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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not new to growing plants- I have a little bit of experience, but nothing I'm satisfied with. I have several ten gallons with growing plants, just the types I can pick up at stores like amazon swords. I've been in this for a few months and have been doing decently with what I have, but I want to take this several steps up. I just have normal LED lights and I can see my plants' beginning to take stress from the poor lighting.

I'm interested in selling aquatic plants. There is a mom and pop store that will accept stock from me as well as many nearby aquarists in need due to the fact most of our local stores are gone. I'm just aiming for something to help the hobby pay for itself but I don't want to just sell every-day types of plants. I'm interested in growing more advanced or rarer plants on the market in order to get a following, therefore I will be investing quite a lot into these plants initially. I trust my ability with tending to plants. I have a lot of time and a green thumb to devote to this, but what to do for tech is holding me back, especially with the lighting.

I am not sure how all of this works at all- as far as wavelength, spectrum, and all of that stuff goes. I simply know that normal LED's just won't cut it for high-end production. I am starting with a 75-gallon tank in my basement devoted to plants but will expand from there. The amount of lighting on the market has done little more than confuse me with conflicting recommendations. This tank is a standard-sized 48-inch tank. I will have rich substrate, ferts, and injected Co2. The lights I want should be no more than six inches away from the water's surface.

My first priority is quality. I want lights for fast growth, vibrant color, and to create the best quality of plant I can. I'm willing to pay for an investment like this. My initial set of lights needs to be appropriate for plants of varying light requirements but in the future I'm interested in lights specializing in low, mid, and high light varieties which may be separated out to different tanks.

IF possible, however, I would like to stay within a budget. I refuse to sacrifice quality for a lower price, but if there is more of an ad-hock DIY way to make the lights that will do what I want, I would want to hear your suggestions. I don't really care about look, aesthetic, or design, as this is more of a basement fish-rack type set up only focused on practicality.

These lights also need to be safe for fish. Although the tank is intended to grow plants to sell, I can't resist adding community fish to it.
 

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I'm not new to growing plants- I have a little bit of experience, but nothing I'm satisfied with. I have several ten gallons with growing plants, just the types I can pick up at stores like amazon swords. I've been in this for a few months and have been doing decently with what I have, but I want to take this several steps up. I just have normal LED lights and I can see my plants' beginning to take stress from the poor lighting.

I'm interested in selling aquatic plants. There is a mom and pop store that will accept stock from me as well as many nearby aquarists in need due to the fact most of our local stores are gone. I'm just aiming for something to help the hobby pay for itself but I don't want to just sell every-day types of plants. I'm interested in growing more advanced or rarer plants on the market in order to get a following, therefore I will be investing quite a lot into these plants initially. I trust my ability with tending to plants. I have a lot of time and a green thumb to devote to this, but what to do for tech is holding me back, especially with the lighting.

I am not sure how all of this works at all- as far as wavelength, spectrum, and all of that stuff goes. I simply know that normal LED's just won't cut it for high-end production. I am starting with a 75-gallon tank in my basement devoted to plants but will expand from there. The amount of lighting on the market has done little more than confuse me with conflicting recommendations. This tank is a standard-sized 48-inch tank. I will have rich substrate, ferts, and injected Co2. The lights I want should be no more than six inches away from the water's surface.

My first priority is quality. I want lights for fast growth, vibrant color, and to create the best quality of plant I can. I'm willing to pay for an investment like this. My initial set of lights needs to be appropriate for plants of varying light requirements but in the future I'm interested in lights specializing in low, mid, and high light varieties which may be separated out to different tanks.

IF possible, however, I would like to stay within a budget. I refuse to sacrifice quality for a lower price, but if there is more of an ad-hock DIY way to make the lights that will do what I want, I would want to hear your suggestions. I don't really care about look, aesthetic, or design, as this is more of a basement fish-rack type set up only focused on practicality.

These lights also need to be safe for fish. Although the tank is intended to grow plants to sell, I can't resist adding community fish to it.
if you plan to get some solid growth on plants, go for 1. LED and 2. Medium - High lights. the "finnex planted+" and "finnex 24/7" are popular on amazon.com . they are medium and up strength lights. prob shoot for $100 or less
 

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I've heard of those. I saw conflicted reviews I wanted clarified. I heard it's better for a show tank but not for serious high-tech planted tanks- more focused on look than how it effects the plants. Is this true, or in your experience not?
 

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I've heard of those. I saw conflicted reviews I wanted clarified. I heard it's better for a show tank but not for serious high-tech planted tanks- more focused on look than how it effects the plants. Is this true, or in your experience not?
the quality is good. no problems with mines or other people's i know.

i dont know what a show tank is, but it is good for show tank or whatever you want to use it for. it is for serious high-tech tanks. main point that these are bright lights. do a $80 light grow as well as a $200+ light? I would probably say yes. brand names and marketing can mislead people for performance.
 

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Hi Evelyn,

Welcome to TPT!

My first priority is quality. I want lights for fast growth, vibrant color, and to create the best quality of plant I can.
I agree that picking a quality light is important, it is likely the most expensive item of a planted tank system (with the possible exception of CO2). I did a lot of research last year concerning the three most popular LED lighting systems; here is a comparison I did and posted; hopefully it will help you make your decision. I liked the brand I chose for my 36" requirements so much that I purchased a 48" for my 75 gallon.
 

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IMO you should not skimp on lighting if you want to grow the toughest / most demanding plants. at the very least i would something that you can adjust/dim as needed. this will give you flexibility and make things easier. if your lighting situation is not on point / you cannot make changes on a dime then you could run into trouble. IMO you want to get something POWERFUL and ADJUSTABLE and hang higher above the tank for even lighting.

maybe even get a horticulture T5HO fixture with a ton of bulbs and hang way above your tank / adjust height as needed. you do not necessarily need an 'aquarium' fixture. they just look nice and cost 5x as much. if i was just growing plants in my basement i would definitely go for cost effectiveness. DIY LED build is a good idea or maybe horticulture fixture. do some research here. you can get a monster 8x T5HO horticulture fixture that you can hang super high above your tank for relatively cheap

also 75g is annoyingly deep for really demanding plants (i have one). PAR difference at surface vs bottom of tank that tall is a LOT. my more demanding plants do not really show ideal growth until quite close to the surface. be prepared to maybe have to accommodate for this

generally for the best $$$ turnaround i would assume you will need to be able to do some of the following:
- grow valuable slow-growing plants like rare buces, anubias petite, etc very well and rather quickly
- grow very healthy stems of some of the most rare and demanding plants
- turn over high volume of quickly growing plants that hold some value (rarer species of rotala, foreground plants like grass, glosso, hc, etc...)
- introduce new plants to the hobby and charge premium (look at how expensive some buces were when introduced... ridiculous)

also be aware that selling the most demanding plants to random LFS that are perhaps not equipped to keep those plants healthy may not pan out. you can't grow amazingly healthy hard plants like rotala macandra under high light / tons of CO2 / perfect water parameters and then throw it in a random tank and expect it to be fine. it will struggle. unaware random people will buy them and kill them and then get pissed at LFS. not ideal. IMO you should focus on selling to users on sites like this one who would be in the market for those things. there are a handful of users on here that sell high volume of plants through the for sale section.

just be aware... if you have never entered this realm before be prepared for a steep learning curve... the things you are trying to do are very very far away from being able to grow plants like swords and anubias. it is NOT easy to do what you are trying to do. this is why some species are so expensive. not everyone can make them work. staying aware of that fact will help you out... also be prepared for this to consume a ridiculous amount of time and effort. not sure what your expectations are.. but it will take a lot of work and you will struggle badly before getting the hang of things so be prepared.

good luck, i am looking forward to buying some plants from you!
 

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75G is not the most ideal tank size for farming plants cuz how deep the water is (20inches?). With a shallower tank, even a cheaper shop light with no reflector can be used for plant farming. But back to your situation,

My suggestion would be a DIY old school T5HO fixture using Ice Cap ballast and Hamilton T5HO retrofit kit. There are too many bulbs for you to play around,and if you dont like the color temp of the light or your plants look weird or something, you can always use different combination of the bulbs for fairly cheap.

Or... If you are not handy enough, get a ATI fixture.

With either one of the above options, when you fail, at least the lighting is not going to be one to blame.
 

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Get lights that are in the 6500k range and for me to tell you what lights would work I need to know the dimensions of the tank?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Fwiw, I had good growth in my 58 (kind of a 75, cut to 36" long) using 2 overdriven shop lights laying on top(odno using workhorse ballista).. My favorite was metal halide, but could never keep mine running for long (maintence nightmare). Poor maintence did catch one of the shop lights on fire though (water level fell and a spray started hitting the fixture. I think I had similar growth with pc's, but the switch to led has left me underwhelmed so far.
 
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