Lighting my 10 gallon aqurium
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
lowell44
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Lighting my 10 gallon aqurium


I have a 10 gallon aquarium and currently have a single 15W sunlight balance bulb for lighting. i know that this is not enough light for my plants and am looking to upgrade my lighting to something that's going to give me plenty of light for my plants. i have a dwarf hair grass and a small patch of baby tears i now both of these are high light plants and i'm trying do decide between two diffrent light fixtures the first is a two bulb T5 style fixture and the other is a four bulb T5 style fixture. I like that the four bulb comes with blue led's for a night lighting setting but i'm not sure if it would be too much light. the other though with the four bulb fixture is it would allow me to use more types of light bulb to create a more natural lighting efect rather than one particular temperature range. i would be very grateful for any and all advice on this and anything else to do with the plants in my aquarium i've had fish for a while but i'm just beginning to dip my toe into the water with live plants but i would love to have the end result being a lush green aquarium with no fake plants to give my fish the most natural and comfortable home possible. the last question i have is i have a CO2 drop checker and it's always blue with no air pump or bubbler in the tank i know this means i need more co2 but i would like advice on the best possible way to go about finding the best way to supply my plants with the co2 that they need
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:31 PM   #2
rininger85
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from what I've been reading you can use 2x 23W spiral CFL bulbs horizontally mounted in a stock hood, which will be enough to grow HC and plenty of light for DHG.

I might modify my stock hood to add a mirror finish to it to reflect the light but should be plenty.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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check this thread out http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=103106

that tank says it used 2x 23W spiral CFL bulbs and had an awesome HC carpet grow in over just a few month period without CO2.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:23 AM   #4
lowell44
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I don't have an old incandescent style hood it is a tube T8 style florescent hood.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:13 AM   #5
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You can pick up the clamp style lights with reflectors pretty cheap. Or the t8 would probably be good for low light. You can get a 2x t5ho pretty cheap on ebay. I think I paid 120 for a 4x t5ho 48inch

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Old 10-16-2013, 02:27 AM   #6
lowell44
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this is the quad rig i was looking at it is a verry nice set up and it expands up to 26 inches so i was thinking it might be the way to go so i can use it on future larger aquariums. it's a 20" T5 Quad Deluxe 72W Marine Version(4x 18W).
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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You'll only need to run 2 of the bulbs, I just searched for 20" T5 Quad Deluxe 72W Marine Version on e bay if that's where you're shopping, that is similar to the one on my 55 gal, I just switched the bulbs around last night so I only run two bulbs at a time and have one of each type of bulb running instead of two of the same type of bulb.

With the built in LCD timers/displays they are only capable of one on and one off time per light (3 different light settings, two bulbs, two other bulbs, and moonlights) so now with one of each bulb on each light channel I am running them for about 3 hours in the morning on the first channel then 5-6 hours at night on the 2nd channel then moonlights for a couple hours at night more or less as a nightlight in the hours that I might be awake...

I made the mistake of running all 4 bulbs at the same time on my 55 for the first month that I had the light, that put me to really high light and with no CO2 I'm battling algae like crazy now, so only run 2 bulbs at a time unless you're running good CO2 =)
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #8
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This is the link to the exact light fixture i was talking about. to get the link to work you have to add www.ebay. to the front as the form won't let me post the link thinking i'm advertizing when it has the www.ebay. infront of it but this is simply to ilustrate my thought i am by no means trying to sell this item. and what do you mean by one of each type of light? what bulbs are you useing in the fixture? and my final question is how does co2 limit algy i thought it used co2 like other plants?
com/itm/T5-Quad-20-Aquarium-Light-HO-72W-Cichlid-Marine-Reef-LED-4x-18W-Lamps-Nano-/110858871001?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19cfb4 20d9#shpCntId
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
Italionstallion888
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2 brooder lamps, 2 13w 6500 daylight cfls and timers.

Lamp and bulbs from Lowes were less than 30.00 total

7.95/lamp
11.xx for a 2 pack of bulbs
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
BruceF
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That is too much light. I would look into an led fixture for this tank. They are good at this depth.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:31 PM   #11
lowell44
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i haven't been able to find an affordable led fixture that is anywhere near half way descent. every thing I've seen for 10 gallons is not very strong and anything that is is insanely expensive in addition to giving you no control over you light other than the on off time. the florescent fixture allows you to choose light type in addition led lights don't seem to produce the same light as the florescent bulbs and i'm not sold on the idea that they provide the right light for live plants.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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yeah that's the fixture that I figured you were looking at... using 2 of the bulbs would put you at medium light, just don't run all 4 at once or you'll be extremely high light. That one doesn't appear to have its own controller on it though, and appears to be a single cord so you wouldn't be able to split it to run 2 lights on one schedule and 2 lights on a different schedule like I do...

here is one similar to what I have, they don't have a 20" one, but the 24" one would work - the mounts are on a channel that goes the entire length of the light so you can adjust from a 24" mounting down to the 20" mounting (or even smaller)... add your www dot ebay back in...

com/itm/24-96w-Lighting-T5-Aquarium-Light-Hood-Saltwater-Coral-Fish-Actinic-Fluorescent-/140928759485?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20d002 36bd

this has three switches instead of the controller, so you could buy a separate timer(s) to hook them up - they run like $5 bucks at Wal-Mart...

it all depends on what look you are going for. as mentioned above the two brooder lamps with spiral CFL's would be a cheap way to get good light... I think if I were able to do it over I might have gone that route rather than buying my T5HO's, but I'm still happy with my T5's other than that they are way overkill... it'll be good though for a future SW tank that I'm planning (75 or 90 gal) though =)
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:39 PM   #13
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that's interesting and i like it but i live with my own personal geek squad lol. my brother is an electronic wiz so ideally id open anything up and set it up so you get 5 possibilities for light and have the ability to time the turning on of an actinic blue two sunlight balance and an actinic pink and the led's to be able to more realistically recreate the pink and blue of dawn and dusk then the early sun and late sun as well as mid day sun light. i'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my fish and i want to recreate the most realistic conditions as i can. if i could i would bend over backwards to create the perfect ecosystem where i didn't need to do anything but provide light and let the fish provide co2 the plants provide 02 and filter waste but unfortunately that's not yet possible.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:24 PM   #14
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looking at LED's I have basically this led here:
com/itm/120W-Dimmable-Full-Spectrum-Grow-Fish-Tank-Reef-Coral-LED-Aquarium-Light-Fixture-/380734864325?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58a590 fbc5

again add ebay in... the difference is this is a multi-color (mine is just blue and white) mounted over my SW reef tank. And mine doesn't have optics so the LED's are 120degree, this has 90 degree optics on it... so its a little better than mine (this is basically the reefbreeders value LED..)

Just another option for cheaper LED's - its an awesome fixture and has manual dimming controls on them that you could swap out for auto dimmers on a controller if you have the geek squad available... just an example of an affordable good LED... I haven't looked in to LED's on planted tanks to see what people use, but I'd guess if it works for a reef it would probably work for plants...
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:34 PM   #15
lowell44
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that is a wonderfull rig but still a little more than id like to spend on lighting. i think i may go with the 24 inch hood you showed me that way i can use it for up to a 20 gallon tank which i would like to upgrade too.
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