Low Tech lights for Bowl aquariums - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Low Tech lights for Bowl aquariums

Hello everyone,

I thought it might be useful to start a thread about low tech light options for small bowl aquariums. I'm currently setting up a 2g bowl for a betta. I'm planning on using sand as my substrate, and probably just going to add some guppy grass and moss. I may dose some ferts and add anubias or a java fern as well. Does anyone have a go to gooseneck light that they like, or a particular bulb that might go good on a desk lamp that could work? Any advice would be appreciated. I was considering this bulb in a traditional gooseneck lamp:

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/17...TCO-S9404.html


Thanks,
Chris
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 11:12 PM
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I used this bulb from Amazon for several open top, informal tanks and the plants did well:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Last edited by Fisherking; 01-13-2019 at 11:13 PM. Reason: edit
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 12:49 PM
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Both the linked options give me one concern: heat. Your lights-on temp vs lights-off may have a large swing - especially with such a small water volume. Consider the distance from light to water, air flow, etc. to help even out temp. I used an LED standard-socket light (GE, I think) instead of a CFL for that reason, over a 1g vase tank. The CFL would bring the water up to 80deg quickly, while at maybe 70deg at night. That’s too much swing for most healthy fauna (shrimp and snails in my case). The LED had nowhere near that impact.
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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 03:50 PM
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Fisherking, that is the exact bulb I use on my 2 gallon tank and the plants are doing fine. I keep the light at a distance so it doesn't heat up the water and the plants are easy, low light plants.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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I do agree with Proteus01 about the temperature, but at a distance it should be okay? Reddhawkk have you had any issues with temperature swings?

Bump: I do agree with Proteus01 about the temperature, but at a distance it should be okay? Reddhawkk have you had any issues with temperature swings?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 01:51 AM
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I have a 3g bowl that I recently just set up and ppanted today. I have an LED bulb in a desk lamp over it but it is only about 300 lumens which I dont thin is enough so I'm gonna upgrade so a stronger bulb tomorrow.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 04:27 AM
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Actually found a descept priced LED unit from Buce plants:

https://buceplant.com/collections/aq...-rgb-led-light

Some of the guys there said they used it with some success. I bought it and I'm going to give it a try. I'll let you all know how it goes.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 03:37 PM
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No I do not get temperature swings.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 01:45 AM
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There's a few LED COB flashlights/worklights made here lately for about $4 to $7 that run on AAA cells that can be directly converted to running off of a 5 volt mini USB wall wart cell phone charger.



It would require some DIY skill, plastic surgery and a soldering iron and rosin core solder.


These lights have been coming down in price and the latest ones I bought at our Grocery Outlet food store for $2.99

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Just to let everyone know that light from Buce Plants wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. Works great if you're just doing some moss or something but really not a planted tank light. It has a button to change the color of the light and even a "disco" like mode that changes the color every few seconds. Not ideal but it does serve the purpose.
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