Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Park City KS (Our House consists of, 4 glass boxes 5 miniature dachshunds and a black cat)
Two things I know about LED's, nothing and beggar all!
Well it is hung out there for all to see. I have after FAR too many years finally attempted a planted tank, I know the basics, we need an open topped glass box, substrate, water, and lighting. Oh and not forgetting of course the possible necessity of CO2.
So at the moment we have of course the glass box. Mine just happens to be a 48 gallon one, long story if anyone is really interested in the odd size of it please feel free to ask.
We have substrate of a rusty red color, water with a ph of around 6 to 6.4 (fresh from the sky, not the faucet). Two 24" fluorescent tubes and a 30" one, all three of are of an indeterminate age so probably need to be replaced, you see there is the rub!
From what I have been able to discover from Mister Home Depot Electrical Department 2017 , the tubes I have are not T5's (bummer) and the fittings are only good for one size, (double bummer) oh and his parting shot was "if you do decide to go with T5's you will probably need to get new ballasts as well as these will not do the trick". So after entering the store with high hopes of at least knowing what the cost of replacing said fluorescent tubes was going to be, I leave knowing the cost is going to be a lot more than I had hoped. (TRIPLE BUMMER).
Back to the drawing board (actually a computer screen but you get the picture) Google is my friend and his close relative E of the bay isn't a bad guy, despite what some would say. So to quote the yellow pages commercial from Scotland in the 1970's "I let my fingers do the walking".
I find out I can get a 3 LED bar or a four one, it can be a 36" or a 48" for my size of glass box. It can have a timer, it can even be controlled by an APP. Pure guess work here but I would guess the APP is controlled by the obnoxious beeping box in my pocket that is definitely smarter than I am, how do I know? Because even in the stores they call it a "smart phone", satisfied?
You have to be aware of the vagaries of the controllers and the surge protectors and the fact that some are pretty cheap cost wise and ok, while others are expensive and not much better than they need to be.
So all in all, what I have learned about lighting to get this rare plant to grow in my very own glass box? The cost is a lot more than I originally hoped.
Wanders off muttering about T5's and LED's and micro and macro ferts, and filters, and even the possibility of installing lights with mirrors in the top of the lid so all the light is reflected into the tank.
Well shut that front door, I know more than I thought I did!
Happy growing to one and all, and to one and all have a wonderful beginning to your week.
Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
Last edited by StevieD; 08-07-2017 at 11:58 AM.
Reason: Because I wanted to.