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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, new on the board as of today;)

Been in the hobby for a long time but got out for quite a while and ready to make a come back.

I'll be setting up a standard 75 gallon low-light, low-tech tank with a sand bottom for Discus and want to grow some plants but not go crazy with them. Maybe some type of Val and an Amazon Sword would be nice too. Other low-light plants are fine too but like I said, don't want to get too crazy with them.

I would rather stay with LED but only if it's do-able in my situation. Would a single 48" Fugeray Planted+ get the job done or possibly a Sat+??

I like BML's stuff but that's really blowing my budget and would rather stay around $150 for lights but I'm really digging the LED's.

I just don't want to get into a situation where I buy (1) LED setup and find that i's not enough to grow plants and I have to buy a second light setup which would put me at about the cost of a single BML.

I almost talked myself into a Catalina 48" 3x54watt T5HO but I would rather have the LED's if they will work.

Anyway, thanks for any input you can provide and looking forward to getting back into this!!
 

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A single BML can give you what you want and more. If you get the standard BML with the controller you can adjust to what you want. Not sure if a single Finnex can get there unless maybe you went with a Ray 2.

A Catalina 3X54W is high light or very close to.
 

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From personal experience I found that the planted+ in combination with a ray2 is phenomenal. It brings out all the colors and I can grow whatever the hell I want in there. I mean it cost almost 200 bucks for the pair and for like 30 more I could have went with BML and a dimmer. So one planted+ will only yield low-low/medium light. Also keep in mind your width. I would go with a BML if I had the choice again.
 

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I'm personally sticking with Catalina T5HOs for my big tanks until LEDs come down a bit more.

At least LEDs for FW planted tanks are finally available and affordable for smaller tanks... I've been waiting for years for that! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would love to go with the BML but that's blowing my budget at around $300 for everything (lights, dimmer, legs).

My budget for lights is around $150 and the Planted+ and Sat+ seemed to fit great in that respect but I just need to be sure that a single unit will grow low light plants.

I actually emailed Finnex and they told me "why don't you buy a single light and if it doesn't work then you could always get a second light". I think I pissed them off though when I told them that would put me right back at $300 for lighting and I might as well have gone with a single BML setup.

It's hard to believe that Finnex can't even give me a straight answer on wether a single 48" Planted+ will be sufficient for a 75g low light setup. You would think they would have tested this already or at least have customer feedback of some sort.

I measured last night just to be sure and the lights will set approximately 17" or so from the substrate.

Thanks for your input but I'm still on the fence:)
 

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From what I've been reading so far, if you just want to keep Java ferns, Anubias, mosses, etc- the hardiest of the low light plants- just one may be enough.

If you want a carpet and/or stems, you'll probably need two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Definately no carpet but wanted maybe an Amazon Sword. There's someone on the board I saw that appears to be running a single Sat+ on a 80 gallon Discus tank and it looks really good but I'm waiting to find out if it's a single fixture or duals but I think it may be a single.

He's got stem plants, Val's and some other stuff I don't recognize. If you go to the low tech forum and look at the post by "mikiel" entitled "Low-Tech 80g Planted Discus Tank" you will see it.
 

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I saw that appears to be running a single Sat+ on a 80 gallon Discus tank and it looks really good but I'm waiting to find out if it's a single fixture or duals but I think it may be a single.
I currently have a Sat+ on my setup and don't find the single unit to be bright enough. I'm going to be adding a second unit to the mix very soon.

Personally, if I were you, I would just bite the bullet and go with a dual setup. It gives you a much larger range of options, give a much better viewing light, and you can cater each unit (on the Sat+) to give more of one color per system.
 

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I'm running 1 Current USA Sat. Plus (48" to 60"--$123.15 on Amazon) on my 75 gallon and it's doing a fine job of growing my plants. I have anubias, amazon swords, dwarf hygrophila, dwarf sag. and some crypts.
Do the plants grow fast--heck no-but I'm more into my fish than trimming plants. I do dose excel daily and Flourish comp. at water changes once a week. I have a PAR meter but don't recall the readings I was getting at substrate level off hand. I think they were in the 30s which is plenty for growing low light plants.
The only problem I have is that there is a large piece of driftwood in the tank and the light does keep some of the areas dark because of the poor angle of dispersal of led's.
 

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A single BML can give you what you want and more. If you get the standard BML with the controller you can adjust to what you want. Not sure if a single Finnex can get there unless maybe you went with a Ray 2.

A Catalina 3X54W is high light or very close to.

Can a catalina 3x54 sit on top of the tank directly on glass or does it need to be mounted above?
 
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