Top 5 Best Nano Aquarium LED's For Your Planted Freshwater Aquarium

best planted aquarium led for your fish tank

 Whats the deal with all these aquarium LED's?

In today's market for aquarium LED's there's no shortage of choices. A quick Amazon search will reveal hundreds of different lights, all claiming to do the job. In the case of a non-planted or "fish only" aquarium, you can get away with just about anything but what about those interested in a LED that's suited for planted tanks...

aquarium led light spectrum

Aquarium plants need a light source that provides a spectrum of "usable light" within the 400 to 700 nm range. We call this range Photosynthetic Active Rradiation (PAR) and the usable portion of the range is called Photosynthetic Usable Radiation (PUR). These concepts get unnecessarily over complicated and to be honest, arn't really important to the vast majority of us keeping planted aquariums.
Pretty much all of the LED's marketed for growing aquatic plants are going to produce a decent light spectrum capable of growing plants just fine. Each light will have a slightly different spectral and power output, some of which will show on the box it comes in, others will not. At the end of the day, I always fall back on my own experience and product reviews from hobbiests when I don't have that direct relationship with a product. Here's my list of the top 5 LED's for small nano aquariums under 20 gallons:

 

#5 - Hygger Clip On Freshwater LED

 

hygger aquarium nano aquarium led for planted tanks

OVERVIEW-

The Hygger clip on aquarium led is a decent starting point for someone new to the hobby thats looking to save some cash. It features a flexible gooseneck for easy positioning over your tank and simple controls. Pair that with 3 rows of white led's and your small tank will get good light coverage. This led comes in two sizes, one being 30 leds (9.7 in") and the other with 45 (14.5 in"). This led is a decent option for long narrow rimless and traditional rimmed tanks needing a wide light coverage 

Unfortunately, this light fixture does not incorporate any red led's or have any spectral customization whatsoever. It still does a good job at growing lots of beginner aquarium plants, but can't compare to others further down the list. 

PROS-

  • Price ( 2nd cheapest on our list)
  • Fits on rimmed or rimless tanks
  • Flexible gooseneck allows good positioning
  • One year warranty 

CONS-

  • Not the best option for growing aquarium plants
  • Limited manual light adjustments (all on/blue only)
  • Average build quality

 View This LED on Amazon for More Info:

 

#4 - Finnex StingRay Clip LED

OVERVIEW-

Im a big fan of the Finnex clip LED's, probably because they are priced very reasonably and deliver decent performance. The StingRay is a smaller and thus weaker LED compared to many on this list but produces a great light spectrum that makes up for it. 18 total led's (12 white, 3 Blue and 3 red). Super flexible gooseneck design, (one of the best ive used) easy to move around and very low profile.

One of the only cons of the finnex StingRay is its power output and coverage. I typically need 2 of these led's to get the job done on cube tanks larger than 10 gallons. If you have easy beginner plants like anubias, java fern, etc. you will be just fine with one of them. 2 modes- All On/Off Limit the user and a separate timer is pretty much required.

PROS-

  • Price (#1 cheapest on our list)
  • Spectral mix (white, blue and red led's)
  • Flexible gooseneck design

CONS-

  • Low power output (not the brightest light on the list)
  • Best for tanks under 10 gallons only
  • The next led on our list is a better, similar alternative

 View This LED on Amazon for More Info:

 

#3 - Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Clip LED

 

OVERVIEW-

Another great led from Finnex, the FugeRay Planted+ is essentially an upgraded version of the previous fixture. It has a slightly higher power output and more red led's that create a warmer appearance and potentially better plant growth. It also features a dual mode switch (all on/blue only) to create a moonlight effect if desired. The clamp that attaches to the aquarium is similar to the StingRay, but rather clips to the either side of the aquarium rather than the rear. This may be a desired location depending on you aquarium.

PROS-

  • Price (under 50 USD)
  • Great light spectrum (white, blue and red led's)
  • Sleek silver design, good quality 
  • Gooseneck for ideal positioning

CONS-

  • Side mounting might not be desired
  • Not the best option for a high tech aquarium setup

 View This LED on Amazon for More Info:

 

#2 - Fluval 3.0 Plant LED Nano

 fluval nano led for nano tanks

OVERVIEW-

The Fluval plant nano led is one of my favorites. It has a great simplistic look, high power/PAR output potential and is app controlled!Not many nano aquarium led's offer this amount of control and its a huge plus. Have plants that require high light? Easy, this light can deliver it. Have a low tech tank and don't require as much? Fine, just use the app to slide the different color bars to 75, 50, 36...% whatever works best for your setup. 

PROS-

  • App controlled for precise color adjustments
  • Great PAR output (2nd highest on our list)
  • Easy height/length adjustments 
  • Solid build construction (metal not plastic)

CONS-

  • Runs hot
  • For rimless or very thin rimmed tanks ONLY

 View This LED on Amazon for More Info:

 

#1 - ONF Flat Nano

 

OVERVIEW-

The ONF Flat Nano LED is the #1 best nano aquarium led on our list for several reasons. The "ColorFull" full spectrum RGB led's combine red, green and blue wavelengths that ultimately emit a 7000K white light that makes everything in your tank pop. Reds are more red, greens are more green, etc. You have to see this fixture in person to truly appreciate the difference it makes. This is an excellent choice for low or high tech aquariums, just simply adjust the power output accordingly   

PROS-

  • RGB LED's produce the best visual colors in your aquarium.
  • Adjustable height (up, down and swivel)
  • Highest PAR output on our list (best for demanding plants)
  • Dimmable: 25-50-75-100% can work with high tech and low tech tanks
  • Best overall exterior design (very elegant/simple looking)  
  • One year warranty 

CONS-

  • Price - Most expensive on our list
  • For rimless tanks ONLY
  • App controlled version not available on Amazon (yet)

 View This LED on Amazon for More Info:

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