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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings to you all, this being my first post here.

To date I have spent significant time on researching specific equipment to create my first planted aquarium system.

Goal: High Tech Planted
Tank: 55 gallon: (20"T x 48"W x 13"D).

I have initially narrowed down my lighting choices to (A) and (B) below. Cost is of concern to me, but I'm willing to pay more when it makes sense to do so.

Please let me know what you feel the best pick is between my two choices. Also please feel free to offer advice / instruction, as I would appreciate all the help I can get on this project.


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Choice (a)
(one) "Build MY LED" - XB Series - 75 degree angle.

Iwagumi 7000k or Dutch Planted 6300K

Par value @ 20" = a maximum of 100.


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Choice (b)
(Two) Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights

Estimated par value @ 20 inches = a maximum of 65 (each fixture).
 

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What is your goal with the tank, meaning what type of plants, scape, fauna/flora do you envision. These details may steer you towards one lamp over the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello City Dweller,
I have not gotten so far as to have selected specific plants yet. I do know that I would like to have a very lush planted aquarium that likely will require a substantial amount of light. Plus I like the look of a well lit tank. I'm looking at ADA Amazonia for the substrate. Definitely CO2 injection. So I want to make sure that I have sufficient light. To date I have no experience at growing anything other than algae. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can add here that my thoughts are, that the illumination I am proposing should provide me a lot of flexibility, in that I will be able to place very light-hungry plants center mass, while having plants that do not require so much light around the sides or under other taller plants, rocks and branches. I believe that I am in that ballpark with the two options I have chosen, but I have no practical experience to draw on. So please speak up if anyone feels that I am off track on my plans. Thank you.
 

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My 2 cents....There really is no comparison between the 2. You get what you pay for. BML rules, Finnex drools.

I have a BML 10000k 90degree. Great light, solid fixture, quality parts, great customer service. Call or email them, they will help you find the right light. If you don't like it they will work with you until you're happy. Buy the dimmer too, these things are bright.

I also have a Finnex planted+ on another tank. I'm not impressed at all. Not with the quality of the fixture or the light it produces. It's bright enough but not very appealing to my eyes. Plants look washed out. I guess I could have sent it back and just gotten something else but it's too late for that now.

If I could afford another BML right now the Finnex would be in the for sale section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey, thanks aquabruce. Your comment's definitely worth more than 2 cents. That's really great to hear that you are so satisfied with their product. I checked out your 20, really nice looking. Do you have any fish in there?

Do you believe that the BML 48" will provide enough light for a 20" tall tank? I certainly can't afford two of those babies! I am a believer in the old adage, "you get what you pay for".

Also, I am unsure as to what color temperature to get. What made you decide to go with the 10,000k?
 

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I should probably update those pics at some point. It's been running for 6-7 months. Forgot they were there, lol. I have a school of celestial pearl danios, a few otos, guppies and amano shrimp in there.

I decided to go with BML because they seemed to actually be focusing on LEDs for planted tanks, Their website had a ton of info and they were quick to answer any questions I had. I picked they 10,000k 90degree with the dimmer per their recommendation.

I'm pretty sure one light would be enough. There is some good info in this thread here. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=481026&highlight=bml+clubYou'll find a six foot tank a couple of pages in on this thread. Not sure how deep it is but it's gotta be 20" or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello again aquabruce,
Sounds like a good fish selection you have going there, and I would guess they are pretty active as well. The amano shrimp I bet is very cool. Pretty interesting looking little fellow. One of the tanks I liked from my research had neon tetras and wild or red eye rams in there. I had rams before and they are really cool how they move. Abrupt starts and stops. They are also iridescent blue which the 10,000k lighting should really make those blues pop. Does your lighting make your danos stand out a lot?

So hey, I am very grateful that you took the time to answer my post. Especially when making that kind of an investment it's really nice to get some confirmation that the product is good. As for the dimmer; already on the list, as are the suspension cables for hanging the fixture.

So thanks again very much. Please let me know if you are satisfied with the color temp of your lighting. Does it look violet at all, or just more of a blue cast?

Sorry to ask so much, I'm just really into this project right now. Way fun!!!

Best regards,
Shrimp
 

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I can't comment on the Finnex, but I have a BML XB 10000k (upgraded from a standard BML 10000k), and it is worth every penny. I also have the 90 - you would only do a smaller angle if you were suspending the lights. (ah, I see that you plan for that)

The dimmer should be a required component, IMO. Having used it with both fixtures, I cannot imagine not having it.
 

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My 2 cents....There really is no comparison between the 2. You get what you pay for. BML rules, Finnex drools.

I have a BML 10000k 90degree. Great light, solid fixture, quality parts, great customer service. Call or email them, they will help you find the right light. If you don't like it they will work with you until you're happy. Buy the dimmer too, these things are bright.

I also have a Finnex planted+ on another tank. I'm not impressed at all. Not with the quality of the fixture or the light it produces. It's bright enough but not very appealing to my eyes. Plants look washed out. I guess I could have sent it back and just gotten something else but it's too late for that now.

If I could afford another BML right now the Finnex would be in the for sale section.
I strongly disagree. I considered the BML for my 92g Corner, but for the price of the light I would need (XB 1000k, 36") I was able to buy a Finnex Ray 2, Finnex Planted+ and Finnex MonsterRay, and absolutely love them. The build quality of the Finnex is great, their customer service is top notch, and the blend of the 3 lights produces great color.

I would have had to buy 2 different BML fixtures and spent over $600 for the same coverage I got for $300
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello Veritas,
Well, I was waiting for the Finnex advocate to show up, :)

Greetings!

I have indeed seen many posts here where folks seem to be very happy with Finnex product.

As I was writing my first post I admit that I was hoping to hear good things about BML lighting for one reason in particular, that reason being that I wish to keep the top of the tank sparse, as it makes cleaning easier and provides a cleaner more simplistic look.

In a competitive environment I'm sure that BML attempts to keep their prices down as much as possible, but are restricted by what goes into their product. I see this in computers, where when you pack the same amount of punch into a smaller box, it costs more to do so.
 

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I personally think the tank dictates the light. I have a 40b so I went with finnex to get the coverage I needed. I was going to convert my 55 but decided not to. If I had I would have gone with bml. Length, depth and width all play a part in your light. I know with the bml you need the dimmer. With the finnex I do not. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I personally think the tank dictates the light. I have a 40b so I went with finnex to get the coverage I needed. I was going to convert my 55 but decided not to. If I had I would have gone with bml. Length, depth and width all play a part in your light. I know with the bml you need the dimmer. With the finnex I do not. Just my opinion.
Thanks Whjdm069,
That is indeed how I am playing it, by doing my best to ensure that I provide the lighting required to properly support the depth of the tank.

I have read enough posts here to know that when you reach a depth of 20" you start really pushing the lighting envelope. My concern then being, that I want to be sure to purchase a product that gets the job done. But at this point is where practical experience comes into play, i.e., consult with the experts.
 

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Greetings to you all, this being my first post here.

To date I have spent significant time on researching specific equipment to create my first planted aquarium system.

Goal: High Tech Planted
Tank: 55 gallon: (20"T x 48"W x 13"D).

I have initially narrowed down my lighting choices to (A) and (B) below. Cost is of concern to me, but I'm willing to pay more when it makes sense to do so.

Please let me know what you feel the best pick is between my two choices. Also please feel free to offer advice / instruction, as I would appreciate all the help I can get on this project.


============
Choice (a)
(one) "Build MY LED" - XB Series - 75 degree angle.

Iwagumi 7000k or Dutch Planted 6300K

Par value @ 20" = a maximum of 100.


============
Choice (b)
(Two) Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights

Estimated par value @ 20 inches = a maximum of 65 (each fixture).
I don't have the XB series but I do have the regular version of BML light. My tank is also 20" tall, but 24" width so I use two BML fixtures to get more even coverage front to back of my tank. I run the lights at 70% intensity the first several months and now 85% intensity. All plants grow well. Your tank is 13" width, so one fixture is enough but I would go with 90 degree, unless you plan to hang the light.

I don't have the FugeRay Planted+, but I do have the Finnex Ray2 light on my 46G BF. The light also grows plants well, but as others said, the color looks very washed out. Also, the build quality is not comparable to BML and it is not dimmable. The light is less expensive than BML so that is a factor to consider, but I am happier with BML.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks MB2, I am liking the idea of purchasing lighting where I may actually have to turn down the intensity. Haven't ever run into a problem where I have to turn ~down~ the lighting. Sounds like BML is the way to go if you can take the hit on your wallet. I'm not thinking of the total price, just the difference in price between the two brands. If you think of it that way it's easier to justify the purchase.

Hey, by the way, very nice tank! Checked out your link there. The reds really do a lot to make it pop. Very nice indeed! You should be very proud of that achievement, most definitely.
 

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BML will consult with you on what light you need (vs. what you think you need), does Finnex do the same? If so, compare results and post here!

Finnex does. I emailed them to ask a question for my 90g. I asked which of their lights would they recommend and I got back a detailed reply with Par data images and valid suggestions. I must also note that I received excellent service when purchasing my Planted + given that I had to meet a deadline for a trans-shipment point. They went above and beyond to ensure that I got my light delivered in the most timely manner to fit my tight schedule.

I did also check out the BML fixture and I was enthralled by the customization one can achieve there. I think I emailed them too and had a very decent convo with the manufacturer.

In terms of sales and service, I'd say I was quite satisfied with both, however, given that price was a major concern for me at the time of purchase, plus this was my first venture into LED lighting, I thought it best to stick with the Finnex. I have not been disappointed.


IMG_0200 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks GT for chipping in. I have no doubt that Finnex puts out a good product. I did a fair amount of research and Finnex was the competition. I'm really happy in general with LED's power consumption being so much less, and I it's my understanding that they produce less heat as well. That's important as I live in a very hot part of the U.S, running A/C throughout most of the year. Supposed to be 85 degrees this weekend!

GT, Nice tank too. The color in the photo looks great. I like the little shrimp guy, and also the shots of the bubbles were cool too. Thanks again mate.
 

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I like both brands, but they both have their place IMO. I have Finnex lights on two of my smaller tanks (29g or below) and I love them. Both are Planted +. I also have a single BML on my 75g and a dual BML on my 125g.

I had gone down the road of doing Finnex for my 75g before I got the BML but it didn't exactly meet the light ideal that I had. Adding a second Finnex fixture didn't really give me what I wanted either. I bought the 10000k BML and the color difference compared to the Ray 2 and the Planted + are years apart. The BML is amazing and don't get me wrong, I like the look of the Planted plus. Plus, I was able to get what I wanted in a single fixture. For my 125g, the Finnex fixtures were not even an option IMO.

Until Finnex comes out with something good for larger tanks that doesn't have you loading up on multiple, multiple fixtures just to get to where you want to be then I think BML is your better choice. Better options to chose from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I bought the 10000k BML and the color difference compared to the Ray 2 and the Planted + are years apart. Plus, I was able to get what I wanted in a single fixture.
Thanks for your reply JRMAN83. I'm curious as to why you chose the 10000k color temp for your lighting? I am planning on putting a few Ram fish in my tank and I'm looking for lighting that will accent their iridescent blue sheen, but also not wash out red plants of which I am planning to use just for accent.

Thanks!
 
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