new to planted aquariums lighting advise needed
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new to planted aquariums lighting advise needed

This is a discussion on new to planted aquariums lighting advise needed within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I've been reading threads on here for hours. I seem to have the filtration and water stuff down. Now I just need to make ...

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new to planted aquariums lighting advise needed
Old 08-26-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
 
new to planted aquariums lighting advise needed

I've been reading threads on here for hours. I seem to have the filtration and water stuff down. Now I just need to make sure I have the right lighting for my plants. right now I only have an amazon sword and some mossy stuff on my driftwood. Before I buy more plants I need to make sure my lighting is sufficient.

The tank is 40 gallons if I calculated correctly.

Right now I think this is the bulb I have:

Aqueon Floramax Fluorescent T8 Bulb 17w 24''

(although the bulb says Aqueon rapid start 8000k 17w 24" lamp)

The hood only carries one bulb and from what I've been reading if that's the case a T5 might be my best bet....

Am I ok to keep the bulb I have or should I order one of these?

AquaticLife 24 Inch 24W T5HO Bulb
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:37 PM   #2
 
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the 'T' number refers to the size of the tube (diameter of the tube in eighths of an inch, T8s are one inch diameter), T5s and T8s are not interchangeble due to different pin configuration and, I believe, ballast requirements

you will be somewhat limited with a single 24" T8 over a 40 gal, depending on the exact dimensions of the tank, though there are still many plants that can manage
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
 
Thanks. Is there a better lamp/hood I can buy?

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the 'T' number refers to the size of the tube (diameter of the tube in eighths of an inch, T8s are one inch diameter), T5s and T8s are not interchangeble due to different pin configuration and, I believe, ballast requirements

you will be somewhat limited with a single 24" T8 over a 40 gal, depending on the exact dimensions of the tank, though there are still many plants that can manage
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
 
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You don't necessarily need a new fixture, you could try crypts, anubias, java fern with what you have, these will probably work, as will the moss and sword. Most 40 gal tanks are 36" wide so there will be some darker areas though where there will be little light.

Your current 8000K bulb is one that is heavy in the blue and red wavelengths (needed for photosynthesis) and as a result produces a dim, pinkish appearance. There is conflicting data on whether or not this type of light actually leads to better plant growth, but most around here, myself included, recommend a more balanced light. The vendor you linked to sells Zoo Meds Ultra Sun (Zoo Med Flourescent Bulbs (T8 STD Output) - read the review for the Ultra Sun), which is a good quality 6500K 'full spectrum' bulb that will produce a bright, white light that is also good for plants, though there are others including general purpose type bulbs from GE, Sylvania etc.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
 
Thank you. My amazon swords have not done well in my tank although that's probably due to the Oscar I had (who has died and thus why I now want a planted tank with some plant friendly fish).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum View Post
You don't necessarily need a new fixture, you could try crypts, anubias, java fern with what you have, these will probably work, as will the moss and sword. Most 40 gal tanks are 36" wide so there will be some darker areas though where there will be little light.

Your current 8000K bulb is one that is heavy in the blue and red wavelengths (needed for photosynthesis) and as a result produces a dim, pinkish appearance. There is conflicting data on whether or not this type of light actually leads to better plant growth, but most around here, myself included, recommend a more balanced light. The vendor you linked to sells Zoo Meds Ultra Sun (Zoo Med Flourescent Bulbs (T8 STD Output) - read the review for the Ultra Sun), which is a good quality 6500K 'full spectrum' bulb that will produce a bright, white light that is also good for plants, though there are others including general purpose type bulbs from GE, Sylvania etc.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
 
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I concur with what Quantum has posted. But I'd like to be sure of the tank size, can you post the dimensions (length, width, height) in inches preferably though I could convert metric.

I bought a 29g which had the T8 Aqueon tube and it was very dim light. Replaced it with a Life-Glo which is basically the same as the ZooMed UltraSun, and I am growing low and moderate light plants.

Byron.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
 
Sure:

36" length 16" wide and 21" tall

I think it calculated to about 50 gallons.


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I concur with what Quantum has posted. But I'd like to be sure of the tank size, can you post the dimensions (length, width, height) in inches preferably though I could convert metric.

I bought a 29g which had the T8 Aqueon tube and it was very dim light. Replaced it with a Life-Glo which is basically the same as the ZooMed UltraSun, and I am growing low and moderate light plants.

Byron.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
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Sure:

36" length 16" wide and 21" tall

I think it calculated to about 50 gallons.
That helps. A single T8 24-inch tube is not going to give you much light. I have a 30-inch T8 over my 36-inch 33g tank which is moderate but with my floating plants (and i am one who considers floating plants essential) I am quite limited with respect to lower plants. I have the 24-inch T8 over my 29g which is 30 inches, and that is comparable. I think the 24-inch over your tank is going to really push the envelope.

Do you have a manufactured hood with the light fixture? One option would be to buy a new fixture that will still sit within the hood. This could be a T8 which is still going to be low-moderate; or a single T5 if you can find one--most T5's are dual tube fixtures. Another option and perhaps the best is to replace the hood with a glass cover, and a fixture that sits above this on the tank frame. This too could be a single T8, dual T8 or single T5 again if you can find it.

Byron.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
That helps. A single T8 24-inch tube is not going to give you much light. I have a 30-inch T8 over my 36-inch 33g tank which is moderate but with my floating plants (and i am one who considers floating plants essential) I am quite limited with respect to lower plants. I have the 24-inch T8 over my 29g which is 30 inches, and that is comparable. I think the 24-inch over your tank is going to really push the envelope.

Do you have a manufactured hood with the light fixture? One option would be to buy a new fixture that will still sit within the hood. This could be a T8 which is still going to be low-moderate; or a single T5 if you can find one--most T5's are dual tube fixtures. Another option and perhaps the best is to replace the hood with a glass cover, and a fixture that sits above this on the tank frame. This too could be a single T8, dual T8 or single T5 again if you can find it.

Byron.
I do have a manufactured hood light fixture but I also have a glass cover under it. So I could easily get a new "hood" or "light fixture" any suggestions?
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
 
Also I love floating plants! And I'm up for suggestions on which ones would be good considering I'm a beginner. The only plant I've ever really had is an african fern. I did have a floating plant in my guppy tank but I can't remember what it was. it was beautiful though
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