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Old 02-11-2013, 10:49 PM   #31
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I agree on the finnex! I love mine so far, but it's only on a 10" tall tank... Haha
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:15 PM   #32
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4Ft/4Bulbs fixture - I have one for my 25g Planted tank and its a great little light, Get bulbs for color temp 6500k (Its one of the options) Its a great fixture and cheap. It will go everything well. You really need 4 bulbs if you want a quality planted tank. Also if you want to grow a plant that will carpet your tank like angel tears you will need a 4bulb fixture. Dont go with any of the crappy LEDS for a planted tank. The t5ho is the light for a planted tank or you could go with LED but they will cost you a LOT because you need quailty ones.

See the problem with lighting for planted tanks is this. Almost any light will grow plants as long as it has some form of power. Using a light thats extreamly strong will give you more dense plants instead of long stemy plants. It will reduce how often you have to prune and will make your tank much more lush. Many people go with lower lights and then the tank isnt dense. Heres some pictures of my 75g when it was a planted tank. I have to say I miss the hell out of it even though its a reef now.

Keep in mind however I did dose co2



Right side of the tank


Center Of tank


Right side of tank


At the begining

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:27 PM   #33
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Spending money on a quality led fixture or two that will last 50,000 hours (nearly 18 years on a standard 8 hour cycle) makes more sense than spending money on bulbs every 6-12 months.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:59 AM   #34
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+1 I agree with you BillBug... I really think the upfront cost is well worth it. The LED's practically pay for themselves overtime!

I would have agreed with CleverB's argument years ago. But with anything "technology" it's always more expensive at first but gradually gets more affordable over time. The same goes with LED's... yes they have a ways to go, but IMO the Finnex line of LED's have broken that barrier of affordable but effective 'quality' LED's. They are still fairly new so we'll see how longevity goes... hopefully enough to get the return on investment.

Anyway... my 26g is pretty tall at 21". From light to substrate is about 18".

I have been using the Finnex Ray 2 24" double daylight fixture on my 26g and I'm getting "medium" lighting due to distance from light to substrate.

Here's how mine looks...


Here's how the Finnex Ray 2 performed on my tank after 8 weeks of growth (granted I use pressurized co2, use Flourish root tabs in Floramax substrate, dose PPS-Pro dry ferts from GLA, AND did a little trimming):


Overall, I'm happy with the growth I'm getting, knowing that I'm only getting "medium" lighting at the distance. If I want "high" light (which I'm currently teasing myself with ), I'll just add on another fixture to do the numbers game with PAR values. Yes, high lighting helps with compact growth and gets some plants to color up in reds or whatnot. That's just a decision you'll have to make... medium lighting vs. high lighting?

And best of all, currently my LED fixture is only using 20 watts total with very little heat generated.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:05 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmc2009
The Finnex Ray 2 48" Is actually cheaper on amazon than the marineland led I was going to buy, by over $150. So everyone is in agreement this is the one that will get the job done? I might have to skip the shoe if that's the case.
That's another great point. You could almost buy two of the Ray 2s for the price of one Marineland fixture! If you ever did decide to get a second one, you wouldn't have spent any more money than the one Marineland costs, and the amount of light you would have would pretty much be overkill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Nano12g

Anyway, slightly off topic but... Was it you Brian or Bill that bought the nice pair of shoes for "the wife" to get approval on a new tank? Haha.. This method may work in this case too!
That was Bill but I think we all learned from that bit of wisdom! rofl

Quote:
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Spending money on a quality led fixture or two that will last 50,000 hours (nearly 18 years on a standard 8 hour cycle) makes more sense than spending money on bulbs every 6-12 months.
Totally right. T5s are nice, and they definitely work, but it really feels like you're just renting the lights once you start replacing all those lamps. LEDs are also cooler running and cheaper to power. They're even better for the environment because LEDs don't use the hazardous chemicals that fluorescents have inside the tubes.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:54 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Brian_Nano12g View Post
Haha.. Well said. But just expect medium light on a tank this size from a single ray 2. There's no mistaking it, however, the Ray 2 grows plants -- even at distances of 18" from light to substrate. It's doing just that on my 26g. However, i am considering adding another fixture along side the Ray2 because the plants that are suppose to show reds, yellows, and oranges aren't really doing that... Just a nice green (which still isn't bad) - with the exception if the ludwigia sp. red and A. reinekii that are still red. Even my DHG is carpeting at that distance.

Anyway, slightly off topic but... Was it you Brian or Bill that bought the nice pair of shoes for "the wife" to get approval on a new tank? Haha.. This method may work in this case too!
Do your RED plants get enough Iron ??
I know high light plus correct ferts bring out the most color, but I'm not running high tech so fuzzy on the details
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:54 AM   #37
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@Corsair - Well I dose PPS-Pro and my Plantex CSM+B micro mix (I believe) has about 7% chelated iron. I also have Flourish Tabs embedded throughout the tank that has iron as well (not sure how much though). I strategically placed those where I planted the flora that are suppose to color up. I have a similar setup with my 6g rimless which is significantly shorter, also under a Finnex Ray 2, but only 12" from light to sub. Conversely, I get really nice colors from the plants in there due to increased PAR -- putting that tank in the "high" light range.

I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but I suspect it's the PAR vs. Distance that's affecting the values to be the culprit. Hence, my contemplation on adding more light ONLY because I foolishly labeled that tank thread "Dutch" inspired. What good is it Dutch when I can't get more splashes of color? I kinda set myself up for disaster on that... LOL
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:07 AM   #38
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Well i have to say this LED finnex came out after i left the planted tank hobby. If there is a good LED out there go for it!!! they will save you loads of money in the long run. The when i was still in it the led people were trying to use in the marine land and it is junk for planted tanks
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:54 PM   #39
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@Brian You may want to try adding an iron nail right under your red plants. I was having the same issue with red coloring from my RTL but after I added some iron chips to the substrate around it, it colored right up. Iron nails are more often recommended on TPT forums and they actually can help. Of course iron root tabs are always the more common option.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:32 PM   #40
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Okay I'll have to give one of those options a shot before i keep blaming the light then. Where do i get them?

Edit: I don't want to hijack this thread any longer... I'm going to pose the same question about the red plants, iron, and light intensity on my 26g thread. Sorry OP for hijacking!!!

I think the overall consensus to address the OP's original question is the recommended Finnex Ray 2
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