12G Long Mr. Aqua w/ 26W CFL - Too little or too much?
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:06 PM   #1
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12G Long Mr. Aqua w/ 26W CFL - Too little or too much?


My bf and I are about to flood our tank at the end of next week. Either on the 30th of this month or the 1st of Oct. and will let it cycle for 2 weeks before adding in CRS shrimps. We have been growing emersed plants in the tank since August 1st so the ammonia/nitrate cycle should be well off as well as the bacteria from what we have read.

All the plants have grown well, but what worries us is the lighting once flooded. Right now, we are using two clip-on lights from Finnex (the lights we are using are shown below). We took out the original bulbs and replaced it with the Lowe's 13W CF "Mini Spiral" that is equivalent to 60W in 6500K temps. So in total that is 26W of CFL equivalent to 120W (or so they claim). At the moment the lights look very bright, almost as bright as any 36" single T5HO I would imagine.

With all that into play, we have very good growth in our HC, HM, Glosso, MM, and Mini Pellia so far. With the added height from our Shrimp Fluval Stratum Substrate we are using, the light is only 8-9" from the sub. on the high end and 9"-10" on the low end.

So the important question. With this fixture, type of lighting and distance from the plants, is this considered high lighting, medium lighting, or low lighting? We tried to compare this to a few charts we often see as "PAR" but its so hard to tell...

We will be running pressurized CO2 in this setup for awhile to ease the transition of all the emersed plants once flooded, but will slowly wean off it once they have stabilized so we can raise shrimps successfully, however, with this lighting, will CO2 be necessary?

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Old 09-24-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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Based on: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...tml#post904062 it looks like you will have 60-80 micromols of PAR, which is in the high medium range, and with that much light CO2 is almost necessary, if not necessary. (This is assuming you have the lights on each end of the tank, so they make a row across the tank.)
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Based on: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...tml#post904062 it looks like you will have 60-80 micromols of PAR, which is in the high medium range, and with that much light CO2 is almost necessary, if not necessary. (This is assuming you have the lights on each end of the tank, so they make a row across the tank.)
Thank you Hoppy. Without your help I would have no idea because even looking at that chart just now, I am lost. I will see if they have the same type of bulb and color in 10W so I get 20W total light to prevent the need of CO2. The only reason is because I want to raise and breed CRS and CO2 could potentially become harmful to them unless I can get away with 1-2 bubbles per second at most with this lighting, would I?

PS: Yes I have the same fixture mounted on the other long end of the tank so that they are facing each other.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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I think I have seen 9 watt CFL bulbs ("40 watt equivalent") That should drop the light intensity enough to do without CO2. But, if those little reflectors are not polished aluminum on the inside, the 13 watt bulbs may be just right. The chart was based on a polished aluminum reflector, I think.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I think I have seen 9 watt CFL bulbs ("40 watt equivalent") That should drop the light intensity enough to do without CO2. But, if those little reflectors are not polished aluminum on the inside, the 13 watt bulbs may be just right. The chart was based on a polished aluminum reflector, I think.
Hoppy, my planted tank light guru , the reflectors appears to be plastic with chrome finish (aluminum like). I tapped on it, sounds more like plastic than aluminum to me. Will that qualify as "aluminum reflector"? So then does that make my current light just right or still would be better off to downgrade?

Underside of the light:
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NeoShrimp View Post
Hoppy, my planted tank light guru , the reflectors appears to be plastic with chrome finish (aluminum like). I tapped on it, sounds more like plastic than aluminum to me. Will that qualify as "aluminum reflector"? So then does that make my current light just right or still would be better off to downgrade?

Underside of the light:
I would assume the reflector is good, and go with lower wattage bulbs.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:43 AM   #7
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I would assume the reflector is good, and go with lower wattage bulbs.
Thanks much Hoppy! So if I do go lower, like a 9W or 10W bulb, is that still considered medium? I am growing HC and Downoi in that tank so I need at least medium or medium-high : )
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:14 PM   #8
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You have a dilemma! Shrimp don't breed well with high CO2 in the water. And, HC doesn't grow well without high CO2 in the water. (I'm not sure what Downoi requires, other than soft water.) I think most shrimp keepers, who want their shrimp to breed, just do without any plants that have to have good CO2 to grow well.

I think you will have enough light, with 9-10 watt bulbs, to grow anything, but only if you also use good CO2. Take away the CO2, and you will limit your plant choices. Add more light without more CO2 and you will have algae problems.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:21 AM   #9
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You have a dilemma! Shrimp don't breed well with high CO2 in the water. And, HC doesn't grow well without high CO2 in the water. (I'm not sure what Downoi requires, other than soft water.) I think most shrimp keepers, who want their shrimp to breed, just do without any plants that have to have good CO2 to grow well.

I think you will have enough light, with 9-10 watt bulbs, to grow anything, but only if you also use good CO2. Take away the CO2, and you will limit your plant choices. Add more light without more CO2 and you will have algae problems.
Hoppy, you are right. There is a huge dilema. Our plan was to run CO2 on high for the first 2 weeks while transitioning the HC from emersed or submersed. On our 3rd week we would start slowly tunning it down and hopefully by the end of the month, we hope the HC would still do well without it. We have read a few forums where people can grow very beautiful HC's without CO2 so we are really hoping we can do the same. Nevertheless, thank you so much in assisting me on this matter. You really are a life saver : )
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:56 PM   #10
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Personally I think you'll have a very tough time keeping a nice carpet with that amount of light, especially without co2. So I think hobby is right in the regards to the dilemma. Most carpeting plants need more intense light than just a typical stem to keep growing low and tight.

I've grown HC in a 9.5" tall tank with two 9watt cfl bulbs and I could clearly see a big different how the HC grew on top of a 5" slope (closer to the light) and at the bottom (further from the light)
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:50 PM   #11
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Would love to see this tank when it gets setup. I drool over those 12g longs...the dimensions are so nice. Gold luck with your HC carpet!
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
Personally I think you'll have a very tough time keeping a nice carpet with that amount of light, especially without co2. So I think hobby is right in the regards to the dilemma. Most carpeting plants need more intense light than just a typical stem to keep growing low and tight.

I've grown HC in a 9.5" tall tank with two 9watt cfl bulbs and I could clearly see a big different how the HC grew on top of a 5" slope (closer to the light) and at the bottom (further from the light)
Yeah, I hope to make the transition as healthy as possible for the first couple of weeks to hopefully have the HC in optimal health so when I go low on C02 and eventually cut down on it, it'll be ok. If not I'll still run CO2 but very low. Perhaps 1 bps or 0.5 bps to see how that goes. I think at that rate the CRS will still be ok so I guess its mainly trial and error. Too bad I don't remember the name of those who said something like "my tank grows HC just perfectly fine with medium light and no CO2". Would love to see how theirs turned out exactly, as in picture-wise : )
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You have a dilemma! Shrimp don't breed well with high CO2 in the water. And, HC doesn't grow well without high CO2 in the water. (I'm not sure what Downoi requires, other than soft water.) I think most shrimp keepers, who want their shrimp to breed, just do without any plants that have to have good CO2 to grow well.

I think you will have enough light, with 9-10 watt bulbs, to grow anything, but only if you also use good CO2. Take away the CO2, and you will limit your plant choices. Add more light without more CO2 and you will have algae problems.
Just want to let you know so far so good. No yellowing or die offs (yet). 2-4 bps CO2 and lights on 8 hrs per day : )

Quote:
Originally Posted by freph View Post
Would love to see this tank when it gets setup. I drool over those 12g longs...the dimensions are so nice. Gold luck with your HC carpet!
I linked my journal to my signature. Feel free to comment.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:58 PM   #14
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I love these 12 gal long setups! I cant wait to see how it turns out. I'm still pretty new to lighting and c02 balance, so pardon the question... Do you think the HC in the center of the tank will suffer from a lack of direct lighting? Just thinking ahead for my own sake. Thanks! Also, how much are those finnex lights?
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:13 AM   #15
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I love these 12 gal long setups! I cant wait to see how it turns out. I'm still pretty new to lighting and c02 balance, so pardon the question... Do you think the HC in the center of the tank will suffer from a lack of direct lighting? Just thinking ahead for my own sake. Thanks! Also, how much are those finnex lights?
Thanks. Not a problem, ask away. We are all here because we have something new to learn everyday don't we? : )

Here is what I observed. Surprisingly, during the emersed growth those HC's that grew closest to the middle (low light) grow best in terms of horizontal growth. For some reason the ones very close to the light grew vertical. Now I am not sure if this will remain true when the tank is filled but we will see. You can subscribe to this thread for updates
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