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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is such a common question. I have been stuck in analysis paralysis quite literally for years. I started my 75g tank in 2015 and just used overdriven T8 bulbs and told myself, "this will just be until I can figure out a good LED light." I currently have a single overdriven T8 bulb on my tank (I reduced it from two)

Well, now its 2021 and I still have the same darn light. And I do NOT like it.

I have a 75g tank that is CO2 injected and fertilized using EI. It is pretty much JUST dwarf sag with one crypt at one end and a single anubias in the center. I have waged an eternal war with black beard algae and I am just tired of it. I know that I have TOO much light because I have a PAR meter (Thank you Hoppy) and my overdriven T8 keeps the PAR around 100-130 at the substrate level. I have turned my photoperiod down to a measly six hours split into two 3 hour blocks to try and keep the algae at bay (thats a story for a different thread).

I know it would be cheaper to just buy another T8 fixture and not overdrive it. I could also raise the current light, or put screening on top of the tank etc.. I am not necessarily looking for a cheap fix. I would like to finally get new lights on my tank.

What I want is one LED light fixture that is dimmable that will provide low to medium light to my plants. Once I have my light in place, I will likely start adding in more variety of stem plants. The other things that would be nice, but not necessary would be a built in timer, an app to control it, the ability to change the colors. It would be best if it could sit on op of the tank because my wife prefers I not drill holes in our ceiling. However, I do plan to hang it at some point, so that would be a nice option to have.

I would love to have 2-3 suggestions from the community here. I get so stuck in analyzing every little detail that I never make the purchase. If you need any more details, please let me know.

TL;DR: Looking for recommendations for a LED fixture for low-med light in a CO2 EI tank.

Thank you!
Ben
 

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I'm happy with my finnex planted+, customizable 24 hour mode. There's plenty of better more customizable lights out there with all the bells and whistles but this moderately priced light works great on my low tech planted at 50% for a high. I went from a t8ho dual ballast and bba infestation as well.
 

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Its like 500 bucks but I have 2x AI Prime freshwater on my 72 bowfront and I really like them. They get super bright, or dim. They'd work for high light or low light in a 75. They have a fully programmable ramp timer and 6 different color channels that can be adjusted. They also dont lose track of time when power goes out, unlike the cheaper fluval and finnex dimmable lights.
 

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I have the fluval 3.0 on some tanks but have been replacing them with them with Chihiros wrgb 2. For a 48 inch tank the wrgb2 might be a better option than the vivid2. I also have an onf flat on my 40B and I think i prefer wrgb 2 spectrum to the onf flat. The big negative of the wrgb 2 is it is not sealed like the fluval and onf so don't get it wet ;)
 

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For my 75 gallon (whenever the darn thing ships) I have 3 screw in light bulbs (one of which is currently a smart bulb but I might make all of them smart bulbs at some point). Since you have a par meter you can set their brightness level and know exactly what you have. This is the DIY option.

The easy option is a fluval 3.0. It will do low to the lower end of medium on a 75 gallon. Its also very easy to get a hold of in a variety of stores.

The best bang for your buck option is a chihiros wrgb. There is a store in the united states that sells these now, used to need to buy them through aliexpress. Essentially same cost as the fluval but brighter at the high end with just as much ability to control the light via a smart phone app. Can set it at any brightness at any time of day etc.

The expensive option is a twinstar light with addon dimmer. EA for the 'cheap' twinstar, SA for the expensive twinstar. You will need a dimmer to achieve your desired results but those are available.

You can set a budget and decide from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all very much for your recommendations. I have decided to go with the Fluval 3.0. The biggest factor was that my LFS sells it and I wanted to support them, and since it was recommended several times here, it seemed like a good choice. I plan on staying low-low/medium light and continuing with CO2.

Now to restart my battle with BBA and see if with better, customizable light, I can finally start to get rid of it!

I will update here in a little while once I get some progress made.

Thank you all again!

Ben
 

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Thank you all very much for your recommendations. I have decided to go with the Fluval 3.0. The biggest factor was that my LFS sells it and I wanted to support them, and since it was recommended several times here, it seemed like a good choice. I plan on staying low-low/medium light and continuing with CO2.

Now to restart my battle with BBA and see if with better, customizable light, I can finally start to get rid of it!

I will update here in a little while once I get some progress made.

Thank you all again!

Ben
IME, BBA (for some strange reason) forms in areas of both low and high flow. It might be a circulation/flow, or nutrient issue.

While the light upgrade is a good one, look into getting an adjustable wave maker. When I went from a shallow 50g tank to a 75g, I noticed that the front corners were susceptible. Much harder to circulate all the water in a deep tank like a 75g.

Also, if you don't have much plant mass, standard EI is probably too many nutrients.
 
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