Lighting for the odd size tank
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Lighting


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-11-2003, 08:33 PM   #1
anonapersona
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,614
Default

OK, I think I'm ready to begin equiping the 59 gallon tank (photo in the It's My Aquariummiversary thread) and I'm proably going to have a custom hood made by Pet Supply Liquidators.

I'm having a heck of a time trying to decide how much light is enough. I'm not looking for a supercharged tank, just one that grows nicely, not a fast tank.

Part of the question has to do with reflectors. I doubt that PSL has reflectors as good as the AHSupply kit I have on the 29 gallon for 1.9 wpg. So I know that 2x55 is not enough at 1.86 wpg.

Next, I don't know if 4x55 would fit on a 45 inch tank but for 3.7 wpg that seems like a lot of work and a lot of heat. On the other hand, 4x36 for 2.4 wpg seems about right but if the reflectors and bulbs are not right, the coverage and look could be terrible. Maybe I need the extra watts to make up for less reflecting. And I have 2 of the GE 9325 bulbs on order, might be nice to use them on this tank, if they fit.

Can you mix 55 and 36 watt bulbs on the same balasts? Would the mixed light intensities or color spectrums be bothersome if they were mixed on the front row? Can you build the hood for 4x55 and switch out a pair of 55s for 36s?

And finally, given that my tanks start at 80 degrees (room temp) in the spring, summer and fall, and lighting adds heat after that, don't I need fans? One? Two?

The tank is 45"x18"x18". Probably to be Flourite and pressurized CO2. I will move the cardinals and kuhlies and serpaes into this tank, more otos, maybe adding a few SAE or something else. Maybe just increaseing the numbers of each group a bit. Not too sure, but no unique fish as far as I know.

Anyone got any advice to offer?
anonapersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-12-2003, 02:10 AM   #2
Rex Grigg
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
Send a message via ICQ to Rex Grigg Send a message via AIM to Rex Grigg
Default

I can answer one question here, I think. As far as I know you can't mix 36 and 55 watt tubes on the same ballast.
Rex Grigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 03:14 AM   #3
anonapersona
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,614
Default

OK, what about 3.0 wpg vs. 2.4?

Longer tubes on the 55 watts, probably better coverage, but will that be "faster" than I want to go?
anonapersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 01:15 PM   #4
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

I didn't know you weren't supposed to mix wattages on the same ballast. I've run 2 PC's and 2 NO tubes off of the same Workhorse Electronic Ballast. Where did you hear about that, Rex? I've got to do some more research on it before I go recommending it further.

By the way, Ann, these GE 9325K bulbs aren't as long as most 55w PC's I've used. They're only about 21" long. You should be able to fit them lengthwise with a little room to spare in your 45" tank, even with bulky waterproof sockets. So maybe a row of 55's and a pair of regular 40watt Fluorescent tubes? 3.2 wpg and you could use cheap Gro-Lux F40T12's.
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 03:22 PM   #5
anonapersona
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,614
Default

As of this minute I have ordered the 4x55watts, but I'm still really wondering if 4x36 might be better. I want a beautiful tank, not a PITA tank. I guess if the light is too bright I can allow a few floating plants or something.

Dang, 4x55 is 3.7 wpg! That is definately too much! 2x55+2x36 was 3.0wpg. 4x36 was 2.4wpg. I hate it when I mess up!

As for the 40watt flourescents, I'l like that but 45 inches is a problem, aren't they 48 inches?
anonapersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 04:23 PM   #6
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

Yes, that's true about the shop lights. They'll overhand and that tank/stand is far too pretty to get away with that.

3.7wpg isn't TOO hard to maintain. I've got that amount on my 55g right now and glosso seems to have barely enough light to do well. With your shorter height, it might be just right, actually. DIY CO2 definitely can't keep up with 3.7wpg, though!
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 06:07 PM   #7
anonapersona
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,614
Default

Oh, I will go pressurized CO2 on this one.

I have actually called PSL once to change to 36 watts and then called back to tell them to ignore that. They're going to think I'm a nut.

I've finally decided that the higher watts can either be dealt with by staggering the light times so the max is on for fewer hours and/or adding floating plants and/or adding peat since the darker water always held me back from doing that. Yeah, it'll be OK.
anonapersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 06:31 PM   #8
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

I do all three of those ideas - tannins from driftwood, stagger lighting and floating riccia over fast growers like Sunset Hygro. The only trouble with tannis/peat is how much faster tall stem plants grow than foreground plants, since more light is blocked in deeper parts of the tank.
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 11:56 PM   #9
anonapersona
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,614
Default

I didn't think about the steep light gradient that would make. I think the staggered light schedules will do it. And someone on another board posted some info from Eric Olsen about calculating required watt-hours so I'm good with that. Each bank on for 9 hours with a 3 hour delay on the second start time. The tank sees 12 hours total, 6 hours of full light.
anonapersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2003, 12:26 AM   #10
Rex Grigg
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
Send a message via ICQ to Rex Grigg Send a message via AIM to Rex Grigg
Default

I once talked to Kim at AH Supply and he said it was not good practice to mix wattages on the same ballast. Could be he was blowing smoke but I really trust the advice I get from Kim.
Rex Grigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2003, 02:30 PM   #11
anonapersona
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,614
Default

Just a followup on my supposed order from PSL.

I can't get anyone to answer my emails or return my phone calls. I don't have an invoice from which to pay for the hood, I've gotten two different quotes by phone and by email.

I doubt that they have begun making the damn thing, I sure wouldn't without any payment.

I can't make payment without an invoice to be sure that the order is correct.

Thank God I haven't ordered any plants.

OK, trying to find a bright side in all this..... I suppose this means that I have a chance to rethink the bulbs.

3.8 wpg = 4 x 55 ... I assume that I cna slow this down by staggering the lights with 6 hours of full 3.8 wpg and 6 hours of 1.9 wpg. Does this really work? (Maybe I'd be better of to go with the 4 x 36 = 2.5 wpg?

If I stay with the 4 x 55, I could use the 2 new 55 watt GE bulbs I got, and mix with either the 6500 (6700?) bulbs they offer, or the "Plant Growth" bulbs, or the 50/50 bulbs they have.

If I go with the 36 watts, is there much selection in bulb types? Can I find those GE bulbs in that size?


(Maybe the reason this is so screwed up is that I'm about to make a big mistake??)
anonapersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2003, 02:38 PM   #12
mario
Planted Member
 
mario's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Posts: 287
Default

Anona, I would go with the 4x55 watt. You are just going to kick yourself later on, when you realize that your Glosse is not growing quite horizontally or that your Riccia at the bottom of the tank turns yellowish. It's always easier to reduce your lighting (by using only two of the four bulbs) than to increase lighting.

As for the different bulbs... ? No idea.

Cheers... mario
mario is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2003, 05:12 PM   #13
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

Wow, I'm surprised PSL hasn't been getting back to you. Did you email Bruce at admin.psl@sbcglobal.net ? They've always been prompt with me. Sorry to hear they're stringing you along.

I, too, would go with the 4x55w system. It's easy to turn them down later, but pretty tough to turn them up. And the cost difference between 36w and 55w just isn't significant enough, IMHO.
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2003, 05:28 PM   #14
anonapersona
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,614
Default

gulfcoast, what about the bulbs? You have experience with all their bulbs don't you?

I have 2 of the GE bulbs, I wonder how similar they are to the Plant Growth bulbs that PSL has?

Meanwhile I'll try that email, it is different than the email on their site and the one I've been replying to. Correction -- that is the same.

<sigh> guess I need to go find some Flourite anyhow.
anonapersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2003, 05:53 PM   #15
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

Actually, I've never tried their bulbs, but I've bought ballasts, endcaps and accessories from them. Marcel did a comparison with the GE 9325K bulbs and PSL's Plant Growth bulbs and the GE bulbs outperformed them significantly ( refer to this thread for details (last post) )
Maybe try mixing the PSL Plant Growth bulbs and the GE 9325k bulbs to try and cover as much of the photosynthetic spectrum as you can?

Hopefully you get a response from PSL on that last email. They aren't a really fancy operation, so I guess you just need to know who to talk to.
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Quarentine tank size Nemomom Fish 6 09-01-2004 11:39 PM
Lighting a 300 gallon tank hubbahubbahehe Lighting 8 08-08-2004 03:56 AM
lighting setup for a big tank rchawk3 Lighting 7 08-04-2004 05:22 PM
squirrelproductions' MiniBow 5 - journal - 56k warn squirrelproductions Planted Nano Tanks 3 06-29-2004 02:05 PM
Lighting for a new tank... kingkano Lighting 15 06-02-2004 05:55 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012