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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; --> Originally Posted by aklick I do have a manufactured hood light fixture but I also have a glass cover under it. So I could ...

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new to planted aquariums lighting advise needed
Old 08-27-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by aklick View Post
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?
With a full glass cover, you can get a strip light that then sits on the tank frame at the ends. This will usually mean a longer tube that what you now have.

Your options are a T8 fixture taking a single tube, or a double tube; or a single tube T5 but these are hard to get. I have the single tube T8, and I accept this is minimal light but I have fish that do not like bright light so I select plants that will manage.

You can get a T8 fixture that is 36 inches and takes a 36-inch tube, which would be fine. Here is one at Drs.Foster&Smith as an example. They have single tube an d dual tube in 36 inches, and they take 36-inch tubes.
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Marineland Fluorescent Lights
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:07 AM   #12
 
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So for a planted tank the full spet. is better than the red and blue wave length which are the "floramax" bulbs?
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:17 AM   #13
 
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So for a planted tank the full spet. is better than the red and blue wave length which are the "floramax" bulbs?
Yes. While it is true that aquarium plants require light in the red and blue wavelengths to photosynthesize, it also seems they somehow use the green which is not present in the so-called plant/aquarium tubes but is present in the full spectrum/daylight types. The 6500K rating is the key here.

I also think there is an issue with intensity. The special tubes put out less intense light, some of them are about half the intensity of the same sized daylight tube, and this has to be part of it.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:23 AM   #14
 
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Yes. While it is true that aquarium plants require light in the red and blue wavelengths to photosynthesize, it also seems they somehow use the green which is not present in the so-called plant/aquarium tubes but is present in the full spectrum/daylight types. The 6500K rating is the key here.

I also think there is an issue with intensity. The special tubes put out less intense light, some of them are about half the intensity of the same sized daylight tube, and this has to be part of it.
I've also read that the red and blue bulbs give off a purple glow so they warn't ideal. I read somewhere on here a full spectrum and a cool blue bulb would work great.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #15
 
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I've also read that the red and blue bulbs give off a purple glow so they warn't ideal. I read somewhere on here a full spectrum and a cool blue bulb would work great.
Yes, the purplish or goulish hue of those tubes is to me not nice, and the fish and plant colours are not true.

If you have two tubes, you can mix them. A full spectrum plus a cool white. This is basically the 6500K tubes that several of us recommend, and stats show these do promote the best growth in aquarium plants.

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Old 08-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #16
 
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Yes, the purplish or goulish hue of those tubes is to me not nice, and the fish and plant colours are not true.

If you have two tubes, you can mix them. A full spectrum plus a cool white. This is basically the 6500K tubes that several of us recommend, and stats show these do promote the best growth in aquarium plants.

Byron.
out of curiosity what is the difference between full spectrum and cool white?
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #17
 
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Ok thanks for clearing this up my planted tanks bulbs are due to be changed out here in the next few weeks. And i have the floramax bulbs but everything is doing semi ok but my vals and some others. So ill purchase the full speturams. thanks Bryon
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:27 AM   #18
 
I know this is a t5 but what about this? Or would it be to much for my tank (50 gallon)
Amazon.com: Odyssea 36" T5 HO Aquarium Light Dual Fluorescent Hood Fixture - Marine 2x39W: Pet Supplies Amazon.com: Odyssea 36" T5 HO Aquarium Light Dual Fluorescent Hood Fixture - Marine 2x39W: Pet Supplies

my tank is oak though so it would probably look odd

Last edited by aklick; 08-27-2012 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:25 PM   #19
 
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I know this is a t5 but what about this? Or would it be to much for my tank (50 gallon) Amazon.com: Odyssea 36" T5 HO Aquarium Light Dual Fluorescent Hood Fixture - Marine 2x39W: Pet Supplies

my tank is oak though so it would probably look odd
That is way too much light. The fixtures I linked in my post #11 are the best in my view. And the dual-tube would be OK. With floating plants, and keeping the light duration period in check, this would work and give you more options with plants.

The issue with light is balance; plants need sufficient light intensity to photosynthesize (grow) but they can't photosynthesize unless they have 17 specific nutrients. Some of these we can add via fertilizers, some we rely on nature to provide. Carbon is one of these; CO2 (carbon dioxide) occurs from fish, plant and bacteria respiration, but even more from the breakdown of organics by bacteria in the substrate. Increasing the light will not make any improvement to plant growth without CO2 and the other nutrients to balance. But light beyond what is balanced by nutrients will give algae the advantage.

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:32 PM   #20
 
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out of curiosity what is the difference between full spectrum and cool white?
Full spectrum technically means the full light spectrum of colour wavelengths from infrared to ultraviolet. In practice, tubes can vary a lot while still being termed full spectrum, and one has to examine the spectral graph of each tube.

Cool white has a higher level of blue light (and less red) so it moves to the "cool" side. Warm white is the opposite, more red and less blue.

Kelvin is often used in this, although technically it has no direct relation to spectrum. But for our purposes, it can serve as a guide. Aquarium plants in controlled studies grew better when placed under light having a K between 6000K and 7000K, which is why most of us recommend this range. "Daylight" or "cool white" is used in connection with these.
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