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Advice needed! Lightings for aquatic plant

This is a discussion on Advice needed! Lightings for aquatic plant within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by MoneyMitch how would a light be too intense for a live plant? Used to be that all I could grow in ...

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Advice needed! Lightings for aquatic plant
Old 12-21-2009, 08:41 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
how would a light be too intense for a live plant?
Used to be that all I could grow in my tank were crypts because the light was less than 1 watt per gallon. When I upped it to 2 watts per gallon, just about all the crypts died except a few that were shaded. Over time as some of those became exposed to the higher intensity light via plant trimming, they died as well. They never came back. But I think this is more the exception than the rule on lighting. But it is an example of too much light being a bad thing for a plant.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:14 AM   #12
 
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If you go shopping for any "normal" bulb, you usually find the K rating on the bottom of the box very fine printed.
Alternatively go by 'name' anything I found here so far that was called "Daylight or Natural light' in the home stores was rated around 6500-7000K.

You already have the "power glo" in your tank right? Adding a "life glo" will be to the same effect then adding a "daylight" just for about 20x the price (here at least lol)

Being concerned about the brightness...The existing Power Glo is @ 18000K which is high end enough to add the 2nd bulb at a lower wattage and K (eg. light the "Sun glo @ 4200K) so you'd have the color mix in the light, but it would also not make it too bright to your looks

Quote:
Originally Posted by fabby10 View Post
First of all, thank you very much for all the inputs and i have read everyone of them with great interest.

As my light fixture is of 2 T5HO tubes, is it possible for me to use normal fluorescent lamp on it? We do have Philips over here in Malaysia, but i think that they did not specify the K ratings of it.

Yes, I still feel actinics are mainly for marine, don't get me wrong but i like the blue color of it. Having said that, if it is better to change it, then i will. Currently, in terms of specialized aquarium tubes, there aren't much choice in Malaysia, some notable brands would be Gieseman, GLO, ATI, Nirox and some other China brands.

As for the GLO tubes, they have 3 tubes to choose from which is Life, Power and Actinic (i think). I have checked and Life has a K rating of 6700K, which is the nearest to that of suggested by most of you all. I am worried if i were to replace my actinic, the tank would be very brightly lit. I would prefer a dimmer lighting but also capable of having plants in it.

Just a suggestion, what if I replace the actinic with LIFE GLO? Thus giving me a combination of LIFE and POWER GLO?

I am not planning to go all out planted tank, just a few plants will do to make the tank more lively and loving. Am currently using black substrate with a black background. As i want to show off the color of the tetras.

Sorry for the long reply, as I am still new with plants as well as the lighting.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabby10 View Post
First of all, thank you very much for all the inputs and i have read everyone of them with great interest.

As my light fixture is of 2 T5HO tubes, is it possible for me to use normal fluorescent lamp on it? We do have Philips over here in Malaysia, but i think that they did not specify the K ratings of it.

Yes, I still feel actinics are mainly for marine, don't get me wrong but i like the blue color of it. Having said that, if it is better to change it, then i will. Currently, in terms of specialized aquarium tubes, there aren't much choice in Malaysia, some notable brands would be Gieseman, GLO, ATI, Nirox and some other China brands.

As for the GLO tubes, they have 3 tubes to choose from which is Life, Power and Actinic (i think). I have checked and Life has a K rating of 6700K, which is the nearest to that of suggested by most of you all. I am worried if i were to replace my actinic, the tank would be very brightly lit. I would prefer a dimmer lighting but also capable of having plants in it.

Just a suggestion, what if I replace the actinic with LIFE GLO? Thus giving me a combination of LIFE and POWER GLO?

I am not planning to go all out planted tank, just a few plants will do to make the tank more lively and loving. Am currently using black substrate with a black background. As i want to show off the color of the tetras.

Sorry for the long reply, as I am still new with plants as well as the lighting.
The "Glo" series is excellent. It is (in North America anyway) considerably more expensive than the Phillips/Sylvannia tubes of comparable colour but without question very good light. If you are willing to buy those, good choice. Yes, the Life-Glo is without question in my opinion the single best tube over a planted tank. On my 33g which has only one tube, a 30-inch, I use one Life-Glo 25w tube. I can grow anything in that thank, which is to say anything that will grow in my larger tanks will also grow in this one.

Life-Glo is a bit less intense than Power-Glo, and will work in combination. Since all tubes wear out in about 12 months and need replacement, consider a cool white in place of the Power-Glo when the time comes; it will be similar but less intense and adequate. I also favour a slightly-cool light which is why I use one full spectrum and one cool white on my larger tanks.

I think you mentioned cabomba earlier; this requires brighter light than many other plants, so your Life-Glo and Power-Glo should do the trick, with sufficient CO2 from the fish and added liquid fertilization.

Now, you said you have T5 HO fixture. Only T5 tubes will fit, but there are HO and regular, so I would go with the regular. The HO really is very intense light, and two tubes over your tank will in my view be too much light for the balance.

The black substrate will help you on lighting, as the light will not be quite as bright to the eyes. However, it will still be bright in the aquarium for the fish and plants, so worth remembering. Good floating plants to block the light will help. Fish get stressed out by bright light, and plants may not respond depending upon everything else. I just did a lengthy response with more detail on this aspect in another thread, post #17: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...t-steps-34007/

Byron.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:47 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WisFish View Post
Used to be that all I could grow in my tank were crypts because the light was less than 1 watt per gallon. When I upped it to 2 watts per gallon, just about all the crypts died except a few that were shaded. Over time as some of those became exposed to the higher intensity light via plant trimming, they died as well. They never came back. But I think this is more the exception than the rule on lighting. But it is an example of too much light being a bad thing for a plant.
That sounds more of like a imbalance than too much light, the plants were used to what they had and when you went from having little light one day to blasting them one day they couldnt react or adapt from the low light conditions or had a lack on nutrient imbalance or what ever but then again just a threroy.

Never saw you response on the actnic lighting though byron~
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:40 AM   #15
 
I don't see any Sun glo @ 4200K over here in malaysia. There are only 3 types of it which is Life, Power and Actinic. I don't think my T5 fixture can fit those normal fluorescent tube? Yes, i so think HO is too intense for FW/planted tank but i was trying to cut cost and not having to get a new set of light fixture. lol.

What is cool white? I mean what kind of color does it emit? And only normal fluorescent have that?

As i am currently using my T5HO fixture, i would prefer to use bulbs that can be fitted into that fixture for now but i am taking everything down to make sure i have the right advice if i were to get into a planted tank later.

I would certainly try the Life GLO.

Can anyone one of you recommend good and hardy plants? I would prefer something like cabomba but any other recommendations are welcomed. What kind of floating plants that are available in the market now?
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:02 AM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by fabby10 View Post
I don't see any Sun glo @ 4200K over here in malaysia. There are only 3 types of it which is Life, Power and Actinic. I don't think my T5 fixture can fit those normal fluorescent tube? Yes, i so think HO is too intense for FW/planted tank but i was trying to cut cost and not having to get a new set of light fixture. lol.

What is cool white? I mean what kind of color does it emit? And only normal fluorescent have that?

As i am currently using my T5HO fixture, i would prefer to use bulbs that can be fitted into that fixture for now but i am taking everything down to make sure i have the right advice if i were to get into a planted tank later.

I would certainly try the Life GLO.

Can anyone one of you recommend good and hardy plants? I would prefer something like cabomba but any other recommendations are welcomed. What kind of floating plants that are available in the market now?
"Cool white" refers to light that is higher in the blue colour, something like but not as drastic as your actinic. Warm white is the opposite, higher in the red. "Full spectrum" is basic, a balance of colour that replicates the sun at mid-day. These "colours" are indicated by the Kelvin number. The mid-day sun is approximately 5500K, and the full spectrum tubes that are rated around 6500K tend to provide the best single light; it has the blue and red for plants, plus green to balance so colours appear natural. The higher the K number, the more blue and less red ("cooler"), the lower the K number the more red and less blue ("warmer") the light.

As you know the "Glo" series, I'll use those as illustration. Life-Glo is full spectrum (6700K) and the closest thing to natural sunlight with just a slight increase in blue. The "Sun-Glo" at 4200K is warm, and would cast a reddish hue to the aquarium, distorting the natural colours of plants and fish on its own. The Power-Glo is higher in the blue but also has red but less green, so it tends to be purplish in hue.

A T5 fixture will only take T5 tubes. A regular fluorescent fixture will take T8 or T12 tubes but not T5. The "T" number is the diameter of the tube, nothing more, but the pins at the end are different on the T5 so they won't fit the regular fixture and vice-versa.

If you could only use one of the tubes in your dual T5 fixture, and put a Life-Glo or comparable tube in, it would be fine. But most fixtures only work if both tubes are lit. Try yours and see if one can be removed.

As for plants, the majority will grow fine under full spectrum light. Cabomba is not one of the easier, but with your light it may do quite well. It will need liquid fertilization. Floating plants include Ceratopteris (Water Sprite) which comes from your part of the world, and is one of the best. Others include Amazon frogbit, duckweed, salvinia, and most of the stem plants will float if left that way. Cabomba for instance.

Byron.

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Old 12-22-2009, 10:34 AM   #17
 
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If you're unsure about the size, just unscrew one and take it to whatever home store you have there, assuming there's no Homedepot there The brand name really does not matter, what matters for the plants relaly is the spectrum and if you can find something labeled as 'daylight' and maybe even look on the fine print on the lable where it'll say 6500K you're all set and just compare the bulb size to make sure it'll fit your hood

Plants you can grow easily are Vallis, Java Fern, Hygrophilia, Swords and Anubias. There's many more, but these are the first to pop in my mind now.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:58 AM   #18
 
Byron,
Thank you very much for the cool and not so cool light explanation. I can use both the T5 fixture, not a problem, just that i would like to know what combination suits best. From your advice, it seems that its best to go with Life and Power GLO. And thanks a lot for the recommendation. Same goes to Angel, thanks!

Its pleasing to hear that my lighting can fit cabomba in. hehe! Liquid fertilization, will try looking up on that in the fish shop. Is it expensive over there?

Angel,
We do have something similar to homedepot here. hehe!

Will do a brief reading on all the plants recommended.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:24 AM   #19
 
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If you wanna get the Glo series, just know this power glo is fairly intense (compared to the regular daylight) which isn't necessarily "wrong" fro plants, but to avoid algae issues you want this higher light (Life&Power) balanced with proper nutrition's in the tank. If that is out of balance or non existing you'll easily face algae

Here's a site that I use for supplies that gives you a good price idea, I use Nutrafin & Saechems on my 55g (the only one with ferts used)
Plant Fertilizers/Additives, Plant Care | Pet Solutions
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:30 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
That sounds more of like a imbalance than too much light, the plants were used to what they had and when you went from having little light one day to blasting them one day they couldnt react or adapt from the low light conditions or had a lack on nutrient imbalance or what ever but then again just a threroy.

Never saw you response on the actnic lighting though byron~
Sorry Mitch, got ahead of myself on posts and forgot to come back to your previous question.

As I mentioned, I don't myself know why all plant authorities say actinic is not recommended for planted aquaria, but they do. There have been two or three such comments this past year in articles on planted aquaria in AFI and possibly TFH. So it is still current thinking. B.
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