LED lighting for planted tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-09-2012, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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LED lighting for planted tank?

I'am currently looking at upgrading my lighting system for my 25 gallon planted tank. I'am running 2 15 watt "screw in" mini compact fluoescent bulbs, and want to upgrade my lighting. I was looking at a T5 set-up, but I don't like the idea of having to replace the bulbs once a year at $50 a pop! Does any one out there run LED's on a heavely planted tank and have good results? Thanx for any help!
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-09-2012, 09:41 PM
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I'm in a similar boat as you, LED seem like a good idea but all the research I'm seeing is saying standard LED's dont have the power and DIY loose all the energy efficiency and low heat benefits.

I think I've decided on this if it helps you~ price seems worth it to me with free shipping
Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting

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post #3 of 19 Old 06-10-2012, 06:13 PM
It is going to cost a lot to do LED lighting that equals T5 bulbs. You need high powered LEDs that use 3 watts each or more, then they need heat sinks, and drivers. You also still need significant wattage. Also you do not need to replace T5 bulbs once a year and especially not at $50 cost. You can get a regular T5 HO bulb @ 6500K for $10 or so online, if you have a local Menards store they carry normal output T5s at $6-13 depending on the size.

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post #4 of 19 Old 06-10-2012, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
It is going to cost a lot to do LED lighting that equals T5 bulbs. You need high powered LEDs that use 3 watts each or more, then they need heat sinks, and drivers. You also still need significant wattage. Also you do not need to replace T5 bulbs once a year and especially not at $50 cost. You can get a regular T5 HO bulb @ 6500K for $10 or so online, if you have a local Menards store they carry normal output T5s at $6-13 depending on the size.
I was told it would cost me $50 to replace the T5's once a year! I ŗm in Canada.....does it really make that much of a difference!
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-10-2012, 07:12 PM
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I'm looking at $10-20 per bulb every 2 years, recommended lifespan of 18 months so that's not a hard stretch, heres the best deal i could find anywhere and from what i can tell deep blue has a good brand reputation

Flourescent Fixtures (T5/T12) for Pets at PetCareRx.com

PetCare Rx Coupon Codes - all coupons, discounts and promo codes for petcarerx.com spend 99 and get 30 off was the best for me basically got a 90 light and 10 freebies for 70

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post #6 of 19 Old 06-10-2012, 07:45 PM
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Chris, yes, tubes cost more in Canada (and can be double depending), in spite of our dollar being at par or above now and then. But first question is, why do you want dual-tube T5, that is very bright lighting? I have a single tube T8 over my 30-inch 29g which is most adequate for low and moderate light plants. You could move up from that to a single T5. [I assume you were talking dual tube since you used the plural.]

What you now have should also work, perhaps with brighter CFL bulbs. What plants are you wanting to grow? You might also just mention the tank dimensions so we know for certain.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-11-2012, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Ya sorry I should have been more precise, I ment a single tube. And I want to upgrade my lighting because my ballast is starting to rust(I bought the tank and canopy used) and I just dosn't look in good shape, so I want something new. I'am not adding any new plants, I have 3 Amazon swords,1 Rubin sword,1 Brazilian sword,1 water sprite, 3 anubias, 2 java ferns, some java moss, some onion plants, and 1 hygrophilia corymbosa, and a couple pennyworths.
My tank dimensions are 29.5''W X 12.5'' D X 15 '' H, And I have a question? Whats the differnence between a T5 and a T8? Oh and I've decided to go with fluoescent bulbs and stay away from the LED's.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-11-2012, 03:15 PM
T5 is a newer type of bulb, it is much thinner then a T8, similar to how a T12 is fatter then a T8 and a older type of bulb. T5s are still considered more specialty lighting, but they are starting to make ceiling fixtures with normal output bulbs. Watt for watt a Normal output T5 produces more light then a T8 bulb. Especailly comparing high output T5s which are driven at a higher wattage then normal, this increases the light output of the bulb but does decrease its lifespan considerably.

I prefer T5 over T8s as that is what I have had the best results with. Thing with bulbs is don't buy "aquarium" labeled ones as that is going to jack up the price. All you need is a bulb with the correct wattage/lenght and a kelvin temp you like. I normally order a couple at a time online and save shipping costs. I use power compact bulbs which are a version of T5 bulbs that tend to be more expensive. Even then my bulbs are like $15 each. My local menards I know sells 2 packs of normal output T5s for $13 or less. The even have 6500K versions in 45" and 36".

How much light you need depends on how dense and fast you want your plants to grow. I personally like a lot of growth which is why I have half a dozen T8 fixtures shoved in my closet lol

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post #9 of 19 Old 06-11-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris7 View Post
Ya sorry I should have been more precise, I ment a single tube. And I want to upgrade my lighting because my ballast is starting to rust(I bought the tank and canopy used) and I just dosn't look in good shape, so I want something new. I'am not adding any new plants, I have 3 Amazon swords,1 Rubin sword,1 Brazilian sword,1 water sprite, 3 anubias, 2 java ferns, some java moss, some onion plants, and 1 hygrophilia corymbosa, and a couple pennyworths.
My tank dimensions are 29.5''W X 12.5'' D X 15 '' H, And I have a question? Whats the differnence between a T5 and a T8? Oh and I've decided to go with fluoescent bulbs and stay away from the LED's.
Mikaila has answered your T5/T8 question.

Those dimensions are basically the same as my 29g except it is 2 inches higher (deeper). I have a single T8 tube, a 24-inch 20w, and with similar plants to those you name, and no issues even with a bit deeper tank. Photo below.

No mention is made of fish in this tank, but my goal is always fish first, plants second. I want less rather than more light for the fish, so plants have to be able to manage. Many will, some won't. I stay with those that do, and after 20 years of this, there is no question they manage.
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File Type: jpg 29g June 4-12.jpg (93.9 KB, 54 views)

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-11-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your responses, It helps me alot. And Byron My fish include: sword tails, guppys, mollies, glow light tetras and neon tetras. I've only been at this hobby since last Nov. and have come along way(with all your's help). Here's a photo of my hard work, But it still dosn't have the natural look I'am looking for. Byron your tanks are awesome!
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