So lost. Please help.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
bettaplatyaddict
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So lost. Please help.


Hi Everyone!

I am a newbie here and also to the hobby in general. I need help with lighting, pretty pretty please!

The aquarium is a peaceful, tropical, 56g column (petsmart). Needed the narrower footprint. Anyway, I ordered the current satellite 24-36inch (tank is 30" wide) LED and was told on another forum that I was wasting my money. Then I ordered an Aquatic Life t5ho 4 bulb 30". Well now that I now a tiny bit more, I understand that I need CO2 to prevent algae outbreaks with this bad boy. AND it comes with reef bulbs I believe. Anyway, I dose liquid and unless there is a mind bogglingly simple way to have a DIY Co2 system that is toddler proof (mommy of two girls, aged 3 and 1), I'm not interested. The word "pressurized" scares me with kids running around, but I digress.

Established Plants:
Various anubias (fine and happy with my current stock lighting)
Sword, also fine

Plants added yesterday:
Rotala Rotundifolia
Telanthera Cardinalis
Crypts wenditti green
Bacopa Caroliniana
ludwigia repens
Hygrophilia

I am not sure if it matters, but our well water is extremely hard and alkaline (I have driftwood to lower ph some). I'm understocked (9 "nano" fish) because I JUST upgraded from a 20g to 56g.

Anyway, can somebody PLEASE help. I literally need my hand held. I know that google is a great resource, but time is a problem (2 babies).

I just want to cry and get rid of it all, but watching the fish relaxes me because you feel them and do PWC weekly, and they are happy and don't say NO. I am turning in to a crazy fish lady haha.

Help, please.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
jeffkrol
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Your not lost.. your doing fine.. don't worry about the pH or hardness much.. Most fish can adapt.. Best to stick w/ livebeqarers though.. (platys/mollies and guppies esp. guppies.. )As to CO2 stick w/ dosing w/ Flourish Excel. Get some Olive Nerite snails (they can't breed in FW so they won't multiply ) Best little (well ther not soo little) algea janitors out there) 1/2 to 1 per gallon.. Search around and try not to pay more than $1-$2 each w/ shipping .. There is a "guy" on ebay that sells "lots" for a fair price. Arizona aquatics does as well but shipping and minimum order is pricy..
Personally there doesn't seem to have been a good reason for dumping the Current LED but since you did..... You may want to consider one new bulb for the fixture instead of the reff bulbs.. but that is not soo crucial unless you don't like the "look".. plants should be fine..

Err.. has the new tank been "cycled".. ??? If not you may want to pick up some of the "kill the ammonia" stuff. I'd recommend Prime by Seachem.. though any conditioner is fine..
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Your not lost.. your doing fine.. don't worry about the pH or hardness much.. Most fish can adapt.. Best to stick w/ livebeqarers though.. (platys/mollies and guppies esp. guppies.. )As to CO2 stick w/ dosing w/ Flourish Excel. Get some Olive Nerite snails (they can't breed in FW so they won't multiply ) Best little (well ther not soo little) algea janitors out there) 1/2 to 1 per gallon.. Search around and try not to pay more than $1-$2 each w/ shipping .. There is a "guy" on ebay that sells "lots" for a fair price. Arizona aquatics does as well but shipping and minimum order is pricy..
Personally there doesn't seem to have been a good reason for dumping the Current LED but since you did..... You may want to consider one new bulb for the fixture instead of the reff bulbs.. but that is not soo crucial unless you don't like the "look".. plants should be fine..

Err.. has the new tank been "cycled".. ??? If not you may want to pick up some of the "kill the ammonia" stuff. I'd recommend Prime by Seachem.. though any conditioner is fine..
First, THANK YOU!

I do have the Current LED light still (have not returned it, just never opened it). So, should I return the fancy t5HO and keep the LED? That is my preference, but I want the best light for my needs. I think the t5ho is overkill but I know nothing. It's just that the tank is tall and narrow, so the light needs to be strong to make it to the substrate.

Yes, will be sticking with easily adaptable fish. Would love cichlids but our water just isn't conducive and I'm not about to deal with using our RO since it has such a small capacity and refill rate. The nerites should love our high calcium water...

Tank is cycled according to API master tests. Barely a trace of nitrates, but zero on ammo and nitrite. Moved my fish and hob filter over from the 20gallon (and added another HOB until I take the plunge on a cannister). So that isn't an issue since I didn't throw more fish in yet. BB needs to regrow in the inside of the tank (new substrate. Pond snails in the other). Treated plants with h2o2 since the hardware store wouldn't sell me pot perm since I rolled in with both kids and must, therefore, be an idiot concerning its explosive properties...

I feel like I have a grip on everything but lighting.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Your not lost.. your doing fine.. don't worry about the pH or hardness much.. Most fish can adapt.. Best to stick w/ livebeqarers though.. (platys/mollies and guppies esp. guppies.. )As to CO2 stick w/ dosing w/ Flourish Excel. Get some Olive Nerite snails (they can't breed in FW so they won't multiply ) Best little (well ther not soo little) algea janitors out there) 1/2 to 1 per gallon.. Search around and try not to pay more than $1-$2 each w/ shipping .. There is a "guy" on ebay that sells "lots" for a fair price. Arizona aquatics does as well but shipping and minimum order is pricy..
Personally there doesn't seem to have been a good reason for dumping the Current LED but since you did..... You may want to consider one new bulb for the fixture instead of the reff bulbs.. but that is not soo crucial unless you don't like the "look".. plants should be fine..

Err.. has the new tank been "cycled".. ??? If not you may want to pick up some of the "kill the ammonia" stuff. I'd recommend Prime by Seachem.. though any conditioner is fine..
Oh and I only use prime
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettaplatyaddict View Post

I feel like I have a grip on everything but lighting.
that is perfectly normal..
As to LEDs there are better choices .. BUT they are not cheap though they are coming down in prices..

I built my own so have little to recommend BUT one choice (and not the only) is buildmyled.... ($200 plus)

The 4 tube fourescent is FINE.. but LED's are cheaper in the long run..
As to the Current
Current Satellite Plus is arguably better but I PREFER LED fixtures using 1W or better per LED (I suspect they have a bit more "penetration power"but have no proof). Just look at Watts used and LED count.. it is approx. but useful..
4006 24"-36" Satellite LED+ PAR values at 36 28 21 (12" 18" 24") but the color thing IS fun ( I have a string on my porch w/ a like controller)
On second thought .. skip the Current line since your 4bulb fixture will have a higher PAR rating.. but again there other options..
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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You could try the yeast CO2 thing. It costs more in the long run than a proper pressurized system (having to buy sugar), but its better than just dosing excel.

I have one running, with two 2 liter bottles, my kids being 4 and 7. Its basically fermenting sugar water. Pretty safe.. the only worry is a leak causing the mixture to spill on your floor or into your tank. If you have check valves and stuff inline this becomes less of a worry.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
that is perfectly normal..
As to LEDs there are better choices .. BUT they are not cheap though they are coming down in prices..

I built my own so have little to recommend BUT one choice (and not the only) is buildmyled.... ($200 plus)

The 4 tube fourescent is FINE.. but LED's are cheaper in the long run..
As to the Current
Current Satellite Plus is arguably better but I PREFER LED fixtures using 1W or better per LED (I suspect they have a bit more "penetration power"but have no proof). Just look at Watts used and LED count.. it is approx. but useful..
4006 24"-36" Satellite LED+ PAR values at 36 28 21 (12" 18" 24") but the color thing IS fun ( I have a string on my porch w/ a like controller)
On second thought .. skip the Current line since your 4bulb fixture will have a higher PAR rating.. but again there other options..
Can you recommend a better one than the Current? Price is less of a concern over simplicity. I don't have time to make one and would rather pay. The T5ho 4 bulb was $275. Would rather send it back and do led bc it seems easier, but I don't know what to get
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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Check out http://buildmyled.com/

I bought an LED light from them. The service was wonderful. Like you, I am clueless on lights. I called them and they built it for my needs. Nick asked me a series of questions about what I want from the light. Of course growing plants was at the top of the list, plus wanting my goldfish colors and plants to pop. He wanted to know the size of the tank and recommended setup for my needs. I bought with it a dimmer control thus I can control the amount of light. Thus my tank is without CO2 and by controlling the intensity I have no algae. When I was using t5ho I had BBA and hair algae. At some point I plan to use CO2 and then I can increase the light intensity. I think it's a very flexible light.

The price for the LED was very reasonable.

Go with the LED. You will have no regrets and the guys at build my led won't guide you wrong.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
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It looks like your Current may be just fine with 21PAR at 24". Since you aren't interested in using CO2 you would be better off with PAR between 10-30 and the Current should be just fine. Do not try the 4 bulb fixture, way too much light for a non CO2 tank!

http://www.current-usa.com/aquarium-...water-led-plus
"Model Light Total Lumens PAR@12" PAR@18" PAR@24"
4006 24"-36" Satellite LED+ 1000 36 28 21"

If you want to shop then easiest thing to do would be check the sticky threads in the lighting forum, both the PAR one and the LED compendium one to find fixtures that will provide 10-30 PAR at the substrate of your tall tank. If you decide on one that is too strong if you suspend it now the PAR would drop so you wouldn't be overlighting the tank and if you ever decide to put CO2 on the tank you could drop it down and have more light. Also some LED fixtures like the buildmyLED can be dimmed manually and the fancy ones can even be programmed for an automatic sunrise/sunset.
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