new to planted aquariums lighting advise needed - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #21 of 29 Old 08-27-2012, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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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.

Byron.
Thanks! I read a really good thread here in regards to fertilizers and nutrients. I have already picked out a few things I can get but my question is do I really need it and how do I know if I need it?

I picked out these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GD3KD0/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
This: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004K7ZLC6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&smid=A2RRRBZIBW1CCT
and this : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OVE59M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&smid=A281ICWJBRZ31L
But I"m not sure if all that is over kill. I'm honestly not sure how to know if I need it. maybe I'm over thinking this.

If I got the duo that you linked should I get a full spectrum with a cool white?

Sorry for all the questions. I really really appreciate all the advise I'm getting on here.
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post #22 of 29 Old 08-27-2012, 07:49 PM
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Thanks! I read a really good thread here in regards to fertilizers and nutrients. I have already picked out a few things I can get but my question is do I really need it and how do I know if I need it?

I picked out these: Amazon.com: Jobe's Fern & Palm Indoor Fertilizer Food Spikes - 30 Pack 5101: Patio, Lawn & Garden

This: Amazon.com: Tropica Plant Nutrition Liquid 250 ML: Everything Else

and this : Amazon.com: Fertilizer Muriate Of Potash: Everything Else

But I"m not sure if all that is over kill. I'm honestly not sure how to know if I need it. maybe I'm over thinking this.

If I got the duo that you linked should I get a full spectrum with a cool white?

Sorry for all the questions. I really really appreciate all the advise I'm getting on here.
On the light, it partly depends upon your preference. One tube should absolutely be around 6500K. For the second tube, you can duplicate this, or go a tad warmer or cooler. The plants will be fine either way, so it comes down to what you prefer. The cooler second tube will give a crisp sharper white, which is my preference; the warmer will be, well, warmer--think warm and fuzzy in a colour.

As for those linked fertilizers: The Jobe sticks some members here use and seem to like, I've not tried them. Or rather, some members use some type of Jobe stick--may or may not be this one. Maybe PM 1077 as i know he has used whichever it is. You don't want some terrestrial plant nutrients in a fish tank.

The Tropica i have not tried, but I came across an older thread on this and I mentioned there that it takes a lot to achieve results, according to Tom Barr. About six times as much per week as Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement which is the basic fertilizer I use. Purchased online it will be less expensive than in a store. Make sure it is the Comprehensive, they make several different products under the Flourish name. Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is much the same.

You certainly do not want the potash stuff, that is for farms. The Flourish Comp or FlorinMulti is all you really need. The substrate sticks, if you get them, can help large swords but otherwise not necessary either.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #23 of 29 Old 08-27-2012, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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On the light, it partly depends upon your preference. One tube should absolutely be around 6500K. For the second tube, you can duplicate this, or go a tad warmer or cooler. The plants will be fine either way, so it comes down to what you prefer. The cooler second tube will give a crisp sharper white, which is my preference; the warmer will be, well, warmer--think warm and fuzzy in a colour.

As for those linked fertilizers: The Jobe sticks some members here use and seem to like, I've not tried them. Or rather, some members use some type of Jobe stick--may or may not be this one. Maybe PM 1077 as i know he has used whichever it is. You don't want some terrestrial plant nutrients in a fish tank.

The Tropica i have not tried, but I came across an older thread on this and I mentioned there that it takes a lot to achieve results, according to Tom Barr. About six times as much per week as Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement which is the basic fertilizer I use. Purchased online it will be less expensive than in a store. Make sure it is the Comprehensive, they make several different products under the Flourish name. Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is much the same.

You certainly do not want the potash stuff, that is for farms. The Flourish Comp or FlorinMulti is all you really need. The substrate sticks, if you get them, can help large swords but otherwise not necessary either.

Byron.

Ok thanks! Do you have any suggestions for the soft white light bulb? I don't mind googling it but I'm not sure exactly what to google.

sorry for all the questions!
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post #24 of 29 Old 08-28-2012, 11:16 AM
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Ok thanks! Do you have any suggestions for the soft white light bulb? I don't mind googling it but I'm not sure exactly what to google.

sorry for all the questions!
I don't like them so haven't tried many, except for ZooMed's TropicSun (their "warm" version). Their UltraSun is the 6700K one that is good. And they have a cool white, I think it is CoralSun but not sure.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #25 of 29 Old 08-28-2012, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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I don't like them so haven't tried many, except for ZooMed's TropicSun (their "warm" version). Their UltraSun is the 6700K one that is good. And they have a cool white, I think it is CoralSun but not sure.

maybe I'll just do 1 bulb then. I guess I'm just trying to get lighting sufficient so I'm not limited with plants.
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post #26 of 29 Old 08-28-2012, 11:48 AM
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maybe I'll just do 1 bulb then. I guess I'm just trying to get lighting sufficient so I'm not limited with plants.
You can get the dual-tube fixture and then use two 6500K tubes. You can buy inexpensive tubes in a hardware-type store; GE, Phillips and Sylvania all make some sort of "daylight" with a rating of 6500K and that is what you want. The fish store tubes are fine but will be considerably more expensive.

The hardware store will probably have a "warmer" tube too, with a K around 5000K, that you can try; nice thing about these stores is that you can try the tube and likely take it back for exchange if it is not what you want. They don't have "cooler" tubes than 6500K, at least not the stores where I am.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #27 of 29 Old 08-28-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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You can get the dual-tube fixture and then use two 6500K tubes. You can buy inexpensive tubes in a hardware-type store; GE, Phillips and Sylvania all make some sort of "daylight" with a rating of 6500K and that is what you want. The fish store tubes are fine but will be considerably more expensive.

The hardware store will probably have a "warmer" tube too, with a K around 5000K, that you can try; nice thing about these stores is that you can try the tube and likely take it back for exchange if it is not what you want. They don't have "cooler" tubes than 6500K, at least not the stores where I am.

Oh ok! I'll just do that if it's less expensive then!
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post #28 of 29 Old 08-29-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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what is the significance of watts on a light fixture?

If I have a 50 gallon how many watts should my light fixture be? I noticed that the T5 HO fixtures come in watts.
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post #29 of 29 Old 08-29-2012, 06:41 PM
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If I have a 50 gallon how many watts should my light fixture be? I noticed that the T5 HO fixtures come in watts.
Watts is relatively meangingless because of all the different types of light tubes/bulbs. Watts is simply the measurement of the energy used by a tube or bulb to produce the light. It will only be relevant to actual brightness when comparing the same type of tube/bulb. For example, a GE Daylight CFL bulb of 13w will obviously be brighter than the same bulb in 10w.

T8 tubes in 48-inch length used to all be 40w. Then with all the fuss over wasting energy, manufacturers began making 48-inch tubes that use 32w but produce the same light intensity. More energy efficient. So watts is basically meaningless.

If you get the dual T8 fixture, the tubes that fit it will be basically the same wattage. But at that point you look at the spectrum and lumens and lux and whatever.

I have 20w over my 10g, but I only have 64w over my 115g. It is the type of bulbs/tubes, not their wattage, that matters.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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