30" plant lighting with full, lidded hood? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-23-2013, 03:03 PM
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Much better.

Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-23-2013, 03:04 PM
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You may not have sufficient intensity with the Flora-Sun tube, unfortunately. When you are dealing with a single tube over a tank, there is a fine line between what can work and what won't work.

The so-called "plant" or "aquarium" tubes are high in the red and blue wavelength [this is why the Betta look so lovely, the light is highlighting their colours]. While it is true that plants need these colours for photosynthesis, the intensity of these tubes is quite weak. Also, there is evidence now that plants seem to need the green/yellow light just as much. This may be due to the added intensity when this light is present. But whatever the reason, all else being equal [nutrients, etc] plants will grow better [=photosynthesize faster] under light having a Kelvin rating from 5000K to 7000K, with around 6500K being best. The so-called "daylight" tubes provide this. The light intensity is about double that of the "flora" and similar tubes, so this makes a fair difference.

The cheaper "daylight" tubes by GE, Phillips and Sylvania can work fine over larger tanks where you have 48-inch tubes, and two of them. I have used all three, and currently am using the GE and Phillips on such tanks. But these are no where near sufficient over the smaller tanks with a single tube, such as the 24-inch tube over a 29g. In this case you must use a stronger light, and I have found the Life-Glo to work the best. ZooMed's UltraSun is pretty much the same. Both have 6500K (LG is actually 6700K).

I have experimented with some of these over my 29g. The GE Daylight killed most of the plants due to its low intensity. The Life-Glo works fine. Photo below shows the plants under a single 24-inch LG T8 tube.
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File Type: jpg 29g Apr 6-12.jpg (76.5 KB, 5 views)

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-23-2013, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Byron! Yeah, you can see that my plants were not faring well under the full-spectrum, and the cycle is not doing well because of that. I'll be going back to That Fish Place next week, so I'll look for one of the other tubes then and try it out.

I do love the way this one makes the bettas look, though....:)
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