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Aqueon 15W 18" T8: light too low

This is a discussion on Aqueon 15W 18" T8: light too low within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Nemo the Clownfish Thanks a lot for the reference to the other thread. The plants have been in the tank since ...

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Aqueon 15W 18" T8: light too low
Old 08-13-2012, 03:08 PM   #21
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo the Clownfish View Post
Thanks a lot for the reference to the other thread. The plants have been in the tank since roughly since May or June, but I know what you mean about "settling in." They were doing very well until about a month ago. Except for the Wisteria which grew noticeably slower than the others. I also lost a Pygmy Chain Sword that was in full light.
Found out about the Pygmy Chain Sword - same thing as the other plants: either not enough light or probably not enough ferts.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:41 PM   #22
 
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Agree. And another point, when you say from 1990, do you mean the tubes have been in use since then (in use for at least say 12 months of 8 hour days)? They will be next to useless now. Tubes weaken in intensity as they burn, and the T12 were bad for this. Karen Randall used to suggest replacement at 6-month intervals for T12, whereas most agree T8 will last at least a year and perhaps longer when burnt daily for normal periods (8-12 hours).

When these tubes weaken over time, the plants cannot get sufficient light and photosynthesis slows, and may even cease. Algae takes advantage. I have found more than once that if brush algae starts to increase, changing the tubes stops it. This occurs if I go past 12 months. It's all about that crucial balance.
Byron, I don't remember exactly (getting old :) but I imagine thery were in use sometime in 1990 for six months. They are considerably brighter than the T8. I could always buy new bulbs if they still sell them, but for now, the plants are responding well (not so much the Water Sprites) and I think I can still use them while I need them.

Maybe at this point I should be looking for a replacement T5 fixture for my Aqueon canopy. Most of my plants are starter plants, and I'd like to try a little harder plants eventually. Too bad I can't get at least a 55g but I'm living in a third floor apartment and I can't risk water damage if the tank were to break. It would be different if I owned my own house. Besides, I see it as almost as big a challenge as a Nano to keep my tank in good shape over time.

How would a single T5NO do with my 10g/11"H?
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #23
 
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I would not use T5 over small tanks.

I think something is going off the rails in this thread, perhaps with all the side discussions. Over a 10g tank, you can use a single T8 tube in the basic fluorescent hood/fixture for the 20-inch tank; or use an incandescant fixture (basic one for this tank again) with two sockets and use 10w Daylight CFL bulbs. You could increase these to 13w if needed.

I have grown pygmy chain swords that exploded in runners in a 10g tank with both systems, so there is no issue of too little light for this plant.

Now, if you are considering the more difficult carpet plants, that's another level. I've never gone down that road, simply because I do not like substrate carpet plants, never have because they are un-natural. But that's just my preference. But even with these, the light might be adequate, though CO2 might be an issue and in a 10g that to me is too much fuss.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:43 PM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would not use T5 over small tanks.

I think something is going off the rails in this thread, perhaps with all the side discussions. Over a 10g tank, you can use a single T8 tube in the basic fluorescent hood/fixture for the 20-inch tank; or use an incandescant fixture (basic one for this tank again) with two sockets and use 10w Daylight CFL bulbs. You could increase these to 13w if needed.

I have grown pygmy chain swords that exploded in runners in a 10g tank with both systems, so there is no issue of too little light for this plant.

Now, if you are considering the more difficult carpet plants, that's another level. I've never gone down that road, simply because I do not like substrate carpet plants, never have because they are un-natural. But that's just my preference. But even with these, the light might be adequate, though CO2 might be an issue and in a 10g that to me is too much fuss.
Ok, back on track. I'm not considering carpet plants, although I like the look of them better than bare substrate in the foreground, but you're absolutely right that it's too much fussing. At the most basic level, I'm looking for enough light to grow my current plants well and get into the medium light range a little for future plants. You're very clear about my lighting choices. Unfortunately, I have only been doing plants since I started cycling the tank on April 18. I've been reading everythting I can and looking around but I don't have the kind of experience and knowledge to make this decision.

If you tell me light has not been a problem, wonderful for now. The next choice would be to replace the tube and hope the new one is brighter, which I personally feel is not likely, but what the heck.

Then, in terms of what's enough but not too much are the 10W and 13W (20W and 26W) CFLs.

It would really help me if you guys could make an educated recommendation from this list for me, knowing where I'm going. It would make my decision much easier. I know this is probably an unusual request and I certainly indemnify you from anything relating to your recommendation. Or you can tell me that, of my possible choices, the higher the wattage, the higher the light level, and that any of the choices are safe for my tank, in which case I would go with the 13W CFLs. That appears to be in the desired range in W/G recommended by a reputable source, although we're comparing one T8 to two CFLs.

There is only one thing left to do in this post, to thank you and tell you that I hope this post hasn't put you off in any way. If it did, it was my mistake, because I am very appreciative of you and everyone else's help.

Thank you.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #25
 
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Right. Going back to your list of plants. Forget Wisteria in a 10g, it grows much too fast and large for small tanks. The other plants are moderate light and will be fine with either a T8 full spectrum tube or two 10w CFL daylight bulbs. Photo attached of my 10g with the CFL bulbs and it is thick with pygmy chain sword, floating Water Sprite and Pennywort.

You initially mentioned the Aqueon tube, and i told you it is half the light intensity of the full spectrum. Plants will not do as well under it. I have had these tubes myself.

Don't know what more I can say.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:08 PM   #26
 
Thanks for all the time and effort you have spent and the help you have given me. I haven't read through the whole thread again, but I know it is a long one.

Your ten gallon looks very good, a veritable jungle. It shows a level of growth that my tank only achieved for a short period of time.

I would like to use the CFLs, which seem to have the most light, and I don't see why I can't - we're talking $30 for the fixture, I would guess, and maybe $30 for the CFLs. So my wife and kids go hungry for a few days... (just kidding). You certainly laid out the options for me well. So I think I know what my course is. Thanks for being so patient.
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