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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys. I’m looking to upgrade the lighting on my 40g breeder. I’m currently running two Fluval Plant 3.0s at 70%.

What are the best options for an upgrade? I’m looking to get a better spectrum with a much higher red output.

I’ve done a good amount of research and so far I’ve found these options:

-Chihiros WRGB 2
-SBReef Freshwater
-UNS Titan 1
-ONF Flat One 36”

In regards to the options I’ve found- For the Chihiros, I would need 2 of these right? If so it’s a fairly expensive option. Also I’m not sure whether the SBReef Freshwater’s largest size which is 32” would fit my tank—can anyone provide some guidance on that?
 

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If you are not currently running your fluvals to max, chances are very very very good that to get better reds you need to change your nutrients. (I am assuming you are running co2 already) Keep in mind that most of the super deep red plants you see online are either a) a specific species of plant, b) running lean on nutrients, and/or c) using post production filters to achieve the desired look.

Anyway you can just run an sbreeflight (or other lights) further from the tank to get more coverage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are not currently running your fluvals to max, chances are very very very good that to get better reds you need to change your nutrients. (I am assuming you are running co2 already) Keep in mind that most of the super deep red plants you see online are either a) a specific species of plant, b) running lean on nutrients, and/or c) using post production filters to achieve the desired look.

Anyway you can just run an sbreeflight (or other lights) further from the tank to get more coverage.
Thanks very much for the input! I definitely am wary about taking a lot of the tank pictures out there on face value. But I’m pretty clear on which specific red plants turn redder with lean dosing and sifting through trustworthy sources, so I still believe there’s more to get out of my plants than the Fluval’s can offer.

I’m dosing APT Complete, so I’m pretty sure my nutrients aren’t my limiting factor. I am running CO2, but I currently am using an acrylic Aquario Neo diffuser, so I believe my CO2 distribution is really lacking. I will be upgrading my CO2 and filtration to a reactor + canister filter set up soon, which will hopefully help a lot. The thing about the Fluvals is the light spectrum, despite being a pretty powerful light, is rather poor and really low in reds.

Do you possibly have a link to the SBReef Freshwater Light’s spectrum?
 

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In order to get plants red, you induce a nitrogen deficiency. I've never done it, just read a little bit about it. My understanding is that it can be a bit tricky. Dosing an all-in-one fertilizer will definitely not get you the same results.

Sorry, I don't have anything on the SB reeflight other than what's on their website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In order to get plants red, you induce a nitrogen deficiency. I've never done it, just read a little bit about it. My understanding is that it can be a bit tricky. Dosing an all-in-one fertilizer will definitely not get you the same results.

Sorry, I don't have anything on the SB reeflight other than what's on their website.
No problem, thanks for the advice regardless.

Not all red plants/colorful plants turn more red with nitrate limitation. Here’s a great article on which plants respond well to that approach vs some of the ones where it doesn’t make a difference: How to grow red aquarium plants (this is Dennis Wong’s website).

Also in Burr740’s 120 gal journal where someone brings up the nitrogen deficiency aspect of red plants, he mentions that only some plants respond well to this and a lot of other plants suffer in these situations if you don’t go about it carefully. Burr, Tom Barr, and Dennis all stress that the most important thing is high PAR values and the right color spectrum.
 

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In order to get plants red, you induce a nitrogen deficiency. I've never done it, just read a little bit about it. My understanding is that it can be a bit tricky. Dosing an all-in-one fertilizer will definitely not get you the same results.

Sorry, I don't have anything on the SB reeflight other than what's on their website.
This is true for certain plants, however you will be asking for trouble if you have a diverse plant arrangement. Most plants like plenty of nitrogen, and when you start playing with the low end of nitrogen dosing you can get in more trouble than it’s worth. Some notable red plants are AR, and Ludwigia red that do not require nitrate limitation to get nice and red.

In terms of lighting a 40B, I have the Twinstar S and love it. Great colors.
 
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