2.5 Nano Lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation 2.5 Nano Lighting

Hello

I am planning a planted 2.5g nano and have been pulling my hair out over lighting.

I am planning on using a desk lamp with a daylight cf bulb, i was thinking of using a 20 watt bulb, now here is where I start to get a little confused, a 20 watt cf energy saving lightbulb has a 100watt output, now does this mean that this light will fry my plants? Which figure should i be looking at when purchasing a bulb, the Bulb wattage or the actual output?

After reading through literally tons of posts I can see lots of people lighting nano's with energy saving cf bulbs and just want to confirm that this would be enough lighting for the nano (I understand the types of plants is a factor in this) and not far too much.

hope this is clear and thanks in advance for the help
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 06:21 AM
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The 20 watt compact fluorescent will be fine for your tank. Im using one myself, although I cant say how well its working as I have no plants yet. Although one of those bulbs suposedly is the equivelant of a 100 watt bulb, it wont burn your plants. On the contrary, it aparently isnt even enough for some of the higher light plants (acording to others who have used them) becasue of the loss of light due to the spyral design.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 02:29 AM
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I use an All-Glass brand 12" 8W (T5) normal-output fluorescent strip light (designed specifically for a 2.5 gallon tank) and can grow just about anything with it. Anything more, and I get some nasty algae. Even with the 8W, I get nasty spot algae on my Anubias 'petit.' IMHO, people tend to go overboard with lighting nano tanks. It's one thing if it's just your preference to have an intensely-lit tank, but it's absolutely not necessary to grow a very wide variety of plants. Either way, my experience has been more light = more problems.

If you're going to use a 20W desk lamp, it'll be good to have it raised at least a few inches above the tank.

Regarding the 20W vs. 100W business... Basically, these "energy saver" bulbs are used to replace incandescent lights. A 100W incandescent is said to put out *maybe* 20W-worth of light, and the rest of the energy is heat. It's a major waste of money because your bulb is eating up 100W but you're only getting 20W of light. Compact fluorescent lights actually put out close to 20W of light and very little heat compared to incandescents. Now, when we talk of "watts per gallon," we're typically referring to normal-output fluorescent lighting. So these are mostly the T8's and T12's. It's said, however, that a compact fluorescent with good reflectors will provide up to 160% of it's equivalent normal-output fluorescent. So you could take the wattage of a power compact bulb - say 26W - and think of it as more like approximately 40W of light. Again, this would be with good reflectors. While this may seem very efficient, you have to take into account that the light *distribution* is not always the best, depending on the type of compact bulb(s) you're using.

Whew - that's probably more than you wanted to know. Sorry if I added to your confusion.

-Naomi
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help guys it has helped start to clear this issue up for me.

I guess the best way to really figure this all out is to just jump in with the 20watt bulb a few inches away from the nano with say 8 hours of light and then see what happens to my scape, then play around from there.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:19 PM
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Yes, that sounds like a good plan. I forgot to add that if it's a spiral CF bulb, you lose a lot of your light anyway, and I'm not sure how to factor that into the equation. But yeah - just try it, and if it ultimately doesn't work out for you, then you can use the desk lamp for its intended purpose .

-Naomi
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-11-2005, 11:34 AM
 
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i dunno if you've done your research on lighting yet, but, i take it you have a screw in bulb?

You'll want to at least be sure to have good reflection(mirror finish or gloss white).. and make sure the bulb has color temperature somewhere around the 5500-6700 range. That should guarentee at least a spike in the blues/violets on the light spectrum, which is good for your plants. but.. there are screw-in CF bulbs that are more finely tuned for plants.. i.e. ott-lite

I have a 2.5 gallon all-glass rect... I've found that the way to go is a nice kit like the cf 13-watt retro kits sold by ah-supply. Put it as close and make it as bright as possible. You might have issues with algae at first, but if you want a nice, lush planted tank you'll want all that light and you can just scrub it off until you get the fertilizing and water chemistry down. There's other options like coral-life's little enclosure that takes two 9 watt T4 CF bulbs. I always thought it'd be neat to get one of those and toy with a red and an actinic bulb--that way you get the extremes of both ends of the spectrum.. green/yellow isn't necessary because most plants just reflect that away.
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