T8 Shop Light Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 11-16-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
SusanB's Avatar
 
T8 Shop Light Question

I have a 55 gallon tank with a few Amazon swords, a couple Red Melon swords, wisteria, egeria najas and dwarf sagittaria. I have also recently gotten a small amount of duckweed which I realize should turn into a large amount of duckweed fairly quickly. I have two shop lights each with two 48 inch 6500K bulbs. There is a small amount algae on the front glass. I fertilize with Seachem's Trace, Flourish Comprehensive and I also have Excel

Is this too much light for this tank and these plants?
SusanB is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 11-16-2012, 08:17 PM
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
The first question is where are the lights mounted - How high above the tank? Light declines as a square function of the distance from the light, so a little elevation really decreases the light levels. Shop lights have poor reflectors, so that reduces light levels also.

Four bulbs? My opinion is that's probably 2 bulbs too many! The excess light won't hurt your plants at all, but it will certainly encourage algae. If it's a new tank, you may go without algae for a couple of months and then - boom! Algae explosion. I recommend using 2 bulbs for a couple of months on about an 8-hour/day cycle. If no algae, then you might try increasing the number of lights if you really want to, but I don't think you'll need to.

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
DKRST is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 11-17-2012, 12:51 AM
Member
 
CinBos's Avatar
 
With the help of everyone on here, I have narrowed down my lighting to 1 48" fixture with 2 T8 bulbs, each bulb is 6,500k by GE
Posted via Mobile Device
CinBos is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 11-17-2012, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
New Member
 
SusanB's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKRST View Post
The first question is where are the lights mounted - How high above the tank? Light declines as a square function of the distance from the light, so a little elevation really decreases the light levels. Shop lights have poor reflectors, so that reduces light levels also.

Four bulbs? My opinion is that's probably 2 bulbs too many! The excess light won't hurt your plants at all, but it will certainly encourage algae. If it's a new tank, you may go without algae for a couple of months and then - boom! Algae explosion. I recommend using 2 bulbs for a couple of months on about an 8-hour/day cycle. If no algae, then you might try increasing the number of lights if you really want to, but I don't think you'll need to.
One of the lights is sitting right on the glass and the other is about three inches off of the glass. I will remove the one light sitting on the glass and just keep the one that is three inches off the glass so I can get into the tank to feed the fish. If the plants start looking crappy I guess I will look into other reasons before increasing the light.

Thanks y'all.
SusanB is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 11-17-2012, 01:02 PM
Member
 
Byron's Avatar
 
I would leave the fixture with the two tubes that is closest to the water. You mention Wisteria which needs good light; I cannot grow this plant with two tubes, it does fine (incredibly fine) for a few months, then begins to fail. Mind you, the low GH I have may factor into this too.

I would certainly reduce to two tubes, about 8 hours as someone suggested. Monitor plant growth. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement twice weekly. Flourish Trace, depends. This may not be needed with less light, and also we don't know your GH which is important for the hard minerals in balance.

Excel I would not use, solely because it is a toxic chemical that carries too many risks in my view. I've written elsewhere on this. If you don't touch the substrate there will likely be sufficient CO2 naturally to balance the suggested light.

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]
Byron is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 11-17-2012, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
SusanB's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would leave the fixture with the two tubes that is closest to the water. You mention Wisteria which needs good light; I cannot grow this plant with two tubes, it does fine (incredibly fine) for a few months, then begins to fail. Mind you, the low GH I have may factor into this too.

I would certainly reduce to two tubes, about 8 hours as someone suggested. Monitor plant growth. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement twice weekly. Flourish Trace, depends. This may not be needed with less light, and also we don't know your GH which is important for the hard minerals in balance.

Excel I would not use, solely because it is a toxic chemical that carries too many risks in my view. I've written elsewhere on this. If you don't touch the substrate there will likely be sufficient CO2 naturally to balance the suggested light.

Byron.

I have taken one of the fixtures off of the tank and have the timer set for 8 hours. The GH is 79 which I believe translated to 4 of something. I will use the Comprehensive on Monday and Thursday.
SusanB is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 11-17-2012, 05:03 PM
Member
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanB View Post
I have taken one of the fixtures off of the tank and have the timer set for 8 hours. The GH is 79 which I believe translated to 4 of something. I will use the Comprehensive on Monday and Thursday.
That sounds balanced, but keep an eye on the Wisteria particularly.

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]
Byron is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Canopy Using A Shop Light Serrecko DIY Aquarium 3 05-24-2012 11:54 PM
Shop light Santaclaws DIY Aquarium 11 10-05-2011 04:56 AM
48" home depot or lowes shop light? k19smith Beginner Planted Aquarium 8 10-05-2011 04:20 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome