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Questions, Questions, Questions.

This is a discussion on Questions, Questions, Questions. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Okay, no dirt. Cool. I'm just curious about dirt, so I'd be a fool and try it out. I'll stick to black sand, I ...

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Questions, Questions, Questions.
Old 07-05-2013, 07:46 PM   #21
 
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Okay, no dirt. Cool. I'm just curious about dirt, so I'd be a fool and try it out. I'll stick to black sand, I like it very much anyway. I'm still lookin' for those root tabs, at least I've got Flourish. I think I'll be buying the double bright LED for my 20 since it's not so deep, and I think it'd work out and it's not so expensive. As for the 45, I'll keep to the Floramax and see how it does. Personally, I like the pink hue since it highlights a lot of the colors I have in the tank, but it does get pretty weird to stare at it. I'm taking in all of your information but I'd also like to learn from experience too, so I'll keep you posted. For now though, I'm going to focus on buying plants, and establish my coming-in-through-mail dual sponge filter, and my red cherry shrimp. Ch'yup.

Oh, and I'll be making a video of my tank sooner or later so you guys can see everything in the tank. Pictures don't seem to catch the motion of the fish in the tank.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:03 PM   #22
 
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If this is still the one T8 tube over the 45g, it is not going to allow you to grow anything except algae and maybe Java Moss. It is not sufficient intensity. The best tube you could use would be a Life-Glo or Power-Glo, but even these alone will not be adequate. Plants are not cheap, so before you spend money only to have them die, and I can promise they will, upgrade your lighting.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:36 PM   #23
 
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What should I change it to? I'm still not sure what to look for to be honest. I know there's all these different types of lighting but I still don't know which would be the best for my 45g. I'm slow here, where I need someone to tell me exactly what to look for, like lighting specs or what brand to go for. You can explain different lighting fixtures to me but I'd just ask: So what do I get for the tank? I overthink things, so gathering information just causes my brain to overload itself. Forgive me if I am getting on your nerves, I'm doing my best to process everything you're telling me but I'm simple. Tell me what your choice would be, and I'd research it for reassurance, then go for it.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:09 PM   #24
 
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I don't like disagreeing with someone who has soooo much more experience them me but why do you believe everything else will die, Byron? I understandd the science behind proper lighting and height after studying tons of stuff last year from Dr. Baines( a different subject *kinda*, however easy to translate it over). And this theory that the t8 will not work does make somewhat sense when reworded that the results are not as great compared to better choices...but can work.
My plants in the 75g actually all did quite well with the Floramax t8 tube. Grew well. I will not deny the growth is even better now with my obscene Fluval LED light. And even my childrens 16g does well with it's simple aqueon fullspectrum daylight bulb( with some of the same plants as the 75) In my 75g here are the plants I can recall the names of that are doing well
Vallisneria Italian , Amazon swords, Nymphoides aquatica, Nesaea pedicellata 'Golden', Limnophila hippuroides(what few survived the fish chomping on it the moment they saw pink), Mondo grass, anacharis, hornwort, moneywort, watersprite, Hygrophila difformis, Ludwigia Peruensis, some anubias, a few types of java fern and some I don't recall the same of.
Maybe I have a super green thumb ..IDK. I do keep up extremely good water quality. And use my flourish weekly.
Sorry T4V3N, don't want to confuse you. Byron and Jeff are offering superb advice. And if $ is not much a concern then go with LED. The one I have is great. and I'm sure jef can suggest others as well. But don't be afraid of using your floramax till you feel like you've made a choice that you feel certain of. I feel my floramax was good.. saw good growth but I just didn't like the color of the light.

Last edited by Agent13; 07-05-2013 at 09:12 PM..
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Agent13 View Post
I don't like disagreeing with someone who has soooo much more experience them me but why do you believe everything else will die, Byron? I understandd the science behind proper lighting and height after studying tons of stuff last year from Dr. Baines( a different subject *kinda*, however easy to translate it over). And this theory that the t8 will not work does make somewhat sense when reworded that the results are not as great compared to better choices...but can work.
My plants in the 75g actually all did quite well with the Floramax t8 tube. Grew well. I will not deny the growth is even better now with my obscene Fluval LED light. And even my childrens 16g does well with it's simple aqueon fullspectrum daylight bulb( with some of the same plants as the 75) In my 75g here are the plants I can recall the names of that are doing well
Vallisneria Italian , Amazon swords, Nymphoides aquatica, Nesaea pedicellata 'Golden', Limnophila hippuroides(what few survived the fish chomping on it the moment they saw pink), Mondo grass, anacharis, hornwort, moneywort, watersprite, Hygrophila difformis, Ludwigia Peruensis, some anubias, a few types of java fern and some I don't recall the same of.
Plants will only photosynthesize (grow) if they have sufficient light intensity to drive photosynthesis for that plant species, sufficient duration of that light, and all 17 nutrients are available in sufficient quantity. That is a lot of "sufficient" but it is the key, more than things like spectrum, though that is somewhat important too. The "perfect" spectrum but at an insufficient intensity will not work, whereas almost any spectrum at sufficient intensity will work. And different plant species have different needs for intensity and nutrients.

I ran an experiment in my 29g 30-inch tank with lighting. This tank takes one 24-inch T8 tube, which is what the OP mentions he has over his 48g. Under a Life-Glo T8 tube, I had good plant growth [photo below], with pygmy chain sword, Java Fern, Java Moss, a few crypts and floating plants. When this tube came to the end of its life, at about 18 months--it began to weaken so much that algae began increasing, which is a good sign that the tube needs replacing because the plants are no longer getting sufficient intensity to drive photosynthesis enough to out-compete algae--I tried a cheaper brand, a GE Daylight. Same spectrum, with 6500K. Within a few weeks, the pygmy swords melted, and even the crypts began to fail. Nothing else had changed; same fish load, same light duration, same fertilizing (= Flourish Comprehensive twice weekly then). I let this go about 3 months, then changed the tube to a new Life-Glo. Most of the swords began to rebound within a couple weeks, growing new leaves from the roots. A few crypts were obviously too far gone, and never recovered; one did. The Java Fern and Java Moss survived, though they didn't look as good as before, but they are now rebounding.

The so-called plant and aquarium tubes have about half the intensity of the "daylight" tubes in the Hagen "Glo" series and the ZooMed "Sun" series. The wattage has nothing to do with this, it is simply how well the tubes are made with the phosphors.

I cannot speak for your individual situation, as I don't know how many tubes over the size of tank.

Byron.

Edit: Forgot the photo, added it now. B.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 29g July 18-12.jpg (92.7 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by Byron; 07-06-2013 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:15 AM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by T4V3N View Post
What should I change it to? I'm still not sure what to look for to be honest. I know there's all these different types of lighting but I still don't know which would be the best for my 45g. I'm slow here, where I need someone to tell me exactly what to look for, like lighting specs or what brand to go for. You can explain different lighting fixtures to me but I'd just ask: So what do I get for the tank? I overthink things, so gathering information just causes my brain to overload itself. Forgive me if I am getting on your nerves, I'm doing my best to process everything you're telling me but I'm simple. Tell me what your choice would be, and I'd research it for reassurance, then go for it.
I understand how complicating this can be until one gets one's head around it. Jeff has given you suggestions for suitable LED if you want to spend the money and go for that, and I have previously indicated my two choices for fluorescent tube lighting. Check out the costs of each of these if that is a concern [it would be for me]. Feel free to ask us questions when you've narrowed it down somewhat. I know Jeff like myself will do whatever we can to best advise you.

Just confirm for us though, as I am getting confused. The 48g, what is the tank length? And what is the tube length you have now? These two numbers are all I need.

Byron.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:33 AM   #27
 
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My tank is 36" long, and the light fixture for the tubes fits 24" long tubes. The tank is Aqueon, and I've only seen ZooMed, Aqueon tubes, Marineland double bright LEDs, and some Fluval LEDs at my LFS so far./

Oh and it's a 45g, not 48

Last edited by T4V3N; 07-06-2013 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post

The so-called plant and aquarium tubes have about half the intensity of the "daylight" tubes in the Hagen "Glo" series and the ZooMed "Sun" series. The wattage has nothing to do with this, it is simply how well the tubes are made with the phosphors.
.
This was one reason that I never even looked at fluorescents. At least with the LED when they say 25 Watts you get pretty close to that in actually light delivery due to their efficiency in both energy to light production and efficiency in light delivery (reflector / lens). Also, a good fluorescent tube in a crappy fixture is only going to be marginally better than a crappy tube in a very good fixture assuming that they are both at least in the right spectrum. You can DIY a crappy fixture into a better delivery cheaply though... reflective Mylar or something similar would work if the shape is even close.

I know that LED is rated (some) for 50,000 hours but I don't know for certain that they are going to hold their full intensity throughout that lifetime. Fluorescents lose it, as Byron mentioned, between 3,000 and 6,000 hours depending upon the quality of the bulb. Even the Doublebright is rated for 17,000 hours.

I see that the fluval has a 3 year performance guarantee, but that translates to needing more than 5% of the bulbs to go before they acknowledge it as a warranty issue... That could be 15 bulbs or more of the hundreds they use. I think that the Marineland was 1 year but with bulb counts in the dozens rather than hundreds, one bulb failure probably counts. I have seen one marineland unit with one failed bulb once. They're both just playing with stats.

Jeff.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:20 PM   #29
 
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Are you considering the LEDS? I would go with the fluval if you can. Which ones are in your store? That brand is very trustworthy and honors any failures. I have so many fluval products in my home I'm almost embarrassed to count them haha.
For any tube fixture if you go that route keep in mind the need for replacement. I have a solar meter to test my dragons light which is made by zoo-med and even though after 6months it seems to still look bright the tests show it's lost a ton of its effective light so with all fluorescents I've learned to go to the replace twice a year rule.

(Byron..the tank I was talking about is a 75gallon with these dimensions 48 1/2L x 18 1/2W x 21 3/8H running 1 48inch aqueon floramax tube. Then the other which I actually never switched the light to LED on that I mentioned is a 16g 20"L x 13"W x 18"H runs 1 aqueon full spectrum daylight t8 20" tube. I actually grow out my swords in that tank to put in all my other tanks. ....I'll admit it may be a fluke and I'm sure it's not the norm to have the luck with my plants under those conditions)
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:23 PM   #30
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Good idea with the meter.

Jeff.
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