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Lighting for a 220gal

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Post Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:45 am
twinsfan Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 70
What would you recommend for lighting on a 220 gallon tank (72x24x30)? Not sure what plants I want to stock it with yet. I'm sure I'll start with low lights (jungle val, java moss, etc.), but I don't want to rule out the possibility of adding medium to high light plants at a future date. I don't want to purchase a light now knowing I will have to upgrade later. Low tech setup for now, but I have a CO2 setup somewhere in my crawl space that I will dig out at some point.

Post Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:07 pm
Mikaila31 Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 223
Location: Saint Paul, MN
I would go for LEDs because 30" is really deep for trying to grow plants. You will need a lot more light than you may expect to reach the bottom. I've been slowly building a LED light for a 125 and its not cheap especially for high light.... the light has been most the cost of the tank lol. There are some premade fixtures like the finnex 24/7 and beamswork that might work but I would check PAR values at 30". LEDs would at least save you from lamp replacements and a slight power decrease, making them cheaper to run but more expensive to setup.

Post Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:02 am
d33pVI Level 1 Member
Level 1 Member

Posts: 12
A decent budget option you could look into is using Par 30 LED floodlight bulbs, or some of the cheaper LED floodlight package units commonly available on Amazon/Ebay. You won't get any of the fun features many of the new aquarium lights are coming out with, but you would save hundreds of dollars.

I've been impressed with my new Aqua Illumination AI Prime Freshwater lights, but for a tank your size you would probably need at least 4 of them just for low-medium light.

Post Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:26 am
twinsfan Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 70
I decided to go with two 36" Fluval Fresh & Planted 2.0 that were on a Christmas Day sale from Aquarium Co-Op. It's suppose to have 120 degree light dispersion. A few reviewers were saying low light plant growth was decent in their 30" deep tanks. From the Fluval site, PAR is 66 at 18". Is there a way to calculate approximate PAR at 30"?

I didn't really take into account how deep this tank actually was at the time of purchase. I was just happy to score a deal on a 72x24 foot print. I'll have to settle for low light plants. Which I shouldn't be too upset about. Trimming a high tech 30" deep tank would probably get old - real fast!

Post Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:27 am
twinsfan Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 70
And thank you for your inputs.

Post Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:33 am
Dicsus34 Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 428
Location: Prior Lake, MN
I’d get the green element led light. The par on these lights is incredible especially for the price. You could get one 72 inch one for 200 dollars. The fluval light won’t be bright enough or powerful enough for your plants in a 220 gallon with that depth of a tank. PAR is the most important thing. I got an evo light and it’s very bright.

Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:55 pm
twinsfan Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 70
I watched a Youtube video of the Fresh & Plant 2.0 and PAR was 23 @ 40" deep. My 220 is only 30" deep so I will be ok with low light plant growth. I haven't setup the 220 yet. Waiting for the weather to warm up so I can paint the back of the beast in the garage first. My basement isn't ventilated enough. So I don't know how lit it will look yet. It is plenty of light on my 125 right now though :P

Do you know/have a guesstimate of what your PAR is with the green element led light? If it's much higher, I guess I know what I will spend my fantasy football winnings on next December :D


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