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Old 02-17-2012, 08:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Aquaray400

I recently invested in a new Aquaray 400 tile for my Fluval ebi nano planted tank after reding up on how good these lights are for growing plants and the low power consumption vs. other options. I like the light and the control system that is the Aquaray 400 and started it off by using a 45-50% ramping it up to 60-65% later on in the lighting period to see if it would improve but am not seeing the comparable results to my old lighting (although it's only been a day...).
Before this LED system I was using a 26 watt cfl light made by Finnex with a occasional midday burst provided by a fluval 13 watt cfl ebi light and was getting great results. Incredible pearling (almost too much!) and amazing growth with some algae growth but nothing to be really concerned about (My otto and shrimp were doing a decent job at keeping the algae at bay).
I was thinking the aquaray 400 would produce as good or even better results. So far the Aquaray has only made the little section of fissidens tied to my manzanita brabches directly under the light pearl a tiny tiny bit... What's going on here? Do I need to ramp up the percentage more? Do the plants need a little time to adjust to the new type of lighting? Should I be concened that the plants aren't pearling like they used to?
On this first day i'd say the amount of pearling has decreased 99% compared to what they were doing before with the old system. What should I do? Ramp up the lighting percantage, use both the Aquaray 400 and the Finnex, or go back to what has worked? I really though the Aquaray tile would be enough or better... Not giving up on the idea of the aquaray 400 just yet as it is only the first day and I had the system at reduced output, but I was expecting immediate results... From what I read the Aquaray400 should be more than sufficient for my fluval ebi tank and I should be seeing great results at 45 +/- power. Though, I don't think I even saw a bubble from the HC ground cover... Before that the HC was bubble central, you couldn't even see my fissidens because of the amount of bubbles on it, and the other plants such as the micro swords and Hydrocotyle were also pearling like CRAZY!

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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LED and CFL are completely different, so they should be treated as so. Like apples and oranges. I would start at 100% for more than just 24hrs, try about 1-4 weeks instead.

If your CFL is at 100%, logic says I would do the same with the LED
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Your plants do need to adjust to the new lighting. There was probably a rather large shift in light spectrum, and they need time to adapt to it.
Also, although it may not seem so, LED is much more intense for the perceived brightness level. Even if it might look about the same brightness at 50%, the PAR is probably considerably higher. I'd start off with it set it lower, pehaps in the 40%
range and let it be for a week or so while the plants adjust. It's a common knee-jerk reaction to want to fiddle when things out of the ordinary are happening(I know it is with me), but you must resist the urge Plants tend to react slowly to changes like these, and it's best to wait them out to see if things improve.

Edit.. Ninja'd.. I am not sure how intense the 400 is(never seen it in person), so I'll defer to O's judgement about intensity.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They are incredibly bright, just imagine over a nano tank like this
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks O and Onefang,

So i'll go with your suggestions and set it to 100% for a while. This should help the plants adjust right? I had no clue that the plants would need to adjust to a new/different lighting. Thanks. Would it be better for my plants if I ran the 26 or 13 watt cfl alongside the Aquaray 400 for a while? In my opinion the Aquaray 400 is really BRIGHT! Shimmer is intense! Even at the 45-65% that I played around with. Maybe I shouldn't run it at 100% (Algae)? Whatevers, if you guys say to run it at 100% then I will listen to the masters! You have never steered me wrong.
BTW, thanks O for the advice on the aquascaping tools. I love your tools so much I decided to buy another one in my latest order that I wanted to try. LOVE IT. May have to get more... slowly but surely. =)

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think if you're running it over an EBI that you were previously running a 26w CFL over, then the 400 at full intensity is probably many magnitudes brighter.
I'd start lower than you think and then slowly work your way up. Like I said, LED can be deceiving in it's intensity.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok, so... How will I know when to work my way up?

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Old 02-17-2012, 02:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Keep a close eye on algae on glass and overall hardscape of things. Gotta find the sweet spot.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah.. agreed with O. GSA and GDA usually is the first to rear it's ugly head when there is too much light.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I took a quick PAR reading with the 400 at about 14"+ and get a PAR reading of 55 at the substrate. This was measured in an empty tank, so adding water would increase this by 10-15%

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