Choosing Your Planted Aquarium Lighting
When it comes to light demands planted tanks are in between normal tanks and reef tanks. Plants require broad spectrums and enough light strength to support rapid growth. Often normal pet store lights do not provide this, leaving us on our own when it comes to researching what our plants need. For this reason I have compiled a list of some of the best planted aquarium lights for plant growth.
Current USA Satellite Plus PRO
The Current USA Satellite Plus PRO It the perfect planted aquarium light. The strength can support high light demanding plants and comes with a fully customizable LEDs. To adjust them you are given a wireless remote along with a ramp up/down timer. These are great for creating a day and night cycle, which combats algae growth caused by excessive lighting.
Using The Remote
It can be a bit tricky to handle the remote, so here’s a quick run down:
- The first row holds the set clock, on/off time and power buttons.
- The second row holds the hour+, minute-, enter and resume buttons.
- To set the time first press the set clock button. The screen will then blink for 3-5 seconds. Next use the hour+ and minute- button to set the corret time. Once you are done hit the enter button
- To program the on/off times press either the on/off time button, causing the screen to blink for 3-5 seconds. Use the hour+ and minute- buttons to set the time the lights will turn on or off. The light will slowly ramp up/down over 15 minutes starting at the selected time.
- The third row holds four basic pre set color options.
- The fourth & fifth row hold 2 rows of arrows, each a different color. You can use these to adjust each colors intensity by pressing the up arrow of the respective color to increase the intensity or the down arrow to reduce the intensity.
- The row under the colored arrows are listed as M1, M2, M3, and M4. By holding these buttons for four seconds you can store a custom color into the remotes settings, allowing for 4 saved colors total
- The last section of the remote holds the dynamic lighting buttons.
- The first two options are a weak moon light and strong moon light settings.
- The second two options feature mild and heavy overcast lighting (cloudy)
- The last row has thunder clouds as well as thunder storms. These can startle your fish, so I highly advise against using them.
The programmable Current USA Satellite Pro Plus is quick and easy to set up. Simply plug in the light after placing it above your tank. Then remove the sticky tape that is covering the infrared eye on the remote receiver. Place this receiver in a position where it will not be blocked off from the remote, as it requires a direct line of sight to work.
Current USA Satellite Plus Pro Specs
All plants are supported under this lights 6,500k strength complimented with RGBW LEDs. The LEDs increase with the size of the light, allowing for up to 60″ long tank up to 3 feet deep planted tanks. For more specifics I’ve made this list.
Max Size For High Light Plants
- 18″-24″: 24″ long, 16″ deep tanks
- 24″-36″: 36″ long, 20″ deep tanks
- 36″-48″: 48″ long, 28″ deep tanks
- 48″-60″: 60″ long, 36″ deep tanks
If you are using less than high light demanding plants you are free to try deeper tanks, this only lists the maximum depth where high light plants will still grow. If you are growing medium to low light demanding plants the previous model is much cheaper and will cover your needs. I have it fully reviewed here.The light is distributed at a 120 degree angle and protected by an acrylic splash guard. This helps light the entire tank without spilling too much light onto the floor.
As the light uses LED bulbs it is highly efficient, often shaving off 80-90% of upkeep cost when switching from flourescent or metal halide lighting.
Lifetime & Warranty
The Pro plus model of the Current USA light has been been tested to last for over ten years with regular use, both by the company and consumers. This makes its cost much more reasonable, as it will outlast most other lights by a couple years.
Current USA offers a 1 year warranty and will frequently help those out of warranty. Many have even received help after 3 years of purchase.