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10 Gallon Lighting Project
Ok so its been awhile since i've stepped back into the Planted scene, but I'm back and I need a little brush up and advice on some lighting if you dont mind.
Currently the project i'm working on is for a standard 10 Gallon Tank (20x10x10) with Pool filter sand substrate. I own a Co2 Tank that needs to be refilled so in the mean time I'm housing some low light plants and only dosing Seachem Flourish but wanted to start getting the lighting situation ready for some med-high lighting plants. As of right now I only have 15watts-6,700 K (T8 Life Glo) beaming over it and was wondering if I should just go with another one or change out this for some T5 HO's? I don't mind building this thing myself, I'm experienced with lighting and ballast wiring so if needed I can make my own fixture.
Also does the combination of 6,700 and 8,000k work better as opposed to 2 6,700 k's?
As far as the 10g goes, the single T8 tube will be sufficient. If you move to dual tubes and T5 over that small a tank, you will have problems.
On the kelvin question, it really depends upon your perception of the colour hue in the aquarium. The advantage of two tubes over larger tanks is having the option to combine different colour tubes. I personally like a combo such as you're suggesting, because I like the white just a tad cooler, and the higher Kelvin tube should provide this. The 6700K is good basic light. The 8000K should be cooler, but other factors that affect this, sometimes these can be very purplish which is something I do not myself like as it distorts the fish and plant colours.
If it was me, and I wanted to experiment with high light, I'd build a hood to hold two incandescent round bulbs.
Then you can work your way up the CFLs- start with two 12W, and inch your way up. The extras can easily just go into your house sockets, so there's no waste...
I use two 10W CFLs over a 10 gallon, and I'd probably call it 'medium' lighting. I don't dose CO2, but I do have algae in a few spots. I also grow stem plants pretty well (but no reds, other than my dwarf water lily)
I have a 10G brackish tank at the moment with dwarf hairgrass, and I've bumped it up to 23 watts of CFL lighting (from a single bulb). The hairgrass and Echinodorus var. Vesuvious is doing well.
When you say "Run into problems" you're referring to algae?
The problem is my low light plants just do alright in my tank, they don't thrive like I would like. Now imagine if I tried adding High lighting plants? I've been doing alot of research the last few days and it seems like the whole Wpg is a thing of the past. They go by PAR now which makes a lot more sense to me. If I have 2 Wpg sitting directly over the tank its 2wpg, but if i were to put legs on the fixture and raise it up 4 inches it will still be 2wpg but doesn't necessarily mean all the light is reaching all areas of the tank. So with that said, looking at the cheap fixture I'm using I think this may be my problem. I dont even have a reflector on it.
But, back to the original question. If I were to plant high light plants in the tank with only one t8 Life glo, even with a good reflector it still wouldn't thrive. But if I bump it up to 2 T8's with Co2 it probably will. Algae can easily be eliminated by fast growing plants.
I still think T5 HO is overkill and problematic--and algae is one problem but there are others. Plants can have issues with too intense light, and fish will certainly be stressed (if fish are intended).
I think redchigh is correct that if you want ot go up from a single T8 on a 10g, incandescent is the best way to do it. The CFL bulbs in daylight are very good for planted tanks.
If thats the case, then what would you consider med-high lighting for a 10 gal tank?
Would adding some aluminum sheet metal to my single t8 fixture make any difference? I cant find where they sell reflectors by themselves.
CFL bulbs are not incandescent btw.
By incandescent I mean the fixture, I believe the fixtures that take screw-in bulbs are still being called incandescent, as opposed to fluorescent which takes tubes.
I have two 10w CFL daylight 6500K bulbs over my 10g and 20g, and that is moderate light. There is a 13w in this bulb (I happen to use the GE daylight), then something above that, not sure what. That would be getting into high. Of course, the whole balance has to be included, nutrients including CO2, and I've no idea what is planned for that.
I have heard that tin foil behind the bulbs/tubes works to reflect light. My fixtures are all just white, which is all I need.
Also does foil tape work good? As seen here: http://http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1...&storeId=10051
Link doesn't work, but no matter, any reflective tape would work, assuming that is what this is.
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