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Thread: 2 x 36" LED fixtures on a 48" wide tank - problems ahead?

  1. #1

    2 x 36" LED fixtures on a 48" wide tank - problems ahead?

    Hi all,
    Just joined the association and this is my first post here - so clearly a newbie to the hobby. Thanks in advance for any and all criticism and assistance!

    I bought a 50g long acrylic rimless used and it came with "everything" to get started including two of these 36" Satellite LED+ Plus lights. I got the tank set up, messed around with some plants I read are tough to kill and am in week one of cycling.

    • Dwarf Sag
    • Amazon Sword
    • Anubias
    • Cabomba

    With 1 light, centered:

    With both lights, staggered:
    IMG_0983 (1).jpg


    My question is - are these lights sufficient? I am only using one at the moment and there are clearly zones of the tank that don't get even light as you can see in the pic. Throwing the second light on and staggering them appears to help but I don't know if it is sufficient for proper plant growth. For instance - will I end up with leaning plants because the light is not directly overhead of the plants on the left and right sides of the tank?

    ...and one more question - are these fixtures on a 50 long considered "high light"?

    As I write this I get the sense I would be better off with a 48" fixture - but hoping the hear from those with more wisdom in the hobby.

    Edit: found the par values for the light at Current’s website. Not quite high light but sufficient to carpet I guess.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Sensed; 02-20-2018 at 05:33 AM.

  2. #2
    For a planted tank, I prefer a light the same size as the tank, although, I'll admit, I am more of a fish guy then a plant guy. I do have a 60" tank with a single 48" light on it (60" tanks are oddball sizes and tough to find lights fitted to) that I find acceptable, but it is a deeper tank and is fish only.

    To further answer your question, the 36" light on your tank is providing good light at the base of the tank, just not in the upper corners so any plants that are in those areas may grow towards the center.

    To avoid the areas of shade, you can use a 2nd light and stagger them, or get a larger light. Benefit of using the lights you have, they may put out more light (lumens) in the center of the tank and provide more PAR (light measurement that actually reaches the bottom of the tank) then a single 48" (depending on quality of various light fixtures). Lumen and PAR can be measured by devices which can be purchased. With all this said, most people do not have those measurement devices.

    If should also be noted that the plants you have are lower light (tech) plants that can grow on most any light, although lights that put out more light will most likely allow them to grow quicker/bigger.

    Others on here with more plant experience may correct me if I missed something, but I figured I would give you a little feedback since no one has responded to you as of yet.

    BTW, nice looking tank and welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
    Appreciate the response and thanks!

    Ya the shade areas are whats concerning me now that I look at photos of other people's setups. I did find some PAR values on the lights so I think running both may actually be too much light in the center, I don't know. I guess thats half the fun that gets me excited - experimentation and figuring out what works well for your particular setup.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    I don't think it will be too much light in the center. I would push the fixtures all the way to either end (if that's even possible) so they go from one side to the other. The light in the center might be more than the anubias need, but you could put them in the darker areas of the tank, they will still grow well. The other plants you have will like the light. It will also enable you to get different kinds of plants, in the event you get creative and want other types of plants in the future.

  5. #5
    Wait... I feel a strong urge to click those links!!!
    - Jeremy

  6. #6
    Hey thanks for the reply.

    The brackets arent long enough to get the light all the way to the edge of the tank but staggering them helps get more overhead coverage than leaving them both centered so I think I will roll with that.

    Also - the dwarf sag that I have must be some variant that is much taller than I expected. I trimmed them way back (they didn't like that at all) and they grew back rather tall with these broad tips at the top again. I was expecting a much shorter/narrower leaf. May relocate them to the left and right sides and try out some monte carlo in the middle.

    After the trim (see the broad tips?):

    Thanks again,


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