Lighting - Frustration growing faster than plants!!
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Old 03-22-2003, 08:48 PM   #1
juliesworld
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We (Corey and I) own a 58-gallon freshwater tank (36"L*18"W*21"D) which we're trying to grow some plants for about 3 weeks: 2 Java fern and 2 Bacopa (we recently lost a water wisteria plant after only 10 days in the tank). Unfortunately, all we're growing is a ton of brown algae and greenish-gray hair algae!!

Right now, our lighting consists of 90W normal-output fluorescents (2 hoods, 1x30w ZooMed Tropical Sun 5500K T8 bulbs and 2x30w GE Aqualux T8 bulbs) and we're aware we have inadequate lighting; ideally, we want to get around 3w to 4w per gallon (about 175w-230w total).

We have been considering some sort of Power Compact lighting hood, but are unsure of what to buy (brands, wattage, number of bulbs, etc). Continuing to use our dual-NO 2x30w hood (due to the measurements of our glass top), we want add a PC unit with a maximum width of 6.5-inches.

PLEASE HELP US! :shock:

Hopefully SOMEONE has solid information for us to follow. [Note: Corey is aware of "retrofit" units, but knows nothing of electrical work. "A man's got to know his limitations." -- Lt. Harry Callahan]
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Old 03-22-2003, 11:46 PM   #2
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Well you could head on over to www.aquabotanic.com and get a nice JBJ with 192 watts. It comes with plant bulbs and will run you $241. Or you can head on over to www.ahsupply.com and get 2 96 watt kits and the needed bulbs which will run you $180.97 and if you need something to put them in a enclosure will run $40. Of course either way you need to pay shipping. If I were you I would go with the JBJ system. The AH Supply kits are not hard to do and come with very good directions. But for the price difference the JBJ is a much better buy.
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Old 03-23-2003, 04:13 PM   #3
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Also, three weeks is not enough time for your plants and chemistry to settle down. Give it two months. You may lose some plants due to transplant shock. The lighting is probably adequate for now. Obviously not for vigorous growth, but enough to keep them alive and get the tank balanced. If you add high light right now, before the plants have settled, you may end up with an even bigger algae problem.

To get the algae you have under control, you can hand-pick it. Use a toothbrush to twirl off the worst of the hair algae, and a siphon to pick up the brown. You'll get it under control. My algae was at it's worst right around 3-4 weeks, then it started getting better. I had about the same lighting as you at the time.

Stacey
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Old 03-23-2003, 05:52 PM   #4
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did you read the link on ODNO lights at the top of the light section
Maby you could retrofit the hood you have and save some money
The electrical part is told in detail, if your woried about that ask a friend with some electrical experince to help on the project
It's not hard it's FUN
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Old 03-24-2003, 02:08 PM   #5
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Thanks Corey. I hit both sides of the topic but made sure to put your request first. And when you really look at the cost versus the benefit the JBJ lights make a lot of sense in your case. I will always push AB as I have done business with Robert in the past and had awesome results. I do have to come out and say I am a Moderator on his forum.
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Old 03-24-2003, 02:28 PM   #6
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Corey, the first thing mentioned in that post was the problem with plants and algae and so that is what many people responded to.

I think what may have been understated in the posts that you seem so unhappy with is that if you are growning lots of algae now, that may get much, much worse with 3 to 4 wpg. Your current 1.5 wpg isn't bad, unless your tank is particularly deep. I have 3 planted tanks running at that level and grow most of the easier plants.

I am curious as to whether the issue is not the ligthing but the water. I found that my plants melted away even under high light because I had rather high pH water. Not many plants like 8.2 pH! Adding CO2 was required for my tanks, as much to lower the pH to a more tolerable 7.6 as to provide carbon for the plants.
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Old 03-24-2003, 08:38 PM   #7
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Hey, I am sympathetic. I was mad as hell when my plants all began dissintegrating!
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:19 PM   #8
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Does anyone have knowledge of PC lighting that they would like to share?
Pros or Cons........
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58-gallon freshwater tank (36"L*18"W*21"D)90W normal-output fluorescents ___________________________________

"But all subsists by elemental strife;
And Passions are the elements of Life." - Alexander Pope
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:38 PM   #9
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PC's are the best way to go when you are looking for a lot of light and dont want to mess with anything...like ODNO...

This is a description from AHsupply about the 96W kits...
Quote:
96 watt compacts under broad flat-top reflectors are a great way to get a lot of watts in you hood. 96 watt compacts with A H Supply's multi-angle MIRO 4 reflectors are a great way to get a lot of light in your tank. With a surface reflectivity of over 94%, the MIRO 4 reflector curves around both sides of the bulb to reflect the light downward at a steep angle and allow it to penetrate the water. The result is over 50% more light in your tank.

Each one-bulb MIRO 4 reflector is 34.5 inches long by 4 inches wide by 2 inches high. The two-bulb MIRO 4 Reflector is 34.5"L x 7"W x 2"H. The 96w bulb with the endcap on totals 34.5 inches, so these units are an excellent size for 3 ft. and 6 ft. long tanks.
I use a 2x 55W and a 1x 55W kit for my 56 gallon tank but the dimensions on my tank are only 30" wide... with a 36" tank you have more options. The reflectors are tyhe most impressive part of the AHsupply lights...
They have all the dimensions for the lights at the site and you just need to figure out how you want to go about it... For instance...I have one 55W(10,000k bulb) on one timer and the 2x55W(6500k bulbs) on another ...also if you are still not sure you can call them up and they are very helpful in getting you what you need and the options available for your particular tanks needs.
The 96W kits would fit you best since you have a 36" tank... then bulb colors is up to you... I like using a mix myself .
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:40 PM   #10
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Oh yeh... and the Cons ?

Only the price cuz Im cheap... :lol: :lol: I mean thrifty...
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Old 03-24-2003, 11:17 PM   #11
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Buck,

Thanks! You have been more than helpful!
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58-gallon freshwater tank (36"L*18"W*21"D)90W normal-output fluorescents ___________________________________

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And Passions are the elements of Life." - Alexander Pope
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