Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Clone54 12-11-2011 05:11 PM

10 gallon standard hood question
I've had great success over the years with freshwater aquariums with hilariously designed tanks full of entertaining decorations and fish but I really want to convert this 10 gallon tank I have and do something I've never done before and have a planted tank.

I know questions about lighting are really common but what I can't find the answer to is about the 'standard' style hood that I have for my aquarium. There is a fluorescent light bulb in there and the sticker on the back says that there is a limit of 17 watts. I think it is an 18" bulb.

My question is. If I want to keep this set-up and only change the bulb to something advertised as 'for plants' am I out of luck in creating any sort of medium or high intensity lighting in the tank?

I really like the simplicity of this hood and would rather not have a fixture I've seen for sale online with the legs and open top.


by standard hood i meant something very very similar to this

Quantum 12-11-2011 06:52 PM

An 18" T8 (one inch diameter) tube is plenty of light for a basic low tech (no CO2 and no extensive fertilizer regime) planted aquarium of this size. Just make sure you have the right light. This can be a 'plant growth' type tube. One downside to these bulbs is that they are heavy on the red and blue wavelength light (for photosynthesis), which imparts an unnatural pink hue to the aquarium. For a cleaner, whiter light look for 'daylight' or similar, as long as it says 'full spectrum' or has a Kelvin rating of around 6500K, it will include the blue and red along with green, yellow, and orange for a more natural (whiter) appearance. Probably will need to go to a pet store for a bulb this size - Hagen, Zoomed, Coralife are some brands that are recommended. Most of these will have Kelvin rating and spectral output graph shown on the packaging.

Clone54 12-11-2011 07:35 PM

Thank you quantum for the response I will keep this in mind when I head to the fish store next. Another follow up question though. With this type of set-up what should I keep in mind when planning what types of plants I can have. My vision (running from right to left) is to have an area of thickly planted anubias plants climbing up some driftwood that I have and then a transition to open ground (which I was hoping to use some sort of low growing ground cover...moss or those popular baby tears) and then have it transition into sandy substrate where nothing grows...I dont know if i'm doing a good job explaining it but I have a vision of this. Does this count as a 'basic low tech' planted tank? or should I create a new vision that will work well with the current lighting i have.

Thanks again...and for your enjoyment here is a picture of one of my old random snails...this was the weirdest one but now that they are gone I think it is safe to have plants because they devoured any sort of leafy thing i dropped in there...

Quantum 12-11-2011 08:16 PM

That is one crazy looking snail.

Anubis would be very good, they can get pretty big, but can be trimmed and the leaves of most are relatively small. Several varieties are available. Most Cryptocorynes, smaller sword plants (most will get too big for this size tank), java fern all do well in this type of setup. Nothing more needed other than a general fertilizer (most use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement).

Not sure about baby tears, I've never had it. I currently have Dwarf Sagittaria as a ground cover - more grass-like, mine is only a few inches high and is spreading quite well. I believe Pygmy Chain Sword is similar, though I have no experience with it.

Most stem plants require more light and could quickly overtake a small aquarium, though Brazilian Pennywort would work. Maybe plant a few stems in the corner of the bare side and let it grow along the surface.

rjwwrx 12-15-2011 02:46 PM

Just a comment about the 18" t8 tubes. You can get 6500k tubes this size at a local home depot or lowes. I have 2 18" t8 tubes running on my 55 gal planted tank and everything is growing ok so far. I have these from Lowes.

Clone54 12-16-2011 10:08 AM

Thanks rjwwrx that might be a little less expensive. I've gone ahead an made a new post in the pictures board with my tank journal. I did the setup last night and the basics are done but I have a lot of work ahead of me still. You can watch at

Nubster 12-16-2011 11:15 AM

Clone54 12-16-2011 01:31 PM


Originally Posted by Nubster (Post 922712)

Is that your tank Nubster? What is holding the light up? glass top or something else?

I actually went to this petstore and got a display tanks fixture for super cheap so the standard hood is kind of out now once i get a glass top

Nubster 12-16-2011 01:36 PM

Not my tank but I believe that one is either a glass top or screen top holding the lights. Some people are also suspending the lights over the tank. From what I read, it seems like a very good low cost option. The fixtures are about $8 each and the bulbs are just spiral CFL's from Walmart or Lowes in 6500K. I have the same setup I am going to use over a 10g tank that I am getting ready to setup and I may do it over a 20L once I get that to replace my 20T for shrimp.

rjwwrx 12-16-2011 01:50 PM

it's definitely an inventive solution, but is seriously lacking in WFA and I don't think I would care for the setup in my living room either for that matter. But looks like it would sure get the job done.

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