DIY lighting help please. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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DIY lighting help please.

If anyone can help I appreciate it.
I am attempting my first planted tank after being inspired by this site. I am on a tight budget and decided to try and make a cheap end lighting system. I bought 3 10.5 inch Brooder Clamp Lights and 3 200w equivelant 6500k spiral daylight cfl bulbs. I also have a coralife 65w 6700k cfl hood and bulb they all sit on my tank that is 36x13x20. I'm trying to grow dwarf hair grass and java ferns and amazon sword plants
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 04:18 AM
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Are you sure the 200W CFLs are not 40W? The incadesant replacment may be 200W but the actual wattage is most likely around 40 unless you spent $50-60 a bulb. I think those 3 alone will be far more than enough. In fact if your'e not using CO2 it may be too much. The plants you listed will all grow in low light. Check out the stickies in the lighting area. Using that information would put you in the high light range. High lighting requires CO2 injection to abate algae growth.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for responding. I'm sorry yes they are 42w 200w equivalent 6500k daylight cfl spiral bulbs. Haha it's funny you mentioned the carbon because I had a HUGE brown alge issue covered every square inch of all my plants until I read the lighting stickies. I started doseing carbon and in a week it cleared up. I just was having a problem getting a grasp on the whole par thing and I'm not sure if I'm over doing it or under doing it. If I can load a picture from my phone ill show you what I did.

Last edited by ChadKruger; 01-09-2015 at 01:41 AM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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I know it's sparse now but in the picture if you can see it around the clump of dwarf grass is a lot of little tufts of dwarf grass I planted around it. I'm hoping they shoot off runners and cover the area. I also does ferts and I have root tabs throught the tank.
If anyone has advice is love to hear it. This my first shot at a planted tank.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 06:40 AM
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I think you're going to want to drop down to 23 watt bulbs instead of the 42 watt ones. Check out this lighting thread: Lighting an Aquarium with PAR instead of Watts

If you scroll down some there's a chart showing the par values for 23 watt bulbs. With your lights sitting right on the tank like that you should have plenty of light.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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It looks by that chart what I have now would be considered high lighting level. It only shows 23 watt but it seems like I wouldn't be to far off base guessing that. I just hope I'm not doing to much wrong. I'm really enjoying trying this out. As it stands now
I have 50/50 mix Eco complete and gravel
Root fert tabs
I rotate flourish excel and flourish the nutrient one. I do excel 2 days feet one day the just continue the cycle.
A "120 gph" power head to keep the tank flowing
Fluval 305 canister filter.

In tank I have fish
3 green tiger barbs
3 striped tiger barbs
3 glass cats
2 ottociclus
1 Ghost knife
1 bamboo shrimp
1 hatchet
1 red fin tetra
3 blue fin tetras
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 06:30 PM
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I would change the lighting up some. You should go with 23 watt cfl bulbs. With your current setup you might get algae issues.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the responses. Is swapping back to the 23w's because the 42 is too much light and will harm/inhibit growth or just the alge issue.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 07:50 PM
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You might want to get DIY CO2 going too with that much light. I have a 30 standard which is 36*12*16 and I have 2 23W in clip lights and its perfect for low - medium light. with that much light your need CO2 and a fret regiment.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Again thank you for the replies. Ill follow the advice and start looking into a DIY co2 until I can afford a system
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Just made my first FYI co2 system thxs for all the help. I hope this will make my plants take off
I took a video. I had to give the bottle a squeeze to get started but its roaring now.
http://youtu.be/fKSKxDdJETI

Last edited by ChadKruger; 03-31-2013 at 07:11 AM. Reason: Added video
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