I NEED HELP BUYING Lighting for a 1200uk gallon 10ft w x 4ft d x 4ft h PLANTED tank
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
plantted77
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I NEED HELP BUYING Lighting for a 1200uk gallon 10ft w x 4ft d x 4ft h PLANTED tank


Hey guys this is my first post on here so hello to all of you

I want a low light planted tank containing Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana), Java Ferns (Microsorum pteropus), Bolbitis Ferns (Bolbitis heudelotii), Anubias (Anubias spp.), Christmas Moss aka Amano Moss (Fontinalis antipyretica), Crypts (Cryptocoryne spp.), Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) and anything else you may recommend as being a low light plant.

Someone on another forum recommended that I have 3w per gallon which for a 1200g tank (10ft w x 4ft d x 4ft h) works out to 3600w!

He also recommended that I use HQI lamps for a tank this size. I did some googling and found the following:-

Metal Halide 150 watt HQI-TS Marine/Aquarium 20000 Kelvin 39.46 inc. VAT (I WOULD NEED 24 = 947)
http://www.bltdirect.com/product.php?pid=8361

Metal Halide 250 watt HQI-TS Cool White 4000 Kelvin 25.13 inc. VAT (I WOULD NEED 15 = 377)
http://www.bltdirect.com/product.php?pid=4730

Dakal 250w HQI DOMO Highbay c/w Lamp 143.99 inc. VAT! (I WOULD NEED 15 2160) These last 6000hrs/250 days/8months so that's actually 2700 per year
http://www.alertelectrical.com/Light...p-DOMO250M.asp

14" PFO Solaris I5 14,000K LED Hood 574 (I WOULD NEED 9 as they're equivelent to 400w HQI lights = 5166) These last 6 years though so that's 861 per year plus they use half the power of HQI lights
http://www.hellolights.com/index.asp...OD&ProdID=1526
(INFO ON THESE LED'S - The new I5 series produces PAR light output levels equal to a 400W MH 15k. It uses 40% less energy than the 400W MH 15k fixtures it replaces. The life of the LEDs is approximately 50,000 hours, so it almost eliminates metal halide and fluorescent bulb replacements. All heat is radiated up and away from the tank; therefore, it does not heat the water like Metal Halides or Fluorescents. This eliminates the need for Chillers. The room air conditioner needs to work as much since the light fixture produces only the heat of Metal Halides which saves even more energy over traditional lighting methods).

Will I really need this many bulbs for each light type because I clicked the Energy Saving Light Bulbs Price Comparison Evaluation for the Metal Halide 250 watt HQI-TS Cool White 4000 Kelvin and it says that a 100w one of these bulbs is the equivelent to a 500w normal bulb!
http://www.bltdirect.com/energy-saving-bulbs.php

I'm really confused on what I need to get and how much to get, am I even looking at the right bulbs/lights?

What would you use on such a big tank?

I'm wondering whether it's going to work out to be cheaper to put the money into lights or into a Co2 setup and getting weaker/cheaper lights

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
Hoppy
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The two lighting problems you have are the 4 foot deep water and the 40 square foot substrate area. Light intensity drops with the square of the distance (approximately) from the light bulb or reflector, and 4 feet is outside of the range we are used to dealing with. A light that would give adequate intensity in 2 feet of water, would only give one fourth of that in 4 feet of water. The large area of substrate makes it hard to get uniformity of intensity over the whole substrate.

Another problem with the 4 foot height of the tank is that if the light is right at the top of the tank, and gives adequate light at the substrate, it will give far too much up near the water surface. That problem is solved by having the light suspended above the tank at least a couple of feet, if not more. But, that means you need even more light to get adequate light at the substrate.

I have no experience with a tank anywhere near that big, and you won't find many who do. But, it looks to me like HQI pendant lighting is the only good option you have, and to cover the substrate area, it will take several. Maybe you could build a dam on a nearby river and use that to generate the power you will be using
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:04 PM   #3
bantsai
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i have a 220 usa gallons--72"x30"tallx24"deep--380 total watts compact flouresents--4 bulbs total--my plants seem to do fairly well--java fern at the top of the tank grows better than the same at the bottom--i could use a little more light at the back of the tank--my fixture sit slightly forward of centerline and is 1" from the top of the tank due too canopy restrictions
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:05 AM   #4
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I've just realised the light will only have to go throught 3ft of water not 4ft.

The window at the front is 6inches from the top and 6inches from the bottom, also the gravel/soil will be 6inches thick and I'll only fill it to just above the top of the window so leaving 6inches clear in the top of the tank

So this should help when lighting the tank

I was thinking of maybe having rocks 1ft high with moss on top and trying to have a kind of lord of the rings scenery look (see pic attached). This would then mean that the plants are only 2ft down from the lights!

What do you think?
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:22 AM   #5
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I suggest you join ukaps and contact the green machine, they have a 5foot cube tank I'm sure they can help you regarding lighting tips. There's uses metal halides but I can't remember how many.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garuf View Post
I suggest you join ukaps and contact the green machine, they have a 5foot cube tank I'm sure they can help you regarding lighting tips. There's uses metal halides but I can't remember how many.
Thanks matey I've now joined them
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