LED light

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Jan 11, 2013
West Falls NY
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Finnex, Fluval or Current Satellite to name a few are great products. I've got a Current Satellite 48" over my 55g with plants. It's enough intensity for plants that need low to mid level lighting to do well.

I've found it to always be cheaper to mail order aquarium hardware if you can't find a deal at an auction, private sale or fish group sale.
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Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!
Sep 1, 2003
Calif. SF Bay area
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I have PC lights and have tried LEDs without much success. OK for low light plants I think, but did not work for me.

the loach

AC Members
Aug 6, 2018
I have PC lights and have tried LEDs without much success. OK for low light plants I think, but did not work for me.
The reason for that is LED manufacturers have to leave out important information such as Lumens because they can't compete (yet) with cheap T8 fluorescent tubes.
They can only go on about how "economical" their LEDS are, but they don't tell you this is only so because the output in Lumen is decreased as well.

The link above is a flashy toy you can play with and show off to visitors, but probably does little for anything but the lowest light plants compared to a T8 of the same length cause they don't mention Lumens.
For aquatic plants you need LEDS that have at least as many Lumen per foot as T8 fluorescents.

Things haven't changed much the past 30 years, about every aquarium targeted hood or lighting fixture with T8's was under powered as well.
Last edited:


Mar 29, 2005
I suspect that there's a large proportion of the international aquascaping community that agrees with your suggestion that T8 lighting is better than most common LED...

Personal experience is that most all aquariums running in the house (maybe 10-15) use LED lighting, all freshwater aquariums are heavily planted. Most of the LED fixtures (including the older version of the originally posted finnex 24/7 planted+) are out of the box from regular retailers.

The only reason I know of people sticking with T5HO, or halide fixtures, is due to CRI or penetration issues.

Unless you intend to keep plants that require a high enough level of light that you need to supplement CO2 and fertilize the water, chances are that you will be good. I don't know if you can turn this model down if using the 24/7 feature, but you can if you have it on a timer and just turn on and off.

Alternatively look at professional aquascapers, local planted aquarium societies, mass media, competitions, or reputed online communities (say the AGA's Facebook page for example) and see what everyone is doing.

I also have the latest Fluval planted aquarium light (the V3 one) and I like it.. wish the color was more adjustable though.


AC Members
Jun 24, 2018
I have 2 current usa satellite leds and both work great. I keep low light requiremenh plants with no issues.