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Newbie LED Question: UP Aqua Pro Z vs Finnex Ray2

2501 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  limz_777
I've just re-entered the hobby after several years and so much have happened since I last kept Discus fish about 20 years ago. Better lights, and did I hear anyone mention Co2?:hihi:

I'm setting up a 40G Breeder tank (36"long, 18" deep, 17" high), and it's currently cycling; for lights I've improvised a probably less than ideal hanging Vitalux shop lights. It'll have to do until I've got the cash for a nice light fixture. Since lights are usually expensive no matter what, I figured I'd go with full spectrum LED lights and save some money on operating costs.:wink:

My local LFS owner, whom I trust, is recommending a 36" fixture named UP Aqua Pro Z series (not to be confused with MR. Aqua!). One of the sponsors of this forum distributes it:
My LFS friend is offering the UP Aqua Pro Z at $130 for the 36", which is about 1/2 the price of some of the full spectrum LED lights (EG Marineland brand) offered by Petco. I understand that these lights are not so commonly used here in the US, Google search results mostly turned up Australian or Asian sites.

I've been looking into another set of lights, the Finnex Ray2 LED, which can be had at Amazon for about $140:

Finnex High Output Unibody Ultra Slim LED, High PAR
Daylight: 7000k Dual LED Strips
29 Watts: 288 HO LEDs
Dimensions: 36" Long x 3" Wide x 1" High

These are not to be confused with the Finnex Fugeray.

Eventually I want to do a fully planted tank with CO2 injection, although I'm starting out with Seachem Excel liquid CO2. I'd like to try some of the plants that weren't widely available back in my hobby days, maybe even something a bit more challenging like an HC carpet.

For the UP Aqua Pro, the distributor says that "the Z series lights are specially designed for growing plants. Leafs grow thicker and stems grow wider under these lights." However, I would love to hear from someone who's actually used these. On another forum, someone said they used it successfully on tanks less than 30 CM (about 12") depth. Yes, they talked depth. That person does not recommend it on tanks with a depth greater than 45 CM. My 40G breeder tank, at 18" depth, comes out just above that - 45.72 cm.

I'm leaning toward the Finnex Ray2 at this point. I really don't know what I'm talking about, but somehow I get the idea that at only $10 more, it's a more powerful light and might allow me to grow some more light demanding plants. If it turned out to be to much light, I can always tweak with CO2 or add floating plants - at least that's my thinking.

Any thoughts? :help:Does anybody have experience with the UP Aqua Pro Z series or the Finnex Ray2 LEDs? Or even if you don't have the experience, feel free to chime in!

Thanks guys.
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Finnex lights are really an outstanding product. I've used both a Finnex Fugeray2 and a Finnex Planted+.

Not using CO2 I ran into an algae problem; I downgraded to Planted+ and things are much better. Since your planning on CO2, the Fugeray2 will be a fin product. You'll have some happy plants.
I have a Ray2 and a Planted+ both are outstanding.
Thank you both of you! King, I hear you on the CO2. It might be some time before I add CO2 injection, but if the Finnex Ray2 are to bright and I'm running into algae problems, I've got plenty of Riccia floating in my 29 Gallon community tank. I will also be using Seachem Excel Flourish, so that should help mitigate the algae problems.

I noticed that Finnex wasn't available on Marine Depot when I just checked. Anyone know why that is? Amazon seems to have a great price, but I always like to comparison check and prefer to buy from the forum sponsors if they are competitive.
I ended up getting the UP Aqua Pro Z, got a good deal on it. It looks great on my tank; whether or not it'll be powerful or not remains to be seen! ;)
I ended up getting the UP Aqua Pro Z, got a good deal on it. It looks great on my tank; whether or not it'll be powerful or not remains to be seen! ;)
any feedback on the lights ?
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