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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Yesterday 08:34 PM
GrampsGrunge
Quote:
Originally Posted by non quixote View Post
Just setting up a 15 gallon hex tank and even though the thread is really old I wanted to say bravo for all of the ideas in it regarding lighting on the cheap! I've run salts for the last 20 years or so (but no longer) and this will be my first attempt at a FW planted tank. Lots of things to learn about FW and I was having a difficult time finding a light that I could live with. I'm planning on easing into this and I didn't want to go blowing a wad of cash on a hobby that I may not wind up enjoying (enough to spend a wad of cash on!) The bulb that I decided on, if anyone is interested, is a 6500K 2800 lumen CFL. Don't know what the result will be, but I'm sure it will be fun finding out!
2800 lumens? What size in wattage? If larger than the 100 watt equivalents ( 23 watts..) try to find the reflectors with the ventilation holes near the bulb screw in base. The bigger spiral CFL's get pretty hot near their ballast enclosure. 2800 lumens is a lot of light for a 15 gallon.
Yesterday 12:39 AM
non quixote Just setting up a 15 gallon hex tank and even though the thread is really old I wanted to say bravo for all of the ideas in it regarding lighting on the cheap! I've run salts for the last 20 years or so (but no longer) and this will be my first attempt at a FW planted tank. Lots of things to learn about FW and I was having a difficult time finding a light that I could live with. I'm planning on easing into this and I didn't want to go blowing a wad of cash on a hobby that I may not wind up enjoying (enough to spend a wad of cash on!) The bulb that I decided on, if anyone is interested, is a 6500K 2800 lumen CFL. Don't know what the result will be, but I'm sure it will be fun finding out!
04-14-2016 06:00 PM
GrampsGrunge
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie101 View Post
Hi AWolf, well i was wondering if i put three lights suspended above the tank would it make it into high light or still go low-medium?
I'm asking about three because that's what i thought in my mind the tank would need do you think with 2 it would be enough?
I was thinking having my lights for my tank medium or medium-high, thank you for replying my first post !!
I just wanted to add that I'm presently using these LED 5000K bulbs in 8.5" dome reflectors over my two nano tanks.

TCP LA1050KND6 LED A19 - 60 Watt Equivalent Daylight (5000K) Light Bulb - 6 Pack - - Amazon.com TCP LA1050KND6 LED A19 - 60 Watt Equivalent Daylight (5000K) Light Bulb - 6 Pack - - Amazon.com


It gives you an option to go with LED lighting.
04-14-2016 01:18 AM
heatherbee
Thank you & Sharing!

I just wanted to share my experience in order to possibly help anyone out there considering options. My issue was not cost so much as less common dimensions to deal with. I have a column tank that is only 13x13 wide but 24" tall (less with substrate). With the height you can't really get away with much as far as plants using the typical .5 LED fixtures. I'd considered using a square saltwater LED light with 3 watt leds but couldn't find one that was exactly what I wanted. I use a cfl in one side of my planted turtle tank so that led me here to this thread. Anyways, this is by the bed and I wanted black domes- did not want to worry about painting. I also wanted adjustability so I ended up with 2 clamp on desk lamps from Walmart. I'm using 23 watt CFL bulbs from Lowe's. "Sylvania 6500k mini instant on" It's been about 6 weeks and everything is going great! I'm adding a couple photos for reference. I do move them around once a day on days I'm here. I've only had a teeny bit of algae on my moss only on the old growth after adding it but that has gone now after trimming . Hope this might help someone out there!

PS. I just moved plants around in the full tank photo so it's still foggy from that.
04-13-2016 11:19 PM
baker2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Mounted vertical in aluminum dome-type reflectors, two 23 watts are going to put you easily in the high light range at 20-22 inches or so (above the substrate)

That will be directly underneath each light. Dead center, between the two will be considerably less.

To get the most even coverage, I'd go with three 8 1/2" diameter domes. This is a common size available at Lowes/Home Depot, etc.

Then you may want to consider going down to 13 watt bulbs, at least in the beginning. You'd still have solid med-range light, enough for most any plant and a whole lot easier to deal with.

It is a lot simpler to increase the intensity down the road than to decrease it, because usually there is an algae farm by the time you realize that you have too much.
OoooO. Even that would be high light? Cuz I am sitting here with 4x 40w CFLs ( 150w eqiv ) 26 inches from the bottom of the tank with dome reflectors....this actually could be my problem if this is the case with algae.
04-10-2016 05:31 PM
StarsFish Very interesting thread...
So, I just acquired a 55g that I'll be setting up. I want it to be a planted tank without having to do co2. If I do the clamp on lights, how many should I use, and what size CFL? What about going with some of the new LED bulbs?
03-31-2016 05:39 PM
Annie101 Thank you AWolf and burr740 for all your recommendations, i'll do a little bit more research on the plants and decide later on, I still haven't set up the aquarium but at least i was able to find help and find cheap lights compared to the ones i saw on the internet, thank you again so much *-*!!
03-31-2016 04:57 PM
burr740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie101 View Post
Bump: burr740 So you would recommend 13w instead of 23w and if i have a 29g standard tank that you can buy from petco how many bulbs and would i need and i would still need a co2 system or liquid will be just fine?
The 29 is 30" wide, so three 8.5" domes would give a nice even coverage.

If you used say, two 10" domes, it's going to be very bright underneath each bulb, but much dimmer in the middle between them, and on each end of the tank.

At roughly 20" above the substrate, 23 watt bulbs are going to push 100 PAR directly underneath. This will definitely require CO2. 13 watt bulbs would be much more manageable, and you may get by with only a liquid carbon supplement like Excel, etc.

Reflectors make a big difference. All of the above assumes we are talking about using this type of fixture

03-31-2016 04:39 PM
AWolf [QUOTE=Annie101;9080753]Thank you again i am going to take your advise about making it work with 2 or 3 three lights and another question has popped up in my mind; by being good with plants and ferts? what do you mean if you can explain it to me P.s what do you think of these bowls for reflectors? (lol): BLANDA BLANK Serving bowl - 5 " - IKEA

Those bowls should get the job done. If you are just starting out, like most people, you only have a few plants. So liquid ferts once a week and basic lighting starts you off well. As your plants grow, or you add plants, and it become more dense, you need to add ferts and possibly lower the light closer to get to thicker underbrush, which at the same time may cause algae issues. It's inevitable you will have algae. How much, and what type depend on water parameters and light/ferts. Every tank is different, so it's not one size fits all. You have to adjust, adjust, as the weeks go on. Increase or decrease light, increase or decrease ferts, increase or decrease water changes, etc. You want good growth with as little algae as possible. That comes with experience with your tank. All my tanks have green algae on surfaces that I clean up monthly by scrubbing off tank and stuff, getting it in the water column, and sucking it up with an external diatom filter. It is different than potted plants that you just water once a week, and add fertilizer occasionally. Once you get good at it, then it becomes easier to keep things growing well without big algae blooms. Big blooms mean something is off; too much/little light, too much/little fertilizer, swings in pH and other water chemistry issues, etc....You have to keep it 'in between the lines' so to speak.
03-31-2016 03:35 PM
Annie101 Thank you again i am going to take your advise about making it work with 2 or 3 three lights and another question has popped up in my mind; by being good with plants and ferts? what do you mean if you can explain it to me P.s what do you think of these bowls for reflectors? (lol): BLANDA BLANK Serving bowl - 5 " - IKEA

Bump: burr740 So you would recommend 13w instead of 23w and if i have a 29g standard tank that you can buy from petco how many bulbs and would i need and i would still need a co2 system or liquid will be just fine?
03-31-2016 03:31 PM
burr740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie101 View Post
Hi AWolf, well i was wondering if i put three lights suspended above the tank would it make it into high light or still go low-medium?
I'm asking about three because that's what i thought in my mind the tank would need do you think with 2 it would be enough?
I was thinking having my lights for my tank medium or medium-high, thank you for replying my first post !!
Mounted vertical in aluminum dome-type reflectors, two 23 watts are going to put you easily in the high light range at 20-22 inches or so (above the substrate)

That will be directly underneath each light. Dead center, between the two will be considerably less.

To get the most even coverage, I'd go with three 8 1/2" diameter domes. This is a common size available at Lowes/Home Depot, etc.

Then you may want to consider going down to 13 watt bulbs, at least in the beginning. You'd still have solid med-range light, enough for most any plant and a whole lot easier to deal with.

It is a lot simpler to increase the intensity down the road than to decrease it, because usually there is an algae farm by the time you realize that you have too much.
03-31-2016 03:21 PM
AWolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie101 View Post
Hi AWolf, well i was wondering if i put three lights suspended above the tank would it make it into high light or still go low-medium?
I'm asking about three because that's what i thought in my mind the tank would need do you think with 2 it would be enough?
I was thinking having my lights for my tank medium or medium-high, thank you for replying my first post !!
It's hard to say for me, since I don't use reflectors, and have four on my 29g to cover every inch with high light. Silver reflectors may make it work for just 2 or 3. Really depends on the size and type of fixture. You can try just 2 or 3 and find out. I keep my clip on/desk type just inches off of the surface. 4 is of course, 400watts incandescent equivalent, which is ultra high light. You need to be really good with plants and ferts to keep algae at bay. If you can use reflectors with just two 23w CFL's, you'll have less maintenance possibly, and need less expertise with plants and ferts. I'd start with 2 w/reflectors, and go up from there as needed. I'm writing fast because I'm in a boring meeting and hope everyone thinks I'm actually listening...hehehe. So I may sound a bit rambly.
03-31-2016 01:13 PM
Annie101 Hi AWolf, well i was wondering if i put three lights suspended above the tank would it make it into high light or still go low-medium?
I'm asking about three because that's what i thought in my mind the tank would need do you think with 2 it would be enough?
I was thinking having my lights for my tank medium or medium-high, thank you for replying my first post !!
03-31-2016 03:06 AM
AWolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie101 View Post
Hi everyone so i'm a newbie in planted tanks and had a few questions so i recently bought Sylvania 23w 6,500k Daylight and i was wondering how many bulbs would i need for a 29g and how would rate these lights? (low-medium,medium-high??)
Hi Annie! I'm glad you have revived this thread! So many great lights. The 23w is equal to a 100watt incandescent. That is high light. If you have a wide enough reflector one over a 29g would still probably not cover the length of the tank, so I would go for 2, using the clip on style lamp or some nice pendant reflectors. Just by raising the light, you can change it to low-medium. But I don't think it looks good raised too far from the surface of the tank, because then the area around the tank is illuminated, and the tank looks washed out.
03-31-2016 01:30 AM
Annie101
Hello!

Hi everyone so i'm a newbie in planted tanks and had a few questions so i recently bought Sylvania 23w 6,500k Daylight and i was wondering how many bulbs would i need for a 29g and how would rate these lights? (low-medium,medium-high??)
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