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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I need an inexpensive full spectrum light hood for my new 10 gallon betta tank. There will be several plants and the led lights which came with my starter kit do not seem bright enough.
Suggestions? Thanks.
 

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What's your price range, what plants are you planning and the make and model of your tank kit?

You can probably get a lot of recommendations for Finnex which is good, but you'll have to swap to a canopy instead of the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My price range would have to be less than $100. The tank was just one kit from Petsmart called Top fin essentials Was thinking about making a tank top because I don't want my betta jumping out. I'm addicted to plants and have what friends call a jungle, complete with animals. I am totally new to aquarium plants. I have a java fern, echinodorus,vallisneria americana, ludwigia inclinata, limnophila aromatica,
ludwigia ovalis pink. some plants haven't arrived yet. When they do I will probably take out the echinodorus and the vallisneria because I think they will be too tall for the ten gallon. I am open to all suggestions. Thanks
 

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As Veloran has stated there are many of us here that would recommend Finnex lighting, But first We need to know what type of plants you are going to have in the tank. There are some plants that require only low light, and There are some plants that require Medium light and some that require high light. Do the research on your plants and their needs before you buy and find out they need more than you can give them.
With Finnex lighting a glass canopy is required and the same with other lighting sources unless you are placing the light in the tank.

From What I have read in your post is that you want to upgrade the lighting that your hood seems to lack. If you are going to keep the hood and still use it's lighting I would suggest a MarineLand Hidden lighting strip lights They install under the lip of the tank and the lighting is an all around light for in the tank. You would be able to grow low light to medium light plants and still use the light that came with the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks, so even without a full spectrum light, non-high light plants would grow? I just assumed they needed more of a full spectrum type. I will check into the brands listed above. Thank you for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So, it looks like I may not need the extra light. All plants so far are labeled moderate lighting. I haven't had fish since the old fluorescent tubes years ago, and those were modern at the time. Compared to the brilliant light those put out my LED's are dimmer. Not dark, just dimmer. I wouldn't want to sunburn my fish :)
 

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I think all the kit lighting has made a great step in the years since incandescent and florescent lighting. and at times the tank looks dim but the lighting now is great for low light plants.

I wanted more light in the tank too so what I did was go to glass canopy's and took the LED lights from the kit hoods out and placed them in the rear center of the canopy's In most cases I have taken lights out of kit hoods and have used 2 of the LED lights across the canopy. it does give more light but not enough to burn the plants or give my betta sunburn. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks, I think this will be an experiment. If the plants aren't thriving, then I may change the lights. A dumb question, but when fertilizing plants with special fertilizer, will that harm the fish?
 

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What do you call special fertilizer? If you mean like plant tabs for aquatic plants or Flourish, no these do not hurt the fish. With low light plants these two are highly recommended. There is no need for Flourish excel which is a carbon supplement and not a fertilizer. You may also want to look at the Flourish advanced. The lines of fertilizers I have mentioned are produced by SeaChem. The flourish supplements should only be used once a week. No more than 1/2 teaspoon per 5 gal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, been looking at these. The flourish is what I had my eyes set on. Appreciate the information. I've seen some people say that you need tablets for certain plants, liquid for others, no nitrogen for some, not to mention the high tech aquariums.
 

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Flourish is what I use for my tanks. I have a lot of floating plants that do not feed rooting in substrate. for those that do I use plant tabs every 6 mo.

You will find that any basic plant (what they call beginner plants ) that is low light does not need things like carbon, iron, and CO2 so flourish and advanced are what I use in my tanks along with 8 hours of light they do well.Now with my other aquariums where I have different plants that require Medium to high lighting then it becomes a different story. Each plant has different likes and dislikes in nutrition, PH and temp. So if you are going to try these plants Do your home work and research each plant you want to add to a tank.
 

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I have been using the Niloc fertilizer (liquid and substrate) and have been very pleased. I use their shrimp-specific liquid. They also have one for low-tech tanks. From my understanding, Niloc contains the trace elements that other ferts sell separately...but double check me. That being said, I used SeaChem for years before switching and would also recommend.

Aquarium Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics

Root tabs

While red plants benefit from Iron, Ken, who owns Bamaplants, recommends Iron tabs for Swords. I had no idea until I mentioned to him my Swords weren't doing as well as I would have liked.
 

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Hi, I would recommend changing the hood to a canopy and going with a Finnex light. The Stingrays can be mounted inside a canopy but I would not recommend that. The Top Fin tanks use the Marineland canopy (double check the dimensions as I have never been able to keep this straight when I'm not home).

You want to go with a fair amount of light, the ludwigia inclinata, limnophila aromatica and ludwigia ovalis pink will appreciate it. While many plants say they will survive in low light, typically if you see red on a plant, they need med to high to really show.

I would say to get a Stingray, they should support the plants. I've never liked mine, personal preference but I keep it around for the betta, he's cool with it.
The next step up would be the Fugeray Planted +, low to med light. Never owned one.
Then if you want to get fancy, there's the Planted+ 24/7. I've always wanted to try the HLC but don't see the need to buy one since the remote control on my current one has a layer of dust on it right now. Good thing about this one is that the intensity is adjustable.

All these lights have the 660nm red LEDs on them.

My experience (and I don't have a green thumb so I'll use the RRF - red root floaters in my tank as a base).

The Stingray on the 5g can barely keep the RRF alive. It may be the 5g, plants never thrived in that tank.
The Stingray on the 10G with DIY CO2 is run in tandem with a Ecoxotic E-series. I get enough RRFs to cover the top of the 10g and the 5g since I throw them away by the handful every two weeks. I also noticed them flowering a while ago. This tank also explodes with algae when I'm not paying attention.
The Planted+ 24/7 on the 10g grows a good mass of RRF (partially being choked out by duckweed) and I've seen them flowering.

TLDR: Get a glass canopy and Finnex Stingray, your plants will thank you.
 

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When I was looking for lighting to replace fluorescent and cheap LED, I contacted AquaVibrant (Finnex). Gave them a list of the plants I had (low-medium light) and tank size.

The CS person recommended the Stingray for any tank with fewer than 12" from light to substrate. I used one on my 2.5 and 5.5s but two on my 10 and 20 long. The latter two tanks were more heavily planted and wider.
 

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I think most of us here recommend Finnex lighting. I have used it in all my tanks for years. I started out using the Planted plus in my community tanks because of the different types of plants and their light needs, it has worked well. I just switched lighting in all of my 5.5 gal. because I have changed to basic plants and need low lighting So I used the glass canopy and placed the kit hood lighting on top. these plants are doing well in the light they give off. I still have Finnex lighting for all other tanks.

With the plants you have a sting ray would do well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks. I'm going to research glass canopies tomorrow and see if I can find one for a ten gallon. That would solve the hood issue and I can purchase a finnex light.
 

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If you have a tetra or any other type of tank except aqueon you will want to use a MarineLand perfecto glass canopy. When I ordered my last canopy from amazon instead of sending me the perfecto canopy I ordered they sent an Aqueon Versa Top and it's 1/8 inch wider than the perfecto canopy. It does not sit down inside the lip of a tetra tank.

https://www.thatpetplace.com/marineland-perfecto-glass-canopy-20in-10in
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That may be a problem. I have a top fin tank from Petsmart. Would like to find one from the same company but not listed online. Have to do more research. Thanks.
 
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