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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi PT,


I am totally new to fishkeeping (it will be one year in Sept. since buying my first tank) and love the look of plants in aquariums. I started with a 20gal long and upgraded a few months ago to a 75. I would like to plant half my tank, and keep the other side with driftwood and water sprite. I currently have 1 red flame sword, 1 melon sword, water sprite, and i have no idea what the green one next to the red flame is called.
I am also using my 20 long with platties to grow out 2 amazon swords, 2 red flames and a moneywort. My weird idea of growing out plants in a different tank, to only have them die or barely survive in the 75 is what brought me here.
The 20gal has a 17watt t8 bulb and 2 23watt spiral cfls clamp on lights.
On my 75, I currently have 2 of those metal-looking reflectors with Y splitters to insert 2 bulbs. So, I have 4 23watt 6500k cfl bulbs on half of my tank.
I am lost on what to get for lighting, and after reading about the dangers of buying too much light without co2, I decided to ask the experts here. Here is the side I am going to plant. Thanks!
Water Plant Terrestrial plant Aquatic plant Grass


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It seems as though that the real question is where do you want this all to go? You could just go with shop lights on your 75 if that's what you want. It seems to me though that you are looking for a nice light for your plants. I would suggest a higher end programmable LED. They are not much more than the lower end models, and you can save yourself from investing more down the road if you wish to have higher light plants. Just dim the lights for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To answer your question, I want to plant half the tank with plants that would not require co2. I have been researching two fixtures, finnex planted+ and aquasun quad t5ho. Would the finnex planted+ 24" be enough to keep the plants mentioned in half my tank?

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From what I can tell, the Finnex will have enough light for your needs. I would spend a little more and get the 48" though. Your tank will look pretty odd with light only on half of the tank. I think mounting the light could be a challenge as well. If you are worried about algae on that half of the tank, you could always use some floating plants to cut down on the light. Or you could paint a cover for that end. I wouldn't bother with fluorescent lights. When you factor in that you need to buy new bulbs every 12-18 months at close to $100 each time, you aren't saving anything in the long run.
 

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So, it's the savings every year that makes LEDs better? When it comes to light output there is no difference?

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LED's are better for the cost savings on the bulbs, less heat generated which means no noisy cooling fans, less power consumed to save on your energy bill, customization as far as how strong the light is, and lighting effects like color, cloud cover, lightning storms and such, programmable to save on timers on your power strip. So as you can see, there are plenty of benefits to LED's. Having said that, not all LED's are created equal. The thing you need to pay attention to is the PAR value. This is the value that shows how much photonic energy your plants are getting at a given depth. With LED's, you pretty much get what you pay for with the stronger LED's being more expensive. These higher end LED's compete with fluorescent lights. Although to get high light with LED's, you typically need to have more than one light fixture.
 

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4x23watt 6500k cfl bulbs on half of my tank is OK, more precisely OK just for 1/3 of the tank. You need at least 150W total LED lights, or 4 x48" T5 lights for the whole tank for such medium light plants. More light more plants growth, better injected with CO2. Those plants can cover really large areas.
 

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You need at least 150W total LED lights,
Only if you want high light..
LED's can be over 2x more efficient in light delivery than a T5.. So in old school terms you are talking 300W over a 75 gal tank. 4WPG old school..
48x18x21
2 led shop lights would get you 6600 lumens at the cost of $70.........60-70W
Cheapest barn burner lighting for that tank:
http://www.aquatraders.com/LED-Aquarium-Lighting-EVO-Quad-Freshwater-Plant-p/56577p.htm
130 PAR at 17"


ATI and Aquatic life 4 bulb t5ho are the only ones that approach this output:
AL T5 quad hard to find and pricy..
AquaticLife T5 HO 4-Lamp 4-Lunar 48" Lighting Fixture

$384.99
+ Free Shipping
Bottom line: A quad t5 or a quad 3w LED is way more light than the o/p is counting on..
 
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