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Hi jwd911,

Welcome to TPT, I always enjoy seeing new hobbyists join us.

I regret to tell you that the light in question, JBJ Slim Line 140w Orion LED Fixture - 33", is not only too short for your tank it is also designed for use with marine tanks and corals. The light spectrum would not work well for a freshwater planted tank. Maybe you could sell it on Craiglist and use the money toward a light for freshwater. You will need a good light to get down to the bottom of that 90 gallon since it likely almost 25.5" deep.
 

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Thank you for the information Seattle_Aquarist! That helps a lot. For that deep/size of a tank, what would be a good light to keep a high tech aquarium growing strong? I plan on using ada amazonia aquasoil, dosing CO2, and everything else to make an amazing display. I would prefer LEDs but I don't want to spend big money. Under $200. Also open to diy lights. I've heard of some people using shop lights?

Shop Utilitech Linear Shop Light (Common: 4-ft; Actual: 12-in x 48.5-in) at Lowes.com

^^^ I like this idea! But what bulbs would you put in it? I saw this link on this website we're on.

OMG I finally found the Youtuber that I used to watch religiously and drooled on my computer for hours. THIS is what I want 100%.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRxbErSngJE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2oUzP7CL4M

Those are DREAM tanks. I want to get as close to that as possible. If you could help me achieve the correct lighting I can do all of the rest and will love you forever!

EDIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZDexLMZFrU

This is what made me want to start a planted tank.
 

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Hi jwd911,

That four (4) bulb shop light uses 32 watt T8 type bulbs; depending upon the quality of the reflector that should give you low to medium light at the substrate assuming +/- 3" of substrate. Ideally if you go florescent lighting the fixture would use T5HO bulbs which give more light per watt; a 2 or 3 lamp T5HO fixture would provide plenty of light. In either case use 'Daylight' type bulbs with a K value of around 6500.

Just an FYI the lights used in both the youtube videos are likely LED based upon the point source light wave ripples I saw on the substrate; then you are getting into some $$. To be truthful I haven't seen an LED light that impresses me with regards to cost, reliability, and warranty with the possible exception of Build My LED but they discontinued their aquarium line of products.

As for DIY; about 3 years ago I set up a 20 gallon with an AH Supply 26 watt lamp over it and it has been very reliable. I have not lost an LED nor had any electrical problems with it. Also, it is easy to retrofit an old fixture to LED. I estimate 26 watt LED lamp provides about PAR=50 at a 24 inch depth; it provides PAR=92 at 18" depth.

20 gallon with AH Supply 26 watt; 6500K LED (not aquascaped)


AH Supply retrofit of 24" fixture
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hi jwd911,

That four (4) bulb shop light uses 32 watt T8 type bulbs; depending upon the quality of the reflector that should give you low to medium light at the substrate assuming +/- 3" of substrate. Ideally if you go florescent lighting the fixture would use T5HO bulbs which give more light per watt; a 2 or 3 lamp T5HO fixture would provide plenty of light. In either case use 'Daylight' type bulbs with a K value of around 6500.

Just an FYI the lights used in both the youtube videos are likely LED based upon the point source light wave ripples I saw on the substrate; then you are getting into some $$. To be truthful I haven't seen an LED light that impresses me with regards to cost, reliability, and warranty with the possible exception of Build My LED but they discontinued their aquarium line of products.

As for DIY; about 3 years ago I set up a 20 gallon with an AH Supply 26 watt lamp over it and it has been very reliable. I have not lost an LED nor had any electrical problems with it. Also, it is easy to retrofit an old fixture to LED. I estimate 26 watt LED lamp provides about PAR=50 at a 24 inch depth; it provides PAR=92 at 18" depth.

20 gallon with AH Supply 26 watt; 6500K LED (not aquascaped)


AH Supply retrofit of 24" fixture
I'm going to Lowes today to see what I can find in a T5. I wonder if they make T5 shop lights. How high would you hang the lights from the top of the glass tank lid? You've been a ton of help, thanks!

EDIT: I found the bulbs on depots website. It says they're cool white so I'll look for daylight. It also says that you can mix and match colors for growing needs. Should I get all 2 or 3 (however many my light will hold) daylight or have a different color combination? http://www.homedepot.com/p/ViaVolt-4-ft-T5-865-High-Output-6500K-Fluorescent-Grow-Light-Replacement-Bulb-VT54B/203124383
 

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So I just got everything ordered for my 90 gallon EXCEPT the light... I can't decide one one. I ditched the shop light idea. I've decided to go with an LED light made for the tank. I'd like to stay around $150 range. What do you guys think about this light? I'm worried about any 1 light being enough for my tank since it's so deep. Sadly I can only buy one light for now.


I'm want to do jungle like plants. My favorite that I've found so far is jungle val. I love the flat bladed grass. Will that light grow val?

OR there is this but it's a little more than I want to spend.

http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Aqua-Fresh-Plant-48-60in/dp/B015QM9WY6/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1461296605&sr=8-3-fkmr1&keywords=Fluval+Fresh+%26+Plant+2.0+Full+Spectrum+Performance+LED+Fixture
 

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Went with the Fluval Fresh 2.0! It comes in next week.
Hi jwd911,

I am curious about that model and have been checking it out. How about a quick review when you have a chance?
 
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