View Full Version : Any issues with LED tank lighting?
10-10-2010, 02:24 AM
Sorry if this is in the wrong place - posted in technical a few days ago but no replys. Want to buy my new tank soon, so thought I'd try here...
Want to up-size from 10 gallon tank - have perfect spot for a 30" tank, trying to decide between 55 gallon (30x18x24) tank/hood/stand which I'll need to add filter (canister best for this size?) and heater too, or the cheaper (half the cost) option - 37 gallon Marineland kit tank that will fit on current cabinet (very solid, will definitely take the weight). More volume, more options, but more $$. 37 gallon kit tank comes with LED lights in hood. Cheaper to run (but less heat, so heater will work a little harder, not sure what the difference would be). Anyone have experience with LED lighting? I can't see that I'd have any options for changing lighting colour, intensity etc. other than night-time setting (4 blue LEDs), a lot of white LEDs for day-time setting, and off. From reading the forum, it appears that inadequate light or wrong lighting can affect plants (have planted tank, would like to have a lot of plants in new tank) so I was wondering if there could be issues with the LEDs - if it didn't work, I'd have to buy a new hood I imagine.
10-10-2010, 02:41 AM
Unfortunately, I can't help you, but I have been wondering the same myself. It really bugs me being unable to find any "real" information (the words ultra-bright don't help much huh?) about the LED's themselves. I've also looked at some of those newer Marineland tanks with the LED's, seen some good deals, but I'm hesitant to buy one. My only experience with LED's and plants is having a cactus under a 6 LED ultra white desk lamp. It didn't do much of anything, but I did like the look. Since some of these LED's are affordable, but I haven't seen them become "all the rage" in planted tanks, I'm so far assuming they are mainly appropriate for aesthetics and things like moonlights. So if anyone else can weigh in that they are actually good for plants I think they'll be making more than one person happy.
10-10-2010, 04:36 AM
From what I understand, that LED light strip is really meant for fish only viewing. Wouldn't have the power to grow plants well. I saw the Marineland sales rep a few weeks ago at the LFS and he told me they're launching new LEDs which are high powered. The reef ones are supposed to be available in stores soon, the plant ones will debut around January. He was pretty open that the ones for sale now are not sufficient for growing plants; supposedly the new ones can grow even high light plants.
10-10-2010, 04:43 AM
Right on, that sounds right to me, I wonder if the price tags will be substantially larger (can't imagine the box even saying "reef" without being more expensive. I don't know much about LEDs, but I don't think they're too difficult to adapt to different spectrums or output, just has to be done by the factory making em, not like switching out a bulb on a flourescent.
10-10-2010, 04:50 AM
My betta tank has an LED light strip that came with the tank as a kit. I have some anubias nana and some java fern in there, and they've done very little in the way of growth over the past 3 months. If you're looking for a lush planted tank I would stay away from LED for now.
The upcoming LEDs for plants that Lab-Rat mentioned should be interesting though.
10-10-2010, 04:53 AM
The sales rep said the reef fixture would be strong enough to grow SPS. He thought the retail would be approximately $400 for a 48" fixture (not a bad price if it truly can grow SPS). He said the FW plant one would be substantially cheaper. If they're about $200 or so for a 48" fixture I'll probably try one out.
10-10-2010, 06:40 AM
Yeah, I could see trying them if they were $200 for a 48" fixture for sure, the fact they aren't a billion degrees, and that they are (feasibly) waterproofable are pretty cool. Plus LED's never burn out right? or at least they shouldn't, or do they just have a much longer lifespan than normal bulbs?
10-10-2010, 01:23 PM
I have a 48" fixture with two 54 watt t8 and two rows (36 per row) of led's. my fish love the led's only but they will not grow plants. I have only floating plants which do not need a lot of lighting but I have to turn on one of the t8's for six hours a day. the colors of the fish with the led's is great, but make sure you have an other source of light for growing plants.
10-11-2010, 03:33 AM
Thanks for the responses - I think I'll steer clear of the LEDs for now, stick with what I semi-understand, and what I can make changes to.
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