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One thing you never want to do...I learned the hard way...is think you can use a longer single light over two shorter ones. What I mean is I had two 5.5 sitting side-by-side. To save plug space, and without researching, I bought a 36" light to span both of them. Bad move...algae went crazy and the Anubias were over-lit (if that's the word).

I know you aren't planning on doing such but wanted to throw that out for anyone reading and considering.

PS: One of my 20 long tanks in higher on the same stand than the other. And you are correct: The one at the higher level *does* look much brighter. I think because I can actually see the LEDs.
 

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My stingray arrived nearly a week ago. It is one of the clip on 12 inches.
I plugged it in and turned it on and was surprised how dim seemed after the Aqua One light that I had been using.

So I decided to do a small experiment.

I have put the Stingray on one side of the tank, and the Aqua One on the other.
It has been less than a week, and the plants are already doing better on the Stingray side. The Hornwort is growing twice as fast, and the S. repens new leaves are sprouting in a more compact way. The old Aqua One light is still working, still bright, and the plants are OK, just not quite as OK, if you know what I mean.

Both lights are about 2.5 inches above the water, and shining through a glass lid with condensation on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
RussellTheShihTzu said:
One thing you never want to do...I learned the hard way...is think you can use a longer single light over two shorter ones. What I mean is I had two 5.5 sitting side-by-side. To save plug space, and without researching, I bought a 36" light to span both of them. Bad move...algae went crazy and the Anubias were over-lit (if that's the word).

I know you aren't planning on doing such but wanted to throw that out for anyone reading and considering.

PS: One of my 20 long tanks in higher on the same stand than the other. And you are correct: The one at the higher level *does* look much brighter. I think because I can actually see the LEDs.
Oh no, I plan to get a 12-16" one. I actually found one where I can switch the Ks from 4-6000K so I might get that one. My glass top arrived and I love it already! It really is bright, therr's a lot of LEDs on the underside even when laying it directly on the lid, it shoots out the sides of the tank quite far.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
bluesamphire said:
My stingray arrived nearly a week ago. It is one of the clip on 12 inches.
I plugged it in and turned it on and was surprised how dim seemed after the Aqua One light that I had been using.

So I decided to do a small experiment.

I have put the Stingray on one side of the tank, and the Aqua One on the other.
It has been less than a week, and the plants are already doing better on the Stingray side. The Hornwort is growing twice as fast, and the S. repens new leaves are sprouting in a more compact way. The old Aqua One light is still working, still bright, and the plants are OK, just not quite as OK, if you know what I mean.

Both lights are about 2.5 inches above the water, and shining through a glass lid with condensation on it.
I see, that's good to know! I might keep mine around just in case or maybe I'll try the updated Nicrew one. Have you had experience with those?
 

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I see, that's good to know! I might keep mine around just in case or maybe I'll try the updated Nicrew one. Have you had experience with those?
Which Nicrew do you have? I really like the lights, they can even grow some low to moderate light corals
Word of warning, Crypts and Hygrophila grow like mad under these
 

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I had a whole writeup about my tank setups, but long story short ... you can't really tell how good a light is by looking at it.

I have the Stingray and Ecoxotic (dialed down) look the same but support plant life so differently, and the RRFs in the neglected Tupperware container by the glass doors with no direct sunlight get a nice red with red roots.

Also for timing, you can get the simple light timers or if you search around for a deal, you can get a WiFi enabled smart switch for about the same price. I bought my light timers for about $6 when the price dropped, and I bought a 4 pack of the WiFi timers for $24 when they were on sale on Amazon. With the WiFi plug, you can set multiple on/off times per day (plus control the plug from your phone). I was reading on TPT forums that breaking up your light period helps with plant growth and algae, but I haven't experimented with it.
 

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I see, that's good to know! I might keep mine around just in case or maybe I'll try the updated Nicrew one. Have you had experience with those?
Sorry, no experience of Nicrew. I've seen the name, but not bought (yet) ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Which Nicrew do you have? I really like the lights, they can even grow some low to moderate light corals
Word of warning, Crypts and Hygrophila grow like mad under these
I don't currently use one so I'm wondering if it'd be dimmer than the Finnex (it's just too bright even set right on the glass top it shoots lights all over the room).
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Veloran said:
I had a whole writeup about my tank setups, but long story short ... you can't really tell how good a light is by looking at it.

I have the Stingray and Ecoxotic (dialed down) look the same but support plant life so differently, and the RRFs in the neglected Tupperware container by the glass doors with no direct sunlight get a nice red with red roots.

Also for timing, you can get the simple light timers or if you search around for a deal, you can get a WiFi enabled smart switch for about the same price. I bought my light timers for about $6 when the price dropped, and I bought a 4 pack of the WiFi timers for $24 when they were on sale on Amazon. With the WiFi plug, you can set multiple on/off times per day (plus control the plug from your phone). I was reading on TPT forums that breaking up your light period helps with plant growth and algae, but I haven't experimented with it.
Thank you! I did buy a timer and have been using it. I have two light periods: ON 9-11 am, OFF, then ON 7-10 pm, then OFF for the night. I love the timer! It is a lifesaver 🙂
 

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I’ve been using this Marineland mini light for tanks since I set this one up back in December. It’s a 6g, all plants are 1 2 grow and they do amazing! I’ve never had an algae problem, the tank is under a window, I use a timer, yet if i’m Home I turn the light on for however long I want, sometimes 12 or more hours. Lol. I don’t use any Co2 or ferts. I call it my miracle tank, one betta and loads of red cherry shrimp. :) This light just seems perfect for this tank.

I do apologize for the tank at this moment. Do to some serious life issues I haven’t trimmed it in a while. That’s going to change tomorrow. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Missytoe said:
I’ve been using this Marineland mini light for tanks since I set this one up back in December. It’s a 6g, all plants are 1 2 grow and they do amazing! I’ve never had an algae problem, the tank is under a window, I use a timer, yet if i’m Home I turn the light on for however long I want, sometimes 12 or more hours. Lol. I don’t use any Co2 or ferts. I call it my miracle tank, one betta and loads of red cherry shrimp. 🙂 This light just seems perfect for this tank.

I do apologize for the tank at this moment. Do to some serious life issues I haven’t trimmed it in a while. That’s going to change tomorrow. Lol.
Your tank is gorgeous! Wow! I love all the green 🙂 I wish I could use Frogbit but Red tries to eat the roots every day 😞 I had to take it out.
 

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wow I love all those plants! I'm just starting on my setup and haven't gone plant shopping yet. I didn't think this TopFin 5.5 starter kit could handle much. it's quite frustrating all the stores carry such hard plastic 😡 they should realize if it's rough on human hands imagine delicate fins! I do like those squishy rubber mushrooms tho lol any recommendations for low light,easy to grow live plants?
 

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Discussion Starter #34
tess.the.mess said:
wow I love all those plants! I'm just starting on my setup and haven't gone plant shopping yet. I didn't think this TopFin 5.5 starter kit could handle much. it's quite frustrating all the stores carry such hard plastic 😡 they should realize if it's rough on human hands imagine delicate fins! I do like those squishy rubber mushrooms tho lol any recommendations for low light,easy to grow live plants?
Thank you! And yes those plastic plants are just fin tearing danger! The 5.5 gal actually handles quite a bit. I love it and haven't even covered it heavily yet so I'll take the time this weekend to do so.

The plants I have in my tank are low light and low tech: Anubias and assorted Java Fern. The ones on the rock are Crested Java Fern and the ones in the jar and the back are just normal Java Fern. I have 1 Anubias attached to a rock in the back corner and 1 free floating on the left front near the moss hammock. I just bought another one yesterday and have been free floating that too for now.

Those two plants should be attached (tied or glued) to rocks and/or driftwood. Their rhizomes can't be buried or they'll rot. They're much easier to move around when attached to decor anyway.

The front carpet plants are S. Repens. They root well in gravel and have been sprouting. They grow tall with low light (reaching for that light) and grow low with high light (more carpet like). Mine has been growing a bit taller but shooting off new leaves too. They are quite hardy so I suggest giving them a try too! Some others are Crypts, Frogbit (floaters), Java Moss, Marimo Moss (got 3 in the tank, and you can toss them anywhere), and many more!

Share a pic of your tank when you're all situated 🙂
 

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will do! I did some research on the Marimo moss balls and saw some negative reviews. did u buy in store or online? some people complained of fish going lethargic or dying after few days. others had the balls disintegrate all over their plants and filter. wondering if you had any issues? I'll probably pick a few up next weekend to start quarantining them just to be overly safe.
 
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