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Old 10-22-2012, 03:50 AM   #1
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lighting suggestions

Hi! I'm looking to upgrade the terrible lighting on my current 20g tall tank (24x12x16). Currently there is just a single 13w bulb providing lighting for an assortment of anubias, java fern, java moss, water sprite, frogbit, and anacharis. I dose Flourish about once a week but other than that do nothing more in terms of fertilizer. The plants themselves are all doing fine but I'd like to upgrade my lights so I get greater growth while perhaps at least having the option of housing medium light plants. I'd also like to avoid any usage of DIY or pressurized CO2 for now, but I'm open to things like Flourish Excel and any general fertilizer (like Flourish). I know very little about aquarium lighting in general (particularly the different bulbs) so I was wondering if you guys could offer suggestions or point me in the right direction. Here are some setups I've been considering:

Finnex Ray II LED Aquarium Light - Finnex Ray II LED Aquarium Light 16 18 24 inch 7000K 10000K Actinic Planted | eBay

Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting System - Reef Aquarium Lighting & LED Lights: Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting System

CATALINA AQUARIUM 24 INCH 1 X 24 WATT T5 HO AQUARIUM HOOD - Catalina Aquarium 1 x 24 Watt Planted Aquarium Light

Would any of these work ok, or am I looking at too much (or not enough) light? Any better suggestions? I'd like to try and keep the cost around or below $100.

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:20 AM   #2
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Aloha azmodan!!!

I'd skip on the Marineland fixture. I've been reading a bunch of negatives on it and that you can do much better for the money. I have the Finnex Ray II which IMO is a great fixture (check out my 6g journal). However, it's very bright and if you don't suspend it high enough (probably a few inches above the tank), you'll definitely get some algae without injecting co2. If you suspend the Catalina T5HO about 4" above the top on a 16" tall tank, you should land in the "medium light" range.

Check out these sources to learn more about light intensity and PAR.

Finnex Source: Finnex RAY II & FugeRAY PAR Data
LED Comparisons: LED Lighting Compendium
Some really good info on lighting: PAR vs Distance, T5, T12, PC - New Chart

Just a final note, if you want to step it up in planted tanks, which is what it sounds like, you should really consider injecting co2. I have both a high-tech system and DIY. The DIY co2, if you're on a budget, is very easy to do and pretty inexpensive. There's a bunch of how-to videos and web sources on putting one together. The difference I'm getting in growth from ALL my plants (low light, moderate, to high-light plants) from using co2 is amazing! It's seriously a night and day difference... the "holy grail" of planted tanks, as one AA member put it. If this is still out of the question, then at the very least, use Excel.

Anyway, hope I helped Good luck!
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:08 AM   #3
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Marineland has a new LED for plants in the 6500k range if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #4
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Lighting Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by azmodan View Post
Hi! I'm looking to upgrade the terrible lighting on my current 20g tall tank (24x12x16). Currently there is just a single 13w bulb providing lighting for an assortment of anubias, java fern, java moss, water sprite, frogbit, and anacharis. I dose Flourish about once a week but other than that do nothing more in terms of fertilizer. The plants themselves are all doing fine but I'd like to upgrade my lights so I get greater growth while perhaps at least having the option of housing medium light plants. I'd also like to avoid any usage of DIY or pressurized CO2 for now, but I'm open to things like Flourish Excel and any general fertilizer (like Flourish). I know very little about aquarium lighting in general (particularly the different bulbs) so I was wondering if you guys could offer suggestions or point me in the right direction. Here are some setups I've been considering:

Finnex Ray II LED Aquarium Light - Finnex Ray II LED Aquarium Light 16 18 24 inch 7000K 10000K Actinic Planted | eBay

Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting System - Reef Aquarium Lighting & LED Lights: Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting System

CATALINA AQUARIUM 24 INCH 1 X 24 WATT T5 HO AQUARIUM HOOD - Catalina Aquarium 1 x 24 Watt Planted Aquarium Light

Would any of these work ok, or am I looking at too much (or not enough) light? Any better suggestions? I'd like to try and keep the cost around or below $100.

Thanks!
Hello az...

I recently upgraded the lighting in my tank and find that Solarmax has a good light. You have plants that require low to moderate light, so CO2 isn't really needed. If you can get a strip that will hold two bulbs, and look for those in the 6500K range, that would help your plants quite a bit.

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I looked into the marineland led system for plants but it was a little on the expensive side. I'll check out the solar max brand too.
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