We love it … the ‘Intense’ NEO Solar LED

This is truly one of our favorite LED’s for planted tanks. The NEO Solar Hi-Power LED stands out with it’s modern design and advanced optics. Its 6500K white light mimics natural sunlight, promoting lush vibrant aquascapes for freshwater tanks.

It’s one of the few all-in-one LED aquarium lights that has a fully adjustable arm built in. It’s ready to install on any frameless tank. No need to purchase or ponder over any other installation hardware, which saves you time & money. The mounting arm has four lockable, adjustable links that can be positioned to fit your needs; making this LED versatile for a variety of tank setups.

Another great feature is the shimmer it produces. It’s shimmer is truly outstanding. You will be as surprised as we were to see such intense shimmer in the aquarium water. Feel free to email us your videos of it’s shimmer to share with everyone!

A few more great features to mention…

  • The NEO is 100% waterproof, which is awesome!
  • It doesn’t need a built-in fan, so it operates silently, without noise!
  • It’s power consumption is only 30 watts

Our PPS-Pro Fertilizer Pack … Just Mix & Dose

It’s ready to go…our new PPS-Pro Fert Pack is everything you need to get started with the Perpetual Preservation System (PPS) method of fertilization. The PPS Pro method is a convenient, low maintenance method of fertilizing your planted tank.

Our PPS-Pro Fert Pack includes:

  • Two 500mL Fertilizer Dispensing Bottles
  • Plantex CSM+B (trace elements)
  • Potassium Nitrate KNO3
  • Mono Potassium Phosphate KH2PO4
  • Potassium Sulfate K2SO4
  • Magnesium Sulfate MgSO4
  • dosing pipette

What you will need to get started…

  • our PPS-Pro fertilizer package
  • distilled or RO water
  • a digital scale

Preparing the fert mix in the 500mL dosing bottles…

The following solution recipe is based on the use of two 500mL bottles. Before starting, we recommend to boil the plastic bottles to sanitize them.

Step 1.

Bottle #1 – use your digital scale to weigh the following ferts, then place dry contents in bottle:

  • K2SO4 – 29.3 grams
  • KNO3 – 32.6 grams
  • KH2PO4 – 2.9 grams
  • MgSO4 – 20.2 grams

Step 2.

Bottle #2 – use your digital scale to weigh the following ferts, then place dry contents in bottle:

  • Plantex CSM+B – 28.6 grams (Trace Elements (TE) recipe updated 4/11/2016, previous recommendation was 40 grams)

Step 3.

Fill both bottles with distilled or reverse osmosis (RO) water, up to the 500mL water level line. Screw on caps tightly and shake well. Let the mixture sit over night until dissolved completely.

How to dose the mixture…

Bottle #1 Macros: daily dose of 1 mL per every 10 gallons or 40 litres of aquarium water. Dose daily, prior to your aquarium lights turning on.

Bottle #2 Micros: daily dose of 0.5 mL or 10 drops per 10 gallons or 40 litres of aquarium water. Dose daily, prior to your aquarium lights turning on. (updated 7/7/2018, previous dosing recommendation was 0.1mL or 2 drops per 10 gallons)(updated 4/11/2016, previous dosing recommendation was 1 mL per 10 gallons)

(1 ml = 20 drops)

How to do PPS-Pro with water changes?

Dose PPS-Pro Solution #1 and PPS-Pro Solution #2 at the same time daily for a week, then 50% water change.

Low light

PPS-Pro Solution #1, 0.5ml or 10 drops per 10 gallon or 40 L

PPS-Pro Solution #2, 0.25ml or 5 drops per 10 gallon or 40 L

Water change 50% once a week

This limits water column nutrient levels to 7 ppm NO3, 0.7 ppm PO4, 9 ppm K, 0.7 ppm Mg, 0.35 ppm Fe(TE).

Medium light

PPS-Pro Solution #1, 1ml per 10 gallon or 40 L

PPS-Pro Solution #2, 0.5ml per 10 gallon or 40 L

Water change 50% once a week

This limits water column nutrient levels to 14 ppm NO3, 1.4 ppm PO4, 18 ppm K, 1.4 ppm Mg, 0.7 ppm Fe(TE).

High light

PPS-Pro Solution #1, 2ml per 10 gallon or 40 L

PPS-Pro Solution #2, 1ml per 10 gallon or 40 L

Water change 50% once a week

This limits water column nutrient levels to 28 ppm NO3, 2.8 ppm PO4, 36 ppm K, 2.8 ppm Mg, 1.4 ppm Fe(TE).

(1 ml = 20 drops)

The Newest TMC AquaRay LED lineup for Planted Tanks

Tropical Marine Center TMC has recently released their newest series of LED’s designed for the planted tank. We are happy to make them available to our customers.

Their newest LED tile, the AquaRay Grobeam 1500 Ultima, uses the latest and brightest generation Natural Daylight CREE XB-D Natural Daylight PowerLEDs with a 6500K color temperature for optimum plant growth and color rendition. Consisting of 10 x 6500K high output LEDs. It’s wide-angle beam allows for optimum and even light distribution at over 2000 lumens for full illumination of the freshwater biotope.

Also introducing, the newest TMC LED strip, the AquaRay Grobeam 600 Ultima. The Grobeam 600 comes in two options: a single strip with one power supply or the Dual Pack which includes two Grobeam 600 strips powered by a single power supply. These LED strips use the latest and brightest generation Natural Daylight CREE XB-D PowerLED’s with a 6500K color temperature for optimum plant growth and color rendition. Consists of 5 ultra-efficient CREE XB-D PowerLED’s. 1 x 12W 6500K. Wide-angle (120 degree) beam allows light unit to be mounted close to the aquarium surface for optimum and even light distribution. 30% brighter than the Grobeam 500 it replaces.

Understanding Aquarium Fertilizer & Planted Tank Fertilization Methods and Calculators


Fertilizer Dosing Methods:

  • PPS-Classic and Pro (Perpetual Preservation System)
  • Estimative Index (EI)

Fertilizer Dosing Calculator:

  • Aquarium Nutrient Calculator: Fertilizer Dosing Calculator – Rotala Butterfly Nutrient Calculator


When to Fertilize, and Why Fertilize

Fertilize planted tanks that implement carbon dioxide (CO2) injection, pressurized or DIY, combined with moderate to high lighting. Macro and micro nutrients are essential to proper plant growth, coloration, and survival.

How to Fertilize

There are two major Fertilization Methods to follow – PPS (Perpetual Preservation System) and EI (Estimative Index). To properly fertilize your planted tank, you will need to research and choose a method that fits your needs and tank conditions. Always be sure to carefully observe the plant conditions in you tank to avoid over or under fertilizing.

How to Dose the Fertilizer

There are several methods you can use to get the ferts in your aquarium.

  • Measure out the predetermined amount of dry ferts and place the dry fert(s) directly into the aquarium water.
  • Mix the predetermined amount with a little bit of aquarium water in a container until it dissolves, and then pour the solution into the aquarium.
  • Check out our detailed PPS-Pro dosing instructions.


Macros / Macronutrients (NPK) – there are three major macronutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K).

Micros / Micronutrients / Trace Elements – the most popular include: Iron, Boron, Manganese, Plantex, Miller Microplex.

Nitrogen (N) – the most common source is Potassium Nitrate (KNO3). It is the staple nutrient of all plants. It helps plants produce enzymes, proteins, and amino acids. A lack of nitrogen halts plant growth and promotes decay.

Phosphorous (P) – the most common source is Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4). Assists in plant DNA and RNA replication, and growth related processes. A lack of Phosphorous can result in the decreased ability for plants to uptake or absorb nutrients, leading to excess nutrient in the water and potential algae conditions.

Potassium (K) – potassium is found in compounds such as KNO3 and KH2PO4. For tanks with potassium deficiencies Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) provides the element of potassium. Potassium plays a very important role in photosynthesis optimization, while keeping plant processes and production in a constant state of activity.

Check out our newest Atomic CO2 Regulator – the V3

Throw out your last disposable CO2 cylinder, and move forward with the V3. No more need for costly, disposable cartridges. This tiny, revolutionary regulator is designed to fit your preferred CO2 tank size. It easily installs on CGA-320 cylinder valves, without the use of a wrench.

The Atomic CO2 Regulator V3 is designed specifically for use with our Atomic CO2 diffusers. Excellent for the beginner enthusiast or the planted tank professional seeking a sleek, compact, superior quality regulator. It features a fixed working pressure, precision needle valve and German-engineered solenoid.

Get to Know… AquaRay LED Solid State Lighting Tiles and Strips

Designed and manufactured by TMC in the UK, the AquaRay solid state lighting series, delivers a range of energy efficient LED lighting solutions and mounting possibilities for the planted tank….AquaBeam, Grobeam, and AquaHabits. In this quick article, we will help you get to know the best LED lighting options and lighting combinations to consider for your planted tank.

Before we get into the nitty gritty comparisons… first, let’s understand the features that each AquaRay LED series shares in common.

  • Built with the latest and brightest generation of solid state LED lighting technology, using CREE Compact Power LEDs.
  • Offers a minimum of 50,000 hours / 10 years lamp life – 6x that of standard fluorescent lighting.
  • Cool running with no noisy fans and minimal heat transfer to the aquarium water.
  • Low running costs and environmentally friendly – a very low carbon footprint and no Mercury.
  • Creates a unique and natural shimmer effect, with a wide-angle beam for optimum and even light distribution.
  • Perfect for planted tanks and ideal for plant growth.
  • Built-in compatibility for digital control – timing and dimming, dawn to dusk simulation, moonlight, storm function, and two channel control for up to 8 lights. Compatible with the AquaRay Power Controller and Multi Controller.
  • Features a compact design, and a sealed, water-resistant ABS and acrylic casing construction for safe use in all conditions. Corrosion proof and impact resistant.
  • 5 year guarantee.
  • Designed and manufactured by Tropical Marine Center in the UK
  • Modular Mounting System (MMS) compatible, offering an extensive range of mounting options for use with all aquarium installations.
AquaRay GroBeam 1000 ND LED – Natural Daylight – Solid State Lighting Tile – 6500K
  • Equipped with 10 ultra-efficient CREE XP-E LEDs.
  • Colour Temperature CT – Cool White – Natural Daylight, 6500K to replicate natural daylight conditions, ideal for plant growth.
  • Power consumption – 30 watts and dimmable.
  • Usage: 1 unit / tile per 2.5-3 ft sq.
  • Footprint: 198 x 198 x 47.5 mm
AquaRay GroBeam 500 LED – Solid State Lighting Strips – 6500K
  • Utilizes 5 ultra-efficient CREE XP-E 6500K LEDs.
  • Full spectrum, natural daylight, cool white color temperature.  Excellent for planted tank use.
  • Use a single strip or combine multiple strips.
  • 12 watt power consumption.
  • Footprint: 19 x 2 x 1.5 inches
AquaRay AquaBeam 1500 XG Ultima LED – Solid State Lighting Tile – 9000K
  • Built with 10 ultra-efficient CREE XP-G R+ PowerLEDs
  • Colour Temperature CT – Ocean White, 9000K
  • Spectral Quality – 405nm – 750nm
  • Lumen Efficiency – 700 mA, 1850 lm, 81 lm/w
  • Power consumption – 23 watts and dimmable.
  • Usage: 1 unit / tile per 3.5-4 ft sq.
  • Footprint: 198 x 198 x 47.5 mm
AquaRay AquaHabits Mini LED 400 – Natural Daylight – Solid State Lighting Tile – 6500K
  • Uses 4 OSRAM OSLON SSL high power LEDs
  • Colour Temperature CT – Cool White, 6500K to replicate natural daylight conditions, ideal for plant growth.
  • Mini LED tile perfect for Nano tanks up to 50L, combine multiple tiles for larger tanks.
  • Power consumption – 12 watts and dimmable
  • Footprint: 14.5 x 14.5 cm, 470 grams
  • There is no other nano LED quite like it…one of a kind technology.