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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone
I have recently purchased and set up a awesome 144 gallon half circle aquarium.
I would like to do a planted tanked now but am unsure what lighting system to use or what would be sufficient to grow a wide variety of plants in a freshwater aquarium.
Doing my research I am getting mixed reviews on which to use or which is better ect. Since this a deep aquarium I want to be sure about what to purchase to do a planted aquarium properly. Please let me know your suggestions and thoughts
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im going to assume it is pretty deep considering the volume. I would say get Metal Halides because lighting it everywhere will be difficult with strips of light.
Thanks but I want to avoid the Metal Halides systems, I have narrowed down my choices between the T5's vs LED's. Just not sure what to choose and what between the 2 would be there better option. But I do appreciate the suggestion, thank you:)
 

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t5ho would be much cheaper than LED. Quality LED costs a fortune
 

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How deep is your tank?

You should start by deciding on what type of plants you want to grow and will you be using CO2 or not?

Light demanding plants I would say go with T5Ho. Easy Growers I would say LED

Red type plants are still difficult to grow / show with the present led lights. As well I am still not convinced that the current available Leds will grow the harder/higher light requirement plants.

With improvements in the LED field there will be stronger marketed LED Planted fixtures released in next year or you could try DIY using some of those 50 Watt leds but you need to think of other things like fans, heatsinks positioning, colour temps etc...

If you are going with easy growers you may be able to get away with current led fixtures but as mentioned look for things like spread of the led light. Some use 45 degree spread some 60 degree spread etc....

More spread generally means more of the aquarium is filled with light and less dark spots but less light will get to the bottom of the tank.

More focused led means more light to the bottom and generally uneven light spread throughout the tank so potential of places of the tank with uneven light spread are increased.

For deeper tanks there are pendant leds which are getting decent reviews You are more able to adjust the position and height of the leds and try to fill in the shadowed spots or adjust your tank so that the more light greedy plants get the hot spots and less demanding plants get the leftovers.
 

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Yes you can get high par from led's but at what depth? Will the led be able to penetrate to the bottom of a deeper tank as much as t5ho or metal halides.? Plants mostly use red wavelengths and blue/violet light. Par measures all wavelenths. Red green orange yellow blue etc....So PUR is a better way to measure the actual usable amount of light in the aquarium. However a PUR instrument would be very expensive.

Standard par meters have a very difficult time measuring blue wavelengths.

Also red is a difficult wavelength to actually gets to the bottom of your tank. When you have red colour plants ever notice they may start out green at bottom of tank and go red and redder closer to the surface. They reflect the available red wavelengths and give the appearance/illusion that they are red but are in fact are not using it or only using minimal red colour produced by the light source that are not always available at the bottom of the tank.


Thats why my preferece is still with t5ho for harder to grow plants and deeper tanks. They are tried and proven and still being used in plant competitions 95% of the time.

Leds are less energy and less expence wasting on new bulbs etc. Also some very interesting things being done with andruino making programmed weather pattens, sun, thunderstorms, cloud cove, moon light etc.
Also easier to adjust..fine tune to the perfect colours you like.

Iam currently asking around which plants would people consider the most light demanding plants and if they have been successfully grown at what depths with current led systems. In my opinion dwarf hairgrass is one of the higher light demanding plants but have not seen this grown with led, i may be proven wrong we shall see.

I have seen a number of really nice led planted setups however for the most part they have been growing easy to moderately difficult plants or plants that require medium to low light.

It may appear that the best set up would be only blue and red lights. Possibly more efficient to plant growth but is unsighly and unnatural to the human eye. You would have a brighly lit pinkish colour aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks alot Kyle greatly appreciated. I made another post...I am going with the t5's but wondering what is the best brand, or what do I need to have sufficient lighting? I have a 48" Dual Aquaticlife system, with one 6500k bulb, and another 10kk bulb. The tank is quite deep...30inchs, and I am looking to find what I will need to have the plants flourish :)
I wont be doing CO2, but I did some research and seen that some people use a flourite gravel mixed with their reg gravel.
Do I need more lighting? Should I get the flourite gravel? ect
 
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