Need suggestions for lights on a 300 gallon planted tank.

Jeepin59

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I have converted my 300 gallon saltwater to freshwater. I am wanting to grow plants. My lighting from the saltwater time is failing and need to replace. This is where I could use some help. The tank is 30" deep. Will be starting with plants that are easy to grow. I would like lights that can work with most types of plants. Thank you all for the help.
 
Hello. Your light will depend on the type of plants you want. If you want the less demanding plants, then you could certainly use less expensive lighting. I use four bulb shop lighting from the local hardware store and simply hang the light directly above the tank. 6500K, 32 watt bulbs are fine for plants like Anubius, Java Fern, Anacharis, Penny Wort, Banana plants Java Moss, Horn Wort, Water Lettuce and Water Sprite. There are quite a few others, but these are some that require lower, less expensive lighting.

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For something that deep you need penetration and depending on what your budget is I would recommend the Kessil A160WE or A360X. I've had my fair share of lights in the past and there's a lot of good quality lights out there for sure but on the quality end of the spectrum Kessils are hard to beat and the natural shimmer is absolutely stunning. My only gripe is the programming, not a fan but it's usable if you go with the digital controller. 160s and 360s can be controlled manually too which I would prefer. im running 2 AP9Xs on my 38" deep tank and they have to be digitally controlled by either their device or an app on your phone. It's wonky at best but it's serviceable. Once you have it dialed in though the lights are amazing and I was able to grow moss in my substrate at 38" deep without producing wild algae blooms as the penetration is formidable.
 
Most here probably will absolutely not agree with this but that is a LARGE tank. If I were able to have a tank that size I would actually consider going old school and think about going with full spectrum florescent using three to four bulbs. While an LED setup will give much longer 'bulb' life the initial cost will probably be MUCH less. While I have not done anything but light casual research on this it appears that florescent lighting gives a more true full spectrum than does LED lighting that is relying on intensity settings to use different colored LEDs to try to make full spectrum.

I really don't know if this is true as I've never found a definitive answer but I've seen indications that florescent lighting MAY have better water penetration than LED lighting which could, potentially, help with a 30 inch deep tank.

The reason that I said 3-4 florescent bulbs is that I'd put each on a separate timer and stagger the on/off timing to give a more gradual transition between the lighting going on and off.

I know that this thought will not be very popular here but, with a 300 gallon tank, I would seriously consider going full spectrum florescent.
 
Hello. Your light will depend on the type of plants you want. If you want the less demanding plants, then you could certainly use less expensive lighting. I use four bulb shop lighting from the local hardware store and simply hang the light directly above the tank. 6500K, 32 watt bulbs are fine for plants like Anubius, Java Fern, Anacharis, Penny Wort, Banana plants Java Moss, Horn Wort, Water Lettuce and Water Sprite. There are quite a few others, but these are some that require lower, less expensive lighting.

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Thank you for your help.
 
Most here probably will absolutely not agree with this but that is a LARGE tank. If I were able to have a tank that size I would actually consider going old school and think about going with full spectrum florescent using three to four bulbs. While an LED setup will give much longer 'bulb' life the initial cost will probably be MUCH less. While I have not done anything but light casual research on this it appears that florescent lighting gives a more true full spectrum than does LED lighting that is relying on intensity settings to use different colored LEDs to try to make full spectrum.

I really don't know if this is true as I've never found a definitive answer but I've seen indications that florescent lighting MAY have better water penetration than LED lighting which could, potentially, help with a 30 inch deep tank.

The reason that I said 3-4 florescent bulbs is that I'd put each on a separate timer and stagger the on/off timing to give a more gradual transition between the lighting going on and off.

I know that this thought will not be very popular here but, with a 300 gallon tank, I would seriously consider going full spectrum florescent.
Thank you for your help.
 
Most here probably will absolutely not agree with this but that is a LARGE tank. If I were able to have a tank that size I would actually consider going old school and think about going with full spectrum florescent using three to four bulbs. While an LED setup will give much longer 'bulb' life the initial cost will probably be MUCH less. While I have not done anything but light casual research on this it appears that florescent lighting gives a more true full spectrum than does LED lighting that is relying on intensity settings to use different colored LEDs to try to make full spectrum.

I really don't know if this is true as I've never found a definitive answer but I've seen indications that florescent lighting MAY have better water penetration than LED lighting which could, potentially, help with a 30 inch deep tank.

The reason that I said 3-4 florescent bulbs is that I'd put each on a separate timer and stagger the on/off timing to give a more gradual transition between the lighting going on and off.

I know that this thought will not be very popular here but, with a 300 gallon tank, I would seriously consider going full spectrum florescent.
Thank you for your help.
 
I used a pair of High Pressure Sodium & Metal Halide in the old days on my deep reef tanks... right now the deepest tanks I have set up, are 24" deep & I use double LED aquarium lights...


Interested in the subject, as I have a 30 inch 250 gallon I hope to get set up later this year...
 
I have a small 37 gallon tank that his 30" deep. I was able to light it and have lush growth with my easy plants using a 20 watt 7000k full spectrum LED that came with the tank (Top Fin to be precise). I think you can get away with LEDs if you keep to plants that don't need a lot of light but if you want more special plants you need to consider better lighting like Jaylach or Magnum Man suggest. One thing to consider is that with most LEDs you are working with lower voltages making it a bit safer.
 
I don't recommend the big lights with out really good safety screens... my Metal Halide light bulb popped, spitting out the hot core ( likely some time when I wasn't home ) I had a 6 inch burn spot on my carpet in front of my tanks one day... there is a lot to be said about the new LED's... I have some LED spot lights I used to highlight areas in the tank, but they almost instantly grew algae in the areas it lit up... so plenty of light penetration... the one I linked above, really lights up my 24" deep tanks...
 
I have converted my 300 gallon saltwater to freshwater. I am wanting to grow plants. My lighting from the saltwater time is failing and need to replace. This is where I could use some help. The tank is 30" deep. Will be starting with plants that are easy to grow. I would like lights that can work with most types of plants. Thank you all for the help.
What's wrong with your marine lights?
If you can keep corals under them, you can keep aquatic plants under them.
If they have 6500K rated globes, they are fine for any plants. In fact any light that has globes with a 6500K rating is fine for terrestrial and aquatic plants.

I would visit a hardware store and look for LED spotlights. You will probably need something with a 50-75watt LED globe, maybe more but shouldn't need anything over 100watt LEDs. I'm not 100% on the conversion factor from LED to metal halide or incandescent. If anyone knows what it is, post it please.

Normal fluorescent globes are useless on tall tanks. The light will only get about half way down and the plants near the bottom will struggle. LED spotlights are the best option.
 
Plant Light NeedsMetal Halide (W/L)LED (lm/L)Incandescent (W/L)Fluorescent (T5/HO T5)Notes
Low Light Plants0.2515-202-30.5 - 1.0 W/LLower light requirement, shade-loving plants.
Medium Light Plants0.5303-51.0 - 2.0 W/LMost common aquarium plants.
High Light Plants1.060Not recommended2.0 - 4.0 W/LHigh light demanding plants, some limitations for LEDs: Higher price.

LEDs are more efficient at producing usable light for plants. Incandescent is not recommended anyway, I added it just for comparison.
 
What's wrong with your marine lights?
If you can keep corals under them, you can keep aquatic plants under them.
If they have 6500K rated globes, they are fine for any plants. In fact any light that has globes with a 6500K rating is fine for terrestrial and aquatic plants.

I would visit a hardware store and look for LED spotlights. You will probably need something with a 50-75watt LED globe, maybe more but shouldn't need anything over 100watt LEDs. I'm not 100% on the conversion factor from LED to metal halide or incandescent. If anyone knows what it is, post it please.

Normal fluorescent globes are useless on tall tanks. The light will only get about half way down and the plants near the bottom will struggle. LED spotlights are the best option.
My lights are over 10 years old. Been repaired once. Local pet shop has closed, and my area has no kind of shops to repair. I have two 5ft lights with blue and white leds. At this time, one has working blue and the other has whites sort of working. I have added an 8ft led shop light. However, getting a lot of algae.
 
I don't recommend the big lights with out really good safety screens... my Metal Halide light bulb popped, spitting out the hot core ( likely some time when I wasn't home ) I had a 6 inch burn spot on my carpet in front of my tanks one day... there is a lot to be said about the new LED's... I have some LED spot lights I used to highlight areas in the tank, but they almost instantly grew algae in the areas it lit up... so plenty of light penetration... the one I linked above, really lights up my 24" deep tanks...
Most likely to use LEDS. Do you think the one you linked will be strong enough for my depth of 30"s?
 
Well it’s good for 24 inches, but a foot more???? It is the most powerful of the lights I looked at… I just looked up the brightest led aquarium lights and the one that popped up was 19 watts the light I linked is 45 watts…

But maybe a reflector would help the light penetrate deeper. I have some green house lighting I use for my Tilapia to extend the light hours… this is cord with sockets with reflectors and screw in led bulbs… let me see if I can find those just to see what kind of wattage…
 

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