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LED lighting any good?

This is a discussion on LED lighting any good? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Well, from the sound of things LED lights are still iffy, so I'm going for some T5 HO lights. Just got a zoo med ...

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LED lighting any good?
Old 05-27-2011, 03:16 PM   #11
 
Well, from the sound of things LED lights are still iffy, so I'm going for some T5 HO lights. Just got a zoo med double light 36" light fixture, with 2 6250 rated lights *don't recall exact number, will post up later* rated for plant growth. Got it for 82 bucks free 2 day shipping off of amazon, so saved lots of money there. I love free amazon prime :D and if ure a student with a .edu email, you too can get free amazon prime for a year if you register your school email with your amazon account.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:26 PM   #12
 
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Mine is 8 in. from the water line and then another 8 in. to the sand. It works for me, but there are always a number of factors to take into account.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:46 PM   #13
 
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Good plant-friendly LEDs are available, but $$$$ (not yet cost-effective to my wallet). I have the same fixture you just purchased on my 55 gallon. I'm assuming it's an Aqua-sun? You'll have too much light with two T5HO bulbs unless you suspend it waaay above the tank. I recommend, from my experience, using only one bulb long-term unless you plan on using pressurized CO2 or want to grow really massive algae sheets.
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:54 AM   #14
 
What type of algae would grow? Maybe I am trying to grow algae for my future shrimp ._. muahahaha! But how high did you suspend yours? I currently cannot suspend mine as its kinda in the middle of nowhere in my room. Haha. I'll use 1 bulb for now, and see how things go.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:35 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by excal88 View Post
What type of algae would grow? Maybe I am trying to grow algae for my future shrimp ._. muahahaha! But how high did you suspend yours? I currently cannot suspend mine as its kinda in the middle of nowhere in my room. Haha. I'll use 1 bulb for now, and see how things go.
My light is mounted using the plastic mounts that came with the unit (about 3-4" above the water). I dose with Excel into a tank that's planted pretty well. Even with the Excel dosing and using only one bulb I'll get algae if I leave the light on for more than 7-8 hours/day. When I first set up the tank, I had no algae issues initially and I was using both T5HO bulbs about 10 hours/day. Took a month before algae started to be a real problem. I started with the brown diatoms right after setting up the tank (normal, went away), and I then started getting lots of the green filamentous (hair) algae until I cut back on my light. Had to remove the hair algae using an old toothbrush every other day! Currently if I set my light timer for more than about 7hours/day, I get a flat, very bright green algae that starts making spots on my older plant leaves.

I have a canopy planned, a home-built, that will elevate my light about 6 more inches and I'll then use some fiberglass window screen to further reduce the light so I can use both bulbs (better color balance). FYI, each layer of screen reduces the light about 40%, if you ever need to use it.

I'd love to add some shrimp to my tank to eat the algae and just because they are neat. Unfortunately, my angelfish would really "love" them too - as a snack

Last edited by DKRST; 05-28-2011 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #16
 
By screen do you mean fiberglass screen? Or just any screen? Currently my light has a acrylic splash guard, and then my tank has a acrylic cover. The light is 2-3 inches from the top of the tank. I'll see if I can get some things to prop it up to get it 4-5 inches up. But just wondering if my 2 acrylic sheets mentioned would act as a screen. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:37 PM   #17
 
Just run one bulb if 2 bulbs is too much light. Color temps main effect is personal preference of how the light looks.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:21 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by excal88 View Post
By screen do you mean fiberglass screen? Or just any screen? Currently my light has a acrylic splash guard, and then my tank has a acrylic cover. The light is 2-3 inches from the top of the tank. I'll see if I can get some things to prop it up to get it 4-5 inches up. But just wondering if my 2 acrylic sheets mentioned would act as a screen. Thanks!
I think the acrylic will block any UV from the lights, but the fiberglass/plastic window screen material (could use aluminum screen, I suppose) acts like a shade cloth, physically blocking the other light wavelengths. You could always just lay a layer of screen onto the acrylic tank cover between the light and the water. That would reduce it, but still not enough if you use both T5HO tubes at once without raising the fixture. The current planted tank "consensus" from my readings seems to be moving to less light (light as the limiting factor) to reduce the issues of algae and, to some extent, make it easier on the fish - who generally don't appreciate super-bright lights.

Be very careful propping up your light fixture, if you do that, make certain it's solid. One good bump, it's in the tank, and you could get quite a shock , as well as ruin the fixture!

The environmental downside of running two bulbs, just for color balance, is it takes twice as much electricity...
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