New light for 29G FW tank advice.
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New light for 29G FW tank advice.

This is a discussion on New light for 29G FW tank advice. within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I'm looking at my mismatched plastic plants and not really liking them but my light is insufficient to grow anything I think. I have ...

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New light for 29G FW tank advice.
Old 09-04-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
 
New light for 29G FW tank advice.

I'm looking at my mismatched plastic plants and not really liking them but my light is insufficient to grow anything I think.
I have a 29G with a single T8 24inch (18watt, I think) tube. I'm considering buying a dual tube T8 (36watts) based on what I read here about T5's being too bright, but what about an 11 watt T2 retrofit?
I have 5 neon tetras, 2 gold platys and 2 oto's in the tank and gravel substrate with a UGF and AQ 50 filter.
So my question is what would be the most economical set-up to get proper light to grow low to medium light plants? Or what plants can I grow with my current set-up?
Thanks for your help.
I have read Byron's 4 part guide which was very informative and many other posts on here. There are so many opinions and so many options and I kind of want to get it right, or at least have some some success the first time.
Thank you.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #2
 
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It sounds like you want to have a low tech tank (no CO2, low light, few fertilizers)? If that is the case, then you will need about 1 watt per gallon. So in your case, 30 watts. The idea with lighting is to keep everything balanced. The more light you have, the more you will have to dose fertilizers and get into CO2. If you keep your light around 1 watt per gallon then you will not need to use CO2 and you will only have to dose fertilizer weekly rather than daily. Just remember that the idea is balance. As soon as things get out of balance, that is when algae takes over to use whatever is in excess. Most plants can thrive with 1 wpg, they just grow a little slower. Also, try to find a bulb(s) that are 6500K as this is the proper spectrum for plant growth. I went the cheap route and did a DIY light. I cut a rain gutter to the length of my tank and put 2 CFL bulbs in it. It was very easy and works really well. You can check out my 20 gallon journal if you are interested in that. Here is the link:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...journal-79280/ . I am really new and learning about all of this myself, so maybe Byron will chime in.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:38 PM   #3
 
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A single T8 fixture can be used in growing the plants, the important thing is using the right type of bulbs. You want to find a bulb that is between 6000-7000K. A daylight or full spectrum bulb. Many of your low light plants will do well with this.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:42 AM   #4
 
Bigfish, a low tech tank is exactly what I want. I really don't have the time or desire to do alot of maintenance or spend alot of money on it (spending lots of money is what my other hobby, woodworking, is for). I check the water parameters and do a partial change weekly, and vacuum the gravel every 3-4 weeks. That's a good idea about the CFL's. I'm not too keen on wiring stuff inside a piece of metal so I'll probably adapt it somehow sans the metal gutter.

Barb, a single tube T8 can grow plants at .6WPG? I was thinking about buying the Aquabeam 12 watt LED strip.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:47 AM   #5
 
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Heres some discussion on the light fixture I got for my 29g tank. Barb is right though.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...r-tanks-79185/

Its not all about wattage, its intensity that matters.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:49 AM   #6
 
JBro,
Great post. Exactly what I wanted to know.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
 
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I mentioned it in that linked thread, but just to keep it here together, you can have a nice planted tank with the fixture you have. I have exactly the same setup, a 29g (30-inch)_ tank with a single 24-inch T8 tube fixture. In this case I would go with the better tubes, A Life-Glo by Hagen or a Ultra Sun by ZooMed. I use the Life-Glo (can't buy Zoomed anywhere here any longer). The tube length that fits your fixture (measure the existing tube) is it.

I have quite good plant growth; no high-light plants of course, but the low and moderate light plants will do OK. Photo below to illustrate; as you can see, I also have floating plants which reduce the light somewhat, yet the lower plants manage.

Byron.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #8
 
T5 isn't too bright, just depends on your set up... For example... I am getting into high tech with T5 and starting to get individual trace elements and Co2
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:04 PM   #9
 
OK. My Life Glo bulb should be here tomorrow. I have to pick plants soon. Byron, what plants are in the 29 Gal you showed here? I didn't see it in your aquarium list. Anyways, I attached a pic of my current tank, any and all input/suggestions are welcome. I do have a sponge for the filter I just took it off for a bit to suck larger pieces of something into the filter for removal. It's my first attempt to do something cute for my daughter, but I want to make it a little more natural.
2 gold platys
5 neon tetras
2 otos
pretty strong current from AQ 50 filter and AQ 20 powerhead on UGF.

Thanks alot for your help.
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Last edited by JimBinSC; 09-07-2011 at 10:07 PM..
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimBinSC View Post
OK. My Life Glo bulb should be here tomorrow. I have to pick plants soon. Byron, what plants are in the 29 Gal you showed here? I didn't see it in your aquarium list. Anyways, I attached a pic of my current tank, any and all input/suggestions are welcome. I do have a sponge for the filter I just took it off for a bit to suck larger pieces of something into the filter for removal. It's my first attempt to do something cute for my daughter, but I want to make it a little more natural.
2 gold platys
5 neon tetras
2 otos
pretty strong current from AQ 50 filter and AQ 20 powerhead on UGF.

Thanks alot for your help.
That tank got torn down when that branch piece of Mopani wood developed fungus that started killing the fish. The plants were 3 species of crypt (all are in our profiles), Aponogeton undulatus, Java Fern, floating Water Sprite, Java Moss on wood.

When plants are added, I would reduce the filtration/water movement. Good plants would be pygmy chain sword (you can see this in the profile pics, but also as the substrate plant in my 70g, it will soon cover the substrate), maybe 2 or 3 common Amazon swords (Echinodorus bleherae), Corkscrew Vallisneria. Floating I would suggest Brazilian Pennywort, it is easier to keep trimmed so the entire surface doesn't get covered and shade the light too much.

You have space for more fish, but get the plants first so there are no cycling issues with new fish.

Byron.
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