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Old 02-26-2016, 06:56 PM
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Default Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Hi Everyone,

I'm building a custom acrylic vivarium and plan to use 2 x 24" Planted+ lights to light the tank. Tank dimensions are 30"x30"x30". Essentially a cube.

I'm at the stage where I am designing the top cover and require some dimensions on the light fixture that are not provided on their site. I searched and searched with no luck (not even the PDF manual has this info), so I thought I'd ask for some help from current owners.

I mocked up a diagram of what dimensions I am looking for. I've filled in what I know so far, which is basically what was supplied on Finnex's site. The other variables I labeled with letters.

A: Max rim thickness
B: Mounting feet width
C1-C2: Minimum and maximum spread of the mounting feet
D: Overall height of unit from top of LED housing to bottom of mounting feet.

Thanks, in advance, to anyone taking the time to measure their units.

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Old 02-26-2016, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

You have the 24" fixture in your diagram. I don't know your constraints, but the outer dimension on the 30" version is a little under 31" if you have the room. I think it is designed to grab the outer glass on a 30" tank. Anyway, if you want those dimensions, I can get them for you. I don't have a 24" one.

BTW, my impression of that light is that you will really be lacking in lumens if you only have one. Mine is over a tank that is barely 18" to the bottom and it is one of my weakest lights. I don't think you will get much light at all at the bottom of a 30" tank. I am not even sure 4 of those over a tank that size will be adequate for growing plants well at the bottom. Just my opinion, though.

Mark
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
You have the 24" fixture in your diagram. I don't know your constraints, but the outer dimension on the 30" version is a little under 31" if you have the room. I think it is designed to grab the outer glass on a 30" tank. Anyway, if you want those dimensions, I can get them for you. I don't have a 24" one.



BTW, my impression of that light is that you will really be lacking in lumens if you only have one. Mine is over a tank that is barely 18" to the bottom and it is one of my weakest lights. I don't think you will get much light at all at the bottom of a 30" tank. I am not even sure 4 of those over a tank that size will be adequate for growing plants well at the bottom. Just my opinion, though.



Mark

Hmm. Interesting. It is a taller tank and I was planing on using 2 24s. Still not enough?
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

I think we are deep into subjective territory, ulyssis. I don't want to steer you wrong. I bought the Finnex because I couldn't find the Beamsworks fixture I was looking for at the time. It was more expensive ($90 compared to $65 for an EVO and even less for a pent) and it is not nearly as bright as the equivalent length 2-row EVOs I have on a lot of my tanks. It seems not to spread the light as far, either, which could be a problem for a cube. It does have the fancies like the lightning feature and the simulated sunrise-noon-sunset cycle, but I don't use those, so the extra cost is lost to me. Also, my Jungle Dawn twist-ins seem to penetrate to the bottom of the tank better than the Finnex.

I can't tell you what you would like in your situation, but I think if it was me, I wouldn't find the Finnex fixtures to have enough "punch" to get to the bottom of a 30" tank. I can't tell you what you would or would not be able to grow down there, but I don't think I would find them to be adequate. Certainly your mileage may vary. I wish you could come over to my house and just look at the hodge podge of lighting I have over various tanks and choose among them :-)

If you could find a total lumens rating for each of the fixtures, maybe that would help you decide. If I had a tank that size, I would either do 6500 LED spot lights (maybe combined with other linear fixtures?) like pdfCrazy has linked to before, or I would get a few really high lumen strip lights (BuildMyLED?). I think the EVOs would work, too, but you would need multiple ones because you have so much depth (front to back) to cover.

I hope you find just the solution you are looking for. Maybe other folks have better suggestions for you.

Mark
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Get one of the green element evo 3 watt fixtures for a tank that deep.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
I think we are deep into subjective territory, ulyssis. I don't want to steer you wrong. I bought the Finnex because I couldn't find the Beamsworks fixture I was looking for at the time. It was more expensive ($90 compared to $65 for an EVO and even less for a pent) and it is not nearly as bright as the equivalent length 2-row EVOs I have on a lot of my tanks. It seems not to spread the light as far, either, which could be a problem for a cube. It does have the fancies like the lightning feature and the simulated sunrise-noon-sunset cycle, but I don't use those, so the extra cost is lost to me. Also, my Jungle Dawn twist-ins seem to penetrate to the bottom of the tank better than the Finnex.



I can't tell you what you would like in your situation, but I think if it was me, I wouldn't find the Finnex fixtures to have enough "punch" to get to the bottom of a 30" tank. I can't tell you what you would or would not be able to grow down there, but I don't think I would find them to be adequate. Certainly your mileage may vary. I wish you could come over to my house and just look at the hodge podge of lighting I have over various tanks and choose among them :-)



If you could find a total lumens rating for each of the fixtures, maybe that would help you decide. If I had a tank that size, I would either do 6500 LED spot lights (maybe combined with other linear fixtures?) like pdfCrazy has linked to before, or I would get a few really high lumen strip lights (BuildMyLED?). I think the EVOs would work, too, but you would need multiple ones because you have so much depth (front to back) to cover.



I hope you find just the solution you are looking for. Maybe other folks have better suggestions for you.



Mark

I appreciate the honesty. The back story to this build is that I sold my wife on letting build a show tank for the main floor. I need to make this a thing of beauty. I'm taking my time in the planning stage so o get everything right or close to at least.

The tank is going to be situated at the end of our foyer. We have a nice circular center area where the foyer opens up to. The tank is going there. Right in the middle so people will have a full 360 walk around for this tank. Because of this position, I don't have the luxury of a back wall to hide wires and plumbing. I am installing a floor receptacle for power. When the tank is on the stand, it will sit on the receptacle and all wires and plumbing will be routed in the cabinet through the middle of the tank and eventually though the top. I plan on hiding the wires and plumbing in the tank with a center tree stump. Which will double up as the feature hardscape piece. I need to keep it clean as possible with no clutter as per wife's rules.

Because this will be an attraction piece in our home, I wanted to add all the bells and whistles possible, which led me to look into the fully automated light cycle of the finnex. I love the idea of the tank taking on a new look throughout the day. Having said that, it is more important that the living items within the tank to thrive. After all, what good is the fancy lights if what you are viewing are dead or dying. I still haven't given up on the idea of the automated lighting. I will, with the help of the community (hopefully), figure out a way to use some sort of automated lighting that will keep the living fauna in the tank healthy.

If I supplement the finnex with 6500 LEDs, will I still get the effect of the various colors of the finnex, or will the LEDs negate the finnex since they will be at a constant brightness at all times?

There's gotta be a way. Help anyone.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Get one of the green element evo 3 watt fixtures for a tank that deep.

Thanks for the tip. I will look into it.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

I have a 30" cube with 2 Finnex Planted+ (not the 24/7 version). Most of the growing area sits on a platform which puts the plants about 12-15" from the light. Those plants are doing fantastic. The lower level is about 20-22" from the lights and it has been challenging to grow plants that far away. I finally found some plants that like the lower light, but the ground cover still doesn't look as good as it should.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Well, that's different, then ;-)

First, yes, I think any augmented lighting would drastically reduce the impact of the main light dimming and changing color over the course of the day.

HOWEVER, if it's a showcase piece, you might get away with a larger budget :-) I still think you might be ok with more than one BuildMyLED fixture or multiple EVOs. I think they have the BMLs have the effects, but I could be wrong. The EVOs don't.

If you want to go into another league, though, I just traded for a couple of these last week:

MistKing Misting Systems by Jungle Hobbies Ltd

When I first talked to the guy (hey, stinkwater!) about the trade, I thought I might end up flipping them and selling them to someone else, but after seeing them in action, I immediately pressed them into service. I put the big one (the double, linke above) on my planted tank and it tripled the light in there, even though it leaves 6 inches uncovered on either side of the tank. I have never seen pearling like I am getting now that I installed the light. The other one, I am putting over a brand new ZooMed Skyscraper build.

They are way pricier than I ever thought I would own, but I have also never seen anything that bright. The big problem you would have is that you would probably need two doubles just because of the angle of the light. It doesn't spread much, which probably is why it penetrates so well. You could also do 4 of the little guys which would give you some configurability. They have the different daylight modes and they do it better because they have brighter secondary arrays that color the light better than my Finnex (to my eye, anyway). They have built in timers that allow you to control when each mode starts and stops (I think - I don't have a manual yet, but the guy I traded them with showed me a little bit). They also do the lightning thing, which I still don't use except when I am showing it to people :-) The other cool thing is that they look nice enough to be out in the open (no canopy needed) and the are designed to be suspended above the tank. You might be able to run the power cords down one of the cables or just come up through the tank like you had planned. Finally, they are very well cooled with large built-in fans that are apparently on a thermostat and only kick in when the lights get too hot.

Is it expensive? Heck yeah, it is. BUT, I have never seen a brighter or more capable light. It appears that you get what you pay for. You never know what you can get through committee if it looks nice and you hide the wires ;-)

Anyway, I just wanted to present it as an option. Had I not seen it work in person, I NEVER would have been tempted to spend that much on a light. Having seen it, though, I am pretty impressed. Would I pay full price? Probably not since I don't have the cash. Would I trade for it again? All day long :-)

Again, I hope your build comes out just the way you want it to :-)

Mark
P.S. Sorry for the thread/scope creep!
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Well, that's different, then ;-)



First, yes, I think any augmented lighting would drastically reduce the impact of the main light dimming and changing color over the course of the day.



HOWEVER, if it's a showcase piece, you might get away with a larger budget :-) I still think you might be ok with more than one BuildMyLED fixture or multiple EVOs. I think they have the BMLs have the effects, but I could be wrong. The EVOs don't.



If you want to go into another league, though, I just traded for a couple of these last week:



MistKing Misting Systems by Jungle Hobbies Ltd



When I first talked to the guy (hey, stinkwater!) about the trade, I thought I might end up flipping them and selling them to someone else, but after seeing them in action, I immediately pressed them into service. I put the big one (the double, linke above) on my planted tank and it tripled the light in there, even though it leaves 6 inches uncovered on either side of the tank. I have never seen pearling like I am getting now that I installed the light. The other one, I am putting over a brand new ZooMed Skyscraper build.



They are way pricier than I ever thought I would own, but I have also never seen anything that bright. The big problem you would have is that you would probably need two doubles just because of the angle of the light. It doesn't spread much, which probably is why it penetrates so well. You could also do 4 of the little guys which would give you some configurability. They have the different daylight modes and they do it better because they have brighter secondary arrays that color the light better than my Finnex (to my eye, anyway). They have built in timers that allow you to control when each mode starts and stops (I think - I don't have a manual yet, but the guy I traded them with showed me a little bit). They also do the lightning thing, which I still don't use except when I am showing it to people :-) The other cool thing is that they look nice enough to be out in the open (no canopy needed) and the are designed to be suspended above the tank. You might be able to run the power cords down one of the cables or just come up through the tank like you had planned. Finally, they are very well cooled with large built-in fans that are apparently on a thermostat and only kick in when the lights get too hot.



Is it expensive? Heck yeah, it is. BUT, I have never seen a brighter or more capable light. It appears that you get what you pay for. You never know what you can get through committee if it looks nice and you hide the wires ;-)



Anyway, I just wanted to present it as an option. Had I not seen it work in person, I NEVER would have been tempted to spend that much on a light. Having seen it, though, I am pretty impressed. Would I pay full price? Probably not since I don't have the cash. Would I trade for it again? All day long :-)



Again, I hope your build comes out just the way you want it to :-)



Mark

P.S. Sorry for the thread/scope creep!

No sweat. I appreciate your thoughts and taking the time out to write it. I'll start a build thread on this piece once I have the plans finished. Almost done. I just got to add the lights and position the parts on a 24"x48" sheet of acrylic to maximize materials and reduce waste.

Mistking head office is actually 4hrs away from me. I know they distribute the LEDs you speak of. I saw the price back at a reptile show, it was more than double the finnex. I'll look into it hopefully it does what I'm looking for. My tank is 30" deep but if you factor in about 3-4" of substrate it brings the plants a little closer to the surface. Not much but any bit helps.

Onwards and upwards.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

I just thought of one thing other thing that you might consider. On my planted tank before the Jungle Hobbies light (and I still have it, it just has help now), I had a RapidLED retrofit kit. Basically, you can buy drivers, arrays, heat sinks, etc. from these guys and put them together on your own. It is the most flexible option and you could put as many arrays as you think you need (in whatever colors) in whatever position you wanted. The other reason that I thought of it is that, I believe (port_plz, check me on this) you can use a controller to introduce some of those effects you are looking for. Specifically, I am pretty sure you could make it get brighter and dimmer over the course of the day. They also appear to sell completed lights, too, if you don't want the hassle of doing it yourself. When I did mine, though, I actually had a lot of fun. Learned to solder and everything! Anyway, that's a different (and probably cheaper) option than than my last suggestion :-)

Mark
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

I love that your pushing the jungle hobbies now LoL

I couldn't agree with you more, these lights are amazing on so many levels. Honestly I tell everybody I can because I'm afraid Marty is going to stop making them if nobody buys them but the truth is that they are the best light on the market for this application hands down.

That said they are not practical if you have many smaller tanks, but they are perfect for the big show piece set ups IMO...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Well, that's different, then ;-)

First, yes, I think any augmented lighting would drastically reduce the impact of the main light dimming and changing color over the course of the day.

HOWEVER, if it's a showcase piece, you might get away with a larger budget :-) I still think you might be ok with more than one BuildMyLED fixture or multiple EVOs. I think they have the BMLs have the effects, but I could be wrong. The EVOs don't.

If you want to go into another league, though, I just traded for a couple of these last week:

MistKing Misting Systems by Jungle Hobbies Ltd

When I first talked to the guy (hey, stinkwater!) about the trade, I thought I might end up flipping them and selling them to someone else, but after seeing them in action, I immediately pressed them into service. I put the big one (the double, linke above) on my planted tank and it tripled the light in there, even though it leaves 6 inches uncovered on either side of the tank. I have never seen pearling like I am getting now that I installed the light. The other one, I am putting over a brand new ZooMed Skyscraper build.

They are way pricier than I ever thought I would own, but I have also never seen anything that bright. The big problem you would have is that you would probably need two doubles just because of the angle of the light. It doesn't spread much, which probably is why it penetrates so well. You could also do 4 of the little guys which would give you some configurability. They have the different daylight modes and they do it better because they have brighter secondary arrays that color the light better than my Finnex (to my eye, anyway). They have built in timers that allow you to control when each mode starts and stops (I think - I don't have a manual yet, but the guy I traded them with showed me a little bit). They also do the lightning thing, which I still don't use except when I am showing it to people :-) The other cool thing is that they look nice enough to be out in the open (no canopy needed) and the are designed to be suspended above the tank. You might be able to run the power cords down one of the cables or just come up through the tank like you had planned. Finally, they are very well cooled with large built-in fans that are apparently on a thermostat and only kick in when the lights get too hot.

Is it expensive? Heck yeah, it is. BUT, I have never seen a brighter or more capable light. It appears that you get what you pay for. You never know what you can get through committee if it looks nice and you hide the wires ;-)

Anyway, I just wanted to present it as an option. Had I not seen it work in person, I NEVER would have been tempted to spend that much on a light. Having seen it, though, I am pretty impressed. Would I pay full price? Probably not since I don't have the cash. Would I trade for it again? All day long :-)

Again, I hope your build comes out just the way you want it to :-)

Mark
P.S. Sorry for the thread/scope creep!
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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I love that your pushing the jungle hobbies now LoL

I couldn't agree with you more, these lights are amazing on so many levels. Honestly I tell everybody I can because I'm afraid Marty is going to stop making them if nobody buys them but the truth is that they are the best light on the market for this application hands down.

That said they are not practical if you have many smaller tanks, but they are perfect for the big show piece set ups IMO...
That's a good point, actually. They are kinda designed for shorter (length-wise) and narrower tanks rather than a longer tank or rack of tanks. Like you said, they are pitching toward single show tanks, I think. Also, though I have no problem pushing Jungle Hobbies products (Marty is a great guy and Mist Kings are fantastic misting systems, as well as the lights), I don't think this lighting solution is for everybody. For the cost, the benefit might seem incremental to some. The real benefit is the ability to light a deep tank really well, in my opinion.

To be fair, though, the proof is in the pudding. I had to see them before I was willing to give a $700 light a chance. And just seeing them on the ground lit was not enough. I had to see them over my tanks before I saw how good they were :-)

Glad you are liking them too, Cam.

Mark
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

What's the important stat in LEDs when determining strength of light at the bottom of the tank, K value or lumens?
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:23 AM
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I vote for a 30" finnex planted plus in back and a 30" green element evo 3watt unit on a ramp timer for a gradual on and off to simulate sunrise and sunset. The evo is a sleek unit that puts off a lot of light. My planted plus 24/7 doesn't put off strong light anything very well past 12". It's great for the FX and color change but not as good for plants. Even up close to the light my bromeliads and moss werent their happiest just under the finnex. If you run the evo for 8 hours a day you will get the cool color changing FX of the finnex 24/7 and the plant growing power of the evo.

My EVO is really powerful on my 24" tall tank. 2 finnex 24/7 would work fine if all your substrate level plants are low light loving plants. My moss and bromeliads weren't too happy under just the 24/7 even up close within 12''. Just keep that in mind.
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Kelvin temperature and lumens don't tell you much of anything about penetration to the bottom of a tank. In order to get that information you need someone to measure a light at such a distance with a lux meter or PAR meter.

If you don't have those measurements then the next best thing is to try to infer something based on what you know about the light. You will get more light down to the bottom of the tank if you have a light with optics that focus the light. This is why people are recommending the EVO LEDs for a deep tank.


However in the case of almost any light if you stack enough of them in there you will get the amount of light you need to the bottom of the tank.

I assume you are going to build a hood to cover the lights in which case it doesn't matter what they look like is this true?

I think the planted plus 24/7 will have about 30 PAR at 30" this is enough to grow plants directly under the light. If you put 4 of these lights in the hood I think you would achieve around 55 PAR evenly across most of the bottom which would be medium light territory. Up higher things would be better.

Alternatively you could look at the Current USA satellite plus pro which is more expensive. It is more powerful though and you could do just 3 fixtures and would likely end up with about 65 PAR across the bottom.

The jungle hobbies would probably work as a single light but you would have harsher shadows and less spread of light
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Old 02-27-2016, 05:25 AM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
That's a good point, actually. They are kinda designed for shorter (length-wise) and narrower tanks rather than a longer tank or rack of tanks. Like you said, they are pitching toward single show tanks, I think. Also, though I have no problem pushing Jungle Hobbies products (Marty is a great guy and Mist Kings are fantastic misting systems, as well as the lights), I don't think this lighting solution is for everybody. For the cost, the benefit might seem incremental to some. The real benefit is the ability to light a deep tank really well, in my opinion.

To be fair, though, the proof is in the pudding. I had to see them before I was willing to give a $700 light a chance. And just seeing them on the ground lit was not enough. I had to see them over my tanks before I saw how good they were :-)

Glad you are liking them too, Cam.

Mark

Thanks and yeah they really are awesome… They almost have to much power

Did you know that they make two versions? There's a double version which is much longer and that one costs $700… The other one costs $385.

I have the one that costs $385… The link below is the double version. It has 2 fans.

MistKing Misting Systems by Jungle Hobbies Ltd


Quote:
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The jungle hobbies would probably work as a single light but you would have harsher shadows and less spread of light

This is absolutely correct. These lights are harsh and sharp at full power… When I first got mine I was burning marcgravia that was halfway up the tank and some plants right next to it were fine. I had to turn down the overall power a good amount and I added diffusion gels attached to egg crate that spread the light nicely.

By doing this I was able to just about match the perfectly diffuse conditions at J&L orchid (in foot-candles). I used my light meter to measure both to get them about the same.

So not even at full power this light is growing ferns, and marcgravia at the bottom of a 36 tall exo.

That's the key to this light, they can be tweaked in so many ways there is so much control in customizing the settings.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

So after more research on lighting I think I may have found a winner.

I am leaning towards the Green Elements Evo Quad 24-28" fixture. I will be getting 2 of these to light the cube tank. It has three light setting options, full on, just blues (simulate moonlight) and off. An optional timer allows you to set the times of the three light options. Not as fancy as the finnex, or jungle hobbies, with a gradual color change throughout the day, but, based on some reviews, should be able to provide ample light to the floor of the tank, which is more important to me for this build. Dimensionally at 24"x9.5", 2 of these fixtures make up an overall setup of 24"x19", which will cover the top lid of a 30"x30" cube tank nicely. Another option is the addition of fans. I've included the fans in my plans, however if someone, with experience, can confirm whether or not it's needed, that would be great. Lastly, it doesn't put a huge dent in my wallet. At just under $140US for each, I am comfortable with this price. Especially living in Canada and our dollar not doing so well.

I took a long hard look at Jungle hobbies. I mocked up the unit in my plans. I would need 4 of the single units to get even coverage. The double wasn't an option in my build as the unit was too large. I like the fact that it simulated the daylight cycle like the finnex and the fact that you could network multiple units to one master timer. Another plus, was the built in fans and timers. In the end I couldn't justify the cost of $380US per unit (I need 4 using this puppy), especially with the CDN dollar at a low point, just to get a fancy color changing light.

Mind is not 100% made up yet. I still love the fancy day/night cycle color change. Feel free to sway me in that direction with other benefits I may have not accounted for. This is still a show tank and I can't easily let go of the coolness factor of the color changing lights.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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I assume you are going to build a hood to cover the lights in which case it doesn't matter what they look like is this true?

Yes. I am building a hood to hide electronics and plumbing on the top of the tank. Looks of LED fixtures is not a deal breaker. Function over form when deciding this piece of the puzzle.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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I vote for a 30" finnex planted plus in back and a 30" green element evo 3watt unit on a ramp timer for a gradual on and off to simulate sunrise and sunset. The evo is a sleek unit that puts off a lot of light. My planted plus 24/7 doesn't put off strong light anything very well past 12". It's great for the FX and color change but not as good for plants. Even up close to the light my bromeliads and moss werent their happiest just under the finnex. If you run the evo for 8 hours a day you will get the cool color changing FX of the finnex 24/7 and the plant growing power of the evo.

My EVO is really powerful on my 24" tall tank. 2 finnex 24/7 would work fine if all your substrate level plants are low light loving plants. My moss and bromeliads weren't too happy under just the 24/7 even up close within 12''. Just keep that in mind.

I want to keep the lighting even in the whole tank. I don't want to have plants on one side of the tank to have better light than the others. This tank is sitting in the middle of the space and viewers will have the opportunity to walk 360 degrees around this. I don't have the luxury of a back wall.

Thanks for the idea tho.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

I can't find my tape measure, but my suggestion would be one of the 3watt bulbed beamswork/evo/green element fixtures people mentioned as your front light, because those things shoot the light out at 90 degrees instead of the 120-180 degrees other lighting options have. So that will punch down to the floor, then I'd light the back of the tank with a finnex 24/7.

Setup the beamswork on a fluval, sunsetter, or currentusa ramp timer and it's schedualed ramp up/down, and then compliment that with the 24/7.

My main complaint with the 24/7 is the ramp up to full day light is to long (and the early night moon light is bit on the bright side IMHO), but you can basically eliminate that problem with a beamswork on a ramp timer.

Depending on how long you want your light period to be you can make it so the finnex starts the sunrise, and the then the beamswork kicks in or vise/versa.... but you are some what restricted by the finnex having an static program you can't change... you just have fiddle with the beamswork on ramp times to get them to compliment each other the way you like best.

Oh and I think the fluval allows you to set your own ramp duration, but don't quote me on that... I think the sunsetter and currentusa do either 15 or 30 minutes I can't remember but I don't think you can change it. I know the E-seriies lights do 30 minutes, and I think the currentusa dual or pro ramp timers do the same, but the sat+ pro fixture has only a 15 min ramp (Which I think 30 is better, but oh well)

Anyways sorry for going off on some tangents, my ADD is in full effect today I think

But I think a beamswork on ramp timer and then a 24/7 as the light that fills in the back and casts that tinted sunrise/sunset on the background is a great setup.

Then you can add a led music controller and cheap strip to do sound responsive lightning. Set up a bluetooth speaker and an MP3 alarm app with a thunderstorm sound file on your smart phone, or better yet a spare one (cheap off ebay) and you should be able to sync the alarm to play the storm at the same time your mist system is on... the trick is finding the best app that inherently has the right alarm duration, or allows you to set it to what you want (I think most have that feature).

Then add a IC 6803 dream color strip on chase mode, with timer and you will get dynamic rolling cloud cover across the viv scape rather then dim/brighten/dim crappy cloud sim most lights do now.

oh and add a strand of gemmy lights in flight to simulate fireflies in the viv
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Hi Everyone,

I'm building a custom acrylic vivarium and plan to use 2 x 24" Planted+ lights to light the tank. Tank dimensions are 30"x30"x30". Essentially a cube.

Those two fixtures would produce plenty of light for that viv. I have one 30" Planted+ (not the 24/7 version though) that is over a tank measuring 32Lx18Hx20D. I actually had to set the fixture up on blocks and use a little fiberglass screen mesh under it to reduce the intensity (too much for some shade-loving tropicals), so it would certainly work well over deeper tanks. I am very happy with the performance of this light, especially considering the price and wattage. I have a green element light, but am not as impressed.

If you want to look into something more fancy and expensive, BML has some of the best lights on the market. They are available in various sizes and can be completely custom. They make a fixture just for planted tanks that works well. A dimmer may be needed - I have one that generates plenty of light at 50% output.

My only real critique of the plan is the use of acrylic. Do a search here on DB for acrylic + problems or acrylic + warping and you will find that others have had trouble with acrylic as a vivarium building material. I had a tank that warped badly within less than a year. Some last longer though. If you do go through with it, try to brace any shorter runs that do not join an adhered corner, such as around the doors and the door itself. I recommend giving this some thought if the building materials aren't free.

Last edited by roxrgneiss; 02-27-2016 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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I can't find my tape measure, but my suggestion would be one of the 3watt bulbed beamswork/evo/green element fixtures people mentioned as your front light, because those things shoot the light out at 90 degrees instead of the 120-180 degrees other lighting options have. So that will punch down to the floor, then I'd light the back of the tank with a finnex 24/7.



Setup the beamswork on a fluval, sunsetter, or currentusa ramp timer and it's schedualed ramp up/down, and then compliment that with the 24/7.



My main complaint with the 24/7 is the ramp up to full day light is to long (and the early night moon light is bit on the bright side IMHO), but you can basically eliminate that problem with a beamswork on a ramp timer.



Depending on how long you want your light period to be you can make it so the finnex starts the sunrise, and the then the beamswork kicks in or vise/versa.... but you are some what restricted by the finnex having an static program you can't change... you just have fiddle with the beamswork on ramp times to get them to compliment each other the way you like best.



Oh and I think the fluval allows you to set your own ramp duration, but don't quote me on that... I think the sunsetter and currentusa do either 15 or 30 minutes I can't remember but I don't think you can change it. I know the E-seriies lights do 30 minutes, and I think the currentusa dual or pro ramp timers do the same, but the sat+ pro fixture has only a 15 min ramp (Which I think 30 is better, but oh well)



Anyways sorry for going off on some tangents, my ADD is in full effect today I think



But I think a beamswork on ramp timer and then a 24/7 as the light that fills in the back and casts that tinted sunrise/sunset on the background is a great setup.



Then you can add a led music controller and cheap strip to do sound responsive lightning. Set up a bluetooth speaker and an MP3 alarm app with a thunderstorm sound file on your smart phone, or better yet a spare one (cheap off ebay) and you should be able to sync the alarm to play the storm at the same time your mist system is on... the trick is finding the best app that inherently has the right alarm duration, or allows you to set it to what you want (I think most have that feature).



Then add a IC 6803 dream color strip on chase mode, with timer and you will get dynamic rolling cloud cover across the viv scape rather then dim/brighten/dim crappy cloud sim most lights do now.



oh and add a strand of gemmy lights in flight to simulate fireflies in the viv

Thanks Dendro, but I don't have the luxury of a back and front on this tank. It is not going to be up against the wall. It will be in the middle of the space and people will have the ability to walk 360 degrees around it. I need even lighting all the way around.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Those two fixtures would produce plenty of light for that viv. I have one 30" Planted+ (not the 24/7 version though) that is over a tank measuring 32Lx18Hx20D. I actually had to set the fixture up on blocks and use a little fiberglass screen mesh under it to reduce the intensity (too much for some shade-loving tropicals), so it would certainly work well over deeper tanks. I am very happy with the performance of this light, especially considering the price and wattage. I have a green element light, but am not as impressed.

If you want to look into something more fancy and expensive, BML has some of the best lights on the market. They are available in various sizes and can be completely custom. They make a fixture just for planted tanks that works well. A dimmer may be needed - I have one that generates plenty of light at 50% output.

My only real critique of the plan is the use of acrylic. Do a search here on DB for acrylic + problems or acrylic + warping and you will find that others have had trouble with acrylic as a vivarium building material. I had a tank that warped badly within less than a year. Some last longer though. If you do go through with it, try to brace any shorter runs that do not join an adhered corner, such as around the doors and the door itself. I recommend giving this some thought if the building materials aren't free.

Wow this adds more to the confusion. You're saying 2 finnex's would be plenty light for this tank all the way to the bottom. But how can you be sure if you only tested this on an 18" tall tank? Also are the LED stats on the planted vs the planted+ 24/7 the same?

I'm going to be using cast acrylic at 1" thick. There will be no doors on any of the walls of the tank. Pure solid sheet all around for seamless viewing. A center conduit, also made of acrylic, hidden in a cork round will hide wires and plumbing come up from under the cabinet to the top, to supply water to the mistkings and power to the fans and lights. The bottom floor will also be 1" thick accompanied by another 1" thick cross brace. The 1" thick perimeter brace at the top with a removable .5" thick cover. This cover will have 4 doors for feeding and light maintenance as well as drill holes for ventilation.

I did some research and for a tank at my height they suggest to use .75" thick sheets. I'm taking it one step further with 1" and bracing. Hopefully it won't bow.
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Thanks Dendro, but I don't have the luxury of a back and front on this tank. It is not going to be up against the wall. It will be in the middle of the space and people will have the ability to walk 360 degrees around it. I need even lighting all the way around.
Aw ok I just skimmed and didn't catch that.

In that case I would go with 2 finnex 24/7s maybe, or 2 beamsworks on ramp timers, or the more expensive options is 2 sat+ pro or ecoxotic E-series.

If you want add tinted dawn/dusk or other fx evenly over the tank you could do cheap strips on a ramp timer or tc420 controller with the strips stuck to the bottom of the beamswork on the edges and/or between the rows of leds to basically create a sat+ PRO knock off that is even more capable then the PRO in some ways. Several people have done this on the planted aquarium forums

Then you could add the lightning like I suggested if so inclined, and all your lighting would be even over the tank.

But...
Maybe I missed it while skimming but how do you intend to hide the cords if this is a 360 walk around tank?

I'd think in that case some kinda pendant light or maybe one of the jungle hobbies lights from mistking might be what you need, but you'd still have cords, so maybe some kinda fixture wired into the homes wall/ceiling so there are no cords
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:11 PM
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But...

Maybe I missed it while skimming but how do you intend to hide the cords if this is a 360 walk around tank?

You did miss it lol. There will be a conduit in the middle of the cube hidden with a cork round. I want it to look like a tree trunk and double up as the featured hardscape. Building this conduit will allow me to route wires and plumbing from the bottom to top of the tank cleanly. I am installing a floor receptacle. The cabinet, which I'm also building, will house the mistking reservoir, pump, timers power bars etc. this cabinet will sit on top of the receptacle hiding that too.
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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You did miss it lol. There will be a conduit in the middle of the cube hidden with a cork round. I want it to look like a tree trunk and double up as the featured hardscape. Building this conduit will allow me to route wires and plumbing from the bottom to top of the tank cleanly. I am installing a floor receptacle. The cabinet, which I'm also building, will house the mistking reservoir, pump, timers power bars etc. this cabinet will sit on top of the receptacle hiding that too.
Ok cool, then you should be good to go... Sounds like it will be awesome, can't wait to see how it turns out

But seriously...
You need some firefly lights in there
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Aw ok I just skimmed and didn't catch that.



In that case I would go with 2 finnex 24/7s maybe, or 2 beamsworks on ramp timers, or the more expensive options is 2 sat+ pro or ecoxotic E-series.



If you want add tinted dawn/dusk or other fx evenly over the tank you could do cheap strips on a ramp timer or tc420 controller with the strips stuck to the bottom of the beamswork on the edges and/or between the rows of leds to basically create a sat+ PRO knock off that is even more capable then the PRO in some ways. Several people have done this on the planted aquarium forums



Then you could add the lightning like I suggested if so inclined, and all your lighting would be even over the tank.



But...

Maybe I missed it while skimming but how do you intend to hide the cords if this is a 360 walk around tank?



I'd think in that case some kinda pendant light or maybe one of the jungle hobbies lights from mistking might be what you need, but you'd still have cords, so maybe some kinda fixture wired into the homes wall/ceiling so there are no cords

Thanks for the 2 other options.

Out of the evo quad, sat+ and ecoxotic e-series, which one do you think will provide strong light at the bottom of a 30" tall tank?
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

I have experience with the EVO quad fixtures. They are extremely powerful and will light your tank's bottom no problem. Just be careful with light burn up close. You may have to get a dimmable timer to turn them down a bit. You will also need a fan or two for each one to keep the fixtures cool.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:17 PM
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I have experience with the EVO quad fixtures. They are extremely powerful and will light your tank's bottom no problem. Just be careful with light burn up close. You may have to get a dimmable timer to turn them down a bit. You will also need a fan or two for each one to keep the fixtures cool.

How close to the light can a plant be before burn ensues?
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:41 AM
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How close to the light can a plant be before burn ensues?
It depends on the type of plant and your lid. When I had glass inserts simply sitting on top of my screen top everything was fine. When I removed the screen directly under the glass the light levels really increased. My heart ferns showed burn at 18'' away from the light and I had some moss show bleaching 12'' away. I have bromeliads 6-8'' away with no ill effects. I turned down the fixture with my dual ramp timer to 60% and everything is fine now.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Kelvin temperature and lumens don't tell you much of anything about penetration to the bottom of a tank. In order to get that information you need someone to measure a light at such a distance with a lux meter or PAR meter.

If you don't have those measurements then the next best thing is to try to infer something based on what you know about the light. You will get more light down to the bottom of the tank if you have a light with optics that focus the light. This is why people are recommending the EVO LEDs for a deep tank.


However in the case of almost any light if you stack enough of them in there you will get the amount of light you need to the bottom of the tank.

I assume you are going to build a hood to cover the lights in which case it doesn't matter what they look like is this true?

I think the planted plus 24/7 will have about 30 PAR at 30" this is enough to grow plants directly under the light. If you put 4 of these lights in the hood I think you would achieve around 55 PAR evenly across most of the bottom which would be medium light territory. Up higher things would be better.

Alternatively you could look at the Current USA satellite plus pro which is more expensive. It is more powerful though and you could do just 3 fixtures and would likely end up with about 65 PAR across the bottom.

The jungle hobbies would probably work as a single light but you would have harsher shadows and less spread of light

Do you think the current USA satellite plus pro would be enough par for a 36" tall tank but with substrate/leaf litter it'll be about 32"?


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Old 02-28-2016, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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Another option is the addition of fans. I've included the fans in my plans, however if someone, with experience, can confirm whether or not it's needed, that would be great. Lastly, it doesn't put a huge dent in my wallet. At just under $140US for each, I am comfortable with this price. Especially living in Canada and our dollar not doing so well.
I will also comment on the fans.

The evo fans that are sold with the unit are small and probably not the greatest quality. I think you would be far better off with a show tank to get a niche 120mm or larger computer fan which can be speed controlled and put it in the hood. This will be quieter.

Here is an example of a hood I built with such a fan that also has the advantage of using the heat from the lights to reduce condensation on the glass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohlerbear View Post
Do you think the current USA satellite plus pro would be enough par for a 36" tall tank but with substrate/leaf litter it'll be about 32"?
You would have about 35 PAR with a single light so you would probably want multiple lights spaced close enough to build those PAR levels up, so it would depend on all the dimensions of the vivarium.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:53 PM
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Thanks for the 2 other options.

Out of the evo quad, sat+ and ecoxotic e-series, which one do you think will provide strong light at the bottom of a 30" tall tank?
The evo quad would probably have the most "punch". All the other fixtures mentioned have roughly 120 degree spread, so they are a better at getting full coverage into all 4 corners and the back of the tank, but I can vouch for the lenses on the beamswork having some "punch". I'm pretty sure they are around the 90 degree mark, and there is a noticeable difference between 90 and 120.

Also My guess without going back and digging up the specs; is the evo quad's wattage is going to be more then the other fixtures in whatever fixture best matches your needed dimensions. So more wattage + less angle of spread = more light punching through down to the floor of the viv.

And as long as each fixture is under 60w you should be able to run both off one fluval ramp timer for dawn/dusk fx.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

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The evo quad would probably have the most "punch". All the other fixtures mentioned have roughly 120 degree spread, so they are a better at getting full coverage into all 4 corners and the back of the tank, but I can vouch for the lenses on the beamswork having some "punch". I'm pretty sure they are around the 90 degree mark, and there is a noticeable difference between 90 and 120.



Also My guess without going back and digging up the specs; is the evo quad's wattage is going to be more then the other fixtures in whatever fixture best matches your needed dimensions. So more wattage + less angle of spread = more light punching through down to the floor of the viv.



And as long as each fixture is under 60w you should be able to run both off one fluval ramp timer for dawn/dusk fx.

How about the sat+ pro, will 2 of those be more powerful than 2 finnex's? I like the fact that it spreads the light and has cool dusk dawn colors plus the weather effects. Leaning towards this now after more research.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:13 PM
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How about the sat+ pro, will 2 of those be more powerful than 2 finnex's? I like the fact that it spreads the light and has cool dusk dawn colors plus the weather effects. Leaning towards this now after more research.
The sat+pro will be more powerful then a finnex 27/4 of equal size, but even if you needed 3 24/7's to Light the tank the cost would probably be cheaper then 2 +pro's ...also 3 fixtures would make getting the needed coverage easier without raising the lights to high to pull it off.

I might be confused but I just wanna make sure you know the sat+pro doesn't do the tinted dawn/dusk. It does a ramp of just white light, and the ramp period is set in stone at 15 minutes without some kinda diy arduino ras pi controller to change the functionality of the light. Only the 24/7 does a color tinted dawn/dusk ramp straight out of the box.

Now you do get the push button FX and color change, but the finnex 24/7's do a lighting mode, and color changes too.

The +PRO will do cloud cover effect, but it is basically just dim/brighten/dim etc.. where the 24/7 just changes the color and intensity to simulate a cloudy day by just making the tank darker. But when you run 2 or better yet 3 24/7's you can put one on "demo" mode and it IMHO creates a nice cloud effect as it runs through all the modes changing color temp, hue, and intensity: balanced out by the other lights bright white light this is subtle enough to work well IMHO.

Now all these modes have to be activated manually, and I'll tell you a cheap led strip with the 24 or 44 key remote can be added super cheap to just about any fixture like these or most others and that basically gives any light the color change function so you can adjust the overall color temp of the tank, or set it to a mood light color.

These strips also work with all the ramp timers I'm aware exist, so while plugging one into a ramp timer and then into the lil color change controller box with the 24 or 44 key remotes will mess up your ability to change colors, you can easily and fairly cheaply add an extra strip or strips and ramp timer and make those things do a red sunrise/sunset on one channel, and another strip for a moon light on the other channel (all but the cheapest currentusa ramp timer have 2 channels, while that one is just one.).

So basically that gives you the ability to add tinted dawn/dusk fx, or even set up more strips on a ramp timer, or better yet if you are going over 2 strips get the 5 channel tc420 and program all five channels to tint your dawn/dusk, create cloud cover, etc...

Now with one of these...
ZnDiy Z-48 Music Controller for RGB LED Flexible Strip (12V) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

...and an led strip you can add lightning that is triggered by sound. This IMHO is much better then the push button storm mode, (which is the only mode other then automated dawn/dusk/moon that I really care much about).

The light will always be ready to flash once you provide it with an audio source. A cheap $10 bluetooth speaker and a smart phone or tablet are all you need. You should also be able to use and MP3 alarm clock app to add a storm file to play at set time for a set duration, so that makes it possible to sync your storm Fx to the mist/rain schedule and/or with a fogger or other stuff.

Personally I'm willing to give up an automated moonlight and tinted sunrise to cheaply light a tank with dawn/dusk FX and the needed intensity with beamsworks in many cases. Then very cheaply i can add my sound activated lightning setup and call it a day.

Oh and since moon lighting isn't very bright (ideally) you basically put any of the cheap moonlight options in there and run it all day or put it on a timer to come on before lights go out, and it will seem as if the dusk is transitioning to moon, without the moonlight skewing your colors to bad during the day. Of course if you go with any of the other fixtures mention besides beamswork, they will have a moonlight as part of their automated dawn/dusk cycle, so mute point with those lights.

So if I can get that setup over a tank I'm happy, and you can do that setup with beamswork cheaper then any of the other options discussed. You can even put beamsworks on a tc420 if you don't go over about 60w per channel. If the situation is such that I'm willing to spend more or have them on hand, then going with the other options adds even more possible FX and customization and you still have the option of adding cheap led strips and controller for even more fx, but most if not all of them that come as feature on the light fixtures will need to be activated and deactivated manually, and personally I may play with them at first, or from time to time, but the stuff I can automate gives me the most satisfaction in the long run.

So cheap and easy to add syncable storm FX, and if you really wanna get fancy you can get an IC 6803 dream color strip and controller package for around $30 and use the chase modes to add a rolling cloud cover fx that casts a moving shadow effect over the landscape rather then just dim/brighten/dim, or the really crappy 24/7's "Well just lower the light and tint it a bit" version of cloud cover.

So there are some trade offs, but the dawn/dusk/moon can be done cheapest with beamswork, and a much better storm effect added after the fact and cheaply. Then if you must have tinted dawn/dusk and/or an ability to light the tank up all green, or purple then this to can be added cheaply with after market gadgets.

So if you do one of the setups I've discussed that gives you a better then average cloud cover effect (24/7's demo mode when combined with other bright white light fixtures, or the 6803 rolling cloud cover), a sound responsive storm that is syncable to mist/rain/fog schedules, and use a smart phone/tablet with mp3 alarm clock and external speakers to set that up (actually a phone or tablet near the music controller would work fine to play the sound), add in the firefly lights and you will have just about the most dramatically dynamic display out there....

You'll even have me beat, because while I have most if not all the stuff to do a setup like this: I haven't got off my lazy ass and thrown it all together in one viv yet.

...But I still have my quasi holographics and few other tricks up my sleeve, so I'll catch up



So I know all this is more then you asked for, but bottom line is if you want good weather fx that are automated for the most part that will only be achieved with after market modifications. I think manually activating things will get old fast, then only need to be done on rare occasions like having a party, "ok lets turn on the viv's moon lights or weather fx for ambiance". Beyond whatever built in dawn/dusk/moon ramp is built into a fixture, or achieved with ramp timers, it is better to add your own fx stuff to get best effect, flexibility and full automation in the display.

The coolest setup would be 1 sat +pro between 2 24/7's, or probably best in your case to switch that to 2 sat+pro's and 1 24/7 in the middle since you will probably have a high center piece in the middle of the tank and probably don't need a super bright light right over it, not that the finnex isn't bright, but it isn't quite on par with the sat+ pro, I don't think. So ya something like that, and then add in all the other FX I've mentioned and you should have a real jaw dropping and highly configurable display

Hell you can even add remote controlled or motion sensing outlets to activate some fx, or even pressure switches: so when someone walks up to the viv an effect is triggered
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dendro Dave View Post
The sat+pro will be more powerful then a finnex 27/4 of equal size, but even if you needed 3 24/7's to Light the tank the cost would probably be cheaper then 2 +pro's ...also 3 fixtures would make getting the needed coverage easier without raising the lights to high to pull it off.

I might be confused but I just wanna make sure you know the sat+pro doesn't do the tinted dawn/dusk. It does a ramp of just white light, and the ramp period is set in stone at 15 minutes without some kinda diy arduino ras pi controller to change the functionality of the light. Only the 24/7 does a color tinted dawn/dusk ramp straight out of the box.

Now you do get the push button FX and color change, but the finnex 24/7's do a lighting mode, and color changes too.

The +PRO will do cloud cover effect, but it is basically just dim/brighten/dim etc.. where the 24/7 just changes the color and intensity to simulate a cloudy day by just making the tank darker. But when you run 2 or better yet 3 24/7's you can put one on "demo" mode and it IMHO creates a nice cloud effect as it runs through all the modes changing color temp, hue, and intensity: balanced out by the other lights bright white light this is subtle enough to work well IMHO.

Now all these modes have to be activated manually, and I'll tell you a cheap led strip with the 24 or 44 key remote can be added super cheap to just about any fixture like these or most others and that basically gives any light the color change function so you can adjust the overall color temp of the tank, or set it to a mood light color.

These strips also work with all the ramp timers I'm aware exist, so while plugging one into a ramp timer and then into the lil color change controller box with the 24 or 44 key remotes will mess up your ability to change colors, you can easily and fairly cheaply add an extra strip or strips and ramp timer and make those things do a red sunrise/sunset on one channel, and another strip for a moon light on the other channel (all but the cheapest currentusa ramp timer have 2 channels, while that one is just one.).

So basically that gives you the ability to add tinted dawn/dusk fx, or even set up more strips on a ramp timer, or better yet if you are going over 2 strips get the 5 channel tc420 and program all five channels to tint your dawn/dusk, create cloud cover, etc...

Now with one of these...
ZnDiy Z-48 Music Controller for RGB LED Flexible Strip (12V) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

...and an led strip you can add lightning that is triggered by sound. This IMHO is much better then the push button storm mode, (which is the only mode other then automated dawn/dusk/moon that I really care much about).

The light will always be ready to flash once you provide it with an audio source. A cheap $10 bluetooth speaker and a smart phone or tablet are all you need. You should also be able to use and MP3 alarm clock app to add a storm file to play at set time for a set duration, so that makes it possible to sync your storm Fx to the mist/rain schedule and/or with a fogger or other stuff.

Personally I'm willing to give up an automated moonlight and tinted sunrise to cheaply light a tank with dawn/dusk FX and the needed intensity with beamsworks in many cases. Then very cheaply i can add my sound activated lightning setup and call it a day.

Oh and since moon lighting isn't very bright (ideally) you basically put any of the cheap moonlight options in there and run it all day or put it on a timer to come on before lights go out, and it will seem as if the dusk is transitioning to moon, without the moonlight skewing your colors to bad during the day. Of course if you go with any of the other fixtures mention besides beamswork, they will have a moonlight as part of their automated dawn/dusk cycle, so mute point with those lights.

So if I can get that setup over a tank I'm happy, and you can do that setup with beamswork cheaper then any of the other options discussed. You can even put beamsworks on a tc420 if you don't go over about 60w per channel. If the situation is such that I'm willing to spend more or have them on hand, then going with the other options adds even more possible FX and customization and you still have the option of adding cheap led strips and controller for even more fx, but most if not all of them that come as feature on the light fixtures will need to be activated and deactivated manually, and personally I may play with them at first, or from time to time, but the stuff I can automate gives me the most satisfaction in the long run.

So cheap and easy to add syncable storm FX, and if you really wanna get fancy you can get an IC 6803 dream color strip and controller package for around $30 and use the chase modes to add a rolling cloud cover fx that casts a moving shadow effect over the landscape rather then just dim/brighten/dim, or the really crappy 24/7's "Well just lower the light and tint it a bit" version of cloud cover.

So there are some trade offs, but the dawn/dusk/moon can be done cheapest with beamswork, and a much better storm effect added after the fact and cheaply. Then if you must have tinted dawn/dusk and/or an ability to light the tank up all green, or purple then this to can be added cheaply with after market gadgets.

So if you do one of the setups I've discussed that gives you a better then average cloud cover effect (24/7's demo mode when combined with other bright white light fixtures, or the 6803 rolling cloud cover), a sound responsive storm that is syncable to mist/rain/fog schedules, and use a smart phone/tablet with mp3 alarm clock and external speakers to set that up (actually a phone or tablet near the music controller would work fine to play the sound), add in the firefly lights and you will have just about the most dramatically dynamic display out there....

You'll even have me beat, because while I have most if not all the stuff to do a setup like this: I haven't got off my lazy ass and thrown it all together in one viv yet.

...But I still have my quasi holographics and few other tricks up my sleeve, so I'll catch up



So I know all this is more then you asked for, but bottom line is if you want good weather fx that are automated for the most part that will only be achieved with after market modifications. I think manually activating things will get old fast, then only need to be done on rare occasions like having a party, "ok lets turn on the viv's moon lights or weather fx for ambiance". Beyond whatever built in dawn/dusk/moon ramp is built into a fixture, or achieved with ramp timers, it is better to add your own fx stuff to get best effect, flexibility and full automation in the display.

The coolest setup would be 1 sat +pro between 2 24/7's, or probably best in your case to switch that to 2 sat+pro's and 1 24/7 in the middle since you will probably have a high center piece in the middle of the tank and probably don't need a super bright light right over it, not that the finnex isn't bright, but it isn't quite on par with the sat+ pro, I don't think. So ya something like that, and then add in all the other FX I've mentioned and you should have a real jaw dropping and highly configurable display

Hell you can even add remote controlled or motion sensing outlets to activate some fx, or even pressure switches: so when someone walks up to the viv an effect is triggered

Amazing. Thanks for the suggestions.

Based on how my top cover is designed, I can only get 2 lights. 3 might be possible, but I will lose the ability to easily lift a door to feed. I'd have to remove light then lift door to feed. Unless, and just thinking out loud here, instead of a door, I put a hole with a cover and use a funnel to drop the fruit flies in.

I assumed the SAT+ Pro did the color changes because the stats say RGBW LEDs. Is this not in fact true? I pulled it straight off their site.

Love the lightning and sound mod. Will look into it.

You also mentioned, in an earlier post, about firefly lights. I googled it and found a Christmas light strand. Is that what you were referring to. I would like to add this feature, but I don't want wires in the viv. Maybe there's is alternative option. Cleaner.
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Old 02-28-2016, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

On my fish tank, I mounted one of the lights to a tilt-up part of the canopy. It's secured with a piano hinge. If you did this, you could have two (or three?) lights sitting on the tank and one mounted to the tip up part of the canopy. Does that make sense? It's a possibility, anyway.

Mark
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulyssis View Post
Wow this adds more to the confusion. You're saying 2 finnex's would be plenty light for this tank all the way to the bottom. But how can you be sure if you only tested this on an 18" tall tank? Also are the LED stats on the planted vs the planted+ 24/7 the same?

I did some research and for a tank at my height they suggest to use .75" thick sheets. I'm taking it one step further with 1" and bracing. Hopefully it won't bow.
Well, my understanding is that the Finnex Planted+ and the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 are similar in their designs, but there are some differences. I think you can ramp up/down the 24/7 fixture to create the desired intensity level, but it lacks the 660nm LEDs included with the original Planted+ fixture, which aid plant growth. Of course, the 24/7 fixture will consume less watts over the course of a day and produce fluctuating PAR levels. See the attached chart showing a general comparison.

See the links below for additional information from the planted aquarium hobby. Generally, if they can use the light to grow plants well through water, then it should be great or even overkill for most vivariums.

Comparison thread

Owner review


Sounds like you are taking a cautious approach to the acrylic project - good luck with it!

Mike
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 owners, a little help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pubfiction View Post







You would have about 35 PAR with a single light so you would probably want multiple lights spaced close enough to build those PAR levels up, so it would depend on all the dimensions of the vivarium.

Thanks Pubfiction! If you don't mind, my tank dimensions are 48L"x18W"x36"H. I would imagine with drainage/substrate/leaf litter layers the height would be around 32" of height.
On their website they have a chart of par readings but when looking at the satellite led plus pro they only give a reading of 12" at 100+ par for the 48" model.



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