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Thread: Lighting an Aquarium with PAR instead of Watts Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 05:25 PM
audioaficionado Maybe go with a coarse sand or fine gravel substrate. You want to avoid too fine a substrate. Osmecote Plus will eventually end up on the substrate surface as little resin balls. You can ignore them or try to hide them in with the gravel/plants.
Today 02:31 PM
Seadon
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPrice904 View Post
I have a similar question. I have the standard tank lights set up on my standard 55G. I have fake plants right now but looking to get into a low light setup. I have a sand substrate so I will supplement with tabs.

I was considering getting the diamond plated shop light from HomeDepot but now I'm concerned that will give me too much light and I just wonder if I should stick to my 2 15w T8 bulb setup (one per ballast). I would rather not get into CO2 but I would like to achieve moderate growth.

My question would be before I purchase this shop light should I stick with the 15w x2 (30w) setup or spring for the shoplight? I think from looking at your chart, my current setup, would give me 20-30 PAR which would achieve a low light setup. That's looking at the black line defined as "one bulb with typical white inside".

If I was you I would go for the 2 bulb T5 HO from the Depot, or get a four NO T5 bulb fixture, and you will be in the more useful part of low light...I would also supplement substrate with Osmecote Plus, it is cheaper and much easier to get your whole substrate covered. Search it online it's not hard to find.


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Yesterday 02:48 PM
JPrice904
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred87 View Post
Waaaait!! so Hoppy if i place a Home Depot 2 bulb Diamond Plate Shop Light on top of my 60 gallon ( 24in from the gravel) I am going to have Medium light???
I have a similar question. I have the standard tank lights set up on my standard 55G. I have fake plants right now but looking to get into a low light setup. I have a sand substrate so I will supplement with tabs.

I was considering getting the diamond plated shop light from HomeDepot but now I'm concerned that will give me too much light and I just wonder if I should stick to my 2 15w T8 bulb setup (one per ballast). I would rather not get into CO2 but I would like to achieve moderate growth.

My question would be before I purchase this shop light should I stick with the 15w x2 (30w) setup or spring for the shoplight? I think from looking at your chart, my current setup, would give me 20-30 PAR which would achieve a low light setup. That's looking at the black line defined as "one bulb with typical white inside".
03-28-2014 03:43 PM
Seadon
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmerc View Post
Hello there! Very nice thread! Im gonna be working on a planted tank in April. Was wondering what type of light I would need for a 80"x24"x18" tank, im planning to go low tech w/o co2 and growing low-med light plants. I think whats available here in my area is quite limited to all purpose bulbs for the home, no special ones like LEDs, metal halides and so forth. Ive seen CFLs and T8s. Any suggestions in terms on what PAR rating i should be looking into?

The 1st through 3rd or 4th page will help you out immensely if you are thinking about HOT5 lighting...especially the part where hoppy talks about fixture spacing for tanks 18" across and more. I believe someone w/ a similarly sized tank asked a similar question, I.e. A 72"x?x? Tank...I would definitely suggest a sticky for this thread if you are looking for the right lighting, it has saved me a ton of trial and error, that's for damn sure!


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03-28-2014 08:39 AM
greenmerc Hello there! Very nice thread! Im gonna be working on a planted tank in April. Was wondering what type of light I would need for a 80"x24"x18" tank, im planning to go low tech w/o co2 and growing low-med light plants. I think whats available here in my area is quite limited to all purpose bulbs for the home, no special ones like LEDs, metal halides and so forth. Ive seen CFLs and T8s. Any suggestions in terms on what PAR rating i should be looking into?
03-27-2014 11:09 PM
Seadon The coralife will be about 2 inches from the surface so 20-21" from substrate.

The aquaticlife about 4-6" from the surface so 26"+ from substrate.

Both fixtures are on the PAR chart on the first page, I'm just reading a few pages on where hoppy says it might be better to use 2 shorter fixtures side by side on an 18" wide, or maybe it's 4 small fixtures, 2 on each half of the tank, I need someone to clarify lol.


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03-27-2014 11:01 PM
Seadon Hi I have gone through the first few pages of info on here and I have 2 questions, 1 does anybody know if a 30" 2 bulb HO coralife fixture is enough to fully light a 29 gal 30x12.5x18H without many dark spots, meaning areas where plants won't grow.
2. Similar question but a 75 gal. 48x18x20H and a 36" 4 bulb HO aquaticlife fixture


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03-27-2014 04:23 PM
Seadon The 4 bulb fixture is really for my 75 gallon tank that isn't complete at the moment, so I was using it as interim lighting until the fixture meant for this tank arrives, but if it doesn't come today taking 2 bulbs out would'nt be a bad idea. I'll have to comb through here a little more carefully I guess and see if I can't find what I'm missing


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03-27-2014 01:53 PM
newbieplanter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seadon View Post
Ok so I have 36" 4 bulb i sitting on the rim of my 29 gal. And I'm getting moderate algae growth, I plan on switching to a 2 lamp 30"coralife fixture this week, will this solve my problem or is co2 a must?


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Instead of getting a 2 bulb fixture why not just turn 2 off or take em out of the fixture u got now? If u read this post u will see that all those things lights,co2,ferts along with plants have to be in sync an u should have low to no algae. The Man who wrote this will tell u what u need to get it under control, but i think its also writen in here whT type of light u have weather it be low,med, or high.
03-27-2014 11:56 AM
Seadon Ok so I have 36" 4 bulb i sitting on the rim of my 29 gal. And I'm getting moderate algae growth, I plan on switching to a 2 lamp 30"coralife fixture this week, will this solve my problem or is co2 a must?


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03-12-2014 03:41 PM
xfatdannx I didn't see mine on that chart, its a ZooMed dual t5ho and the reflector is mirror like...its bright!

so if it has that real nice reflector, are you in essence, shining two bulbs at once or do you lose some of the reflected light?
03-11-2014 04:35 PM
Hoppy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark_ View Post
This is awesome information. Now we need the plant database updated with PAR values required to grow each type of plant. Otherwise measure by PAR seems pretty useless.
In the low tech forum there is a long thread with a listing of "low light" plants, but, unfortunately the definition of "low light" was a watts per gallon definition, making the list just barely more than useless. In the Aquatic Plant Central forum there is a great "plant finder" list, but it, too, lists the lighting needed for each plant in terms of watts per gallon, greatly reducing the usefulness of the list. It will be a long time before there is a similar list that includes the PAR needed to grow the plants well. Someone who is looking for a good project should take this on
03-11-2014 04:28 PM
Hoppy
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfatdannx View Post
There is SOOO much info here i am very happy for it. I am trying to get the right balance between light and Co2 now for a high light tank. I have a 20g Tall (aprox 24in from light to substrate). Currently running two t5ho bulbs one at 6500k and one at 5000k. Would you suggest a change to get to high light or would you say i am there? I seem to get algae blooms when running both lamps, not sure if this is too much light or inadequate Co2. Thanks for any help you can provide, you have already done so much Hoppy.
If you look at the chart in the first post in this thread, the PAR you get from a T5HO light depends on who the manufacturer is - actually on how good the ballast and reflectors are. The color temperature is not a consideration when looking at PAR. Color temperature does affect what the tank will look like when lighted with those bulbs. And, the spectrum of light produced by the bulbs affects how much of the PAR emitted by the bulb is readily usable by the specific plants you are growing. But, that is another subject.
03-11-2014 03:19 PM
Shark_ This is awesome information. Now we need the plant database updated with PAR values required to grow each type of plant. Otherwise measure by PAR seems pretty useless.
03-11-2014 12:29 PM
xfatdannx There is SOOO much info here i am very happy for it. I am trying to get the right balance between light and Co2 now for a high light tank. I have a 20g Tall (aprox 24in from light to substrate). Currently running two t5ho bulbs one at 6500k and one at 5000k. Would you suggest a change to get to high light or would you say i am there? I seem to get algae blooms when running both lamps, not sure if this is too much light or inadequate Co2. Thanks for any help you can provide, you have already done so much Hoppy.
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