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I am experienced saltwater aquarist but I have limited planted tank experience and no nano experience. I currently have an old 36 gallon bowfront with crypts, anubias nana, java fern and java moss under a Beamswork light. That's the limit of my planted tank experience.

I am getting out of the saltwater hobby but bought the Waterbox Cube 10 for my home office as a planted tank. I am used to spending a ton of money on reef lighting, but want to stay under $150 for this planted tank. It will be low tech for now, but I want to have a light with adjustability for a possible switch to high tech in the future. I also has to look decent since it will be on my desk I use when I work from home. Here are the lights I have considered and my concerns for each light.

Fluval Plant Nano 3.0 - I like the look and features but I don't know if it would be enough light for high tech in the future.

ONF Flat Nano+ - I also like the look and features, but ONF recommends it for a 2 to 9 gallon tank and I am concerned about coverage on a cube.

Twinstar 300EA - I can live with the look but there is no dimming option. It might be too much light for low tech.

Does anyone have advice for lighting a tank with these dimensions? Should I splurge for the AI Prime 16? Is there a better light I am not considering? Thanks in advance for the advice.
 

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After doing some additional research I realized I must have been looking at the specs for the Twinstar 450 EA when I thought the 300 EA might be too much light. There is also an inline dimmer that can be purchased for the lights. I think I am going to go with the Twinstar 300 EA and buy the dimmer as well.
 

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Ai prime freshwater..breaks the budget but fits the bill.

E series has fixed legs so only fits select tanks afaict.

Guess ea is adj. Annoying system.

Your pick, the ai, or even chihiros wrgb 2 should work well.
 
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For a tank that small I would be very tempted to go with an Asta 20.

It has a built in dimmer but otherwise has no other controls. It will definitely provide enough light to go high tech at around 100 ppfd directly under the light at 15 ish inches (from memory). In such a small tank I'm not sure if you really want to go higher then that as you will be trimming twice a week to keep swim space usable if you are blasting 200 ppfd.

Certainly you could go twinstar if you want but I'm with jeffkrol that if dropping that level of money it really should come with some darn wifi controls. I also own a chihiros wrgb 2 and its a nice option inside your budget. Downside is you need to order through ebay or aliexpress as there are no stateside distributors.
 

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Thank you for the replies. I did look at the Chihiros, but the lack of a retail seller and the 45-60 day shipping were both concerns. And, yeah I am probably overthinking this for a 14" deep tank.

I am not someone who likes to tinker with rgb channels as I saw many people harm their corals by tinkering too much when I was into reefkeeping. I am pretty much a set it and forget it guy, so the Twinstar's lack of controls doesn't bother me. There is a $20 dollarish inline controller I can buy to act as a dimmer and set a schedule. I agree that wifi control should be standard on any light in that price range.
 

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After doing some additional research I realized I must have been looking at the specs for the Twinstar 450 EA when I thought the 300 EA might be too much light. There is also an inline dimmer that can be purchased for the lights. I think I am going to go with the Twinstar 300 EA and buy the dimmer as well.
I have Twinstar adjustable(SA) lights on my 60P and 120P tanks and use the dimmer that many use with them. It is a great setup.

The "S" series is overkill for the plants that I currently have but keeps the door open for more demanding ones in the future.

For the dimmer go to Amazon and search on "Way2top Fish Tank Aquarium Light LED Dimmer". You will probably need an adapter for the DC power supply.
 

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I have Twinstar adjustable(SA) lights on my 60P and 120P tanks and use the dimmer that many use with them. It is a great setup.

The "S" series is overkill for the plants that I currently have but keeps the door open for more demanding ones in the future.

For the dimmer go to Amazon and search on "Way2top Fish Tank Aquarium Light LED Dimmer". You will probably need an adapter for the DC power supply.
Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, that's the controller I had my eye on. I'm glad to see it recommended from someone on here. I was thinking about the SA for the same reason, but I think the EA might still be enough light if I go high tech on a 14" tank.
 

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I would use the fluval nano. Use Bentley pascoe’s day sim on his YouTube channel. He walks you through how to set it up and it makes a very nice light. On that tank you could run it at 50% settings and do fine on a non co2 tank. I have it on a standard 5.5g tank. Picture included. For the money it is a very hard light to beat and coming from saltwater you will appreciate the day sim setup with gradual sunrise and sunset. Sunrise with high blues and sunset with high re
 

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I would use the fluval nano. Use Bentley pascoe’s day sim on his YouTube channel. He walks you through how to set it up and it makes a very nice light. On that tank you could run it at 50% settings and do fine on a non co2 tank. I have it on a standard 5.5g tank. Picture included. For the money it is a very hard light to beat and coming from saltwater you will appreciate the day sim setup with gradual sunrise and sunset. Sunrise with high blues and sunset with high re
Thank you for the advice. I may end up with two tanks because I can't decide on livestock or aquascape either. The Fluval and Twinstar are probably the only two lights left on the list.
 
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