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Old 01-05-2004, 02:00 AM   #1
Taboo
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Hello Everyone!

Im new this this forum and I've read through a lot of the previous posts, and it has been very informative. Here's my situation. I've been doing saltwater for while now, but now I am starting a 10 gal freshwater planted tank. My setup is as follows: a Penguin 170 powerfilter, a small heater, about 2 inches of small gravel, and a small piece of driftwood. My question is regarding the lighthing. Everywhere I look, it seems like 3+wpg is the optimal rate in terms of decent growth for plants. I currently have two 13 watt 6500K CF bulbs situated over the tank. Is this enough for me to be able to experiment with a decent variety of plants? It'd cost me a lot more to hunt down a fixture with higher wattage, so im hoping to use what i already have. I'd like to add a DIY CO2 setup to the tank as well in the near future, so lighting is a concern for me. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taboo
Hello Everyone!

Im new this this forum and I've read through a lot of the previous posts, and it has been very informative. Here's my situation. I've been doing saltwater for while now, but now I am starting a 10 gal freshwater planted tank. My setup is as follows: a Penguin 170 powerfilter, a small heater, about 2 inches of small gravel, and a small piece of driftwood. My question is regarding the lighthing. Everywhere I look, it seems like 3+wpg is the optimal rate in terms of decent growth for plants. I currently have two 13 watt 6500K CF bulbs situated over the tank. Is this enough for me to be able to experiment with a decent variety of plants? It'd cost me a lot more to hunt down a fixture with higher wattage, so im hoping to use what i already have. I'd like to add a DIY CO2 setup to the tank as well in the near future, so lighting is a concern for me. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Hey there It seems that a lot of us marine guys are getting into the planted tanks now! I've managed to convince one of my friends to try one also. Neither of us would have EVER thought of doing freshwater before now.

I don't know if you've looked through my thread, but I'm also doing a 10-gallon and have gotten a lot of help: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4221

I can't answer your light question for sure. I'm very new to this but it seems that freshwater plants don't require as much light as the saltwater corals/clams. Also, I've learned that actinic lighting is useless on freshwater tanks (don't know if you're using it or not). I'm sure someone on here can help you out, though.

Goodluck with your tank!
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:15 AM   #3
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If your 2x 13W fixture has decent reflectors, you will be all set to grow about 95 percent of the commonly available plants. If you are looking for a more high-light setup with lots of fertilizer dosing, a 36 Watt PC fixture might get you there.
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:37 AM   #4
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If you're doing CO2, the Penguin 170, along with it's biowheel, will just waste CO2 into the air. I'd at least remove the biowheel.

As for lighting, I'd agree that 2x13w should be fine more most low to medium light plants.
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Old 01-05-2004, 06:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. Yes, its interesting.. I've been told by a LFS owner that once you go saltwater, its difficult to go back. I guess Im just one of those people who likes the best of both worlds. To me though, its like literally comparing apples and oranges.. both fruit, but very very different.

Yeah.. my main concern was the lighthing, because I am trying to not limit myself in terms of which plants I could keep-- allowing it to proliferate at a decent rate. The issue for me was cost, like many other people in this hobby. It was option 1) $20 to replace two new 13w CF bulbs, or Option 2) Getting a New CF Fixture 36w for about $100. (well at least thats the one they had at the LFS that was close to the wattage i was looking for originally. Its the JBJ Clip on one that was discontinued.) Im just trying to figure out a decent way of getting a 36w light over a 20" tank.. and not break the bank?

Oh.. and how important is the intensity.. for example.. say 1 x 36w light -going to 3.6 wpg, versus 2 X 18w lights which will also give you 3.6wpg, but i guess the intensity is still at 18w? Is that an accurate assessment? I read that online somewhere.. just a thought.


As for the biowheel on my peguin 170- I think i tossed that thing long ago. ahha It was too noisy for me when i use to have it in my bedroom... that and the wheel splashes water on the hood and cover.. so it become a pain. But point well taken.. I'll definately leave it out then so I can retain the CO2.

Thanks for everyone's help.. I've been in the hobby since age 10... but the questions still never end. Its nice to have a forum to exchange ideas... a pity i didnt come across this site earlier. haha.

Jerry
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:16 PM   #6
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Go to www.ahsupply.com and get a 36 watt kit. If you can build your own enclosure you are set.
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taboo
Oh.. and how important is the intensity.. for example.. say 1 x 36w light -going to 3.6 wpg, versus 2 X 18w lights which will also give you 3.6wpg, but i guess the intensity is still at 18w? Is that an accurate assessment? I read that online somewhere.. just a thought.
I was wondering about the same thing... for example, a 75W incandescent bulb seems to be giving more light than two 40W inc. bulbs.
Would be interesting to compare two 55W bulbs vs one 96 bulb (both PC) or in your example, PC vs NO. I think the 36W bulb would give you more (concentrated) light, while two 18W (normal fluorescent) would supply a more even lighting.
Not sure though... I would like to hear other opinions.
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Old 01-05-2004, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Go to www.ahsupply.com and get a 36 watt kit. If you can build your own enclosure you are set.
I was looking at that 36 watt kit earlier. I noticed that you can also get a 2 X 36 watt kit that will fit a 10 gallon tank. Do you think that would be too much light? The "heat factor" is another thing I'd be worried about with that much light.

I guess one 36 watt would be enough light for a planted 10-gallon. I've just always been "Mr. Overkill" when it comes to lighting due to my reef tank experiences.
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Old 01-05-2004, 07:39 PM   #9
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I asked this very question before and it was agreed upon that 7.2wpg was too much

The only problem I can think of with a single 36watt bulb would be the uneven lighting if you grow stem plants along the back wall.

A possible solution would be 3x13watt running front to back (kinda a tight fit though) or 4x13watt (2 rows of 2). 5.2wpg is considerably less than 7.2wpg. I know that the "3wpg rule" breaks down in small tanks, so I wonder if 5.2wpg is more like 3wpg on say a 30-50g tank and 3.6wpg is more like 2wpg.
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomer
I asked this very question before and it was agreed upon that 7.2wpg was too much

The only problem I can think of with a single 36watt bulb would be the uneven lighting if you grow stem plants along the back wall.

A possible solution would be 3x13watt running front to back (kinda a tight fit though) or 4x13watt (2 rows of 2). 5.2wpg is considerably less than 7.2wpg. I know that the "3wpg rule" breaks down in small tanks, so I wonder if 5.2wpg is more like 3wpg on say a 30-50g tank and 3.6wpg is more like 2wpg.
Good point!

How hard would the 4x13 watt setup be to do? Could it fit in a 10-gallon light hood?
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Old 01-06-2004, 12:58 AM   #11
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You could not fit a 4x13 watt in a hood. You would need a box or enclosure like AH Supply sells. And 7.2 wpg on a 10 gallon planted tank would be fun to watch but not own.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:21 AM   #12
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what do you think of 4x13 on a 10g rex?
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:52 AM   #13
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It would work quite nicely but would require an enclosure. And it's going to be a lot more expensive than a 1x36 watt kit.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:56 AM   #14
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I just scored a 2x13 delux AH with a pair of 1month old 6700k bulbs for $15...so it is an all go for me
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:57 AM   #15
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Not a bad deal. Less than half price.
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