From dark to light! Help! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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From dark to light! Help!

Hey guys,

To be completely honest, I have very little experience when it comes to aquarium lighting. All previous lighting used was purely for viewing purposes in mainly ornamental, tropical tanks.

I have decided to try my hand at the planted aquarium, and it is proving to be fun but expensive. I am still in the research stage, and to save hassle and expense down the line, I would really appreciate a straight answer on this.

I have just bought a 24"x12"x14" (LWH) tank. I want it to be almost completely carpeted with a few medium height plants around the hardscape elements.

I have been looking at T5 systems, and I plan to dose with EasyCarbo or something similar - no pressurised system just yet. I also plan to use ProFito for fertilising.

I have found this fitting.

Questions:
- Is having two 24w bulbs going to provide enough light for my plants and fish to flourish?
- Might it be better to have a single 24w or higher bulb? (Will a twin bulb fitting work with only one bulb?)
- Is it possible to make the plants release visible bubbles of oxygen without a pressurised CO2 system?
- If so, will the above lighting scenario allow for this?

If I do end up needing two bulbs, I might try and source one each of the Hagen Aqua-GLO and Flora-GLO for hopefully good growth.

Apologies if this post comes across as excessively n00b...

I definitely appreciate any help you can provide. =]

Past time tropical fish keeper. Re-engaging by tackling the planted aquarium!

Starting Small! ~60L Iwagumi Journal! Needs updating...

Progress: Algae is (finally) under control with new plants that are establishing well. I think I'm about to start fertilising... :S
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:04 PM
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-2 T5H0 lights should be MORE than enough for a 16g
-some setups require both bulbs to complete the circuit. other have independent toggle switches.
-bubbling, also called 'pearling' will most likely not happen without pressurized c02. Some plants, such as pearl weed will though.

For bulbs, I like 6700/10000k combos.

Good luck!!!

Only bad things happen quickly.
A little allot is better than allot a little.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:57 PM
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I would say that with a 2 bulb set up you would need Pressurized CO2 to avoid growing more algae than plants.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 04:01 PM
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2 T5HO would be absolute overkill on that tank. One good T5HO is more than enough.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 08:26 PM
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Just to note, 2 is possible, though not adviseable.

I've been having success for over a year with dirt.

Only bad things happen quickly.
A little allot is better than allot a little.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your help, everyone!

I might just get a single 24w fitting. Saves me a little money.

In your experience though, will a single 24W bulb be enough for a carpeted tank? (I assume carpeting plants are easier to grow as I'd expect them to grow a little more quickly than other plants?)

You guys also have me thinking about the necessity of pressurised CO2. As awesome as the systems look, should I contemplate purchasing one considering this is my first attempt at a planted tank? (It is also quite expensive) If I do only get a single 24W bulb/fitting, maybe the liquid carbon will be enough for a simple carpet? What do you guys think?

I'm making the 2 hour trip to the LFS tomorrow to get my filter, heater and light! Super excited!

Thanks again for your help, everyone! =]

Past time tropical fish keeper. Re-engaging by tackling the planted aquarium!

Starting Small! ~60L Iwagumi Journal! Needs updating...

Progress: Algae is (finally) under control with new plants that are establishing well. I think I'm about to start fertilising... :S
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 09:28 PM
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Carpet plants are tricky without CO2. Reason is because in order to keep the plants from growing low to the substrate it requires med-high to high light and without CO2 you are just asking for an algae farm.

I have seen people do low thick HC carpets without CO2 but those were all nano tanks and they had the carpet how they wanted it prior to flooding with DSM. On a tank that size you are going to have to drop some serious amounts of Excel to keep up with high light. You're probably going to spend more in the long run than if you would've gone with a CO2 system.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design_desire View Post
Thanks so much for your help, everyone!

I might just get a single 24w fitting. Saves me a little money.

In your experience though, will a single 24W bulb be enough for a carpeted tank? (I assume carpeting plants are easier to grow as I'd expect them to grow a little more quickly than other plants?)

You guys also have me thinking about the necessity of pressurised CO2. As awesome as the systems look, should I contemplate purchasing one considering this is my first attempt at a planted tank? (It is also quite expensive) If I do only get a single 24W bulb/fitting, maybe the liquid carbon will be enough for a simple carpet? What do you guys think?

I'm making the 2 hour trip to the LFS tomorrow to get my filter, heater and light! Super excited!

Thanks again for your help, everyone! =]
Take a look at the finnex ray2 and finnex fuge ray. research PAR ratings.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for your help, guys.

I made the two hour trip to the specialist fish store today. I couldn't believe my eyes. There were literally close to 100 tanks in this store. Saltwater, tropical, planted, all sorts of fish species that I'd never seen or heard of before. Let's just say it was a far cry from the fish stores down the road!

I ended up purchasing my filter, light, CO2 system, in-line heater, lily pipes, testers, liquid ferts, dechlorinator, thermometer, glass cleaner, plant tweezers and a few other bits and pieces. The bill came to just under $800AUD. I.e. there's no going back now! :P

I'm pretty keen to get the substrate/rocks now. I'll go back in soon, as the incredibly helpful owner said he's getting in a new Cal Aqua soil that he's been testing and loving. It's only just hit Australian shores!

Any who, just an update for all you helpful forum goers out there. =]

Past time tropical fish keeper. Re-engaging by tackling the planted aquarium!

Starting Small! ~60L Iwagumi Journal! Needs updating...

Progress: Algae is (finally) under control with new plants that are establishing well. I think I'm about to start fertilising... :S
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