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Discussion Starter #1
Hello people. Sorry for a possibly long and messy post but I need as much information as possible.

Currently, I'm using fluorescent lighting but I know the day will eventually come that I will have to make the jump to LED's, which I'm not looking forward to since I don't know much about them. Hopefully, this thread will help change that. I like what I'm using now but I don't know if I can get what I have now in LED.

I'm using two T8 bulbs(17W each), one is 6500K that I bought from an electrical supply store and the other is an Aqueon FloraMax, which does not indicate the Kelvin rating. The first bulb gives off a white light whereas the FloraMax gives off a red tint. I've had a lot of success growing plants using these bulbs together so would I be able to get this same look in an LED fixture?

Another thing is PAR. I've been researching about lighting and I've learned that plants use the blue and red spectrum. I don't know where my 6500 is on the spectrum since I can't find that information on it but the FloraMax provides both red and blue. Would I be able to obtain this with LED's and if so, what would I look for?

There are a few other things that I'm looking for:

- One is a dimmer. I've read that some fixtures have a dimmer so you can adjust the intensity. This would be great to have since I don't want the tank to be too bright.
-Another is the dawn/dusk feature. I use a photoperiod of 5-4-5 and I like that the lights turn on and off gradually with that feature, making it easier for fish to adapt to the change instead of it being so sudden.
-A timer is a must or at least, a fixture that will work with the timer I use for my lights right now.

I know that I will have to shell out a bit of cash for this but I am looking for something more affordable and not $300+. I don't know if I will be able to find what I want in that price range.

So, do you all have any suggestions on what brands I should check out? If there is any info that you'll need that I left out, please let me know. :)
 

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Hello people. Sorry for a possibly long and messy post but I need as much information as possible.

Currently, I'm using fluorescent lighting but I know the day will eventually come that I will have to make the jump to LED's, which I'm not looking forward to since I don't know much about them. Hopefully, this thread will help change that. I like what I'm using now but I don't know if I can get what I have now in LED.

I'm using two T8 bulbs(17W each), one is 6500K that I bought from an electrical supply store and the other is an Aqueon FloraMax, which does not indicate the Kelvin rating. The first bulb gives off a white light whereas the FloraMax gives off a red tint. I've had a lot of success growing plants using these bulbs together so would I be able to get this same look in an LED fixture?

Another thing is PAR. I've been researching about lighting and I've learned that plants use the blue and red spectrum. I don't know where my 6500 is on the spectrum since I can't find that information on it but the FloraMax provides both red and blue. Would I be able to obtain this with LED's and if so, what would I look for?

There are a few other things that I'm looking for:

- One is a dimmer. I've read that some fixtures have a dimmer so you can adjust the intensity. This would be great to have since I don't want the tank to be too bright.
-Another is the dawn/dusk feature. I use a photoperiod of 5-4-5 and I like that the lights turn on and off gradually with that feature, making it easier for fish to adapt to the change instead of it being so sudden.
-A timer is a must or at least, a fixture that will work with the timer I use for my lights right now.

I know that I will have to shell out a bit of cash for this but I am looking for something more affordable and not $300+. I don't know if I will be able to find what I want in that price range.

So, do you all have any suggestions on what brands I should check out? If there is any info that you'll need that I left out, please let me know. :)

First if you match the wattage w/ LED's you will.. unless extremely unlucky, have equal or more light output than your tubes..
27W is fairly safe too (all this is based on a lot of historical measurements and the fact that led direction-ality is better than most, if not all reflectors BU*T it is only a crude guideline)

Second getting your 1/2 6500k and 1/2 "roseate" or magenta tint is not impossible but a bit of a challenge.
You need to look for LEDs that have that tint, say, on a white wall/surface.
Some RGB or RGBW units have it.
Not a fan of RGB for some personal (I guess) reasons but no denying that they are punchy in color.

Just because they are handy, there are a few Finnex that are worth considering.
Definitly not the only ones though
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First if you match the wattage w/ LED's you will.. unless extremely unlucky, have equal or more light output than your tubes..
27W is fairly safe too (all this is based on a lot of historical measurements and the fact that led direction-ality is better than most, if not all reflectors BU*T it is only a crude guideline)

Second getting your 1/2 6500k and 1/2 "roseate" or magenta tint is not impossible but a bit of a challenge.
You need to look for LEDs that have that tint, say, on a white wall/surface.
Some RGB or RGBW units have it.
Not a fan of RGB for some personal (I guess) reasons but no denying that they are punchy in color.

Just because they are handy, there are a few Finnex that are worth considering.
Definitly not the only ones though
Thank you. :smile2: From what I've read from others, the reddish tint isn't something a lot of people are fond of so I figured I would really have to search for that in a fixture. I like it because it brings out the reds in my fish and shrimp and the plants seem to grow well with them.

I've heard about the Finnex brand. I'll look them up to get more info on them.
 

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Thank you. :smile2: From what I've read from others, the reddish tint isn't something a lot of people are fond of so I figured I would really have to search for that in a fixture. I like it because it brings out the reds in my fish and shrimp and the plants seem to grow well with them.

I've heard about the Finnex brand. I'll look them up to get more info on them.
Sorry forgot the link ..


https://www.amazon.com/Finnex-Plant...t=&hvlocphy=9019191&hvtargid=pla-796260272139


See the chart at the bottom..




Actually most people seem to dislike the yellw/green tint from cheap 6500k LED's

Finnex uses 7000K for the most part.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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I've never owned a Finnex, but have had several other LED's (they continue to evolve). My current one is a Twinstar SA and you can't go wrong with it. It is far above any other light, including my old T5's (which were never of the sophistication of dedicated users here) that I have ever owned.

Here is a link to the PAR/PUR values, in my tank, for it: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/album.php?albumid=23330&pictureid=109259
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Okay so I had my heart set on the Finnex Planted+ only to find out that Finnex is not sold in Canada. Apparently, it's not CSA approved. Ugh. Canada never gets any of the good stuff.

I'll keep looking into this to see if it is possible to get one sent here.

I do have another question. Back when I first started keeping aquariums, I bought a fixture that came with two 8000K bulbs. When I was using both bulbs, it was the first time I ever had BGA. When I switched one bulb with a 6500K, the BGA died off and never came back.

With a fixture that's between 7000-8000K, is BGA something that I'd have to worry about? My tank is low tech(walstad).
 

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Okay so I had my heart set on the Finnex Planted+ only to find out that Finnex is not sold in Canada. Apparently, it's not CSA approved. Ugh. Canada never gets any of the good stuff.

I'll keep looking into this to see if it is possible to get one sent here.

I do have another question. Back when I first started keeping aquariums, I bought a fixture that came with two 8000K bulbs. When I was using both bulbs, it was the first time I ever had BGA. When I switched one bulb with a 6500K, the BGA died off and never came back.

With a fixture that's between 7000-8000K, is BGA something that I'd have to worry about? My tank is low tech(walstad).

Generally speaking the correlation between spectrum and algae is loose at best.
Can't explain your observation but I personally wouldn't worry.
 

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Generally speaking the correlation between spectrum and algae is loose at best.
Can't explain your observation but I personally wouldn't worry.
This. Plants use all visible light, 400nm to 700nm approximately. We can't say "plants use red and blue wavelengths". It's both not that simple and not that complicated :) Dennis Wong has a good video on this:
 

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Hey @MintyFresh

I am in Canada as well and I ordered a finnex planted+ about a year ago on Ebay and it was shipped to Canada with out much issue.
Might be worth a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey @MintyFresh

I am in Canada as well and I ordered a finnex planted+ about a year ago on Ebay and it was shipped to Canada with out much issue.
Might be worth a look.
Thanks!

I'm considering the Planted+ HLC and I found it on Amazon. I made a thread just now asking why it's not available in Canada. I find it odd that it's not sold here.
 

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Thanks!

I'm considering the Planted+ HLC and I found it on Amazon. I made a thread just now asking why it's not available in Canada. I find it odd that it's not sold here.
One thing to watch out for is programming the 24/7. It can be a royal PIA and I don't like the default setting. Be prepared to spend a few days to get it to work if you can, I couldn't.

I'm looking at a Beamsworks DA FSEC with the dual-channel ramping timer.

https://www.amazon.com/Beamswork-FS...D7Q67D83S03B&refRID=JHZ7BZ03D7Q67D83S03B&th=1
 

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Discussion Starter #16
One thing to watch out for is programming the 24/7. It can be a royal PIA and I don't like the default setting. Be prepared to spend a few days to get it to work if you can, I couldn't.

I'm looking at a Beamsworks DA FSEC with the dual-channel ramping timer.

https://www.amazon.com/Beamswork-FS...D7Q67D83S03B&refRID=JHZ7BZ03D7Q67D83S03B&th=1
Yeah, I heard it can be rather fiddly. I've also heard that the 24/7 mode causes a lot of algae for people with low tech tanks. My concern with it is that it's not ULC certified in Canada and I've read that people were having problems with the power cord.

I would probably just adjust the colours to match my current lights as much as possible and then use my timer so I can still use my 4-3-4 photo period. I'll also check out your link.

I wish there were more options available to Canadians. The only brands that you can find in LFS here are Seapora and Fluval.
 

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Yeah, I heard it can be rather fiddly. I've also heard that the 24/7 mode causes a lot of algae for people with low tech tanks. My concern with it is that it's not ULC certified in Canada and I've read that people were having problems with the power cord.

I would probably just adjust the colours to match my current lights as much as possible and then use my timer so I can still use my 4-3-4 photo period. I'll also check out your link.

I wish there were more options available to Canadians. The only brands that you can find in LFS here are Seapora and Fluval.

Many dimmable/ramping lights will have issues w/ disconnecting them from the outlet in your on/off/on mode.
Those that can do a siesta program that I know of are Fluval, AI Prime freshwater, anything hooked to a tc-420 programmer/dimmer.
List is not all inclusive and you need to verify my memory..


Anyways check Amazon Canada and search for MCMOL led. Sadly, can't do a siesta time w/ only 6 time points.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Many dimmable/ramping lights will have issues w/ disconnecting them from the outlet in your on/off/on mode.
Those that can do a siesta program that I know of are Fluval, AI Prime freshwater, anything hooked to a tc-420 programmer/dimmer.
List is not all inclusive and you need to verify my memory..

Anyways check Amazon Canada and search for MCMOL led. Sadly, can't do a siesta time w/ only 6 time points.
I can understand the timer not exactly working well if I'm using the 24/7 mode but what if it's just set to one intensity(non 24/7 mode), like one that you saved into the memory and then use it with a regular timer?

You might want to take a look at Fluval. Nice adjustability on color, time and intensity.

https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Spectr...+Spectrum+3.0+Bluetooth&qid=1595939528&sr=8-1

You adjust everything from an App on your phone.
This is another one I'm strongly considering but the only problem I have with it is that everything is adjusted and saved in an app. Does the app/bluetooth have to be running non stop, draining your phone/tablet battery in the process for this light to work or can you shut down the app and disconnect bluetooth once all of your settings are in place?

I don't like that if there is a brief power outage(we get brief ones that only last a second or two throughout the year), it will reset the light back to a default mode until the app is used. That's not a good thing if I'm away on vacation.

I know that some people will use a UPS and I understand that something like that would be helpful in general but the point of Walstad tanks are to keep it low tech and adding more tech to it seems to defeat the purpose of having a low tech tank. Lol
 

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I can understand the timer not exactly working well if I'm using the 24/7 mode but what if it's just set to one intensity(non 24/7 mode), like one that you saved into the memory and then use it with a regular timer?



This is another one I'm strongly considering but the only problem I have with it is that everything is adjusted and saved in an app. Does the app/bluetooth have to be running non stop, draining your phone/tablet battery in the process for this light to work or can you shut down the app and disconnect bluetooth once all of your settings are in place?

I don't like that if there is a brief power outage(we get brief ones that only last a second or two throughout the year), it will reset the light back to a default mode until the app is used. That's not a good thing if I'm away on vacation.

I know that some people will use a UPS and I understand that something like that would be helpful in general but the point of Walstad tanks are to keep it low tech and adding more tech to it seems to defeat the purpose of having a low tech tank. Lol
The settings are programmed via the phone app but stored in the light so, no your phone would only be used to reset the light. I've had a power outage a few times and the light would stay off which is better than staying on. I think the power outage would have to be more than a minute or two for it lose the settings. But you are right, power outage is something to think about. Since the power consumption is pretty low, an inexpensive UPS would probably suffice.
 
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