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I've been playing with reef setups the last two years, so I think I've gotten a bit spoiled when it comes to lights. I have a 36x18 57g planted sunfish tank. Right now it's lit by a single raised Finnex Fugeray Planted+. I've been happy with the light itself. The plant growth is steady but slow - just how I like it. But it's clear that an LED fixture with the width and lenses of the Planted+ can't cover the entire tank. As a consequence, the fish only look good when they are swimming in the middle of the tank.

Long story short, I need

a) a single wide dimmable fixture,
b) a single fixture with extra-wide lenses (maybe), or
c) two single strip narrow fixtures.

I am a bit out of the loop regarding what's good right now in freshwater. What are my options? Less money is better, but I am willing to pay good money for good lights. Not going to build my own.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I have a 48 gallon, which is the same dimensions, just a little shallower, and asked the same question, except that I wanted high light. I think that, really, option b0 doesn't work that well. There are not a lot of options in a single wide fixture (for LEDs, T5HOs would be another option for a wider fixture). Are you able to suspend it above the tank? A couple pendants suspended above could work well also. I ended up deciding that a single wide fixture suspended above the tank was the way I wanted to go. I debated between the reefbreeders photon with a custom spectrum and building it myself. I really ended up going the DIY route for fun and adjustability more than anything, the reefbreeders stuff looked like it would have met my needs very well, you just need to work with them to (and some of the people on this forum) to work up a custom planted tank spectrum, because their lights are really tuned for reef use. Note that this would be a high-light fixture, but is completely dimmable and programmable, so you can set it how you want, and if you decide to go high-light in the future, you'd be set for that.

On the easier/cheaper side, you could get another low light strip to supplement your planted+, maybe a Finnex Stingray? That would give you a better spread of viewing light without adding too much PAR.

-Justin
 
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