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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

as I am putting together my shopping list for my upcoming 120G tank (4'x2'x2'), I have been looking into lights and I am not too sure what to do as there seems to be a lot of choices and lots of opinions. I have narrowed down my choices to LED and I can't have something hanging from the ceiling. The tank will be SA cichlids with plants. The plants will be the usual anubias, ferns, mosses, vals, ceratophyllums, etc..

What are your thoughts on lights? 1 light? 2 lights? Most lights I have found are either 36-48" or 48-60". Considering my tank is 48", which size should I go to? I am thinking the 48-60", but I am not sure. What model is everyone using and what model is good value for money?
I did some research on plantedtank.net last night and came out of that more confused than before as folks are pretty fanatic over there and some of the setups are in the $,$$$ range.

Thanks a lot,
B.
 

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I use almost all Fluval lights. You definitely want the 48” light size. I love the planted 3.0 if you have plants. Although for a basic setup you could get away with an aquasky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use almost all Fluval lights. You definitely want the 48” light size. I love the planted 3.0 if you have plants. Although for a basic setup you could get away with an aquasky.
Thank you @Kwik-3-Mart . How many planted 3.0 would you use for a 2' wide tank? I'd like to use only one, but my gut tells me I will probably need 2 or are 2 overkill?
 

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I’ll let you know in a week or so. I’m just setting up my 210 which is 24”x72x29. I have a pair of 36”aquaskys lined up end to end. Looks great but there’s no water yet. Soon…
 

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I’ll let you know in a week or so. I’m just setting up my 210 which is 24”x72x29. I have a pair of 36”aquaskys lined up end to end. Looks great but there’s no water yet. Soon…
I would be interested in how this works out as well.
I have the same tank and would like some new lighting. I wonder if the light will be powerful enough to reach the bottom of a 29" tank.
 

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Good comments all around. But, it's a shame our OP won't/can't do hanging lights.
Pros:
  • They're cheaper than dedicated aquarium light systems
  • For less cost, you get better/more reliable plant lights that will most certainly out-perform aquarium lights
Cons
  • You are going to have be a bit 'handy' with tools and DIY stuff to pull off a good-looking install with hanging (terrestrial plant) lights.
  • Build and install work for hanging lights, will take a lot longer to accomplish than simple pupose-built, mount-plug & go aquarium systems.
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Lastly, with my own experience informing a 2 foot wide tank. You will need two sets of LED lights to properly support a heavily planted aquarium. The six inches of greater tank width doesn't seem like much, but it affects a lot of things. Getting sufficient light distributed to all of your aquatic plants will be key in sustaining strong growth, controlling algae outbreaks and a whole host of other positive things you want to maintain for a successful, heavily planted aquarium. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good comments all around. But, it's a shame our OP won't/can't do hanging lights.
Pros:
  • They're cheaper than dedicated aquarium light systems
  • For less cost, you get better/more reliable plant lights that will most certainly out-perform aquarium lights
Cons
  • You are going to have be a bit 'handy' with tools and DIY stuff to pull off a good-looking install with hanging (terrestrial plant) lights.
  • Build and install work for hanging lights, will take a lot longer to accomplish than simple pupose-built, mount-plug & go aquarium systems.
-
Lastly, with my own experience informing a 2 foot wide tank. You will need two sets of LED lights to properly support a heavily planted aquarium. The six inches of greater tank width doesn't seem like much, but it affects a lot of things. Getting sufficient light distributed to all of your aquatic plants will be key in sustaining strong growth, controlling algae outbreaks and a whole host of other positive things you want to maintain for a successful, heavily planted aquarium. :)
LOL @Auballagh ... I hear you. Unfortunately, if I use hanging lights, I will most likely get kicked out of the house and I am pretty sure SA cichlids won't do well outside in -20C weather, so compromise it is. ;P

Thanks for confirming what I thought about needing 2 sets of LED lights. 2' Is pretty wide and it is a lot of ground to cover for a single sets of LED, as they typically don't have the best wide light distribution.
 
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