planted lawn attempt 10 gal. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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planted lawn attempt 10 gal.

Hi,

Im new to the planted tank scene so i need a bit of your help. My names phil and im glad to be a part of this community and hope to learn a lot.

Ok, so i have a 10 gal aquaeon tank that im using with some ada soil, heater, overhead filter, co2, and a 18inch 15watt 6500k flourescent. Im aiming to grow a lawn of dwarf hair grass and baby tears. My main concern right now is my lighting...I understand that my lighting right now maybe a bit insufficient for my plants to grow and i need a moderate high - high light source. im looking for the most cost effective (preferably cheap!) method to get a high light source. I've looked at PC retrofits so far.. any other suggestions?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 05:12 AM
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Pick up or build a incadescent hood to hold a couple 14 w cfl bulbs from any home depot, lowes, or any store of that type. I belive the k rating is between 6500-8000 from what I remember. If using Co2, play around with various CFL combinations to get what you want. For the price, its worth a shot. I used to light a 5g with a 30w cfl in a desk lamp, and the growth was nuts.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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thanks ill give it a shot
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 05:34 AM
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worst case scenario it doesnt work out the way you want it. You are left with some cheap running bulbs you can put around the house, and a cheap hood. not much loss.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 05:47 AM
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And you can replace the incandescent lights with spiral CFL's which will be much higher lighting.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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oooh im excited now, thanks guys for the tip! ill post results once i get my light
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 06:42 AM
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I like your rocks! What are they? I have obsidian in one of my tanks but the rocks you have are much more subdued and charcoal colored.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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they are yamaya rocks that i got from a afa store. glad you like them haha. they were about $4 / lb. my setups looking pretty bland right now, but im aiming for a rocky terrain look with some plant life.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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update:

So i got an incandescent hood with a capacity of (2) 25w bulbs.....I decided to put in 2 full spectrum 27watt CFLs and i must say its dam bright... Only thing im afraid is the heat generated from these bulbs. Even though theyre cfls, its still REALLY hot.. I wouldnt want my place to burn down. im thinking of installing a make shift fan to dissipate the heat.. any ideas?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superbraut View Post
So i got an incandescent hood with a capacity of (2) 25w bulbs.....I decided to put in 2 full spectrum 27watt CFLs and i must say its dam bright... Only thing im afraid is the heat generated from these bulbs. Even though theyre cfls, its still REALLY hot.. I wouldnt want my place to burn down. im thinking of installing a make shift fan to dissipate the heat.. any ideas?
It's not really necessary. The wattage, and therefore the heat produced, is almost the same whether you use the intended 25W incandescents or 27W CFLs; you just get a lot more light from the CFLs.

Regardless, those cheap incandescent hoods usually warp from the heat over months or years of use. It's a purely aesthetic issue, not a safety one or anything that affects the function of the hood; but a fan would help you avoid this if you want.

The incandescent hoods I've seen has side vents, small aluminum reflectors directly over the bulbs, and top vents over the reflectors. The most effective arrangement would be to draw air out from the top vents using a fan or two mounted on top outside of the hood.

One thing I've found you should never do is remove the aluminum reflectors. They're necessary to protect the plastic from the direct, rising heat coming off the bulbs - which is especially important when using the wider CFLs.

Carpeting plants can require a lot of light, especially in small tanks like a 10g. If you need even more light, instead of using bigger bulbs, cover some of all that exposed black plastic in the inside of the hood with extra reflectors; that'll give you enough for almost anything. Flat (not glossy) white reflectors are supposed to be best, and in the past I've used paint. Recently I did one with self-adhesive aluminum tape (sold in home improvement stores for sealing air ducts); it seems to work almost as well, and is easier to apply/clean/remove/replace. Just don't cover the vents.

Good luck with your tank! When you get it going, post some pics if possible.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 02:48 PM
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could you also use a beer/soda can that has been cut in half? take the tops off and adhere the can(s) to the hood to reflect the light downward.

would this work?


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 11:54 PM
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could you also use a beer/soda can that has been cut in half? take the tops off and adhere the can(s) to the hood to reflect the light downward.
I suppose it would would work about as well as the aluminum tape. But it would need to be flattened mostly or completely, because the normal curvature would tend to cover and reflect light back at the bulb.

And forget about making a focused, efficient reflector, like the Icecaps for T5 bulbs. Those work only because T5's are line sources. The same approach doesn't work for CFLs, which are area sources. Optimal mirror-like reflector designs aren't possible for them; and that's why flat white "reflectors", which just reflect light randomly in all directions, almost always outperform shiny reflector designs.

The moral is, if you want the maximum possible light, use flat white. If you need more, but not the max, use whatever is convenient.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:02 AM
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I still like the idea of topless tank with dual desklamps from the DIY section. That allows you to raise/lower your lights if you want.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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heres an update on my tank...

got my tank lighting set up with 2 14w CFLs . Finally got some animals in my tank.

6 Killies
3 amano shrimp
2 bumblebee gobys

I have both baby tear leaves and hair grass. The hair grass isnt really growing any runners and the tear leaves arnt spreading much. any idea how i can get the hair grass to spread like wildfire?






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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by superbraut View Post
any idea how i can get the hair grass to spread like wildfire?
How's your CO2?





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