Kessil a160's vs fluval 3.0 plant

James Burcham

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I am currently putting together an aquascape and purchased a fluval 3.0 plant light before realizing it's a lower mol rated light. However I do like the customizable features it has ex. timer, intensity. Ramp up and ramp down.

My questions are
If I add a second fixture will it be enough to grow carpeting plants?

Or.

Should I scrap the fluval and go with 2 kessil a160's?

My tank is 36 in L x 18 in H x 15 in W
It will be C02 injected.

On the kessil a160 does anyone have experience with these specifically. If so can the be programmed ect?

Thanks in advance!
 

alto

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I won’t comment on pricing as that’s easy enough for you to do
But
I would contact Kessil USA and see if they’re planning to release a 160X Tuna Sun (I’ve not seen this IRL but supposedly “better” reds, also more efficient etc)

90cm x 45cm x 53cm tall (old Oceanic Show tank)
2 Kessil A160

60cm x 45cm x 53cm tall (again old OS tank)
1 Kessil A160

Monte Carlo does very well, Ive not done HC in these tanks as I’m not an enthusiastic trimmer ;)

As your tank is only 45cm high, the Kessils should grow anything you want

I’m still not a fan of Fluval LEDs - especially in Canada they are madly overpriced for older or fairly basic technology

Note that the new Kessil X series is NOT compatible with the old controllers - they’ve promised WiFi but it’s not built in, need to add an accessory “dongle” which was promised ages ago now (is it even available yet as a prototype?) but really at the X Series price point, it should be built in :banghead:
OR included as a free upgrade accessory

I do think that Kessil builds fantastic Cluster Matrix LEDs (incl. great lens, driver, gorgeous all metal construction ...) AND made in USA so obviously not going to be competitively priced with Chinese constructs that are imported & sold under US labels (as some final “putting together” is done stateside)
As with most of these, the mounting options are rather clunky (but again metal and sturdy) ... I’ve the Goosenecks and while I like the swivel option, next time I’d choose the Mounting Arm (not available when I got mine) as it’s far more elegant looking

Though again I prefer the ADA light stand - except too $$$
Possibly UNS has a similar option
 

alto

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Hah!
Forgot to say you MUST love glitter lines if going with any dense matrix LED - though minimal surface ripple really calms the effect

I’m not so keen on the Ceiling DIsco but love the in tank light effect (I’ve taught my eyes to Not See Eheim Green, Celing DIsco is easy :lol: )


Fluval light will be similar to Twinstar - different spectrum etc but same diffuse quality to light
 

alto

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I think it grows plants just as well
But
I like my greens, green and that red balance/bias of the Twinstar S series (the E lacks the red bias but is also lower power) means the greens have a yellow cast - it you stay with darker greens, it’s less noticeable... MC, Micranthemum umbrosum, Hemianthus micranthemoides are some of my favorites :)

You can see side by side tanks with ADA Aquasky vs Twinstar S beginning ~2:30 in this FAAO video

 

alto

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even AI Prime Fresh.
Ive not seen the newer Prime HD FW version, but between local display tank with the previous version Prime vs Kessil A160, I much preferred the Kessil - especially when comparing build quality (lots of issues with their tank mounts as well re US forums)

Local shop offered an excellent price on the AI Prime HD FW but I disliked that there is no manual on/off (unless you want to unplug) and there have been some extraordinary buggy stories re software issues

Am I being too negative?
I really wanted to like the AI Prime HD FW :oops:
(but I walked out with another Kessil A160 :rolleyes: ... for rather more o_O )
 

James Burcham

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After speaking with Kessil I realized the spectral controller will provide ramping and timer ability. Does Twinstar have anything like this?
 

rebel

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Am I being too negative?
Hard to know. I realise it hasn't really been popular in the FW hobby. I do wish they had a bluer spectrum though (swap two of those warm white LEDS to cool!). I prefer a bluer tank.
 

becks

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Do you think two kessil 160s would be ok for a aquascaper 1200? it just seems two 360s would be over kill for a planted fresh water aquarium and most people have them turned down to around 50%
 

Siege

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After speaking with Kessil I realized the spectral controller will provide ramping and timer ability. Does Twinstar have anything like this?
Yes! :)

https://www.aquariumgardens.co.uk/led-controllerdimmer-for-twinstar-lights-3615-p.asp

You’ll find similar on eBay in the U.S. just need an adaptor to go from 2.1mm to 2.5mm (my link includes this as standard) you’ll be able to track it down on eBay for a few quid. Check out the hinterfield page in sponsors and you’ll see what I mean.


Do you think two kessil 160s would be ok for a aquascaper 1200? it just seems two 360s would be over kill for a planted fresh water aquarium and most people have them turned down to around 50%

No way.

You’ll need 2 X 360’s or my favourite light the Twinstar 1200 S :)
 

becks

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I dont quite understand how as the 160 is 40w and the 360 is 90w, so around 50% the power. The lens is the same and both fixtures quote the same coverage, the only difference I can see according to the specs is that the 360 has better penertration, which is up to 3ft where as te 160 it says max 2ft. George farmer runs his at 50%.

Have you used the 160?
 

Siege

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Hi becks.

Yes I have used a 160 - on a AS600. The spread was inadequate to cover the whole tank and therefore could not grow a carpet. The actual light unit is much smaller than the 360.

From memory George has the non-planted side 360 light at 50%, The planted light higher. He wants super slow growth so less maintenance and is only growing low light crypts.

Imo the Twinstar will give you a much better light penetration and spread than the kessil for a fraction of the cost than the 360.

I think I’m right in saying @Geoffrey Rea runs 160s on his 4’ tank and uses 4 of them.....!
 

becks

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Oh right thanks for the information! In that case it would have be the 360s. I’m an hour and half away from aquarium gardens but it would be worth a visit to see the 360s in the flesh on a planted aquarium. It’s who I plan on buying my plants from anyway.

I like the colour of the twinstars, but I prefer the shimmer from leds especially Kessils as I find it looks more natural. (I use to regret not having kessils on my reef tank, for the shimmer)
 

alto

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I have a single A160 on my 60cm x 45cm x 53cm(high) - MC carpet does fine
I suspect HC would be less forgiving

I also have 2 x A160 on a 90cm x 45cm x 53cm(high) - again MC is fine - but 2 x A360 would’ve been a better choice, especially once you add in significant hardscape, that extra light spread and intensity (even at reduced power) would be very nice to have
(it just wasn’t in the budget AND the 160’s looked so much better :lol: the new X series is grand but then also higher price again)
 

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