upgrading bulbs to start planted tanks, would appreciate suggestions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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upgrading bulbs to start planted tanks, would appreciate suggestions

I got an unexpected work bonus, so it may finally be time to upgrade the lighting on my tanks.

I have a 75 gallon and a 46 gallon bowfront that I would like to turn into planted tanks. My 16 gallon RCS tank seems to do fine with its existing lighting and the low light plants I have in it.

I have no idea where to start or what I should be looking for. I don't want lighting so bright that it frightens the fish or burns my eyeballs out, but would definitely like the wattage/bulb I need to grow some medium-high level plants.

I would prefer a low maintenance planted tank, I won't be using CO2.

Please give all the suggestions you can think of. I am seriously starting out here without a clue, although I've been researching Coralife T8 10,000 K 32 watt and Coralife Nutrigrow 32 watt. Am I at least in the right ballpark?

Thanks all!


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:05 PM
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You want to go with bulbs in the 6500k-10000k for a planted tank, 65000k is the closest to sunlight. I use two 6700k bulbs on my 55 gallon low-tech tank, and 6500k bulbs on my nano tanks.

15g Fluval Flex - Will be a planted shrimp tank
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for your response.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:19 PM
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You're not going to be able to do medium-high light level plants and not run CO2. You will just end up with an algae farm on your hands.

As far as the bulbs you're looking at; one of each in a dual t8 fixture should allow you to grow some low-light stuff just fine. It will also give the colors on your fish a nice "pop."
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:23 PM
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I'd say go with the bulbs you mentioned, you should have low light with those bulbs, which will be just fine, I've seen some amazing planted tanks under low light


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I thought CO2 was an option, not a necessity, but it does make sense. Thanks for the info.

I do like the low light plants, too. So, looks like I might be headed in a different direction. Good thing I didn't buy plants first, then look into bulbs.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:26 PM
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The best way to spend that bonus is to buy a pressurized CO2 system. With that you can grow almost all plants with low light - they just grow slowly. You can often find second hand CO2 systems on Craigslist or the Swap n Shop forum here, reducing the cost substantially.

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