New 75g...what type of lights
I'm starting a new 75 gallon tank. I currently have a 20 gallon tank with 3 angelfish & 2 plecos but the 20 gallon is getting too cramped for the angels.
For my new tank I will be using pool filter sand as the substrate (I am considering adding a layer of flourite to the bottom) but I do not want to run co2. I would like to have some low maintenance plants for my Angelfish. I'm not sure if I should go with something like this: Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Perfecto Fluorescent Double-Bulb Strip Lights OR this: Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Perfecto Fluorescent Single Strip Lights
I'll be using a Fluval 405 canister for my filter (not sure if that is important or not)
Thank you for your help!
I prefer T5HO lights, like the Hagen T5HO Glo lights. A 75 gallon is a deep tank, so T5HOs would work well. They give off a lot of light and are a good value for you money. I would recommend going with a double strip light, because then the light is more even and it looks better.
All-Glass Triple Tube Fluorescent Strip Lights
I'm assuming your 75g tank is 48 inches in length. The double-strip regular fluorescent fixture you linked will work fine; it doesn't say if youhave your choice of the type of tubes, just that it comes with two tubes. Full spectrum is best over a planted aquarium, and with two tubes you will have the option of mixing two types of tubes (my preference, see below). Plants require light in the blue and red colours of the spectrum, but having the green/yellow light included as in full spectrum provides the equivalent of the equatorial sun at mid-day (6500K colour rating) and the plant greens and fish colours look natural; with only blue and red it is rather purplish and spectral.
Forget the single fixture, that is a waste because it will be inadequate for plants and having two will be more expensive and take up more space on top of the tank than getting a double-strip fixture. I speak from experience.
The Aqua-Glo and Life-Glo tubes (Hagen) are very good in my opinion, I have these on one tank. The Tropic Sun (Zoo Med) is also good, and will be less expensive (I have one of these on my 90g). The Corallife and actinic tubes are intended for marine/reef tanks, and are not recomended for planted freshwater.
The T5 fixture suggested by fishkid takes the same type of tubes in terms of spectrum, but as he mentioned they are a bit brighter. The tubes are different and not interchangeable between these types of fixtures, which means that if youget T5 fixtures that is the only tubes you can use. Life-Glo and Aqua-Glo come in T-5, I'm not sure about the Zoo Med series. I was looking at these last week, and my only concern is their brightness; by comparison they are brighter. I have the regular fluorescents now (two tubes over each tank) and find them quite bright enough, both for the fish and me. And the plants are certainly thriving. [There are photos under my aquarium.] Other than this, no issues.
The All Glass mentioned by Unrulyevil has three tubes, and will take the same tubes as the double strip fixture. This increases your light intensity by half. It's your preference. All Glass also has dual-tube fixtures.
With no CO2, any of the above fixtures will be adequate for most rooted plants (swords, crypts, sagitarria, vallisneria...), anubias, java fern, some of the stem plants [generally stem plants are faster growing and require more light and nutrients], and floating plants. If you go with the brighter suggestions, floating plants may be necessary. Fish from SA like angels do not prefer brightly lit tanks, and they show their colours best and behave best when they are more comfortable with not too bright light.
Thank you so much to each of you for your time and valuable help!!! At least I have a few different options to consider and I will eliminate the single strip light completely. I am worried about having too much light (thus why I didn't consider the 3 strip light) and having an algae issue. I'm also trying to take the SA biotope into consideration as I put this tank together so I wanted to go a little less intense on the lighting. I will probably go with the double strip light or the one fishboy mentioned, which looks like a good choice as well. BTW Byron, nice looking planted tanks you have there. I've tried plants in my 20 gallon with zero success. Hopefully, I can get one plant to grow in my new tank.
I happen to be looking for a new fixture myself, and I was checking out the T-5 last week. The store person, a hobbyist himself, had the T-5 and he commented that he found it very bright. Comparing the two in the store over tanks, using the same type of tubes (Life-Glo as it happens) and same wattage, there was a considerable difference; knowing the degree of light I have now on my tanks I am not sure I'd want to go that bright. The regular Life-Glo has a lux rating of 130, whereas the T-5 is around 230, lux being the measure of light intensity. The manufacturer says the T-5 "delivers significantly more light output...". I'm certainly leaning towards the regular dual-strip myself.
I would be thrilled to get my plants to grow as beautifully as yours. In fact, if I had the success you're having, I don't know if I would change what I'm doing. I have a green thumb outside in my garden, but not so green in the aquarium (which frustrates me). I'll more than likely go with the double strip set which I can interchange with T8, T10 or T12 bulbs.
The problem in my current tank (or what I learned over the course of time) was that my lights were way too intense for not having a co2 setup, plus I didn't fertilize properly. At this point I'm trying to make the effort to get it right this time in my new tank...which I'll be picking up tomorrow. I want to go slowly in setting this one up as far as the plants are concerned. I just wanted to be sure that I was off to a good start with the lights. I got a Fluval 405 canister on the way and 2 - 200w heaters, so I hope those were good decisions.
Once I get the tank up and running I'll be looking through previous posts for plant info ;-). Hope you don't mind if I pick your brain a bit here and there too.
Good on the filter (Fluval have a good rep, and although I don't yet have one myself I have looked at them and I'm considering getting one for a tank I'll be setting up next week) and two heaters are always better, one at each end next to the filter intake and outflow which should be at opposite ends of the tank as you probably know and higher wattage seems to be more reliable. Good choices.
Substrate, is it to be regular aquarium gravel? The natural (brown/buff) or dark grey/black look best with plants in my opinion. So long as it is inert, no calcium based gravel that would raise pH.
Have fun (setting up a new tank is always exciting) and good luck. Byron.
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