Is lighting brand as big of a deal as I'm making it?

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coconutzest

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Jan 23, 2021
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when it comes to planted tanks...lighting is definitely my downfall.

Its so hard to find cheap light that will grow plants fast. I don't have much money to spend on my tanks & equipment so I have always found ways around spending a lot. For example, buying cheaper alternatives, buying second hand, growing my own plants, finding my own hardscape, etc. When lighting is involved ... well I can't really do any of that.

I wanted to ask if anyone had any lights that grows plants fast+well for them. I have tried Aquaneat LEDs, but even most low light plants don't seem to thrive with this light. The only plant that seems to enjoy is is anacharis, even duckweed wouldn't grow at its usual pace under this light! I was interested in the JC&P Full Spectrum LED, especially after seeing a review on YouTube by Bentley Pascoe, but I want to know if there are more options.

Thanks for reading 😁
 
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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Sure there are other options.. chances are there might be a little chance of electrocution, or your plants wont look so good.

No need to get an aquarium light at all, honestly if I was looking on a budget I would look for used, but I know plenty of aquarium folks.

Otherwise it depends on how large of an aquarium you are looking to light, you can use LED floodlights that screw into a clip on holder from home depot or whatever, or look at outdoor LED floodlights that get mounted, mostly, to gutters or the side of a house.

But it depends on your DIY skills, you need to make sure they don't fall in, or don't get splashed either.
 

fishorama

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I'm going to say it depends on what plants you want to grow...& how fast is fast? Will you try co2? Excel? Stem plants for the most part grow fast, too fast for me, lol. I'm more into easy maintenance ie: not having to trim every week or more.

Carpet plants are difficult in a non-co2 tank unless you have lower expectations...like a sparse groundcover...more my speed.

I love cryptocorynes in all their many forms; dougall does too...but he know WAY more about lighting & other plants than I do.
 

coconutzest

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Probably some low/ medium light plants that are not demanding but will grow crazy like Hygrophila, floaters, dwarf sag, hornwort, vallisneria, maybe even some moss (never tried it but i really want to) etc . Im not completely decided on the particular species but that's the gist of it.

I love the way some plants like stem plants just absolutely go insane, and the overgrown look they give, woh. That's why I want a strong-ish light(well yk the best I can get on a budget lol). I think co2 would be cool but its just not for me. The tank I want this light for is not that big, 20g long
 

coconutzest

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yeah, I was looking into floodlights. In not sure how they wold work in the tank Im planning though (20 long) ,would the light be dispersed enough to not look weird?
 

dougall

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You would use multiples of smaller power to light the whole thing, say one each side.

Might be too much power, but you can try something like this too. Barhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B081N5546H/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_BN1EM6258SRG0NJ16Q2M
 

NoodleCats

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Jc&p, nicrew, and hygger are all decent budget led lights. For higher light, id go either the Jc&p full spectrum or a nicrew SkyLED Plus.
 

FreshyFresh

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What's the footprint of the tank? Like said, that's a big determining factor as to what options will effectively work.

For instance, if it's a 48"x12" or 48"x18" a 4ft shop light fixture, either fluorescent or LED will work nicely for many plants.

For small tanks I've used the aluminum reflector clamp-on utility lights as mentioned above. The ones with the standard light bulb socket. Thread in a 75 or 100watt "equivelant" LED bulb and you've got a decnt aquarium light. I like to use LED bulbs in the ~7000K range for color-temperature, but you can use any K-range you like the look of. I take the clamps off of the fixture and set the reflector right on the glass top.

In terms of aquarium specific lighting, the more expensive name brands have better quality electronics, better color/temp consideration and better LED reflectors. I have name brand and off brands currently in use on my planted tanks. All 48"x12" or 18".
 
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