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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some background. I have had planted tanks for a while now, after setting up a cube on my desk at work we now have 5 tanks in the office. One is marine. Lighting options for marine are really large compared to planted, especially in the "cheap" end of town with uncontrollable lights with the correct colors running for ~150. I was very surprised by what was available.

I have not done much research for planted lights for a long time, however when shopping for marine lights I found lots of hydroponic LED grow lights - which were pink/purple.

My main question is - are these effective for planted tanks, aesthetics aside, would they out perform a "standard" planted tank setup? Would one require less PAR due to the more specific color range? Less power consumption? Is the color range not relevant for aquatic plants as the products are intended for terrestrial plants? Would the limited color range affect algae?

I tried to find some information but it seems to be very thin. Anyone know of studies or tests? The general consensus out there seems to be "they work but are pink."

Thanks!
 

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Most of the plants we use spend most of their time out of water in nature. The grow bulbs would work fine but I don't think you will see enough efficiency benefits to warrant the aesthetic sacrifice. You can google university docs for how light wavelength affects photosynthesis. Chlorophyll a and b are the most dominant pigments/photoreceptors in plants(coral too actually). They absorb most of their energy from tblue to uv and from the deep red wavelengths. They don't absorb much in between. That is why plants are usually green. That said, in practice, any 6500kish light source will grow plants just fine. They must be able to adapt or something.

If marine is really all that is available to you, a 10,000k marine light would work well for plants. Just be careful about too much PAR. You could also get a marine focused T5HO fixture and put planted tank bulbs. I think most people prefer a warmer light for plants. It's really an aesthetic thing though.

For more important than spectrum is intensity per your setup.
 

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Some background. I have had planted tanks for a while now, after setting up a cube on my desk at work we now have 5 tanks in the office. One is marine. Lighting options for marine are really large compared to planted, especially in the "cheap" end of town with uncontrollable lights with the correct colors running for ~150. I was very surprised by what was available.

I have not done much research for planted lights for a long time, however when shopping for marine lights I found lots of hydroponic LED grow lights - which were pink/purple.

My main question is - are these effective for planted tanks, aesthetics aside, would they out perform a "standard" planted tank setup? Would one require less PAR due to the more specific color range? Less power consumption? Is the color range not relevant for aquatic plants as the products are intended for terrestrial plants? Would the limited color range affect algae?

I tried to find some information but it seems to be very thin. Anyone know of studies or tests? The general consensus out there seems to be "they work but are pink."

Thanks!
lots of stuff..
in no order
1)those same lights are used to grow algae (algae farms)
2)considering all the factors involved "outperform" would be impossible to quantify.
3)plant "physiology" certainly not a "a mature" science.. though LED's have actually helped in this regard.
4)hort. lights, by design and research main function is to decrease costs on a large scale, not really applicable on our scale..In short, there is no real need to give up aesthetics for efficiency for "us".
5)VERY generally speaking corals are exposed to high light levels and color attenuation very few fw "inhabitants" would encounter..and even less so considering the "weeding out" in the past of "difficult" i.e high demand plants. And reefers like their UV..
6)PAR measurements are a "tool" and to be honest, not a very accurate tool.. Actually oversamples green.. but that is another long convoluted story from 1)need for standardization and 2)the youth of plant research. and contrary data
7)generalizing asst. biological organisms is always problematic.
8) reef tanks are large and usually deep......

just food for thought..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

If marine is really all that is available to you, a 10,000k marine light would work well for plants.
Sorry I may not have been clear - that was more "I found these crazy looking pink lights while shopping for a marine setup and was interested". Not "I have marine lights, can I use them"

:D
 
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