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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finally getting around to setting uo my first planted tank, a standard 125g, but I have run into a bit of a lighting issue. I was planning on getting a 72" BML MC fixture with a dimmer to keep the tank low tech. Howevver, I didn't knkw BML was scrapping the aquarium side of their business so I didn't order the light in time and it isn't an option now.
So that brings me to Plan B. I have been keeping reef tanks for years and therefore have accumulated "stuff" as all aquarists do. I have 3 AI Prime fixtures available that I can use after replacing them on my anemone tank with higher power led lights. I took one and played around with it on the 125g and managed to get a decent looking spectrum out of it with the power set low enough that my Apogee MQ-200 measured 40 par at the approximate height of the future substrate. However, the PAR is likely higher than that since the Apogee probably isn't registering anything at 660nm from the single red LED (running at 90%). I would actually prefer to boost the light up to about 50 PAR just to get the tank a little brighter for viewing, but I don't want an algae farm.

So what do you think? Would 40-50 PAR at the substrate be ok in a 125 with Black Diamond as the substrate with root tabs, daily glute dosing, and minimal dry ferts?

I would love to run t5's since it will result in a much brighter tank for viewing without boosting the PAR to crazy levels. However, I do not have a canopy so a retofit is out of the question. And it is proving difficult to find a 72" (or even 60") fixture to go above the tank, especially something with only 2 bulbs (or 4 39w bulbs in the case of the 72" light)

Since I already have the AI's, I will probably give it a shot anyway, but I was hoping for some feedback or suggestions before diving in to this new endeavor.
 

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The more light you have the more difficult it is to avoid algae. Without CO2 it is hard to go much above 40 PAR without BBA taking over the tank. I have my LED Finnex Planted plus light giving me about 40-45 PAR now, after a year at 30-35 PAR, no CO2, and after a couple of weeks I don't have any significant BBA. But, I am starting to get some on the filter inlet tube. My tank is 24 inches high, the same as I think yours is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The more light you have the more difficult it is to avoid algae. Without CO2 it is hard to go much above 40 PAR without BBA taking over the tank. I have my LED Finnex Planted plus light giving me about 40-45 PAR now, after a year at 30-35 PAR, no CO2, and after a couple of weeks I don't have any significant BBA. But, I am starting to get some on the filter inlet tube. My tank is 24 inches high, the same as I think yours is.
Do you does Excel and an equivalent in that tank?
I'm hoping that might give me a little bit more range with the lights. Of course, if I can find the right floaters (tank has dual overflows) then that could help as well.
 

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I dose Metricide daily at from 1 to 2 ml per 10 gallons. I had been dosing 2 ml, but I'm down to about 1.5 ml now to try to salvage my vals, which suddenly decided that 2 ml was too much.
 

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You can reduce the PAR by 40% by putting a layer of gray window screen (from Home Depot, to be more accurate) between the light and the water. That would give you about 30 PAR with two bulbs. You can make a simple screen filter to fit on the light fixture, or make a tank top cover from the screen. Then, if you run 3 bulbs you would get around 45 PAR.
 
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