I have set my 30 gallon tank exactly the way i wanted it apart from the plants. . . i have none !
All the plants i like need medium/high lighting, which i dont have.
I have a 24" single light hood which is rated up to 20 watt. I heard that low lighting plants need 1 watt for every 1 gallon of water, well i dont even have that !!!
So whats my options ? Are there bulbs that have a higher light output but are still 20 watts ? or do i just have to scrap this hood and buy an expensive one in which i really dont want to do !
Agree. One good tube will allow you to grow a majority of plants, low to medium light. Daylight tubes with a kelvin of 6500K, made by GE, Phillips, Sylvania, from hardware stores or perhaps Walmart.
You will need a good liquid fertilizer, Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one I highly recommend.
As for plant options, check our profiles section, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Light requirements are indicated in each, along with other information.
Ok today i went out searching for a suitable light for my 30 gallon aquarium. The highest Kelvin rating was 5000k (20 watt).
Im still a little confused as to what im looking for regarding watts and kelvins. I have seen a light thats only 17 watts but has 8000k, yet the one today was 20 watts with only 5000k ! And since looking online i see they sell a 20 watt with 18000k. So which one would be best for my tank ?
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: All-Glass Fluorescent Bulbs
Check at hardware stores, including Home Depot, for the Phillips Daylight Deluxe. Preferably in T8, but T12 will suffice. The "T" number is the tube width, and in eights of an inch, so the T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch in diameter, the T12 is 12/8 or 1.5 inches in diameter. The significance here is that the T12 tubes are older, the T8 is newer design and they are more efficient (wattages are often less than the comparable T12), last longer, and generally are more intense. All manufacturers are switching from T12 to T8. But if you find the Daylight Deluxe in T12 and not T8, that will do.
Tubes must be replaced regularly, and before they "burn out." A tube loses its intensity quite fast, the T12 much faster than the T8. T12 must be replaced every year, many recommend every 6 months; T8 can last 2-3 years. I have left some of mine too long as an experiment, and while I couldn't see the weakening in light, the plants did, and algae suddenly began increasing. Replacing the tubes solved both problems.
Now to kelvin and watts. Watts first, its the easiest. It is simply the measurement of energy used by a tube to emit the light. It has no direct relevance to how many tubes you need, though it can serve as a guide but only with T8 tubes and average tanks. It used to be that all tubes came in standard wattages for the length of tube; example, a 48-inch tube was 40 watts. But now, with the T8 and improved manufacturing, there are 48-inch tubes of only 32 watts that are equal in intensity to 40w tubes, of the same general type. This is another reason why watts is rather meaningless.
Kelvin is the measurement of the light's colour. Mid-day sun is around 5500K-6000K. A lower K number means warmer light in terms of colour not temperature, reds and orange; a higher K number is cooler, more blue in the mix. This also is somewhat irrelevant, as the actual spectrum that the tube emits is more important. However, in my experience, the tubes I have recommended have sufficiently good spectrum for plant growth. I have used these for more than 1`5 years, and you can check the photos of my tanks for the results. The colour rendition of fish and plants is also very true.
Ask away if you have questions.
Thanks again for the information. After looking at T8 lights i noticed Lowes are selling an aquarium light . . . Shop GE Aquarium 18-Watt T8 Fluorescent Bulb at Lowes.com
would that be ok ?
On that site, here is the ideal tube.
Shop GE Daylight 32-Watt T8 Fluorescent 48" Bulbs at Lowes.com
This one is 48-inch, you presumably want shorter ones, but this is the type that will work.
I don't mind checking links, so if you find some and want to ask, just post.
Thanks Byron, its crazy that they label them "aquarium" even though they are not suitable. I did find the philips one you spoke about earlier however it was not the deluxe model so the kelvin was only 5000k.
I will go into the hardware stores later today, can i just double check and ask what im asking them for ?
24" , T8 (17 watt) or T12 20 (watt) and the color temp has to be 6500k , and labelled "daylight" ?
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