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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm trying to get new lighting and pick plants for my tank and I need a couple of things clarified. Firstly how many watts per gallon is low, medium and high light? Is 2 wpg low or medium light? Secondly do I choose my lighting on the maximum capacity of my tank or by the actual amount of water in there. For example my tank is an 84 gallon tank but taking into consideration substrate, rocks, wood etc I estimate the actual volume of water would be more like 65 g which do I use for wpg ratio?
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good point, tank size is 60 x 18 x 18in I don't want to go too high tech and freak the fish out with too much light but still want to grow plants with 'low to moderate' lighting requirements. Was thinking of a combination of daylight 65000k and something with a blue/red spectrum? I have not seen a lux measure on any of the lights/bulbs I've looked at (or listings I've seen). At risk of sounding like a fool here :oops: but what is lux anyway? Any help would be appreciated as the whole lighting issue has me a bit :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I currently have a single T8 4ft above the tank and was going to use this instead as a moon light together with the new fixture. I was thinking about having 2x 48inch 54w T5 (plus the moon light) since having 3x T8 bulbs might make space a bit cramped on top of the tank (sadly no carpentry skills). Even though I have heard good things about LEDs they are too pricey. The light listing I am looking at doesn't mention lux or lummens but I have emailed the store to find out and will have a look in the local stores at the bulbs they have. What kind of lux/lumen level should I be aiming at?
Byron your tank is beautifuly lush! How long did it take for the plants to get to this stage? I actually wish I had gotten the extra height on mine as I don't think I have enough height to keep Angel fish. I would like mine to be a lot like yours with many floating plants and broad leaves but with more driftwood, caves and maybe groundcover. On Tuesday I drive to the Airport to pick up some Apistogramma so I have their time in quarantine to sort out issues in the main tank. I want to plant the tank up but first need to fix the light so they don't all die (the plants not the Apisto's);)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jeff, I just had a look and I love the multistage timer on your new kit! I can see that just that feature alone makes it appealing. Looks very slim line too but may I ask what is prompting the upgrade? Are your plants not growing to your satisfaction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok fine!!! I'll get another T8 and scrap the moon light idea for now:( BTW my tank has nose prints all over it from my face pressed against the glass so I can see Puppy my Black Ghost doing his acrobatics at night. Then if I don't get growth like yours I'm coming to America to KILL YOU SLOWLY with A BLUNT SPOON :twisted: -insert evil laugh-!!!
I'm trying to plant South American species (although there will be some Anubias as I can't find any SA plants that will attach to diftwood) and so far I have compiled the following list, better tell me if any are inappropriate for a NPT also open to alternative plant ideas-

Lilaeopsis or hairgrass (know it will grow much longer in low light)
Echindorus 'Red Sails" (know it won't be red but like the shape)
Echindorus Devils Eye
Bacopa Salzmannii
Mayaca fluviatilis
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Eleocharis Belem
HC
Banana Lilly
Althernanthera mini
Bacopa monnieri

plus pygmi chain sword and hydrocotyle which I know is ok 'cause its in your tank :-D.
Thin Val
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hi Byron,
I think I have the shading sorted out, I have 3 large driftwood pieces you can see in the photo. One is a big hollow L-shaped log that will be Puppy's (my BGK) new home as he has almost outgrown his current tube. It will be sitting on its side not upright like the photo. The second has an inbuilt cave and will sit on its side at the back and reach from the substrate to just under the water line curling forward and blocking the light, I need some low light short plants in front of this pygmy chain sword should do. The last is a flat piece of Mopani about 50x40cm that will sit higher than the substrate like a shelf so fish can swim under or above it. All 3 are very large and will accommodate many caves & hiding places beneath them. The photo is of the 3 pieces with a 33cm ruler. There will also be some leaf litter, lots of floating plants and small pieces of driftwood. Tetras will be a later addition. I do want plants since they will provide natural filtration to bypass the production of nitrate, give shade and security as well as create natural boundaries to territories as well as breaking the line of sight int other territories. I have been having trouble finding South American plants that do well in low light hence my muddled plants list and original question of how many wpgt is low, moderate and high. Plant height is also an issue & since most Echindorus grow to 50cm which would be out of the tank I thought that some stem plants might solve this since they can be cut back easily. I'd be happy with just one type of stem plant, maybe Myrophillum or Bacopa would work? Then there is the issue of availability, the LPS has nothing but stem plants so I have to source everything online.

As to the original lighting issue I have bought another T8, I had to buy the same as the first one since it was the only one I could find with brackets that would fit a 5ft tank (tube is 48in). Its not very flash but it should do the job, its an Aqua Nova and the box says 40w but the tube has 'Degenbao YZ-36w D-HG WATER PLANT AQUARIUM LAMP' there is no mention on either box or tube of kelvins, lux, lummens or colour and the reflector is not even metal ( I only just noticed now as I took the bulb out) it seems to be only the thickness of paper:( As to tube combinations I understand that one could be around 6000 to 7000k range but what about the other one? The original light has been in use for around 16 months so the bulb needs changing anyway.

As much as I would love to have Angels in this tank I still think 18in is not enough height once they are grown (admittedly I have no idea how fast they grow). Puppy can be quite active once the lights are out (sometimes during the day too) I think he would give the Angels a heart attack! When he has outgrown this tank (and I recover financially from doing it up) I will get a much bigger, deeper one which will be more suited to Angels or Discus. I just hope he doesn't outgrow it for a while.

Jaki
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I'm not setting up the second T8 untill all the wood and plants are in place and when I do if I see ANY stress at all from my BGK then I will turn it into a moon light. I want him to be happy and he is the tanks longest term resident so he has priority. Funny thing is some days he chooses to lie out in the open where there is no shade at all! I'd actually preffer smaller pieces of wood but I had to choose them big enough for him to hide under. I read the profile and noticed it says he may eat smaller fish but I think the Apisto's will be safe since he has lived in peace with Kribensis before. Tetra's may be different though and it would not surprise me if a few dissapeared. I actually had Brazilian Pennywort on my list but could not find it anywhere, but will do a renewed search.
 
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