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Old 12-03-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
scbrooks87
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Another Lighting Question


Ok here goes... (I hope this will be in the right section!)

I am coming up with my tank plan... This will be my first REAL attempt at a solid freshwater tank. Don't have anything for it yet, because I am waiting to buy till I know what all I need. I am on to the lighting phase now.

Here is what I have so far in the plan:
Tank- Standard 40 breeder

Stand- DIY plywood stand

Filtration- Fluval 406, DIY spray bar to spread the flow

Heat- Hydor 200 ETH inline heater

Substrate- Either Eco Complete, or ADA new amazonia aqua soil... or a mix of both!

Now for the lighting... I am thinking I can use the Finnex Ray 2, but here are my only doubts. As I will be pretty darn new to freshwater, I am wanting to go semi low-tech. I say semi low-tech because I don't want to get into co2 quiiiiite yet. (Fiance has some say in that lol.) I don't want to go COMPLETELY low tech though to the point of nothing but water and plants and hope for the best. I am wondering if I can get away with the Ray 2, and dose flourish excel to add the carbon needed by the plants in hopes to prevent some algae. Also, I'm figuring I can go for the Ray 2 over say the fugeray as I can always reduce light, but can't always increase it. I can hang it to raise above the tank, or use a diffuser of some sort from the hardware store to bring it down a bit.

What do you guys think?

Thanks!
-Scott
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
Ok here goes... (I hope this will be in the right section!)

I am coming up with my tank plan... This will be my first REAL attempt at a solid freshwater tank. Don't have anything for it yet, because I am waiting to buy till I know what all I need. I am on to the lighting phase now.

Here is what I have so far in the plan:
Tank- Standard 40 breeder

Stand- DIY plywood stand

Filtration- Fluval 406, DIY spray bar to spread the flow

Heat- Hydor 200 ETH inline heater

Substrate- Either Eco Complete, or ADA new amazonia aqua soil... or a mix of both!

Now for the lighting... I am thinking I can use the Finnex Ray 2, but here are my only doubts. As I will be pretty darn new to freshwater, I am wanting to go semi low-tech. I say semi low-tech because I don't want to get into co2 quiiiiite yet. (Fiance has some say in that lol.) I don't want to go COMPLETELY low tech though to the point of nothing but water and plants and hope for the best. I am wondering if I can get away with the Ray 2, and dose flourish excel to add the carbon needed by the plants in hopes to prevent some algae. Also, I'm figuring I can go for the Ray 2 over say the fugeray as I can always reduce light, but can't always increase it. I can hang it to raise above the tank, or use a diffuser of some sort from the hardware store to bring it down a bit.

What do you guys think?

Thanks!
-Scott
CO2 is the best thing you can do for your tank.
If you will not be adding CO2 then do not increase light at all.

The problem here is you are investing in a nice light.
If you invest in a nice light you will either have to change your light or add another.

I highly recommend you work on getting a simple CO2 setup into the mix. Take a peek at GLA and see what your options are. I decided on a 5lb tank under my stand and the Primo regulator setup.

I have 3" of Eco-Complete in my 75G and I am not totally impressed. I hear a lot of great things about AquaSoil but I read if you cycle Miracle Gro for a while that is do-able also, and for a much lower price. Both have a higher than normal ammonia cycle but it seems to pay off.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
scbrooks87
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Here's the issue. I want to start off without CO2, but have a light that can support CO2 in the future should I decide to go that route. So basically... I'm wanting to buy a light that can be used for when I do move up to having CO2, but will also be good for prior to having CO2.

This tank is not set up yet, no purchases made... So this is not an upgrade, it would be the initial purchase.

Thanks
-Scott
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Purchase a light that can get you into the high light range and just raise it to put it into the medium light range that wouldn't require CO2.

What I don't think you can get away with is getting a light that has to sit on top of the tank and expect it to satisfy your requirement. You'll have to raise it or put screening on it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
Here's the issue. I want to start off without CO2, but have a light that can support CO2 in the future should I decide to go that route. So basically... I'm wanting to buy a light that can be used for when I do move up to having CO2, but will also be good for prior to having CO2.

This tank is not set up yet, no purchases made... So this is not an upgrade, it would be the initial purchase.

Thanks
-Scott
If you can install the light farther from a tank, in the case it is high light and you do not have CO2, or/and reduce the lighting period.

Or setup cheap, diy yeast CO2.

Michel.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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my 40 breeder, which has 2x55w powercompacts, has been running fine with out co2. I was looking at the ray 2 myself and I think it'd suit your needs. One way of looking at it is if you "accidently" buy a light that is too bright you kind of have to get co2 then dont you? that being said I think that you could get away with the ray 2 and no co2, the trick is to balance it with the right plants and the proper light period, also what was said about raising it higher holds true as well.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #7
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Ok cool, thanks for the info! I'll go for the 36" ray 2. My thinking is this... If I get a light that is too much, I can raise it up, or I can put a "screen" between the light and the tank to reduce how much light actually gets to the tank.

On the other hand, if I buy a light that ISN'T enough... Then I'd be stuck buying another light. Kinda like if you cut a board too long for what you need, you can always cut a bit more off, but if you cut it too short, you need to buy a new board...

Just needed to hear what others thought. and 2x55w is a fair chunk of light for non co2. I'm also going to be filtering pretty heavily so that will help.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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Np, also take a look at these links. This one show the par data for the entire finnex line

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=189944

additional info:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...96#post1832057

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:17 AM   #9
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I think your logic is sound on the lighting purchase. And remember-there is more than one way to skin a cat as they say. There are ways to do high lighting with no CO2-just have to find the right balance, and realize some plants will not work. Also, DIY yeast CO2 is really simple, and there are tons of other options such as paintball CO2 you could get into.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:40 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info. I figure with dosing, adjusting light schedule, raising them up, adding some form of screen, I can get a good balance... Then if I decide to go the route of CO2 I'll probably start with a simple DIY sugar/yeast CO2 system, then progress from there to a fully automated system.

My question about the DIY systems though... I am a brewer, so I know the science behind it, it goes 24 hours a day... Can't that cause asphyxiation for the fish if it's still adding CO2 at night after lights out?

Thanks
-Scott
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbrooks87 View Post
Ok cool, thanks for the info! I'll go for the 36" ray 2. My thinking is this... If I get a light that is too much, I can raise it up, or I can put a "screen" between the light and the tank to reduce how much light actually gets to the tank.

On the other hand, if I buy a light that ISN'T enough... Then I'd be stuck buying another light. Kinda like if you cut a board too long for what you need, you can always cut a bit more off, but if you cut it too short, you need to buy a new board...

Just needed to hear what others thought. and 2x55w is a fair chunk of light for non co2. I'm also going to be filtering pretty heavily so that will help.
2 x 55 watt PC bulbs could give you low light or high light or anything in between, depending on the reflectors, the ballast, how high above the tank they are. Watts just tells you how much electricity they use.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:30 AM   #12
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2 x 55 watt PC bulbs could give you low light or high light or anything in between, depending on the reflectors, the ballast, how high above the tank they are. Watts just tells you how much electricity they use.
not that it matters but its an ahsupply kit 20" above the substrate
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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Hoppy- I actually just read through a lot of your lighting thread not long after posting that! I was impressed by the sound logic debunking the watt per gallon rule. This forum has several great lighting threads I was very pleased to read through. One thing I have not figured out yet is color temp. Trying to decide between double 7000k vs 7000k/10000k fixture. Have not had much luck finding pics to compare how they look... any advice for which will do better for growing and or for that awesome crisp look?

Thanks!
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