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Old 06-24-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
aaronbrown
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wanting to do a high light tank


like the title states im looking to start a hight light tank with a standard 30 gallon dimms are 36 1/4 x 12 5/8 x 16 3/4 wondering if an aquatraders 4 bulb would that get me into the high light catergory or is there a better option that wont break the bank trying to go the cheapest way
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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What's your budget?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:59 AM   #3
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High tech, high light tanks are not cheap.

Just the lights and co2 will easily be $750+.
The amount of work involved running a high light tank is another issue altogether.

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Old 06-24-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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I have what's considered medium light at the substrate and my plants are still growing at a stupid fast rate. You can grow anything with medium light and CO2 so there is really no need to go high light, high tech.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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$750+ for just light and CO2 is a gross exaggeration unless you're using full ADA equipment or something. A single Ray II will put you at the lower end of the high light range on his tank and costs like $120. Combine that with a nice single stage CO2 setup for $250 (with tank)

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Originally Posted by OVT View Post
High tech, high light tanks are not cheap.

Just the lights and co2 will easily be $750+.
The amount of work involved running a high light tank is another issue altogether.

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronados View Post
$750+ for just light and CO2 is a gross exaggeration unless you're using full ADA equipment or something. A single Ray II will put you at the lower end of the high light range on his tank and costs like $120. Combine that with a nice single stage CO2 setup for $250 (with tank)
You are absolutely right: I would not even know how to start a high light tank.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:45 PM   #7
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I wanna be able to go dwarf baby tears and some of the red plants and from what I understand they need higher light would they grow under medium light? I will be doing pressurized co2 and some form of fertz not sure what all I need on that subject but ill start another thread on that subject in the proper forum. I used to run an odysea 4 bulb over my 75 with root tabs and diy co2 and had ok growth when I tore it down my plants alone filled one of those coolers on wheels
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
You are absolutely right: I would not even know how to start a high light tank.
Did I say that? Why are you so defensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Just the lights and co2 will easily be $750+.
You make it sound like the minimum cost for CO2/light for a high light/high tech setup is $750+. OP said he was looking for a budget setup. True, high tech/high light setups are not cheap, but they certainly don't need to be $750+ for a 36" tank, and saying that only discourages people in the hobby looking to try it out.

Edit: To OP, as an extension to my previous post, not sure what your exact budget is, but:

http://www.aquavibrant.com/finnex-ra...ual-7000k.html

Will give you enough lighting to grow the vast majority of plants, and is pretty cheap (for an LED fixture)
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronados View Post
True, high tech/high light setups are not cheap, but they certainly don't need to be $750+ for a 36" tank, and saying that only discourages people in the hobby looking to try it out.
Actively discouraging hobbyists from using high light is not a bad thing, in my opinion. Most people have absolutely no reason to go beyond medium light, EI dosing and pressurized CO2. If you have specific reasons to go high light, you know what they are and how to deal with the results of doing so. If you do not, what's the point exactly?
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCichlid View Post
Actively discouraging hobbyists from using high light is not a bad thing, in my opinion. Most people have absolutely no reason to go beyond medium light, EI dosing and pressurized CO2. If you have specific reasons to go high light, you know what they are and how to deal with the results of doing so. If you do not, what's the point exactly?
Discouraging hobbyists from using high lights due to lack of knowledge/experience is a good thing, I agree completely. However, I don't think scaring people out of trying it/learning by telling them it costs too much money is the right way to do it. High tech setups can be had for cheap.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:04 PM   #11
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There are plenty of reasons to go high light. You can get super dense and fast growth on carpet plants, denser bushes on stem plants, potentially redder red plants. I bought a 150w metal halide pendant for 85 bucks and have used it on tanks from 50 gallons to 5 gallons. I just raise it higher if I needed less light or want to throw light over several nano tanks rather than just 1 large one; thus removing the need to buy other smaller light sources.

I think high-lighting accelerates problems for unbalanced tanks so algae issues show up much much faster. However the root cause of algae is still running an unbalanced tank; fertilization, plant selection, inappropriate substrate etc. I run metal halides upwards of 5wpg on soil only dirt tanks and was able to grow HC/dwarf baby tears densely without CO2.

In some sense going high light forces one to learn to play the balance game well; and in doing so get great plant growth. Recommend high lighting to beginners? I think alot of beginners will get frustrated with algae issues that seem unsolvable which will put them off planted tanks. On the other hand, experienced people that have been super conservative with their lights might not know what they're missing out (getting from sparely planted to full HC carpets in less than 6 weeks etc).

On a side note for people who like to play with high light setups; I find better success with MCI method of dosing rather than EI. Unless the initial setup is without hiccups and densely planted; its easy to get GDA and greenwater very quickly dosing EI from day 1.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
I find better success with MCI method of dosing rather than EI. Unless the initial setup is without hiccups and densely planted; its easy to get GDA and greenwater very quickly dosing EI from day 1.
On a somewhat related note, I am terrified of MCI. Maybe unjustly so.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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Dosing is generally counter-intuitive if you think about it. I think that the idea that algae is caused by excess rather than balance is very hard to accept.

EI and other methods of dosing generally aim to provide sufficiently excess nutrients; inducing good plant growth and thus algae control. This is now a generally accepted concept. Its interesting that when it comes to lighting people seem to fear "excess" tremendously.

Say in a poorly setup tank, visible algae will appear in 4 weeks with 2wpg. Change the lights to 6 WPG and suddenly visible algae appears in 3 days. People blame the increased lighting but its actually just an accelerator to an underlying balance problem. They might not mind cleaning the tank once per month but truly the tank was never balanced at 2wpg. Lowering light does give easier management in this sense I guess.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:02 AM   #14
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well i was thinking of doing the dry start method and and was gonna go dirt capped with black diamond since i still got alot laying around since my 75 over a year ago my lighting budget will be a max of 200 not sure of a plant list other then dwarf baby tears
would one of the build my led lights get me in the med-high light catergory i can get a 36" for about 250 and thats really more then i want to spend but if it will get me the lighting im looking for id spend the extra

Last edited by aaronbrown; 06-25-2013 at 01:33 AM.. Reason: bml light added ?
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:37 AM   #15
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[Apologies to the OP for going a bit off-subject]

@Xiaozhuang: I saw pictures of your tanks: stunning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronados View Post
... Why are you so defensive?
I get defensive when I feel under attack.

I think we can all agree that 'high light tank' means different things to different people. Some people focus on the raw PAR, others are concerned with whether they can grow specific plants. I personally fall into the later category and my 'high light' tanks were designed with specific plants in mind. What I had to do or spend to achieve my specific goals is not applicable to the majority of hobbyists.

Lighting wise, I have to resort to PAR as telling me that you have a MH 2.5ft above your tank does not really tell me how much useful energy is delivered to your plants. Telling you that I have 8 WPG in my 1.5g no filter, no heater nano tank does not tell you much either.

I did try 24" Finnex RAY II 24", both DD and DS models over a 24" x 12" x 14"h tank. And I did sent both fixtures back. As per Finnex's chart, DS model delivers ~55 PAR at 14" at center. A 36" model is ~65 PAR. The DS model peaks in the blue part of the spectrum with a gentler curve from ~500 to 620nm. Those values are not MY definition of high light.

I will use my 40B as it is closest to OP's desired tank, with not a single part bearing ADA label.

For that tank I went with CoralVue 6 Bulb T5/LED Fixture 36" mounted 18" off substrate, 4" above the surface. As per Hoppy's DIY PAR meter, this combination produces 140 PAR @ substrate and 210 @ surface.

Light Fixture: ~$400
Set of 6 t5ho bulbs: ~$120

I will not bore the readers with a discourse of distributing co2 in a heavily planted, decently stocked tank:

Concoa 3123M1-84-M006 ~$100 eBay
CGA320 nipple+nut ~$30
Burkett MA6011 ~$40
Ideal 52-0-12 ~$70
BB $10
Fittings ~$30
co2 10# ~$75
DIY reactor ~$25

My 65G has a similar set-up but with TekLight 6xt5ho 2 x Eheim 2075 and double co2 valves. The 40B does not have any 'difficult' plants. The 65G is a different issue. You can find a lot of my pictures on TPT and elsewhere.

Both tanks have been up and running for 2+ years.
So, if you want a similar tank, I stand by my estimate. If you can buy a MH for $50, then you are ahead of the game.

Seems like every other post on TPT is "Help, I have algae". You will not find me asking for help there.

40B Petco Special:



ADA 120-P 48" x 18" x 18"



No hard plants here either:

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