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stevenjohn21 02-05-2012 10:39 PM

10 Gallon lighting for plants
 
I have a 12" strip light that came with a 5.5 gallon but im going to place it on my new 10 gallon planted tank that will house the following plants. At the moment it has a 8watt light but it will take up to a 20 watt light, so my questions are what light should i get to make these plants thrive ? My substrate at the moment is black sand but i have a bag of flourite, should i mix the 2 or just keep it all flourite ?

Salvinia
Ambulia
Riccia
Banana plant
broad leaved hygrophila
limnophila aromatica
Broad leaf java ferns
Crypt ciliata
Marble sword
dwarf red lotus

Geomancer 02-06-2012 06:20 AM

Is the light a fluorescent or incandescent? Do you know the color temperature (number with a K, like 6500K)?

For substrate, it does not matter, go with whatever you like the look of and also fish that you will be having. Some bottom feeders like sand, because sharper gravel like Flourite will cut them up.

stevenjohn21 02-06-2012 09:20 AM

Its a fluorescent fixture, rated up to 20 watt. Wouldnt Flourite substrate help the plants to grow better since its full of the nutrients they need ? The only thnigs in the tank are 2x marble crayfish and occassionaly a platy or 2 when they become pregnant.

Geomancer 02-06-2012 09:53 AM

Yes, it has nutrients, however the benefit is very limited. Only rooted plants will gain anything, non-rooted, stem, and floating plants get nothing from it as they get their nutrients directly from the water. It's good for heavy root feeders though (like swords & crypts), while the nutrients last (just like a garden though, you have to replenish nutrients eventually).

For those plants you have to use a liquid fertilizer, and since you have to add the liquid fertilizer... rooted plants get benefit from it too. Quite a few people have been quite successful with plain gravel/sand. If you go with a plain substrate and have heavy root feeders, you can put a root tab in next to them. It's a solid block of fertilizer and lasts a couple months.

Personal choice really, just know you still need to add fertilizer for the plants that are not rooted into the substrate no mater what substrate you pick.


EDIT: Forgot to ask, is the light a screw in type like normal house lights, or is it a tube that has two metal prongs on each side?

stevenjohn21 02-06-2012 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geomancer (Post 974808)
Yes, it has nutrients, however the benefit is very limited. Only rooted plants will gain anything, non-rooted, stem, and floating plants get nothing from it as they get their nutrients directly from the water. It's good for heavy root feeders though (like swords & crypts), while the nutrients last (just like a garden though, you have to replenish nutrients eventually).

For those plants you have to use a liquid fertilizer, and since you have to add the liquid fertilizer... rooted plants get benefit from it too. Quite a few people have been quite successful with plain gravel/sand. If you go with a plain substrate and have heavy root feeders, you can put a root tab in next to them. It's a solid block of fertilizer and lasts a couple months.

Personal choice really, just know you still need to add fertilizer for the plants that are not rooted into the substrate no mater what substrate you pick.


EDIT: Forgot to ask, is the light a screw in type like normal house lights, or is it a tube that has two metal prongs on each side?

It has 2 metal prongs.
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Geomancer 02-06-2012 11:05 AM

Huh, haven't seen those before.

20W would be quite a lot though for a 5.5 gallon. Maybe a 10-14W. You want a color temperature around the 6500K mark for plants, often these are advertised as "Daylight" bulbs. Take a look in a hardware store for that, they work just as good as ones you find in pet stores, but are often cheaper. Fluorescents will last ~1 year before needing to be replaced. They will still light up, but won't be as intense.

stevenjohn21 02-06-2012 11:15 AM

It's for a 5.5 gallon but I'm using the light for a 10 gallon tank
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Geomancer 02-06-2012 12:27 PM

Go for the full 20W then.

With a single light you might have a 'spotlight' effect, where the center is bright but the top left and right sides are darker. Maybe not though, really depends on the fixture.

stevenjohn21 02-06-2012 09:13 PM

I cant seem to find a 20 watt light to fit the 12" light fixture i have. I did find this which is still only 8 watt but is full spectrum at 8000k, will this be enough for a 10 gallon tank ?

Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Aqueon Full Spectrum Daylight Fluorescent Lamp

beetlebz 02-06-2012 11:20 PM

Looks like youre stuck with a 8 watt bulb for that light. Im not really sure how it would work out. I have a 10g with a 20" strip light which I think are 15 watt (ill have to double check) and its juuust enough for java moss and java fern. Its pretty dim, though it is time for a replacement.


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