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Old 01-23-2013, 02:26 AM   #1 
Sparrowhawk
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LED Lighting

So, I know flourescent 6500K light bulbs are preferred, but I'm wondering if strong LED clip-on lamps are alright for planted tanks long-term. The ones I've got for my tanks have 60 very bright LED bulbs, though only about 70% of them are bright, the rest are blue, and I don't turn the blue ones on too often. (Should I be?)

I have only low-light plants (java fern, a few anubias varieties and a couple of crypt. wendtii, a little floating water sprite and soon to be some duckweed) and have so far seen no die-off whatsoever, however I have only slow growth. I did get a bit of that "crypt melt" thing people talk about with one of my plants, however it is not browning, or giving any other indication that it's not doing well, now that it's gone through an adjustment period.

Is this lighting setup going to be detrimental long-term, or will they be okay if I do not introduce any plants with higher lighting requirements? Is not seeing a lot of active growth an indication that my plants are suffering, or only that they're only getting enough light to survive, but not to explode with growth?

I'm cringing a little at the prospect of finding some clip-on lamps that can fit the bulbs more suited to plants, that will fit in the space I have for my tanks, so I hope that this LED setup will suffice, but thought I'd check because I don't really want to kill my plants after all the money I've spent on my tanks, hehe.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:51 AM   #2 
Rin9
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I've not had any luck with LEDs, but then the most expensive lighting I bought was only a couple hundred and from what I'ver heard...the really good lights are more than that. I'm sure it would probably be okay for low light plants, but to me I would feel so limited. Hopefully someone that has kept their LEDs will reply...
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #3 
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I had a lot of success with LED lighting. I got an LED desk lamp from Target, and just to give you an idea of the brightness, it's 800 lumens. There's no K rating, but it's very white light. Once I started using that (previously I was using a 2700K CFL because I couldn't find one with a higher K rating), my plants started doing much better. My fanwort even started growing roots, which it had never done before. That was a 5 gallon tank. I have a 10 gallon now and I think I have to get a second lamp because it only lights the center of the tank well because the head on the lamp is fairly small.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #4 
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Thanks for the responses! Sounds basically like "mileage may vary" with one success and one not-so-successful story... Ah well, guess I'll just hope for the best! Hehe.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #5 
strangelove
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I had this same question a few months ago. I have the Aqueon Evolve 8 which comes with a LED light. I first put some wisteria and bacopa in there. Both started out well, but didn't last too long. They browned and "melted". I thought I wouldn't be able to grow any plants. But I looked for some low light plants a second time around, and I've been having success! I have java fern, hygrophila corymbosa and some new bacopa. All are growing well, especially the corymbosa. The other two are definitely slower growing, but I am seeing progress. Oh, I also bought a medium light plant, some micro sword. It's not really growing, but it is surviving, and that is all I really wanted! I think you can have luck if you buy plants that are for lower light situations. I also use Flourish when I do my water changes, not sure how much it helps but I figure it can't hurt! Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:38 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strangelove View Post
I had this same question a few months ago. I have the Aqueon Evolve 8 which comes with a LED light. I first put some wisteria and bacopa in there. Both started out well, but didn't last too long. They browned and "melted". I thought I wouldn't be able to grow any plants. But I looked for some low light plants a second time around, and I've been having success! I have java fern, hygrophila corymbosa and some new bacopa. All are growing well, especially the corymbosa. The other two are definitely slower growing, but I am seeing progress. Oh, I also bought a medium light plant, some micro sword. It's not really growing, but it is surviving, and that is all I really wanted! I think you can have luck if you buy plants that are for lower light situations. I also use Flourish when I do my water changes, not sure how much it helps but I figure it can't hurt! Good luck!
Ahh, yes I use Flourish when doing water changes too, I think it helps having seen how the plants were doing before and after using that product. All of the plants I have and plan to have are low-light, but it'd be nice to have the option there if the lighting is such an inexpensive investment.


I'm always so jealous of people who have that tank! It's beautiful... A bit too big for the spaces I have for my tanks though, hehe.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:40 PM   #7 
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my Fluval came with a 7500 White and blue LED. I had some crypt in it planted 2 weeks ago. The leaves that did not melt are slowly growing (or hanging in there healthy) are turning reddish, which I think is a sign of strong light.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #8 
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I've got a LED light strip over my 10, and it's sufficient for stems like cabomba, I have two healthy swords and a giant crypt, and being choked by floaters.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInCA%2FNo

Of course you get what you pay for. I suspect the swords would do better if not for being in too small a tank.
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