New 50 gallon aquarium - lighting question
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New 50 gallon aquarium - lighting question

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New 50 gallon aquarium - lighting question
Old 07-27-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
 
New 50 gallon aquarium - lighting question

I'm new to the fish hobby and would like some recommendations on lighting. We plan on setting up a freshwater tank with goldfish, pleco, etc... We have some ornaments, no live plants & rocks on the bottom of the tank.

The tank came with fluorescent lighting already. Does the light need to be on throughout the day or will just regular daylight suffice?

I've looked into supplemental lighting and I like LED's although the cost is a bit expensive. Is it recommended to use LED's throughout the day to make it a fully lit tank or just use them (or something like moon lighting) at night?

Appreciate any advice.

Thanks.

-C
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
 
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Hey there, new here to FishForum (though I've been in the hobby for about 18 years) since I was an early teen (12 years old). Anyway, thought I'd kick off my posting with a simple answer to your question.

With what you've described you're setting up, you don't need anything more that what you've already got. LED's are great but can be expensive. Flouro's are fine. Won't use alot of energy. As far as times to leave your lighting on as opposed to off...... turn on the lighting when you wake in the morning and turn them off just before you go to sleep at night. Technically a 14-16 hour daylight cycle with 8-10 night cycle will sufice for most types of aquatic environments.... kinda like us. Hope that helped
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:06 AM   #3
 
I would like to add some sort of moonlighting similar to this...

YouTube - Reef aquarium moonlight upgrade


And lighting for daytime as bright as this....

YouTube - My Tiger Oscar and my Black Veil-tail Oscar Fish... Tell me what you think.

Can you recommend a good LED lighting system?

Also, I was thinking of maybe lighting the tank from underneath as well? I have a bunch of old spotlights (think music concert stage lighting), but I think those burn off a lot of heat & energy.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:49 AM   #4
 
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you can buy special moon light leds from Ebay or from dr. foster and smith for relatively cheap than just put them on top of the tank and u ready to go.

Question.. why keep goldfish with pleco and... the rest..? Goldfish usually require different care then tropical fish.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:35 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmjb13 View Post
I would like to add some sort of moonlighting similar to this...

YouTube - Reef aquarium moonlight upgrade


And lighting for daytime as bright as this....

YouTube - My Tiger Oscar and my Black Veil-tail Oscar Fish... Tell me what you think.
cmjb13, All you need is a really decent white "trichromatic" flourecent bulb to get a really nice bright white light effect ......and if you really feel the need to want to give it that moody blueish light effect, then an inexpensive "Actinic" blue flourecent bulb will do that. I'm ASSUMING you have a light hood with double flourecent light fixtures that are operated by two seperate ballasts/on-off switches.

The reason that Actinic bulbs are used are not really for a blue light effect; there is actually a scientific reason/necessity for using those types of bulbs when speaking in regards to live reef set ups of some types, etc. But, that doesn't mean that you can't use them with a FW set-up to get the lighting effect that you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmjb13 View Post
Can you recommend a good LED lighting system?

Also, I was thinking of maybe lighting the tank from underneath as well? I have a bunch of old spotlights (think music concert stage lighting), but I think those burn off a lot of heat & energy.

Thanks for your help.
Honestly, In my opinion, unless you're really really concerned with saving a few cents here or there (nothing wrong with that), then I wouldn't stress out regarding having to get LED lighting for the type of set up you have.

Also, lighting an aquarium from the bottom?? Meaning you wanna shine lights diagonally from the floor up toward the inside of the aquarium?? WhY? It's not going to give you the effect that you think it will, and it'll just end up making it very difficult to see inside the aquarium (not to mention, to shine the light up at the fish like that may have a negative effect on the fish... not sure, but it seems like it might).
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrulyevil View Post
Question.. why keep goldfish with pleco and... the rest..? Goldfish usually require different care then tropical fish.
CMJB13, What 'unrulyeveil' is asking you is valid in almost all scenarios. Normally U wouldn't keep goldfish(or any type of phylum Carp) in a tropical set up. When I read your initial post, I'm assuming that you only plan to keep Goldfish (with the exception of maybe one or two Plecostomus); is this correct????

IF this is the case, then the tank should be free of any type of heating system, as goldfish(carp) are temperate water fish ..."cold water fish". As long as you're not in a place were the inside of the house gets freezing, then the Plecostomus (as hardy as they are) should be fine in a room temperature tank. There are other reasons that keeping tropical species and Golfish together are a basic "no no". I won't get too deep into it (unless you really want to know), but just know that they should not be kept together for the ultimate health and welfare of not only the fish, but the aquarium as well. The way you have it right now should be fine as long as you're adding goldfish to the environment and not tropical species.

BTW, Unrulyevil ......love your signature! Very cool
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
 
My finance brought her goldfish and her old tank. She had a pleco in the old tank with 3 goldfish and we found it eaten to bits. I guess that would explain that putting them together is a no-no.

Would you suggest keeping the pleco and changing the fish? We'd like to have a tank cleaner, but have no idea what other type of fish to get.

Also, the pet store told her not to leave the flourecent bulb on for any length of time as it would cause algae to grow. Anyone ever heard of this? Maybe it applies only to goldfish?

These answers have been very helpful so far.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:48 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmjb13 View Post
My finance brought her goldfish and her old tank. She had a pleco in the old tank with 3 goldfish and we found it eaten to bits. I guess that would explain that putting them together is a no-no.

Would you suggest keeping the pleco and changing the fish? We'd like to have a tank cleaner, but have no idea what other type of fish to get.

Also, the pet store told her not to leave the flourecent bulb on for any length of time as it would cause algae to grow. Anyone ever heard of this? Maybe it applies only to goldfish?

These answers have been very helpful so far.

Thanks again.
Hey there again CMJB,

The Goldfish didn't kill your Pleco lol, the Plecostomus must have died for some other reason, and the Goldfish were taking advantage of a free meal. All varieties of goldfish variations are non-aggresive, but just like most fish, will clean up a carcass quick if it means a meal for them. That's not part of the reason why myself and the other poster said they prob shouldn't go together.

If you maintain your tank properly and keep your various protein levels where they should be (Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, etc.) leaving your light on for the required daytime hours they should be won't produce any over exhuberant amount of algae. You're more than likely gonna get some algae growth in the tank at first anyway, while you learn how to maintain proper protein levels in you tank and get them to where they should be (everyone has to go through this). Your fish need a daytime light cycle as well as a nighttime dark cycle just like we do, as part of healthy keeping. Your petstore guy didn't give you the best info (but that's ok). You will have to do regular maintainence on your tank and part of that may be cleaning a little bit of algae off of the sides of the tank. And "No" it has nothing to do with just Goldfish. Hope this helps
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:46 AM   #9
 
plecos are known as armored catfish because they have a fairly tough outer skin. Many keep them in ponds with koi or with chiclids, which are more aggressive than goldfish. Getting that bluish hue from a bulb designed for reef aquairums may cause an algae bloom. Amount of light will be dependent on the bulb you use and plants. Since you ahve no live plants, a 12 hr light cycle may give you lots fo algae growth. Goldfish and plecos are both some of the dirtiest fish available for hobbyists, so your nitrates will be fairly high, even with weekly water changes. a 12 hr cycle will give you too much food for algae. However, this is still dependent on your bulb. Find out what wattage bulbs you have now and what kind you would like. If your going for very bright powerful lights, then you may need to cut lighitng as far back as 8 hrs a day. Plecos are excellent cleaners but they make as much poop as they eat algae, so it turns into a messy cycle.

Leaving a light on for too long is something for every type of tank, not jsut goldfish tanks. However, as i stated before, a goldfish tank will need more maintence an light balancing to keep algae blooms in check. It is recommended that most aquarists do a water change each week, lower bioload tanks can get a change biweekly. A goldfish/pleco tank, using the inch per gallon rule, is a high bioload setup, which means either you change a large amount of water 20-30% weekly or do a 10-15% change every 4 days. <-- recommended. Of course your bioload also depends on how many fish you got, if you have less fish and a low bioload, less water changes will be ok.

Even at 50 gallons, golfish and plecos will take up a lot of space. Max size of a pleco is over 1 feet and goldfish often can get up to various large sizes depending on type. Using the very basic 1 inch per gallon rule, one pleco could take 15% f your tank space. Using bioload calculating, plecos generate a ton of waste so in actuality over 25% of your tank capacity is taken. a pair of goldfish at around 4-5 inches, their bioload is really 16-20% so with 3 fishes, you capacity is almost at 50%, roughly 20 -25 gallons of water needed. You may know this already, but many do not and end up wondering why their tank is always yellow, cloudy, or covered in algae. If you do proper research and follow a similar bioload estimate as above, it will be easier to set up the tank so that you can have your lights on for 10+ hrs a day and less water changes.

As for supplemntal lighting, some aquarists do use LEDs for moon-light. How expensive it is is dependent on how much coverage you desire. I have a hydor moon light in my tank and i ahve it set to turn on as my main lights turn off. I have seen tanks with the LED lighting on 24 hrs a day and with the main flourescent bulbs on, you cant tell the LEDs are even there. Also note that the color the LEDs are in could affect your algae growth. Blue and white usually give more to algae if on for extended periods of time, especially in submerged LED setups.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:20 AM   #10
 
hey all, im a newby to the home aquarium world and i have a question about the aquarium moonlights and any lighting in side the tank that are submerged. Are either of these two able to be left on over night with out disturbing the fish.
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