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Hi all, I am in need of replacing my light and I want an easy option I don’t have any demanding plants just low light ones ( anubias, Java fern, hornwort) I was curious if anybody has any shop lights or if I should just go with a Finnex stingray 48” I’m not too picky I have Finnex stingrays and love them, but wanna try maybe the super budget options that still grow plants I’m not afraid to scrub some algae;)

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I'm using some 2 ft long Barrina 6500 K T-5 LED fixtures on my 20 high and they're really bright and good. They also make them in a four and eight foot length. You can daisy-chain them together. I'm using four on my 20 high and they light it great. The four foot long ones (ideal for a 55 gallon tank) cost under $50 at Amazon for eight of them (less than $7 each) and you can add or remove them as your light needs increase or decrease. All eight at once (they're reportedly 2,200 lumens for each fixture) would likely be too bright but you'd have that option. You'd want to build a hood for them to hide them and help direct the light, but they're a cheap and so far anyway, reliable option. I use a smart plug to turn them off and on.

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I am facing the same choice with two 75 gallons aquariums that I just, ah, picked up.

My plan is to go with 48" Finnex Stingrays. So far they have been very durable for me and you know the price. I  also like their slim form factor.

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i picked up a hyger light not too long ago for my 55. seems to get the job done. plenty bright, 3 modes, white, white/red/blue, and red/blue. has like 5 brightness settings, and runs under $60. now its not fancy and programmable form your phone like the expensive lights, but for me it works. how long it will last remains to be seen however.

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I'm using 2 Fiet Electric 32 watt on my 55 (Home Depot).  Probably easily get by with the 19 watt version for low light stuff.  Actually, I'm going to grab a couple of the 19 watters for 2 20 gallon tanks with cheapo clip on reading lights.  I do love the 32 watt version.  Have 4 total, two mentioned above and 2 on a couple of 29 gallons.

 

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I've tried the marineland 36" and i have the coralife 4' on now. Both put out about the same amount of light to me and my val, moss and small anubias all grow ok. I just think with the height of a 55 you really need a light that will push down in the tank. If i cared to spend the money i would get a fluval so i know the light level could hit the bottom.

But i'm happy with the light output and it is growing (slowly) so i'm not too worried about it.

In another couple of experiment tanks i'm doing a dirt bottom with potting soil mix and those plants are GROWING. I just have them under a hyper tough led fixture from Wally World. Those almost seem to grow as you are watching them. They are also in 10 gallon tanks so not as much water to get through. 

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