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Lighting a 60 gal with LEDs -- Hoping for a nice carpet

1565 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Ruxl
I recently purchased a 60 gallon tank and am currently in the preparation phase for a freshwater aquarium. I was hoping to use an LED fixture to light the tank and I'm aiming for a nice carpet with some larger plants to boot. Dimensions are below:

36.5"L x 15.5"D x 25.375"H

Does anyone have any recommendations? I really don't know what a proper PAR level would be. Based on what I've read so far, I am looking at the Finnex FugeRay, link below: Finnex FugeRay Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights, 36-Inch: Pet Supplies

Would 2 be enough or too much? I'm planning on getting a CO2 system as well. My only other tank is a 2 gal with a single betta and anubias, which is doing great, but very easy to maintain. I came across this tank very cheap and I've got the planted tank bug, so this is a big step for me! Any help is welcome.
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You should have about 50 PAR or more, plus good CO2 in order to grow a good HC carpet. A single Finnex Ray2 light should give you about that, if you have about 2-3 inches of substrate. The Fugeray would not be enough light.
Awesome, thanks Hoppy! I was hoping you'd be one to get back to me, your article on PAR values is where I started my research! Thanks a bunch :)
Would 12hrs on and off a day be enough or too much? And how might that change for a dry start? I was going to get my carpet going for a few months before adding water.
I have a 65 gallon tank very similar in size to yours - 36x18x24 in my case. With a single Ray2 I do not feel I am getting enough light to my HC; it isn't dying but it isn't thriving, either. Even dosing EI & ~45ppm CO2 I have not had any luck keeping high-light plants thus far.

In my refugium I have a bit higher light, and the difference is night and day. The HC grows quickly and is a much brighter green.
@Ruxl, what light do you use for your refugium? And is it a 60 gal as well?
Refugium is a section of my sump running off the 65. Its roughly 12w x 12d x 8h, with a 17w CFL home depot light clamp light sitting 2" off the water, so roughly 8-9" off the HC (substrate is 1-2" thick, closer to 1").

Here is a full tank pic from a few months ago. I believe the lack of light caused the pogostemon erectus to completely die off (back right), and I'm down to 1-2 stems of ludwigia repens (back left) and 3 stems of ludwigia ovalis (back center). The bacopa monnieri (back left, right of the repens) and rotala rotundifolia (far right, far left) have taken off; my tank looks like a rotundifolia farm at this point.

Here's a pic of the refugium section. The HC in here was planted as individual stems pulled from the top portion roughly 2 weeks ago, so there has been significant growth. Pardon the grime, tank is due for its scrub down tomorrow.

I have a buildmyled xb dutch light on order, just awaiting for it to arrive. I like the ray2, the price was great and its a bright light, but I don't believe its bright enough for a 24"+ deep tank with demanding plants. I was thinking of adding a 2nd ray2 and a monster ray, but personally I'd rather run 1-2 lights than 2-3.
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