10gal - how much light b4 CO2 needed? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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10gal - how much light b4 CO2 needed?

According to at least one person, my son has a "no tech" tank... not even meeting "low" from a plant perspective.

It is a simple 10 gallon tank with a 15 watt fluorescent hood. At present, the plants are christmas moss, java ferns, wisteria, annubias, pennywort, and what I think are baby tears. The baby tears and pennywort don't do well toward the bottom of the plants, but the tops grow very well. The xmas moss is just sort of "existing", not really doing great.

We dose about 0.75ml Excel daily, and about the same amount of Flourish weekly. We do not want to enter a sophisticated dosing regime, nor do I want to deal with CO2 in this tank.... it would, however, be nice to get a bit more light IF it would help with the growth of some of these other plants. I suppose I could trim some of the taller plants down so that more light reaches the lower portion of the tank.

Anyway, my son's birthday is in about 2 weeks, so I thought about a light replacement, if it is worthwhile.

So, should I even bother? If so, what should I consider to provide additional light without getting into a range that requires considerable dosing and co2?

I should also point out that he wants to get a second tank up and running soon if I can put something together through a combination of garage sale finds and a little bit of spare cash - something not easy to come by these days! So I suppose a third option is to leave this tank as-is, and deal with increased lighting if/when we can get him a second tank operational and stocked.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Whoops - looks like I should have posted this in the lighting forum, but I cannot seem to delete the message. Hopefully, some of you more knowledgeable folks will provide input despite this thread's location here in the "general" discussion.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Stubbs View Post
...what should I consider to provide additional light without getting into a range that requires considerable dosing and co2?
www.AHSupply.com makes a 2x13w PC kit that fits into the stock 15w fixture. It comes with everything that you need except for the bulbs and the sell bulbs as well. You'll need a glass cover from the pet store.

2x13w kit. Please note what I put in italics: http://www.ahsupply.com/twox.htm

2 x 13watt Bright Kit™ 21301 $16.99
You can use this kit to convert a 1x15w fluorescent light strip to 2x13w. Includes: Two 13 watt thermally protected magnetic ballasts; two 2-pin GX23 sockets; wire for completing the connection of the ballasts to the power cord and switch in your light strip; wirenuts and screws needed for installation; and pop-in vent covers and base pads. Requires two 13W bulbs (not included).
IMPORTANT: If you choose to use your 2x13watt Bright Kit™ (Item #21301) to retrofit a regular light strip, you'll want to be sure to order our FREE Installation Tips (Item #21309), use the two pop-in end-vent covers and rear corner base pads included in your kit, and place your strip on top of a glass cover. This should remedy the heat problem you'd otherwise have with so much light built into such a small strip. Used this way, we've found that these small light strips will not get as warm as some larger strips such as a commonly available 2 x 30 watt aquarium strip - either on top or inside near the bulbs. NOTE, however, that you should not use a light strip retrofitted with two 13watt CF bulbs on top of a regular plastic tank cover. That could get so hot that your thermally protected ballasts might shut down - especially if the ambient temperature is high.

Bulbs: http://www.ahsupply.com/bulbs.htm
These are the bulbs that you need: 13 7.25" 6700K 11136 $5.99

Parts needed:
Glass cover - from LFS
21301 - 2x13w kit - $16.99
21309 - Free Installation Tips
11136 - 2 bulbs @ $5.99
Total = $28.97 + shipping and glass cover

This is their home page. You might want to read the whole site. It won't take long. http://www.ahsupply.com/index.html

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 03:14 PM
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Do you think this would work on a condescent(sp) hood????
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 11:23 PM
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2 X 13 W would be the ideal max light before Co2 becomes a must, just make sure the bulb colour is between 5000K and 10000K.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 11:28 PM
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I have a 30 watt light made by PRO (Taiwan company) on legs in my 10 gallon. Excel only. Probably was the growth went nuts and I had to start dosing KNO2 and KH2PO4. So depending on your fish load and plant growth, that could become your problem also with the AHS kit.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 11:52 PM
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I have the 28 watt coralife fixture and I get BBA when my CO2 dips below 10-15 ppm (during bottle changes) 8 hour photperiod too, so I'd imagine the 2x 13 watt AHS fixtures would definitely require CO2 (having a much better reflector)
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all - looks like there is a simple retro kit, but there seems to be conflicting opinion on whether or not this would result in a CO2 and/or dosing more sophisticated than our daily Excel and weekly Flourish. So more input on that would be appreciated!

IMHO, a reflector would be a huge help. The underside of this hood is just white. Makes me wonder if a nicely polished reflector in there would provide just the right amount of boost without actually increasing the wattage... is there such a thing?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Stubbs View Post
Thanks all - looks like there is a simple retro kit, but there seems to be conflicting opinion on whether or not this would result in a CO2 and/or dosing more sophisticated than our daily Excel and weekly Flourish. So more input on that would be appreciated!

IMHO, a reflector would be a huge help. The underside of this hood is just white. Makes me wonder if a nicely polished reflector in there would provide just the right amount of boost without actually increasing the wattage... is there such a thing?
The 2x13w kit that I linked doesn't use a reflector. It mounts into your stock strip light.I posted this in my original reply. This link shows you a pic: http://www.ahsupply.com/twox.htm

Here it is:

2 x 13watt Bright Kit™ 21301 $16.99
You can use this kit to convert a 1x15w fluorescent light strip to 2x13w. Includes: Two 13 watt thermally protected magnetic ballasts; two 2-pin GX23 sockets; wire for completing the connection of the ballasts to the power cord and switch in your light strip; wirenuts and screws needed for installation; and pop-in vent covers and base pads. Requires two 13W bulbs (not included).

Bulbs: http://www.ahsupply.com/bulbs.htm
These are the bulbs that you need: 13 7.25" 6700K 11136 $5.99

Daily Excel and weekly Flourish will be fine with this kit.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 02:28 PM
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...so I'd imagine the 2x 13 watt AHS fixtures would definitely require CO2 (having a much better reflector)
The kit that I mentioned, 2 x 13watt Bright Kit™ 21301, doesn't come with a reflector. It mounts inside the stock fluorescent strip light.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 02:28 PM
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Owen,

The 10g light you have should be fine. I have it on my 10g and it grows an amazing number of plants. I am dosing 2ml of flourish every day I remember to put it in, so it's more like every other day. My plants are growing great.

If you want to change something what is your substrate? That can help your plants much more than a larger light

ADA AS and even FloraBase (almost same thing) is great and packed with nutrients and lowers PH.

So maybe think about that... OR get another 10g and let him start collecting inverts, (10g with a pair of dwarf crays?) 10g tanks aren't expensive nor are the supplies needed really... Especially if you do a sponge filter...

Some food for thought.

-Andrew
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 02:33 PM
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I have a 10g with 36w over it and haven't used CO2 or ferts for months. Thanks to a RCS population, there is no algae. Plants grow very nicely as well.

Can't go wrong with the AH Supply kits. That's what my 36w light is. Easy to install, relatively cheap, quality, and great customer service.

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