Lighting And Tank Choice Help Required


Junior Poster
Feb 19, 2017
Hello community,

I currently own two LED lights. The Finnex Planted 24/7 and the Current Satellite LED+ (NOT THE PRO). Im deciding whether to go for a 33G long or a 40G long CO2 injected high tech tank. Both are 48" long 12" wide, the only difference being that the 33G has a height of 12" while the 40G has a Height of 16". So here is what Im wondering

33G long = 12" high - 2" aqua soil = 10" Finnex would have PAR of ~120 directly under the light, Current Satellite would have ~65 PAR directly under light

40G long = 16" high - 3" substrate = 13" Finnex would have PAR of ~90 directly under the light, Current Satellite would have ~34-35 PAR directly under light

These Values were taken from their websites or charts made from their company I found online.

My question is

Knowing that PAR gets WEAKER as it spreads, but also knowing that adding CO2 will LOWER the required light which plants need to successfully grow, which tank should I be getting if I wanted to grow some type of carpeting grass, along with some rooted plants for example Ludwigia sp. Red. Im NOT going to grow anything crazy difficult as I dont have that much time to micro manage the picky plants. My goal here is to MINIMIZE the chances of me getting algae or any sort so I dont want my lights to be super high or super low.

Thanks in advance


Super Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Member
Jun 20, 2016
Let me start by saying I do not own these lights so maybe someone who had first hand experience with them can provide better advice. I know that both lights are a little bit raised from the aquarium so you need to take that distance into account when calculating the distance from the light (LED spot) to the substrate top.

In both situations the Planted 24/7 would put you in the high light situation if the manufacturers are to be believed. Eleocharis sp. can certainly be grown with a lot less so even the Satellite would work, give you slower growth but also lower the algae possibility.

Now, in a 12" (30cm) deep aquarium, iwagumi style aquascapes look great but stems will need regular trimming and most of rosette plants will quickly outgrow the aquarium. 16" gives enough space for many stems to look better and if you pick right you could even have a midground. However, at 12" wide the ratio would be a little off for planted aquariums making aquascaping difficult.

If you are not limited by the 12" wide, I would go for a 16" wide aquarium, regardless of the height. If you are limited, I would pick the 12 deep and aim for mainly iwagumi style scapes or stick to small leaved /mini stems (Gratiola viscidula, ammania bonsai, R. wallichi, A. reineckii mini...)

Hope this helps.


Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Aug 25, 2016
I think you’re overly worried about par, I am growing this using a dimmed Current satellite LED+ (picture from today on my 20g long 12” deep)

I used to run a LED+ and an +PRO on the tank, but honestly the +PRO isn’t as good at spreading the light out, so stuff just gets blasted in the middle. The real tough part was getting that CO2 in a good zone.

I would go for the 16 high, just because you can do a little more with some extra vertical space. I think in either situation, you have plenty of light. Id be more concerned about getting good flow in 48” tank and having a strong enough pump on your co2 system to dissolve your gas.