starting a bowl, lighting question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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starting a bowl, lighting question

I will probably be starting a 1.5 gallon bowl soon. it will be plants only until it is stable enough for some shrimp. (i might use the dry start method) I have a bowl already and even though i dont really love it, its already paid for so thats that. i plan on using no filtration (well besides the plants) and a regular desk lamp for lighting. i already have a lamp that uses halogen G4 bulbs, it has a 20w in it currently, but i found some 10w (10w 12v G4 halogen) bulbs at menards. will that be an okay bulb???



the attached picture is the bulb im thinking about buying
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 08:36 AM
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I think 10w would give to little light and you need a 20w or maybe a LED replacement. But i don't know if there is any that's strong enough.




It would be better to use a desk lamp with a CFL.

Please ignore any spelling/grammatical errors. I'm swedish and sometimes I'm also drunk.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 10:16 AM
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I don't usually put lights on round fish bowls.
The shape of the bowl acts as a lens and gathers ambient light from many more angles.
For fish bowls I prefer selective placement to artificial light, particularly if there is no circulation from air bubbles or filtration.
With regular water changes the most likely problem is slimy algae from too much light and lack of circulation. This leads to unhealthy bacterial and fungus problems.
Better to start with too little light and add some if needed with a bowl unless you intend to grow a particularly high need plant, but then I would question the lack of circulation. My first light choice would be a Compact Fluorescent if required.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 02:58 PM
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i only run my desk lamp for a few hours at a time
and let the sun do most of the work
I find the light causes green water and extreme growth, which is fine if you like trimming alot
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 03:10 PM
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lighting largely depends on the placement of your bowl and the plants selected. if you are near a window, then the window could be a source of light to sustain your plants. If the bowl is placed away from a window and your plants are more demanding than say moss, then a dedicated lamp would be necessary.

My bowl uses a full spectrum lamp but the photo period has been dramatically decreased in the summer months due to rising temperatures. Its all trial and error until you find out what works for you. Having too muich light will also have you duking it out with algae so make small changes and see how things go. Shrimp are perfect for this type of setup, though my CBS did not survive my recent two week trip abroad. i recommend neocaridinas which are more heat tolerant.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 05:11 PM
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edit: to better answer your question I would not use the G4 bulb, your color temp is going to be 2800k-3000k. I've also never used a halogen desk lamp so I can't be certain. m8e suggestion of an led G4 replacment is a good idea. I found a couple daylight led G4 "bulbs" but they are spendy (~$20), have no optics and could potential be too dim. If you really like the desklamp you have it might be worth it to experiment otherwise I would pick up a cheap standard socket lamp with a 9watt or lower CFL.

I've got Like 4 different bowl and have used/using a mix of LED and CFL. Like everyone else has been saying its largely dependent on the bowl dimensions and location. You can get away with just natural light but might get algae, of course too much artificial light will result in the same. I've had the best luck with 9w 6500k CFL's. They fit in a standard socket (e27) and are cheap. I've also experimented with PAR16/20/38 bulbs. I can't find a PAR16 in daylight spectrum and the PAR 20/38 are going to be way too much light. I'm using some smaller led bulbs 3w-5w and they work pretty well, optics tend to suck though. I'm going to be ordering some more 3w e27 led bulbs to see If I can find one with a decent lens.

I would probably just go with a 6500k 9w CFL, just pull it farther away from the bowl untill you find a sweet spot. You can get CFL over 20watts I believe if you feel like thats still not enough light.

Here is an example of my office tank with 1x 9w 6500k CFL and 1 x IKEA JANSJÖ led light which I believe is 3w and in the 3-4k range.





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Last edited by idleivey; 07-20-2012 at 05:23 PM. Reason: answers
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m8e View Post
I think 10w would give to little light and you need a 20w or maybe a LED replacement. But i don't know if there is any that's strong enough.

It would be better to use a desk lamp with a CFL.
i was under the impression that a 20w was to much, but thats whats currently in the lamp. think itll work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LAKE View Post
I don't usually put lights on round fish bowls.
The shape of the bowl acts as a lens and gathers ambient light from many more angles.
For fish bowls I prefer selective placement to artificial light, particularly if there is no circulation from air bubbles or filtration.
With regular water changes the most likely problem is slimy algae from too much light and lack of circulation. This leads to unhealthy bacterial and fungus problems.
Better to start with too little light and add some if needed with a bowl unless you intend to grow a particularly high need plant, but then I would question the lack of circulation. My first light choice would be a Compact Fluorescent if required.
i live in an apartment that doesnt get a lot of light. i had some pothos plants growing in a tank of water near my sliding glass doors and those havent been growing great, so i figured i would need a light fixture... iv looked into quite a few bowls on this site and majority of them are using lights.
(i probably wont be using the pothos in the bowl btw)

Quote:
Originally Posted by malady View Post
i only run my desk lamp for a few hours at a time
and let the sun do most of the work
I find the light causes green water and extreme growth, which is fine if you like trimming alot
thanks, ill keep that in mind malady


Quote:
Originally Posted by acitydweller View Post
lighting largely depends on the placement of your bowl and the plants selected. if you are near a window, then the window could be a source of light to sustain your plants. If the bowl is placed away from a window and your plants are more demanding than say moss, then a dedicated lamp would be necessary.

My bowl uses a full spectrum lamp but the photo period has been dramatically decreased in the summer months due to rising temperatures. Its all trial and error until you find out what works for you. Having too muich light will also have you duking it out with algae so make small changes and see how things go. Shrimp are perfect for this type of setup, though my CBS did not survive my recent two week trip abroad. i recommend neocaridinas which are more heat tolerant.
my bowl will be either in my bedroom, which stays dark most of the time, or in my kitchen. my kitchen doesnt get any direct sunlight and on we normally turn on the lights in there even when its a nice day out and all of the shades to outside are all open. (read: theres daylight, but its not a very bright room) Im also thinking about doing a dry start method, wont that hinder the growth of algae?


Quote:
Originally Posted by idleivey View Post
edit: to better answer your question I would not use the G4 bulb, your color temp is going to be 2800k-3000k. I've also never used a halogen desk lamp so I can't be certain. m8e suggestion of an led G4 replacment is a good idea. I found a couple daylight led G4 "bulbs" but they are spendy (~$20), have no optics and could potential be too dim. If you really like the desklamp you have it might be worth it to experiment otherwise I would pick up a cheap standard socket lamp with a 9watt or lower CFL.

I've got Like 4 different bowl and have used/using a mix of LED and CFL. Like everyone else has been saying its largely dependent on the bowl dimensions and location. You can get away with just natural light but might get algae, of course too much artificial light will result in the same. I've had the best luck with 9w 6500k CFL's. They fit in a standard socket (e27) and are cheap. I've also experimented with PAR16/20/38 bulbs. I can't find a PAR16 in daylight spectrum and the PAR 20/38 are going to be way too much light. I'm using some smaller led bulbs 3w-5w and they work pretty well, optics tend to suck though. I'm going to be ordering some more 3w e27 led bulbs to see If I can find one with a decent lens.

I would probably just go with a 6500k 9w CFL, just pull it farther away from the bowl untill you find a sweet spot. You can get CFL over 20watts I believe if you feel like thats still not enough light.
damn, i tried to look for how bright the light would be online (how many kelvins) but didnt find the info. if its only like 3000k would that mean it doesnt penetrade deep enough? (it is a yellow tinted light :/)
I have an ugly desk lamp at my parents place that houses CFL bulbs, so i guess i can try that if i find it. i looked around town for a decent lamp yesterday and the only ones i like were $40+




any and all advice is still welcome


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:31 PM
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I keep the IKEA LED over mine, and it works fine. Cheaper ~$10 in stores.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:40 PM
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Just do desk lamp with LED bulb, grew microsword in the bowl I used to have with ease.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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I keep the IKEA LED over mine, and it works fine. Cheaper ~$10 in stores.
that bowl looks just like the one i got from a walmart. is it 1.5g?

and i have seen a ton of bowl keepers with that ikea light, i didnt see any in stores near me, maybe i should order online if the CFL doesnt work out

thanks for commenting xenxes
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 11:20 PM
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idleivey: That's a really nice bowl. That driftwood selection puts it over the top!

xenxes: I've never seen that light. It looks great, I'm going to try a few.

Thanks for sharing, really great inspiration!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 11:35 PM
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Yep

$10 Walmart bowl
$10 IKEA light

Be careful with the bowl, some are uneven / brittle, pick a well rounded thick glass one, I broke one of their bowls and cut myself; in hindsight I'd throw in another $10 and get a higher quality one from Home Goods or something.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
Yep

Be careful with the bowl, some are uneven / brittle, pick a well rounded thick glass one, I broke one of their bowls and cut myself; in hindsight I'd throw in another $10 and get a higher quality one from Home Goods or something.
I had a matching one that was a little uneven, and it busted on me



Last edited by thebuddha; 07-21-2012 at 10:44 AM. Reason: .
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 11:50 AM
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and i have seen a ton of bowl keepers with that ikea light, i didnt see any in stores near me, maybe i should order online if the CFL doesnt work out
IKEA only sale furniture online.
I'm using two clamp model Jansjös on a 1g cylinder, but IKEA also have some other cool LED lights. But for some reason all of them is warm white(2700-3000K).

Please ignore any spelling/grammatical errors. I'm swedish and sometimes I'm also drunk.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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ok so the colortemp of the bulb i have now is like 2900k, which is essentially the same as that ikea light. so if your able to grow with that, mine should be good enough right?
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