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Old 03/09/2020, 01:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the Land of Mary
Posts: 2,001
I have an ABI 12W (Royal Blue 450-470nm + Cold White 15000K) in a par38 package. I've run that over a 20 gallon established LPS & mushroom tank. The fixture that I used gave about 5" from the fixture to the water surface. Since that integrated bulb is not dimmable, the LPS didn't like it long term and shriveled up. I took that down and went back to what I had, which was more like the power of a CF, and the LPS is happy.

I don't know about a 36-54 watt LED bulb, but based on my experiences, that might be too much light depending on your tank depth and what you want to keep.

From what I've seen, most people running LED's always have them dimmed, not running at 100%. The par38's with integrated power supplies are a cheap way to go, but not dimmable.

The other problem that I had was not enough spread. I would have needed to increase the distance to the water surface, but the par38 bulb is quite tall, which means a lot of hood space. Most LED fixtures are pancake style with the heatsink on the backside and spread the lights out. I think that is a better design for small aquariums.

If man's reach exceeds his grasp, we should be careful, lest we reach our own destruction.

Current Tank Info: New tanks in the works. DIY Aquarium Vac (click my homepage)
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