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-   -   Lighting up a 25gal - please share experience (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3353)

Nordic 12-04-2003 08:48 AM

Hi I read lots of things like you need X-watt per gallon, but these rule I also read falls appart on small and large tanks.

I thought a 100l tank is a large, but have learnt it is not, lol

Now the only problem I have with rules like that is that it seems non-sensical, lets say I had 50gal in a upright tank(i know small surface, but hear me out) as opposed to 50 gal in a large wide flat tank, sureley the distance that light has to cover should be taken into account, i.e. 12" or 25" from the substrate.

Anyway, I suppose what works best is to look at what works for the majority of people...

I have the 25 gal with the following flourecent
ZooMed Tropicsun F17T8/5500k/Daylight,
I guess its about 24" long (we use centimeters) It doesnt say how manny watts :< but it seems to do ok, slightly dark in places but I think its because its shorter than the tank.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3629
Picture there, i removed the stump as it was still turning water very brown, which seems to have triggered some growth in my few poor plants, that pic is about 3 weeks old, have now started dosing Tetra blackwater.

What lighting would you advise for such a setup, (I dont want to have to add CO2 yet, at best will add Hagen CO2).
Also cant realy afford to do anything other than flourecent, preferably in 1 tube as that is all the hood has clamps for even though there is more space.

I am planning to do some Java ferns in there, now that I talked the LFS owner into giving me some from his own tank.

My tank is about 3' wide, 1' front to back and 1,5' deep, 100litres

Daemonfly 12-04-2003 11:13 AM

I'm doing a 55w PC (AHsupply.com kit) over a 20g long. Thats about 2.75wpg based on the "loose" rule, but the tank is shallow by design.

Nordic 12-04-2003 12:01 PM

would a 55w flourecent be equivalent?

Rex Grigg 12-04-2003 12:07 PM

55 watts of florescent light is 55 watts. Doesn't make a real difference if it comes from NO PC or T-5 lights. Right now Nordic you have 17 watts of light over your tank. You will NOT be able to find a stronger bulb for your fixture. You are going to have to either add more lights or switch to a CF light. See my FAQ for more details.

Nordic 12-04-2003 12:15 PM

Thanks alot, I was thinking of takeing out the balast and replacing it with something a bit stronger, the guy at the shop showed me one that can handle two tubes at a total rating of 60watts (does this mean 2 x 30watt tubes?). The balast is only USD5.50 and will fit in the current housing.

GulfCoastAquarian 12-04-2003 12:53 PM

A $5 ballast is most likely going to be a magnetic ballast, which does a poor job driving a bulb to full output. It won't drive your two 17w bulbs to 30w a piece, though. You can use it to power two bulbs, though, and that would double your wattage.
But in a tank as tall as yours, that's still not a whole lot of light. Even a 55w compact fluorescent bulb would be barely enough to reach foreground plants but it is your best shot.

05dr 12-04-2003 12:58 PM

some floro's put out more lumens/lux/par per watt. here is the best comparison and explanation i know of:
http://article.dphnet.com/cat-04/lightcompare.shtml

t5's(high output or compact floro's) and t8's will usually be more efficient than t12 or t12HO bulbs.

another example, i think, would be that larger versions of bulbs (say a 96W compact floro bulb, vs. a 36W or 55W) will be more efficient and produce more output for the watt.

also keep in mind a bulb's ability to be reflected and increased bulb temperature can drastically affect their output.

lot's of variables...

Nordic 12-04-2003 01:42 PM

If this were your tank, and it had a hood that could take any type of light, what would you put in there?

Keep in mind I live at the wrong end of the world to get the latest and greatest stuff.

I don't want (can't afford) to go CO2 yet.

malkore 12-04-2003 07:26 PM

in south africa, I'd just try to cram as many NO fluorescents in there as I could, and get a good reflector or some mylar.
If you build a cheap canopy, you could probably put 3-4 bulbs in there, at about 18-20watts each. a good ballast should run 2 bulbs.

otherwise I would go with compact fluorescents, a 65watt should do you a lot of good...2 would be wicked light.

Nordic 12-04-2003 08:33 PM

hmmmmmmmm I saw one LFS which carried those, helluva expensive though.

GDominy 12-04-2003 09:22 PM

Heh... It really depends on what you want to grow in your tank. In my west african tank (a 29 Gallon, 75cm x 30cm x 40cm approximately) I have a single 20 watt bulb (hagen PowerGlo).

Now I am only growing Anubias Nana and a few other Anubias species, but you get the idea.

If I wanted to grow anything else... Like Glossostigma, or Dwarf Swords.. or any other carpet plant, I would have to get much stronger lighting... Probably a pair of 55 watt CF bulbs...

Nordic 12-05-2003 04:57 AM

110 watts on 100 litres sounds a little severe, how does the fish survive without going blind?. I was thinking more along the lines of 2 x 30watt, what types of plants could I keep then.

At 110watts surely I will have to dose CO2

I would realy love to do ground cover, but can't find any plants like that.

The guy at the LFS did say he could get anubias.

Rex Grigg 12-05-2003 11:22 AM

The fish will not go blind at 110 watts over 100 liters. Sunlight is much brighter than that. But that is a lot of light and you would need CO2. I run 220 watts over a 250 liter tank and you need to stay right on top of it.

SCMurphy 12-05-2003 12:28 PM

Someone did a simple analysis of the way Mr. Amano lights his tanks pictured in his books. http://www.fitchfamily.com/lighting.html . They did an analysis of watts per gallon (and liter) and also of watts per surface area. The results are interesting and they produced a calculator on the page which will give you a watts needed for a volume.

I think that there might be a slight fault in the analysis as it wasn't taken into account that some of the tanks were planted with only low light plants and so Mr. Amano would only put what was needed for those plants. The other bias would be that Mr. Amano likes to restrict stem plants more to the smaller (shallow??) aquaria (AquaJournal Mag quote) because they need frequent pruning and leaning over a large tank for several hours isn't a good use of time. The result being he installs higher lighting over these tanks. Hard to say but the calculater said I should have 65 watts over a 10 gallon tank and 109 over a 30, which is close to what I have over my tanks anyways.

Nordic 12-05-2003 12:53 PM

Lol, thanks, finding your inputs a great help.

I think I'm down to my last questions now...

Does a 2x32xT8 ballast driving 2 30watt tubes give 60 watts or 30... (we'll forget about reflection etc, for illustration's sake)?

Would a T10 have the same endcaps that a T8 has?

I wan't to buy 2 of these tubes (erm, its all I could find localy, which I could read up on)
A-1585 Aqua~Glo Fluorescent Aquarium Bulb - 36" - T10
http://www.hagen.com/usa/aquatic/pro...01015850020101

I have a 15" one on my smaller tank, it is sooooo beautifull (da fishies).

EDIT

I just read the link in the last post... WOW good spot!!!
Think I want a ballast that can cater for 3 30 watt tubes then, for when I do someday get CO2


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