Light Recommendations - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Light Recommendations

I recently bought a 40gal hex aquarium, with an 18" 15w t8, and a PF300 filter/heater combo for $50. I am attempting to keep a planted cichlid tank, so I realize that I may be very limited in plant choice, and may not be able to plant at all.

My goal, is to get a nice carpet going on my sand substrate (dwarf sag/some type of sword), and then add some accent plants around/on the rock and driftwood feature i am planning (Java fern/slower growing moss).

My canopy has a slot for a second 20" fixture, and i am not sure what all my options are. I can't spend a lot of money, and DIY ideas are always interesting. Would a second 15w be ok, considering that the tank is in a very bright room?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Bump... Anyone?

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They got their phone and they're like "eeaagh, it won't...!" give it a second! it's going to space, would ya give it a second to get back from space, it's the speed of light, it's true, it's true.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 02:04 AM
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Is that tank about 24 inches tall? That is the height of a standard (Aqueon) 35 gallon hex tank. Assuming that is the height, you will probably get around 10 micromols of PAR from the one light fixture, but if you get some thin aluminum sheet, like roof flashing, and make a 18 inch long reflector shaped like \_/, so you can see a good reflection of the bulb on each side of the bulb, you can just about double that PAR number, which would be good low light. Or, if you add a second similar light, that would also double the PAR, but at more cost, and adding the DIY reflector to both would probably give you low medium light, around 40 micromols of PAR.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 02:31 AM
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hoppy is our light guru so that is the best info on lighting you can get, as for the Cichlids and plants it may be hard due to the small size of the tank so I wouldn't worry about any driftwood but I would consider a wall of caves where the openings face away from each other so the fish have no line of sight when guarding their territory.

On an whole other note you should click the GWAPA logo in my signature and join our forum, we have a meeting on the 4th Saturday of each month and this month it is tank tours where we drive to different members homes and view their tanks for inspiration. Normally we have food and an auction and you can get some really good deals on plants and sometimes fish and inverts too but we always have fun so check it out because it's free but you must be a member to buy/sell in the auction, good luck with the new tank.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Smile

I can't post pics from my phone, but here is a link to a pic on my SkyDrive.
https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...IQW4CT70bFR9vE

My fingertips can just reach the substrate with my whole arm in the tank. I can measure tonight.

I will definitely use reflectors, but one light will have to do for now. I'm sure I can find some flashing somewhere.

I wanted the driftwood, just to make it look more natural. I was going to work it into the rocks. Is there a reason other than size i shouldn't? I know about leeching the tannins, and i wasn't thinking about a massive piece.

And great idea on the rocks, never thought about that precaution.

Unfortunately, I am young, poor, and working a lot. But if I find some free time, I'm very interested in seeing other people's tanks and cheap plant/fish!

Last edited by HrVanker; 08-06-2012 at 07:49 PM. Reason: fixed link
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