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Old 11-25-2014, 05:40 PM   #11
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Leds are a good idea if you have $400-$600 to throw in the tank

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Old 11-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #12
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LEDs are the most powerful and efficient lighting we have for aquaria today. As for penetrating, NOTHING in this hobby penetrates better. LEDs totally outperform Metal halides and T5s. You can make your own LEDs if you have some DIY skill, or you can buy ready made fixtures which will do the job. I don't know where you folks are getting that they don't penetrate or aren't strong. You can light that tank for much less than 400 dollars.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
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I was simply stating that plant growing power gets expensive in ready made leds for tall tanks.. i run 4 tanks all with leds...trust that I know that capabilities of leds mr. X.. i cannot do much with $200 on a 24 " tall tank though sir. Diy for sure!

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Old 11-26-2014, 06:25 AM   #14
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LED or T5...?

Ok, so I'm getting that LEDs are the way... IF you do it yourself, but let's say I haven't a clue what I'm doing...? (Cause I don't) I'm not stupid and I can learn, but I'm starting at scratch and this is something I don't want to **** up...! I'm buying a solid oak cabinet and hood, (so the Mrs will let the beast into her living room) at great expense and if I go and waste shed loads of money banging holes in this thing I'll wish I hadn't started... Could a novice do a better job than a prepared set?

Kinda silly question as it depends, but you know..?


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Old 11-26-2014, 07:40 AM   #15
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Well seeing as.Mr. X threw out the diy.. hope he'd stick around and elaborate I wish I could help but I haven't crossed that bridge yet.. the finnex combo would be my best choice for under ! 300.

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Old 11-26-2014, 07:54 AM   #16
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A guy at the lfs said he has t5s (quad HO) on a similar size tank. Co2 injection. He did mention that he notices the plants change growth every time he changes bulbs and that bulb cost adds up. I got the impression it wasn't a major problem but he would like to switch to LEDs.

I think Rivercats gave me a link for similar - will see if I have it.

I went straight to LEDs. They look bright but I don't know PAR levels.
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:25 AM   #17
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Brookster - this is more T5 than LED, so wouldn't I have the same issues as if I just went for pure T5s? Nice option though, I never thought if a bit of both...

Delapool - I'd love to see that link.! It's this short life and therefore high long term running cost you mention that most puts me off T5s. I need to better understand the options out there in fixtures I can use.

Mr X - what do you think bud? I'm prob looking at prepared fixture... I ain't THAT handy and have enough on my plate...!

If the outcome is I'd have to fork out big money for a fixture that puts out the right power or DIY, I'll probably fall back on T5, but if there's a "reasonable" fixture I can buy off the shelf it's a no brained no?




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Old 11-26-2014, 08:42 AM   #18
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Here are the links from Rivercats. First is for T5's. Second is for the BML. This was her suggestion for my tank which is 4 x 2 x 2.5ft. Just in case, the third link is where you can build your own. I found it fun/useful to see the light spectrum drop off at depth.

Depends on which way you want to go cost wise I think. I still mumble under my breath whenever I get asked about the cost of doing a planted tank (which is usually just after I say I need to replace my horrible setup of led lights).

AquaticLife 48" T5 HO 4 Lamp Fixture with Lunar Lights Freshwater

Freshwater - XB Series (Very High Output) - Build My LED, LLC

Custom LED Strip - BML Custom
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:38 AM   #19
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Ok. We are talking a 120 gallon, correct? 24" tall. What spectrum do we need?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/120-Watt-Big...item5d4ccde930
I have a 105 gallon, which is the same footprint as your 120, and use a pair of these over it (except i don't have red or the lower k whites (the ones that appear yellowish to the naked eye) in my fixtures. I think these will be more beneficial to your plants. I also don't even use the 90 degree optics which come with these units so these will be more powerful than mine. I can grow the most light needy corals on the sand bed with my lights.
They are customizable as well, so You could change the configuration if you liked, but I don't think you are going to need to.

The only downside I see is that you are going to have to get creative with hanging these.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:52 AM   #20
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You could get a 48" finnex ray 2 for the cost of that panel. It also seems more geared towards the sw setup.. Jax.. I'm going to recommend a finnex ray2 and a planted plus. Together they will give the proper spectrum to grow plants while not washing out the colors of your fish. A little birdie told me they could possibly be on sale this week on amazon.

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