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Lighting for a 29 gallon

3119 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  EvilFish
I posted this on the lighting forum and have yet to receive a response after a bunch of views, so I thought I would give it a try here in general discussion.

I have a 29 gallon, 18 inch high tank. I currently have a single T8 so I am in very low light. I have low light plants (anubias, crypt wendtii, java fern and moss). They have been in the tank for 3 weeks and are doing okay. This is my first time with live plants.

My fertilization plan is macro ferts with PPS-Pro daily and micro with flourish comprehensive weekly. I also dose metricide 14 daily. I just started the macros and the glut a few days ago, so I am still brand new to this stuff. Glut started very conservatively (due to my nano fish) and will be built up over the next several weeks.

So, to my point. I want to upgrade my lighting to "match" my current fertilization plan. I want to be in the higher reaches of "low light" so that my plants will grow better and thrive, while still staying safely away from a light intensity that would require pressurized CO2.

I have been shopping, posting and generally looking for a used dual T5-NO fixture; I had planned to elevate it a few inches over an open top. However, I have been unsuccessful finding one as of yet. To purchase a new aqueon or coralife dual T5-NO, I would spend around $60. For not too much more, I could get an LED 30-inch fixture (like a Finnex planted +, for instance). This is tempting because of the allure of LED with it's moonlight features and great level of light display, however, I don't want to overshoot my lighting goals.

So, knowing what I am wanting in lighting and my plant goals in general, should I stick with my dual T5-NO search or go with a finnex planted + or other LED option.
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I know you wanted to stay away from high light, and with the expense I even understand why. I haven't had a Finnex Planted + but I do have a Finnex Ray II and can tell you I am very happy with it's overall construction and output. Assuming their products are the same quality across the board, you won't be disappointed with that choice.
I had a 29 gallon and I took out the balast for the light (since it's only 24 inches anyway) and wired in 2 23w 6700k cfl's by sylvania from lowes and I had ok growth with them but I'd only say it upped my lighting by 10% but it gave me better spread.

I'd second the planted plus. It is a higher tank than most so maybe a ray 2 and monster ray combo but if you're on a budget the planted plus would work. I've read that the fugeray (origional) is only the same amt of light diodes as the 24 inch just spread apart farther. but the fuge ray has more than the 24" but less than the 36". You could easily put it on the stock hood or go with a glass cover if you're worried about jumpers or evap. If the light ends up being too high you can always put some window screen material under it and cut the light output by up to 40% and always floaters as well. Both cheap options for lowering high light into medium or low light scenarios and you have the option of removing it if you want higher light later down the line.
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Thanks for the replies. By floaters, I presume you mean floating plants to block some light, right? I think the planted+ sounds like a great option. I just don't want to keep "buying up" to the point that I am going to have to use pressurized CO2 to keep algae out of the tank.

Does the finnex planted + have mounts for going above an open-top tank? I would like to open it up for floating plants as I know they help to "soak up" extra nutrients and prevent algae.

Also, what type of photoperiod could I get away with for starters with the fert plan and an LED light set-up?
I have the planted + on my 29g. It replaced my T8, which was able to grow Anubis and Wisteria.

Once I added the Finnex, I got some other plants (bacopa, amazon sword, and Flame Moss). I noticed large jumps in the height and width of my Wistera. The rest of the plants have been thriving.

Its a low tech. Excel, Flourish kind of tank. There is some algae, but not enough for me to worry about. Besides, the otos and snails eat it up.

Id recommend the Planted +. YMMV
I had a 29G with FugeRay2 I replaces with a Planted+, which dropped the light dramatically. Better reds in both plants and fish. I'm glad I made the switch to the Planted+.

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Nice tanks! I also am setting up a 29g, just bought 1 planted plus.

How does the 1 planted plus bring out the color of your fish?

Would a standard glass cover block too much light?
I have mine over a naked tank (no glass cover), and it makes my Green Tiger barbs look great, as well as my Neon teteras.
Thanks guys. Pretty convinced on the planted + at this point. I was just concerned that I would be getting too much light, but it sounds as if it is still fairly low to low-medium in a tank with the depth of a 29 gallon.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I have just started dosing glut (this week). I have heard that small corydoras (I have 9 habrosus) can be sensitive so I am dosing it very conservatively and plan to build up over several weeks. Right now, I am dosing 0.5 ml/10 gallons, but hope to triple this or better over time as long as my fish stay healthy.

In the interest of avoiding an algae explosion, would it be wise to hold off on changing to the planted+ until I have my glut a bit higher?
Ray 2 would be more than you wanted. I had one on my 29g and I didn't really want as much as it provided. Just recently switched to the Planted + and am very pleased so far.
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