want to go planted/lighting question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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want to go planted/lighting question

I have a 40 gallon seaclear aquarium. The light is very dark and was wondering is anyone knew of anything i can do without buying a whole new lighting setup. The fixture is only built for 20 watts.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 01:50 PM
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Generally speaking, fluorescent tubes are made in standard wattages for the size (length). Watts is only the measurement of energy used to produce the light. Tubes that have less watts can, depending upon how they are made, be as intense as regular tubes of the same type and size, but simply more "energy efficient" by using fewer watts. So watts is not a reliable guide to intensity of the light.

There are different types of tubes though, and some are more intense (brighter) than others. It depends upon the spectrum, kelvin and lumens. If you want a planted tank, the light fixture you have will be OK with the best tube. You will be able to grow low to moderate light requiring plants.

What is the length of the aquarium, and what is the tube length (end to end not including the prongs)?

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 #3 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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the tank lenght is 36 inches. the bulb is a 24 inch 20 watt t-8. I have a black backround with black eco complete subtrate and the lighting on this tank is very dark. thanks for the response.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by fishingfor2001 View Post
the tank lenght is 36 inches. the bulb is a 24 inch 20 watt t-8. I have a black backround with black eco complete subtrate and the lighting on this tank is very dark. thanks for the response.
Too bad it isn't a 30-inch tube; my 33g is 36 inches and the tube is 30 inches and quite adequate. But it may be OK with a better tube.

You didn't say the type of tube, so I'll just suggest a good one. If you don't mind the cost, the Hagen series includes one called "Life-Glo" which is my personal choice for single-tube tanks. There is a Life-Glo 2 and a Life-Glo (without the "2"), the latter has a coating that directs the light out one side for slightly more intensity. Another trick is to line the fixture behind the tube with foil (shiny side showing).

For less money, a "day;light" type tube made by Phillips or Sylvania and available from hardware stores might work. Get one with a kelvin rating of 6500K. Phillips calls theirs Alto Daylight Deluxe.

It is ironic that dark lighting will suit the fish much better; most come from very dimly-lit forest streams. But of course we want the plants to grow too.

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 #5 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Its an aqua glo. I will try your suggestion. I cannot believe how dark this light is. Thanks for your help.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fishingfor2001 View Post
Its an aqua glo. I will try your suggestion. I cannot believe how dark this light is. Thanks for your help.
I can now understand this. Aqua-Glo is very minimal light, the intensity is about half that of Life-Glo; I have one of these and never use it. You will see a difference with a Life-Glo--and so will your plants.

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 #7 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the help. I have already found it online.
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