Help Choosing A Light For 2 Tanks

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by AngelTheGypsy, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    I have 2 tanks I'm looking for good plant lights for:

    A 38 gallon bowfront, 23" tall (about 21" from surface to substrate). I currently have a beamswork fixture on it, but due to the depth I don't know if it is enough. I keep low light plants in it. Many of the plants have bottoms that are losing leaves and/or turning brown, specifically ludwigia repens and moneywort. Also the shorter plants don't seem to be doing well. I am looking at finnex lights, specifically the planted 24/7 plus (what's the difference in the SE model?) and the ray2. The ray 2 is high output it says, but not dimmable as far as I can tell, and I don't want it to burn the plants or cause an algae explosion. But will the 24/7 be enough to get to the bottom of the tank?

    I am also building a planted 40 breeder and am considering a 24/7 on this tank.

    All in all I'm looking at the 24/7& SE, fugeray planted plus, and the ray2. I would really appreciate any help with this.
  2. Punkin

    PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    @max h is super knowledgeable about equipment.
  3. Betrayer

    BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    I'm going to follow along as I am also looking to buy a light for my 29-gallon. Considering the same ones you are. Thanks for posting :)
  4. max h

    max hWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks @Punkin, I have always been pretty good when it comes to hardware. I have a tight budget to work with and try to find the best solutions for the best price. We have so many choices out there then 30 years ago it's just amazing. The way I look at equipment is what budget you have to spend. I'm having great success using Beamswork ET series lights on my 110 gallon tank, it has 2 48" lights on it. The company has a bunch of different lights available at different costs and they do have timers available.
  5. Nicholas Graham

    Nicholas GrahamValued MemberMember

    I have the 24/7 on a 29. It is pretty good. I run low tech. I haven't found anything it won't grow.
  6. Nicholas Graham

    Nicholas GrahamValued MemberMember

    The SE model has a different day/night program. Specifically it actually goes dark for a longer period. I have to still run mine on a timer so timer turns on at 6am, runs the pre-programmed cycle(which is awesome) then the timer shuts it off at 10pm. Otherwise it is hardly actually dark. The cycle really is cool and the fish seem to like it too.
  7. Dolfan

    DolfanFishlore VIPMember

    Finnex is the way to go in my opinion. The Ray 2 is a super bright light designed for medium to higher light tanks. Often used with a combo of another light for certain high tech setups. I would avoid this light for your purposes.

    The Planted Plus comes in the original (sometimes listed as Fugeray) and the newer 24/7 model.

    The original has high quality LED's, especially the reds. But it's not dimmable and does not include a timer. You can add a cheap $5 timer from any hardware store for a set schedule.

    The 24/7 is dimmable, programmable, and has fancy features like lightning and sunrise/sunset. The downfall is that the sunrise/sunset natural type setting is not adjustable. It is a full 12 hour cycle with faint light at the beginning and end to simulate a real day. The other features like lightning seem gimmicky to me.

    So I tend to lean toward the original, but if you want a dimmable light, the 24/7 is the way to go. With these lights, if you think you need some extra light you can just extend the photo period. I run the original on my 40 gallon breeder, and only have it on 7-8 hours. Any longer and I have algae issues. So 8 would be a good starting point for you and go from there.

    edit - @Nicholas Graham good idea incorporating the external timer to cut off the light before the built in timer does during that 12 hours fixed setting.
  8. max h

    max hWell Known MemberMember

  9. OP

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    The reason I was looking at the ray 2 was due to the depth. I have tried (and failed) to research and learn about how to know what lighting I need (PAR, etc) but I can't seem to locate a good, up-to-date, understandable, comprehensive resource, although I'm sure it's out there somewhere. And being that I'm already buying the second light for this tank, I want to make sure I get it right. I just want to make sure I have enough for the depth. That was also why I was concerned about dimming, if I got this light and it was too much, then having to get a third. So would I be able to grow low/medium light plants in a 23" deep tank with the planted original or 24/7? All I have now are low light(I think), but I wouldn't mind trying some mid-level plants in the future.

    This is the one I have.

    Beamswork EA Timer FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Freshwwater Plant Extendable (80cm - 30")

    I was actually trying to buy the 6500K version and bought this one by mistake trying to find the right size.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  10. max h

    max hWell Known MemberMember

    Here's something the way I see things. I have 2 of the ET-120 series covering a 5' tank, each light is rated at about 2400 lumens so in reality I have a combined output of 4800 lumens. I have know idea of the par at substrate, but the Rotala plants I have have taken off since setting up the lighting last October. Every month I'm trimming them and replanting, I started with 2 small plants someone gave me and now have 10 to 12 plants that are 18" tall.
  11. OP

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    Well I've decided to go with the 24/7+ SE. So we will see how it goes.