Lighting suggestions for DIY Hood on 5gal
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Old 04-14-2004, 09:15 AM   #1
GraemeK
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Hello!

I've nearly completed my DIY hood for a small 5 gallon all glass tank. The dimensions of the tank are: 18inches long, 10inches dept and 10iniches in height.

I plan to grow some medium to high light level plants in it with the added use of DIY CO2.

My question is that I plan to use a 15inch 14w tube with a reflector which should give a rough estimate of 2.8wpg plus a reflector? I know the tube will not span the complete length of the tank but 1.5 inch either end won’t make a massive difference? Anyway what tube is best? I've use Hagen Powerglo tubes on my other tanks which are 18,000k and seen good results. I like the bright light and those tubes are made for plant and coral growth etc. Is there a better tube maybe a different Kelvin I could use?

Also am I being too ambitious in suggestion medium to high lighting for a tank of this size and am I likely to run into problems with water parameters?

cheers

Graeme.
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Old 04-14-2004, 09:50 AM   #2
ninoboy
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That 14watts bulb won't be sufficient to make it a high light tank. The rule of thumb wpg doesn't really applly for smaller tanks. If it's a DIY, I would try retrofitting a compact fl. or at least the screw in CF 2x10 watts. And for the Hagen bulb, I prefer using the SunGlo 6500K. A combination of 6500 and 10000 would look nice also (if you can fit 2 bulbs in the hood).

I myself have a 5 gl planted with small coke bottle DIY CO2. What's your KH reading? Water parameters are pretty much constant so far. But you don't want to stock too many fish. It's really fun planting a small tank.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:25 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what a compact fl is? I know of the metal hiades? and the normal tubes which i use?

I could screw pretty much anything into my hood as its wood.

so your suggesting 20w or so?

I could add two tubes which would be 28watts? and use two different tubes?

Teh tank isnt set up yet! still needs a good clean etc. I got to buy the lights etc yet on yours and others recommdations! I've got a small filter all ready and CO2.

G
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:48 AM   #4
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Oops, I didn't realize you're in UK. Over here, power compact flourescent are the most popular for planted tank enthusiasts. I'm not sure what is over there, maybe T-5? Anyway, 14 watts bulb is a T-8. 28 watts for a 5 gl is a bit on the high side but not really overboard. The bulbs still only have the 14 watts of intensity. I use around 5 watts/gl for my 10gl (12" high).

I always mix different temp. bulbs to get a better look. If you go with 2 power glo, your plants color will look pale. The blue hue that power glo emit really wash out a lot of colors. If you just use the 6500K (I think it's sun-glo), the tank will look a bit green. Mixing the 2 will even out everything and will look more natural.

Regarding the 1.5" gap, it's not a big deal. You won't notice it.

If you go with 14watts bulb only, you'll have some problems with those high light demanding plants. The intensity is just not enough. If you're worried that the 28 watts are too much, you can raise the light fixture a bit.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:58 AM   #5
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cheers for your help!

would you advise reflectors? or not bother?

Maybe 1 tube with a reflector would be ok?

cheers
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Old 04-14-2004, 11:06 AM   #6
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You can always start with one tube first but leave some space if you decide to add more. Reflector is a good idea to spread the light evenly. If you can't get a good quality reflector, use white paint inside the light fixture. Bad reflector is not worth it.

I have 5, 10, 20 and 55gl planted tanks. My 5 gl is kind of medium light (will be similar if you use 14 watts bulb). The only problem with this tank is if I try to grow carpet plants (micro sword, hairgrass etc). It takes longer for them to spread and they grow high. In my high light 10gl, the same plant spread faster and grow low. Also in my 5 gl, some red plants are losing their red pigment. I heard it's beause of lack of light intensity.
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Old 04-14-2004, 11:35 PM   #7
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Just an FYI, over here when we refer to Compact Flourescent bulbs we are refering to a High Output T5 that is bent into a "U" shape. These bulbs usually have 4 pins in a square or linear formation.

For your purpose, I'm sure you could find some pretty sweet T5 systems for that tank that would fit your high light requirements.
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:51 PM   #8
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cheers all

I finished the hood last night and it looks good! I'll probably go for two 15" 14w tubes...probably a powerglo and a aquaglo. i'm going to paint the inside of the hood with white gloss to reflect the light. I can always add reflectors later. 28watts over a tank of this size is surely enough light anyway without the need for reflectors!

i'll try to take pics when its finished if anyones interested.

G
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