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What are these?

This is a discussion on What are these? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> You're posting problems and questions faster than I can keep up. On the lights, the tubes you have may be OK. I haven't had ...

Old 07-08-2010, 12:19 PM   #21
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You're posting problems and questions faster than I can keep up.

On the lights, the tubes you have may be OK. I haven't had a chance to check into this online yet, but leave it for now.

As to the wattage, all fluorescent tubes come in standard wattages. 48-inch tubes are always 40 watts, 18-inch tubes are 15w, 30-inch tubes are 25w, etc. However, some manufacturers are now producing tubes that use less energy, and in the T8 size. [The "T" number refers to the tube diameter, T12 are largest like the old original fluorescent tubes, T8 are smaller, T5 smaller yet. T8 are still "regular" as T5 need special fixtures, don't want to get into all that.] So the wattage will be less but the light intensity (brightness) the same. I don't know if that has occurred with smaller tubes like the 18-inch yet, but in 48-inch tubes like I use on my larger tanks the new tubes are 32w instead of 40w. All this means is that the tube is using less energy (power) to produce the same intensity. Watts is only the measure of energy used, it is not an indication of brightness--though higher wattages obviously tend to be brighter because more energy is being used. But this is only a rough guide, as I hope I've shown.
So, forget worrying about watts, just buy tubes that fit your fixture in the length and get T8. Having said that, your Marineland will probably work; and you may not find the 18-inch at some hardware stores anyway.

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:41 PM   #22
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LOL Thanks Byron, I am finding problems faster then I would have ever hoped. I was just going by what I was told on this thread. I am currently on hold with Marineland trying to find out the actual K rating of the bulbs that are in this hood. It is a daylight bulb. I am hopeful that it is at least a 6500K
UPDATE: After 15 minutes on hold to get a customer representative she said "Oh, I have no idea, they are produced by our sister company, here is their number" I then called the sister company waited 10 more minutes and got a human (Yeah!) however, she was just someone who sat at the front desk (her words) she transferred me to someones voice-mail who will be out of the office for the next few weeks BUT have a nice day. :)

I also spoke to customer service at Dr. Foster's and Smith (SUPER NICE AND HELPFUL) and she thought that I should be alright but to keep an eye on the plants. She said, they have a 15w 18 inch bulb that is 6700K so, If this doesn't work out, I can order that. $15.99 a piece.

I am even more frustrated with the Petco, and Petsmart stores. They have zero knowledge about the products that they sell or what the fish and plants they sell require to remain healthy. I should think the least they could do is have some type of training for their employees so they know the basics.

Todays shopping trip got smaller, I will just purchase the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement and then maybe order a few dog toys/treats from Fosters and Smith. I want to give them business as they are there when you need them and seem to actually know what they are talking about.

Do any of you remember the day when you called a company and got to talk to a real live person without having to push 1 for this and 2 for that? Ugh! I miss those days. lol All this just to do right by my plants and fish.

Byron, I should be able to give you a little break now unless someone else tosses something else out there to confuse me. ha ha
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:30 PM   #23
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I know exactly what you're saying re the sales people and trying to get through to humans over the phone.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:55 PM   #24
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Well I just got back from Petco. That was the last chance I will give that place. I have been there on 3 separate occasions and cannot find anything I want or need. The fish again had a bunch of dead ones in the tanks, they were not clean, there was nobody watching the goings on with a bunch of kids screwing around with the fish. I have had it and won't buy anything from them again.

Instead, I did just as I said I would and placed and order with Dr. Foster's and Smith. Thus far I have been pretty happy with anything I ordered from them and definitely happy with the customer service. When you are not around Byron, I have been able to ask them questions. ha ha

I did find a lighting store here that can order the lights I need 15w 6500K but it will take 5-6 weeks to come in. I opted to not wait that long. My order from Dr. Foster's and Smith is generally here before 8 days.

I thought of ordering a few plants through them as well but was a little leery of getting something like that through the mail. I will be stuck with very few choices of plant though if I don't because there are few choices at Petsmart.

Now I am in research mode as to what other plants to add to my tank. I could be dreaming but it seems my Cabomba already grew an inch.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:01 PM   #25
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Inga many people on this forum highly suggest Sweet Aquatics for plants. I just placed my 3rd order with them and am very pleased for the 3rd time. They are quite busy right now and it is taking them about 8 days to ship your order, but it is well worth the wait. They are very reasonably priced and plants are packaged very well and are large and healthy when received. That's probably the reason they are so busy right now. Positive word of mouth. Just a suggestion if you're looking for good variety and can't find it locally.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:58 PM   #26
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Thanks a LOT LisaC144, I will check them out. Any suggestions for a 60 gallon with Tiger Barbs, Gourami's, Red tail shark? So far all I have is the Amazon Sword and the Camboba. So far they seem to be doing well but they are not the only kind I would like to see in there. I need something shorter for in the front and maybe some color?
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #27
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I am sitting here thinking of the possible problems I might run into with converting my tank to live plants now instead of fake. I was wondering how one goes about cleaning the gravel in a densely planted tank? Do you just siphon around the plants and just not dig down into the gravel?
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:21 PM   #28
Wow o.O This thread has taken off faster than anacharis - *courtesy laugh? please?* soooo cheesy i know... So i'm all caught up on the reading finally. And I'm glad to say you are getting all the best of the right help Inga. It's really cool that you've taking to the hobby so fondly :) it is addicting.

So to answer your more recent questions. I second the vote for sweetaquatics.com. They are busy though, but the i like the selection of plants at a reasonable price. To relieve you of your worries - I don't vacuum the gravel when I do a water change. This is a benefit to having lives plants. Though it is good to vacuum open/bare areas. So the more the merrier :)

As far as what to put in? Well largely that's up to you, yourself, and the plants. The Camboba can be cut and re-grown over and over - truthfully, this can be done with any stem plant. Often, when done, the growth becomes thicker and fuller in my experiences with stem plants. As far as shorter plants go, I like Cryptocoryne, Sagitarria, and Dwarf Anubias. For color the Cyptocoryne have some variety, but stem plants like Rotala magenta or a red Hygrophila can add color to the tank vertically. Anubias plants seem to have a "smooth" look and a darker uniform green than others. Red Tiger Lotus is a huge plant but can develop big beautiful red leaves. Keep in mind though, that red leaves are the result of higher light intensities. My red stem plant was fairly red when I bought it, but this changes over time. It still has some red leaves growing, but mostly the underside. The plant will not die, but it will lose the red coloration under less intense light.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:50 PM   #29
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Another nod to sweetaquatics from me.I'm getting ready to set up my second planted tank and they will definitely be getting my business again.I called before I made my first order and they answered all questions I had left about the plants that would be right for my set-up.Once ou make the move to live plants you'll realize it's not as hard as you think.And with all the help you get here it makes it a lot easier.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:47 PM   #30
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Most of us with planted tanks never vacuum the substrate. Detritus accumulates and bacteria break it down into organics for the plant roots. There is a host of activity going on in the substrate, all inter-related--bacteria (various types), water movement, plant roots releasing oxygen for the bacteria and assimilating nutrients--nature doing its thing.

I do vacuum the open areas along the front, primarily because my Corydoras and other cats feed there and I like to keep it clean. Otherwise, no.
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