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light for low-tech tank


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I have a very heavily-planted low-tech tank. It's been doing OK, and most of my plants are thriving. However, I'm just not getting enough light. Here's my setup: 20 gallon long with versatop glass lid, and a 24" Current USA Satellite LED Plus light. The light is positioned right above the back 1/2 of the glass. It's just not bright enough.

 

Another issue is the position of the light over the glass top. The lid has a plastic hinge down the middle, so the light has to be positioned either over the back half of the tank or the front half. It can't sit right in the middle, so the back of my tank looks way brighter than the front. Looks very strange, and really limits what I can plant up front.

 

Can any of you planted tank people share some suggestions for me?

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I have a very heavily-planted low-tech tank. It's been doing OK, and most of my plants are thriving. However, I'm just not getting enough light. Here's my setup: 20 gallon long with versatop glass lid, and a 24" Current USA Satellite LED Plus light. The light is positioned right above the back 1/2 of the glass. It's just not bright enough.

 

Another issue is the position of the light over the glass top. The lid has a plastic hinge down the middle, so the light has to be positioned either over the back half of the tank or the front half. It can't sit right in the middle, so the back of my tank looks way brighter than the front. Looks very strange, and really limits what I can plant up front.

 

Can any of you planted tank people share some suggestions for me?

I remove the hinge.

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Are you 100% sure you don't have enough light?  What are your plants doing or not doing that you want to fix/avoid?

 

It's odd to me that the Current LED isn't enough light for the depth of a 20G long.......your light couldn't be more than a foot from the sub.  I have cheaper lighting (and similar depth or deeper tanks) and I have to cut my lighting down with window screening.  I would think that light on that tank would be overkill unless you brought the intensity down.

 

The black strip on the glass versa tops should be offset from the middle enough that the spread from the light still gets most plants........that said you did say you are very heavily planted and you could have shaded corners and edges.  Can you move your light to favor which side (front to back) you have the most heavily planted, or is it pretty even?

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Are you 100% sure you don't have enough light?  What are your plants doing or not doing that you want to fix/avoid?

 

It's odd to me that the Current LED isn't enough light for the depth of a 20G long.......your light couldn't be more than a foot from the sub.  I have cheaper lighting (and similar depth or deeper tanks) and I have to cut my lighting down with window screening.  I would think that light on that tank would be overkill unless you brought the intensity down.

 

The black strip on the glass versa tops should be offset from the middle enough that the spread from the light still gets most plants........that said you did say you are very heavily planted and you could have shaded corners and edges.  Can you move your light to favor which side (front to back) you have the most heavily planted, or is it pretty even?

 

Yes, it's quite shadowy and dark in there. Perhaps the glass lid is also filtering out a lot of light.

This light was a big splurge for me, so I am super disappointed in how little light I'm getting from it.

 

It's very hard to see the inhabitants because it's so dim in there. It looks sort of backlit, with so little light in front. I'd like to see all my critters without having to stick my face up against the glass or whip out my flashlight :(

 

The plants in the back (directly under the light) are doing OK but not great (except my giant hygro, which is currently trying to take over the tank). I have some corkscrew vals that have been there for about 9 months that are really sad and not growing. And a very very lackluster Amazon sword. The only algae I get is on a couple of my anubias leaves that are on a piece of wood halfway up the middle of the tank.

 

Anubiases are doing great all over the tank. I have a golden creeping jenny right in the middle that is thriving too, but any cuttings I try to put elsewhere just die.

 

Anything I put up front withers away and dies. I have tried mini pellia, creeping jenny, dwarf sword, bacopa. Nothing survives there.

 

Here's a pic just to give you an idea. It's not exactly right with the color/brightness, but I think you can sort of see what I mean...

post-1734-0-74715900-1455574955_thumb.jp

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That FTS is surprising........I would almost think you have a faulty light.

 

I see that the Satellite Plus is dimmable.........I hate to ask you this, but do you have the light set to its brightest intensity in those photos?

 

Look at my low-end Finnex Stingray in the photos from my journal http://www.shrimpspot.com/index.php?/topic/3440-shrimple-shrimping/?hl=%2Bshrimple+%2BshrimpingI realize the plants are barely planted, but the light seems SO much brighter. 

 

Seeing your photo, I also would be concerned about light intensity, but it also raises a lot of questions about Current Satellite Plus for me as well.

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That FTS is surprising........I would almost think you have a faulty light.

 

I see that the Satellite Plus is dimmable.........I hate to ask you this, but do you have the light set to its brightest intensity in those photos?

 

Look at my low-end Finnex Stingray in the photos from my journal http://www.shrimpspot.com/index.php?/topic/3440-shrimple-shrimping/?hl=%2Bshrimple+%2BshrimpingI realize the plants are barely planted, but the light seems SO much brighter. 

 

Seeing your photo, I also would be concerned about light intensity, but it also raises a lot of questions about Current Satellite Plus for me as well.

 

Hmm. Maybe I should reach out to the company.

 

And WOW your light looks so much brighter. What the heck is going on with mine?!

 

Yes, it is on the highest setting of white light. Tomorrow I am going to wipe down the glass top with some vinegar and trim that hygro, then we'll see what it looks like.

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I have cheap finnex sting rays on 3 tanks.

Here is a comparison of 55 and 10 gal (sorry about huge picture). So your lights by comparison look kind of dim.

 

EDIT: OK I didn't find a button to put picture in so I tried drag and drop figuring it would not work. to my surprise the pic showed up in the box. after hitting post is it not there so umm. I guess my picture kung fu is weak.

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Johny, if you click on the "More Reply Options" button, it will let you attach photos.

I have been googling pics of people with the same light, and mine looks way dimmer than all the others. So strange.

 

UPDATE: I emailed the company, and they want me to send it back for repair/replacement, but the whole thing may take weeks from the time I take it off my tank. So now it looks like I'm going to have to buy another light anyway. This really stinks.

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Found a pic of the 15.

 

What I'm noticing on my fluvals is that the LEDs dim with age (especially on cheaper lights) the one on the left has ~2 months run time and the one on the right has ~3 months run time. You will have to pardon girl fish, she refused to hold still for any of the pics, so that is the best I could get.

 

I think my Finnex are dimming the same way, the 10 gal is bright but no longer like starting straight into the sun.

post-3374-0-51283800-1455732874_thumb.jp

post-3374-0-57914600-1455733302_thumb.jp

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