How much light do I need?
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
willarn
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How much light do I need?


I want to go with a planted tank . I have a 30 gal tank It is 30 1/4x12 1/2x18 3/4 . I don't know if I'm going dirt or Eco-complete yet. I will do DIY co2 for now if needed . I would like to have low to med lights. I was looking at the zoo med Aquasun t5 ho Should I get 2 or 4 bulb light fixture the bulbs are 24 watts each? I also don't know plants very well yet so don't know what I want as far as plants go . I was thinking of ordering a plant package from Arizona Aquatic Gardens . I would like it to be a community tank with guppy's and such .
Thanks
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
jeffkrol
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Well the watt/gal "rule" applies to your tubes... 1-2W per gal "low' light 3-4 Med light..If I remember correctly.
IF you do do a package of plants from there I recommend you get a bunch of Olive Nerite snails..
upside.. Efficient algae/detritus consumers, can't reproduce in freshwater, hard shells and not easily used as food, last I looked cheap there (0.88 cents each..)

downside.. little white eggs produced sporadically (for me, some seem to produce more than others and some people find them annoying).Supposidly only live 1-2 years

Recommendation is 1 per gal though there seems to be little harm in 1/2 that..at least for me. I have about 25.. There is a "guy" on ebay that also sells reasonably but that would only be needed if you didn't get them from Az aquatic.. One thing to check is if there is a huge difference in shipping. Since most live goods are shipped overnight or 2 day delivery the shipping cost can add quite a bit to the bottom line.
Other choice is liveaquaria.com which has a slightly more reasonable plant shipping policy.. as long as you don't buy livestock (inc. their overpriced Nerites.. i.e Nerata)

Oh and the plants I bought from liveaquaria did apparently have snail eggs/snails.. Which is currently not a problem and they do help the Nerites out a tad.. They are much smaller and I'm sure I'll have to eventually cull their numbers which are very low at the moment (10-ish)
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:35 PM   #3
wrm130
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Dirted tanks rule!

You cannot beat the price and your plants will love it. It can be capped with pool filter gravel/sand, once again for a super low price.

Nerites are an awesome snail! Personally I like the horned ones but they're all awesome! All the aforementioned benefits, PLUS as far as I know they are one of the only critters that can and will eat green spot algae off your glass. Amano shrimp would also be a good addition. As would a dwarf shrimp species like cherry shrimp. The former will not reproduce whilst the latter will.

Depending on the amount of plants in the "plant" packages you may wish to purchase two. Dirt will leach lots of excess nutrient initially and you're going to want to plant the tank HEAVILY right from the get go.

Google: stem plants. These are mostly fairly simply and great for keeping the water clean.

For lighting, google "sunblaster" T5H0's. They are cheaper than anything you'll find at your LFS and come with a bulb. You'll just have to mount it. Personally I love more light, but you should be fine with 2 bulbs. I like a 6700k and 10 000k combo.

Good luck and welcome to plants!!!!
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
jeffkrol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrm130 View Post

Nerites are an awesome snail! Personally I like the horned ones but they're all awesome! All the aforementioned benefits, PLUS as far as I know they are one of the only critters that can and will eat green spot algae off your glass.
Olives enjoy it as well (not sure if you were including all Nerites here)
.. Beats a scraper every time..
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
Hoppy
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See http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368 For low to medium light try for 30-40 PAR.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:19 AM   #6
willarn
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Thank you for all your help .
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