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Lighting options - Is a Twinstar 900SA overkill?

Radiant

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Hi all,

I'm looking at lighting options at the moment for my 200l aquaoak (99.5 (W) x 40 (D) x 50 (H) cm) and am thinking about picking up a second hand Twinstar 900S. I have a couple of questions:

1. Is a 900S overkill for a no co2 system? I'm probably looking at running co2 at a later date.
2. Is the 900 the right size for the tank? Is a 900S overkill for a no co2 system? I'm probably looking at running co2 at a later date.
3. How high are they and can the legs be removed on all models? I cant find this measurement on their site and I only have 3" to play with under the hood (I'm also worried about it getting too hot under there) Anyone else have one running under a hood? Does it stay cool enough?

I am also considering the Fluval plant 3.0, but I think I would only end up upgrading this in the future. Although if I see one at reasonable price I might be tempted if you all think it will do the job?

Plant/scape wise, I'm looking at something like these, but figure I might have to swap out some of the plants initially until I move to co2:




Thoughts?

Thanks,
Maia
 
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It’s only overkill if you run it at full power. The Twinstar is pretty red heavy so if you plan to have red plants or want to show off colors of whatever fish stock you choose, it’s a nice light to have. There is a cheap dimmer that works great with it and will allow you to run the light at lower levels to avoid overloading your plants. The dimmer is called the S2 Pro and many of us have, and use it. If you can get it at a nice price and it’s in good condition, I’d go for it.
 

Radiant

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I will likely have some reds in there, but you have me worried now it will be too red, so will see if I can find some comparison photos with the E series instead.
I’m likely going to have pearl gourami and a school of something smaller like blue/purple Kerri tetra, corys, ottos and amano shrimp.
 

Siege

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The S series looks red in photos, not so much in real life but brings out the red in plants and fish etc.

with no co2 you can probably only run it at 60%. Still get that nice colour though.

you may wish to add co2 in the future, so can bang it up then!

you could remove the legs and replace with number plate screws resting the light on the bracing glass covers. A better option will be to cut the legs to the height you want and turn the feet upside down so they are flat. Stick on some felt pads so you can slide it along easily!

I‘d buy it. If you went with the E and then added co2 later on you‘d always wish you had the S!

Hope that helps.
 

Siege

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Ps. The dominant plant in both scapes is trident fern. You are going to need co2 for that (otherwise it goes brown and looks rubbish quite quickly).

if you think you are going to get co2 in the future personally I’d buy the light and co2, even if you then get hardscape and then plants when funds allow. You’ll save money on wasted plants in the long run.
 

Radiant

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Thanks all, I will try and find an S. Good to know the legs unscrew as well.

Just picked up some river wood, so getting excited now.
 

Nuno Gomes

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Ps. The dominant plant in both scapes is trident fern. You are going to need co2 for that (otherwise it goes brown and looks rubbish quite quickly).

Funny how everyone says it's easy but I found it much more demanding than other types of Microsorum, and then I see both George Farmer and you in agreement with this. Maybe it's time plant distributors stop calling it an easy category plant?
 

Radiant

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I keep seeing version II mentioned when looking at the Twinstars. Is there a way to tell the difference between a v1 and v2? Presuming I should go for the newer v2 model?
 

Nuno Gomes

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I keep seeing version II mentioned when looking at the Twinstars. Is there a way to tell the difference between a v1 and v2? Presuming I should go for the newer v2 model?

I would wait a couple weeks for version III, which is coming out now.
It's really hard to tell the different to be honest but there's usually different power consumption stats so you can look at the box to make sure and compare it to the twinstar website.
 

Radiant

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I had no idea a VIII was coming out - Dont see any info about that on their site. Got any links where I can learn more?
 

Siege

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Nothing at the moment. I only know that the adjustable one will have adjustible fixings so that can adjust to any glass thickness.

There was very little change from 1 and 2, just a little red to improve Instagram photos. I donot anticipate a big change in light rendition. Expect a small price increase though. Note current stock of Twinstar lights has been reduced in price.
 

Radiant

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Hopefully I wont have to wait more than a few weeks. Cant wait to complete the scape.
 

Andrew T

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I had the 600S and didn’t like it.
It still has that yellow tinge and for the price it doesn’t come with a dimmer..kinda ridiculous...
If you’ve got sand , the LED’s will reflect on it...disco ball effect.
Some people like the color rendition ...i don’t ; check out Green Aqua video on lighting....I switched to an RGB fixture and couldn’t be happier .
The Twinstar is now mounted in the back of my cargo van with a 12V - 24V converter lol
BCA01F08-7DD4-47F5-B0A6-EAAB7F491AE5.jpeg
 

Wolf6

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Some people like the color rendition ...i don’t ; check out Green Aqua video on lighting....I switched to an RGB fixture and couldn’t be happier .
Which RGB fixture is making you so happy? :) The chihiros are very hard to get your hands on, so if there are other good ones (not ADA) I'd like to hear it :)
 

Andrew T

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Which RGB fixture is making you so happy? :) The chihiros are very hard to get your hands on, so if there are other good ones (not ADA) I'd like to hear it :)
Chihiros RGB Vivid 2.
If you’re in the US, eBay or Amazon.
UK can buy directly from Chihiros from what I’ve been reading.
Maybe the wait time is long with other retailers such as Alibaba but still worth a shot.
ADA is insanely priced...
 

Radiant

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The Chihiros RGB Vivid 2 is a complete no go for me. For starters its way outside of budget and I have no chance of getting one second hand. Also the size and mounting option isnt suitable for my tank and even if I could rig something up, I dont think one unit would actually provide enough coverage considering how close to the surface it would be.
 

Jayefc1

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I would agree if you can stretch and find a way to mount the vivid two IMO blows the twinstar out the water I have 2 on my 1200 and there suspended from the ceiling on a suspension kit didnt want the hanging bar on the tank its pretty easy to hang them
20201106_180553.jpg
 

Radiant

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As mentioned above, its no good for me. There is only 3" clearance in the hood and i'm not resting it on the sliding glass or screwing anything into the wood. 1 unit is out of budget, there is no way im buying 2 🤣
 
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