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Old 05-24-2015, 06:32 PM   #1
BlueVyper
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Default Are LED's good for freshwater?

Going to be changing my hood soon cause the glass is really fogged up and wondering if I should explore different lighting while I'm at it. If LED's are nicer what would you guys recommend for a 30 wide tank?
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:54 PM   #2
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I have one tank with leds on it....but it is an african tank with only rocks and a bit of wood. I don't know what color spectrum the leds put out. But..plants like 5000-6700 Kelvin. and full spectrum.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:39 PM   #3
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LEDs for high-light or even medium-light planted tanks are still pretty expensive. But the "just see your fish" LEDs are getting reasonable. They use much less power and produce less heat than other lights and some people really like the way they look. Most of the cheap lights are not repairable, though. So consider if you want to spend the $ for something that may only last 2-3 years.

Last edited by emc7; 05-24-2015 at 10:12 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:25 PM   #4
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Well I don't have any plants, not live ones atleast, Are they better or worse for producing algae? I'd rather not increase the algae in the tank.
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:43 AM   #5
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So far I like the LED fixtures. I have them on a 5g with a single betta and the algae I get is very minimal. I scrub the sides about glass maybe once every 6 weeks. The other tank is a 75g with a silver dollar, 3 red parrots, and a 8" pleco and there is no algae except on the glass lid right at the filter over-flow. I don't have any live plants though.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:46 PM   #6
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http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...2&pcatid=23542

Was looking at this one, my old hood light has been blinking like crazy, no matter how I adjust it, it keeps doing this. So I need to figure something out soonish.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:53 PM   #7
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That is downright cheap. Very much in the ballpark of 30" fluorescent strip. If you get this one, write us a review.

Is your old one fluorescent? I'd try a new bulb and then a new starter (silver cylinder, twist to remove) before I give up on it. Should set you back around $10. If it flickers when you wiggle the cord, you can buy a lamp kit and install a new cord. Ballasts have gotten expensive enough to not be worth replacing anymore, though.

My personal preference is a "glass canopy" and a separate strip light so I don't have to throw both away if one breaks and the glass lids reduce evaporation more than most plastic hoods.

Last edited by emc7; 05-25-2015 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:17 PM   #8
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The LEDs are replaceable in that hood. Also what is this silver starter thing? Its not the cord and I don't think the bulb is going, never heard of the starter thing. The light doesn't flicker it goes off then comes on over and over. Don't think I have a replacement bulb atm to test.

Last edited by BlueVyper; 05-26-2015 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:01 AM   #9
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turn it over and take out the bulb. Look for a silver circle with a little hole in the center of it. When the light goes on you should see a flash in the hole. They are the most likely cause of blinking fluorescent lights. You can buy them at hardware stores, buy the size that matches the wattage of the bulb.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-Fluore...4388/203728383

not all light fixtures have starters, but they are cheap and easy to replace and the first thing I try.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:42 AM   #10
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The starter is a little silvery cylinder about and inch in diameter. Like EMC7 said, it has a little hole in it. This is the thing that sets off the "spark" that starts the light. It's not really a spark.. or maybe it is, actually, but at any rate it looks like a spark. It's the thing that makes the "tic-tic-ticK" noise when the light is coming on. It unscrews with a half-turn and comes right out, and you should pay attention to where the prongs are so you'll know how to put the replacement one in it's place.

That said, changing the starter is good for when it has trouble starting. If it's buzzing, flickering, and sputtering once it's already on, then your ballast is probably the real problem. Changing that is usually not worth the trouble and expense. That's most of the cost of the whole fixture!

Plants are good for reducing the amount of algae. Plants eat up the algae food, you see. A heavily planted tank will rarely have algae in it. The CATCH, though, is that the plants have to have enough light and carbon to grow and do their job. If you want to have live plants, then get lights which are strong enough for them.
On the other hand, those cheap LED hoods at Walmart are bright enough to let you see the fish without being bright enough to grow algae.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:18 AM   #11
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It's really not worth changing the ballast in the light if the fixture uses tubes under 4 foot. Those ballast are common and reasonably priced. The ones for the shorter tubes will probably cost almost as much as a new fixture. Also, the newer fluorescent fixtures use a non-replaceable ballast/starter combo.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:53 AM   #12
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The LEDs I linked had some pretty bad reviews on a few other sites so I didn't go with them. I tried a new starter, wasn't the problem. Turned out I just needed a new bulb, it was odd to me cause I never had one blink like that, they usually just stopped working / burn out. Thanks for the advice on everything though!
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