1. Welcome to Aquarium Space! We are a friendly online community for aquarium owners all over the world who love their tanks including their fish, reefs, corals, invertebrates and their aquatic livestock. If you haven't joined yet, we invite you to register and join our community!

what type of lighting do you use for your planted tanks?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants & Planted Tanks' started by Anonymous, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Re: 46 Gallon Lighting Question & Advice

    get the standard (cheaper) legs and you can (I have a similar fixture as that and have a glass canopy and am able to use the standard legs ALONG WITH having the glass canopy on).

    I'd just do the mounting legs and not worry about lowering the water level. THen you'll have to worry about your filter intake being well within the water and make sure the heater is beneath the water..blah blah blah.
    Much easier with mounting legs, plus it will make it easier to open your glass canopy. ALso, you don't want that heat (from bulbs) laying on the glass canopy...they can break from the heat (learned that one the hard way a while back). Lmdao!
     
  2. Aironia

    Aironia New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm interested in buying new lighting for my new planted tank project. I have been looking at two models:
    Current USA 30" Nova Extreme T-5 Fixture 2x24W 10K/460NM ( With the SlimPaq Freshwater T5HO -Freshwater models only option)
    and
    Current USA Satellite Power Compact Fixture 30" 1x65W

    I like the first because of the pink lighting and the second because of the lunar lighting. i have found R2 Solutions Moonlight 11000 MC, that i could buy if i decided to go with the first option.

    My question is this...are LEDs really lunar? what if anything makes it lunar. Some say they are lunar while others say moonlights. some mention they are LEDs some don't mention it at all. I want a soft light at night that my fish will not notice.

    Also this is my first planted tank but I've started out with some really awesome substrate, and a root fertilizer that I've been told with this substrate is all ill ever need to do for just about any plants i could put in this 29g. I don't want it to be to packed with plants. I'm only buying low to moderate lighting plants as well.

    So which light (if either) would suite me best? I'm trying to stay under $100. and if its not the one with a built in moonlight what would be a good one of those?

    Thanks for any help!!
     
  3. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
  4. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi There!

    I did the R2 lighting, was highly disappointed as it was barely visible (I defin. felt it was a huge waste of money)! Don't waste your time on the led quick links either (did them and they were the same as the R2, you couldn't make out anything in the tank ...it was soo dark).

    For the first fixture Current USA 30" Nova Extreme T-5 Fixture 2x24W 10K/460NM (10,000K won't be ideal for plants...you'll want more around 6700K and the 460NM acitincis will be useless and do nothing for your tank other than giving it that "saltwater" like appearance. You then would discount that bulb entirely and would have 24w only over the 29g...which would be less that 1 Total Watt Per Gallon and you'd be lucky to grow a low light plant (if any at all).

    The second one you list Current USA Satellite Power Compact Fixture 30" 1x65W I think you'd be more happy with. The Power Compacts imo are a VERY bright light. You'd have 2.24 Total watts per gallon which would allow you to grow any low light plant in addition to just about any moderate light plant...and even possibly a high light plant or two (you'd have to experiment).
    BigAl's is still running their free shipping (Until April 30th) on orders over $60 that aren't included as heavyweight. You could always find something in the clearance section to push it over the few cents (can of food for $1.09).

    Can't help ya on differentiating between Lunar, Led, Moonlight...I believe they are all basically the same.

    :cool: A side note, Root tabs are great for rooted plants...but stems need to be fertilized through the water column. If they do fine with the tabs and your substrate your golden! If not, I'd add at a minimum Flourish (according to bottle label) 1x a week to do co2. You can even do a diy version, although I never messed with the diy on Co2 myself. You'd be amazed at the difference of the before and afters!

    -> Ps. since I'm not sure how new you are to tanks...always add a dechlorinator such as Prime to your tank BEFORE adding new water (even if it's just a top off).

    Moonlights are useless for planted tanks and basic fish in general (they are moreso a preference by YOU). If you want to add one regardless for your personal preference go with the Coralife Aqualight 1 Watt Lunar Blue Moon-Glow LED Light or Coralife Aqualight 3/4 Watt Lunar Blue Moon-Glow LED Light if you don't want bright. You can view both at bigal's...and if memory serves they will mount right onto that second hood fixture (Keep lunars towards the back of the light...much nicer appearance imo...plus out of the way when your doing tank maint).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2014
  5. Aironia

    Aironia New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK so i have a couple of probably silly questions... Can you just buy the fixture you like and replace the bulbs with the type of lighting you need. ie buy the first fixture i mentioned but just replace the 10k bulb with a 6.7k bulb, and take out the actinic bulb and replace it with the pink one.

    I really am looking for a lighting system that can be mounted above the water and doesn't require a cover to the tank. When buying these type do you want to buy a light smaller then the actual size of the tank? ie my tank is 30" long do i buy a 24" fixture?

    I am sorry if you have covered this before someplace else, the one on one answers are much appreciated.
     
  6. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Most fixtures like the Nova Extreme's and Coralifes come with bulbs when you buy them.

    No, you will buy the fixture that matches your tank length.
     
  7. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    You can if you want to waste money imo. You'd have to buy the correct wattage it took (and Pin).

    Go with the 2nd one (mentioned it already to you)...buy the mounting legs (almost all fixtures sell them seper. today, they used to be included..Ugh!)...and then you won't need to worry about hanging the fixture and will be able to just "set" it on your tank frame.

    Glass canopy if your worried about water damage to your light, inhabitants escaping, dust entering..etc.

    Most light fixtures include a shield that covers the bulbs (ie. plexiglass to shield them from the water..some do not)

    You don't want to ever buy a light smaller than the tank. You want it even lit, no spots lit and spots dark.
     
  8. Aironia

    Aironia New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Exactly the sorta answers i need thank you both. I didnt know you could buy mounting stands for just about any light.
    I think ive finally decided. :)
     
  9. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    These are the ones you want for when you have a glass canopy in place (this is what I have on my fixture...which is elevated just above the glass canopies to keep the fishys in)

    This is the one for the OPEN top tanks with no covering (this would be if you have no canopy and just open water):
     
  10. GOT MTS?

    GOT MTS? Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I have a 36 inch nova extreme t5 light. Yes you can swap out bulbs if they only offer the fixture in a saltwater setup, however the bulbs will run between 15 and 25 bucks apiece if I remember correctly.

    I prefer t5 to PC (power compact) lights. IMO they are brighter. It is recommended that you replace PC bulbs around 6 months and t5s around 1 year. Both kinds of bulbs will gradually become dimmer and you won't really notice until you change them out, and you have to put your sunglasses on.

    One thing I will mention, that I wish I had known when I bought my nova extreme lights, their fans are incredibly noisy. If either of the models you are looking at have fans built in, be aware that it could be as loud as a Dustbuster. Mine had a noise level of at least 34 dba before I modified mine.

    Another thing with current USA lights is that I don't think any or them are recommended over an open top tank. I have both a t5 and PC light fixture from current USA and both of mine are over open top tanks. I just have lie if I ever need any warranty work done on them.

    As far a moon and lunar lights are concerned I believe they are the same thing. If you can find the fixture you want with moon lights than great but for me that wouldn't keep me from getting the light I wanted. Mine didn't come with moon lights so I added my own and I think they look way better than the stock current moon lights. Mine are DIY and were way cheap but took me some time to build. I have a write up in the DIY section on this forum if your interested. You can also add pre-built ones on as well.

    I know your probably getting tired of hearing from me but I thought I would also mention that I have read multiply accounts of the ballasts going bad on current usa fixtures. I just recently had to change a ballast on my little 20" PC light and it cost $20 and I had to take the whole thing apart to do it. My light was used so I can't say how old it was. You do have a 1 year warranty through current usa though.

    My final thoughts are current usa makes a decent fixture for the money. If you have extra money to spend or can find a deal on a use fixture I would go with Tek lights.