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My first adventure into a planted tank....

This is a discussion on My first adventure into a planted tank.... within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> You can use this: Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: All-Glass Twin-Tube Black Strip Lights Or this: Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Triple Tube Strip Lights I use the ...

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My first adventure into a planted tank....
Old 01-06-2010, 09:54 AM   #11
 
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You can use this:
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: All-Glass Twin-Tube Black Strip Lights

Or this:

Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Triple Tube Strip Lights

I use the triple tube model on my 55gal. The twin tube uses 40watt bulbs while the triple tube uses 32watt. The difference between the two models is 80 watts vs 96. The T-8 bulbs at Menards (Home Depot equivalent in my area) are 32watt daylight bulbs from sylvania. They work out well.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:18 AM   #12
 
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Would it be possible to just double up my lighting I have now? I have a spare hood which holds 2 of the same bulbs....until i get the scratch to just buy a new triple one.....would that work?

it would be four 20W bulbs side by side and front to back:

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like that on top of my glass hoods.....

any thoughts?
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:17 AM   #13
 
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Sure. That would work. If you purchase the twin or triple tube fixture you'd probably have to replace the glass tops as well. Unless you already have the tops made for the twin tube fixture. The multi-bulb fixtures are wider than the single bulb fixture.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:04 PM   #14
 
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Would you swap gravel out as your first step? or should i add the lights to let the fish adjust that are currently in there now?
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:47 PM   #15
 
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Change the gravel fist, absolutely. No point in planting plants and then changing the substrate, plus it will be a mess (depending how you do it) and planting after everything settles is preferable. Increase the lighting before or when the plants go in. They will have a better initial start with good lighting.

Wisfish already gave good suggestions on the lighting. I would also go with T8, either two 48-inch tubes or four 24-inch tubes. Either will work. The only catch is whether the less expensive full spectrum tubes come in the smaller length; I don't know, I believe in our Home Depot I have only seen 48-inch. Before spending money on fixtures it would be good to sort this out.

We've exchanged PM's and I didn't get to the type of tube, so will comment here. The best plant growth in tests occurred under a combination of full spectrum and cool blue light. Sylvannia and Phillips both make these, the full spectrum is called daylight or something like that, and the cool white is daylight deluxe, ultra daylight, or similar. The slight increase in blue of the cool white seems to stimulate the plants more. Plain cool white was the second best light in the test, so this is good plant light, but the red in the full spectrum apparently provided something more to balance.

Byron.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
 
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I'd def do the gravel first too. Then either new light strip or the combo you described above with 4 would work. Also easy & cheap fix if Bugdet is the question, if you already have a glass top on it, either get a 4ft'er shop light (the flat not angled ones) at the home store or check the thrift stores around you, they always have plenty of these fixtures too.
FYI on the lights mentioned by Byron, apart from Sylvannia and Phillips you can (at least here) also find these lights from GE and Lowes home brand.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:17 PM   #17
 
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Again, thank you for the continued support and advice...here's my shoppping list this weekend...let me know what you think....

depending on what my budget looks like...I may spring for the first lighting set-up WisFish put up....if money comes into play...I may head to lowes and pick up a 4foot shop light which will hold two tubes for the full spectrum and cool blue lights that Byron mentioned.....both being T8.....

dark tan gravel....or as dark as i can find without being black

and a case of beer.....come on....all home projects go better with beer!!!! hhaha

thanks again guys!
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:03 PM   #18
 
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If you CAN i'd do the shop lights and new bulbs now. Its just easier to have everything set up in one go (gravel, lights, plants, fish) that way you don't have to keep 'redoing' your tank permanently. And really these set ups of bulbs work GREAT for plants ( at least have so for me for many yrs).

You should be able to find some brownish gravel.

Only thing I see missing in that set up: A good pick up place for pizza
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:09 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 View Post
Again, thank you for the continued support and advice...here's my shoppping list this weekend...let me know what you think....

depending on what my budget looks like...I may spring for the first lighting set-up WisFish put up....if money comes into play...I may head to lowes and pick up a 4foot shop light which will hold two tubes for the full spectrum and cool blue lights that Byron mentioned.....both being T8.....

dark tan gravel....or as dark as i can find without being black

and a case of beer.....come on....all home projects go better with beer!!!! hhaha

thanks again guys!
I may be off here, but from my recollection visiting HD "shop lights" hang from the ceiling. In order to sit one across the aquarium, it may require some form of housing or support. I was looking at these myself this past summer when two of my existing fixtures gave out.

I bought two of the All Glass regular fluorescent fixtures this past summer and they are good; they sit on the frame, and there is my full cover glass unit inside the frame. The tubes that came with them went straight into the recycling bin. I used two of my preferred tubes, as mentioned previously. Regardless of which fixture you go with, you will almost certainly need to buy the tubes separately. Unless HD or similar places in the US will sell the fixtures with your specified tubes; they won't here.

B.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:18 PM   #20
 
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Maybe I can help out there...If you have a standard sized 55g, the standard shop lights that hold the 4ft'er bulbs will exactly sit on the frame, glass top or plexiglas under it to cover the actual tank and you're all set.
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