that's a thought.

I use "Build My LED" fixtures on a few tanks with great success and I highly recommend those! They are also dimmable so you can start with one and easy plants without blasting too much light, then if you decide to get into CO2 injection and heavy fertilizer dosing you can turn up the light intensity without having to buy a new fixture. The new Kessil would give you the same option, I suppose.

Finnex Fugeray(s) could be a good option for low-light. If you want more of a punch, opt for the Planted+ fixture. There's also the Ray2 which is fairly strong and a little bluer than the others, I'd say.

There are also nice LEDs from Current USA and Ecoxotic for freshwater. Current USA Satellite Freshwater Plus is a popular choice but not strong lighting, they now have a "Pro" version which is more intense. And Ecoxotic has their e-series, which is fairly intense as well. These fixtures are nice because you can create your own color spectrum with the included remote control. I use the Sat plus on my 12 gallon and I've not had any problems growing plants, but that tank's also quite shallow.

Ok, now the final comment. When you boil everything down, just about any of these LED fixtures today will grow plants and it's honestly up to your preference. There are tons other LED fixtures I didn't mention and have no experience with along with the other old standby of T5 lighting and it can be a bit dizzying. Each fixture can have it's pros and cons. Maybe it's cheap but not customizable (like Finnex) or expensive but not slim/sleek looking (BML fixtures for example) but both fixtures given the right water conditions can easily grow beautiful planted aquariums. So I'd say do your research, find one you like based generally on the plants you want to grow, and go for it. I think you can have success with just about anything. And all of the fixtures I mention can easily be mounted on top of a tank and most could also be suspended from the ceiling or some other hanging kit.

So hopefully the suggestions help and sorry I end it there with saying "anything will work," haha, but I just figured I'd be honest. Best of luck to you! Be sure to start a journal once you get things started!

Old tanks, all torn down:
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Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info!

Coming from saltwater, I'm also partial to LEDs. I think I've decided (LOL) to go with another Kessil, probably the A160WE Tuna Sun. I like the clean, simple look of the Kessil, plus I already have the gooseneck for it.

And what did you mean by "start a journal"?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 08:21 PM
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Yeah, I thought the Kessil might be a good option based on your previous experience.

I just meant posting pictures and what-not of the progress of the tank by starting a new thread in the "Tank Journals" sub-forum. It's always fun to see what people have put together and how their tanks are progressing.

Old tanks, all torn down:
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Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, cool - I haven't poked around much on the site here, didn't know there was a journal forum.

I'll for sure post pics as I go.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Journal started! Hopefully some of you fine folks will follow along!
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