Thanks for the advice and sorry I haven't been able to get back here for a while.
I'm a novice and I know I'm doing this backwards, setting up the lights before I know more about what I want in the tank. But if I don't go ahead and get just some kind of equipment to get this project started then I'm sort of stuck with not knowing where to go.
I've gotten a better idea of what I want now so hopefully I can narrow it down to something specific with a little more advice.
Tank dimensions are 72 x 18 (front to back) x 22 deep btw.
Firstly I'm dropping the idea of using only a light that was specifically designed to be used with this Aqueon tank. I see now how limiting that would be. I'm def handy enough to build something to block out any light escaping from an aftermarket setup.
Also, I don't think my tank is going to be very plant heavy. I'd like some larger ones in there but overall I'd like to have plenty of open room to see the fishys swim by. Somewhere in the middle I'd like a big old log with moss growing on it, hanging off maybe. And probably some larger plants on the ends as well as behind the center log. The grassy Cyperus Helferi is nice so I'll probably be using a bit of that. Again whatever ends up going in I'm sure it'll never be too dense with plants. I'm aiming for mostly viewable room in the tank.
I'll be spending a lot of time right next to the tank and I generally don't like super bright lights. So this leads me to think I'd better stick to low to medium light requiring plants.
As my living area is always quite warm I'm thinking I should go with an LED
setup even though people have suggested to go the bulb route with plants. I know this is freakishly hot but right now my house is at 79. As it is I'm probably going to have to become more conscientious about lowering the house temp when I'm gone so the tank doesn't risk overheating.
For now I'm saying CO2
is not going to be considered. Not because it's too complicated but just because I've always aimed for this tank to be as simple to maintain as possible. Maybe an option for later.
I've got the suggestion that you can't go wrong with 6500K color temp. Sounds good to me. Does this type of color measurement apply to the LED
light systems as well?
The USA Satellite looks good although I haven't found a version large enough to fit a 72" tank. Guess could get two of the 36" units. I wonder if one remote control would control both units at the same time. I've written them to find out.
Instead of a tank that is lush and grows quickly I'd rather have a tank that doesn't grow so fast and is easy to take care of.
Have been told to stay away from LED
systems intended for salt water environments as they'll have too much blue tint.
Dsuny FW LED
, Finnex FugeRay and Planted Plus LEDs, and BMLEDs have all been suggested.
This may be the amateur coming out in me, but after a quick look over all these suggestions I'm swayed toward the Satellite LED
honestly because of the remote.
Any more suggestions or ideas now that I've narrowed my parameters down a bit?