light for 35 gal planted tank
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light for 35 gal planted tank

This is a discussion on light for 35 gal planted tank within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Hi All. This is copied over from another forum where I'm getting little help. There are two posts combined into one. Post 1: ================================================== ...

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light for 35 gal planted tank
Old 01-29-2011, 10:32 AM   #1
 
light for 35 gal planted tank

Hi All. This is copied over from another forum where I'm getting little help. There are two posts combined into one.

Post 1:
================================================== ===============
bump. Just a summary

35 gallon tank, exactly 36 inches wide. Want to have plans and always have light problems. Looking at high output t5. Needs to be fanless as it is in a bedroom. I like the idea of having the 2 lamps independently controlled, and moon lighting if possible, but these are just nice to haves and can go without if out of budget. Budget is $150 ($200 max).

Thanks.

Post 2:
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So this comes in under budget and meets all the requirements, except for fan. Anyone have experience with finnex? Should I expect this unit to be noisy? Also, is there anything I should know about having t5 lighting. Do any t5 bulbs fit, or do I have to get specific bulbs? This comes with 2 10k and 2 actinic, which from what I understand is more useful in a salt water tank. Would I want to mix any roseate lighting in there?

I really want to get the effect of dawn/dusk on 1 set of lights, and get the strong full days sun on the other set. Any recommendations.

Amazon.com: Finnex XL-T3639: 36'' Aquarium Light T5 4x39 Watt Daylight & Blue Moonlight LED: Kitchen & Dining Amazon.com: Finnex XL-T3639: 36'' Aquarium Light T5 4x39 Watt Daylight & Blue Moonlight LED: Kitchen & Dining

Sorry for double posting, just they're two very different thoughts and didn't want to mix them up into one post. Thanks again for any help guys. I'm really kinda confused. I've never done any of this before (lighting) so I'd appreciate any advice anyone can give. Until then...I'm just gonna keep reading up!

================================================== ==============

Thanks again for any help! I'm really looking to get this tank settled. I've had a lot of tanks and getting this one established has been a NIGHTMARE! I'm having so much trouble with it!

As a side note, I read the reviews here and realized I'm significantly overestimating the recommended watt per gallon? I can control those lights independently, so that is something to keep in mind (dawn/dusk lighting vs day lighting). Also want to have floating plants which will cut down on some of the light into the tank.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
 
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I think this is your first thread that I have seen and now entered, so welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

I had a look at the linked fixture. In my view, you do not want anything like this over a 3-foot planted tank. Four T5 tubes is an awful lot of bright light and that means stressed fish and algae problems. On your T5 question, only T5 tubes will fit a T5 fixture, which limits your options. T5 tubes come in NO (normal output) and HO (high output) which refer to the intensity (brightness). NO is very difficult to come by, and it is basically equivalent to T8, so it would be more useful and practical to go with T8 (regular) fluorescent fixture as there are many tube options and it is light well suited to planted tanks. The HO tube is about 1.5 times more intense than the same size T8 in the same type, so this is a considerable increase. Consider that 1 or at most 2 T8 tubes will be adequate on your tank and you can imagine what 4 T5 HO would be, equating to six T8, an increase of up to six times the required light. I tried a T5 dual tube with two 48-inch tubes over my five-foot 115g tank last year, and after a week |i took it back and got a T8. I thought the poor fish would be asking me for sunglasses and shade umbrella next; and I have floating plants. My 33g is 3-feet and has one T8 30-inch tube, you can see it in the photos of the SE Asian pond tank under my "Aquariums" below my name on the left.

I understand the idea of multiple tubes for different light levels, and that can work, though generally over larger tanks where one has the capability for more tubes. I would have a max of two tubes over the 35g, and if they can be switched individually (most fixture do not) this could work.

Remember than fish and plants need a normal period of total and complete darkness, around 10 hours nightly. This means no room light or daylight, it is complete darkness such as they would have in their habitats. This is an important rest period for fish and plants.

Also, the more light, the short can be the lighting duration; algae is the issue here. And that brings me to the actinic tubes which will promote algae and not good plant growth. These are intended for marine tanks where this type of light is crucial to corals.

Plants need red and blue, more red than blue, in order to photosynthesize (grow). This on its own however creates a purplish or ghoulish hue, and the tubes specifically made for this tend to be significantly less intense in their output. A better choice is the "daylight" tubes with a kelvin around 6500K. Scientific studies show this produces the best response in plants, and it provides a natural rendition of fish and plant colours. It is on the cool (blue) side of white, but the red is sufficient for the plants. This is the light in all the photos of my tanks.

Last comment on floating plants; these are an advantage in almost any planted tank with fish. The vast majority of fish we keep are from dimly-lit tropical streams and flooded forests, and they scarcely ever see sunlight directly, or moonlight. Providing a subdued lighting will always keep them calmer (less stress) and ironically bring out their best colourations. Dr. Stanley Weitzman did considerable research on the effect of lighting on forest fish and in his articles noted the physiological and physical reasons why fish do this, so it has been well documented.

Hope this helps a bit.

Byron.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
 
Thanks Byron. I've been looking at different forums and posting for 3 days now. I was beginning to wonder if anyone would respond!

Right now I have a T8 over the tank and it is DARK. This is my second go around with this tank and I can't keep anything planted alive. This is a breeder tank (so I was told), so it is shallow (front to back) and tall. 36inx12inx18in. The more I was reading, the more I was starting to worry this would be too much! I'm glad you at least confirmed it. I like the idea of moon lights so I can at least show off the tank later at night for company, etc without having to turn on the main lighting. Otherwise, they'll be off.

Do you have any recommendations of a model or brand. I've had fish for a long time but I'm coming back from a 6 year hiatus. I know a bit about fish but little about plants (this is something new for me) and less about equipment. That was always the parents job as a kid.

I sincerely appreciate any advice. I'm still leaning somewhat toward this light and just never using all 4 tubes at once, because it gives me the overhead to move to a bigger/deeper tank as well, but I'm going to go through all my options again and see if I can't find something better! If I make that decision, I will save the lights for if/when I decide to venture into salt water!

Thanks again for the advice and thank you for any more you can offer!

== Edit ==

This doesn't have a lot of the "fancy" stuff that I liked, but I can always get something separate for night lighting.
http://www.marinedepot.com/Current_U...LTFIT5-vi.html

Last edited by kcormier; 01-29-2011 at 05:09 PM.. Reason: adding a link
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcormier View Post
Thanks Byron. I've been looking at different forums and posting for 3 days now. I was beginning to wonder if anyone would respond!

Right now I have a T8 over the tank and it is DARK. This is my second go around with this tank and I can't keep anything planted alive. This is a breeder tank (so I was told), so it is shallow (front to back) and tall. 36inx12inx18in. The more I was reading, the more I was starting to worry this would be too much! I'm glad you at least confirmed it. I like the idea of moon lights so I can at least show off the tank later at night for company, etc without having to turn on the main lighting. Otherwise, they'll be off.

Do you have any recommendations of a model or brand. I've had fish for a long time but I'm coming back from a 6 year hiatus. I know a bit about fish but little about plants (this is something new for me) and less about equipment. That was always the parents job as a kid.

I sincerely appreciate any advice. I'm still leaning somewhat toward this light and just never using all 4 tubes at once, because it gives me the overhead to move to a bigger/deeper tank as well, but I'm going to go through all my options again and see if I can't find something better! If I make that decision, I will save the lights for if/when I decide to venture into salt water!

Thanks again for the advice and thank you for any more you can offer!

== Edit ==

This doesn't have a lot of the "fancy" stuff that I liked, but I can always get something separate for night lighting.
Current USA Nova Extreme 2 Bulb T5 HO 10K/Freshwater
The short answer to that linked fixture is again, no, it is too much. T5 HO really is very bright. Light is only one issue, it must be balanced by the 17 nutrients, and the more light the more nutrients need adding to balance or it will not work--except for algae.

Let's examine what you have/had to see where the problem is, as with one good T8 tube over a 3-foot tank you should have no issues growing the majority of plants. If I can do it, so can you.

What was the tube (be specific, name, watts, kelvin rating)? What were the plants? What fertilizers were you using and how much/when?

Byron.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:44 PM   #5
 
Wow. I'm glad you asked me to go look. The tank was given to me with brand new tubes for growing so I never really checked it out. Turns out the cover is half empty. There's room for a 36 inch tube but it was modified for only a 24 inch light with a 20 watt aqua glo. Now I feel like an idiot for never looking.

Also looked up the dimensions. It's a 30 gal breeder, not a 35. Looks like I really should have done more homework :-\. I actually picked that light because on the manufacturers website it actually recommended it for a medium lighting in that sized tank.

Any advice on where to buy t8 fixtures? I can't find them anywhere. I'm looking for something open to replace my closed hood.

Last edited by kcormier; 01-29-2011 at 05:50 PM..
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:15 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcormier View Post
Wow. I'm glad you asked me to go look. The tank was given to me with brand new tubes for growing so I never really checked it out. Turns out the cover is half empty. There's room for a 36 inch tube but it was modified for only a 24 inch light with a 20 watt aqua glo. Now I feel like an idiot for never looking.

Also looked up the dimensions. It's a 30 gal breeder, not a 35. Looks like I really should have done more homework :-\. I actually picked that light because on the manufacturers website it actually recommended it for a medium lighting in that sized tank.

Any advice on where to buy t8 fixtures? I can't find them anywhere. I'm looking for something open to replace my closed hood.
Now that is making some sense. A 30-inch tube is what I have, so that is one difference. The second is also important, the type: Aqua-Glo is a very poor light. I have a 48-inch tube that was taken out after i first turned it on and it is sitting in the corner. I've mentioned previously/elsewhere about these "plant" tubes being less intense, half the output of daylight, so this is also significant to success.

All Glass brand is good, I bought two for my 90g and 70g last year and I am very happy with the fixtures. The tubes that come with them are garbage and went straight to the recycling (much the same as Aqua-Glo or Flora-Glo tubes). But tubes can be purchased in a hardware or home improvement store for a couple dollars. GE, Phillips, Sylvania all make "daylight" tubes with a kelvin around 6500K and that is perfect. I have Phillips tubes on two of my large tanks now.

I just checked DrsFoster&Smith for info on lights, and the All Glass only comes in double for 36". They have Perfecto in single tube for 36", here's the link:
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Perfecto Fluorescent Single Strip Lights

You can probably find these in many stores, or from online suppliers. I'm only using F&S for the info.

You didn't say what plants you had or want, some do require more light, so with this info i might change my recommendation to the dual tube; but in general, one good tube will do the job.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
 
Sorry. That was in my "aquarium." Forgot to list it again.

Quote:
Baby tears on a rock, java fern, moss ball, and bamboo
I also have this shrunken head decoration with "hair" but I think that is some type of algae. Doesn't seem to be taking over the tanks at the lfs, so I figured I'd give it a shot (the gf really wanted it).

I plan on adding more as well. Need to get this tank settled first, get the lighting squared away and probably replace the filter. Running a 70 gallon on this 30 gallon tank. Lots of current! (which I currently have broken up w/ larger decorations to keep the current down).

I'd like to get some plants to attach to my drift wood, and also replace some more of the fake plants down the road. Currently it's a low tech setup using "TetraPlant FloraPride 0-0-3"

I'm going to have to replace the entire hood I think. The hood on there won't fit a 36 inch light. I don't even think it'll fit a 30. How's this for a hood/light combo?

http://www.petco.com/product/112178/...odsandLighting

Only because I can get it locally and quickly. My plants are already starting to look like they're hurting.

== Edit ==

Never mind. Again only fits a 24 inch tube. I need to replace the entire hood with something decent.

Last edited by kcormier; 01-29-2011 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
 
I don't know why it won't let me edit, but this is where I'm struggling. I can't find anything that'll let me put anything bigger than a 24in tube on it. My current hood won't, and neither do any of the other hoods I've seen.

Plus my hood is sagging and could use replacing. That's what originally drew me to t5 as it seems they're designed for open tanks, which sounds appealing to me. It also appealed to me because I could not find any t8 that would work over an open tank.

Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures

Does a 36in single t5 look acceptable there? 39watt, which is like a 58.5 watt t8, breaks it down to just under 2 watts per gallon.

I don't want to stress/kill the fish, I'm just rather frustrated trying to find a light for this. I made the mistake of rebuilding the tank before solving this problem as I didn't expect it to be this complicated. Sorry if I come across a little short, just worried about losing more plants/fish because I was unprepared.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcormier View Post
I don't know why it won't let me edit, but this is where I'm struggling. I can't find anything that'll let me put anything bigger than a 24in tube on it. My current hood won't, and neither do any of the other hoods I've seen.

Plus my hood is sagging and could use replacing. That's what originally drew me to t5 as it seems they're designed for open tanks, which sounds appealing to me. It also appealed to me because I could not find any t8 that would work over an open tank.

Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures

Does a 36in single t5 look acceptable there? 39watt, which is like a 58.5 watt t8, breaks it down to just under 2 watts per gallon.

I don't want to stress/kill the fish, I'm just rather frustrated trying to find a light for this. I made the mistake of rebuilding the tank before solving this problem as I didn't expect it to be this complicated. Sorry if I come across a little short, just worried about losing more plants/fish because I was unprepared.
The linked T5 is the one I had, only the 48-inch size for over my 90g and then I tried it over the 115g. It cannot go over open water, there has to be a glass cover. Which is better anyway, as it keeps water from evaporating fast and keeps dust out, and fish in (many fish jump at night). Whatever fixture you get, the best way to go is probably a glass cover (they are ot very expensive plus a fixture that sits over the frame (the All Glass and Perfecto do this the same as the Hagen). The beauty of the glass covers is that they will fit (assuming you have an inside lip arouond the frame, most tanks do). They have two panes, one back and one front, with plastic guides that sit on the lip. You can slide the front one back for feeding.

If the Perfecto only takes a 24`tube, then I would suggest the All Glass dual tube T8.

You have a difficult assortment of plants. Java Fern does best with low to moderate light. Tears are higher light, and being small near the bottom this is an issue. Bamboo i am not aware of.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:56 PM   #10
 
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correct me if i am wronge, but a 65k "daylight" is about the best all around tube to use aint ti... not overly bright , as to stress fish, but bright enough for good viewing of the tank. and is suffecient for planted tanks, with plants requiring moderate to subdued lighting, that is what i have been hearing anyway..
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