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Thread: Twinstar 900E/900ES

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    SCAPE Board Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Twinstar 900E/900ES

    Anybody have any experience with these lights? Doesnt have to be the 900 as thats the size, but experience with the E or ES series?
    I've been doing my research and it appears that I wasn't around for the BML era which I have heard and read were top of the line when it came to planted tank lighting. From what I have read and seen through reviews the Twinstar E and ES series' seem to be right up there as a runner up.
    I did some research on the Chihiros RGB lights and they dont make a size that would go the full length of a 40 breeder which is what I will be lighting, so if I went that route I would most likely need to get 2 and hang them. I also saw the Twinstar had better reviews.
    Curious to hear if anyone has any experience they want to share

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Twinstar is made using chihiros leds, board and housing. They are a collaboration between two companies. The twinstars have a higher output, but are also 3-4 times the price of a chihiros fixture. BML were not high end they were just expensive fixtures that worked. They made more money selling horticulture lighting so they abandoned the hobby and chased cash, although they are relatively unknown amongst hort hobbyists at least what I have seen shows this.

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    SCAPE Board Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
    Twinstar is made using chihiros leds, board and housing. They are a collaboration between two companies. The twinstars have a higher output, but are also 3-4 times the price of a chihiros fixture. BML were not high end they were just expensive fixtures that worked. They made more money selling horticulture lighting so they abandoned the hobby and chased cash, although they are relatively unknown amongst hort hobbyists at least what I have seen shows this.
    The chihiros lights were on my list of top possibilities when I started looking for a light better suited for what I want to do and more, like you said to buy more that what I need it for. The part the drew me away from Chihiros is that the biggest size is for a 60p and a 40 breeder is 90cm so I would need at least 2 fixtures so overall price would be closer to a Twinstar I think. Do you think a single Twinstar would be better than 2 Chihiros? I read that since the Twinstar is wider that it has a wider spread as well which could help on the 40 breeder.
    I looked at all the dutch aquascape threads, all the high tech threads here on scape from the last few years keeping track of what lights people were using. The thread you started about what new lights are on the market a few years back helped quite a bit but the info kinda died off. Was all over PlantedTank.net and youtube too. I still couldn't make up my mind on a single choice, wish I could just buy em all!
    If theres another light that would be better that I don't know about I am open to other suggestions too. Theres a wealth of knowledge and experience here.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr dealend's Avatar
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    @joethecinbeng probably can answer twinstar.

    To please your eye, go with T5.
    For budget control, go with LED.
    Which LED, its all depends what you need. Beamswork green element are the cheapest, but is not full spectrum. The color is just white.
    Chihiros is good, cheaper than twinstar but yeah they dont have much choice on larger size.

    start your day with a smile

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr joethecinbeng's Avatar
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    I would not say that T5 is for everyone. It all depends on your layout, whether it is nature,iwagumi,dutch,etc.
    One thing for sure T5 with red/pink/purple bulbs will make the red plants pop.

    BML (Spent $200) becomes FLUENCE (I spent $500 already for 2 Ray 44). they are good for growth, but not so much for color rendering.

    Twinstar E series, not good enough for red plants IME. If you are planting more green/nature style plants then go with E series.
    But if Dutch style go with the S series.
    I have both E series and 900S, definitely like the S better. The E series is "dimmable" just buy the RF/ LED dimmer with remote from Amazon for $8. (Exactly the same one they use for Chihiros).
    I also have the Chihiros A series plus and the RGB(not that good, does not make the red plants "red").

    If you only aim for a high light, green plants, just go with the Chihiros A series or A plus for wider tanks. The angle of the light will be more than enough to cover 36inch tank. Get the one with adjustable legs.
    For 40B just buy two 60cm Chihiros place it parallel so it will cover all the area.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr joethecinbeng's Avatar
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    Im going with Hybrid LED and T5 soon for my 4 foot tank, maybe the ATI Sunpower. But if 40B, i would go with Twinstar E for green plants, S for red plants.
    Fluval 2.0 is ok too, but they are too mainstream.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr dealend's Avatar
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    You should grow weed with $1000 equipment.
    Rotala doesnt need fancy lighting.

    ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING...

    start your day with a smile
    Last edited by dealend; 02-11-2018 at 12:20 AM.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    Everything depends on what you wish to grow... as a 40g breeder is relatively shallow, especially with substrate added, most lights will be sufficient for growth - what’s a bummer is figuring out spread on these wide a** tanks... wouldn’t go with the fluval fluval planted 2... great par, but very narrow spread, even with 2 on a breeder, I get a darken area towards the back... at CK, they have the Twinstar set up over a few tanks - cool light but a bit pricey... Peter has an additional option too, can’t recall the make... but before u pay $$$, you might want to hit him up for his input or better yet visit to see em first hand... I personally like both finnex (Ray 2) and BLM, but finnex have crap for a warranty and BLM sold us out for ganga, the bums.

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Just for informational purposes. Something can be full-spectrum and be white in color. Spectrum and Kelvin aren't always closely correlated or dependent. You can have white light and still be full spectrum as long as the wavelengths peak in the proper areas at appropriate measurements. Example I have a high CRI 3500K light with a spectrum closer to natural sunlight than a 6500k daylight bulb. I also have a blurple(blue//purple) light that hits photosynthetic peaks better than a 6500k daylight bulb.


    @Kole85 if we are talking two 36" Chihiros A style vs 1 Twinstar. I think the 2 Chihiros have it beat on par and 100% beat on spread.

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    SCAPE Board Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    I'm using a Finnex Ray2 on my 29g, its the 30" so I could probably use it on a 36" tank but I have noticed the same thing others have said in reviews: its a great light and grows plants like crazy, but plant color is kinda bland when using it.
    I like the looks of the Chihiros and Twinstar lights better than the Finnex fixtures. From the feedback I am getting the Chihiros are more comparable to the Twinstar's than I thought and might be the way to go, especially since I can get 3 for the price of 1 Twinstar 900S. I do like the look of hanging the lights as well.
    After the feedback on the different Chihiros Models, what if I did 2 different models run parallel? Like an A series and a RGB, so what one lacks the other helps to boost? Or maybe a Chihiros RGB along with my 30" Ray2? That would probably be the cheapest route, lol.

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    What makes RGB most appealing is that they have colored leds mixed in, which may not produce additional usable wavelengths for plant growth they are useful for viewing and color rendition. The colors will "PoP" You could totally run an A series and 2 x 45cm RGB's believe it or not this is one thing I considered when setting up my 90P. I already had one 45cm RGB and a finnex ray 2 36" I was considering getting an A series and another 45CM RGB.

    Does that make sense?

    1st light - "Front position" Finnex Ray2: Most carpets tend to be green(Greens display fine with Ray2's.) Ray2 will grow dense carpet in a 16" tall tank, thick bunches of stauro and blyxxa for midground. will also keep HM tight as well as R. Green bushy.

    2nd light - "Middle position" 2 x 45cm(36") Chi RGB: Fixture provides additional par, but more importantly adds color to fill gaps in Finnex kelvin and low CRI.

    3rd light - "Backgroun Position" Chihiros A series: Similar output to Finnex, but instead of the 8000k-9000k light the Finnex actually puts out. The Chi A series puts out a nice "true 7000k-7500k" The fixture is dimmable so as your Background stems get longer you can dim it down. and mixing with the RGB should give you a nice "PoP EffeCT."

    Then I was gonna make a nice minimalist wood floating hood and cram everything in there hook everything up to a surge protector, ziptie and clean it up and run a single extention cord out to a timer and hang it... I found another option that required less time to diy since at the time I was having enough problems moving the empty tank from the back yard onto it's stand I had set up 3 weeks earlier.

    There's plenty of options, play around with stuff, what's the worst that could happen? If you end up ditching a fixture or two. You could always save them for a future project or release them back into the wild via scape tradewinds.

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    SCAPE Board Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
    What makes RGB most appealing is that they have colored leds mixed in, which may not produce additional usable wavelengths for plant growth they are useful for viewing and color rendition. The colors will "PoP" You could totally run an A series and 2 x 45cm RGB's believe it or not this is one thing I considered when setting up my 90P. I already had one 45cm RGB and a finnex ray 2 36" I was considering getting an A series and another 45CM RGB.

    Does that make sense?

    1st light - "Front position" Finnex Ray2: Most carpets tend to be green(Greens display fine with Ray2's.) Ray2 will grow dense carpet in a 16" tall tank, thick bunches of stauro and blyxxa for midground. will also keep HM tight as well as R. Green bushy.

    2nd light - "Middle position" 2 x 45cm(36") Chi RGB: Fixture provides additional par, but more importantly adds color to fill gaps in Finnex kelvin and low CRI.

    3rd light - "Backgroun Position" Chihiros A series: Similar output to Finnex, but instead of the 8000k-9000k light the Finnex actually puts out. The Chi A series puts out a nice "true 7000k-7500k" The fixture is dimmable so as your Background stems get longer you can dim it down. and mixing with the RGB should give you a nice "PoP EffeCT."

    Then I was gonna make a nice minimalist wood floating hood and cram everything in there hook everything up to a surge protector, ziptie and clean it up and run a single extention cord out to a timer and hang it... I found another option that required less time to diy since at the time I was having enough problems moving the empty tank from the back yard onto it's stand I had set up 3 weeks earlier.

    There's plenty of options, play around with stuff, what's the worst that could happen? If you end up ditching a fixture or two. You could always save them for a future project or release them back into the wild via scape tradewinds.
    Yeah, I will probably have a couple different models of lights. I've seen the importance of the red and blue light when growing plants, the green light isnt so important because plants reflect thay part of the spectrum which is why plants appear green. My 20g long has 2 lights, one is red and white, the other is blue and white, and the moss in that tank grows faster and healthier than I've seen before. I also have some family that is in the medical marijuana industry and if you walk into a professional grow room its purple because they only use red and blue light, and they got the growing of weed down to a science lol.
    Thats the main reason why I want at least 1 full spectrum light, even if it doesnt work out the way I hope. I do know my Ray2 has a hard time bringing color out of Rotala Macranda, Rotala Walichi, Ludwigia Peruensis, and rotala macrandra mini no matter how much iron I dose and combinations of phosphates and nitrogen and micros and macros.
    You guys opened my mind to the Chihiros brand quite a bit. Thinking 1, maybe 2 Chihiros rgb's in the back and the Ray2 in the front for the low level plants and carpet. I appreciate everyones advice and experience.

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Previously we have taken a stance on mentioning the above.

    Thank jebus it's 2018 and prop 64 legalizes the recreational use of mj for adults 21 and over. Easier and faster to get than delivered pizza. Arguably safer when compared to Alcohol which is used and discussed openly. All strains either have a medicinal or theraputic purpose. Yes blue promotes photosynthesis and red promotes cell division and nutrient transport. I have researched my fair share on Indoor Horticulture and the lighting options available.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr SamSam563's Avatar
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    From my understanding the ES is newer and a little brighter. If your gonna get a twinstar I suggest getting a Reef Brite In Line Dimmer from Marine depot. If you are really serious about lighting and don't want multiple on 1 tank, just save up to buy the ADA Solar RGB LED lighting. Full spectrum is not necessary but RGB really does make your tank look more alive.
    Last edited by SamSam563; 02-12-2018 at 10:40 AM.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr geektom's Avatar
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    Twinstar 900E/900ES

    I donít have nearly the expertise of the others that have chimed in, but I can add that my Finnex Planted + with the red LEDís has given me exceptional growth, allowed me to grow some pretty picky plants, and makes the reds look nice, too. I have only used the 24Ē, so I canít speak to the larger sizes.


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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamSam563 View Post
    From my understanding the ES is newer and a little brighter. If your gonna get a twinstar I suggest getting a Reef Brite In Line Dimmer from Marine depot. If you are really serious about lighting and don't want multiple on 1 tank, just save up to buy the ADA Solar RGB LED lighting. Full spectrum is not necessary but it really does make your tank look more alive.
    It seems to me that there is a misconception that colored leds means full spectrum and that is just not the case. Spectrum and viewing color/kelvin are two different things.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    I can’t wait to retire... Day one I’m gonna re-live a certain aspect of my college years...

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