Lighting question
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Lighting question

This is a discussion on Lighting question within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> At the moment I have a 24" Aqueon T-8 15w Full Spectrum 6500k light overtop of my 26 gallon bowfront. My tank is between ...

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Old 02-15-2013, 01:45 AM   #1
 
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Lighting question

At the moment I have a 24" Aqueon T-8 15w Full Spectrum 6500k light overtop of my 26 gallon bowfront. My tank is between moderately and heavily planted and the plants seem to be doing pretty decently for the past 5 months, but they dont seem to be growing as fast as they should, atleast in my opinion.

So my question is, what is the difference between; regular flourescent, cfl, t-5, t-12, t-8, and etc. wattage? I assume some are stronger than others and in turn require less watts to put off good light or something of that nature?
(Sorry, its late and I'm having a hard time wording things the way I want.)

I know generally there is a 2 watt per gallon rule, but my 26 gallon is running fine on 15 watts, which is making me really curious. I would also like to add more light, but dont know what I should have? If t-5 or regular flourescents can fit in a t-8? Should I just look for more wattage, or add another light strip?

Basically I'm clueless on lighting. What I do know is that the 6500k range is where you want to be, and that the rule of thumb for planted tanks is 2w/gallon but I cant find a single, affordable (to me) t-8 light strip that has high enough wattage to follow that rule.


I hope you guys can help me out here. Any advice or info on lighting and what requirements I should be meeting would be appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:44 AM   #2
 
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As you know, with live plants, it's a matter of balance between lighting and nutrients. I recently made the mistake of changing both lighting and nutrient levels at the same time. Now I have an algae problem and wish I had done one at a time. You have the right color temperature, so maybe it's a matter of intensity (lumen I think). In another thread, Byron mentioned Grow Life tubes having higher intensity than the typical tube. That might be something to consider. T8, T5, CFL, etc. all relate to sizes and types. They are not interchangeable. To start, I would stay with your current fixture and go with a higher intensity tube such as the Grow Life. Sometimes gradual changes are best. Best of luck.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:59 AM   #3
 
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I would use least amount of light I could get away with and still have growth albeit maybe slower than You like.In low tech( noCO2 enhancement) Growth is often measured in week's,month's.
It is the light that drives everything.Increasing the light will place more demand from plant's for nutrient's and more importantly,,CO2 which without injection ,or supplement,we have no control of.
In absence of more nutrient's and more importantly CO2,, Algae which need's much less of everything will quickly take advantage of the imbalance.
CO2 in low tech,low light,natural style tank's is derived from bacteria break down of organic's (organic carbon) in substrate, and as BY-product of fish/plant respiration.Is hard without injection,or supplement to get more CO2.
I might were it me,(and it ain't) first try and increase slowly the length of time present lighting is on unless already at twelve hours.
If this did not produce,then perhap's another T8 bulb but begin with eight hours rather than increasing the light quickly.
Is said that stuff that happen's quickly in the aquarium, is usually bad stuff.I have found this to be particularly true in planted tank's .
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
 
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Right now my lighting is already on for 12 hours. My plan was to figure out the lighting situation, get something better and then Start paintball co2 in a couple months.
I'm a college student that is on a very low income so I can't buy a new fixture right away, but will definitely look into the bulbs that were mentioned.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
 
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I commented on the same issue in this thread:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...enough-128480/

With a single T8 tube over this tank, you are at minimum lighting, so keeping the fixture means getting a good tube. Life-Glo I know works here; your Aqueon may or may not, I've no experience with it. Anbother that should, and is a tad less expensive, is ZooMed's UltraSun 6500K.

Byron.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:06 PM   #6
 
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Thanks Byron!
Where can I find the lifeglo? I'll look into both.
I would like to find the cheapest possible solution, I'm a college student and have a really low income, and won't be getting any taxes back this year so I don't have many options till April-may
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemaki09 View Post
Thanks Byron!
Where can I find the lifeglo? I'll look into both.
I would like to find the cheapest possible solution, I'm a college student and have a really low income, and won't be getting any taxes back this year so I don't have many options till April-may
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In my area most fish stores carry the Hagen line of "-Glo" tubes. They come in T8 and T5 so be sure you get the T8 as each needs a different fixture and are not interchangeable.

Can also find them online, and usually for much less. Same with the ZooMed line.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:01 PM   #8
 
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Thank you ill start looking for them asap
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