Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MoneyMitch 09-07-2009 05:23 PM

Tank update
 
ok so those of you that have helped me along the way here is a update to the recent things that ive done and bought. i went out and got the gh/kh liquid test from api. and the kh test took 12 drops to turn from blue to yellow. the gh didnt turn from orange after 12 drops so its off the scale. which in turn these numbers mean i have a very high buffering cap (atleast im pretty sure thats what that means. so my ph is very stable as since it has a high cap which in turn means if i want to change it i would need to add ALOT of chem (which i dont plan on doing) so my descision has stood to stocking with cichlids (prefrably rift lake or african)

now with lighting i had a pretty in depth covno with you guys on this issue about a month back. and everyone reccomended the life glow 2 which is 6700 K. well when i went to petland to find it they had a whole section set up for lighting so i asked the "fish guy" which is best for me and i told him bout what yall said. he said that the lifeglow 2 is more of a wide range light thats pretty universal but not the best for live plants. he then reccomended the powerglow which has 18000 k and very high and broad spectrims in red and blue. he says this will be better for the photosenthisis process of my plants than say a lifeglow 2 would be. he also reccomnded that instead of getting the same tubes in both fixtures i should combo them. he said a powerglow with a lifeglow would be best, lifeglow for the fish power for the plants. so i picked up the powerglow today and wanna see what you guys think ishould combo it with. ( i payed 1.09$ for the powerglow 18") the guy that rang me out was new and didnt know how to work the computer and couldnt get someone to help him since they were sooooooo busy WHAT A STEAL?!

Twistersmom 09-07-2009 08:34 PM

Wow, that was a steal of a deal on your new light!

MoneyMitch 09-07-2009 10:01 PM

thats what im saying im pretty sure those things retail for atleast 15.00 so if its not gunna be a "good light" for what i need not really a loss.

MoneyMitch 09-08-2009 12:33 PM

so what does everyone recommend about a lighting combo with the power glow ??? oO

Byron 09-08-2009 12:49 PM

Power-Glo is a good light, but as he did mention, it is higher in the blue and red and that will be slightly purplish, which is why I personally don't like it on its own [the Aqua-Glo is even moreso]. The Life-Glo is balanced, full spectrum [= the sun at mid-day or closest they can get]. But together you might like the look. That's why I usually suggest two tubes where this is feasible, it allows you to mix. Life-Glo plus something that highlights blue. In my view, this is the best because it is the blue that plants most need, second (but less) is red. They reflect green but the green is the balance to our eyes so everything looks natural.

Presumably you can exchange the PG if you don't like the look; I've frequently done this, experimented with several different tubes, before settling on those I prefer both for plant light and appearance. I have a Lightning Rod 11,000K (high in the blue) on my 115g along with a Life-Glo 2 to balance; it is slightly more blue if I compare it to just the Life-Glo on my 33g, but not much, because the Life-Glo balances it. Combined with a Life-Glo 2, the Power-Glo might suit you very well. It will certainly suit the plants, but you are the one who has to sit and look at it.

Byron.

MoneyMitch 09-08-2009 09:14 PM

so as far as kelven rating and intensity the powerglow will be my best bet for a planted with a run of the mill lighting setup? i mean it is brighter than the sun kelvin wise but i read another guys thread about plants turning brown and i caught a thread in there by you byron stateing that his lights may not have the intesisity that he needs. the guy said he had dual lifglow 2's, whioch you said are a great balanced light but on their own they dont have the intensity to kepe his plants healthy. im not too sure what plants exactly that i want but im thinkinbg of java ferns for sure something that will grow tall and bushy and then i want some really tall swords. maybe yall know more about what i am looking for or can point me in a direction so i can research a little more.

Byron 09-09-2009 10:26 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by MoneyMitch (Post 240478)
so as far as kelven rating and intensity the powerglow will be my best bet for a planted with a run of the mill lighting setup? i mean it is brighter than the sun kelvin wise but i read another guys thread about plants turning brown and i caught a thread in there by you byron stateing that his lights may not have the intesisity that he needs. the guy said he had dual lifglow 2's, whioch you said are a great balanced light but on their own they dont have the intensity to kepe his plants healthy. im not too sure what plants exactly that i want but im thinkinbg of java ferns for sure something that will grow tall and bushy and then i want some really tall swords. maybe yall know more about what i am looking for or can point me in a direction so i can research a little more.

Kelvin is the degree of colour, nothing to do with brightness. Full spectrum (balanced) is basically the sun at mid-day and is 6500K (approx). So any tube with a K around 6500 is going to have the colour of mid-day sun. The lower the K number the more red (warmer) and the higher the K number the more blue (cool). But this is only the beginning. Two tubes with a K of 6700 can be very different in colour depending upon the emphasis the manufacturer gives to the colours. This is why I also look at the spectrum graph, to see which colurs are "highlighted" or strengthened, and by how much. See the graphs for Life-Glo and Power-Glo attached, and you'll see the significantly more blue of the latter. Both have a "spike" in the blue, but the PG is much thicker which means much more emphasis on this colour. The LG has roughly equal spikes in blue, red and green which is why it is so balanced (full spectrum).

The intensity or strength of the actual light has to do with lumens and lux. I have never bothered to delve into this too much because few manufacturers put this sort of information on their tubes, although i see the -Glo series is doing this. If you compare the lux/lumens of the regular Life-Glo tube to the T5 HO Life-Glo tube, you will see that the latter is 100 times more. This means it is brighter or more intense light. As I wrote elsewhere, I find it too intense and went back to regular tubes.

Intensity is partially linked to watts per gallon for regular tubes, and that is a fairly good way to determine it. It is not so accurate for the T5 HO because they are more intense, so fewer watts per gallon are required, just like the new compact fluorescent screw-in bulbs that at 13 watts equals the light of a 60 watt regular bulb. As long as you're thinking regular fluorescent tubes, watts per gallon is generally reliable, and I find 1-2 watts per gallon to be sufficient in basically low-tech setups like mine.

So, back to your powerglo, it is higher K which means more blue which is why it is a good light for plants. But it is also more intense. From the info it is rather more geared to marine setups that need/want a strong white/ble light to penetrate water for corals, etc. The Life-Glo has sufficent intensity, plus it is balanced to appear natural. However, in combination you might like the appearance; appearance is solely a matter of what you see, since either tube will be adequate for plants. The colours of the leaves and the fish will vary depending upon your choice of tubes.

Re the plants, Java Ferns are low light. Swords are generally speaking moderate (a few are high light). You've seen how well the swords (I have 7 different species in the present 90g and 6 species in the 115g) grow in my two Amazon tanks, with only 1 watt of full spectrum per gallon. Those tanks each have 1 Life-Glo and 1 similar tube for a bit more blue. The plants clearly have sufficient light. So the mix gives me the appearance i want, natural fish and plant colours with just a slight coolness from the emphasized blue.

Byron.

Fishin Pole 09-09-2009 11:16 AM

Is there anything Byron doesnt know the answer to when it comes to aquariums, lighting and plants?........Great advice, as always!

Byron 09-09-2009 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishin Pole (Post 240724)
Is there anything Byron doesnt know the answer to when it comes to aquariums, lighting and plants?........Great advice, as always!

You're very kind, and I do sincerely appreciate the compliment. I certainly have a lot to learn still about this wonderful hobby, but with my 15+ years of having successful planted tanks I guess I must have something right, so if I can get others interested in planted aquaria (which are better for the fish) and do it easier than some might expect it to be, my time on this forum will be well spent.

Byron.

MoneyMitch 09-09-2009 01:22 PM

thanks for the info byron, you are right about the powerglow beaing mainly for corals and inverts, it has a very broad and high in the blue area and a nice red area aswell, i might just balance it out with something a littler higer in the green area and see how things go. Thank you for helping me soo much along the way with getting everything right with my aquarium you guys are great!!!!! as far as questions go ive pretty much got everything down it just comes down to fish selection google and posting some pics of the finihsed product so you guys can see what you have helped me so much on!!! Money


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