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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting round 2 with my 75 gallon aquarium going with high tech planted now that funds aren't as thin even though it'll take me several months to gather all the supplies to get this thing going.

I'm stuck between the T5ho lights and LED's.

T5 choice would be the 48" AquaticLife Marquis.

The LED choice is either the finnex fugeray 2 or the planted+ 24/7.

The distance to the substrate is roughly 18" +/- 1" (I may add another bag of black diamond before planting) I already have 100 lbs in the tank now so that should be plenty.

I will be using the EI dosing method until I get my feet on the ground with the fertz.

Plant wise I'm still choosing, but I want to include reds, not just greens.

I'll be injecting co2 with a reactor and I will also have glass tops under the light.

I like the low profile LED fixtures but at the same time I'm still on the fence about which would be best.

Diy has crossed my mind and I have a 6 bulb capable VHO ballast I could use to make my own light but for right now I'd probably want to stick to a ready made fixture since this is my first go into a high tech tank.

Sorry for the long post, I hope that's enough tank info for someone to help me.


Also these aren't my final choices. If something else would work better please let me know. I'd like to keep the total price around or under $250.
 

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I had t5ho setup on my 75. 4 bulbs. I had alot of problems controlling algae. I had to cut the light way down and still had problems.
I now run 2 planted+ 24/7 on max for 8 hours and the plants are looking better every day. The algae problems have gone away almost completely. I think once i get the ferts and CO2 dialed in that will finish off what little algae is left
 

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The initial cost of LED's is balanced by the fact that t5Ho fixtures use alot of power and replacing bulb is expensive. A ray 2 would work well for high tech. Maybe 2 of them if you want really high light. I use only one on my 55g
 

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i have a finnex fugeray on a mechanical timer. My plants are exploding and it's not very hot or too dim. Also saves electricity! Basically it's dope and you should buy it!

I have a Fluval Edge Spec V with a 20" Finnex Fugeray (mount is stock), link below is to a pic of the bottom of my tank and you can see the amount of lighting it gets and if it's what you are looking for:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/22-planted-nano-tanks/1039105-what-wizardry.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input guys, would a single ray 2 be enough to grow red plants in a 75 gallon? I'd like to stick to just one fixture if possible since I'm going to base my canopy around the lighting choice I make. I see a lot of people using 2 of these fixtures and I don't have the funds for 2 of then right now. I may add in another bag of black diamond to help take up some space so I'm not fighting for deep water par values. That should add another inch or so ontop of what I have in there now.

I won't have a lot of red plants but the ones I will have I want then to thrive.
 

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Thanks for the input guys, would a single ray 2 be enough to grow red plants in a 75 gallon? I'd like to stick to just one fixture if possible since I'm going to base my canopy around the lighting choice I make. I see a lot of people using 2 of these fixtures and I don't have the funds for 2 of then right now. I may add in another bag of black diamond to help take up some space so I'm not fighting for deep water par values. That should add another inch or so ontop of what I have in there now.

I won't have a lot of red plants but the ones I will have I want then to thrive.
One on my 55 is growing everything i want.
 

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Hey I just wanted to say, I got the finnex 24/7+ around a month ago off amazon. After 2 weeks it broke, I got it replaced and now this one has a glitch in the white settings. Once I lower the white levels to a certain spot, it starts to flicker til I go down more.... I know the finnex brand has a good reputation but I think the 24/7 might have some problems. It works but I'm worried it's not going to last year's like the t5 bulbs or other brands of leds.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

T5 fixtures *

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I'll go with T5's every time. I've used a lot of different lighting over the years, but it's pretty hard to beat T5's , especially T5 HO's.
Whether you're low tech or high tech, with pressurized CO2, if you're careful with the lighting period (less is better), and careful with the ferts (less is better), is usually works out a-ok ime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nlewis, I have no problem adding more substrate if need be. Right now I believe it's about 2 inches deep which for fake plants is fine but I'll probably add another bag to get up closer to 3 inches deep for the live plants. Plus it'll make aquascaping a little easier..

I have a 40# co2 tank and a medical grade regulator waiting to have a post body kit installed. I have a glass inline bubble counter and will be slowly aquitaine everything else over the course of a few months time. The light and plants will be last on the list or I may go ahead and get the light and just keep it safe until I get the plants.

I'm looking into an auto doser for the fertz since my work schedule sometimes varies and I was thinking maybe a 6 or 7 photocycle at first and work my way up or down from there.

I found a Ray 2 on ebay for about $200 but I'll look on amazon too.

I love LED's but I also want my tank to be as evenly covered from front to back as possible. I hate dark spots and deep shadowing in tanks. It drives me nuts.

Thas why I'm stuck between a larger t5ho fixture and low profile LED's.
 

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York1, the situation you had sounds a lot like my situation now. I'm a little unclear on your answer. Are you saying you switched to LEDs and that caused your algae problems to go away? If so, what kind of LED? Is it all-white LEDs, or do you have a mix of colors?
 

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I've been researching the ray 2 and I like it more and more but my biggest issue with it is the skinyness of it and the fact that I may need to get a second one to help evenly cover the substrate.

Does anyone have any input on the T5ho fixtures? I'd like to keep my options open to both. Not just LED's.

So far I've decided on adding a second bag of black diamond and the Co2 diffusion method but that's about it.

Also as an idea I'll need to find out what the ballast actually is but I can build a hood to hole up to 6 48 inch shop light tubes but I'll either have all on or all off unless I bought 2 strip lights and gutted them. Honestly I'm probably going to get the finnex ray 2.

There's too many options for lighting with too little specific data and not to mention all the cheap knock off lights that claim they work when they really dont.
 

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On a 75 you will need 2 24/7 to make sure you have even par through out the tank. Directly under a 24/7 at 18" you will have about 40 par which is roughly med light but the light/par spread is terrible. If the light is centered you will have about 20 par in the front and back. You won't have the shadows really but you will have a noticeable difference in light intensity from front to back. Having two lights would even this out. I think you would need to spend close to 300$ for two of them which sucks. A good alternative would be t5ho fixture that would provide much more even par because the bulbs aren't a single point focus. If you buy a t5 fixture meant for aquariums be prepared to also pay for it. I'll attach a pic of what I would get. It's a sunblaze 4 bulb t5ho fixture meant for hydroponics that they sell mounting and hanging kits for so you can easily adjust height. Best bang for your buck that you would be able to achieve high or lower lighting with. More options less money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
WillCooper what are the dimensions of that light?

And has anyone gone with anything from buildmyled.com? I like that you can pick and choose on their stuff. Just with their fixtures were wider to cover the width of the tank better.

I'm going to look at that hydroponics fixture though. I like the looks of it
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've made up my mind to 2 LED fixtures but am still looking into t5 fixtures.. my biggest thing is that where I live there isn't a whole lot on the planted side of things. Most places only have the "make it look pretty" lights that don't have any use for a planted tank.

1. 48" Finnex Ray 2 DS

2. 48" Zetlight ZP-4000


The specifics for the Zetlight are:

98 6500k LED's
21 Blue 465nm-485nm
28 Red 620nm-620nm

This fixture is slightly shorter than 48 inches in length and is only 2.5 inches in width. I forget the height but it's very very slim. There is a controller kit you can get for it that is a timer/ ramper built into one unit. It's only $115 on ebay vs the Ray 2 at closer to $200. I can't find PAR or PUR values for this light as of right now.


As for t5 fixtures I'm stuck on either a 2 or 4 bulb configuration.

I really like the older AquaticLife fixture, model LF2-48. It's the one with the timer on the front and the legs on the corners. Basically the light that odyssea cloned.

The sun blaze unit is apparently TEKs hydroponics side of things and is a whopping 20k lumens and 216 watts in total. My only gripe about that is that it's either all or nothing when you turn it on. I'm unsure if that's way too much light even though I'll be dosing fertz and injecting co2.

Is anyone running a 75 gallon tank? What light are you using on it?

If I were to run T5's how many bulbs would/ should I run at a time? I'm going to start my photoperiod at 6 hours and go from there if need be.

I'm probably over thinking all of this but I can't afford to spend upwards of $200+ and end up with a fixture that's not up to snuff with my needs.
 

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@RCfishfreak
I've had T5s on a reef tank and when the bulbs are new, they are good. There were no dimmable units back then with built in controllers like there are now, but the better value is still LED I believe. Without dimming, you hear members having to reduce the photo period to fight algae, but then you are starring at a dark tank either before work or after work, unless you are home during the day. Using a controlled dimmable unit allows you to reduce the high noon intensity but still maintain reduced light for viewing in both AM and PM, simulating sunrise and sunset. Not sure how much the fish and plants appreciate that, but it is more realistic and enjoyable than on/off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's what draws me to the LED's is the dimable aspect of them and that they last longer. Plus they're lighter and easier to move when tank maintenance is needed.

Does anyone have any experience with that zetlight fixture? I've been researching it and haven't found too much yet. I'm literally down to the light and which plants I'll be getting.
 

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WillCooper what are the dimensions of that light?

And has anyone gone with anything from buildmyled.com? I like that you can pick and choose on their stuff. Just with their fixtures were wider to cover the width of the tank better.

I'm going to look at that hydroponics fixture though. I like the looks of it
https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/8...BaseShopping&gclid=CKH79fXM28wCFdKIfgodatQA1g

Keep in mind it's not all or nothing with this. You can remove one or more bulbs to suit your needs. I use leds now but just hate the spread and don't like the look of two fixtures. Dimming is cool but just a feature that gets you the same result as going from 4 to 3 bulbs to 2 if necessary and you can always put them back in when you want higher light. I also like the look of this particular lamp.

Regarding build my leds; I'm not sure they are still building. I could be wrong but I heard they stopped. I think they are a link on the forums home page and you can read about it there. Fixture info in attachment or link provided.

I just did a little research and found that this light should be at about 90-100 par at 24" from substrate with all four bulbs which is high lighting. If you went with this light I would start with three bulbs and use co2
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alright, after digging around I've decided to build my own LED fixture with a 48" MakersLED heats ink kit.

Currently I'm just trying to decide which LED's to go with and how many I will need.

It'll cost me more but in the long run ever single component is serviceable/replaceable. If one diode fails I can replace that one component instead of the whole fixture.

I'm currently looking at Cree XL-L2, XP-E2 and Luxeon Rebel Colors.

My only confusion is the nm range I need to be shooting for and if I should find LED's that are all rated for 3000mA. The XL-L2 are rated at 3000mA and the other 3 are only rated at 1000mA.

I love making my own electronic stuff so this will be a welcome challenge for me and add to the "look what I made" part of keeping a planted tank.

Could anyone help me with the LED selecting part? I have everything else figured out now.
 
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