Category Archives: Lighting

The most powerful LEDs for a planted aquarium…

Don’t take my word for it though – you need to listen to an independent review from PFK regarding the Classica OTL-LEDs. And I quote:

To give you an example I compared a 62cm/24.4″ freshwater unit to a 150w metal halide with a freshwater bulb, and I had to dim the OTL down by two thirds to match the PAR output of the halide! I took the halide off a planted tank to swap it for the now dimmed down OTL, and within 15 seconds of putting it on the plants started pearling. So there is definitely something in those freshwater LEDs, in terms of spectrum, that the plants loved.

Now it’s these sort of comparisons that are worth their weight in gold. It’s all about PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) output and it absolutely whooped the metal halides. People, you need to take note of this. Metal Halides have had their day and there’s a new chief in town that is cheaper and more effective and lasts 5 times as long.

Classica OTL LED luminaire

It’s true that LEDs have had a rocks road to begin with but now things are different. I would recommend these LEDs for those of you who want complete control over their lighting, run a pressurised CO2 system and are serious about their planted aquarium. Is this you?

If you want to read the full review, click here.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these amazing lighting units, click here.

Lighting on for 12 hours?

Definitely not – unless you want some trouble in the form of algae. Once in a while I hear of hobbyists who leave their lighting on for this long and it always surprises me. I hasten to add, they’re normally the one’s with problems in their tank too.

Lighting duration should be approximately 8 hours per day with no siesta (these don’t work). So lets say 1pm to 9pm is a popular time to have the lights on for. If you are suffering from algae problems my first suggestion is to drop the lighting down to 6 hours per day. Similarly for start up tanks, keep your lighting limited to 6 hours as the plants are yet to root and therefore not much growing is happening.

12 hours of light is just excessive. Not only will it cost you more but your lights will need replacing more often and your electricity costs will be higher. Not only that but you will need to clean your tank more often, particularly the glass.

How long do you leave your lighting on for?

Here’s a thought on electricity consumption

It got me thinking just the other day about electricity consumption with a planted aquarium. Now we use a lot of lights with our plants as you might expect. We also use LED lights because of their lower electric consumption but have some T5s which use a fair bit more as you might guess. Quite how much I don’t know but it got me thinking about consumption and when hobbyists have their lights on and for how long.

Our electric meter has day and night time setting and night time is almost half the price of the day time. I then quite literally had a light bulb moment…

wouldn’t it be better to use electricity at night when the price is cheaper than during the day?

Although not always practical, we have started running some of our lights at night (between 11pm – 7am), thereby cutting our costs.

Do you think this is a good idea for you at home and your planted tank?

Lets say you arrive home at 6pm, so you could have lights come on then, and go off at 2am in the morning, this way you too could be using cheaper electric (assuming you have the same set up as us), and run your lighting for the normal 8 hours a day.

What do you think? I would live to hear your thoughts.

p.s. if you want to check out our excellent LED lighting click here.

LED lighting for planted aquariums