Single T8 enough?
I am setting up my 29 gallon (18.75 inches high) planted tank right now and I am not quit sure if my lighting would be enough for plants I want to grow. Byron suggested that I use a Hagen life glo 18 watt 6700K bulb and it will grow low light plants, but I want to make sure it will grow plants other than java fern, crypts, and anubias. I want to grow amazon swords, bacopa carolina, italian vals, some floating anacharis and some hygro corymbosa. Will these plants be able to survive and grow with these conditions? I will be using Miracle Gro Organic Choice dirt capped with gravel also. Any advice will help, THANKS
For purposes of comparison, I have a 10 gal. tank with 11" between substrate and tube and 20" long. I am using a T8 18" 15W "Full Spectrum" (6700K) fluorescent tube. I forget the length of the 29 gal. but the tube would have to fit that length. Also, IMO there would have to be extra wattage for the difference in your height and my 11" distance. There is a formula to calculate how less powerful a light source is per height - unfortunately I can't remember that either. Hope someone else does.
If the tube over your 29g is 24 inches, as comes in the standard Aqueon hood, [I have this, with a Life-Glo tube], the swords should be OK if they are the green-leaf species [red-leaf species require more light and may not do well here]. The floating hornwort will be fine. The two other stem plants may not. H. corymbosa needs good light, and I would not expect this to do at all well. Bacopa may, but I would cautiously say likely not. The giant vall 50/50 but more likely not--and you do realize this plant will be far too large in a 29g, the leaves grow over 3 feet?
Alrite I'll just have to switch up my stocking ideas. For the Val I would just trim it like anyone else would. I doubt most people that have Vals leave them untrimmed unless their tank is actually 3 feet+ in height.
What if i changed to a glass top and added a second light fixture to the tank? I would just get dual T8 fixture but i cant find any online.
Catalina Aquariums will make up a custom fixture for you at a pretty reasonable cost. I had them put together a dual T8 for one of my tanks, and was quite happy with both the price and product.
And I'd definitely consider a full glass top.
there is this: AqueonŽ Freshwater T5 Light Fixture - Lighting & Hoods - Fish - PetSmart that will be about the same light as a dual tube 30" T8 (these are not High Ouput), probably a bit more since the bulbs in the 30" one are longer than the 24" T8s
I have the Coralife branded (Aqueon and Coralife are the same company and I think these fixtures are exactly the same for both brands) single tube version and like it a lot, I did replace the colormax bulb that came with it with the Aqueon daylight 6700K from petsmart
cost is a bit higher than T8 for fixture and bulbs, but I bought the fixture online and I thought it was reasonably priced
there is also a company called Deep Blue that sells a 30" dual tube non-HO T5, I had the single tube version of this and liked it well enough, but it had the 24" bulb that left the ends of my tank (30" wide) a bit dim, so I replaced it with the coralife with the longer bulb
So I am just thinking of getting this fixture, http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-AquaSun-Fluorescent-30-Inch/dp/B0002DIRBY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1344480976&sr=8-3&keywords=zoomed+t5 but running only one bulb.
That one bulb being this one, http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Trichromatic-Daylight-22-Inch/dp/B003C5PQWW/ref=pd_bxgy_petsupplies_img_b. By running
If I use this combination of a single bulb T5HO over my 29 gallon will that allow me to grow plants like rotala, dwarf hair grass, and ludwigia? Would I need CO2 because this lighting is too much? And would I need CO2 even if the lighting was fine because these plants need it? Help on this would be appreciated before I go out and spent the money.
The stem plants will be fine, but substrate "cover" or "carpet" plants like Hairgrass are always iffy. Sometimes they manage, sometimes not. CO2 does help these, with increased lighting obviously, and then daily nutrient fertilization. This takes you to a higher level of balance, and one should consider the fish that will be subjected to this.
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