I am so new at this! What lighting do I use? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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I am so new at this! What lighting do I use?

I'd like to create a tank with riparium-type plants in it, but I'm very new at keeping plants alive in an aquarium!

What type of lighting should be used? My home gets practically no natural lighting inside due to being completely surrounded by trees, so I'll definitely need a bulb of some sort.

The only plants I'll really be concerned with providing light for is simple things like peace lilies and java moss. I've picked up little bits of info here and there about fluorescent lighting, but does that literally mean I can head to the store and pick up a normal fluorescent bulb? Or is there more to it than that?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 02:07 AM
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The bulb on my 5G betta tank is from Lowes - GE CFL "daylight" bulb (800 lumens I think, maybe 6000K was marked on it too). So far java moss and bacopa monnieri are growing fine under it.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 05:52 AM
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What size tank are you lighting? How high will the water be. And how long would you want to keep the light on each day. Without that info not much help can be given.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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I just figured I'd turn the light on in the morning (around 8 am) and then turn it off at night (anywhere from 7-9 pm).

The tank is a 30 gallon tank.

This is a riparium-style tank. There will not be any aquatic, fully-submersed plants - only plants like peace lilies (leaves above water, roots submersed) - so I don't think water depth should matter too much. The tank is going to be full, so the light will be suspended above the tank, something like this:

Thank you!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 12:44 AM
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If you don't have aquatic plants, and have a dense growth of terrestrial plants above the water, you can use a lot of light without too much problem with algae underwater. Will there be fish in the tank?

I assume the tank is 36 inches long, so you will want a 36 inch long light. You could use a hydroponic T5HO light, which is cheaper than aquarium lights. I don't think you will want more than a one bulb light though.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 07:33 AM
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I have found I need less light in my paludarium than in fully submerged aquascapes. The leaves closer to the light tend to brown unless I close the vents a bit. Being your tank will have humidity from the water, it will not have too much humidity being its open topped. I have 2 36" two bulb t5no fixtures spaning the 6ft. I feel like I just make it I am going to add a single 48" t5ho I have around to the center and give a 1-2 hr noon burst to get things to perk up a bit. Soon as I get the chance to wire it up. Their are various swords, ludwigia, anubias, Syngonium podophyllum and chain sword grass. All alive and healthy, but not where I want them.
Peace lilies as all spathiphyllum are low light plants that do well with here and their direct sun. Med light would probably be best for your set up.
Search t2 lighting. T2 is newer tech than t5. It gives off alotta light in a little package. They are getting very popular in the hydroponic world. Especially because they sell ones on telescopic snake arms The bulbs look like an unsharpened pencil painted white, and are blinding when turned on. This would probably fit nice for you being it seems like your trying to set up a focal point in your home decor. The small powerfully light will make your lillies the focus not the giant light.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 07:40 AM
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Kinda like CFL. But high output straight tubes

Last edited by TheFoleys; 09-30-2012 at 07:52 AM. Reason: link
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fluorescent, java moss, lighting, peace lily, riparium

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