Questions about converting T8s in hood to LEDs

Leeman75

My Saturday evening would not be complete without scheming for my next aquarium improvement. Tonight's topic: converting my hood lights on my 55 to LEDs. Here are my questions about that:

1. I like the non-light portion of the hood (the glass covering) and lid that covers the front half and pivots up to open for feeding. Has anyone success keeping that part, but getting rid of the fluorescent light box and placed LEDs over the glass part of the hood?

2. I am definitely on a budget, so cannot afford to purchase two $100 LED lights. Any recommendations for budget friendly solutions?

3. I'm attempting to grow various plants such as Java Fern, Amazon Sword, Marimo Moss Balls, Banana Plants, Wisteria, and Super Red Lidwigia. Light seems to me to need to be medium. Would the LEDs be required to ensure they get the light they need?

It seems that there are so many options out there, that I'm just not sure what to do. Attached is a pic of the tank with the hoods. They are the normal common hoods that have been around for a long time.

I'd appreciate any thoughts and guidance!
20200209_094039.jpg
 

Cody

You could probably get two cheaper LEDs and just set them on top of the glass the fluorescent lights sit on. I’m not sure what you’re looking to spend but I’ve been doing some research myself lately as I’m looking to upgrade my lighting as well.

I’ve read a lot of great things about the Finnex Stingray series for a budget but effective ligh for Low/medium. There is the original and 2.0. The 2.0 has a bit higher PAR rating. Depending what model and length these are 45-55 dollars on Amazon I believe.

I’ve also read good things about Nicrew lights but they aren’t as well built as the Finnex from what I read, but they are good effective lights.

You might also want to consider buying one 48in fixture as well. They have legs on them that hold them slightly above the tank so they could technically work.As far as how it would look you’d have to be the judge. But that would save some money as well.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to be careful to not get to powerful of a light for low tech plants as you may have algae problems since your over lighting the tank. Although some of the high end fixtures can be fully adjusted for low, medium, and high light. Moral of the story is if your looking at mostly low light plants, as the ones you listed are, don’t buy a light intended for High light plants.

good luck! It’s a very tricky topic to learn about!
 

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