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Another "help me stock my tank" thread

This is a discussion on Another "help me stock my tank" thread within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Well, if the tube is like most stock tubes that come in fixtures, it is probably next to useless. Mine go to recycling and ...

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Another "help me stock my tank" thread
Old 11-12-2011, 03:49 PM   #21
 
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Well, if the tube is like most stock tubes that come in fixtures, it is probably next to useless. Mine go to recycling and I acquire good tubes. If you stay with your present fixture, I would recommend Life-Glo (Hagen) or Ultra Sun (ZooMed). Alternatively, if they come in the length for your fixture, a "daylight" tube with a 6500K or thereabouts rating by GE, Phillips or Sylvania will work. You can get the latter at hardware and home improvement type stores; the first two at fish stores.

If you decide on a new fixture, you could go with a single-tube T5, or a dual-tube T8. This would mean getting a glass cover, and then the fixture [assuming you have a manufactured hood with the light included].
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:56 PM   #22
 
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Thank you!!
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:42 AM   #23
 
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Okay, if I get a new fixture, would it be better in a 24 inch deep tank have a T5NO bulb or a T5HO?
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:32 PM   #24
 
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Okay, if I get a new fixture, would it be better in a 24 inch deep tank have a T5NO bulb or a T5HO?
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T5 tubes only work in T5 fixtures. There are NO (normal output) and HO (high output) tubes, and i believe I have read about VHO (very high output).

The NO tubes are hard to come by; for instance, no one in Vancouver has them to my knowledge. I expect this may be because they are basically the same as regular T8 with respect to intensity, so why would anyone waste the money on T5 (which are usually more expensive for fixtures and tubes) if the less expensive T8 are going to give much the same. So most with T5 would use HO tubes. These were primarily designed for marine reef systems, to provide considerably more light intensity with less energy.

A single tube T5 HO would probably work fine in your case. HO tubes are available in most fish stores. Hagen make them in the "Glo" series, and ZooMed also make them. So the Life-Glo 2 from Hagen and the Ultra Sun from ZooMed would work. Just be careful not to get a dual-tube fixture, and two HO tubes would be a lot of light and tip the natural balance. I bought a dual-tube 48-inch fixture a couple of years back to replace an old T8 that gave out, and after a week I took it back for a dual T8; it was just far too much light intensity.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:39 PM   #25
 
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Thanks once again. I really appreciate your insight and help!
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:06 PM   #26
 
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I'd actually go with the dual-t8 fixture... They're much cheaper.

Also, incredibly jealous that your LFS has Vaillanti. Thats the fish in my avatar.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:31 PM   #27
 
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So in that case would you use one plant grow bulb and one 6500K?

Id love to hear anyone's opinion, I read and filter it all.

Do you keep vaillanti? I would really love to have them... They are so beautiful.

I had read that they like warmer temps and softer pH so initially thought they'd be OK to have with rams.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:30 PM   #28
 
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One more question - should I do a 36-inch bulb set up in the 36-inch tank for more consistent coverage, or should I continue to use a 24-inch bulb like the one my kit light has?

If a 2-bulb T8 is as good as the one T5 and cheaper, I might go that route. Then again, if I did go that route, would I get 2 types of tubes or 2 similar ones? I found a site that talks about PAR with the different tubes (never knew that word until just a bit ago) and plan to read up on that tonight.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #29
 
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Ok I lied, another question. :)

I tested my water last night- tank empty, and the pH was 7.6, which is higher than it ever was in my past tank, same city. Does a sand substrate and/or flourite increase the ph a bit?

I plan on doing a water change today. Will buy plants tomorrow and a new fixture. And might go for a hike to look for driftwood and river rocks to get going and added to the mix. I wish I had saved all the decor I had before- think we dumped it all with the move! :(

I know to boil driftwood, soak rocks, but will refresh my memory with a google search.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:32 AM   #30
 
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I tested my water last night- tank empty, and the pH was 7.6, which is higher than it ever was in my past tank, same city. Does a sand substrate and/or flourite increase the ph a bit?
A calcareous substrate would raise hardness and corresponding pH. What is the type of sand? As for Flourite, initially it might but minimally; I think I had a rise in pH of about .3 or .4 but it didn't last more than a few days, but then I have near-zero hardness in my tap water so pH drops quickly in a biologically active tank. What is the tap water pH, after it has sat overnight?

Quote:
I plan on doing a water change today. Will buy plants tomorrow and a new fixture. And might go for a hike to look for driftwood and river rocks to get going and added to the mix. I wish I had saved all the decor I had before- think we dumped it all with the move! :(

I know to boil driftwood, soak rocks, but will refresh my memory with a google search.
One can use "wild" wood and rock, though there is always a risk. I have used rock from landscape places; if you know the type of rock (calcareous issue again) and wash it in hot water with a good scrub brush... . Rock can absorb liquids, and these can take years to leech out. But wood is always even riskier. I would only ever consider wood from a watercourse (will be waterlogged, and likely have dissipated any toxins over time). A good boil should handle possible parasites.
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