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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, first posting here. Setting up a 50 gallon aquarium and was wondering how high up I can hang an LED and still get decent PAR for most any level of plants without frying them? On my freshwater aquariums I've only used shop lights that were 5" above but I'd like to hang whatever LED I get above at least 12" and maybe even 18" to have room for immersed plants and driftwood. My reef light was 18" over my reef and I really liked the openness. Also, suggestions on LED's would be really appreciated! Was thinking of going with the Fluval 3.0 or the Finnex Planted+ 24/7
 

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It really depends on the light. There are some really crazy Radions or Kessils that throw enough PAR that you could mount them 3 ft above the tank. On the other hand, most of the <$100 strip lighting would be unusable at 18"
 

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Depends on the lensing.
Assuming the 50 is about 20" deep and 12-16" off the top you need a light ( or collection of lights) that can push decent par at a depth of 30 plus inches.

What are all the tank dimensions?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
36 x 18 x 18

Are the fluval or the finnex strong though? i had read somewhere that they might be too strong for lower light plants. I've been a 40 year
Killifish keeper, just having java fern and java moss and floating plants over the years along with a couple years of keeping cryptocorns growing immersed, so beyond a reef, no real experience with plants
 

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My radion(s) are 10" above the water and can pus PAR levels to almost 200 thru 17+ inches of water. A Kessil A360x (these) could easily generate over 150 PAR at your substrate with the light 18" above the water. If you are fairly new to planted tanks, I would not suggest running much more than 60-70PAR until you get used to all the other variables.
 

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36 x 18 x 18

Are the fluval or the finnex strong though? i had read somewhere that they might be too strong for lower light plants. I've been a 40 year
Killifish keeper, just having java fern and java moss and floating plants over the years along with a couple years of keeping cryptocorns growing immersed, so beyond a reef, no real experience with plants

Most models of the above are dimmable soo "too strong" doesn't really apply.. ;)


It has come to my attention that Current USA's fixtures list 90 degree lensing on their light bars..and single row,
https://www.amazon.com/Current-USA-Satellite-Plus-Light/dp/B00QVI5KDW


A bit pricey considering you may eventually need 2.
At that price 2 AI Prime freshwaters would possibly save a few $'s


On the cheaper side w/ little control any LED floods in a beam angle equal less than 90 degrees is an option.


IF you want full tank coverage from front to back top to bottom w/ little light spill keep in mind a single row of LEDs at 90 degrees will roughly have a sweet spot (most light in the tank) height of 9" above the water line.



Narrower the beam higher the height for said sweet spot.


If you want a sort of compromise position..
https://www.amazon.com/Chihiros-Aqu...t=&hvlocphy=1028224&hvtargid=pla-662597705973
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
IF you want full tank coverage from front to back top to bottom w/ little light spill keep in mind a single row of LEDs at 90 degrees will roughly have a sweet spot (most light in the tank) height of 9" above the water line.



9" will be good enough for me, I think. I think the finnex are 120 degree, just have to do some more research


Thanks for the help guys!
 
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