60 Gallon Tank Better light, or what?

Sanderguy777

This thread is lighting specific, but I have quite a few plant related questions as well.

I have a 60g tank with a bunch of guppies, corys, and a couple SAE and BN in it. (I also plan to add neocaridina at some point, but I doubt that has any bearing on lighting). The tank is cycled and been running for 10 months.

Right now, I have a 4ft shop light on it, I don't dose CO2, but I do dose Easy Green once a day (1 squirt per day, so enough for a 70g tank). I have anubius, java fern (regular and windelov), and limnophilia aromatica, salvinia minima (formerly), pogostemin stollatus octopus (aka PSO), amazon sword, and jungle val. (the last 2 get seachem root tabs)

The shop light was working fine for the most part, but nothing was really exploding except the PSO. Then I think the Furan 2 I dosed killed off 50%+ of the plants including all the salvinia, and 90% of the PSO (all of it is now moved to other tanks but one stem, and it just died in the last 2 or three days). I WCed and put carbon in the filter so the residual Furan 2 should be gone. (I have already been through a thread about it, and the Furan was the only variable that changed, so that is the explanation that I, and 4 or 5 others agreed on. Maybe the light spectrum died, and maybe the city water changed, and maybe something else happened, but I don't know of any. The Furan was the only variable I KNOW of that changed between lots of plants, and a massive die off of them.)

I want to start selling the plants, so I need more growth, and I also want to get into more colorful plants like rotala and maybe some carpeting plants, but NOT dose CO2, though I want to keep that path open.

The plan is to start EI dosing NilocG dry ferts, and get a new, sub $100 light that either hangs over the tank (my preference), or clips on the back (acceptable, but not sure if this type is bright enough in my budget).
My questions are:

1. I am in college, so my schedule is crowded and varied, should I even get another light, or just be patient? Will algae be an issue with more light and ferts, but no CO2? (I can't afford it right now, but I may play with it in a few years, after college)

2. Do I need to add light? If so, should I get another shop light, or invest in a dedicated aquarium light?
(This is ~ the one I have. Lithonia Lighting 4 ft. 36-Watt Natural Aluminum Integrated LED Shop Light-SHLA 48IN 40K 80CRI DNA M12 - The Home Depot)

3. If I was to look at dedicated lights, would a basic finnex stingray be ok, or should I get a Finnex planted 24/7? Or should I go for broke (literally), and get a Twinstar or something?

4. The tank is 4ft long, so I can get two 24" lights, or one 48" light. Which way is better? 2 lights is more money, but I could do a "mix" of a Twinstar, and a Hygger or something like that

I can't afford more than $130 total, but cheaper is better. I need the light to be UL listed for insurance, and waterproofing would be nice (though I don't think my planned setup would allow any splashes unless a fish goes crazy when I net it).
 

86 ssinit

So many lights in your price range. I have 2 48” fixtures on my tanks. Cheapest and best bang for the buck is the vivagrow 24/7 programmable with a remote.It’s under $70 shipped. My tanks are 24” deep And 18”wide. That’s why I use 2. That one light will grow most low to medium plants nicely. High lighting plants (red or carpet) will still need more light. Next is the hygger 957 this to is a programmable light that is programmed on the fixture. Costs around $75. Next for around $100 is the finnex HLC. It’s 24/7 and remote controlled. These are your next step up in lighting that I use and recommend.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

So many lights in your price range. I have 2 48” fixtures on my tanks. Cheapest and best bang for the buck is the vivagrow 24/7 programmable with a remote.It’s under $70 shipped. My tanks are 24” deep And 18”wide. That’s why I use 2. That one light will grow most low to medium plants nicely. High lighting plants (red or carpet) will still need more light. Next is the hygger 957 this to is a programmable light that is programmed on the fixture. Costs around $75. Next for around $100 is the finnex HLC. It’s 24/7 and remote controlled. These are your next step up in lighting that I use and recommend.
I was thinking of just standing pat with what I have now, and just getting more plants and a couple new guppies.

But I do want more red plants, so would any of the ones you mentioned improve reds? Would I be able to get one 24" and just add that to one side, and then add another later?

I want all kinds of plants, but I think regular baby tears, and some narrow java fern or a few crypt wendetii are the extent of what I'll probably attempt without co2.
 
Upvote 0

Cherryshrimp420

Oh yes I remember your thread

If you want to seriously grow plants for sale then I would recommend overhauling the tank and adding a deep substrate layer. Preferably 4-5 inches+.

What kind of light is the shop light? Is it LED or T5 or fluorescent or something else? If it is not LED then I would recommend a LED.

I'm trimming 75% of my plants for someone to pick up tomorrow and I'll do this once every month - 2 months. I just have sand and LED lighting, no ferts and no CO2. Just remember, light + carbon is the main food source for plants so if the aquarium is light limited then none of the other nutrients matter.
 
Upvote 0

jake37

My experience has been that you will require co2 if you want explosive growth. I added a very expensive light to my 40B (a shallow tank at 16 inches); and it has some effect but nothing explosive. I have had co2 on my 120 for over a year and added co2 to the 40B in late Dec. The effect is quite visible (the 120 has fluval 3.0). The plants you mentioned will grow fine without co2 (the limnophilia aromatica will benefit the most from increase light) but none of them are going to explode without co2. They will do fine if you wait 3 to 6 months - but if you want to sell plants it will be slow going. With co2 the 40B could use a good haircut every 6 weeks and the sword in the 120 send out annoying runners every 3 or 4 weeks. The 60 is a pretty deep tank - around the same depth as the 120.
--
Without co2 in my other tanks stuff like hornworth, frogbit and such is quite farm-able for selling but I would not expect a lot of runners from the sword plant or explosive growth from the anubia. The PSO did quite well in my low tech tank and you should be able to get good trimmings every 6 to 12 weeks but with a bit of co2 (I have a little in the 40B) you could trim it once every 2 weeks easily. I'm not encouraging you to get co2 and would recommend that you don't (it doesn't really pay for itself); but I believe it is required for explosive growth. Then again you could get a flood light $50; 5 gallon pail $3 and put some frogbit in it - set the floodlight on top of the pail and have the largest frogbits you've ever seen with enough to sell every 2 weeks. My frogbits in the pail grew roots over 2 feet long
 
Upvote 0

Joshtank

I got the Finnex 24/7 planted +. easy to program. you set the lighting schedule

My Java fern grew pretty quick after introducing that light. takes up the whole back corner now

Its fair to say that there are many options out there. Everybody has a preference I just like the finnex with how you can simulate a sunrise and moonlight with it.
 
Upvote 0

jake37

Those are the flood lights I mentioned in another thread - i used one on a pail. The biggest issue is figuring out how to install it. They fit lovely on top of a 5 gallon pail but for an aquarium you will likely want to hang them. They are light and you could set them on the canopy but that isn't a great solution. The spectrum visually isn't perfect but it does a fantastic job on frogbit


To keep investment costs down, I'd look at putting a few of these on timers.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082M5SRH...olid=30TAOW9QLP2ZB&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
 
Upvote 0

Zeroyosh

https://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Programmable-Extendable-Waterproof-12-18inch/dp/B086ST5KJB
This light should work for you. It comes programmable and you could run this full bright for 6hrs a day.


I have two Hygger lights, the two I have are not digital, but they are ..super waterproof...so thats a good thing...and if the bigger one is anything like the 30inch or the 24 inch, they they have a lot of brightness! would be totally good for plants.

a side note, I did watch the video for that light, and adjusting color light intensity, etc. looked confusing as heck...
Ultimately, I recommend Hygger lights, they are inexpensive, and get the job done. and are very waterproof
 
Upvote 0

86 ssinit

I thought the same thing about adjusting but it is very easy. You can make these lights 24/7 with slow on and off and moonlight. And yes waterproof.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

Holy cow, this thread took off! Someone must have added co2 when I wasn't looking!


Oh yes I remember your thread

If you want to seriously grow plants for sale then I would recommend overhauling the tank and adding a deep substrate layer. Preferably 4-5 inches+.

What kind of light is the shop light? Is it LED or T5 or fluorescent or something else? If it is not LED then I would recommend a LED.

I'm trimming 75% of my plants for someone to pick up tomorrow and I'll do this once every month - 2 months. I just have sand and LED lighting, no ferts and no CO2. Just remember, light + carbon is the main food source for plants so if the aquarium is light limited then none of the other nutrients matter.
It is a 4ft integrated led. I believe it is Lithonia and about $21 on Home Depot. I do have a 4ft t5 fluorescent, but it needed to be hard wired and I wasn't sure about waterproofing (the one I have is somewhat covered so splashes shouldn't affect it).

Would I want the 4-5" substrate to be the fairly fine play sand I have now, or do I need to get something else? I was thinking of using my petsmart treat trails coupons on eco complete for my terracotta pots I have my root feeders in, but maybe I should just put a 1" layer on the base of the tank...

My experience has been that you will require co2 if you want explosive growth. I added a very expensive light to my 40B (a shallow tank at 16 inches); and it has some effect but nothing explosive. I have had co2 on my 120 for over a year and added co2 to the 40B in late Dec. The effect is quite visible (the 120 has fluval 3.0). The plants you mentioned will grow fine without co2 (the limnophilia aromatica will benefit the most from increase light) but none of them are going to explode without co2. They will do fine if you wait 3 to 6 months - but if you want to sell plants it will be slow going. With co2 the 40B could use a good haircut every 6 weeks and the sword in the 120 send out annoying runners every 3 or 4 weeks. The 60 is a pretty deep tank - around the same depth as the 120.
--
Without co2 in my other tanks stuff like hornworth, frogbit and such is quite farm-able for selling but I would not expect a lot of runners from the sword plant or explosive growth from the anubia. The PSO did quite well in my low tech tank and you should be able to get good trimmings every 6 to 12 weeks but with a bit of co2 (I have a little in the 40B) you could trim it once every 2 weeks easily. I'm not encouraging you to get co2 and would recommend that you don't (it doesn't really pay for itself); but I believe it is required for explosive growth. Then again you could get a flood light $50; 5 gallon pail $3 and put some frogbit in it - set the floodlight on top of the pail and have the largest frogbits you've ever seen with enough to sell every 2 weeks. My frogbits in the pail grew roots over 2 feet long
I might do that 5g bucket idea! I certainly have enough of them!

Thanks guys for all the ideas! I'll look at them today and think about it.
 
Upvote 0

Cherryshrimp420

Holy cow, this thread took off! Someone must have added co2 when I wasn't looking!



It is a 4ft integrated led. I believe it is Lithonia and about $21 on Home Depot. I do have a 4ft t5 fluorescent, but it needed to be hard wired and I wasn't sure about waterproofing (the one I have is somewhat covered so splashes shouldn't affect it).

Would I want the 4-5" substrate to be the fairly fine play sand I have now, or do I need to get something else? I was thinking of using my petsmart treat trails coupons on eco complete for my terracotta pots I have my root feeders in, but maybe I should just put a 1" layer on the base of the tank...


I might do that 5g bucket idea! I certainly have enough of them!

Thanks guys for all the ideas! I'll look at them today and think about it.
Hmm that light is not going to work. You need a stronger LED for sure. But in your setup I am not sure if you can use Nicrew amazon lights because they don't seem to be very waterproof. You might need to go for some higher end ones that are made for open tops.

Play sand is fine. There is no need for eco complete since it is like 20x the price. Sand + some peat moss/potting soil mixed in would be the same thing as eco complete.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

Attachments

  • 16111712630028052821463721629268.jpg
    16111712630028052821463721629268.jpg
    183.8 KB · Views: 15
Upvote 0

Cherryshrimp420

Lithonia Lighting 4 ft. 64-Watt Equivalent Integrated LED Natural Aluminum Shop Light 4000K Cool White-SHLP 48IN 40K 80CRI DNA M12 - The Home Depot

This is basically the light I have on it now.

I looked at the lights, and I think I will stand pat with the light for now. Unless I can get a light for half the tank and upgrade the other half later?
I was getting 3"-4" of growth on the PSO before the die off, so would that work?

Plants have some carbon stores and they can use it to fuel a short growth spurt in low light conditions, but if they don't reach light sources then they will eventually die off. Maybe that's what happened in your case? I am not sure...

That home depot light is def not enough for aquarium plants though. It is only 3100 lumens ideally you want double this or more.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

I ended up getting some floro max for $14 because of the coupon, so should I put that over the existing sand (only about 1/2" and some gravel underneath. Total probably 1"...) and then cap it with sand? I have corys, so the sharp looking edges of the floro max look bad to me (it that really and issue?)
 
Upvote 0

86 ssinit

The thing with plant substrates s none of them last so you will need root tabs down the line and many when added release ammonia into the tank. I just don’t use them! Gravel or sand will grow your plants. People been growing plants forever. These substrates have only been around for the last 10yrs.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

The thing with plant substrates s none of them last so you will need root tabs down the line and many when added release ammonia into the tank. I just don’t use them! Gravel or sand will grow your plants. People been growing plants forever. These substrates have only been around for the last 10yrs.
That sounds like maybe I ought to take it back and just add sand. Then I can use that money towards a light...
 
Upvote 0

Cherryshrimp420

I would just add sand, but don't burn yourself out with all the hassle and back-and-forth trips. Keep it simple
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

I would just add sand, but don't burn yourself out with all the hassle and back-and-forth trips. Keep it simple
I just added play sand a week ago, and just saw this thread again.
Also, I checked my light on Rotala Butterfly and saw that it gives like 24 par at depth, so I definitely need to upgrade.
Finnex has shot through the roof lately on Amazon. Are there any other options that are less expensive? (Since I need lights for a 55g, 60g AND 10g tanks...) Maybe something less obvious like a "grow light" from home depot or something?
 
Upvote 0

86 ssinit

I’ve used the vivagrow 24/7 on many tanks. No problems and they grow plants. Next I just bought a hygger 957 for a125. It’s running with a finnex HLC and they are both great.
 
Upvote 0

Cherryshrimp420

I just added play sand a week ago, and just saw this thread again.
Also, I checked my light on Rotala Butterfly and saw that it gives like 24 par at depth, so I definitely need to upgrade.
Finnex has shot through the roof lately on Amazon. Are there any other options that are less expensive? (Since I need lights for a 55g, 60g AND 10g tanks...) Maybe something less obvious like a "grow light" from home depot or something?

Im curious how Rotala Butterfly calculated that? Looking at their website Im not sure what they mean by "BML"?
 
Upvote 0

jake37

Some reviews suggest the hygger 957 runs hot. Does your runs abnormally hot ?

I’ve used the vivagrow 24/7 on many tanks. No problems and they grow plants. Next I just bought a hygger 957 for a125. It’s running with a finnex HLC and they are both great.
 
Upvote 0

86 ssinit

No just checked and it’s as warm as the HLC,finnex planted plus and the current USA. But the vivagrow is almost cool compared. All on full bright now.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

Im curious how Rotala Butterfly calculated that? Looking at their website Im not sure what they mean by "BML"?
NO idea! Although, my guess would be that they do a very rough calculation based on the distance of the light from the substrate, and base their PAR rating on some test or manufacturer's info on the LED samples they used in their calculations...
I am also unsure if my lights use CREE "bulbs" either, since they just said LED on the packages, which are long done...
Googling the various LED options was a bust too, since they either tell nothing (at least from what I saw) about the actual diodes and their angle of output, brightness, spectrum, etc, or just have a $1200 beside an aquarium light picture LOL. I'm pretty sure the $30 light I have isn't using the same LEDs as the $1200 one!

I was looking at these lights, but the VIVAGROW ones look good (and sound like they might be better quality if they run cooler)...
Honeywell HNW 2 ft. 30-Watt White Full Spectrum LED Linkable Plant Grow Light Fixture, Bright White-GW230021Q185 - The Home Depot

Screenshot of the spectrum... Note the description of the various LEDs used (right above the spectrum graph).
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot (1).png
    Screenshot (1).png
    375.7 KB · Views: 17
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

So many lights in your price range. I have 2 48” fixtures on my tanks. Cheapest and best bang for the buck is the vivagrow 24/7 programmable with a remote.It’s under $70 shipped. My tanks are 24” deep And 18”wide. That’s why I use 2. That one light will grow most low to medium plants nicely. High lighting plants (red or carpet) will still need more light. Next is the hygger 957 this to is a programmable light that is programmed on the fixture. Costs around $75. Next for around $100 is the finnex HLC. It’s 24/7 and remote controlled. These are your next step up in lighting that I use and recommend.
I'm looking at 2 vivagrow 24/7 24" lights, or one Hygger 48".

Is the hygger a better light, or does it just have a timer and stuff (I already have timers separate from the light...)
 
Upvote 0

Cherryshrimp420

I'm looking at 2 vivagrow 24/7 24" lights, or one Hygger 48".

Is the hygger a better light, or does it just have a timer and stuff (I already have timers separate from the light...)

Hmm these are grow lights they will appear very red and not like the typical aquarium light. Are you okay with that?
 
Upvote 0

86 ssinit

The hygger is programable as in (just an idea)you can start the light at 6am at 20% and run that way for set amount of time than go to 30%for a set amount than 100% or whatever you’d like till your want it to shut off. At each time you can set each color rgbw to the amount you’d like. So it’s not just a timer it’s programable. All of these lights can do this.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

The hygger is programable as in (just an idea)you can start the light at 6am at 20% and run that way for set amount of time than go to 30%for a set amount than 100% or whatever you’d like till your want it to shut off. At each time you can set each color rgbw to the amount you’d like. So it’s not just a timer it’s programable. All of these lights can do this.
I think I'll do the hygger then (it is a bit cheaper actually so mot sure why I was debating so hard with myself lol)
Is it on an app, or that little screen? (Nor a deal breaker, just curious)
Hmm these are grow lights they will appear very red and not like the typical aquarium light. Are you okay with that?
I figured as much. I definitely don't want pink guppies (at least unless they are actually pink) so I think I'll go to with the hygger.

Also, my parents don't like the "big, ugly lights" at home depot any way lol.
 
Upvote 0

Sanderguy777

I ended up getting the hygger 24/7 (not the 957). I THOUGHT I was getting the 957, but somehow misordered, so I'll just stick to the 24/7. (Which is incidentally the one that Prime Time aquatics has)
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
8
Views
567
John58ford
Replies
3
Views
193
Cherryshrimp420
Replies
2
Views
437
SFGiantsGuy
Replies
3
Views
392
Silister Trench
Replies
4
Views
174
Thunder_o_b

New Aquarium Light Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom