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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm looking to purchase a new 36" light for my tank. Its 33 gallons at 36"W, 12"D, 18"T. It is going to be a low-tech tank with low-medium light plants. Based on the budget of around $150-200, it seems that I'm down to the Current Satellite Freshwater + or the Fluval Aquasky. I really liked the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 but with some questions about permits/certifications with Finnex in Canada, I don't think I want to risk it for insurance purposes.

Does anyone have an experience with these 2 lights for a low tech tank with low-medium light plants? Would these be good enough or would one be recommended over the other? Are there any other lights in this range that you would recommend over these?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I have a 48" Current USA Satellite +. I like it, 8/10 simply because it isn't programmable from the factory.

I'd buy another based on build quality, and brightness, but I can't vouch for planted or offer comparison to the Fluval Aquasky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Sargasso, what do you mean by it isn't programmable from the factory? Also, do you use it for plants? What size tank/tech do you have?

The Aquasky seems to be very similar spec wise but couldn't find much other than that.

Thanks!
 

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I have a 48" Current USA Satellite +. I like it, 8/10 simply because it isn't programmable from the factory.

I'd buy another based on build quality, and brightness, but I can't vouch for planted or offer comparison to the Fluval Aquasky.
You can reprogram all the modes that the current USA one just takes a while to do you can change all the programmed times, intensity of white and blues land moonlight times .... I'm gunna be honest I've had a quad lighting from fluval and it blew in a few weeks and couldn't get a response from fluval for over 2 months of trying .... I would totally recommend the current USA led lighting
 

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I own a 48" sat led+ and i love it. I've grown some jungle val and java fern with it in my 55g long aquarium. This aquarium is 24" high and im losing most PAR about half way through the tank. But still a great light and your fish look great! I cant say the same about the plants though. The plants lose a lot of its natural colors but brings out the colors in your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You can reprogram all the modes that the current USA one just takes a while to do you can change all the programmed times, intensity of white and blues land moonlight times .... I'm gunna be honest I've had a quad lighting from fluval and it blew in a few weeks and couldn't get a response from fluval for over 2 months of trying .... I would totally recommend the current USA led lighting
Thats great, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I own a 48" sat led+ and i love it. I've grown some jungle val and java fern with it in my 55g long aquarium. This aquarium is 24" high and im losing most PAR about half way through the tank. But still a great light and your fish look great! I cant say the same about the plants though. The plants lose a lot of its natural colors but brings out the colors in your fish.
Thanks Thaim - what is the PAR levels at the bottom of your tank? My tank is only 18" high so it should perform a bit better. How are the natural colours of the taller plants? Do they look better up high or is it the same throughout? Would be nice to get a light that brought out the colours of both plants and fish.

Are there other LED lights in this range that are recommended? From research/shopping at stores, there really aren't many other options out there.
 

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There are four user-preset buttons (M1-M4 on the remote) that you can set to any color you like.

I mean that you can't program color and intensity over a 24 hour period. It'd be nice if there was a timer, or app that allowed for timed day to night simulation. I'm working on an Arduino solution that emulates the IR signal used by the 32-button remote as a workaround.

I don't use it for plants, it's on a 75 gallon tank at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You can reprogram all the modes that the current USA one just takes a while to do you can change all the programmed times, intensity of white and blues land moonlight times .... I'm gunna be honest I've had a quad lighting from fluval and it blew in a few weeks and couldn't get a response from fluval for over 2 months of trying .... I would totally recommend the current USA led lighting
Mr Ry, do you have the Current Sat Freshwater +? How does it perform for low-medium light plants?
 

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I'm using Ecoxotic E Series and it is very similar to the Current Satellite + PRO. Even the timer I believe is the same. Both of great fixtures. The E series is slimmer and narrower which looks nice and sleek but its likely it provides a little less front to back coverage. PAR values are probably pretty close to each other. I find the intensity is pretty good directly under the light, maybe even bordering on medium light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm using Ecoxotic E Series and it is very similar to the Current Satellite + PRO. Even the timer I believe is the same. Both of great fixtures. The E series is slimmer and narrower which looks nice and sleek but its likely it provides a little less front to back coverage. PAR values are probably pretty close to each other. I find the intensity is pretty good directly under the light, maybe even bordering on medium light.
I looked into the Exocotic E Series as well - they look nice and as you said are very similar to the SAT + PRO. However, those 2 are a bit pricey and out of my price range. Just looking at low-tech so not sure if I need to spend that much on a light? Just wondering if the SAT + is good enough for low/medium light plants, which seems like it may just be enough
 

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Get a Current USA, its the superior light in terms of performance and functionality, and that's coming from someone who owns both. That said I'd opt for the Current USA LED +PRO if I was you. Its light output is still completely programmable/customizable as are the On/Off times, plus it includes a ramping timer which lowers/raises the brightness over a 15 minute period at the desired times, which doesn't shock the livestock as much, reducing overall stress. Here is a comparison chart of the different models of freshwater LED lights offered by Current USA.

http://current-usa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Satellite-Comparison-V3.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Get a Current USA, its the superior light in terms of performance and functionality, and that's coming from someone who owns both. That said I'd opt for the Current USA LED +PRO if I was you. Its light output is still completely programmable/customizable as are the On/Off times, plus it includes a ramping timer which lowers/raises the brightness over a 15 minute period at the desired times, which doesn't shock the livestock as much, reducing overall stress. Here is a comparison chart of the different models of freshwater LED lights offered by Current USA.

http://current-usa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Satellite-Comparison-V3.pdf
Hi LithiumRain, I would love the Current USA LED + PRO but I think the pricing is just too steep for me at 2x the Current Sat +. I'm keeping my tank low tech too so I think the Sat+ may seem to be sufficient for what I need unless there is a super good deal on a SAT+PRO :)
 

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When I got home I rigged up an infrared decoder and mapped out the remote button codes. Using those, it should be fairly easy to write a program that sends button-based IR commands by Arduino (the microcontroller thing below the screen). Shouldn't be too difficult to program dawn to dusk one simulated button press at a time. I read that a single remote works for multiple Current USA Satellite + lights, so one of these should drive an entire fish room, if it can "see" all the receivers.

So programmability is possible, it just takes some extra parts that cost >$40.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ahhh I just went ahead and bought mine last night! If I knew earlier I would've waited..

How much are you selling yours?
 

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Price and feature comparison

Finnex 24/7 - $ 304.58 + taxes + shipping for 48" from Amazon.ca or get it shipped across the border from Amazon.com...bit cheaper.

Fluval Aquasky - $209 - $25 free coupon on the box = $184 + taxes for 48", 35 W with full remote ( bought on boxing day for $148.00 (taxes included), 3 yrs Fluval warranty. Try Rogers Aquatic , Pet Culture or Aquarium West. Ask them about the $25 coupon. I am very satisfied with this light , very bright, beautiful colors, its worth it though its just been about a month I am using it but my plants have taken off.

current satellite led+ - $188.95 + taxes , 1 yr warranty, 30W, read reviews about returns.

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks. I was down to aquasky or current sat+. Got the sat+ from king eds. Was a bit cheaper than aquasky and has more reviews but I'm still intrigued by aquasky. Would like to test it out sometime.
 
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