Very, very confused on lighting.. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-26-2012, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Very, very confused on lighting..

sorry for so many questions lately but iv'e read that you need 1-2 watts per gallon for a planted tank. Ive got a 55 gallon and went out and got a 48' 32w t8 bulb daylight with 6500k, this isn't even 1 watt per gallon. I dont see anything over a 40w in stores and only 1 light can go into hood fixture. Do I have to get a new fixture where more bulbs can go in? Then again ive been told that what I have is enough for plants to grow,but how when the wattage isnt even near 1 watt per gallon.

All the plants i have can grow in low-high lighting. I have Vals,brazilian pennwort,watersprite and ancharis

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post #2 of 12 Old 02-26-2012, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by smit3183 View Post
sorry for so many questions lately but iv'e read that you need 1-2 watts per gallon for a planted tank. Ive got a 55 gallon and went out and got a 48' 32w t8 bulb daylight with 6500k, this isn't even 1 watt per gallon. I dont see anything over a 40w in stores and only 1 light can go into hood fixture. Do I have to get a new fixture where more bulbs can go in? Then again ive been told that what I have is enough for plants to grow,but how when the wattage isnt even near 1 watt per gallon.

All the plants i have can grow in low-high lighting. I have Vals,brazilian pennwort,watersprite and ancharis

You're not alone! I'm still not getting the lighting thing :) Byron may weigh in, he's very knowledgeable. I thought the wattage per gallon mattered too, but that is only a bit of information. You may be okay with your low light plants. Don't run out and buy another fixture at this point. You have low light plants, except I'd float the pennywort if you want it to live. I have all the plants you have, and my tanks don't have a huge amount of light and do okay. The pennywort does way better floating IMO. I do use ferts.

See what someone who knows way more says :)

Gwen

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post #3 of 12 Old 02-26-2012, 10:16 PM
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watts per gallon is almost entirely, and completely useless. I have a 20 gallon long, which is around 12" deep. A 20 gallon X high is double that. The same light on the 20L will be significantly dimmer at the bottom of the 20 X high tank, even though its the same wattage and the same volume of water. Same watts per gallon, totally different level of lighting.

In almost any fluorescent fixture, the bulb thats in there is the only one that will work (as it should). A t8 tube, in a 4 foot length, is going to be 30-34 watts. Period. Thats how much light is over my successful 55g planted.

You can replace the fixture with a custom, or a double T8, but you will need to increase your fertilizers to balance with that much light.

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-26-2012, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much, I was beginning to panic thinking I have to run out and but a new lightning fixture with like 150watts of light. My vals are growing but very very slowly. My plants have only been in tank for 3 weeks and are probably still acclimating to my hard water and ph. Jusf don't want anything to die.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-26-2012, 10:55 PM
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hang in there. ive had plants take a month or better to get settled. I had a crypt that melted and showed up MONTHS later.

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post #6 of 12 Old 02-26-2012, 11:05 PM
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-28-2012, 02:27 AM
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I think they were asking about LED lights and are they effective compared to traditional incandescent or even flourescent(halogen) light bulbs.

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post #8 of 12 Old 02-28-2012, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ladayen View Post
I think they were asking about LED lights and are they effective compared to traditional incandescent or even flourescent(halogen) light bulbs.

Welcome to the Forum :)
No, Ladayen. The last post was added by another person, who is likely trying to start his own thread,and didn't.

As far as LED lights, I have a small fixture of 8 small LED lights over my 3 gallon, and the lights are doing a fine job of keeping low light plants going. I really don't know enough about them to comment more. I hear they do work for plant growth, but I'm sure the size of his tank and the light output from the fixture, will matter in the decision as to what type of plants can grow.

Gwen

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post #9 of 12 Old 02-28-2012, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smit3183 View Post
sorry for so many questions lately but iv'e read that you need 1-2 watts per gallon for a planted tank. Ive got a 55 gallon and went out and got a 48' 32w t8 bulb daylight with 6500k, this isn't even 1 watt per gallon. I dont see anything over a 40w in stores and only 1 light can go into hood fixture. Do I have to get a new fixture where more bulbs can go in? Then again ive been told that what I have is enough for plants to grow,but how when the wattage isnt even near 1 watt per gallon.

All the plants i have can grow in low-high lighting. I have Vals,brazilian pennwort,watersprite and ancharis
It looks like you have low light plants, you don't really have to worry about lights too much.
Here's an article you can use to give yourself a reference:

Jake’s Planted Aquarium Pages | lighting – how much?


-=+8 Gallon Planted+=-
Fauna:
1x Honey Gourami
2x Otocinclus Affinis
6x Flame Tetra
6x Ember Tetra
2x Apple Snail (Hitched on Rotala)

Flora:
Dwarf Sagittaria
Ludwigia Repens X L. Arcuata
Staurogyne Repen
Cryptocoryne lutea
Cryptocoryne Wendti
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Amazon Sword
Java Moss
Java Fern
Anubias minima
Water Primrose
Pogostemon Yatabeanus
Limnophila sp. 'mini'
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-29-2012, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by CamryDS View Post
It looks like you have low light plants, you don't really have to worry about lights too much.
Here's an article you can use to give yourself a reference:

Jake’s Planted Aquarium Pages | lighting – how much?
That article is rather misleading. The author states further on about different types of lighting being very differnet intensity, but the initial guide is way out.

The majority of aquarium plants aside from most stem plants fall in the moderate light range, and this can be 1 watt per gallon if you have T8 full spectrum over a 4 foot tank. But with different tank sizes and/or different type of lioghting this does not work.

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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