29 gallon lighting question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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29 gallon lighting question

Right now I have 2 20W T8's and 1 attci blue 13W T5 for my Heavily Planted 29gallon. I have room for an additional 13W T5 light. As of now I have 1.8WPG the additional 13W would take me to almost 2.3WPG. Will this additional amount make enough of a difference to justify the additional funds. I am setting up a two 55 gallons right now and would like to concentrate putting money into those for the time being. However I really like my 29gallon and I want to be able to try as many plant types as possible. It currently has a Nutrafin Co2 canister.


Also does the blue have any affects I need to be aware of. I used it because it really enhances the color of my Cardinal Tetras as well as some of the plants. I wouldn't mind going with another blue if I did an the additional light.

The T8's are Lifeglow2's. Basic white light I guess.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 11:33 PM
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Acitinics are made for corals and not for plants. They are really not doing much of anything for your plants, I wouldn't even put them into the ratio of how much WPG you have. I would definately try to add another 13w T5 and change the actinic to a 13w T5 somewhere in the rank of 5-10k. That would put you in the range 66w, a much better range to be able to handle some plant growth. Those T5's are pretty bright as well. A good reflector will make them even more effective. I would try to make sure they have decent reflectors, and if at all possible even to get bulbs that have built in reflectors in them.

I know how it is trying to set up multiple tanks and having the funds to do everything I would want on them. One thing I've learned on planted tanks, don't cut corners. IMHO, I would hook your 29g up with better (proper) lighting before concentrating on other tanks. 2.3 wpg will be decent when all the bulbs benefit the plants. Also it will utilize that co2. As for right now the co2 is probably being more detremental than beneficial due to the lack of lighting. You will open up the ability to grow more species of plants once you up your lighting.

Matt

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-30-2004, 12:18 AM
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from wat ive learned in biology, plants grow best in the red and blue spectrum of lighting, so i would think that the blue lights would actually be kinda helpful. i would get another opinion though, because i could be wrong.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-30-2004, 12:32 AM
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I have no personal experience with the bulbs that have built-in reflectors, but I would avoid them based on the data collected here:

http://www.thekrib.com/Lights/intensity.html#1

He basically found that a built in reflector causes very little improvement (around 2%) when installed with NO EXTERNAL REFLECTOR, the scenario in which you would expect the most benefit. However, when installed in an external reflector (as I assume most of us are doing), the built in reflector actually signifigantly REDUCED the bulb's output since the built in reflector effectively blocked the upper 180 of the bulb's light from reaching the external reflector.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-30-2004, 03:34 PM
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the actinic is only providing some blue spectrum. you'd be much better off replacing it with a full spectrum bulb.

Plus, blue light in a freshwater tank just looks wrong. PLease save the actinic's for us reefers.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-30-2004, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meee
from wat ive learned in biology, plants grow best in the red and blue spectrum of lighting, so i would think that the blue lights would actually be kinda helpful. i would get another opinion though, because i could be wrong.

That's what I remember fro Bio as well. Oh well it still makes the Cardinals look awesome
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