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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am doing research to set up my first planted aquarium and I am researching lights. I am stuck between two lights and would like to get thoughts from more experienced aquarists. I'm looking at the Finnex Planted+ clip on and the Hygger 14w 24/7. I like that the Hygger has the 24 hour timer, but I like the look of the clip on light better. I do have a timer I'd put the Finnex on. I'm hoping to get some feed back on which light is better for growing plants and which one will last longer, that sort of thing. I am completely new to planted tanks and I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I buy anything. I'll be getting a 5 gallon rimless aqueon with a lid and I would like to try low to medium light plants in a low tech setup. Any help/advice is appreciated!

I forgot! Here's the link for the hygger light I'm looking at: Amazon.com: hygger 14W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light, Sunrise-Daylight-Moonlight Mode and DIY Mode, Adjustable Timer Adjustable Brightness Fish Tank Light with Extendable Bracket 7 Colors for Planted Tank: Home Improvement
 

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What's your budget like? I highly recommend this specific article and this website as a whole for planted tank knowledge: The best LED units for planted tanks in 2021. It was started by a professional aquascaper Dennis Wong. Basically though, you'll want to know the PAR for the light.
PAR is the measurement that is currently best for judging how much light you need. PAR stands for photosynthetic active radiation; it refers to the specific amount of light a plant will receive at difference distances from the light. You can find the PAR for most commercial brands by googling. Many even have the info in the attributes/specification details of their lights.

Low light plants: Anything from 10-30 PAR

Medium light plants: 30-50 PAR

High light plants: 50 or more. I think Dennis might even consider around 90 as high light, but 50 or more is generally what will grow most carpet plants well and is enough for almost every high light plant except some really picky ones.

In terms of LEDs, most LEDs have a terrible light spectrum for showing off good colors. For nano tanks, some of the best options are the ONF Flat Nano and the Chihiros C2 RGB. It really depends on your budget though and what you are looking to grow though...if you are only looking to grow easy green plants you're fine with either of the two options you mentioned, but you'll have to upgrade down the line if you want better colors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! I'd like to spend less than $50 this time. I'm not going to be trying anything too fancy, I'd like to start with easy green plants for this tank. The plants on my list are: Corkscrew vallisneria, anubias coffeefolia, anubias nana petite, christmas moss, wavy bucephalandra, java fern. I have moneywort already, and want one more medium light stem plant; I'm thinking hygrophelia. My plan is to plant the val so that it will flow over the top and shade the anubias and the java fern, and leave the other side free for the medium light stem plants. I do not want to do any carpeting plants right now.

I will probably want to upgrade someday in the future, but I'd rather wait until I can get a bigger tank anyway. I will take a look at the article and see if anything is in my price range!
 

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Thanks for the reply! I'd like to spend less than $50 this time. I'm not going to be trying anything too fancy, I'd like to start with easy green plants for this tank. The plants on my list are: Corkscrew vallisneria, anubias coffeefolia, anubias nana petite, christmas moss, wavy bucephalandra, java fern. I have moneywort already, and want one more medium light stem plant; I'm thinking hygrophelia. My plan is to plant the val so that it will flow over the top and shade the anubias and the java fern, and leave the other side free for the medium light stem plants. I do not want to do any carpeting plants right now.

I will probably want to upgrade someday in the future, but I'd rather wait until I can get a bigger tank anyway. I will take a look at the article and see if anything is in my price range!
Cool, sounds good. With what you said about your goals in mind, I would just go with whichever has more red LEDs—both probably put out similar PAR that should be totally fine for your tank, but you’ll get better color rendition and pop from the one that has more red :).
 

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Dimensions
16.25" x 8.375" x 10.5"

Finnex is 11" a arguable bit too small for a 16" tank.
It's a nice light w/ good color and the 660nm diodes.

Hyggar panel is about the same though and same good color but different..

Stingray II is another "dumb" light

16" StingRAY 2 Silver Aquarium LED - Finnex

ORIG stingray has 660nm diodes but underpowered.
May be fine for un-demanding requirements but a bit pricey w/ no out of the box dimming but it's sort of the full length version of the clip light.

And again probably a bit strong without dimming function.

Finnex has upped their conformal coating and better power supplies so "should" last longer than other cheaper units.

Nicrew sky sort of checks all buttons here.. opps still not a full 16" which is preferred.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cool, sounds good. With what you said about your goals in mind, I would just go with whichever has more red LEDs—both probably put out similar PAR that should be totally fine for your tank, but you’ll get better color rendition and pop from the one that has more red :).
Thank you for the reply! That is really helpful. I had heard that red was a good thing, but not WHY it was a good thing. I will make sure to look into that.

Dimensions
16.25" x 8.375" x 10.5"

Finnex is 11" a arguable bit too small for a 16" tank.
It's a nice light w/ good color and the 660nm diodes.

Hyggar panel is about the same though and same good color but different..

Stingray II is another "dumb" light

16" StingRAY 2 Silver Aquarium LED - Finnex

ORIG stingray has 660nm diodes but underpowered.
May be fine for un-demanding requirements but a bit pricey w/ no out of the box dimming but it's sort of the full length version of the clip light.

And again probably a bit strong without dimming function.

Finnex has upped their conformal coating and better power supplies so "should" last longer than other cheaper units.

Nicrew sky sort of checks all buttons here.. opps still not a full 16" which is preferred.
Thank you so much for all this information! It's unfortunate that the finnex doesn't have the dimmable feature and built in timer. It does seem a little pricey for not having that feature. I'll do a little more research on the Nicrew you suggested and compare it to the other two. I do really like that built-in timer and dimmable features! It's too bad there aren't more choices for 5.5 gallon tanks. When I started looking into lights, I was expecting a lot more high quality options

I have looked at a lot of displays of 5 gallons with the Finnex clip on, and it seems like the light still reaches the whole tank even though the fixture is a bit too short. Is the concern with having the light bar shorter just that the edges of the tank will get less light?

Thanks again for all the info! This is very helpful!
 

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Thank you so much for all this information! It's unfortunate that the finnex doesn't have the dimmable feature and built in timer. It does seem a little pricey for not having that feature. I'll do a little more research on the Nicrew you suggested and compare it to the other two. I do really like that built-in timer and dimmable features! It's too bad there aren't more choices for 5.5 gallon tanks. When I started looking into lights, I was expecting a lot more high quality options

I have looked at a lot of displays of 5 gallons with the Finnex clip on, and it seems like the light still reaches the whole tank even though the fixture is a bit too short. Is the concern with having the light bar shorter just that the edges of the tank will get less light?

Thanks again for all the info! This is very helpful!
Well more of a philosopy really but as a rough estimate since I own an older model which was called FugerRay R this is what I was referring to:
Under the light left to right is like 2500...3500..2500 lux.
an inch to each side and lux is down to 1000.
(rounded numbers)
This is at mounting height to tank top. Well actually 5" which would be higher than mounting height to tank top by about 2"
Over a 50% drop off in light.
to be fair.. it "corrects" itself deeper in the tank but leaves "dull" spots in the first few inches at the sides..

I' ll need to compare stats but geometry should remain the same.
1O" length, 5 watts
 

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This is the Hygger that I ended up with. I really like the timer and ramp up and down features. I have it at 50% for 8 hours a day and it grows my Anubias, Java Fern and S.Repens pretty well. It's a bit clunky to get programmed, but there are a few helpful youtube videos out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much for all the information, everyone! I really appreciate the recommendations! I will continue looking into all of this and see what is going to fit my tank needs best. I'm so glad I found this forum. It is so helpful to have information from people who have actually used the products and are experienced. Sometimes the random google or amazon searches are so overwhelming they aren't even helpful.
 
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