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Thread: Adventure: freshwater LED
10-08-2012, 11:21 PM #1
Adventure: freshwater LED
Well, after a few days of making myself crazy over choosing lighting for my 55gal, I decided today: Marineland double bright reef-capable LED fixture.
I'm a bit scared, since this was not cheap, and reviews were mostly for reef tanks. These are not the highest-quality LEDs in existence; I can't afford the best ones, and I am not a DIY girl. My tank is freshwater planted, and I am serious about growing low to medium light plants. T5s just seem too hot and potentially dangerous. The T8s I have (stock fixture)are worthless.
I figure I will make it work:if it turns out to be too bright, I can grow some floating plants to diffuse it (I hope). Too much light may be a better problem than not enough, right? There is not a lot of reviews/data out there regarding LED light and aquatic plant growth.
Anyway, I bit the bullet and bought it. May regret it, may not, but it will be an adventure!
10-08-2012, 11:26 PM #2Member Platy
- Join Date
- Oct 2012
i am currently looking for lighting for my soon to be planted 20g, so i'll be interested if ur lighting works out :)
10-08-2012, 11:27 PM #3
Reef capable? I guess that means you can toggle between settings right? if not you will probably have a HUGE algae problem.130g: 4 Angelfish, 2 Roseline Sharks, 12 Conga Tetras, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, 1 Corydora
10-08-2012, 11:35 PM #4
Well Mandy, it's not the most awesome of lights, so I'm not expecting way-crazy output. I saw a couple favorable reviews for med-light plants, none for high light. It was equated to 2 T5HOs...which I was going to do if LEDs didn't work.
This whole decision has been kinda crazy...not a whole lot of info. And in the end, it feels like I sort of cheaped out, but then didn't because even these were expensive.
Anyway, I will be keeping everyone who cares posted.
10-09-2012, 10:53 AM #5
I'm guessing you go the model with 42 LEDs (1 watt), 36 - 10,000K (white) and 6 460 nm (blue) ???
Although the 42 watts of LEDs should give you OK lighting for mid-light requiring plants, the color spectrum is not the best for a fresh water set-up. The bluer color tones can promote algae growth in a fresh water tank. Just keep your nitrates and phosphates as low as you can to help avoid that.
If the switch can be used to only turn on the white lights, I would suggest doing that.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]
10-09-2012, 03:21 PM #6
Yes Cliff, that's exactly the one, and thanks for the tips on preventing algae. I'm hoping frequent water changes(2X week, 30% each time) will help in the areas you mentioned.
I am toying with the idea of somehow removing the blue lights or covering them up. I will have to see how this can be done.
I'll have to see how the 10,000k lights do. I had good outcomes when I had an 8000K light on my 20 gal. There is also some natural sunlight that comes into this tank. I have T8s on this tank...surprisingly the plants in there (some swords, wisteria, bacopa) are not rotting away..they are actually growing a very little bit. That makes me thing the sunlight in there is not entirely insignificant.
Again, maybe I will regret this, maybe not. Perhaps my spectacular failure in lighting choice will be immortalized here on AC!
10-09-2012, 04:51 PM #7
0Originally Posted by bethyMT
When in doubt don't be afraid to ask on the forum. These guys helped me pick out my lights, and so far so good. I was basically just repeating what had been said to me about lights meant for reefs. I'm sure Cliff's advice will get you through on this one though.
The lights I purchased for my 55g only cost me $60.00, free shipping and everything.130g: 4 Angelfish, 2 Roseline Sharks, 12 Conga Tetras, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, 1 Corydora
10-09-2012, 09:37 PM #8
Oh, I wasn't getting defensive. That blue light is a bit of sticky thing...I do not want huge algae problems. So it'll be a trick to figure out how to avoid it.
I just had a hard time finding LED lights that were bright enough to sustain plant life. I am pretty sure these will be. Too bad it had to come with those blue.
And if I have questions, you bet I will be asking...probably annoying the heck out of some people!
10-16-2012, 04:29 PM #9
The fixture came today. It's set up, and I like it. I did have to cover up the blue lights...they don't look right on a fw tank. It still delivers 46W of light though, which I guess is pretty good for leds.
I was amazed at how easily the thing set up...basically plug and play. And I would equate the light with 2 T5s...I know because I tried that first.
Now I will be monitoring the heat these things put out, plant growth, and algae growth.
If this works, the tank will be complete for now...yay!
10-16-2012, 11:56 PM #10
A bit of warning - if your nitrates get very low, algae will also grow since the plants will struggle for food; others here can correct me but most plants need about 3 ppm nitrates if memory serves. Phosphates should never read much above 0.3 ppm but if you have fish, than phosphates will tend to climb above 0.5 ppm, and then they are too high. An algae scrubber can eliminate high phosphates (and will complete for ferts so be careful if you get one.) Be aware a shortage of iron can lead to algae, too.
Also - did I say, I HATE ALAGE!