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Old 03-24-2013, 03:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Welp, after much deliberation and help from members around here, I pulled the trigger on the Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 24-36" with timer. (I got mine for $211.99 from amazon in March 2013).

First, the actual unit measures 22 3/4" - but you'd have to allow for 24" of width for the power cord coming out of the side. You can use the wire brackets on either end (that extend to 36" wide) to sit on the side of the tank, or they work just as well as stands to sit on a glass canopy. The wire stands also pull completely out if you like. The width left a few inches on either side on my 30" wide 29gal - but I think the light coverage to the sides of the tank is pretty good.



The unit does get pretty warm... I can't hold it for too long before I have to sit it down when I'm taking it off my tank for something. The whole unit is built like a heat sink.

I love, love, love the timer! It comes set from the factory;
9am: blue lights
10am: all lights (white & RGB)
8pm: blue only
10pm: all off

All you have to do is set the time of day. And it's surprisingly simple to change any of the timing settings, even though there's only 2 buttons. If you turn on the blue or white lights and override the timer, you won't effect the timer's cycle - it'll keep on trucking.


The Red/Green/Blue LEDs (middle row, every other light) have diffuser lenses on them, and that is pretty effective at spreading the light from those LEDs around the tank. The RGB lights make a real difference in bringing out the colors in the fish and plants - things look more interesting! The rest of the regular white LEDs are relatively focused, which gives that awesome shimmer effect that's impossible to capture in a picture.

I was wondering how the brightness and color was going to compare to what I had. For those with the same question, I put my old light back on the tank and took shots with the same camera settings. It makes the "before" shot too dark for a proper photo, but makes for a good comparison:

With Ecolux Plant & Aquarium F20T12-PL/AQ-ECO Wide Spectrum 20w fluorescent bulb:


With Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 24-36":


And finally the moonlight. I dig it. I'm surprised by reviews that say the moonlight on this fixture is much brighter than the moonlight on even the double-brights. I wouldn't want it any dimmer at all - wouldn't be able to see anything!


Though since the "blue" light is also on with the white lights (as part of the RGB LEDs) I wonder if they will go first. But it's nice that this light is rated at 50,000 hours (unlike the Marineland single and double-brights that are only 17,000 hours). That's the same rating as Marineland gives their 10,000k Reef-capable lighting, but this one is at the more appropriate 6500k for freshwaterautolinker.com autolinking image.

I know I sound like a little Marineland fanboy, because that's all I've talked about here... I did consider Finnex for a time but the fewer LEDs on this Marineland (instead of more, smaller LEDs on the Finnex) gives a better shimmer effect, which I like a lot. That + the built-in timer = I'm very happy.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Looks nice,Hope your plants do well. Too bad they didn't have a 30" unit.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Yeah, the lack of a nicely fitting 30" unit gave me pause. And if I had known just how far in from the fixture's edge the LED started, I might have paused even more.

Despite how the pictures look, though, I'm quite satisfied with the light coverage to the sides of the tank. The photo only picks up the brightest spots of the LED light, not how it looks in person.

My plants are friggin taking off! Even though I don't have co2 up and running yet;

Moneywort (not pennywort) is growing like 1/4" a day,

amazon swords have new growth popping out of them all over the place, as does my crypt.

Even my hairgrass has filled in very noticeably in only a couple weeks.

I've got another plant that has tall, long stems and medium wide, long leaves at the end... with a white flower at the end of one stalk with a spikey thing in the center of the flower. don't know what it's called but at the rate that's growing it's gonna be growing out of my tank by next week.

so yeah... plants are good! haha

(thanks for replying btw! i was starting to get my feelings hurt at so many views but no comments!)
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

I think your tank looks good with those lights and it sounds like they're doing well by you.I didn't comment originally but "said thanks" as I appreciate your sharing.It is nice to hear what people think either way sometimes.You're pics of the old light compared to the new are overwhelming.Keep us posted on your plants and how you like the light over time.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Nice lights. I have the Marineland double bright on a 20 gal long and love them..... my plant growth is amazing. i was curious how a deeper tank would do with LEDs and yours looks great. Sounds like these are a step up from the double bright, being longer lasting and with the timer. Enjoy! They look great!
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

lol - thanks

the tank is nowhere near where i envision it being, but the fun is in the journey. i put off taking those pics for a while cause i wanted to make sure i had perfectly clear water, everything looked good, etc etc etc... but then i realized it'll never be there so I just did it. I think that's why I like this hobby, cause it moves slow, kinda like me.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Keep the pics coming as you add to your tank.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Just a quick update; this light has effectively converted my low-tech 29gal aquarium into an algae farm. It started with green water. My resident albino pleco and snail are in heaven, but unable to keep pace.

Twice weekly water changes, decreasing the light period to 6hrs a day and dosing Flourish Excel have kept things at bay, but it's clear there's now an imbalance. I have no choice but to accelerate my plans for co2.

So be forewarned, and prepared, if you go with this light. You'll probably need co2 and ferts to keep up with it! Don't expect to maintain a "low-tech" tank.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Bada-bing! I'm finally up and running, firing on all cylinders (light, fertz & co2).

And boy-howdy is stuff growing! The flowering cabomba furcata and crypt have grown well over an inch just this weekend - both are sticking out of the water now! I don't think I expected such feverish growth. I don't mind at all, though. I thoroughly enjoy monkeying around with my tank a couple times a week.


Saturday afternoon:


Monday morn:


Ah, well, now that I have the pictures side by side, they don't seem to do justice to how much stuff has filled in, nor does the crypt look any different in the photo. Well, whatever. I just uploaded the pix, I ain't undoing it! lol

A question: the Cabomba Furcata's red/purple tones, and especially its flowers, probably require iron, yes? The plant has no roots to speak of, so should I expect to need to dose the water column? Currenly I only have substrate tabs.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Nice light. I would like to see a full tank shot after its been on the tank for about four months.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

I have been searching for any article/review etc on how well the LED lights work on plants specifically.
Till now I have found none which give any detail. Grateful for the heads up about the algae especially.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

I have the same led light I bought it back in December and really like it.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by WheeledGoat View Post
Welp, after much deliberation and help from members around here, I pulled the trigger on the Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 24-36" with timer. (I got mine for $211.99 from amazon in March 2013).

First, the actual unit measures 22 3/4" - but you'd have to allow for 24" of width for the power cord coming out of the side. You can use the wire brackets on either end (that extend to 36" wide) to sit on the side of the tank, or they work just as well as stands to sit on a glass canopy. The wire stands also pull completely out if you like. The width left a few inches on either side on my 30" wide 29gal - but I think the light coverage to the sides of the tank is pretty good.



The unit does get pretty warm... I can't hold it for too long before I have to sit it down when I'm taking it off my tank for something. The whole unit is built like a heat sink.

I love, love, love the timer! It comes set from the factory;
9am: blue lights
10am: all lights (white & RGB)
8pm: blue only
10pm: all off

All you have to do is set the time of day. And it's surprisingly simple to change any of the timing settings, even though there's only 2 buttons. If you turn on the blue or white lights and override the timer, you won't effect the timer's cycle - it'll keep on trucking.


The Red/Green/Blue LEDs (middle row, every other light) have diffuser lenses on them, and that is pretty effective at spreading the light from those LEDs around the tank. The RGB lights make a real difference in bringing out the colors in the fish and plants - things look more interesting! The rest of the regular white LEDs are relatively focused, which gives that awesome shimmer effect that's impossible to capture in a picture.

I was wondering how the brightness and color was going to compare to what I had. For those with the same question, I put my old light back on the tank and took shots with the same camera settings. It makes the "before" shot too dark for a proper photo, but makes for a good comparison:

With Ecolux Plant & Aquarium F20T12-PL/AQ-ECO Wide Spectrum 20w fluorescent bulb:


With Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 24-36":


And finally the moonlight. I dig it. I'm surprised by reviews that say the moonlight on this fixture is much brighter than the moonlight on even the double-brights. I wouldn't want it any dimmer at all - wouldn't be able to see anything!


Though since the "blue" light is also on with the white lights (as part of the RGB LEDs) I wonder if they will go first. But it's nice that this light is rated at 50,000 hours (unlike the Marineland single and double-brights that are only 17,000 hours). That's the same rating as Marineland gives their 10,000k Reef-capable lighting, but this one is at the more appropriate 6500k for freshwaterautolinker.com autolinking image.

I know I sound like a little Marineland fanboy, because that's all I've talked about here... I did consider Finnex for a time but the fewer LEDs on this Marineland (instead of more, smaller LEDs on the Finnex) gives a better shimmer effect, which I like a lot. That + the built-in timer = I'm very happy.
I've been doing the same thing you did, will LED work? So appreciate the thorough report. The LED looks to be so much brighter in the comparison shots. I don't want to get into the CO2 thing so I'll hold off. Thanks again.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avraptorhal View Post
I've been doing the same thing you did, will LED work? So appreciate the thorough report. The LED looks to be so much brighter in the comparison shots. I don't want to get into the CO2 thing so I'll hold off. Thanks again.
I just now found people talking about this light over on another forum - looks awesome. Aside from the lower PAR levels, I'm supremely jealous... you can adjust the RGB lighting on this every which way, plus is has all kinds of neat presets (thunderstorm/etc...) and a remote! And apparently the price is pretty reasonable too! Might be just the ticket if you're wanting to stay "low-tech".

Here's the other forum's thread if you wanna read about it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by majerah1 View Post
Nice light. I would like to see a full tank shot after its been on the tank for about four months.
how about after 11 days?? LOL

April 8th


April 19th


And this is after doing a bit of pruning, and moving the moneywort that got crowded out!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

After 3 months with this light I have now suffered my first ever algae bloom with green water. My schedule was 10 AM blue on, 12 PM all on, white off at 10 PM, and all off at mignight. What did you end up reducing your light scedule to, and how did you solve the green water problem? My water test of ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate was all good.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

I hadn't quite assembled everything I needed to go live with co2 when my algae bloom hit, so I reduced my light to I think 8hrs/day (skewed toward the evening so I could enjoy it when I got home from work).

I was doing some pretty aggressive water changes - 50% twice a week, and triple-dosing Excel after the water changes. I finally slapped on a cheap UV light too, and all that barely kept the problem at bay.

Once I got co2 up and running (not a quick process) I'm happy to report things are great. I get a little algae, but it's quite manageable. And zero green water.

Do you have co2? If not, I'm not sure there's a good solution for you other than very small light cycles. If you haven't started assembling stuff for pressurized co2 yet, maybe check out DIY since you're in a bit of a crisis... you can put together a DIY co2 and have it running tonight after one trip to the grocery store (well, almost - need a diffuser... grocery store and pet store... )
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:48 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

Thanks. I have one of the little yeast generated CO2 setups whichn has no impact on a 65 gallon. I was afraid to significantly reduce the light cycle to protect the plants. Sounds like CO2 is the answer. I have a beverage CO2 setup with a spare regulator and CO2 bottles. Last night I bagged the tank to kill off the algae bloom. Unfortunately I have to travel for work for a few days. I'll have to deal with it when I return. Might order a setup from GLA before I leave today.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

whaddaya mean, "bagged the tank" ? especially since you're out of town for a few days, I think a blackout would be a perfect solution. plants will do just fine for a few days; they have energy stores and reserves - algae does not.. a blackout is a very valid method of fighting algae!

anybody you can call to just turn off your lights?
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marineland Aquatic Plant LED - impressions

I cut the seams out of a large black plastic garbage bag and taped it in place around the aquarium after unplugging the lights. Should effectively 'black-out' the aquarium. I contacted GLA in Florida and they were very helpful in suggesting a setup. Should have it early next week when i return. What lighting schedule did youn resume after setting up your CO2? I actually leave tomorrow evening. I think i'll leave as is until Sunday.

Last edited by ajguzik : 04-23-2013 at 01:40 PM. Reason: add info
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