Aqueon 16 Bowfront lighting
I have had neon tetras and a snail successfully for 6 months in a 3.5 gallon aquarium. I wanted a bigger, better home for them and some new friends so I purchased an Aqueon 16 bowfront kit for $90. I really love the kit so far because it came with a great filter, submersible heater, nice hood and the quality of the glass aquarium itself. For the price I am very happy. I did some research and planted real plants. My question is because there is only one fixture in the hood for the single 18" 15 watt florescent tube that came in the hood. I would like to be running 30 watts for the plants. I have read in several places that 2 watts/gallon is a good ratio. I need some recommendations for either modifying that hood fixture or adding light another way. I know that the wattage in florescent tubes is a factor based on their length but this page has 15 AND 30 watt 18" tubes. Can anyone vouch for these 30 watters? The one to which I am referring is the second one on the list on this page...
UV Lighting Super Actinic Series T-12 Lamps
Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.
As you recently joined, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.
These tubes are actinic, and as it mentions in the blurb there, intended for reef and marine coral systems. Most planted tank sources agree that actinic light is not the best for a freshwater planted tank. It can sort-of "work" but sometimes not, and often other issues like algae develop.
A good full spectrum tube with a kelvin around 6500K is what you want. All will come in basic standard wattage for the tube length [more on watts momentarily], but there are good and less good tubes. For a single tube fixture with T8 (regular fluorescent) I would recommend a Hagen Life-Glo or a ZooMed Ultra Sun. These are available from some fish stores, or online. The Life-Glo is a bit more expensive. A much cheaper alternative is a daylight tube made by GE,. Sylvania or Phillips, available in hardware/home improvement stores, but these are not available in all sizes (lengths) so I'm not sure. On all my single-tube tanks I use Life-Glo.
On the watts: this is not always a good guide for a tube's efficiency/effectiveness with respect to intensity of light. Watts is simply the standard measurement of energy used to produce the light. More watts does not mean more light, unless the tubes are otherwise identical (same length, same phosphors). Back when we just had "normal" T12 fluorescent tubes, watts was a relative guide, but with the newer tubes having different phosphors and being more energy-efficient, this "guide" is unreliable.
You can manage well with a single tube over your 16g tank, and low to moderate light plants should be fine, with respect to light. In our plant profiles [under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page] the light requirement for the plant species is indicated where it matters.
Thanks very much Byron.
The light that came with the kit is an Aqueon 18" 15 watt 8000k full spectrum. I know that sunlight most of the day is around 5600-5800k. (I am a pro videographer and usually balance at 5600 during mid-day That number goes up when the sun is rising or setting but that is only during a small fraction of the day.) You recommend a 6500k Life-Glo.Why 6500? Does that light have high light intensity? If you think it will outperform my current tube. I will upgrade.
Off to post my stocking plan to see if I'm on the right track with that. Hope to get a response soon because I'm headed to the LFS in a couple of hours after a water test. I have 5 Neon Tetras, 1 Bolivian Ram Cichlid and a snail right now. Plan on 1 Gold Gaurami and 1 Angel.
I'm loving the new aquarium and will post pics soon. Thanks again man.
The Life-Glo is the closest tube to midday sun on the market, according to the manufacturer. I use only Life-Glo on my single-tube tanks. It has good blue and red phosphors for plant growth, but sufficient green phosphors to balance for a true rendition of fish and plant colours. ZooMed Ultra Sun is nearly identical. And the "daylight" type tubes made by GE, Phillips and Sylvania (also with 6500K) are very close.
Yes, the intensity is significantly greater with Life-Glo; it is double that of the Aqua-Glo and similar tubes. The Power-Glo is even more, but I am not fond of the slightly-purplish hue it gives.
On my dual-tube tanks I am using one Life-Glo 2 and one Phillips Daylight deluxe. The Life-Glo is noticeably slightly cleaner (cooler white) light, at 6700K not surprising. This is a good combo. If I could get them, I would use a slightly higher K tube with the Life-Glo; previously (before the tubes wore out) I had 11,000K and 10,000K tubes with the Life-Glo, and I really liked the cooler look. Plants did well. But I can't get these locally now, so I went back to the Phillips.
I would not add an angelfish. And not gourami with angelfish. Angels are shoaling fish, and unless you intend to have a breeding pair, they should be in groups of 5 or more. And that means a 4-foot tank like a 55g minimum. They attain 6+ inches with an 8+ inch fin span.
Gourami without the angel might work, depending upon the species. The medium/larger gourami will eat neons and any similar fish. I watched 3 Blue Gourami corner a neon in a store tank one day, and the neon was gone in a matter of seconds. The gourami then turned their attention to another neon. I didn't stay to see more.
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