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Old 07-14-2014, 11:12 PM   #1
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Marineland reef capable led for a planted tank?

I'm looking for a new light for my 55 gallon planted tank. My most needy plants require a medium intensity light. I was wondering if the marineland reef capable setup would be a worthwhile upgrade or if I should just wait for a t5ho system. Thanks for your advice.

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Old 07-14-2014, 11:47 PM   #2
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Marineland makes a a version of that light for planted tanks

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:02 AM   #3
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I was asking about the reef one because I found one on craigslist.

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:53 AM   #4
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I would wait for a t5ho. The reef capable light is really blue and honestly isn't that great even for a reef light.

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:55 AM   #5
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Thanks!

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Old 07-15-2014, 02:32 AM   #6
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What's your budget? There's other options we might be able to recommend depending on funds.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:34 AM   #7
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Ideally within the 150-200 range.

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Old 07-15-2014, 03:30 AM   #8
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You can get a Finnex LED fixture within that price range. IMO, the marineland reef LED will be way too blue in spectrum for planted tanks.

For Finnex, you can get a Finnex Planted+ which will provide better color spectrum due to the white, red, and blue LEDs. You'll get medium-low out of a single unit. I'm only guessing since Finnex haven't yet officially released PAR data on it. It's their newest LED fixture.

Their older model, the Ray 2 offers more PAR but it's all white daylight LEDs. So color is slightly washed out versus the planted+. You'll be around 70 PAR with one, which is medium-high... Hope you have CO2 if you choose this route.

Here's a PAR chart for it:



But for kicks, in case budget is flexible... look at BML (buildmy LED.com) and Ecoxotic's E-Series. Both great but more expensive options for planted tanks. Last option, dual Current Satellite LED+ fixtures.

But for value priced, the Finnex wins -- albeit less features.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:34 AM   #9
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I'm currently using flourish excel. I've considered getting a real co2 system but haven't yet. Should that be my first upgrade?

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Old 07-15-2014, 04:12 AM   #10
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Depends on your goals for the tank. With higher lighting (moderate to high, >30 PAR) it's recommended to use pressurized CO2 injection. Some start with liquid carbon dosing like excel. But the recommended dosing on the bottle is geared toward low tech, low light tanks. When you start getting into higher light territory, more available carbon becomes more important. So you'll need to dose excel in higher quantity than directed. Excel can get real expensive in that regard in a larger tank like yours. Luckily, there's a much cheaper alternative to excel. You can opt to start with metricide 14 which is basically generic excel. In the hobby we call it "glut" short for the active ingredient Glutaraldehyde. It's about 2x stronger and way cheaper if you buy it by the gallon.

So I'd start with the goals of your tank, then buy a light. If you aim for medium light or above, and have the money, get a pressurized CO2 system. Aquatek makes good quality regulators for the price. If you're not ready for it, you can start with glut.

Lastly, you need a good fertilizer regimen for moderate to high light tanks. Dry ferts from GLA are best. I dose with the pps-pro kit they have.
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