Low vs. Medium Light Planted Nanos - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Low vs. Medium Light Planted Nanos

while I'm not new to aquariums, I am new to planted tanks and this forum. (Hello! What an awesome place!)

I'm doing some research for a planted tank I plan to setup in my office. After much thought, I'm 99% sure I want to go with an Eclipse 3 gallon.

I've decided I'm going to start with a low-tech approach because I'm not comfortable with trying my hand at CO2 yet. As a result, I'm going to stick with the stock 6w light.

I know I need low light plants, but I have a question before I start making my final choices. Several articles on the internet refer to medium light plants. I always thought under 3wpg was low light and over 3wpg was high light. Can someone set me straight on watt requirements? Is 2wpg definitely in the low light only range or is it seeping into the medium light range?

If you have any suggestions on small plants that would thrive in a 3 gallon home with only 2wpg, I would love your advice!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 10:56 PM
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I have an Odyssea 5 gallon cube on my desk right now. Cheaper than the Eclipse.. and has an 18 watt light. Looks nicer too with a curved glass front. Or, you could try one of the JBJ cubes. I struggled too long trying to make a 3 gallon Eclipse into a nice planted tank. Doesn't work real well unless you do a retrofit.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 11:00 PM
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I'm afraid at that size of an aquarium 2wpg is not the same as 2wpg in a larger (say 30g) tank. With that current setup you would need very low light plants. Java ferns, mosses and maybe anubias would work but nothing else. If you haven't read Rex Griggs guide I recommend doing so it will give you a good indication of how much light you really have.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 11:07 PM
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I've got a 3 gallon Eclipse at home that is mostly neglected. The only plant I've been able to grow successfully is Water Sprite....even moss tends to die off.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 11:24 PM
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To give you some idea of lighting nano tanks, I have 13w over a 1.3g and 26w over a 2.5g. Dosing 2x Execel but not Co2. No filters. The lights are probably 4 inches above the water. Power Compact.

You can of course go lower with the lighting but these are examples of lighting/gallons that are stable systems. No algae. Excel probably has a lot to do with that.

To show how wattage and water volume shift along the scale, my 1.3g has 13w of power compact lighting while my 55g java fern tank has 80w of normal flourecsent lighting.

That's 10wpg of PC vs 1.45wpg of NOFLO, HC vs java fern. And the 55g gets Co2. They both get Ei fertilizing @ 50% normal levels.

I've grown moss in the 1.3g under 13w.

I think 6w over 3g would be a slow, hard run. If you want to try it, I'm sure you can. Just don't be disappointed by expecting too much.

"Insanity: doing [or asking] the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your replies. I knew I was in the right place.

I just checked out Rex Gigg's guide and that makes perfect sense.

I should have clarified in my first post why I've chosen the eclipse 3. Aquariums aren't really allowed where I work, but my boss has given the OK and I'm trying to stay as low key as I can about the whole thing. If I can make something work in a 3 gallon or less, I'd like to give it a try.

I'm not opposed to very low light plants. I just want something simple that lets me enjoy this hobby while I'm at work.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popodog
I have an Odyssea 5 gallon cube on my desk right now. Cheaper than the Eclipse.. and has an 18 watt light.
I'm having trouble finding an Odyssea 5 gallon for sell anywhere other than Ebay. Have you had yours a long time? Do mind sharing where you purchased it?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandmiles
I'm afraid at that size of an aquarium 2wpg is not the same as 2wpg in a larger (say 30g) tank. With that current setup you would need very low light plants. Java ferns, mosses and maybe anubias would work but nothing else. If you haven't read Rex Griggs guide I recommend doing so it will give you a good indication of how much light you really have.

Brian
I agree here. I have an 8 gal that I have retrofitted it with a 2X13watt CF system from AH Supply and am finding that the amount of light even though I have 26 watts (2.5wpg) over an 8 gal it is just not enough. I am planning to make a custom canopy with double the amount of lighting. I will be using 2 2X13w kits which will give me a total of 52watts of lighting.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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I definitely don't want to venture into a battle that I'm destined to lose. I'm going to start researching tanks in the 6-12 gallon range. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and expertise!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 04:26 AM
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The best thing you can do is to study the small tanks in the AGA contests. You will find some really awsome looking small tanks and also all of them will have info on the setup.

www.aquatic-gardeners.org


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 08:57 AM
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Have you seen these nano setups on eBay? There is a 4-gallon and an 8-gallon model that this seller sells:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Finnex-8-Gallon-...tem=7758306231
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumoarigato
Have you seen these nano setups on eBay? There is a 4-gallon and an 8-gallon model that this seller sells:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Finnex-8-Gallon-...tem=7758306231
Those tanks look really nice, and the price is good.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumoarigato
Have you seen these nano setups on eBay? There is a 4-gallon and an 8-gallon model that this seller sells:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Finnex-8-Gallon-...tem=7758306231
I have a very similar 8 gal. It has the rounded front corners but it also has the traditional plastic trim on the top rim and on the bottom. It has the same canopy. I did a retrofit on mine.


Here is a link to my post. It does have a few shots of my retrofit on the lighting system.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...aquaphish.html


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 03:08 PM
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I have the Finnex 4gal and 8gal, and love them. Haven't had them long enough to tell you just what plants will grow well, but I stuffed them full of fast-growing stems and the wisteria is growing right out of the water. So far, low and medium growers are doing fine. One disadvantage--with open tops, there is a lot of evaporation. I do water changes once a week, and still have to top off in the middle of the week, but it is not a big deal. I also have the Eclipse 5gal hex as a betta tank, and love it as well. It comes with a 10w 5100k pc bulb--replaced it with a Wal-Mart 15w 6700k sunlight spiral pc, and crypts, anubias, baby tears did extremely well. I just rescaped it and am trying various plants to see how they do. The one tank I would not recommend, unless you want to spend a fair amount of money to retrofit the lighting, is the Eclipse 12--standard lighting with it is a 13w pc and that is dim!
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 04:02 PM
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I'm running a coralife 36 watt light on my 2.5 gallon, with 6700k daylight bulbs. I'm getting ready to rescape the tank with some harder to grow (more light demanding) plants. Here's a link to the light.

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=2543

I had to do a little creative construction to get the light to fit the tank because it is wider than the tank, but it works great.
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