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Would I need to bombard a jungle with light?

noobscaper

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30 Dec 2019
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I'd like to make my 240l (120x50x50cm) a jungle one day and have been wondering about lighting. Since there are so many plants (including floaters, once I figure out how not to kill them ;)) in a densely-planted aquarium, would I need to provide lots of light so the shorter ones could photosynthesise? Or would a single Chihiros A-series be enough?
 

Nuno Gomes

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A single Chihiros A series will not provide enough coverage for a 50cm deep tank, while the alternatives will be much more costly, it's a case of buy cheap, buy twice.
I'd suggest a Twinstar 1200S, version III is just release and is a bit cheaper than version II. It's an investment but very much worth it.
Chihiros makes a similar light (WRGB120) but I've had bad experiences with their stuff in the past, from crappy quality to their terrible app.
 

noobscaper

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A single Chihiros A series will not provide enough coverage for a 50cm deep tank, while the alternatives will be much more costly, it's a case of buy cheap, buy twice.
I'd suggest a Twinstar 1200S, version III is just release and is a bit cheaper than version II. It's an investment but very much worth it.
Chihiros makes a similar light (WRGB120) but I've had bad experiences with their stuff in the past, from crappy quality to their terrible app.
What about something cheaper?
I have a strict budget of £160/$200, so I'm thinking something from either COB floodlights, 4x54W T5 (used), or an additional 2 Chihiros A1201s (aren't you the guy who PAR tested those?). There might be something better though.
What do you think would be the best option PAR-wise?
 

foxfish

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If you went back 15-20 years the majority of high tech planted tanks were lit by 2 x T5s the length of the tank.
Some folk who had spot on CO2 were using 4 T5s
There were many fantastic and successful tanks around then ... as there are now!
 

noobscaper

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If you went back 15-20 years the majority of high tech planted tanks were lit by 2 x T5s the length of the tank.
Some folk who had spot on CO2 were using 4 T5s
There were many fantastic and successful tanks around then ... as there are now!
OK, thanks! Do you think there'd be a substantial difference between using a cheap grow light fixture (like this) and more premium lights such as ATIs?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
OK, thanks! Do you think there'd be a substantial difference between using a cheap grow light fixture (like this) and more premium lights such as ATIs?
Those are absolutely fine. I have that model in the glasshouse, the luminaires have got some specs of rust on them, and the electrician said the choke units are pretty cheap when he replaced a couple, but they are cheap tubes to buy.

cheers Darrel
 

noobscaper

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Hi all,

Those are absolutely fine. I have that model in the glasshouse, the luminaires have got some specs of rust on them, and the electrician said the choke units are pretty cheap when he replaced a couple, but they are cheap tubes to buy.

cheers Darrel
Thanks for the help! Looks like I'll get those then.
Unless I find some decent-looking used ATIs ;)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The eight 54W tube units have two switches so can have the inner four tubes on, outer four on or all eight tubes on.

cheers Darrel
 
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do T5s still need replacing every 6-12 months, or have they improved the degradation. its what made a lot go the folks that had come over from Halide jump again to LED, was the ongoing cost of replacements, verses the upfront outlay of a ready made LED fixture,
 

dw1305

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dw1305

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Hi all,
that’s good to know, there’s so many old T5 units out there, nice to see some out of attics and back in use,
I'm going to carry on using mine until the electronic ballasts fail and it isn't economic to replace them or you can't get the tubes. If it is a <"standard size"> you can still get the Tridonic etc. ballasts and T5 tubes relatively cheaply.

cheers Darrel
 
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Other option would be a cheap waterproof LED outdoor floodlight, I've been running 2 x 50w light for over a year without any issues.
The colour rendition is never going to be as nice but the plants won't know the difference. I went for 6500K . It's not horrible.

Don't go too cheap as there is some real crap out there... I had a Chinese special that was about as waterproof as a sieve that kicked out so much radio waves that it blocked out the radio whenever you turned it on..



61Lfj7ukLoL._AC_SL1100_.jpg
 

noobscaper

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Other option would be a cheap waterproof LED outdoor floodlight, I've been running 2 x 50w light for over a year without any issues.
I've been considering those too, but I'm afraid it would be a gamble with whether they'd work correctly or not. Better spend that extra $25 than replace the whole thing, eh?
I'm also not sure about how even the spread would be. Love the shimmer though.
 

dw1305

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