Need Help on Paludarium Style Planted Tank Lighting!!!
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Old 12-07-2003, 01:29 AM   #1
Spar
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I have a 30 inch (~110 gallons) Cubed tank that I have put in a Land Section about 1/2 the way up. I am trying to figure out the most efficient way to get enough light to the plants. The water will be 15" deep (and ~50 gallons of water space), but there will be an additional 15" between the water level and the the light at the top of the tank.

When using the general formula of 3 watts per gallon, in my case, should I use 50 x 3 = 150W since that is the actual amount of water, or should I still use the full 110 x 3 = 330W. I can only figure that I will need less since there is less resitance in the air than in the water, but wanted to make sure first.

Assuming that I will need something ~200W; What and Where is the best place to get a lighting unit that will supply this much wattage to my tank? I do not want (and via my wife will not be allowed to) have any type of lighting that hangs from the ceiling. Therefore I need to stick with the normal 30 inch light strips that can be placed on top of the tank.

Any help would be great! Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2003, 02:21 AM   #2
Rex Grigg
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Hold on here. Are you going to grow aquatic plants or emersed plants?
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Old 12-07-2003, 02:31 PM   #3
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I was planning on growing Aquatic plants. i.e. attached to the driftwood that is submerged in the water, and plants that will be bedded into the gravel substrate.
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Old 12-07-2003, 02:38 PM   #4
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What plants? Most plants that one would attach to the driftwood really don't require a lot of light. Also you should be asking these questions in the Vivarium/Terrarium forum.
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Old 12-07-2003, 03:39 PM   #5
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Just various aquatic plants that you can get at the normal pet store (Pets-mart, PetCo, etc.). As this is my first planted tank, I am not knowledgeable on the actual names of the plants that I would be using. However, I will not be using anything too exotic.
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:23 PM   #6
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Most of the plants one sees at PetCo and the like are stem plants and require in the range of 3 watts per gallon to thrive. And at this level you would need CO2 to keep the algae in check. And with your water level you would need to do a lot of pruning to keep it looking nice. I would suggest that you instead do a mail order and get java ferns, Anubias and some smaller crypts. These require less light, ~2 wpg and really don't require CO2. And it's a much more trouble free tank.

Then you can go to www.ahsupply.com and get some 55 watt kits and have your lights. But I have to tell you that for your application a MH pendant would work much better. But you would have to either build or buy a frame for it since you are not allowed to hang it from the ceiling.
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:31 PM   #7
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I probably will just stick to Java Moss and Ferns in this tank now that I have had time to think about it. The tank is just too deep to ever get a "good" pruning attempt on plants. They should attach well to the drift wood too. Thanks for your advice! I will post some pictures once I get everything finalized.
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:34 PM   #8
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There is a large deep octagonal display tank at my LFS, it looks awesome with wood and unkempt java fern running all along the driftwood.
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