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LED options for low tech 120cm tank

21 Oct 2013
At the end of last year I had to strip down my high tech 120cm tank to get new heating fitted and after many months I have the bug again but not to maintain a high tech tank so will go with a low tech setup this time.

So my question is does anyone have any low tech options for LED lights. The arcadia stretch LED's are appealing price wise, but would imagine I'd need two to get decent coverage at which point I think the light levels would be quite high?

Any advice would be great.
From what I can gather the Arcadia Stretch are pretty dim anyway, but folk tend to use 2 to light injected tanks so I guess you're right to assume they may be too bright for a low-energy tank. However, I'm surprised that someone with much better knowledge on this subject hasn't got back to you so I'll try and start the ball rolling with a bit of contention.

I'm not sure what sort of LED lighting would be appropriate for a low-energy tank. A luminaire that can be suspended and raised or lowered to vary intensity could work well if you don't mind a fair amount of light spilling in to your room. Some LED luminaires like the Giesemann Futura can be dimmed and the colour tuned to your hearts desire, but they are way expensive.

Other than that, personally, I'm not fond of the colour rendition given off by LEDs - even those set at the supposedly ideal 6500k.

Of late I increasingly find myself looking wistfully at my low-energy tank - which still uses an Arcadia OT8 - and comparing it with my injected tank lit by 6500k LEDs. The Arcadia T8 tubes make the colours of the plants and fish pop, whereas my injected tank looks washed out by comparison. Accordingly, I've recently bought an Arcadia OT2 T5 for my injected tank.

Anyway, I don't want to sound like a luddite but new tech doesn't necessarily mean better...IMO T8s are still the best option for low-energy. They are still relatively efficient, and can be tailored to give great colour rendition and appropriate intensity fairly easily.
TMC aquabars are good, i have 2 50cm ones over my low tech. You can also get dimmers for them for £13.99 which are very handy. They come in 50cm or 100cm, can be fitted into a hood, suspended or fitted using brackets and rail. Light coverage is good, 50cm being fine for an 80cm tank.
If it's a 120x45x45 I'd go with 2 even for a low tech when I bought mine I sat it over my 120 just for some pictures and It was less light than 1x t5ho according to my camera.
Yeah it's the Ada 120p which is 120x45x45.

Hmm see now that sounds too dim even for my low light needs.

I've got 2x t5's from my old co2 injected juwel rio 240 that I could grow almost anything in. But I think they're too bright.

The reason for going LED was mainly for heat, the tank is in my bedroom which gets warm as it is, so was hoping LED's would run a bit cooler.

As it's in my bedroom light spill is something I'd rather not have so raising bright LED's up is something I was trying to avoid

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Ok will check them out tonight when I get home but did a quick google and they look good.

I guess 2 will be enough coverage?

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This is my 280 L tank lit by a single 1000mm Aquabar set to 80%


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Thanks for the comments.
Amazing thing is I turned off ferts and CO2, cold turkey, two months ago, along with reducing the lights to the single strip, and everything is looking healthy.