Help with 100gal lighting (Pics of the tank) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Help with 100gal lighting (Pics of the tank)

My 100 gallon tank recently became available due to the death of my 2 giant gouramis. They were 15 years old.

I want to convert it to a low-light planted tank.
I've done many Nano planted tanks before, so this 100 gallon will be exciting.

Currently I have 2x20watt corallife tubes. I'm thinking of DIY 4 CFL 23-26 watts 'cus of availability and ease of wiring. If you have a better idea or how I can get this done, I appreciate your knowledge.

Plants I have and know for sure will grow in the 1.4 WPG.
Java Moss

Thinking of purchasing
Java Ferm
Wisteria and other Hygro
Water Sprite
Amazon Swords

Will these plants grow with 0.4WPG? If so, that would be great. Saves me the trouble of builting new lighting for the tank.

Being so low light, I don't think I need CO2 right?

Examples of lighting

Last edited by cainm13; 01-16-2009 at 06:28 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 11:44 AM
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You may need just a little more than 0.4, you could start with that
and add if needed, hard to say you need exactly x-amount.

Hairgrass will need more light, so will some crypts & microsword.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 04:36 PM
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I agree, I think you'll need to increase the lighting to succeed even with most low light plants.

What are the dimensions on your tank?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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I also have a a CFL fixture for 10 gallon that I can use.
Depending what type of bulbs I'll find at Home Depot.
2x23-27watts CFL + 2x20watt Corallife will give me about 0.9WPG.

Will that be enough? Without me needing to go buy a new fixture or building one?

Fish I'm thinking of:
Hillstream Loaches
Betta (being 100 gal, I think I can put more than 1 male in there)
Whitecloud minnows
Cardinal Tetras
Red Cherry Shrimp.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 05:43 AM
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You will need a little more light than that, you can DIY a bunch
of stuff together if that is your thing, but if money can be spent
you would come out better just buying a couple of small fixtures
ready to go.
No T5HO, that would be to much light, therefore requiring the need
for C02/nutrients.
Something between 1.5 to 2WPG/ish, a little less then 2.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Went to home depot and didn't see any 23-27 watt Daylight bulbs.
Can I use the next one down, Bright White?

I did see some T8 that were cheap, 48" fixture and bulbs. The fixtures have no reflector however.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Using only things I already had available. Reason for the coral and shell structure. Buying a large rock for $60+ and driftwood at $5 per lb didn't seem logical.

Photo was taken with my cellphone. Will take a better quality image later on.

100 gallon
Lighting: 83 watts
Substrate: Crush Coral
Plants: Vals, Pellia, Java Moss, Duckweed
Animals: Guppies and Red Cherry Shrimp, snails
No CO2
1 week old
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 10:50 AM
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I would advise against using shells and any sand/substrate that has calcareous material in it. Unless you plan on a African Rift Lake theme. In my experience many plants don't like that type of environment and do poorly.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 11:03 AM
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Ya I would suggest investing in another substrate and change out those shells.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 07:26 PM
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I just came across this thread . I have a 110g tank 60x18x24 with a canopy but I went with high lighting instead, I installed 3 ballasts 2 pairs each of t5 HO's 54w = 324w.
This place has some good retro fit lights 24w,39w,54w T5 HO's.
IMO: if low lighting is what you are looking too keep, keep it under 216w and over 108w. And always look in the future you may want to upgrade later.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 04:45 PM
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i have a 110g 72" long and i'm building a canopy.using home dumpster cheapies.i found 48" t8 32 wat 65000k for $7 a 2 pack.and i have 2 48" t12 aquarium/plant tank lights at 40 wat for $9.2 shop light dual fixtures $9.99 each. a 144 wats (at most) for less than $50.
now just rewiring my canopy with the gut from the fixtures takes my time and i'm pretty cheap.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 05:01 PM
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The shells and substrate could work if you are raising only cichlids. BUT if you want to have it planted you would have to have root tabs or something else to help the plants grow.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 03:55 PM
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Just my two cents i know some people get away with it but Loaches with snails/tetra's/& shrimp Depending on the species you go with your the loaches will either harass them to death or possibly eat them !
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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updates pictures

One of the ballast on my 20" T12 Coralife tubes died few days ago, so right now I'm running at 60 watts. I switched the sides the T12 and CFLs were on, hoping the one remaining low light T12 will get rid of the algae (more about it at the bottom). It's a 15 year bulb. So one side has bright 40watts CFL and other is the 20watts T12.

I was looking into replacing my bad T12 ballast. Went to Home Depot and found some 24" T5 fixtures at $15 for a single tube or $22 for the double tube fixture; 14watts or 17watts per tube. I ask them about replacement bulbs and they didn't have any. So I decided to wait and see what else I might consider.

What I'm really considering is the 48" T8. The double tube fixture is only ~$20-40 and the 32watts bulbs are 2 for $7. While 24" T8 tubes are $7 per tube at 17watts. I figure if I get the 48" I can replace all my lights, cheaper price too. The only problem I'm facing is that these are worklights and not meant to be in damp places ???, meaning metal enclosures. How is everybody dealing with this? DIY lights from hardware store. Metal enclosure and electricity near water.

I was also thinking of Vanity lights since they are meant to be use in damp locations, but the height of the unit is 1/2 inch taller than my cover for the aquarium. 3 mogul lighting for only $9 (will use CFLs), if I were to built my own, each mogul was $2-3. I might buy one and take it apart to see if I can get it to work.

My 100 gallon is doing very well.

Guppies: Too many to count
Khuli Loaches: 7
Otocinclus: 3
SAE: 1 (True in the sense)
Bamboo Shrimp: 2
Cherry Shrimp: #?

Java Moss
Rosette Sword
Lace Java Fern

No heater at 77 degrees fahrenheit.

Fish I'm looking to buy is the Hillstream Loach, cories (hoping for pygmy, but they're like $8 per, so something cheaper), small pleco (clown, bristlenose).

Guppies hang out all levels of the tank so it's quite hard to feed the bottom dwellers.

I replaced my Coral with 2 large pieces of Mopani driftwood. A LFS went out of business and everything was 50% off.

The Plants are doing very well, although low light and no CO2 mean slow growth (not filling in as fast as I would like), I can see my Pellia, Vals, Anarchais, Aponogeton, Sword grow. I don't know if my onion wll grow or not, it was one of those dried bulbs that came with Aponogeton bulbs. After 2 1/2 weeks my Lily bulb is still floating, so I think it's a dud.

At only 80 watts, I'm getting some algae that none of my Algae Eaters (SAE, shrimp, or Otos) are eating. It's white/grey fussy growing on my Java Moss and Pellia. It stays short.

Algae on Java moss

Last edited by cainm13; 02-16-2009 at 09:38 PM.
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100 gallon, lighting, planted

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