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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

With Black Friday quickly approaching I am thinking about upgrading the lighting on my tank. Currently, I have an old 36" Finnex RayII DS suspended over the tank. The light works fine but tends really wash out all colors except green. Since it's old and longer than the tank, I also don't really have a good idea of how much par I have.

The main things I am looking for in a new light are good color rendition/aesthetics and a wide light spread. I will most likely hang whichever light I get so dimming isn't as important, but would be a nice feature. As far as budget goes, I don't want to break the bank since I am also looking at getting some other aquarium upgrades. I would like to stay sub $200 with less being a plus.

In my research the main lights to consider seem to be the Fluval 3.0 and the Finnex ALC. The Finnex is cheaper and should fit right into my only slightly sketchy hanging system since I believe it uses the same heatsink/hood as the RayII. The Fluval has more PAR, sounds like it's way easier to program, and is more expensive. However, petco seems to be having a deal where I could get it for around $130 making the price difference not a large.

Which one would y'all recommend for my situation and are there any others I should consider?
 

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Hi Everyone,

With Black Friday quickly approaching I am thinking about upgrading the lighting on my tank. Currently, I have an old 36" Finnex RayII DS suspended over the tank. The light works fine but tends really wash out all colors except green. Since it's old and longer than the tank, I also don't really have a good idea of how much par I have.

The main things I am looking for in a new light are good color rendition/aesthetics and a wide light spread. I will most likely hang whichever light I get so dimming isn't as important, but would be a nice feature. As far as budget goes, I don't want to break the bank since I am also looking at getting some other aquarium upgrades. I would like to stay sub $200 with less being a plus.

In my research the main lights to consider seem to be the Fluval 3.0 and the Finnex ALC. The Finnex is cheaper and should fit right into my only slightly sketchy hanging system since I believe it uses the same heatsink/hood as the RayII. The Fluval has more PAR, sounds like it's way easier to program, and is more expensive. However, petco seems to be having a deal where I could get it for around $130 making the price difference not a large.

Which one would y'all recommend for my situation and are there any others I should consider?
I had the Fluval 3.0 for a while, but I got rid of it because it also doesn’t have good color rendition. Pretty much zero red, all blue. It’s also overpriced given the poor color rendition.

The Finnex has better color rendition. I’d highly recommend a chihiros wrbg 2 though. I love mine.
 

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I had the Fluval 3.0 for a while, but I got rid of it because it also doesn’t have good color rendition. Pretty much zero red, all blue. It’s also overpriced given the poor color rendition.

The Finnex has better color rendition. I’d highly recommend a chihiros wrbg 2 though. I love mine.
That's weird. Most think the fluval is warm.
Maybe you have the reef version?

Finnex generally do have good color rendition.

Chihiros had good color pop but it's not err "accurate" if that matters.

Hi Everyone,

With Black Friday quickly approaching I am thinking about upgrading the lighting on my tank. Currently, I have an old 36" Finnex RayII DS suspended over the tank. The light works fine but tends really wash out all colors except green. Since it's old and longer than the tank, I also don't really have a good idea of how much par I have.

The main things I am looking for in a new light are good color rendition/aesthetics and a wide light spread. I will most likely hang whichever light I get so dimming isn't as important, but would be a nice feature. As far as budget goes, I don't want to break the bank since I am also looking at getting some other aquarium upgrades. I would like to stay sub $200 with less being a plus.

In my research the main lights to consider seem to be the Fluval 3.0 and the Finnex ALC. The Finnex is cheaper and should fit right into my only slightly sketchy hanging system since I believe it uses the same heatsink/hood as the RayII. The Fluval has more PAR, sounds like it's way easier to program, and is more expensive. However, petco seems to be having a deal where I could get it for around $130 making the price difference not a large.

Which one would y'all recommend for my situation and are there any others I should consider?
The non- programmable ( out of the box) planted plus had a shell like the ray2
 
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Nope I had 2 Fluval plant 3.0s that I bought from aquarium co-op.

Rectangle Font Screenshot Parallel Number


Rectangle Font Gadget Technology Multimedia


Also here is my tank when I switched from each light:
Plant Plant community Green Vertebrate Rectangle

My red plants colored up a lot more as time went on too.

The Fluvals aren’t the worst leds, and they have pretty good PAR, there are just better options for the price range if you are looking for ideal colors in plants, especially red plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nope I had 2 Fluval plant 3.0s that I bought from aquarium co-op.

View attachment 1034912

View attachment 1034908

Also here is my tank when I switched from each light:
View attachment 1034911
My red plants colored up a lot more as time went on too.

The Fluvals aren’t the worst leds, and they have pretty good PAR, there are just better options for the price range if you are looking for ideal colors in plants, especially red plants.
Thanks for the pictures. May I ask which light is used in each picture? I was having a hard time figuring it out.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Been doing some more research and I have to say it's hard to make a choice!

Better color rendition is my main reason for upgrading so that is probably the most important aspect to me.

I do quite like the color and look of the Ray2 aside from how it really washes out reds. This makes me think I would probably really like the color of the Finnex ALC but the programming sounds like it's a real pain. From my understanding, it can only be controlled in 3-hour increments which I'm not sure how to handle. Six hours seems too short but nine hours seems like it would be pushing it.

Whenever I see pictures of WRGB2 I love how the colors pop. However, since I've never seen it in person and it lacks white LEDs I worry it might look strange or unnatural. It also stretches the budget. My biggest concern however is reliability, I've come across more than a few threads that talk about various failures.

Petco's deal on Fluval 3.0 makes it very attractive from a price/feature standpoint. However, I've seen in multiple places that it can look quite yellow which I'm not sure if I would like coming from what I understand is a fixture that leans blue.

Are there any fixtures out there that have white, red, green, and blue that can be independently controlled with a relatively easy-to-use interface?
 

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I've got the Finnex ALC 24" over my 20g. I can attest to the programming, it's not the easiest. I've ended up writing down my settings and sort of map it out on paper before I try to program it. I agree the 3hr blocks are a pain. I really wish the engineers thought it out a little more.
That being said, it's not a bad light for me. It's bringing out some reds in my AR and some Ludwigia. I'm recovering from some overgrowth and subsequent algae, but it's growing things well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Been doing some more poking around and game across a newer fixture that's looks very interesting, the LEDstar AQ.

I can't find a ton of information but seems to be aimed at the WRGB 2s market share. Comparable price to the WRGB 2, 4 channel WRGB control through an app, two year warranty, and more sealed against water. The little information I could find came from video reviews that claim it has higher PAR (depending on which model) then the WRGB 2 according to their tests.

From their Facebook page there appears to be two US based distributors that handle warranty and etc.

Curious to know everyone's thoughts on these.

US Vendor Link

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Been doing some more poking around and game across a newer fixture that's looks very interesting, the LEDstar AQ.

I can't find a ton of information but seems to be aimed at the WRGB 2s market share. Comparable price to the WRGB 2, 4 channel WRGB control through an app, two year warranty, and more sealed against water. The little information I could find came from video reviews that claim it has higher PAR (depending on which model) then the WRGB 2 according to their tests.

From their Facebook page there appears to be two US based distributors that handle warranty and etc.

Curious to know everyone's thoughts on these.

US Vendor Link

Sent from my SM-G970U1 using Tapatalk
Looks pretty sweet. Nice find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Been doing some more poking around and game across a newer fixture that's looks very interesting, the LEDstar AQ.

I can't find a ton of information but seems to be aimed at the WRGB 2s market share. Comparable price to the WRGB 2, 4 channel WRGB control through an app, two year warranty, and more sealed against water. The little information I could find came from video reviews that claim it has higher PAR (depending on which model) then the WRGB 2 according to their tests.

From their Facebook page there appears to be two US based distributors that handle warranty and etc.

Curious to know everyone's thoughts on these.

US Vendor Link

Sent from my SM-G970U1 using Tapatalk
@jeffkrol I would be very intrested in your expert opinion on these lights if you willing since they seem to fill all my wants.

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With a shallow tank like a 20L your probably fine with the Finnex 24/7. It's will have enough power for most plants. If you don't care about the bells/whistles than a twinstar is a good light, but don't know if it comes in 30". I actually have a 30" Finnex 24/7 CC suspending over my tank. Once you learn the remote, it's pretty easy to program. I also have an ONF Flat One that has bluetooth but I don't think that comes in 30". Once set I barely use the remote (Finnex) or my phone (ONF) via bluetooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
With a shallow tank like a 20L your probably fine with the Finnex 24/7. It's will have enough power for most plants. If you don't care about the bells/whistles than a twinstar is a good light, but don't know if it comes in 30". I actually have a 30" Finnex 24/7 CC suspending over my tank. Once you learn the remote, it's pretty easy to program. I also have an ONF Flat One that has bluetooth but I don't think that comes in 30". Once set I barely use the remote (Finnex) or my phone (ONF) via bluetooth.
I would love to go with the finnex ALC. It's the cheapest and I've had good luck with their fixtures in the past. I just worry about how to deal with the three hour time blocks. Six hours seems to short and nine seems a bit long. Do the 24/7 fixtures keep their settings after losing power? If so I could pick a color and intensity I like and just use an external timer like I do now.

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I would love to go with the finnex ALC. It's the cheapest and I've had good luck with their fixtures in the past. I just worry about how to deal with the three hour time blocks. Six hours seems to short and nine seems a bit long. Do the 24/7 fixtures keep their settings after losing power? If so I could pick a color and intensity I like and just use an external timer like I do now.

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You don' t need to use the 24/7 option.
 

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I have 2 of the 48" finnex ALC on my 75 and am very happy with them. Great color, nice reds, good par. They seem to use a clean 6500-7000k white, and have seperate RGB diodes with the reds being 660nm. As far as the programming when power goes out, when power comes back on they resume where they left off in the cycle, great if its a power blink, not so great if its a long outage.
As far as the 3 hour blocks go, id have liked to have had 1 hour increments but to me its a minor niggle. If you are worried about nine hours keep in mind how the 3 hour blocks work.

For example if we program 9am to be 0 intensity, Noon to be 100, 3pm to be 100, and 6pm to be 0, it will take 3 hours from 9am til noon to fully ramp up, you will be at full intensity for 3 hours from noon til 3 and then you have 3 hours worth of ramp down. So you get 9 hours of light with only 3hours at full intensity and the other 6 average about 50 percent. With a little tweaking on intensities, i think this isnt as limiting as it sounds in real terms, and i have mine dialed in to my tank. Usually with a planted tank once you get light dialed in, you leave it be so bluetooth apps, etc are more showy toys than anything and after playing for a day or two dont get much real use.

I would tell you that if you have red fish or plants 660nm leds are awesome. And the iredescence on my congo tetras pops alot more under my ALCs than my old DA Fspec Beamsworks.
 

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@bigtrout nailed it explaining the 3 hour blocks (he beat me to it, LOL.) As mentioned it's a ramp up or a fade to the next intensity. So you don't have to worry about having the lights on too long as you can make the intensity extremely low. I actually have some intensity going for 18 out of 24 hrs. Would have preferred bluetooth via phone to see actual intensity, etc, but that's usually another price point and as bigtrout and I both mentioned, you really don't use the remote once your dialed in. It's pretty good value for the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, everyone! I am pretty much sold on the Finnex ALC. However, since none of the fixtures I have looked at have any real sales going on right now I will probably wait a bit.

Also, if someone who has the finnex ALC could post some pictures of the mounting brackets/legs I would appreciate it. I need to start thinking about how I will get my hanging system, which is a bit crude in design and function, to work with it.
 
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