Lights for a 55 gallon

  1. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I'm planning on upgrading tanks soon to a 55 gallon from a 35 and was wondering what types of lights would best be able to grow plants even high light plants eventually. I don't want to make the same mistake I made for my current tank and by a bunch of plants and not have my light be able to support them. Any suggestions, ideas and links are much appreciated
  2. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Quick question, have you looked at CO2 injection systems? High light plants demand it over liquid carbon and it keeps algea at bay.

    For high light, you're looking at a pretty penny. I've seen Build My LED recommended for high light setups, but I'm sure there are options out there. I've been looking at low-medium/medium, but I have strange plans for mine.

  3. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Yeah I've looked into the Co2 injection systems, most likely going to make a simple DIY one! And it's more so that I want the ability to grow high plants if I chose and also so I know without a doubt my medium plants are getting enough light as well. What light are you currently using and what plants are you growing?
  4. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Funny you should ask that. I'm amidst research and still in the process of choosing exactly what I want. I've been reading up on plant needs and piecing the fundamentals together. There's so many options for a planted setup it's rather dizzying. Sorry I can't quite give a sample setup :(

    I'm saving money to build a 65 gal and going all in, so I have some time yet.

    My needs are going to be based more on my inserts I'm going to make. I plan on using a CO2 system with manufactured regulator and bottle. I've read quite a few stories of very touchy and easily out of tune DIY, but there's quite a few successes out there so don't let me discourage you.

    Current plan is a Finnex Planted Plus for a 65 gallon, but I'm not planting everything at the substrate, so I'm quite fine with the low PAR values at that depth since I will have elevated planter boxes to break up the height of the tank.

  5. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I saw on another form that the Finnex Planted Plus had an extremely high Par at the substrate and was even considering purchasing one for my 55, is this not the case?? My plan is I'm going to try the DIY Co2 for a while and if I notice any ill effects or simply it's not working I will make the conversion to a little bit more pricier setup if that's what it takes.
  6. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    What was the depth of the substrate and which planted plus(48", 36", 20")?

    2" can make a difference in depth. The 65 I'm looking at is 24" tall (I think) while the standard 55 is only 18", so my PAR at substrate will differ a lot with 6".
  7. dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    Sadly, Build My LED only makes horticultural fixtures now. The Aquatic line has been discontinued.

  8. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    A Planted Plus should give you in low/medium light in a 55 gal tank. I have a 48" on my 55 gal, and I can grow many medium light plants.

    For a high light setup, I don't think DIY CO2 will cut it. I'd stick with a low or medium light setup with that. You can still grow many plants.
  9. dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    Andrew - Current-USA manufactures the Current Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Pro and the PAR from what I remember is pretty good. For your tank they are around $280.
  10. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I was looking at the 48" planted plus, for a tank that's 20" tall. And TexasDomer would recommend the planted plus then, if I can grow medium light plants I'll be happy with it. And I actually have a Current brand Led right now, but it's a pretty basic one. The price on the currents is what throws me off the most, the same length for a Finnex is around $130 so if the Finnex can do what I need it to I'm most likely going to go with that!

  11. dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    Texas is correct, you will want to look into a pressurized CO2 system with the Current Pro.

    Edit: Finnex lights are good...I have Finnex on one of mine.
  12. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Wow. Didn't know that. I haven't really paid attention to the dates of posts or looked further into BML, just sticker shocked and no need for that much light for me.

    Would adding a second planted plus increase par rating at the substrate? If so, how much?

    Just thinking it might be an option to upgrade into over time to lessen the financial blow.

    AndrewJ54 - I've been looking into some cheap CO2 systems myself. I've priced it out around $150 plus what I choose for the CO2 canister. Includes solenoid, regulator, bubble counter, needle valve, and diffuser/reactor/atomizer.
  13. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    That's not too bad, I could start off with the Finnex lighting grow medium plants and eventually add a stronger light with C02. Do you mind linking me everything you've found for the setup??
  14. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    I would, but my browsing history is a mess and I've been doing most of my research on my phone. I'll work on finding everything again.

    The Milwaukee regulator I've looked at comes with the solenoid, bubble counter, needle valve, and if course the regulator. The issue people have with them is the needle valve doesn't stay put, but upgrading it with a high quality needle solves the issue for posts I've read that have done this.

    The reactor I plan on using is an inline for a canister setup, so it may not be what you're needing in particular.

    Edit: I couldn't find the needle valve I found before :( , but maybe another member could help, or offer different input. This is just what I've been looking at for me.
  15. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    It's a start!! Thank you everyone!
  16. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    :) No problem. Glad to help
  17. dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    I am thinking 2 fixtures to be medium-high to high light.
    I did find some PAR data on the Planted Plus though, it appears to have 68 PAR dead center at 18 inches deep. At 6 inches off center the PAR is about 22.5 PAR. A 55 is about 13 inches deep, so 1 fixture would have basically 22.5 PAR on the extreme front and the extreme back of the tank presuming the fixture is in the middle. With 2 fixtures placed about 2-3 inches apart...well PAR is greatly increased over the whole substrate! Aknickolai posted this info using an Apogee PAR meter:

  18. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Awesome. Andrew could upgrade lights by just adding another bar instead of replacing it
  19. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I definitely could
  20. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    One more question for you guys, I found the hood that goes with my 35 gallon tank and it had a SUN-GLO 20w bulb in there. From my research this appears to be a T8, considering its sat around for a few years I was interested in replacing it with something newer and specifically for plant growth. Did you guys have any brands or ideas for what would be best for this??