Lighting For Tank
Hello, I'm Back from the dead after 13 years of retiring from hobbying fish just because a cat ruined it years ago for me . Years ago i had tons fish tanks .Here;s the story .One day when my pain in the azz cat when she was a kitten she use to jump on top of my 125 fresh water fish gallon tank and try to get in to it .Well to make it short, she did and she pulled the out take hose out and all the water from the tank was on the floor ( The fish died).So i sold everything . Last month i was cleaning out my walking in closet and in the back of the closet was a full 30 gallon set up covered in blankets (I FORGOT this one ).So i set it up everything is fine and about two weeks from now the cycle should be done The WAter is a Little cloudy right now ..After the first week i added 2 crayfish and a scab fish just to make the tank cycle better and there still alive as i speak . following week added 2 angels (Still Kicking ) 3 days later pleco 4 days after that 3 baby tiger barbs ,still kicking .and finally one orange fish. all together 8 fish 2 crayfish .
i have 3 filters 2 of them are on my tank one aquaclear 500 that makes a tons of noise one aquaclear 20 and fluval 103 i use as a vacuum
2 plants in sand base tank and Yes its BEACH SAND from your local beach THAT I RINSE OUT GOOD . a couple of drift woods .
Water readings are great and the fish are playing cat and mouse with each other .. I;ll will post pics when i get home from work later.
And yes the crayfish don't bother the other fish because i feed them good .actually i saw the little baby sleeping next to him in the cave and he didn't bother him lol (I THOUGHT HE WOULD BE DINER )
An now its all about the light IM CONFUSED ABOUT , i have one florescent light dont know if it s good enough for the PLANTS for in the tank ...
The number is on the light is f20t8aq/pl alp 20 watts .Sounds a little low for the plants ..
2/3 Watt per gallon - not enough. btw, welcome back! You want around 1-1/2 to 2 W/G, more if it's a tall tank, so that's 1-1/2 W/G minimum and probably 2-1/2 W/G if you have a tall tank. That's in between 45W and 75W. Sounds like a lot.
Other people here who are more experienced with lighting can give you more information on this. Sounds like the tank is coming along well.
I'm not sure if Tiger Barbs are going to be good with Angel Fish as they tend to be slightly aggressive (fin nip). I would also have done more than just rinse the sand, possibly soaked in a light bleach solution prior to rinsing just to play it safe.
As for the lighting, depends on what type of plants you are looking to grow. I am assuming it is a 36" fixture? In my limited knowledge I would say that if you purchased a better bulb that you would probably be okay for some low light plants/ low tech setup. Try and find a "daylight bulb" or even a plant bulb at your LFS. Typically if you look for something marked with a Kelvin rating between 6,500 and 6,700 you will be fine.
Though like I said, I'm new to plants as well as just getting back into the hobby like yourself. On that note, I'd wait till Byron or someone else more knowledgeable answers before running to the store, lol. And welcome back to the hobby as well as the forums!
Here's some material on fluorescents to look over while your waiting...
Yeah it's about time we get that watts per gallon garbage removed from the vocabulary here... as already mentioned, at the same wattage, different bulbs types will result in drastically different PAR levels - a single T8 bulb may give too little light, while a same-wattage T5HO bulb might give too MUCH light.
That being said, for my 30 gallon tank, I use two 18W T8 bulbs, and it looks like you've got a single T8 bulb. What I have is a lower-light setup, so your lighting will probably be too little for good plant growth. If you can replace it with a dual-bulb T8 setup, you probably would have a nice amount of lighting for a low-tech natural planted tank.
From what I understand, the type and amount of light are the primary concerns. Naturally, the type of plants you plan on adding would dictate the lighting. Watts are pretty much a measure of how much energy it takes for the bulb to produce whatever light it produces. Not much information there ! Light temperature, or kelvin rating, is the "current" measure used for lighting purposes. 6500 kelvin is considered good for most plants requiring moderate light. Then we get into the intensity issue and it goes on and on. What type of plants were you considering ?
I think the two t8 bulbs would be perfect. The t5 bulbs are just to intense and require a CO2 addition.
BradSD makes a good point but, again, it all depends on what you intend to do. More light, more fuel, appropriate plants. Less light, less fuel, appropriate plants. I've seen both options work beautifully on this forum.
Yes, we need to know the intended plant species in order to decide on how much light. I have a single T8 tube, 30-inches with 25w over my 3-foot 33g and it is ideal. But I don't have high-light requirement plants. Photo below show what is possible with this minimal lighting.
And one must not forget the fish. You have low-light fish mentioned. But I'm going no further with this, as you have a mix that is not at all workable in a 30g. Please check the info in the profiles [second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page] for the various species, it will indicate numbers (some need a group), tank size minimum, and compatibility issues like those some members have already mentioned.
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