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Thread: Grow Light For A Planted Aquarium??

  1. #1
    DIYFK member RayG1961's Avatar


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    Grow Light For A Planted Aquarium??

    Hi all,
    I'm brand new to this forum, but have been fishkeeping for a while. I want to setup a planted 20G tank for freshwater shrimp. Recently I purchased an LED grow light to use for starting my spring plantings. It got me to wondering, has anyone used something like this for lighting a planted aquarium? Thanks.

    Ray

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    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Hello and welcome to DIYF

    i have used three two foot grow light over my tank for low light plants. it worked (well it kept them alive anyway)
    Now if you are handy you can build a good LED grow light pretty cheap. "Once again thank you Meep"

    My LED build

  3. #3
    DIYFK member RayG1961's Avatar


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    Thanks for the response. I've been looking at several options and the grow lights seemed like an interesting option. Glad to know they worked for you.

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

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    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    The problem with most commercial LED grow lights until you spend A LOT of money on them is that they don't really have enough penetration or light overall to be good aquarium grow lights at any depth... That isn't saying they won't work, they will but they are generally not the best option... Also the colors of many commercial grow lights are great for growing plants but not real appealing to the eyes for viewing...

    Now if you spend the money on expensive commercial grow lights you can get decent results, but for many hobbyist the cost is prohibitive... As HillbillyHomer suggested, a better option is to build your own, it's cheaper and fairly easy to do nowadays, and this offers you the ability to tailor the color your wants as well as modifiy it as needed... For example if you make your own, and notice the plants need more light, you can simply add more LEDs and expand upon it...

    I love LEDs they are the future, but right now they come with an upfront cost that can be hard to swallow...

    As I have said many times on this forum I do a lot of indoor gardening and growing, I even expanded my indoor garden this year... Generally I just do a lot of wild flowers and what not for the kids to enjoy all winter long... They literally get excited every day hoping a new flower blooms... This year I expanded into several spices and other garden plants...

    All in all even though I love LEDs, I don't use them in the house due to cost... I would rather spend the money over several months worth of electric bills then up front and recoup it over several years... That said I used to use all 4 foot shop lights for my grow lights... I basically screwed them to a board and made a 'wall' of shop lights, for example 8 fixtures screwed together makes a real nice 4 foot by 4 foot light panel, that is a lot of evenly distributed light for about $80 worth of shop lights and $60 worth of bulbs... Also this year I picked up seven 250W metal-halide 'Low Bay' lights for $100 on Craigslist (they can sometimes be found for less and even free) I have been using these for lighting, again because of cost... Yeah they consume 250W of energy a pop, but they produce a lot of light and since I do the indoor gardening in the winter anyway the excess heat they give off as waste is not really waste... Since I'm not growing any of that stinky weed that many grow indoors Click here to enlarge I literally vent the heat from the grow room into a vent in my TV room, it's the warmest room in the house all winter and has a nice 'outdoor fresh' like smell to it...

    Anyway LED is an option but you have to consider the cost vs return, $10 shop lights and some 6500K cool white tubes are cheap at Walmart and Menards...

  5. #5
    DIYFK member RayG1961's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Meep Click here to enlarge
    The problem with most commercial LED grow lights until you spend A LOT of money on them is that they don't really have enough penetration or light overall to be good aquarium grow lights at any depth... That isn't saying they won't work, they will but they are generally not the best option... Also the colors of many commercial grow lights are great for growing plants but not real appealing to the eyes for viewing...

    Now if you spend the money on expensive commercial grow lights you can get decent results, but for many hobbyist the cost is prohibitive... As HillbillyHomer suggested, a better option is to build your own, it's cheaper and fairly easy to do nowadays, and this offers you the ability to tailor the color your wants as well as modifiy it as needed... For example if you make your own, and notice the plants need more light, you can simply add more LEDs and expand upon it...

    I love LEDs they are the future, but right now they come with an upfront cost that can be hard to swallow...

    As I have said many times on this forum I do a lot of indoor gardening and growing, I even expanded my indoor garden this year... Generally I just do a lot of wild flowers and what not for the kids to enjoy all winter long... They literally get excited every day hoping a new flower blooms... This year I expanded into several spices and other garden plants...

    All in all even though I love LEDs, I don't use them in the house due to cost... I would rather spend the money over several months worth of electric bills then up front and recoup it over several years... That said I used to use all 4 foot shop lights for my grow lights... I basically screwed them to a board and made a 'wall' of shop lights, for example 8 fixtures screwed together makes a real nice 4 foot by 4 foot light panel, that is a lot of evenly distributed light for about $80 worth of shop lights and $60 worth of bulbs... Also this year I picked up seven 250W metal-halide 'Low Bay' lights for $100 on Craigslist (they can sometimes be found for less and even free) I have been using these for lighting, again because of cost... Yeah they consume 250W of energy a pop, but they produce a lot of light and since I do the indoor gardening in the winter anyway the excess heat they give off as waste is not really waste... Since I'm not growing any of that stinky weed that many grow indoors Click here to enlarge I literally vent the heat from the grow room into a vent in my TV room, it's the warmest room in the house all winter and has a nice 'outdoor fresh' like smell to it...

    Anyway LED is an option but you have to consider the cost vs return, $10 shop lights and some 6500K cool white tubes are cheap at Walmart and Menards...
    Meep, Thank you for taking the time to go into such depth. I was thinking the same re: color. The grow light I have is mostly red. I'm looking at building one for my tank using 1W Crees. Mostly white, followed by some reds in the 660nm spectrum and a few in the royal blue 420nm spectrum.

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

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