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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!

I just wanted to post some measurements of PAR taken at the substrate with a Seneye PAR meter.

I purchased a new Fluval 3.0 because I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and the stems in the rear of the tank weren't growing as well as I wanted them to. They had a habit of shedding their lower leaves. I knew the Finnex fixture's PAR output fell sharply at distance, as I had measured it before. After doing some reading, many sources indicate that shedding of the lower leaves was a sign of a lack of light - and thanks to posters like @Seattle_Aquarist, it gave me the itch to try the Fluval light!

Well, it didn't disappoint - I actually suspect it may have to be dialed back a bit, but for now I'm going to leave it and see what happens.

The Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC light sits about 16.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 40 PAR at the substrate.

The Fluval 3.0 sits about 14.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 114 PAR! Nearly three times what the Finnex is capable of.

PUR was relatively equal - the Finnex @ 62% and the Fluval @ 60%.

Hopefully this helps with the ailment of shedding bottom leaves. The tank is on an EI dosing regimen with an 8 hour photoperiod. I frontload macros and dose micros 3x a week with a 50% water change performed religiously, adding NilocG's GH booster.

Anyways, thanks for looking. If there are any questions, comments, or criticism, please don't hesitate to post. The top screen shot is the Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC and the bottom is the Fluval 3.0 at 100%. All measurements are taken in water in an established planted tank.
 

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I've been looking to upgrade my 2012 BML light. It's been a great light for me. I purchased a dimmer to use with it. It has helped me grow some really great plants, however I've been looking to upgrade to something with more customization without breaking the bank. So far, I've read reviews by people who have purchased the 3.0 and wrote a blurb a week later to basically say, "works like the ads say..." But the real question is, how effectively can it grow all types of plants? None have been as informative as yours. So thank you!
Granted it's efficacy is just one piece of the puzzle and many MANY factors go into having a tank go gangbusters.
Thanks for taking the time to do your testing and posting it here.
Please keep us updated. Pros, cons, etc..
Cheers! :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been looking to upgrade my 2012 BML light. It's been a great light for me. I purchased a dimmer to use with it. It has helped me grow some really great plants, however I've been looking to upgrade to something with more customization without breaking the bank. So far, I've read reviews by people who have purchased the 3.0 and wrote a blurb a week later to basically say, "works like the ads say..." But the real question is, how effectively can it grow all types of plants? None have been as informative as yours. So thank you!
Granted it's efficacy is just one piece of the puzzle and many MANY factors go into having a tank go gangbusters.
Thanks for taking the time to do your testing and posting it here.
Please keep us updated. Pros, cons, etc..
Cheers! :smile2:
Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. One thing to note is that the Finnex's light is more subdued and mild, whereas the Fluval 3.0 is bright. They gave similar PAR readings much closer to the fixture, so in a shallow, long tank, I'd suspect the difference wouldn't be as great.

If there happens to be any other measurements you'd like me to take, don't hesitate to ask!
 

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Hello all!

I just wanted to post some measurements of PAR taken at the substrate with a Seneye PAR meter.

I purchased a new Fluval 3.0 because I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and the stems in the rear of the tank weren't growing as well as I wanted them to. They had a habit of shedding their lower leaves. I knew the Finnex fixture's PAR output fell sharply at distance, as I had measured it before. After doing some reading, many sources indicate that shedding of the lower leaves was a sign of a lack of light - and thanks to posters like @Seattle_Aquarist, it gave me the itch to try the Fluval light!

Well, it didn't disappoint - I actually suspect it may have to be dialed back a bit, but for now I'm going to leave it and see what happens.

The Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC light sits about 16.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 40 PAR at the substrate.

The Fluval 3.0 sits about 14.5 inches from the substrate and it gave me a reading of 114 PAR! Nearly three times what the Finnex is capable of.

PUR was relatively equal - the Finnex @ 62% and the Fluval @ 60%.

Hopefully this helps with the ailment of shedding bottom leaves. The tank is on an EI dosing regimen with an 8 hour photoperiod. I frontload macros and dose micros 3x a week with a 50% water change performed religiously, adding NilocG's GH booster.

Anyways, thanks for looking. If there are any questions, comments, or criticism, please don't hesitate to post. The top screen shot is the Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 CC and the bottom is the Fluval 3.0 at 100%. All measurements are taken in water in an established planted tank.
I've been looking for information like this! I wasn't too satisfied with my Finnex and was looking for additional reasons to switch to Fluval besides the warranties. This helped with my decision. I just returned my Finnex and bought a Fluval 3.0 from Aquarium Co-Op. Can't wait.
 

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I've been looking for information like this! I wasn't too satisfied with my Finnex and was looking for additional reasons to switch to Fluval besides the warranties. This helped with my decision. I just returned my Finnex and bought a Fluval 3.0 from Aquarium Co-Op. Can't wait.


Glad to help! Also, the customization for the Fluval rocks pretty hard. Too much light? Just dial it back in less than a minute. Not enough? Pump it up! It really is a good light. I’d still be willing to run the Finnex in a low tech tank or on a shallow rimless. But for high light, co2 injected tanks, it just isn’t up to snuff.


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The PAR of lights is heavily dependant on the vertical distance from the substrate.
You can have a 130W light with low/med light if its hung too high.
That is what makes a PAR meter so important your eyes may be deceived.

My old Chihiros A601 light was only 36W and was 100+ par at the substrate on max and it was a $40 light with short 3 - 4 inch legs.

The fluval 3.0 is 59W and looks like it has very short legs (inch or two?), it likely has to be moved when doing maintenance but I would imagine on max 100% you should be able to easily get 150 - 200PAR at a height of 12 - 13".
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The PAR of lights is heavily dependant on the vertical distance from the substrate.

You can have a 130W light with low/med light if its hung too high.

That is what makes a PAR meter so important your eyes may be deceived.



My old Chihiros A601 light was only 36W and was 100+ par at the substrate on max and it was a $40 light with short 3 - 4 inch legs.



The fluval 3.0 is 59W and looks like it has very short legs (inch or two?), it likely has to be moved when doing maintenance but I would imagine on max 100% you should be able to easily get 150 - 200PAR at a height of 12 - 13".


I believe the 36” model is listed @ 46 watts but I’ll have to double check.

It does sit about 2” lower than the Finnex light but even at an apples to apples distance, the Fluval really outshines it, PAR wise, until you get a lot closer then the numbers aren’t as far apart. However the features of the Fluval, mainly water proof and the Bluetooth app, really are superior in every way to the Finnex.

I have a Chihiros RGB that’s on hold for an upcoming nano tank. I’ve already measured the par from it and it’s definitely a beast!


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I had the 24" Fluval 3.0 on my 29g tank but returned it. I think Fluval made an oversight when designing the lengths of the fixture for "standard" tank sizes. In my 29g (30" long), there was an obvious dark pattern at the top left/right corners, since that actual fixture length was only 24". I now have the newest Finnex CC 660nm reds version (model # LT-FX-VL-CRV30 for those interested), and I'm very happy with it. Wondering if this is the model you tested? Finnex has a really convoluted model # system and it's hard to really know which is the newest.

Otherwise, the Fluval app to control the light was helpful in initial setup vs just the controller on the finnex.. Also, I believe the Fluval loses it's time setting when it loses power, unlike the Finnex. A minor thing, but some like to rely on timers.
 

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I had the 24" Fluval 3.0 on my 29g tank but returned it. I think Fluval made an oversight when designing the lengths of the fixture for "standard" tank sizes. In my 29g (30" long), there was an obvious dark pattern at the top left/right corners, since that actual fixture length was only 24". I now have the newest Finnex CC 660nm reds version (model # LT-FX-VL-CRV30 for those interested), and I'm very happy with it. Wondering if this is the model you tested? Finnex has a really convoluted model # system and it's hard to really know which is the newest.

Otherwise, the Fluval app to control the light was helpful in initial setup vs just the controller on the finnex.. Also, I believe the Fluval loses it's time setting when it loses power, unlike the Finnex. A minor thing, but some like to rely on timers.
I had one CRV36 - Series and a 30" Finnex SE on my 40B. I think the KL and CRV models are the newest one has more white LED's and one has 660nm LED's. I returned my CRV for a Fluval 3.0 36".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had the 24" Fluval 3.0 on my 29g tank but returned it. I think Fluval made an oversight when designing the lengths of the fixture for "standard" tank sizes. In my 29g (30" long), there was an obvious dark pattern at the top left/right corners, since that actual fixture length was only 24". I now have the newest Finnex CC 660nm reds version (model # LT-FX-VL-CRV30 for those interested), and I'm very happy with it. Wondering if this is the model you tested? Finnex has a really convoluted model # system and it's hard to really know which is the newest.

Otherwise, the Fluval app to control the light was helpful in initial setup vs just the controller on the finnex.. Also, I believe the Fluval loses it's time setting when it loses power, unlike the Finnex. A minor thing, but some like to rely on timers.
Hey, ultimately in this hobby it winds up being what works best for your tank. I don't necessarily hate the Finnex fixtures, so I apologize if this post seemed demeaning. This was mainly to show the difference in potential light output for what are probably two extremely popular fixtures. I'd totally use the Finnex on a low tech 40 breeder with low light plants.

One thing I can say is that since adding the Fluval 3.0, my pogostemon yatabeanus is shedding less and less leaves, hopefully it helps that stop altogether. I also believe the boost in plant growth is helping to outcompete some pesky algae I've been battling, new algae growth seems to have significantly slowed.
 

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I had one CRV36 - Series and a 30" Finnex SE on my 40B. I think the KL and CRV models are the newest one has more white LED's and one has 660nm LED's. I returned my CRV for a Fluval 3.0 36".
Yeah, I ordered the KL model not too long ago thinking it was the newest/best and returned it for the CRV with the 660nm reds. I'm happy with it.

- I'll say again that had Fluval made a 30" 3.0, I would have kept it. 24" is too short for a 29g.
 
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Yeah, I ordered the KL model not too long ago thinking it was the newest/best and returned it for the CRV with the 660nm reds. I'm happy with it.

- I'll say again that had Fluval made a 30" 3.0, I would have kept it. 24" is too short for a 29g.
I've been running my new 36" tank for months on a 24" and have been putting medium/low light stuff on in the corners. Finally got a deal on Fluval 3.0.

$140 for the 36" free shipping from Petco last week.

But this week's deal is even better... coulda saved $4.80 lol. Did the math with the new promo they're offering and its $135.20 for the 36". The 48" is about $150. Beats a Finnex 48" on Amazon was $160, but I haven't shopped a deal on the 24/7s. Been waiting months for these sales at Petco. (additional 9% off via discounted gift cards from cardpool)

There are ways around MAP (minimum advertised price) mwahaha. More light, less money, sounds good to me.
 

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If figuring out how to use petcos sale stuff is too much effort like it is for me kensfish still does 15% off the 3.0s with coupon code "fluval" but it doesn't apply to the nano anymore :(


Where were you with that code last week!? ;)

Looks like they don’t add on tax. Comes out to the same price as my big work around since they don’t do tax, tho that’s with my local sales tax rate at 9.25%. Which I was using discounted gift cards to negate, but if my local sales tax were less my work around saves a few dollars. Well... like $1.40 for each percent.
 

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Yeah, I ordered the KL model not too long ago thinking it was the newest/best and returned it for the CRV with the 660nm reds. I'm happy with it.

- I'll say again that had Fluval made a 30" 3.0, I would have kept it. 24" is too short for a 29g.
$140 for the 36" free shipping from Petco last week.

But this week's deal is even better... coulda saved $4.80 lol. Did the math with the new promo they're offering and its $135.20 for the 36". The 48" is about $150. Beats a Finnex 48" on Amazon was $160, but I haven't shopped a deal on the 24/7s. Been waiting months for these sales at Petco. (additional 9% off via discounted gift cards from cardpool)

There are ways around MAP (minimum advertised price) mwahaha. More light, less money, sounds good to me.
If figuring out how to use petcos sale stuff is too much effort like it is for me kensfish still does 15% off the 3.0s with coupon code "fluval" but it doesn't apply to the nano anymore :)
If figuring out how to use petcos sale stuff is too much effort like it is for me kensfish still does 15% off the 3.0s with coupon code "fluval" but it doesn't apply to the nano anymore :)


Where were you with that code last week!? :)

Looks like they don’t add on tax. Comes out to the same price as my big work around since they don’t do tax, tho that’s with my local sales tax rate at 9.25%. Which I was using discounted gift cards to negate, but if my local sales tax were less my work around saves a few dollars. Well... like $1.40 for each percent.
Petco has 20% right now. Code Spring20. $134.99 for the 36" plus free shipping. Loving this light, it is a lot brighter than the finnex I had!
 

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I just ordered one of the 36" 3.0s for my 40b low tech. Right now its got one of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F6XD2FH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and its just not cutting it. Ive got the smaller version on my 10g and it works great considering low tech. The algae is very controllable with the current live stock. The 40b however is not very controllable and the plants arent doing very good IMHO.



Hopefully it works out.


It will help a lot because you can fine tune it! Figure out that “sweet spot” for low tech and it’s all gravy. And the beauty is if you ever want to go high tech, you don’t need to replace it, just ramp up the intensity. However you may need to get a second light to cover the full spread of the tank, but that’s the 40b’s fault, not the light.


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It will help a lot because you can fine tune it! Figure out that “sweet spot” for low tech and it’s all gravy. And the beauty is if you ever want to go high tech, you don’t need to replace it, just ramp up the intensity. However you may need to get a second light to cover the full spread of the tank, but that’s the 40b’s fault, not the light.


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Appreciate the input. With the 24" light its just too short, hoping the 36 will take care of the dead spots on the end. The front to back could use a little bit currently but its doable.



I still need to silicone the glass top to get rid of the black center strip. Its very annoying.
 

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Appreciate the input. With the 24" light its just too short, hoping the 36 will take care of the dead spots on the end. The front to back could use a little bit currently but its doable.



I still need to silicone the glass top to get rid of the black center strip. Its very annoying.


It’ll help a lot. And for low tech and low light plants, you’ll likely only need the one light.

Yeah I just removed that stupid thing and left it as two glass plates lol.


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