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Can I make Marineland double leds work for my tank?

1143 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jennesque
It's tax free weekend in my state AND my LFS has Marineland LED lights on sale.. 20% off. They've got the double bright lights and reef lights. Currently, I'm shooting for about low-medium light. I don't want to use CO2. Would the fixture that fits 24-36" tanks provide enough light for mid-low light in a 28gal? It's 24" wide and it's 16" to the substrate. Everything on my substrate is low light, and I've got ludwigia in the background though which needs more light.

I've currently got some clamp lights with cfls in them and it works, but it's not pretty. Just hoping to get something nicer looking over the tank since it is in my living room.

I looked at this pic in another post and it seems like I'd be at low light.. maybe it'd be just above? I'm not sure if that's comparable to my 3 13watt CFLs..?

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20-25 micromols of PAR is certainly low light, so the double bright LED light would work fine. If there is a problem it would be that the light doesn't cover the whole front to back depth of the tank. And, I don't know that it wouldn't.
I keep my light pushed closer to the back half of the tank right now anyways.. I just started doing that with my original t8 fixture and never stopped. I've always had low light plants in the front foreground (just java moss in the front and a dwarf water lotus and some crypts in the middle). They're not pushed all the way back though, not over the equipment / water in the back couple inches of the tank.

I also think having the 8 LEDs would work better with the black support bar in the middle of my tank. Right now my third light either needs to be positioned right in the middle of the bar, or off to one side which creates uneven lighting.

If it ends up being too low, does anyone know of any small additional strip light I could add for some supplemental light.
I'm not so sure it'd work at a 16" depth. I use the 24" Double Bright fixtures on 20Ls (12" from substrate) and the fixtures provide barely enough lighting for moss. If you have any sort of floating plants or use a glass cover, the amount of lighting is cut down so dramatically that you can't even support Crypt parva.

That said - it's a great fixture for shallow, low light tanks.
The data on that chart for Marineland LED lights is from Marineland's website. Whether you can trust the data is up to you. I assume it is good, but that's just an assumption.
I think it's enough light. If the tank gets too much lighting, you'll end up with algae issues which is not fun.
I'm of the opinion - from experience - that it's not enough light at 16" for "low light."

It's barely enough at 12".
Specs for the double bright led kits For reference:
The smallest will be for aquariums 18" - 24" long and has 6 one watt LEDs outputing 450 lumens.
The middle model is for aquariums 24" - 36" long and has 8 one watt LEDs outputing 600 lumens.
The longest lamp is for aquariums 36" - 48" long and has 16 one watt LEDs outputing 1200 lumens.

If you were to consider this lamp, go for the longest lamp rated at 1200 lumens. 600 lumens is considered low to moderate lighting at best leaving shadow areas.

however longevity has long been a complaint amonst petco, marineland and dimness on the amazon reviews.
Well, the 36" would not have fit on my tank.. I was going to take a risk and try it, but the light was sold out. They were going to order one for me at the discounted price, but I took it as a sign not to get it.

Instead, I took what is probably another risk.. I got one of Deep blue's SolarmaxHE fixtures which has what appears to be two T5NO bulbs (the LFS sell replacements so it won't be hard to find em). I couldn't find many reviews on the light, but I did see aom great reviews. I have a tank made by them and it, to me, is a good quality tank so I am hoping the same for the bulb. It looks to be about the same brightness of my 3 CFLs so I think I'll be good.

The one thing I'm wondering about is the bulbs. It came with 1 14 watt 6700k bulb and 1 14watt 10000k bulb.. should I swap out the 10000k for another 6700k? I don't mind the tank's current appearance, so if it's OK for the plants it's OK by me.

The fixture also has 4 very weak blue LEDs which remain on while the light is on.. they're meant to be used as moonlights, but since the light is plugged into a timer, the LEDs will only be on with the T5s.
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