What Led Light For 26 Gallon Bowfront Tank?

Jacob MacDonald

Hi,

I have a 26 gallon bowfront tank and I’m looking to upgrade the light to an LED. There’s a rectangular hole in my hood (covered with glass) that measures 20.4 inches long and around 3.2 inches wide, and the hood measures 24.3 inches long, I’d either let the light sit right on top of the hole or suspend it using brackets, depending on the size of the light. Sadly the hole doesn’t go across the whole tank so the top corners are lit very well, but it will have to suffice. Anyways, I’m looking to buy a new LED that will be able to grow my Water Wisteria, Anubias and Java Fern, and will be able to reach the bottom of the tank as 26 bowfronts are really tall. Also, I want it to have the moonlight feature. I don’t really want to spend more than $50 CAD. In other words, that is the best LED light for $50 CAD?

Here are some pics of my tank hood and current light:


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PeteStevers

Check out the Aquaneat 24/7 24" LED light fixture. It's a little bit more expensive but, you get the automated 24/7 day/night cycle if you're into that.
 

toolman

Chihirnos A-series. $48 on Amazon is about as cheap as you can go with that depth.

I don't have one yet but@Jocelyn Adelman has lots of experience with them and recommends them. I wanna try one . Lol

SeeJocelyn I do still love you.
 

jmaldo

I purchased the Chihiros A-Series LED about 3 weeks ago, on the recommendation from Jocelyn Adelman Well known "Plant Aficionado"
So far very pleased with the results. Good Luck
 

Jacob MacDonald

I have a few things here, I found the Aquaneat 24/7 on Amazon.com for only $30 US (it’s the 20 inch version as the hole in my hood where the light goes is only 20 inches anyway). You are sure that it is powerful enough to reach the bottom of my tank? As it only has 52 LEDs, I’m not sure what the wattage is, I couldn’t find it, but I was looking at a Nicrew light with 72 LEDs and 14w and I was told that it wouldn’t be powerful enough. So I’d just like to make sure that it is gonna be fine.

Also, for the 24/7 feature how exactly does it work, because I currently have my light on a timer, on from 7:30am until 12:30pm and then back on at 5:00pm till 9:45. I do this so that I can see/feed my fish in the morning when I wake up and so I can see/feed them when I get home. So first off all is that practice even okay? How will it function with this light.

Here’s my next problem. I only found both of the lights (Aquaneat and Chihiros) on Amazon.com and they both don’t ship to Canada.

Also I don’t really think the Chihiros will fit my hood very good, if I was to get it what size should I be getting?

So far I’m kind of leaning towards the Aquaneat, if it is powerful enough (so please clarify that) and if it will ship to Canada.

I’ll just share a link to where I found the lights, just to make sure they are the right ones:
 

Aurah

As others have said, the Chihiros A-series is well regarded by planted tank aficionados. I will add to that that you should replace your hood with an all-glass top if you intend to do a serious planted tank since that will allow the light to spread more evenly across the whole tank rather than be restricted by the small glass panel in your current hood. All-glass hoods (Aqueon and Marineland are good brands, though I slightly prefer the Aqueon since I think its hinge is a bit less stiff) are actually quite cheap. The place with the best prices on them is typically Drs. Foster and Smith. A glass hood + a Chihiros A-series (you can get them direct from China via Ebay for very low prices, and they should ship to Canada) will likely cost you less than $50.

That said, some people have measured and posted PAR for the Chihiros A-series. It can get super bright, which is actually not ideal unless you're injecting CO2 (the goal in a planted tank is to keep light, fertilizers, and CO2 in balance, so if you're not injecting CO2 then you shouldn't go higher than moderate light), but I believe it has a dimming function so run it at half-ish brightness and you'll be good.
 

Jacob MacDonald

As others have said, the Chihiros A-series is well regarded by planted tank aficionados. I will add to that that you should replace your hood with an all-glass top if you intend to do a serious planted tank since that will allow the light to spread more evenly across the whole tank rather than be restricted by the small glass panel in your current hood. All-glass hoods (Aqueon and Marineland are good brands, though I slightly prefer the Aqueon since I think its hinge is a bit less stiff) are actually quite cheap. The place with the best prices on them is typically Drs. Foster and Smith. A glass hood + a Chihiros A-series (you can get them direct from China via Ebay for very low prices, and they should ship to Canada) will likely cost you less than $50.

Is there a hood for a 26 bow front tank? I don’t plan to do a heavily planted tank, just as mentioned before, I have Java Fern, Anubias and Water Wisteria, that’s it.

Could you send me link to the ads that you are referring to?
 

Aurah

My bad, I didn't see that your tank is a nonstandard size. That said, the hole is still not going to be ideal for the spread of light since it'll concentrate light in one area of the tank. All the plants will lean toward that area and A) the leaning will make your aquascape look a little wonky and B) it will create areas of brightness and darkness in your tank, which will make plant placement a bit more complicated. You should be able to get glass cut to size at a local shop for pretty cheap, and Drs. Foster and Smith sells hinges and handles for a fair price. You can just get an appropriate-length hinge, a handle, and then push the cut glass pieces into the hinge and stick on the handle (it has glue on it already). Or you could go hoodless and use egg crate to stop fish from jumping out, though that doesn't look as nice (I don't know if that matters to you).

There are multiple listings for the Chihiros A-Series on Ebay and they all differ very slightly on the price of specific lengths, but here's one listing:

Drs. Foster and Smith is currently running a 25% off regular-price items, so be sure to grab that code from their website banner if you go this route (it looks like you'll need 1/8" glass based on their description):
 

Jacob MacDonald

I have no doubts on how great the Chihiros is but I just don’t see it very practical. I don’t think that I’ll get a glass top as it seems very complicated (I don’t think be very good at putting it all together) and not that necessary. Obviously it would be the best option but I feel that I should be able to make do with what I have (I have very beginner, low light plants). There is only about 2 inches on each side of the hood where the hole ends, therefore my tank receives light everywhere except for the top right corner where I have a little internal filter, and I’m fine with that as some fish like to hide there anyways, and did I mention that my curent light bulb is only 18 inches (I believe that it is a phosphorescent light)). So that’s why I figure that if I get an LED light that is 20 inches long and 3 inches wide then I could place it in there and it would provide light for all the tank, so my only problem is really if the light is strong enough to reach the bottom of the tank. So that’s why I’m kinda leaning toward the Aquaneat as it should fit in the hole perfectly and I like all of the additional features. So my question is will it be strong enough for my tank?
 

Jacob MacDonald

Wait I just realized that the light itself is actually only 16 inches and the next size up is 22 inches so I’m kind of at a loss...
 

toolman

I highly recommend the glass top and chihrnos lightb with that tall of a rank it will be way better even for those plants.
Its not that hardb matbe make a cardboard template and take the hinge go a glass dtore they would assemble it to your instructions. You just add hinge, they have adhesive on them already. Peal and stick. I really think you results will be way better and you will enjoy the tank more.
 

jmaldo

As mentioned, the Chihiros would be the way to go I have mine on a 10 gal on the 4th setting and the brightness is unreal. I just have updated a review I am doing on the Chihiros if you care to see some pics.

Chihiros Led

If you are dead set against the Chihiros then the Finnex 24/7 SE. I have 2 Aquaneats and not pleased with the results. But in the end the choice is yours. Good Luck.
 

Jacob MacDonald

I might go for the Chihiros, but no glass top, I don’t feel that it’s that necessary. Is there a blue/moonlight feature on the Chihiros? (That would be a deal breaker). Also what’s the best size one for me, the hole is 20.4” by 3.2”.
 

jmaldo

I use the single color model (which was recommended by Jocelyn Adelman) , they do have a 5 color model. The model #501 fits my tank perfectly. The sizes are in centimeters so you need to do the conversion to inches. Hope this helps.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Single color only, skip the five color on the a series. (They have another rgb series, different story, that one is a great light, but way more expensive then the a series)

So... you have an issue...
No led light should be used under a hood... the extra humidity and splashing will cause the light to fail quickly... I would either get a new top and the leds, or get something to fit your current hood.
 

Jacob MacDonald

There is a glass pane that covers the hole, is that okay?
So you are saying that I won’t be able to get a blue/moonlight feature on the Chihiros?
Because I think that I may have just found something
 

Ed1957

I have s 36 bow front. Replaced my light and hood. I bought a glass canopy and a Finnex 24/7 planted SE. If you get that light make sure it's the SE. You can get it from doctor fosters and smith for around $60 for a 24. Use coupon code 2awesome. Free shipping. That is a great price. Also do a search for Aqueon versa top. It's a glass canopy and the only one that has it is an only store in Long Island NY. Oto are well worth the money. It makes my tank look great. Best money I spent.
 

Jacob MacDonald

Hmm... that actually looks great. The 20 inch model would fit perfectly in the hole. Would it be worth the extra $10 over the Chihiros? The 24 inch would be too big, but the 20 inch one should be strong enough right?
 

Jacob MacDonald

Alright so my question still is would the Finnex 20 inch be powerful enough? Also, right now I have my lights set from 7:30am to 12:30pm and then back on at 5:00pm till 9:45pm. Is there a way for me to be able to have my lights on at 7:30am and 9:45pm with the 24/7 feature (they obviously wouldn’t be on from 7:30am to 9:45 though right?)

Also Jocelyn Adelman, is this the version of the Chihiros with coloured lights, it’s the same price as the regular Chihiros
 

PeteStevers

Jacob, I have a 36 gallon bowfront and the Finnex planted+ 24/7 SE. Before I bought that light, I had the standard hood and single flor. light. I am not using a cover at all and just the light over the tank. Works great however, you need to keep up on your top ups since the water evaporates pretty quickly. So far, no fish have escaped either (5 months). No cover gives you a different view to your tank as well. I have a lot of plants and they are growing well. No CO2 injection and just just the 24/7 function with is awesome. IMO
 

Jacob MacDonald

Jacob, I have a 36 gallon bowfront and the Finnex planted+ 24/7 SE. Before I bought that light, I had the standard hood and single flor. light. I am not using a cover at all and just the light over the tank. Works great however, you need to keep up on your top ups since the water evaporates pretty quickly. So far, no fish have escaped either (5 months). No cover gives you a different view to your tank as well. I have a lot of plants and they are growing well. No CO2 injection and just just the 24/7 function with is awesome. IMO

How does the 24/7 feature work? Will I be able to have my lights on at 7:30am and 9:45pm as stated above? Also do you know if the 20 inch model will be strong enough, as I should probably be using the 24 inch model?
 

PeteStevers

I suggested that particular light since you were interested in the moon light as well as the normal daylight. The 24/7 feature basically just replicates a 24 hour light cycle from dawn to moonlight hands free. Reading through the reviews, it sounds like it never shuts completely off and that annoys some people. It may also contribute to algae due to long light cycles. I leave my Finnex on the 24/7 mode but, it shuts completely off for like 4 hours or something like that. So far not a lot of algae to really speak of and descent growth. I think the AquaNeat would be plenty of light. If you use the 24/7 feature, it would be on all the time just cycling through dawn\morning\noon\afternoon\dusk\moonlight everyday. You don't have to use that feature though. You can set it to max and just put it on a timer to turn on and off whenever you want. However, if you would want moonlight too, it would have to be manually turned on and back off. The longer version is only like $4.00 more.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Moonlights are for show really, overall just cause algae issues (still provides light but too low for plants to use which means good for algae)
Finnex 24/7 and chihiros are both good, skip the 5 color and just go for white on the chihiros.
 

Jacob MacDonald

I wouldn’t have the moonlights on for very long, maybe like 30 minutes total each day. So I think that I’ll go for the Finnex 20 inch model because I like all the features and it should fit my hood.

Thank you so much everyone for your help
 

PeteStevers

If you go with the Finnex planted+ 24/7, I would suggest the SE model. The non-SE models do not shut off at all in 24/7 mode. The SE model will shut off completely for 4 hours I think.

$73.99·
 

Jacob MacDonald

Yeah that’s the exact one that I’m getting.
Thanks
 

PeteStevers

I think you're really going to like it. I especially enjoy when the sunset mode kicks in.
 

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