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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a fixture that:

- Allows for a light 'cycle' through the period (sunrise/sunset, brightest at noon, etc.)
- Has adjustable PAR
- Makes colors look nice
 

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Tank is 2' deep and 4' long.
Hi Axelrodi202,

I just pulled the trigger on a Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0 36" fixture. It has slightly better PAR values at the 12" depth I am going to use it on than the Finnex 24/7 36" but I chose it because it is a Hagen product and comes with a 3 year warranty. It has adjustable LEDs with what should be sufficient red to highlight my red plants according to the spectrum chart.

All of that said, I also have a 24" tall tank (45 gallon high) and I have concerns if the Fluval unit or the Finnex 24/7 can provide adequate PAR to the 20" depth of my substrate from the top of the tank. I have checked the AH Supply DIY 26 watt LED units and they can provide about [email protected]" depth. Unfortunately they are not adjustable. Currently on the tank I am using a 1X96 watt Power Compact lamp in a DIY fixture with a AH Supply MIRO 4 highly polished reflector which can provide me with [email protected]" with a new bulb.

I guess it kind of boils down to what types of plants you want to grow (high / medium / low light); if you want to grow plants that require high light then you will likely need to have pressurized CO2. In my case I first decided on the plants I wanted to grow then purchased the equipment to handle their requirements.

Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0
 

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A lot of this has to do with exactly how much control you want over the lighting and how much money your willing to spend to get it.

I recently replaced the lighting on my 90 gal planted tank. I was using a 4 bulb T5 fixture and it was time to replace the bulbs. I figured I was better off putting the money toward new lighting. This is a high light planted tank and uses pressurized CO2.

I went with two Current USA Satellite+ Pro Fixtures. Here is a link to the manufacturers site - Satellite Freshwater LED+ Pro | Current-USA

So far they have been in use a few weeks, so I can't give you a long term evaluation. So far I have seen a lot better plant growth and a lot more pearling on the plants. I did find the initial setup a bit tricky, because the remote control they give you is not keyed to a specific fixture. Make sure you have the sensors for the fixture far enough apart so the remote doesn't hit both of them at once.

You can fine tune the spectrum and the amount of light being put out, and it does do a dusk/dawn cycle. However you can only have one daytime spectrum level and one night time level, and the ramp up time is fixed at about 15 min. This is ok for the vast majority of people, but it's not nearly the amount of control you can get on some of those really high end (read very expensive) LED lighting systems like Eco Tech or Kessil.

Some additional notes -

LED lighting tends to be very directional, despite what manufacturers say, if you want to avoid dim areas on larger tanks you often need more fixtures than you would think.

Everyone likes the LED system they bought. In reality, while there are differences, among the major players, there is not that much difference in the fixtures. Choose the one that best fits your desires, taking into consideration the amount of control you want, and your price range and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Seattle_Aquarist: I figure I shouldn't need more than ~50 PAR at substrate - I find above this it becomes very difficult to supply enough CO2 while keeping happy livestock. The Fluval fixture looks nice, but I guess it doesn't have a timer function?
@DaveK: The Current fixture looks nice. I'll have a look at reviews from those who've ha it for longer.
 

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Hi Axelrodi202,

My local aquarium club has a PAR meter that members can check out and use to determine the PAR readings for their tanks; I'll see if I can get it and I will post my finding in this thread.
 
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