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klim123 01-24-2013 07:39 AM

need to buy led lighting and am very confused
 
I need somebody to help me figure out what type of lighting I can get for my 265 gallon tank. It is 7 feet wide and almost 3 feet deep. I currently have no live plants. It is set up for Africans so I have about 300 pounds of lava rock which creates numerous caves. I have two six foot fluorescent fixtures each housing four 36 inch fluorescent bulbs. It is acceptably bright but not bright enough to get a well lit view of the fish on the bottom of the tank. Simply, I would like the tank to be brighter and would like to convert to LED lighting. I inquired to one supplier and he recommended a light setup which cost over $1000.00. I thought this was ridiculous. I have a wooden canopy on top of the tank which matches the white enclosed wooden stand /cabinet below. I have the tank in my living room so the cabinet and canopy make it fit in more with the furniture. There is about eight inches from the glass above the water to the top of the inside of the wooden canopy. So, I was looking for an led fixture that could lay flat on the glass top of the tank. I only have eight inches to work with. I would love if somebody could recommend specific companies, product descriptions and or model numbers. I don't know anything about led lighting other than it seems to be the way to go. I would spend a couple hundred but I believe the technology and prices are moving so quick that to spend a thousand dollars today I could get the same thing next year for half the price. Please help me. I would even consider getting an led fixture to enhance my fluorescent just to make my tank a little brighter while viewing. thanks for all your help

JDM 01-24-2013 08:33 AM

The cheapest you can do isn't going to be much less unless you are going to DIY with LED strips and whatnot... I think that would be hit and miss.

I have a Marineland fixture, the double bright, on a much smaller tank, it's a 24" fixture on a 30" tank but the light at the bottom is bright at almost 2' deep. Your tank must be about 36" across so you could go with the 36" fixtures or, the 24" fixtures which will fit a 36" span. It could be set up to have the majority of the light closer to the front of the tank with the smaller fixture with a bracket at the rear.

I'd suggest just picking one up at your LFS to try it out and see how it works. If nothing else it will give you an idea of what you might need to go to next. I suspect that you might have a good relationship with your LFS if you are up with 265 gallon tank.

Ideally, one fixture every 12", for only viewing light levels you could get away with 4. I probably would think that this will not give you enough light for plants unless you went with low light varieties. Light penetration at 3' down is going to be tough no matter what you do.

24" fixture, $100 each is the best price I have seen
36" fixture, $150.

LEDs are not cheap to do it right.

Jeff.

klim123 01-24-2013 08:46 AM

thanks for getting back to me. My lfs is a mr. simple who doesn't even sell led lighting. That's why I am asking here. can you give me the model number for the marineland fixture you are recommending. when I look up led lights, I see so many different options, blue lights, moon lights, etc I don't know where to start. I just want to brighten up my tank I don't mind buying a few but I don't know where to start. If you can even give me a link to the fixtures you are referring to I would appreciate it. i don't want to buy a cheap led strip light and have no use for it and cant return it. thank you.

JDM 01-24-2013 08:54 AM

The marineland site

An online supplier... that I would have used had the LFS not had a boxing week sale on.

Don't bother with moon or blue... these have those as well so you can turn them on blue if you want to... but I expect that you would just plug all the fixtures into a power strip and turn them all on or off at once.

These may not be your best option but it gives you something to start with.

Jeff.


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