Led Lights - Never Had Them Before, Looking For Advice

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Cruise

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So I have my current light, it’s a basic fluorescent tube, the housing has rust through it so that’s another reason why I want to change it. I don’t know whether this is enough light for my tank so I was looking at trading up to LED lights, or bar that a light tube with led lights inside. LED lights have been made especially for plants and have been gaining in popularity, and are also very suitable for a great variety of fish.

Therein lays my problem, I don’t have the foggiest idea about LED lights, whether I do actually need them or I have been dazzled by the newest product on the market with go-faster stripes.

I wanted to bring this question to the forum as I know if I go to my LFS they would probably try and sell me the biggest and most expensive brand on the market whether I need it or not. Someone told me that they had a light that turns on slowly as in dawn and gets brighter to imitate sunlight then slowly go out hours later to imitate dawn.

My reaction to that was “who cares!” My fish has always had the light on full with a flick off a switch or off full with the same switch.

The things I need to consider is if I was to buy an LED light was, the depth of the aquarium, the kind of plants I wanted to keep in it, how strong the lights would be (would the fish need either miners lamps being too dark?, or sunglasses for too bright a light?). - And most importantly the price of the unit and the features of it.

There are a large number of “LED aquarium lights” available here in Australia, and probably hundreds more overseas. I don’t know where to start here, so I wanted to ask people here advice on what I should be looking for. The tank dimensions are 4-foot-wide x 1.5 feet deep (front to back) and 1.6 feet high (approx.)
 

mbkemp

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In my opinion it really depends on what plants you want to be able to make happy. The finnex line is good. There also some decent beamswork light that are a little cheaper
 

Tiny_Tanganyikans

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My recommendation is forget the leds. They're expensive and not as good as SHO CFLs. For the price of a good LED you can buy enough sho cfls for 20 aquariums of thr same size. Sho cfls also are the best lights for growing plants and you can easily mix and match spectrums to accent your fish or your aquascape.

If growing plants is of no interest you can buy very cheap leds that will do their job. Even the led bars that plug into t8 fixtures are perfectly fine.

I have expensive twinstar and finnex leds as well as HO T5s, ever since switching to sho cfls I'll never go back. Theyre also very customizable considering you can use them in any screw in fixture so there's a lot of DIY projects you can do to make very nice looking setups.

Their PAR/PUR is the best for plant growth of all stages. I buy multi packs from a local hardware store for 12 $ and get enough bulbs for 4 aquariums. I grow a lot of high light plants and they pearl like crazy.
 

max h

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I am running some cheap Chinese LED lights on my tanks so far the plants are doing great. Both the low light and one considered medium light. It can really all depend on your budget.
 

mbkemp

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My recommendation is forget the leds. They're expensive and not as good as SHO CFLs. For the price of a good LED you can buy enough sho cfls for 20 aquariums of thr same size. Sho cfls also are the best lights for growing plants and you can easily mix and match spectrums to accent your fish or your aquascape.

If growing plants is of no interest you can buy very cheap leds that will do their job. Even the led bars that plug into t8 fixtures are perfectly fine.

I have expensive twinstar and finnex leds as well as HO T5s, ever since switching to sho cfls I'll never go back. Theyre also very customizable considering you can use them in any screw in fixture so there's a lot of DIY projects you can do to make very nice looking setups.

Their PAR/PUR is the best for plant growth of all stages. I buy multi packs from a local hardware store for 12 $ and get enough bulbs for 4 aquariums. I grow a lot of high light plants and they pearl like crazy.
This is "gsm". Sorry for the hijack but I am going to have to check this out
 

Cruise

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I will need to look this up. I don't know anything about SHO CFLs either. My other issue may be clearance between the top of the glass tank and wooden hood cover about that. It stops my cat going fishing.

My recommendation is forget the led's. They're expensive and not as good as SHO CFLs.
 

Tiny_Tanganyikans

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This is "gsm". Sorry for the hijack but I am going to have to check this out
They've been used extensively in the hydro/aquaponic community for a while, and for good reason.

Here's a little info and examples;

http:// /PowerCompact.html

Some of those bulbs are more expensive than I like but you can find the exact same bulbs or better on Amazon, walmart, your local hardware store, among other places for much cheaper.

I will never purchase another set of leds or t5s.

Marineland makes a very good sho cfl that's actually priced well. Usually any of the bulbs branded for aquarium use are jacked up in price. I have a few marineland bulbs and use them in one of my bigger planted aquariums. I use 2 of their 10 watt bulbs and a 15 watt bulb that I got locally for a 150 gallon aquarium with dwarf baby tears. It has no problem carpeting.

I will need to look this up. I don't know anything about SHO CFLs either. My other issue may be clearance between the top of the glass tank and wooden hood cover about that. It stops my cat going fishing.
If you cant fit a sho cfl then you can't fit any other style of lighting.
 
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sylviepld

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It depends what you want for lighting. If you want to grow plants that need more light then you will have to put out the money for a more expensive LED set-up. The cheaper LED lights are really only good for low-light plants. They are often not strong enough to properly reach the bottom of the tank. If you are OK with low light plants like anubias, java fern, java moss, jungle vals etc then LED would be ok. Another thing I like about the LED lights is the shimmering effect they create. Looks like natural sunlight. I paid $270 for 48"-64" Current + light. It will be enough for the plants I want. My tank is 48" X 18" by 20"high. If you want some good high output lights for a lot cheaper there is the 'skinnier' fluorescent lights - T5HO high output lights. You can grow almost anything with these. Just remember that with high output lights there is a greater chance of having problems with algae if your water conditions are not really well maintained. I hope this helps. I did a lot of research before buying my LED setup. I just prefer the look and I don't need to grow any high tech plants.
 

Cruise

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Off to the LFS tomorrow. I want to go and see what there is more than actually buy anything. Work out what is right for me and go forward.
I'm not 100% what I want for lighting, so I need to see whats on offer first hand.

Thank you all
 

thepoweranga

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In my opinion it really depends on what plants you want to be able to make happy. The finnex line is good. There also some decent beamswork light that are a little cheaper
I just got a beams work Led fixture but have no idea how to tell what brightness it would be considered. It is supposed to be for growing plants and it is 10000k temp but other then that I have no idea weather it would be considered low med or high light. Any tips on finding out or judging? I'm completely lost
 

max h

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I just got a beams work Led fixture but have no idea how to tell what brightness it would be considered. It is supposed to be for growing plants and it is 10000k temp but other then that I have no idea weather it would be considered low med or high light. Any tips on finding out or judging? I'm completely lost
What model light did you buy? The guys over at The Planted Tank may know.
 

radar

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I have cheap led's on my 55's and I get more algae buildup than tanks with florescent tubes. Don't have live plants though.
 

max h

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I have cheap led's on my 55's and I get more algae buildup than tanks with florescent tubes. Don't have live plants though.
How long are you leaving the lights on for? You may have them on to long causing the algae growth.
 

max h

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The light exposure time could be causing the algae growth.
 
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