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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I bought a standard 10 gallon tank.

Talked to the guy at the LFS about my needs with starting a planted tank and he sold me on the T5HO lights. Got home, they were 24" - for a 20 gallon tank.

Took them back, talked to their supposed plant expert (this used to be my favourite LFS, right now they are in my bad books) and they said the ECO Bright light would be good enough for a 10 gallon tank.

Got home, set it up, put some plants in, was happy. Did some research a few days later to find that these lights most likely won't grow a thing.

So, I have a 10 gallon tank, a $120 fixture that is basically garbage to me that I can't return (tossed the packaging already) and not enough money left to go online and buy a Finnex from the US.

What are my options so that my current plants might actually survive? They are low light plants (corkscrew vals, anubias, and a couple marimo moss balls). They look like they are starting to melt and I'm pretty sure it's from my lights.

I do have pressurized CO2 (the cheapie fluval mini system that will probably end up being upgraded to something else once I'm out of canisters).
 

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Is it the Fluval Eco Bright Light? If so, don't believe everything you read. I've had one on my 10 for almost a year and it grows low light plants with no problems. My only beef with it is it comes with only 4 dimming options. Other than that, it's a good little light that will get the job done.

Not sure why your plants are melting. When did you add them to your tank? If it has only been a few days it is not uncommon for plants to go through a melting period until they adjust to your tank.
 

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A lot of times plant melt when first introduced into a tank. What some suggest is to cut back the roots a little and give it a nice trim (before planting) so that the new growth is conditioned to their new environment. Just make sure you trim them correctly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6ZRE1y4jO4

I like the Finnex Fugeray Planted Plus LED. They have the appropriate light spectrum to promote plant growth and they come in 20" size. They don't have dimming but they do have a moonlight feature (for reef i think). Usually you don't dim, it's full spectrum for the recommended period (8-10 hours a day or as needed).
 

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And if you are panicked just pick of one of the uber cheap LED FSPECs on fleabay and throw it up there as well lol.
Between the two no worries.
 
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It;s pretty normal for Vals to melt when first introduced to a new tank.Just be sure to trim off the old leaves as they die off,or they will make a huge mess.

Low and medium light plants do well with less than optimal lighting.I like the finnex lights as well,but I have the old version of the spec V with the crappy led light and it grows plants better than any other tank I have.
 

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Just so you can see, here is my very messy, work in progress 10 gallon with the Fluval Eco. I leave the light on for 6 hours on the third highest setting. In the mess there are anubias, frog bit, water sprite, 3 different kinds of Java Ferns, Bacopa, I'm testing out some Dwarf Hairgrass, Crypts, and a plant that I don't know the name of.

The right side of the substrate is different because I haven't finished swapping it out. The tank is fed recommended dosing of PPS-Pro. One drop micro, 10 drops macro 6 days a week. No ferts on water change day. I do 40% instead of 50%. Substrate if you want to know is a mix of Eco-Complete, Flourite and Peace River rock gravel from Carib Sea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, thank you guys. This eases my fears greatly and even restored my thoughts on my LFS. I read that these were awful and wouldn't even be able to grow low light.. but this is awesome. And yes, it is the Fluval Eco Bright.. so you guys seriously just made my day.

I've had the tank up and running for just over a week, and it's been a while since I've had a planted aquarium, so I didn't remember that from before. I've never trimmed roots, so I'll take a look and do that with my next set of plants. Right now I just have 4 plants in, but am planning on putting more in over the coming weeks as I am doing a betta + community fish + shrimp, so need a good plant cover.

I have the fluval stratum substrate and the guy at the LFS said not to use any ferts for the first month... but I have a bunch coming in from amazon - should I follow that, or am i good to start those?
 

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"Even restored my thoughts".......

Well, might not go that far... ;)
For $150 you can get a planted plus pro.. Orders of magnitude better than the Fluval..
Amazon.com : Current USA 18"-24" Satellite Plus PRO LED Light : Pet Supplies
There is the cousin to the Eco, the Sky version which I have on my 29. Yeah, you can play with colors, have the cheesy blue moonlight, thunder storms and all of that, but I've set mine to what works and leave it alone. It has been on my tank for 2 years this summer and haven't had a single issue with it, unlike many Finnex owners. If I were lazy enough, I could by a timer, however, it doesn't take much effort to click a button on a remote.

Is the Eco light earth-shattering technology? No. Do plants really give a flying fig if a person spent $100 or $500 on a light? Nope. If that were the case, I wouldn't be able to grow anything outside or around the house as sunlight is free. This hobby sometimes. It's not really about the tank and what lives in it. It's all about who dumped the most money.... SMH

OP: Don't feed your plants right now. Give them time to adjust as otherwise you will end up with a algae farm.
 

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Well, it has little to do w/ money except what it buys.. ;)
THE point of things like the Sat plus PRO is, not in order of personal preference:
1)No "snap" on/off.. Bugs (though briefly) a lot of the fish I have and me.
2)Easy intensity adjustment from high to low light, your choice w/ zero new dollar outlay or things
like window screen, raising lowering which changes multiple things like intensity/light spill.
3) Color tweaking to taste both yours and the plants but mostly yours.
Heck even w/ t5's people were swapping out trying to find a sweet spot of color. All at extra cost.
The rest is more "accessories" like multi-on/off period schedules, moonlight ect.

I understand that really most people do "set and forget" but sure is fun watching it ramp up in the AM..
All part of enjoyment of a hobby.

EVERY LED for aquariums should have, at the least, a ramp up/down function, regardless of price. Personal opinion.

now to prove a bit that this "tech" is not THAT expensive:
A tc=420 controller can run up t 5 channels/lights (within its design parameters of course, that that too can be changed)
LED constant voltage lights (cheap or expensive) w a tad bit of work.
Software/hardware is as low as $25..
Granted one needs to do a wee bit of work (cut 2 wires.. strip and attach) and is certainly not for everyone, the point is w/ LED adding "features" is really pretty cheap
since leds are solid state devices and easily manipulated..and MOSFETS, timing chips and even LCD displays are dirt cheap at a wholesale level..

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"Even restored my thoughts".......

Well, might not go that far... ;)
For $150 you can get a planted plus pro.. Orders of magnitude better than the Fluval..
http://www.amazon.com/Current-USA-Satellite-Plus-Light/dp/B00QVGH7CG
LOL, I guess I should have said "almost". If I did amazon, I would definitely look at something else. Sadly, the US exchange rate is ridiculous right now. And my budget just can't allow for another large fixture purchase right now. Maybe in the fall ;)

There is the cousin to the Eco, the Sky version which I have on my 29. Yeah, you can play with colors, have the cheesy blue moonlight, thunder storms and all of that, but I've set mine to what works and leave it alone. It has been on my tank for 2 years this summer and haven't had a single issue with it, unlike many Finnex owners. If I were lazy enough, I could by a timer, however, it doesn't take much effort to click a button on a remote.

OP: Don't feed your plants right now. Give them time to adjust as otherwise you will end up with a algae farm.
I looked at the Sky, but it's not in 20" :( That would have been preferred, but ah well.

And thanks for the advice on the ferts. ;)
 
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