Lighting
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Lighting

This is a discussion on Lighting within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have a 20 gallon all glass aquarium and am just using the light that came with it....have had the tank up and running ...

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Old 05-08-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
 
Lighting

I have a 20 gallon all glass aquarium and am just using the light that came with it....have had the tank up and running almost 3 months now and it seems like the light has already gotten dimmer. I'm curious if i should replace it....and if so with what? thanks in advance.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:36 AM   #2
 
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What type of light, fluorescent (tube) or incadescent or one of the new compacts? And what wattage?
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:30 PM   #3
 
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This can happen if there is surges, but it shouldn't. If you want to replace it feel free to. If you really want bright lighting upgrade your fixture.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #4
 
Flourescent i'm assuming? It's a single tube. It says 15 watts on it. My tank is planted too btw, but nothing special, all low light low tech plants. I'm just curious if i should upgrade it at all, It just seems that in the past quick couple months its already gotten dimmer.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:41 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Guber View Post
Flourescent i'm assuming? It's a single tube. It says 15 watts on it. My tank is planted too btw, but nothing special, all low light low tech plants. I'm just curious if i should upgrade it at all, It just seems that in the past quick couple months its already gotten dimmer.
Hi Guber,

All fluorescent tubes (yes, this is fluorescent) diminish output in terms of strength over time, which is why most authorities recomend changing the tubes every 12 months even though they still light (and in many cases to my eyes don't look different, but they are). I wouldn't expect to see a diminish in 3 months, so either it is not functioning properly or you're just getting used to it. Plant growth in a tank can make the light appear less too, I find.

I would buy a new tube, full spectrum. And replace it every 12 months. For single tube tanks I have found good success with the "Life-Glo" bulb made/distributed by Hagen. It's a 6700K tube. They are a bit more expensive, but the colour is natural and the plants respond with good growth. For example, I'm attaching a photo of my former 33g tank (no longer set up, I moved the contents into the 70g last November) which had a single 20w Life-Glo bulb and good plant growth as you can see.

Byron.
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File Type: jpg 33g-Nov 17-08.jpg (111.8 KB, 23 views)
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
 
wow yeah that looks really good. What kind of plants are those? I have java fern, java moss, anubias nana, and anachris in my tank. and what wattage do you reccomend i get for a 20 gallon? I've probably just gotten used to the lights then and i'll put off getting a new bulb for very long. Another question i want to ask so i can save making a new thread, i'd like to get a new heater...how should i go about introducing it into my tank? My reasons for this are that the heater that came with my tank just has a real stiff knob on top with no exact temperature readings so when i set my tank up i had to fiddle with it for forever until i found that it sits at around 79-80.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:51 AM   #7
 
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wow yeah that looks really good. What kind of plants are those? I have java fern, java moss, anubias nana, and anachris in my tank. and what wattage do you reccomend i get for a 20 gallon? I've probably just gotten used to the lights then and i'll put off getting a new bulb for very long. Another question i want to ask so i can save making a new thread, i'd like to get a new heater...how should i go about introducing it into my tank? My reasons for this are that the heater that came with my tank just has a real stiff knob on top with no exact temperature readings so when i set my tank up i had to fiddle with it for forever until i found that it sits at around 79-80.
The main plant in that tank was Anubias nana, the dark green large-leaf plant that is almost everywhere. All that came from one little plant that I bought in 1998/9 (I know it was before I moved in 2000) and it was planted in the back corner of my 90g tank. With the minimal light it received at the bottom of a relatively deep tank it still kept growing. As you know from yours, it grows by slowly extending the rhizome just above the gravel (or whatever it is attached to) and new leaves arise and roots will form along it and attach to wood, rocks and even the gravel. When I set up the 33g I just broke the rhizome into sections several inches long and placed them around the tank. The plants growing in the substrate along the front are crypts, 2 or maybe 3 species. Java moss is attached to the wood. And the floating plant is Ceratopteris, floating fern, that will grow well in almost any tank with soft slightly acidic water, as it is up under the light. Little plants arise from the leaves constantly and can be pulled off as new plants. I have to cull it every week or it would cover the surface (I have it in my 70g now).

For a 20g I would use one tube; it will probably be a 15w but maybe a 20w if it is a 20g Long tank. My 33g was 36 inches, so the light is a 24 inch tube and they come in 20 watts. As long as it is full spectrum, 15w or 20w will work with these types of plants.

Buy a good heater, the best you can afford; the investment is worth it--nothing worse than having a heater malfunction and cooking your fish (or frezing them) overnight. [I had this happen, in this 33g actually; one morning I saw the corys acting weird and discoverd the heater was on and the temp was 86F. The pencilfish and cardinals didn't mind, but all the corys were dead in two days from the excessive (to them) heat.] I believe the heater is the single most important piece of equipment. When you get a new one, hang it in the tank and wait 30 minutes, then plug it in and adjust the knob to the desired temperature. Leave the existing heater running until you're sure the new one is working properly. You won't overheat the tank (unless one of them malfunctions of course) as neither will come on unless the temperature falls below where they are set.

Byron.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:56 PM   #8
 
I would change it if you have plants.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
 
I was going to buy a visi-therm stealth as i've heard nothing but good things about them. So i did know about hanging it in the tank to get it to the waters temperature, and then after that turn it to the desired temp and evne though both are on the water shouldn't overheat? how will i know when its ok to take the original one out? Also what wattage heater should i get? 100W or 150W?

Last edited by Guber; 05-13-2009 at 07:19 PM..
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
 
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I was going to buy a visi-therm stealth as i've heard nothing but good things about them. So i did know about hanging it in the tank to get it to the waters temperature, and then after that turn it to the desired temp and evne though both are on the water shouldn't overheat? how will i know when its ok to take the original one out? Also what wattage heater should i get? 100W or 150W?
For a 20g a 100w would be plenty. I had a 50 in my 33g, but as I said it cooked the corys. Maybe 75w would be sufficient. I understand the higher the wattage the more reliable and better it works. But I don't think more than 100w in a 20g.

Once you're sure the new one is functioning (cutting in and out) remove the old one. Just keep an eye on it. Do it in the morning so you can monitor it during the day and evening.

Byron.
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