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Armour 01-26-2020 06:46 PM

LED lighting

One of my lights are going bad and I am trying to figure out what to replace it with. They were used in my 90 gallon saltwater tank now being used since I converted it to a vivarium. They were the box lights type lights that I used and they are hanging in my canopy. Everything was growing and thriving it seemed with these. I need to find a replacement for it that would be great for growing plants and be okay for the dart frogs. This is my show tank sitting in my living room so I want it to look good as far as lighting. One of the lights is still working so I just need one for now but would not be against replacing both with one long strip if anyone has any ideas that may work better than what I have I am open for it. I would absolutely prefer to hang them so that it is easier for me to get the top off when I need to get into the vivarium. I also prefer LED and a timer.

If I need to share more info to help with the selection let me know what that is.

I have been looking at this and searching for 2 days and cannot find anything that jumps out for setup and how I want to hang them.

I was looking at these but not sure the white lighting would be enough for growth and the look. My current lights have more white lighting than these.

I am new to this so that is the other problem as I am not sure what will work best for plants compared to corals.

Thank you

Kalle 01-26-2020 09:06 PM

Re: LED lighting
Plants are mostly a lot less demanding than corals so getting a reef light is to go above and beyond in my opinion. 105W is a lot of light too and unless you have a very tall tank sounds overkill.

As I'm in Europe I can't really give you advice on specific brands but I would look into lights for freshwater planted tanks if you're looking for a plug and play light of better composition. But I know a lot of people having great success with cheap led flood and shop lights too (5000-6500K). Aquarium lights often comes with some nice bells and whistles that can be fun though. Daylight cycle, moonlight, etc, etc.

Broseph 01-26-2020 09:26 PM

Re: LED lighting
I juuuuuust had a thread asking about recommendations for 48" spans.

Link if you're interested.

Looks like the 48"x12" strip light from Spectral Designs might be worth a look?

A 90 gallon is pretty deep though, so a handful of spot lights might be a helpful addition for specific areas of the tank. I have a 36" tall viv almost exclusively lit with 15W (5x3W) LED spotlights. You can find them on ebay for ridiculously cheap- just have to be careful to get the right color, wattage, base type, and beam angle. More links.

Beam angle is important if you're trying to penetrate to a decent depth. A while ago I found 45 lenses, and haven't seen them since. Lucky for me, the lens component of these lights is easily switched between them. So I can buy whatever angle is availabe and swap out the lenses.

I agree with Kalle- whatever you were using for your reef setup will probably be too intense for the frogs and the plants.

roxrgneiss 01-26-2020 09:26 PM

Re: LED lighting
Yeah, you don't need any serious wattage for penetration through water. Other than many bromeliads, orchids, and other epiphytes that like a perch with higher lighting, most tropical rainforest plants are going to happier with good exposure to an average LED fixture designed for planted aquariums.

I have been using Finnex Planted+ for a few years and have been happy with the results. I have a few plants that stunt or grow poorly under direct exposure to this lighting, mostly vines, but not many it's not too difficult to find them spots where they are happier. Some nice things, the 30" fixture runs on only about 30W, and the cost is under $100. I think Finnex has a "24/7" automated version with a remote control if you like options.


Armour 01-26-2020 09:45 PM

Re: LED lighting
The current lights are hanging about 12" from the top of the tank. I have a false bottom so from the top of dirt to the top edge of the aquarium is about 17". From the bottom of the lights to the dirt now is about 29" currently.
Tank is 48" wide and 18" front to back if that helps with the light selection.

roxrgneiss 01-27-2020 02:29 AM

Re: LED lighting
Again, all but the weakest lighting - such as LED strips not intended for plant growth - should work fine (but even some of those may work fine!). Most white LEDs have a somewhat full spectrum and the fixtures provide enough intensity. When you design a vivarium with over three vertical feet to penetrate, then would a more specific, intense source be needed. With bulb fixtures of the past and LEDs of today, I have always been able to grow most of the available tropical plants, as long as those that need greater lighting were positioned higher (nearer the lighting) and so on. I think in general most plants are less specific about light exposure than corals, but to compare the two, imagine that corals basically need full sun and most terrarium plants need shade. Not to say that tropicals need shade in a vivarium, but rather they require much less intense lighting, in general.

Thekla 01-27-2020 03:28 AM

Re: LED lighting
I'm using skylights, they are really great. Low wattage, but very good light for plants and my frogs don't seem to mind them. ;) And you can combine as many as you need for your tank.

stevenacres 01-27-2020 02:28 PM

Re: LED lighting
I know you've gotten a lot of suggestions so I might as well add to the pile:

Current Satellite+ Pro LED

It's great, there are multiple sizes to choose from for different tank widths, setup and timers are easy, it's got strong output for plants, and it's got a moonlight feature, which is helpful since this is in my bedroom and the dim glow adds a nice touch.

Jgravener1 01-30-2020 11:55 PM

I know this was from a few days ago but I have a very similar tank size. It is a 75 gallon tank I am using the bio dude glow and grow led lights I use 2 for my 48” long tank. Plants thrive and it illuminates the entire tank. They are about 2 years old no problems at all. You can buy sleek stands for them as well. Highly recommended give them a look

Greg1987 01-31-2020 02:40 PM

Re: LED lighting
Bio Dude LED lights for the win. I'm sure they are just the same lights as a few other places sell just re-branded for each carrier. But i'm 100% satisfied with the product. My Vivs aren't very old and I've had to prune already.

Ravage 01-31-2020 03:50 PM

Re: LED lighting
I have been using beamsworks lights for vivaria, and they work great for the price. You can get replacement ballasts (which is what tends to go out first) reasonably as well. My last light was a Koval, more LED's than a Beamswork at close to the same price point.
If you want to spend over $100 bucks for a light, you can. But for $70 you can get a great 48" LED:

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