Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/)
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-   -   Light for my 55 Gallon Planted Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/light-my-55-gallon-planted-aquarium-119935/)

CinBos 11-15-2012 11:25 PM

Light for my 55 Gallon Planted Aquarium
 
Now that I have my aquarium all set up with plants, fish and fertilizer, now I am at the lights. I did some reading on lights and what is needed for aquarium plants to produce a healthy groth rate and plants. I recenty did some reading on these 2 LED lighting fixtures I have... Heres a link:

http://www.petco.com/product/118303/Marineland-LED-Aquarium-Light-Bar.aspx

I noticed that one of these has 310 lumen. I have 2 so 620 lumens total for my 55 gallon planted tank. For some reason this doesnt sound like a lot to me. I cannot find the wattage per LED, so I dont know that. I was wondering if this is sufficient enough? If not, here are some scenarios that I thought I would do to enhance the lighting for my aquarium...

1.). I would buy another LED fixture just like the 2 (above) I already have, then the lighting would consist of 3 of these LED fixtures which would produce 930 lumens (sorry dont know the watts or kelvins for these).

2.). I have 2 24" light fixtures with either 2 10,000 k coralife T8 bulbs, or 2 aqueon full spectrum T8 bulbs.

3.). 48in dual T8 shoplight. I will need to get the correct bulbs (whatever you all suggest) for this fixture.

Please let me know what you all think. This is my first crack at a low tech planted aquarium.

Also, another thing that concerns me is the article Byron posted about light and fish. It seems (from the article) as if a brightly lit aquarium would cause stress to a fish and on their eyes. Just wanted to bring this up to see everyone elses thoughts.
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Boredomb 11-16-2012 02:39 AM

I have no experience with LEDs so I cant say what type you need or anything. I can tell what I had on my 55 gallon and it worked good. I had a 48" dual T8 fixture. The bulbs I ran were GE daylight bulbs from Lowe's with a 6500 Kelvin rating. These lights put off enough light that I could grow most plants that needed medium lighten requirements. Though imo I though were bright and floating plants were a most to help cause less stress on the fish.

Geomancer 11-16-2012 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boredomb (Post 1312836)
I have no experience with LEDs so I cant say what type you need or anything. I can tell what I had on my 55 gallon and it worked good. I had a 48" dual T8 fixture. The bulbs I ran were GE daylight bulbs from Lowe's with a 6500 Kelvin rating. These lights put off enough light that I could grow most plants that needed medium lighten requirements. Though imo I though were bright and floating plants were a most to help cause less stress on the fish.


+1 to this

Dual T8, 6500K Daylight tubes from a hardware store, and floating plants to provide some shade. Dual T8 will be high end of moderate, so floating plants is a must.

CinBos 11-16-2012 07:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geomancer (Post 1312896)
+1 to this

Dual T8, 6500K Daylight tubes from a hardware store, and floating plants to provide some shade. Dual T8 will be high end of moderate, so floating plants is a must.

Any reason why the other scenarios will bot work?
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Geomancer 11-16-2012 08:28 AM

The two 24" fixtures would work, but you would need all new bulbs. 10000K is too high on its own, you could mix a 6500K and a 10000K together to get a cooler blue look, but you need at least one in the 5000-7000K range.

The Aqueon tubes are 8000K I believe. They can work, but not as well.

LEDs are very problematic at this time. Very few will actually say what color temperature they are, and even then most are very weak. The only commericail ones I've seen are the Marineland Doublebright LEDs.

CinBos 11-16-2012 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geomancer (Post 1312959)
The two 24" fixtures would work, but you would need all new bulbs. 10000K is too high on its own, you could mix a 6500K and a 10000K together to get a cooler blue look, but you need at least one in the 5000-7000K range.

The Aqueon tubes are 8000K I believe. They can work, but not as well.

LEDs are very problematic at this time. Very few will actually say what color temperature they are, and even then most are very weak. The only commericail ones I've seen are the Marineland Doublebright LEDs.

So explain kelvins. Why does it need to be between 5000-7000k? I would think the more the better.

Geomancer 11-16-2012 09:24 AM

The Kelvin rating has nothing to do with intensity (well not much) it is the color temperature of the light.

Plants need red light and blue light for photosynthesis. I forget the exact wavelengths. But 6500K lights have the best balance between the two, while 10000K is shifted heavy into the blue, but very little red. While on the other end of the spectrum, low K bulbs (often called 'warm') are heavy on the red but weak in blue.

Google color temperature for an indepth explaination that can explain it in far greater detail than I could.

CinBos 11-16-2012 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geomancer (Post 1312999)
The Kelvin rating has nothing to do with intensity (well not much) it is the color temperature of the light.

Plants need red light and blue light for photosynthesis. I forget the exact wavelengths. But 6500K lights have the best balance between the two, while 10000K is shifted heavy into the blue, but very little red. While on the other end of the spectrum, low K bulbs (often called 'warm') are heavy on the red but weak in blue.

Google color temperature for an indepth explaination that can explain it in far greater detail than I could.

Oh ok, sounds good. This is definitly something I missed while doing a little bit of research. I seemed to be focused on the substrate more while doing my reading. Thanks for the info, I should have those bulbs lying around. They were the standard T8 bulbs that I bought along with the shop light.

redchigh 11-16-2012 11:27 AM

I agree with the above, LED fixtures just aren't bright enough unless it's custom made and/or prohibitively expensive.

I would go with the full-length t8, and a shop light is fine. Large floating plants like amazon frogbit and water lettuce would be idea.

CinBos 11-16-2012 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redchigh (Post 1313101)
I agree with the above, LED fixtures just aren't bright enough unless it's custom made and/or prohibitively expensive.

I would go with the full-length t8, and a shop light is fine. Large floating plants like amazon frogbit and water lettuce would be idea.

Yeah I am working on getting some water lettuce at the moment. And I will be changing the lighting tonight to the 48" Dual T8 shop light.


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