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danfishy84

Light Recommendations For Planted Tank

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Hi All,

I am cleaning up a 36x15x18" high tank for upstairs in my lounge, I want to play my hand at a decent planted display tank.

I am prepared to do root tabs, ferts and liquid CO2, and the tank substrate is going to be sand.

As a non plant guy, I have read a gazillion web pages today and confused the living hell out of myself! One minute we are looking at colour temp, then lumens, then watts per gallon, then all the figures change per light type, then wpg means nothing and it's all PAR for the course! Then you start taking a look at light specs and most of them don't state half of this.

Why so complicated lol. I don't want to be a light guru I just want to buy a product to do the job without wasting my money.

Can anyone recommend me some good lights, I have not picked out what plants I want (I want to take my time planning that part), but I would like recommendations on both Medium and High lighting options for this size tank?

cheers,

notsobrightdan

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[MENTION=11860]danfishy84[/MENTION]webreader If you can get to Annerley go and see Steve at Downstream Aquatics he knows his s h I t [bgomf]

If not why not call into a lfs and ask person to person. Much better than getting tired eyes from googling!

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[MENTION=11860]danfishy84[/MENTION]webreader If you can get to Annerley go and see Steve at Downstream Aquatics he knows his s h I t [bgomf]

If not why not call into a lfs and ask person to person. Much better than getting tired eyes from googling!

Well technically I was at work working the hell out of google!

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I am using Fluval aqualife and plant leds - they work but for high light plants you need 2 and that gets expensive close to $600 for you 3 footer .

Then you have the Kessil led lights they are as good as it gets but even more expensive about $700 for the Tuna Sun 160 ( for a pair which you would need )

And at the top the Kessil Tuna Sun 360 . A pair of them - about $900 unless you are trying to do a Amano style high tech display total overkill on a tank only 18 inches deep .

If you decide to go with CO2 make sure you buy a bottle with an Australian test stamp on it other wise you may not be able to get it filled .

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I feel your pain. When I rekindled my fire for fish I felt like looking at lighting was like walking through a mine field and I needed a 2nd mortgage to afford the lights.

Many people rave about the Up Aqua series, others swear by makemyled. The ultimate question and really the determining factor is how much of your hard earned cash are you prepared to part with and what plants do you want? Once yo know the plants you can get a gauge for what you need and then see how you lights fit with your budget.

I have a 6 foot 28 inch high display and added a 2 foot cube after that. I feel that I need to add a 2nd worx planted led to my cube for the med/high lighting and 2-3 more 4 footers to the 6 foot for med lighting due to the added penetration needed as the 6 footer is so deep. in saying that, maybe for me the additional lights should be a in a different spectrum to help with other colours, one higher and one lower in the 6 foot and maybe one lower in the 2 footer.

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I am using Fluval aqualife and plant leds - they work but for high light plants you need 2 and that gets expensive close to $600 for you 3 footer .

Then you have the Kessil led lights they are as good as it gets but even more expensive about $700 for the Tuna Sun 160 ( for a pair which you would need )

And at the top the Kessil Tuna Sun 360 . A pair of them - about $900 unless you are trying to do a Amano style high tech display total overkill on a tank only 18 inches deep .

If you decide to go with CO2 make sure you buy a bottle with an Australian test stamp on it other wise you may not be able to get it filled .

I figured I would be up for a bit, honestly I have found myself wasting so much money over the years starting out with a cheaper product only to realise I should have bought the better one.

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I feel your pain. When I rekindled my fire for fish I felt like looking at lighting was like walking through a mine field and I needed a 2nd mortgage to afford the lights.

Many people rave about the Up Aqua series, others swear by makemyled. The ultimate question and really the determining factor is how much of your hard earned cash are you prepared to part with and what plants do you want? Once yo know the plants you can get a gauge for what you need and then see how you lights fit with your budget.

I have a 6 foot 28 inch high display and added a 2 foot cube after that. I feel that I need to add a 2nd worx planted led to my cube for the med/high lighting and 2-3 more 4 footers to the 6 foot for med lighting due to the added penetration needed as the 6 footer is so deep. in saying that, maybe for me the additional lights should be a in a different spectrum to help with other colours, one higher and one lower in the 6 foot and maybe one lower in the 2 footer.

I prefer the long game, I can survive the initial outlay so long as I am going to get long term quality and best bang for the buck running cost if that makes sense? 72x28" planted sounds like wallet torture.

[MENTION=1094]pony-tail[/MENTION], can you see any issue with those lights using liquid co2?

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72x28" planted sounds like wallet torture.

Hence why I haven't :). Will see what happens with the planned re-scape and the swords I want to use as background and intertwined in the driftwood simulating tree roots. I have a hood too so lighting is even further limited due to limited height.

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I prefer the long game, I can survive the initial outlay so long as I am going to get long term quality and best bang for the buck running cost if that makes sense? 72x28" planted sounds like wallet torture.

@pony-tail, can you see any issue with those lights using liquid co2?

None at all

I am using 2 fluval Aqualife and plant on a 2ft deep 2 ft tank - Plants are growing very well .

I do have a Cyanobacteria problem - but that happens everytime I use EcoComplete substrate - the Algae dies in a few weeks after setup

The First pic is of a 30inch long 20 inch deep tank single 2ft Fluval light

The other 2 are my 2ft x 18 inch x 2ft deep desktop tank with 2@ fluval lights both have high pressure co2 all running off a single Cylinder with a 3way manifold .

I have pics if you wish ( lots of pics )

edit - The Kessil lights are better in every way but are considerably more expensive , that said the Fuvals are easier to install ( sit them on top of the tank - installed !)

post-1094-14711634137435_thumb.jpg

post-1094-14711634137598_thumb.jpg

post-1094-1471163413777_thumb.jpg

Edited by pony-tail
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The original Fluval would have been good and the new light well that is even better specifications. Personally I love the Kessils and have the older 150 model at home and we have on display two 360's on the tank at work. I am expecting the new Fluval to be ideal for you and would serve you well and handle medium light plants with ease and have a feeling the plants with higher requirements will not be an issue especially when you are looking to do the CO2 and ferts in conjunction. If you get a chance might be worth your while popping in and we can run through a few with you and have a older Fluval running on a tank as well as the Ista cree and can pop a PetWorx on a tank and pretty sure we have a Up Aqua U series out the box to check out too, to compare and see them in the flesh - running.

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The original Fluval would have been good and the new light well that is even better specifications. Personally I love the Kessils and have the older 150 model at home and we have on display two 360's on the tank at work. I am expecting the new Fluval to be ideal for you and would serve you well and handle medium light plants with ease and have a feeling the plants with higher requirements will not be an issue especially when you are looking to do the CO2 and ferts in conjunction. If you get a chance might be worth your while popping in and we can run through a few with you and have a older Fluval running on a tank as well as the Ista cree and can pop a PetWorx on a tank and pretty sure we have a Up Aqua U series out the box to check out too, to compare and see them in the flesh - running.

Any news when we get the new fluval lights in Australia

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That is some nice pics, I like the depth of the 2', though you call that a desktop tank lol.

I will soon as well, last pay I picked up a DSLR with Macro lens, I am itching for some play time.

What sort of DSLR ?

I use a Nikon .

See Desktop !

post-1094-14711634137954_thumb.jpg

Edited by pony-tail
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Any news when we get the new fluval lights in Australia

They have landed in Australia - but there was not a lot on the first drop to go round but I noticed we received an invoice confirmation and the supplier is good and quick - hopefully Monday/Tuesday is what I am expecting at this stage.

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[MENTION=1338]The Tech Den[/MENTION]

I have 2 fluval leds on the 2ft tank that probably only works out $60 or $70 cheaper than a Kessil 360 ( the 160 is not great at 2ft depth - you get a hot spot in the centre that fades to the edges and if you move it down towards the water the top corners do not get light )

So either way it costs $500 + to get light to the bottom of a 2 ft deep tank - 18 inches much easier !

Sound about right to you John ( my Kessil experience is 1 Afternoon with a Tuna Blue 160 - so very limited )

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[MENTION=1338]The Tech Den[/MENTION], thanks for the offer, but it's too dangerous coming into the store too often. I always go home with extras!

Do you think I could get away with 1 or 2 3' Fluvals?

Any shimmer on the Fluvals?

Sorry no shimmer - or very little 2 @ 3ft Fluvals should be fine with 1st gen fluvals definitely fine but I have not even seen the new ones yet so I can not vouch for them - yet

Supposed to be significantly brighter time will tell .

1 Fluval 3' would be ok for 90% of plants I had to put a second one on for my hair grass - it worked , but then the glosso I had planted and I thought had died started growing back - so now my lawn has weeds . From that I have worked out that in a 2ft deep tank ground covers need the second light - in an 18 inch deep tank the only plants I have had issues with with one light are the Red Rotala and Glosso .both grow but poorly .

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Sorry no shimmer - or very little 2 @ 3ft Fluvals should be fine with 1st gen fluvals definitely fine but I have not even seen the new ones yet so I can not vouch for them - yet

Supposed to be significantly brighter time will tell .

1 Fluval 3' would be ok for 90% of plants I had to put a second one on for my hair grass - it worked , but then the glosso I had planted and I thought had died started growing back - so now my lawn has weeds . From that I have worked out that in a 2ft deep tank ground covers need the second light - in an 18 inch deep tank the only plants I have had issues with with one light are the Red Rotala and Glosso .both grow but poorly .

Sounds like I can get away with 1 fluval 2.0. If I needed two fluval 2.0 then two kessil 160 would have been in the ball park.

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[MENTION=1338]The Tech Den[/MENTION], thanks for the offer, but it's too dangerous coming into the store too often. I always go home with extras!

Do you think I could get away with 1 or 2 3' Fluvals?

Any shimmer on the Fluvals?

gawnn come in I dare ya, we have have ways of making you come in - its called Mento's....lol

You do not get the shimmer like the Kessels but the Fluval is a very clean light and not that you will or want bubbles but they come out really different with the Fluval - I might have to take home a Fluval and do some comparisons for you.

[MENTION=1094]pony-tail[/MENTION] - if your dropping by and we have them in stock happy to show you one of the new ones to compare with the older model and with the Kessils I did not find that with the 150 Amazon Sun at home.

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Sounds like I can get away with 1 fluval 2.0. If I needed two fluval 2.0 then two kessil 160 would have been in the ball park.

That is pretty much how I see it -

You need to stop , think about what plants you want to grow an how you want to scape it - your light requirements will vary according to the plants you have .

If you notice the picture of my tank on the desk has spiral val the current pick does not - that is because the lighting and water requirements are different for val to the other plants I was growing - the val was surviving but not thriving infact struggling .

So you need to be sure that the plants are compatible in water parameters and light . Then work out whether you need medium light or high light or even extreme light . the just buy the lights that match the plants .

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[MENTION=1338]The Tech Den[/MENTION]

Are you using the kessils on a tank with cover glasses at all ?

All my tests with different lights are through cover glasses . I found the darker spots in the corners top or bottom depending on positioning of the light , pretty noticeable - the tank was unplanted with just the substrate and my spatula fish ( a plastic frypan tool I use for levelling the substrate in deeper tanks ,) 2 f stops different corner to centre and a slight blue shift to the corners all caused by vignetting a result of the point source light not light to dark but just a gradual drop in intensity .

Unfortunately I did not think of taking the cover-glasses off for a test but the tank was to be used with the covers on so that is how I tested .

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