How do i know how big of a light for aquarium

Grace4514

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Hey guys, sorry for posting a lot just so much easier having people who know what they're talking about :). I'm gonna try to get a light for my 55 gallon tank but not sure how big of one I need? Its 48 inches long and 21 inches tall 12 inches wide. You can see that the middle part of my tank doesnt get much light at all. I have these two for $14 each they're 15 inches long. But trying to figure out how big of a light I need I want to get into plants and dont want to end up getting one too small.
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FishGirl38

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Okay, you want to get a light to grow plants? The important thing about that light type isn't the length size you'll be looking at, its the height. Essentially you would purchase a 48" long light. My recommendation for lights are the Fluval L.E.D lines. They have a plant specific light and another one called the Fluval AquaSky that would work well for plants - I can explain more later if you're interested in those but...

You'll want to consider the kelvin, lumens, and the depth rating that the light has. So, how far down will the light penetrate the water? Lights that have a higher lumens value will have a higher penetration rating (are brighter) - and will give adequate light to those plants even at the farthest length. Kelvin relates to the color of the light or the temperature. Essentially, lower kelvins are greens, blues and purples. Middle kelvins are reds and oranges, and higher kelvins are whites and yellows (I believe). Plants require red and blue wavelength light. Look for a light that doesn't only give off white and green light, but also blues and reds. (white and green light grow more algae ;)).

Typical 55G tanks are 21 inches tall - this is the important measurement you want to consider.

The other thing to consider, is the type of plants you want to keep? There are high light requiring plants, and low light requiring plants. Sword plants are high light, high nutrient plants (high maintenance), if you want to keep swords you're going to need a light that reaches at least a 16in depth (or more for lower situated/shorter sword types like rubin swords). Additionally, java ferns and cryptocoryne are low light plants and dont need as much light to reach the bottom, these plants may do fine with a lesser lumens light.

Regardless, I can promise you, if you're looking for a plant light it's going to be a little more expensive than a regular aquarium light. You'll be very happy with your purchase - least if you go L.E.D.

there are fluorescent plant lights that would work just find for low light plants, but if you're also looking for a nice, bright light, the fluorescents won't thrill you - they give off purple light, for the plants - which is also dull to look at in the tank.

I currently own the older model of the aquasky. Its adequate for plants (I'm not sure on depth rating, but I've kept plants in a 45G -same height, and all but my swords did well, I was not dosing fertilizers- I learned the hard way). This light mimics thunder storms, sunrise and sun sets and you can also pick specific color settings on the light, You want a green light one day and a white one the next, you can have that - it does the entire spectrum. The newer models are compatible with a downloadable app - so you'll need a smartphone to control it, but its a remote controlled light after that.
 

StarGirl15

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I have the Bluetooth 48in Aquasky and my plants are doing very well. The thunderstorm setting is a joke it scares the bejesus out of the fish. I like how you can set the light however you want.
 
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Grace4514

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Someone told me about this brand. Do you guys think this would be good?
 

Mongo75

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It really depends on several factors. What is your budget? Do you want live plants? Is build-in programability something you want.

If you have a big budget, $150+, I would recommend one of the Fluval Bluetooth lights. If you want to spend a little less, then one of the Finnex Planted 24/7 lights. Same basic functionality as the Fluvals without the bluetooth. Both have a lot of functionality, and are good for planted aquariums.

Nicrew, Current USA, or BeamWork are good alternatives even with plants, but have a lot less functionality, but are good on a tight budget.

I went with the Finnex 24/7 CRV. My only complaint is it can only be programmed in 3 hour increments, starting at midnight, and the time can only be set to one of those increments.
 
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Grace4514

Grace4514

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Honestly I have always turned mine off manually and it would be great If I didnt have to but I dont want to spend a ton lol

I do want to get into plants, and I'm sure I'll always have aquariums so not like it would be a waste of money. But I'd rather not spend a ton of course lol.
 

Mongo75

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Grace4514 said:
Honestly I have always turned mine off manually and it would be great If I didnt have to but I dont want to spend a ton lol

I do want to get into plants, and I'm sure I'll always have aquariums so not like it would be a waste of money. But I'd rather not spend a ton of course lol.
There are so many options, and the market is overflowing with them, that I don't think you can really make a bad choice. I think the biggest selling feature for me was the programmable 24/7 feature. I like seeing the sunrise and sunset colors and hues as the day progresses. I don't use CO2, so my plants don't require a whole lot of light, but it's there if I change my mind :). Yes, they are more of a hit on the pocketbook, but IF (<--Big IF) you plan on going planted, the extra $$$ will pay off, IMHO :)
 
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Grace4514

Grace4514

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Thank you very much! :) very helpful guys
 

86 ssinit

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Ok my choice is the vivagrow 24/7. 48” and 10,000k and 4500 lumens. $60 shipped on eBay. Great light great price. Looks good and will grow plants.
 

faydout

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All great advice, also to keep in mind is what kind of plants you want in your planted tank. Cryptocoryne, Anubias, Bucephalandra etc. require a lot less light than some of the Rotala's and Lugwigia. It wouldn't be a bad idea to start googling and figuring out which sorts of plants you want to keep. Just getting into plants, it's going to feel a lot like trying to figure out what fish you want in your tank. Have fun with it, then when you've got some ideas about which way you want to go plant wise, figure out what kind of light you need and shop based on that.
 

FishGirl38

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StarGirl15 said:
I have the Bluetooth 48in Aquasky and my plants are doing very well. The thunderstorm setting is a joke it scares the bejesus out of the fish. I like how you can set the light however you want.
The thunderstorm setting can sometimes put certain types of fish into a breeding mode...it might not work well for your type of fish, but for some it can promote breeding. It mimics the rainy season....Its actually a very neat feature that you can't find on most other light fixtures. I don't use the thunderstorm mode either, but its not a negative..
 

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