Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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blacksheep 03-24-2010 11:31 PM

Lighting for 36 gallon?
30Lx12Wx23H, i want it moderate to heavily planted
My current lights are power glo 20w 18,000k and an eclipse natural daylight 20w F18T8
both 24inch.

Any suggestions, thank you~ :]

Angel079 03-25-2010 09:52 AM

The 20w Daylight will be plenty sufficient in itself for a well planted tank! 40w is quite high in total and to balance that w/out growing algae will possibly be a bit challenging to a "plant newcomer" plus the kelvin on the 2nd bulb is very high. All you need for plants is 6500k which is your daylight bulb there.
For comparison if you look under my aquariums here; my 55g 'jungle' runs with 32w total.

Byron 03-25-2010 11:07 AM

I agree with Angel079.

blacksheep 03-25-2010 05:52 PM

okay tthankyou!!

blacksheep 03-26-2010 09:48 PM

Can there be any negatives with 18,000 kelvin?

Mean Harri 03-26-2010 10:12 PM

I disagree. I have 80 watts over a 55g. My algae is very very minimal. What is in there gets eaten by the snails and pleco. Plants are growing leaps and bounds. It's a perfectly healthy eco system.
Personal preferences should not be forced on someone. Cutting lighting in half may have yielded positive results but having 2 bulbs also yielded positive results. Therefore, excluding 2 bulbs, or 40w over 36g such is the case here, isn't a bad thing. Not everyone's personal preference is going to be another's personal preference. Much less discounting other options that do work.

Angel079 03-27-2010 06:48 AM

Matter of fact just is this OP is not a 55g we're talking about in which case using one OR two 4ft bulbs t8 is perfectly fine. This is a much smaller tank for one, high wattage bulbs as it is and at that one of them is extremely high kelvins too - That combo with high wattage (running both bulbs) and the high kelvin is asking for troubles.

Please also ref to my 1st post where I said to balance the 40w total over this small tank is challenging to a plant newcomer and personally if I give people a advise when they're new to plants I pull together my best expierneces that will be the easiest and most effective to them cause I find no nesessety on advising a plant newcomer on a quite challenging set up just so they run into big troubles and then simply give up on live plants real quick; that's not my personal reason for supporting in this forum.

Angel079 03-27-2010 06:51 AM


Originally Posted by blacksheep (Post 351636)
Can there be any negatives with 18,000 kelvin?

The problem will very likely be your growth; plants require a light that's as close to outdoors daylight as possible which is measured and expressed in being 5-6500 Kelvin. Using the 18.000 bulb is very high in blue/purple and has little to no ray's of yellow/red in there. So the needed spectrum for plants is not ideal there. Now your plants surly will stay alive (in most cases anyway) but you will likely not see them thrive as much as they ideally could with the proper light.
Kinda like your houseplant that's been sitting in a corner for yrs, not dieing but not really growing neither. Then one day you move it out on to your porch and within days you have several inch of new growth ;-)

Byron 03-27-2010 02:47 PM

I don't view light intensity as personal preference but more as maintaining the fish in the best state of health. Most planted tanks contain forest fish that come from quite dimly-lit waters, overshadowed by the forest canopy. I have posted videos of habitats from time to time to illustrate this. The fish have evolved to this type of habitat, and their brilliant colours, signal markings, neon lines, etc. are the result. Such fish maintained in brightly-lit tanks will be stressed. And that leads to health problems that would not otherwise occur.

And this is why I always advocate minimal light for the plants. No light other than the light coming through the window would be adequate for the fish, but with plants we know this is inadequate and there has to be overhead tank light. The majority of aquatic plants occur in much the same conditions as the forest fish, and they do not need the intense light some aquarists provide. Adding more light than the minimum means requiring more nutrients to balance. And all of this only means faster growth, not healthier plants or fish. Keeping the fishes' requirements and concerns foremost, then providing adequate but not excessive light for the particular plants, is a sounder approach to having a balanced aquarium of healthy fish and growing plants.

Providing excessive light just to achieve supposedly "better" plant growth--which actually means only faster, not better--when this is detrimental to the fish's well-being makes little sense to me.

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