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New tank / lighting questions
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dryn
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Joined: 06 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)21:16    Post subject: New tank / lighting questions Reply with quote

Hi! I've just set up a new 35 gallon tank (36x12x17), and this is my first aquarium. I would like to grow plants in it but I am afraid I really don't have enough light. I decided on a tank with a hood and one fluorescent light fixture, and was hoping to 'ghetto-rig' some kind of other fixture into it or possibly grow plants that don't require as much light. The fixture itself says 20 watts, but the bulb came with it and I don't know what it is. I'm not sure I understand this either, is 20 watts the maximum size of bulb I can install? I may have skimped on my research on this bit, from what I understand 20 watts is a fairly cheap amount...

Any suggestions would be welcome! Also, I fear I may not have enough circulation and the water surface is fairly calm. Would it be wise to install some kind of air pump and air stone to help?











Last edited by dryn on 2007.01.06(Sat)23:36; edited 1 time in total
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Angry Andy
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Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Location: St. John's, NL, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)21:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

At 0.6 watts per gallon, that doesn't even make the cut for low-light plants; no guarantees for even anubias, java moss or java fern. You will most likely need an upgrade. I'd scrap the stock hood and replace it with a glass canopy- this allows the greatest flexibility for lighting a planted tank. As for replacement fixtures/bulbs- that all depends on what you want to plant. Some plants need more light than others, and some require shade from direct light.

I would recommend reading up on the garden articles of this web site, as well as the planted tanks forum.

Air pumps/stones are generally no good for planted tanks since they conflict with the amount of CO2 present in the water- injected or not.
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)23:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you probably should upgrade a bit if you want more demanding plants, but I don't quite agree with what Andy said about the current lighting not being suitable for even low-light plants. I currently have .6W/g on my 55g with java fern, anubias nana, anubias afzelii, and amazon swords, and they're all doing very well; my java ferns have made so many baby plants that I've had to go in and pluck them off because the mother plants were looking smothered.

This doesn't mean I'll continue to have success with my plants (I'm not against upgrading in the future if I need to) or that you'll have the same experience I've had, but it doesn't hurt to try first with the equipment you already own before going hog-wild and spending a bunch more money on expensive bulbs and/or hoods.

From the pictures it looks like the filter is an AquaClear or similar. If you add a lot of plants to the tank, you should be okay for oxygen provided you don't keep the temperature too high. See how it goes and, after you've cycled, if you notice your fish are gasping or seem distressed, you can try lowering the water level a bit or look at a bubbler.
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dryn
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Joined: 06 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)23:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've updated with some clearer photos. Yeah, its a AquaClear 50 (and a Jager 150 W heater) I'm still not clear on the lighting fixture, does 20 W mean that is the maximum strength tube I can fix into it safely? The bulb in there now is quite dim.

Right now I am mostly concerned with something easy and relatively cheap to set up, I don't have any preferences toward certain plants or fish. I will think about upgrading, maybe trade in the hood at a pet store for something different. I don't know about setting up my own fixtures with a glass cover, I am not very handy. Very Happy

Thanks for the replies and advice!
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Angry Andy
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Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Location: St. John's, NL, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)23:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

dryn wrote:
I'm still not clear on the lighting fixture, does 20 W mean that is the maximum strength tube I can fix into it safely? The bulb in there now is quite dim.

A 20-watt fixture indicates that it will power a bulb of any wattage up to and including 20 watts.
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dryn
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Joined: 06 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.07(Sun)0:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, thankyou!
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jimmy campbell
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Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Location: Oshawa, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.07(Sun)18:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, you need to research a bit. look up WPG (watts per gallon) and other stuff for planted tanks @ http://www.rexgrigg.com


So watts per gal, substrate, co2 diy just to get you started. A planted tank (to me) can be confusing. read up a lot and don't be suprised if your plants die right away. Thats how some of mine went. And what I have learned in the past, if your going to upgrade buy it right the 1st time. don't buy something "just enough or just to get by"

Eg: if u have a 30 gal tank buy a filter rated for a 40 or 50 gal tank.

heres other links for you too

http://aquaticconcepts.thekrib.com/Articles/AFM_CO2.htm
http://www.aquariaplants.com/
http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html
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dryn
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Joined: 06 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.07(Sun)23:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I actually spent a fair amount of time researching planted tanks today. Woops. Now I am looking into different hood types. Thanks for the links and tips. Smile
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dryn
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Joined: 06 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.08(Mon)14:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I might as well throw this question up here. Let's say I get a glass canopy and a fluorescent light system like EZ Ballast here...



How, exactly, do I place these lights above the tank? Is it up to me to rig something up, or are there some kind lighting fixture hoods available? Any suggestions? thanks
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jimmy campbell
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Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Location: Oshawa, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.08(Mon)14:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe this type of lighting would go under a large wooden hood (atleast thats how I've seen them). these lights are just like end caps and the bulb goes between right? no reflectors? I don't know if you can just sit on them on the top, I've never really played with these before, and I don't think you can fit them under your existing hood. Eather way, hopefully someone knows cause I might go buy some for my tank.
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