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Old 08-12-2014, 04:06 PM   #1
BeccaG
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Lighting Question -New to Forum


I recently joined this forum in search of some tips on a 33 long I'm setting up as a low-tech planted tank.

I've been keeping planted tanks for about 15 years and aquariums for as long as I can remember. I worked in stores and hatcheries throughout college and grad-school to help support my hobby and pay for books.

I have 4 "display" tanks currently - 3 nano tanks, all with lots of plants and a 55 gallon with just a few that marbled headstanders won't eat. There are an additional 9 tanks on a rack in the fish/utility room, along with rubbermaid tubs for quarantine and a stock tank outside for the summer. I have breeding groups of blue pearl shrimp, white cloud mountain minnows, and an unspecified species of Guianacara, along with occasional spawns from other fish and some snowball shrimp that I'm working with. I also help to maintain my husband's 150 gallon planted aquarium.

I don't do CO2 and refuse to get into it "because." I sometimes use liquid ferts when I can remember, but I tend to forget.

My nano tanks all run with LED fixtures that came with them. The 55 gallon is on a twin-tube T5 NO fixture, and the 150 is on a beamswork LED. I have an assortment of T8 bulbs over the holding tanks in the fish room.

Of all the lights I've tried, my favorite combination, visually, has always been a twin tube T8 fitted with an Aquaglo (18000 K) and a Floraglo (2800K) bulb. This is obviously a little outdated. It has always grown plants well for me, too.

So, here's the conundrum - this 33L is (I swear, I swear) my LAST tank. I want to set it up as a show tank with plants and a few of my favorite types of fish. I want the color effect that I got with the old t8 combo, but I'd like to go with something more modern (especially since finding a 48" twin tube t8 lamp is not as easy as it used to be!). It's only 12" deep, so I don't need HO lighting to grow a good variety of plants. I probably don't even need a twin tube fixture.

Does anyone have recommendations on achieving the look of the Aqua/Floraglo blend with some of the newer options out there and without turning this into a high-tech tank?

Last edited by BeccaG; 08-12-2014 at 04:49 PM.. Reason: clarify topic
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:33 PM   #2
Raymond S.
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You likely will settle for a single strip T8 using a GE "Daylight" bulb(6500K).
The depth is the killer here. I use two T8 bulbs in my 12" tall 10g but I'll warn you it's a GSA farm. I took almost two years of 60 day periods of bulb combo's to find those which produced less GSA and by far the Zoo Med Tropical sun does the least for the plants. I used it with a Zoo Med Flora and all the plants were leaning towards the
Flora in there. The Flora is a great plant grower but has lower visible light(@ 5000K)
then most bulbs. That combo did better on not growing the GSA but I still looked
because I want cheapas well as good for the plants and good viewing level.
So now I'm using a combo of two GE bulbs from Loew's. One @ $5 and one @ $9.
And these have better viewing light than other combo's I've used...but they grow GSA great also. Haven't had them in there that long to be certian of just how much.
Been a few days since I scraped the glass and none is returning yet...just went and looked...so OK just a small bit is returning. Other combo's started back in just a couple of days. You maybe familiar/w this. You need to let it get fairly noticable or you will miss some when you scrape the glass. Well this took three weeks/w the Zoo Med/daylight combo.
I now have the GE "Plant & Aquarium F15" and that GE "Daylight" in there.
They still sell those bulbs you mentioned.
The GE P&A light has high(er) levels of red/blue in it. And I think that actually two of them may be enough visible light and look more like your combo but haven't tried this yet.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:28 PM   #3
BeccaG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
You likely will settle for a single strip T8 using a GE "Daylight" bulb(6500K).
The depth is the killer here. I use two T8 bulbs in my 12" tall 10g but I'll warn you it's a GSA farm. I took almost two years of 60 day periods of bulb combo's to find those which produced less GSA and by far the Zoo Med Tropical sun does the least for the plants. I used it with a Zoo Med Flora and all the plants were leaning towards the
Flora in there. The Flora is a great plant grower but has lower visible light(@ 5000K)
then most bulbs. That combo did better on not growing the GSA but I still looked
because I want cheapas well as good for the plants and good viewing level.
So now I'm using a combo of two GE bulbs from Loew's. One @ $5 and one @ $9.
And these have better viewing light than other combo's I've used...but they grow GSA great also. Haven't had them in there that long to be certian of just how much.
Been a few days since I scraped the glass and none is returning yet...just went and looked...so OK just a small bit is returning. Other combo's started back in just a couple of days. You maybe familiar/w this. You need to let it get fairly noticable or you will miss some when you scrape the glass. Well this took three weeks/w the Zoo Med/daylight combo.
I now have the GE "Plant & Aquarium F15" and that GE "Daylight" in there.
They still sell those bulbs you mentioned.
The GE P&A light has high(er) levels of red/blue in it. And I think that actually two of them may be enough visible light and look more like your combo but haven't tried this yet.
Thanks! I do have some of the GE bulbs on my fish-room tanks and they're not bad. Don't grow things as nicely as my twin-tube t8s, but I'd like to avoid the bulk of a twin tube light on the 33 - part of the appeal is the low-profile.

It looks like I am getting a 2nd hand t5HO... I'm hoping there's an option to run only one bulb. It will take some serious experimentation on my part - I've never had a light that powerful.
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