New DIY aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 4
New DIY aquarium

Hi, I posted this in a different section and realized that it probably should be posted here. First I am new to the hobby and I have some plants and they are growing great. Rotala Indica is what they said, but it looks more like narrow leaf rotala. I use liquid carbon for now. After my tank is cycled a bit more I am going to hook some C02 up to it. But I digress, I need to get the lighting down first.

I have a 55 gallon dirted tank and I recently just bought a shop light with two 32 Watt T-8 bulbs that are 6500k light frequency. It fits on top of my tank perfectly.

I heard that I needed 3 watts per gallon to grow plants appropriately. But the gut at the hardware store said that the T-8 bulbs put off more wattage than they say because of some conversion chart.

My question is: should I buy another fixture and put 2 more lights in it or is he right about the conversion? The reason I ask is because these lights light up my tank like a dang Christmas tree.

I currently dose my tank with liquid carbon, and I plan on going to c02 tank and regulator in a month or so. But yeah that is my question.
Mackias is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:38 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
ichy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 1,461
"I heard that I needed 3 watts per gallon to grow plants appropriately. But the gut at the hardware store said that the T-8 bulbs put off more wattage than they say because of some conversion chart."

What is the conversion chart converting to???????
ichy is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 4
I don't know. This guy told me that the t8 fluorescent bulbs are the equivalent to 100 watt normal bulbs. I didn't say anything since the lights were 10 bucks for two and the fixture fit on my tank perfectly. But right now it's 64 watts with two t-8 fluorescent tubs. Sites are giving me lumens to watts difference but not watt equivalents. It kind of confuses me to be honest. Why measure in watts for tanks instead of lumens? Especially if it's all about the light penetrating to the water?
Mackias is offline  
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 12:00 PM
Banned
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,794
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackias View Post
Why measure in watts for tanks instead of lumens? Especially if it's all about the light penetrating to the water?
Neither is completely relevant to plants.

Lumens is based on the human visual response.



http://www.econoluxindustries.com/Technology.html

Suspended for 30 days for being awful to other forum members
jeffkrol is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 02:32 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1,749
Lights don't give off watts. You really need to go to the lighting section. When you open it, at the top is "Articles and FAQ" After you read through that you'll probably have some more questions.
There's quite a bit of technical aspect to the lighting and you need to know the basics to ask the right questions and understand the answers.

And don't listen to anyone that talks to you about how much wattage a light puts off.
Kubla is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:52 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ichy View Post
"I heard that I needed 3 watts per gallon to grow plants appropriately. But the gut at the hardware store said that the T-8 bulbs put off more wattage than they say because of some conversion chart."

What is the conversion chart converting to???????
They saw him coming...
If you want to sell something, razal dazal them/w bull fertilizer.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 04:38 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
But really...A two bulb T8 fixture is either low or very low light for a 55g tank because of the depth of it. It depends on the quality of the reflectors and which bulbs you use is a smaller part, but there also.
Home depot sells a two bulb T8 fixture which has much more light because of how good the reflectors are and it only cost about $30.
If your fixture has one of those white reflectors behind the bulbs it's likely low level light while if it has no reflector it's very low at best.
If you are going to ad injected CO2 your tank can use the Home Depot fixture.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Yeah, I figured he didn't know what he was talking about for aquariums. But when I saw that 15 bucks vs 100 for a fixture, I felt I could try it out. After this I think I will get another fixture. I like the bulbs, they are 6500k, just what everyone recommends. I think I'll get some reflective tape or paint and do it to my lighting fixtures as well after this too. The deepness makes sense as well.

These are pictures of my tank so far. The ludwigia in the front is just there for now. I have more dirt there and I need to put in some more in the location I want via the frozen dirt trick.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20150607_113444.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	99.3 KB
ID:	482641  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20150607_113502.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	116.3 KB
ID:	482649  

Mackias is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 08:16 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
ichy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 1,461
Go to home depot and get the mirrored window film. It comes on a roll, see if you can get that inside the reflector.
But I like your attitude, why not give it a try!
ichy is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 08:54 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PhysicsDude55's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 339
My old 55G setup used (4) 32W T8 lamps. I had really good results with it. 2 lamps is really not enough if you want to go heavily planted +C02.

The guy at home depot is probably referencing that T8s are more efficient than T12s, or maybe that 6500K lamps put out more light energy in the wavelengths that plants use... in either case he's kind of right, but its mostly irrelevant.

DIY Enthusiast


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
PhysicsDude55 is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 09:27 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
Well in your first post you said the plants are growing...what about the Ludwigia ?
They usually don't grow well while their shorter like that until they get high enough to be close to or at the surface. Has it shown any growth ? If so the reflector on the fixture may be fairly good.
I'd let the plants grow for a while first. Injected CO2 will "allow" you to use more light.
But using it before there is any/much plant growth...well something is going to use all that energy...likely algae. Using the extra light that is.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 10:26 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
ichy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 1,461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
They saw him coming...
If you want to sell something, razal dazal them/w bull fertilizer.
lol...
ya whenever I go to the car stealership and they give me a line I tell them, "Alright I'll go for that as long as you tighten the muffler chain while you are under there!"
ichy is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 12:10 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
I have one of these fixtures over my 20 gallon tanks.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-...9?N=5yc1vZc9h6

4' long, so it fits over 2 tanks, but 2 bulbs over a tank only half as tall as yours, and with just about the best reflector available at big box stores.

I have also used something like this: White body, no reflectors, and I use 2 of them (total of 4 bulbs) over my 72 gallon bowfront (it is 2' high).

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-...7?N=5yc1vZc9h6

Bulbs:
I prefer the 'daylight' or 'cool' color range, or I will mix a 'plant' bulb with a 'daylight' to at least try to get the color range that plants need but still make the tank look good to my eye.
See the chart above?
People see the greens and yellows best. (solid green line)
Plants use the reds and blues best. (Dashed dark blue line)
By having some of each the plants are happy and I can see the fish in their natural colors. Orange fish look horrid under all plant bulbs.
Diana is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome