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Question of the Day What type of lighting do you have and why?

Art

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    chihiros-aquarium-lights.jpg
    Copyright: Viktor Lantos and Green Aqua

    With so many options out there today, what type of light are you using and why?​


    My preferred at the moment is a Twinstar full-spectrum LED with expandable feet. Worked wonderful and it was set it and forget it.

    Best,

    Art
     
    Chihiros WRGB 2 Pro. I chose this light because Chihiros was highly recommended by high tech users when I decided to upgrade my lights. I chose the pro version due to the height of my tank (24"). It has not dissapointed me so far.
     
    Have a feeling I will be the odd ball on this thread.
    I am running Eco Tech Radian Freshwater XR-15 lights, 4th generation.
    2 lights over the 75g and 1 light over the 40g. All 3 lights have a DIY diffuser on them to help with the spread of the light.
    When I moved up to the stupid hi tech level (or further down the rabbit hole), I went with these lights based on color, programmability, and esthetics.

    Was not a fan of the color of the Kessil lights or their mounting system.
    Most of the lights below were either just coming to the market or were not here yet.
    • ADA solar RGB (by Aqua Design Amano)
    • Twinstar S Series
    • WRGB2 and Vivid 2 by Chihiros
    • Week Aqua P Series, a430 series
    • Life Aqua master pro (by Maxlite in Hong Kong)
    • UNS titan
    • ONF Flat one (slightly more rounded spectrum)
    As for fluorescent lighting - I really just did not want a large fixture right above the tanks.
     
    Don't forget about good old T5HO. I still use it and so do more than you would think. Especially those with Dutch type tanks.

    That being said LED has got much better over the last several years. With the addition of much more WRBG capabilities many now have very good color renditions.

    Still T5HO does flat out grow plants well.

    I look at it this way. I am ahead of the curve. Sometime in the future T5HO will be like tube amps and vinyl.......all the cool kids will want them! ;)
    20210122_161120.jpg
     
    Last edited:
    Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of buying these light brand names, the government had put tax fees that I believe reached 40 or 50% of the price, plus 1 USD equals now to 25 x my currency, very sad news for the hobbyists in my country :(

    So in general we try to think out of the box, and other than relying on some very cheap imported brands we do a lot of things as a DIY, anyway I am planning a new tank currently, and the light will be mainly a DIY project as follows:
    • 1 LED strip - Red
    • 1 LED strip - blue
    • 1 LED strip - green
    • 2 LED strips - white
    • And it will have its own remote control that will give me control to configure it using 8 different intensity levels
    • I will try to test the PAR at the bottom of the tank and accordingly I can decrease the light intensity and if it was not enough (I doubt) then there is alway the option of adding more LED strips
    Will add the details plus pictures of this DIY project once it is ready
     
    Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of buying these light brand names, the government had put tax fees that I believe reached 40 or 50% of the price, plus 1 USD equals now to 25 x my currency, very sad news for the hobbyists in my country :(

    So in general we try to think out of the box, and other than relying on some very cheap imported brands we do a lot of things as a DIY, anyway I am planning a new tank currently, and the light will be mainly a DIY project as follows:
    • 1 LED strip - Red
    • 1 LED strip - blue
    • 1 LED strip - green
    • 2 LED strips - white
    • And it will have its own remote control that will give me control to configure it using 8 different intensity levels
    • I will try to test the PAR at the bottom of the tank and accordingly I can decrease the light intensity and if it was not enough (I doubt) then there is alway the option of adding more LED strips
    Will add the details plus pictures of this DIY project once it is ready
    "This group of LEDs use purely RGB diodes to create 'white light'. This also means that they have higher ratio of Red/blue light compared to other LED fixtures while maintaining overall white balance through the use of green diodes. This gives these fixtures very high visual color saturation and contrast for red plants and blue fish. The strong red spectrum is also great for plant pigmentation and growth forms." From 2hr Aquarist

    Having recently read the above thread, and more specifically the paragraph above....
    I am wondering if you should switch to
    • 2 LED strip - Red
    • 2 LED strip - blue
    • 1 LED strip - green
    Just a thought. Or, if the strips are not too much $ - maybe have the option to switch the strip quantities around?
    Kinda like Gregg and others would do with their T5 tubes.
     
    Chihiros WRGB 2 Pro. I chose this light because Chihiros was highly recommended by high tech users when I decided to upgrade my lights. I chose the pro version due to the height of my tank (24"). It has not dissapointed me so far.
    I keep hearing more and more about this brand. I was suspicious at first but they seem to be winning over a lot of people.
     
    Have a feeling I will be the odd ball on this thread.
    I am running Eco Tech Radian Freshwater XR-15 lights, 4th generation.
    2 lights over the 75g and 1 light over the 40g. All 3 lights have a DIY diffuser on them to help with the spread of the light.
    When I moved up to the stupid hi tech level (or further down the rabbit hole), I went with these lights based on color, programmability, and esthetics.

    Was not a fan of the color of the Kessil lights or their mounting system.
    Most of the lights below were either just coming to the market or were not here yet.
    • ADA solar RGB (by Aqua Design Amano)
    • Twinstar S Series
    • WRGB2 and Vivid 2 by Chihiros
    • Week Aqua P Series, a430 series
    • Life Aqua master pro (by Maxlite in Hong Kong)
    • UNS titan
    • ONF Flat one (slightly more rounded spectrum)
    As for fluorescent lighting - I really just did not want a large fixture right above the tanks.
    Not odd ball at all! I used to have a Radion version one back in the day. They have improved tremendously since then. I'm not sure why they haven't caught on in the freshwater hobby.
     
    Don't forget about good old T5HO. I still use it and so do more than you would think. Especially those with Dutch type tanks.

    That being said LED has got much better over the last several years. With the addition of much more WRBG capabilities many now have very good color renditions.

    Still T5HO does flat out grow plants well.

    I look at it this way. I am ahead of the curve. Sometime in the future T5HO will be like tube amps and vinyl.......all the cool kids will want them! ;)
    View attachment 130
    Beautiful and effective. It does what light should do, provide the right spectrum, provide a blanket of light, and be easy to use. It works.

    My concern with these, Gregg, is that they are on the way out as technology. Over time, it will be harder and harder to find the T5 bulbs.
     
    Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of buying these light brand names, the government had put tax fees that I believe reached 40 or 50% of the price, plus 1 USD equals now to 25 x my currency, very sad news for the hobbyists in my country :(

    So in general we try to think out of the box, and other than relying on some very cheap imported brands we do a lot of things as a DIY, anyway I am planning a new tank currently, and the light will be mainly a DIY project as follows:
    • 1 LED strip - Red
    • 1 LED strip - blue
    • 1 LED strip - green
    • 2 LED strips - white
    • And it will have its own remote control that will give me control to configure it using 8 different intensity levels
    • I will try to test the PAR at the bottom of the tank and accordingly I can decrease the light intensity and if it was not enough (I doubt) then there is alway the option of adding more LED strips
    Will add the details plus pictures of this DIY project once it is ready
    This is why we have a DIY category!
     
    Beautiful and effective. It does what light should do, provide the right spectrum, provide a blanket of light, and be easy to use. It works.

    My concern with these, Gregg, is that they are on the way out as technology. Over time, it will be harder and harder to find the T5 bulbs.
    That is mostly true. Around me the hydroponics shops still carry a good selection of T5HO, and I am hoarding some particularly hard to find bulbs too!

    The good thing is that LED has come a long way in the past few years, and I have no doubt at some point it will make sense for me. But I will say I am amazed at how many of my favorite tanks in the world still use T5HO.
     
    Last edited:
    Well lets see. I'm slower to the times so I have a mix of everything. On the 12 Long tank I have a MicMol Aqua Air 900 36 Inch LED. On the 93g Cube I have 2x Heavily modified SBReef Lights 16". On the UNS 60U tank is one Nilocg Aquatics Prizm 16". I also have 4x T5HO units that I purchased from AHSupply back in the day. Still running strong and will grow anything out there. There are so many good options out now but you have to import them from overseas and that cost outweighs the cost of the light itself.
     
    Another T5 user here. I love em. I actually used to run a couple of Radion Xr15s on this tank before switching. Very cool lights for the programmability, but I prefer the look of the T5s. That was back in 2015 though when I had the Radions. I know the LEDs have come a long way and just keep getting better.

    20221102_095029.jpg
     
    T5 here also, but I do use LED's on lower tech tanks - nothing fancy, just budget RGB but they do look fairly nice.

    MFbuReQ.jpg


    JC&P Full Spectrum LED:

    ev3K8a7.jpg
     
    The company doesn't sell FW lighting anymore but I still use my BML Dutch II leds. I have 2x 36" on my 90p and 2x 60" sitting and waiting for me to set my 125g tank up again. These lights are just about perfect and they have been running steady for over 7yrs. T5ho would probably be my go to if I had to replace.
     

    Attachments

    • 20221113_170616.jpg
      20221113_170616.jpg
      1.3 MB · Views: 9
    Chihiros WRGB 2 Pro. I chose this light because Chihiros was highly recommended by high tech users when I decided to upgrade my lights. I chose the pro version due to the height of my tank (24"). It has not dissapointed me so far.
    I bought the pro version as well because of my 24" depth as well. Still gathering everything for a 1 50 gal build. Good to know you're is working well for you. Can you share your settings? Might give me a good starting point. Thanks.
     
    I bought the pro version as well because of my 24" depth as well. Still gathering everything for a 1 50 gal build. Good to know you're is working well for you. Can you share your settings? Might give me a good starting point. Thanks.
    Sure. I actually have 2 of the 90cm to cover my 6ft long tank. Each is set on auto mode from 8am to 6pm with a 150 min dusk and dawn. 110R 55G 105B. No whites.
     
    The company doesn't sell FW lighting anymore but I still use my BML Dutch II leds. I have 2x 36" on my 90p and 2x 60" sitting and waiting for me to set my 125g tank up again. These lights are just about perfect and they have been running steady for over 7yrs. T5ho would probably be my go to if I had to replace.
    I used to have these too. I also did a ScapeFu Podcast on Lighting with Cara Wade that was very interesting. They were fantastic lights but I think the company was too early into the freshwater planted side and didn't see the return they wanted. It's a shame.
     
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