Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mddittman 09-19-2010 09:04 AM

LED Aquarium Lights for Plants
I'm trying to get my aquarium up and running, and found that since I want to do a planted tank the 48" single fluorescent tube hood that I have will be inadequate.

It's a tall 55 gallon; 48" x 12" x 20". Talking to someone in a pet store, it seemed like my options were to go with a compact fluorescent setup or maybe some T5 bulbs, and to check ebay for prices.

When I searched ebay though, I found these for $95 shipped:

4 x White LED Aquarium Grow Light Panels 48" 56w total

Number of panels: 4
LEDs per panel: 225
Total LEDs: 900
Color: White 7000k
Power per panel: 14w
Panel (ea.): 12.25"x12.25"
Panel height (ea.): 1.5"

Hydroponics or aquarium lighting (dry areas only)
Four dazzling, extraordinarily-bright 14-watt panels
100% genuine Bridgelux LEDs

I am a fan of LED technology, but was wondering if anyone had any luck or experience with these new lights. I like the long life of LEDs, and their power efficiency, but most importantly they have to WORK.


Byron 09-19-2010 12:21 PM

First, on the LED lighting. There is another thread on this from a couple months back, and several other members commented it was not adequate in freshwater plant tanks. I've never tried it, or seen it except in magazine adverts.

More importantly, who says one fluorescent tube isn't adequate? I had a 4-foot 50g planted tank for years with one T12 tube, and this was 25+ years ago when the fluorescent tubes were the (original) T12 and much less intense light than what you can get in T8 tubes (the thinner tubes) today. A T8 48-inch full spectrum (around 6500K) tube will be ideal for the majority of plants. If you already have the fixture, you can buy the tubes in hardware stores for a few dollars. Natalie (Angel059) has a 55g with one tube and the plant growth is phenomenal.

I would not bother with compact fluorescent over a 4-foot tank; it will take a lot of bulbs, and a new fixture obviously. On longer tanks (over 3 feet) fluorescent tubes provide good coverage.


mddittman 09-19-2010 02:14 PM

Ok... The pet store employee was saying that a single 48" tube would probably allow the plants to survive but not thrive, and then they wouldn't offer the full benefits of healthy plants in a planted tank... And I'd need at least dual T5s or a CF light. I'm glad to hear that's not the case.
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redchigh 09-19-2010 02:47 PM

Well they probably believe you have to dose daily and supplement CO2 as well....

Those of little faith... lol.

I'm a huge fan of LED lights, and build my own fixture for starting cuttings indoors...

It worked decently, but when the first couple LED lights burnt out I had to throw out the whole fixture away... They were soldered to the board.

My main reason for not using LED lighting is no surge protector is 100%... If a surge goes through the line, I'd much rather lose $5-10 worth of bulbs than a whole fixture...

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