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Fishless cycling my new planted tank...fiddling with lights
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)6:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that one will work, with caution. I suggest you pick up the Dino Spit from Aquagreen if you're going to go with that one and dose appropriately, that should keep you out of trouble for the time being. Very Happy

I would have picked this one myself, it's just about perfect for the no CO2 approach to planted tanks. I'm lazy and dosing everyday gets to be a pain...especially when you have multiple tanks like I do.

I vaguely remember hearing the legs can be tilted or are otherwise adjustable to a degree on these lights, so you should be OK. Perhaps email them and ask to be sure. Very Happy
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)6:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmmm...what's the difference between HO and HE? HO stands for High Output as far as I know...
Anyway, the main reason I picked that other one is because it's a 3-footer (my tank's a 3-foot) and because it didn't say that it was out of stock. No patience, have I!

Anyway yeah, I am lazy too so I don't want a CO2 system that is going to be a pain in the arse. If I can get away with high light and just a bunch of bristlenose and otos to take care of the inevitable algae, then I'll be happy Smile

Is this Dino Spit stuff better than Seachem Excel Tabs? I've never heard of it before.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)6:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

HO stands for high output, HE stands for high efficiency. HE has about 1/2 the wattage and light output of HO, but runs much cooler, lasts much longer and is more efficient.

I don't think Seachem has Excel tabs, they're probably Flourish tabs which are a fertilizer mix. Excel is liquid carbon in a form that plants can take up, it's mainly made of a chemical called gluteraldehyde. Dino Spit contains the same chemical, as does a new API product that has just come out. I don't know whether they're better, but they're almost as good, if not exactly the same. Aquagreen tends to be pretty popular within certain circles of Aussie hobbyists, they don't export at all and don't advertise a lot so that is probably why you've never heard of them.
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.27(Sun)6:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh Flourish, that's what I meant to say. Leaf me alone, I'm tired Razz

Anyway, I will check that out. Do you think the HE lights would be better for my planted tank than the HO, or does it really matter? Despite all my fishy experience, I still feel pretty "in the dark", as it were, when it comes to proper aquatic plant care. I always say I have a brown thumb Confused

Well, thank you so much for all your kind and helpful advice!
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)6:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on your goals/future plans which would be better...the HE is right on target for no dosing, no CO2 style tanks. The style where one just leaves the tank alone and things thrive on neglect, no trouble, nothing required. The HO is on the upper end of this; you can still make it work, but it would work better with a little Excel/Dino Spit, fertilizer dosing and the odd tweak. It's probably the better option if you're planning to dabble in CO2 etc.

Basically, more light is not always better. I always advise people to figure out what type of tank set up they want before jumping in...then tailor the lights to suit. Very Happy
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)6:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK cool, I will definitely keep all that in mind. Yeah, I would have preferred to have been able to plan it out better from the start, but until I start making decent money I am going to have to economize and then just upgrade things when I can. At least where the plants are concerned...I'm definitely not planning on killing any fishies Wink
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DaleJr
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Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)8:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't see where you listed the lights you already have. What do you have in place right now.

Honestly I would look into maybe dual Normal Output, this would maybe keep you out of the need for co2 and you can suppliment with excel since cost is a factor in this setup. DIY is just to inconsistant in larger tanks.

Also lighting is the last upgrade in planted tanks.

Substrate > Ferts > co2> lighing...you want to eliminate limiting factors

What type of substrate do you have? You might be able to elmininate that problem with root tabs.
Are you dosing? What? Dry might be a cost effective route since liquid is such a waste.
Co2...Excel is a great source of carbon for lowtech setups.
LIGHTING .... Is where most people fall of the ledge, and pushes them into pressurized co2.
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.28(Mon)23:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mentioned them in the first post, but I'll go check right now and get the exact specs on the lights....

OK, it's an Aqua One AL-8D model, 230-240V, with 2x8W bulbs in it. It only fits over one half of my tank (it was cheap), which is why I was thinking of only adding a single 3-foot tube, because I can still use the existing light next to the new one on the side of the tank that has stem plants (the other half only has low-light plants, and I wanted to provide some environmental variation for the fishes, when I get them).

Substrate is just your normal fine light-colored gravel that I picked up at the LPS. Now I'm wishing I had added some fluorite, but it was expensive so I passed on it at the time. I'm hoping that it will be enough just to dose with root tabs. The sand is deeper toward the back of the tank where I have all the stem plants. I'm not dosing with any liquid fertilizers at this point, as I read in the silent cycling article that you should just use root tabs at first.

Anyhoo, I'm supposed to be starting my new job this week (they just haven't told me what day yet, grr), so hopefully cost will become less of an issue in the near future.
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DaleJr
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Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: 2011.03.29(Tue)8:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me make a few suggestions to make this transition easier on you.

"I'm considering doing CO2 once I have the lighting upgraded, so I want to also make sure I provide adequate nutrients" Like I mentioned in the last post lighting should be the last upgrade..If you are considering going to pressurized co2 then go ahead and make a decision..For/or against.

Reason: You buy stronger, better lights...algae outbreak NOW you have to get the co2. Co2 isn't required UNLESS you have crazy high lights. So make that decision HighTech / Lowtech.

About the light: When you decide either HighTech / Lowtech here are a few numbers you don't want to stray from

This is a 40 gal tank (breeder or long) Both are 16 inches in depth (also consider the depth of the substrate.

40B
Light on top of the tank - 1 T5HO bulb HIGH Light
Light on top of the tank - 2 T5HO bulb TOO HIGH
4" Above the tank - 1 T5HO bulb Medium Light
4" Above the tank - 2 T5HO bulb High Light
12" Above the tank - 1 T5HO Bulb Low Light
12" Above the tank - 2 T5HO bulb Medium Light

So in saying this you have really 2 options

1. Med-low tech = "4 above the tank 1 T5HO bulb ( this is what I would consider) it is a happy FUN medium where you can probably get away with only dosing excel.

2. HIGH TECH= Light on top of the tank - 1 T5HO bulb HIGH Light
This would probably require you to run pressurized co2.

Here are a couple of lights I might suggest

SolarMax 36" 2 x T5 Lunar Aquarium Strip Light (NO/HE) =42w This light will place you in Medium Lighting.
http://cgi.ebay.com/SolarMax-36-2-x-T5-Lunar-Aquarium-Strip-Light-Fixture-/300428574913?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45f2f040c1


GLO T5 HO FLUORESCENT LIGHTS 36" single strip
http://cgi.ebay.com/GLO-T5-HO-FLUORESCENT-LIGHTS-36-AQUARIUM-FISH-SINGLE-/230396575247?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35a4b4be0f

Hope this helps
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Catfishy
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2011.03.29(Tue)16:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's actually really helpful and makes a lot of sense, thanks! I will now go consider my options...

And I will post some pictures once the tank has established itself better.

Thanks to both of you for all your help!
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