Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I've been gone for about 4.5 years but am back into the journey. I am going to purchase a 125 gallon (the old one is gone with the wind, so starting over from scratch) and it looks like these days everything is LED, and the good ol' "fishneedit.com" T5-HO fixtures I used to use are nowhere to be found. So with the 125, it's an Aqueon and comes with some LED fixtures.

Are those sufficient for low-light plants??? Are the sufficient for visibility (I like a nice 6500k optic for viewing)???

Planned plant community will be based on:
Anubias (probably nana petit...we'll see)
Crypt.retrospiralis
Crypt.parv.(I think that's the little one I used to like)
Microsorum of some variety (not decided)
Fissidens
maybe a red "something" in there if I can find a lotus or something low-light-esque...

Not sure on fish yet...still thinking about it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,862 Posts
When the Aqueon LEDs first came out several years ago, we tested them with the club PAR meter. Even with 3 fixtures over a 10 gallon tank, we could barely get enough light to grow anubias. Now they MIGHT have improved, but knowing Aqueon I doubt it. Think of them as "moon lights".

I have been very happy with Finnex fixtures. I use the Stingray model over my shallow Walstad tanks (10g, 15g, and 20 longs, and a Planted Plus over my 75g. The 75 is 21" tall, so if your 125 is not much more than that, the Planted Plus will work. All the Finnex planted tank fixtures are 6500K (I think).

There are a confusing variety of LED fixtures, and many people here know a lot more about them than I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Michael! I think I remember @davemonkey mentioning Finnex once before, so I'll look into them and see what they've got :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just as an update I went with the Finnex Plant Plus, using 2 36" fixtures on the 125. I am very impressed with the visuals (color and brightness) as they seem very similar to the t5-ho I used to run. The main difference is that I had to use 4 of the t5 fixtures to get the visuals I am getting with just 2 of these Finnex slims. I am quite impressed. LED's have come a long way since several years ago.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,877 Posts
Mudboots, I thought you were supposed to stay out of the mud? ;)
I am actually just jumping on here again after a very long hiatus. Josh (son) is setting up a 29 gallon, and decided he wants plants. So, I'm trying to figure put fixtures as well.
Do you think the lights you got are "low-moderate" light? That's kinda what he (and I, lol! I'm trying not to take over his tank!) are looking for.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,877 Posts
I just looked at the Finnex fixtures and they seem legit. The "whites"are 7000K and then it has reds and blues interspersed.
Mudboots, does yours come with the "moonlight" option? The one I am looking at for Josh has "moonlight" switch on it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,862 Posts
On smaller, shallower tanks like 20 long and 40 breeder, I use Finnex Stingray. These are their low-end planted tank model. They give me low-medium light levels: 40 PAR at the substrate. They do have a relatively narrow beam angle, do I had to use 2 over a 40 breeder to get even illumination.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,484 Posts
My Finnex Plant + gives me 45 PAR at the substrate on a 75G through a glass lid. I'm sure it'll be higher without the glass lid.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,877 Posts
My Finnex Plant + gives me 45 PAR at the substrate on a 75G through a glass lid. I'm sure it'll be higher without the glass lid.
Very good to know, thank you. Is there a chart, of sorts, that gives PAR ranges in terms of low, moderate, or high lighting? I recall something like this on the forum from several years back (maybe hoppycalif posted it?), but don't know where to find it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,862 Posts
When DFW APC bought our PAR meter, we posted this:

"What Do My Results Mean?
There is no universally accepted interpretation of PAR values for aquaria. Here are two proposed scales for comparison. All values are given in micromoles per square meter per second.

20-40 low light
40-100 medium light
100+ high light
-or-
40-70 low light
70-150 medium light
150-300 high light
300-600 very high light

By reporting your results and comparing them to others, you can help to develop realistic guidelines for light levels in planted tanks."

We also took measurements outdoors:

"Some more outdoor pond measurements, taken last month at about noon (atumnal equinox):

Just above the surface--1,700
12" below the surface--1,200
24" below the surface--800"

I don't know if anyone else has proposed PAR values for high, medium, or low light.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,436 Posts
Yes, several years ago I was trying to convert "high light", " low light", etc. to PAR numbers, measured at the substrate level. But, as time marches on, my memory isn't what it used to be, and I don't recall the numbers very well now. My interest is now only with relatively low light tanks, so all I do is try for 30 PAR units minimum, but not above 50 PAR. I know even 20 PAR can grow some plants, but I think 30 is much better.

Light intensity is never simple. For example, a lot of light reflects off the glass to air interface back through the glass and into the water, but only if both sides of the glass is very clean, which isn't normal for me. If I measure with a PAR meter in the water, at the substrate, there is a big difference between very clean tank and normal tank. So, which condition should be at 30 PAR???

And, just to add to the complexity, for years Apogee did not recognize that their PAR meters were giving incorrect readings in water, because of the water to PAR meter sensor interface was not allowing 100% of the light to get to the sensor. I spent over a year trying to make a DIY PAR meter from a Lux meter, but gave up because I saw the effect of that loss of light and assumed it was a problem unique to me, one I wasn't able to avoid. I was shocked to find out that Apogee was finally acknowledging that their meters also had that problem
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,877 Posts
Thank you, both, Michael and Hoppy. This is extremely helpful information. :)
Sorry for hijacking your thread, Darren. But if I know you, you were probably thinking likewise. :tea:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you, both, Michael and Hoppy. This is extremely helpful information. :)
Sorry for hijacking your thread, Darren. But if I know you, you were probably thinking likewise. :tea:
All good. So I went with the "Fuge Ray Planted Plus" which is a little less high-tech than the other Planted Plus. I think it gives moderate lighting but did not measure the PAR. I have my moonlights on with the regular lights, and just have them on a timer. 2 fixtures and they come on 30 minutes apart for 8.5 hours each for a total of 9 hours run time for the tank.

I am not using a "soil" substrate and am only adding small amounts of supplements (mirco nutrients and potassium, and a little excel for carbon), so I don't anticipate rapid growth. But my algae is definitely in check, so evidently I guessed correctly on what to mess with and the light fixture to use.

This may change when I finally add the Apistos and the cories...will have to adjust as I see issues pop up.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top