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Old 02-11-2017, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question LED Lighting for 20G long

I just setup a 20G Long aquarium using a LED light. I've never used LED lighting before, only compact flourescents. So I'm not familiar with WPG rule with this type of lighting. I'm wondering if the light fixture I have is significant enough to grow low light plants? This is what I have...

Current Satellite Freshwater LED
10 watts, 12V, 400 lumens
6500k white (66 leds)
445nm blue (24 leds)

Any help appreciated!
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

Based on http://current-usa.com/wp-content/up...parison-V3.pdf you probably have less than 20 PAR light intensity, which is too little for almost all plants other than mosses, Java Ferns, anubias, and a few of the "weedy" plants like, perhaps, Hydrophila polysperma. I found that it took me about 35-40 PAR before I could grow most of the low light plants. You could use two of those lights, and you would have plenty of light for a low light tank.

There is no watts per gallon "rule" using LED lights (actually there is none for any type of lighting other than T8 lights). You have to go by measured light intensity using a PAR meter.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

Thanks hoppy... I was thinking about buying a 2nd light fixture, now I definitely will. I knew it did not look very bright.

Could you suggest a single LED light fixture that would be better than 2 of the ones I already have, that don't cost a arm and a leg?
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

A Finnex Planted Plus 30 inch light should give you roughly twice what that light gives you, which would very likely be low medium to medium light. If it is a Planted Plus 24/7 light it could be dimmed if you need to do so. (And, later, when you decide you want to use medium light plants it would work for that.) At $85 I agree that it isn't the most economical light.

Incidentally, without actually measuring the light intensity any guess about how much light you have is just a guess. Now it is possible to borrow a PAR meter and find out how much light you really do have. Hint: there is a forum here where you can get stuff like this from other hobbyists.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

I would suggest the 30" EA beamswork 6500k .5W led and you can get their timer to go with that all for 45 bucks shipped on eBay, I have the same setup and it works perfect. It's bright enough to provide a good lit tank and has enough par for low light plants on a 20 long.


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Old 02-15-2017, 04:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

Thank you both for the suggestions. I decided to go with another current fixture like the one I already have.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

I purchased the 24" model of this light 2 years ago for a 20 Long. It's growing all my lowlight plants fine I don't know the par, but I believe it's around 1200 Lumens.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-36-48-Mul...nr55Sn4Pvzt9oQ
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

I got a PAR reading of about 400 at the water surface just 2.5" under this fixture, which has ~142 diodes. Some of the other 30" Beamswork have only 42 diodes; for them I measured only 200 at the same position. I used a high quality PAR meter (Apogee) that was lent to me by the local aquarium society.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwalstad View Post
I got a PAR reading of about 400 at the water surface just 2.5" under this fixture, which has ~142 diodes. Some of the other 30" Beamswork have only 42 diodes; for them I measured only 200 at the same position. I used a high quality PAR meter (Apogee) that was lent to me by the local aquarium society.
Most plants start their life at the substrate, and it is during that early growth period that plants either grow well or don't grow well. Based on that it is much better to measure light intensity at the substrate, not at the water-air interface. If you have a tall tank, like a 20 high tank, a high PAR reading at the top of the water column, with the light sitting on top of the tank, doesn't mean you have adequate light at the substrate. And, a high PAR reading at the top of the water column can mean much too much light at the substrate, if you have a low tank, like a 20 long tank. I suspect that some day someone will come up with a better way to use a PAR meter, when choosing a light fixture, but for now I strongly suggest always going by the PAR reading at the substrate.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: LED Lighting for 20G long

I agree with Hoppy.
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