The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I have decided to take the plunge into doing a planted tank but so far am still confused on the light setup I would need. Everything I am doing is pretty low tech and I am hoping to get some lights that would allow for "medium" light, although maybe that is too hard on a 48" tank and I would have to stick with low light.

I have read a lot of people here use the coralife t5no fixture, so is that my best economical option? I looked into using some shop light fixtures but unless someone knows of a good one for a planted tank I believe those are out of the question.

The reason I am going low tech is because finances are tight right now and I don't need to be spending that kind of money. Any ideas or experiences for the best light for the buck that wont break my bank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
I was in pretty much the same boat as you last week, so upon seeing this thread from "Hoppy", I decided to follow his route: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/112294-hd-worklight-light-fixture.html

My total cost for four 8.5" clip-on work lights and four 26w 6700k CFL bulbs was $54.01, but my dad is also giving me the plywood, wood glue, and screws/etc that are necessary, so if you do now have any of this around, this will bring up your cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,945 Posts
55 G Lighting

Good morning Fun...

Good choice on the 55 G! It will make a very nice planted tank. The 55 G is my fav. I have several of different dimensions.

Lighting is very easy. I use 48 inch, T8s (32 watt) for a tall tank or T12s (40 watts) for a wider tank. A 6500 K bulb is best, because it comes closest to natural daylight at 5500 K. These bulbs are about $12.00 at the local hardware stores and look for the GE brand for aquarium plants.

My tanks are strictly low tech (no CO2), low light and depending on the fixture, you can add a bulb if you want to grow more light demanding plants.

Attached is a pic I took a few weeks ago of one of my planted tanks. Kind of different, but the plants grow like crazy.

B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was in pretty much the same boat as you last week, so upon seeing this thread from "Hoppy", I decided to follow his route: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/112294-hd-worklight-light-fixture.html

My total cost for four 8.5" clip-on work lights and four 26w 6700k CFL bulbs was $54.01, but my dad is also giving me the plywood, wood glue, and screws/etc that are necessary, so if you do now have any of this around, this will bring up your cost.
Thanks for the idea. Unfortunately I do not have any of the materials right now, nor any real tools to work the wood, so this is probably out of the question.

Good morning Fun...

Good choice on the 55 G! It will make a very nice planted tank. The 55 G is my fav. I have several of different dimensions.

Lighting is very easy. I use 48 inch, T8s (32 watt) for a tall tank or T12s (40 watts) for a wider tank. A 6500 K bulb is best, because it comes closest to natural daylight at 5500 K. These bulbs are about $12.00 at the local hardware stores and look for the GE brand for aquarium plants.

My tanks are strictly low tech (no CO2), low light and depending on the fixture, you can add a bulb if you want to grow more light demanding plants.

Attached is a pic I took a few weeks ago of one of my planted tanks. Kind of different, but the plants grow like crazy.

B
The type of light is not really the driving question as much as what kind of fixture. I like the idea of a shop light because they are affordable and easy to get, not a fan of the fact that it will diffuse light into the room and not the tank. For a 55 gallon, how many tubes has worked for you? Didn't know if I would have to venture into the 3 tube range to get adequate light for lower light plants to really flourish or at least grow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,945 Posts
Lighting for a 55 G

Hello again Fun...

I use only the strip light fixture that came with the tank. I use one bulb only. Of course, I keep to plants that require low light or in some of my tanks I float driftwood and if possible, attach plants that need stronger light to the wood. Works real well for Banana plants.

You can also float Water sprite. It grows very well close to the light. There are at least a dozen plants I can grow in less than a watt of light per gallon of tank volume.

I do use liquid hydroponics ferts and dose once a week when I do my water changes.

As long as you provide aquatic plants with a little light, clean water and a regular source of macro and micro nutrients, they'll grow well and be healthy.

B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help B. I might just get a plant bulb for my existing t8 fixture for the time being and upgrade as needed... still not sure on what route to go. I know that I could just spend a bit of money and get the Coralife t5no fixture for pretty cheap, all things considered, unless someone has another cheap fixture idea in mind.

I know there are lists of plants out there for low light, but what has your personal experience been as to what plants really grow best in those conditions?

I know I have access to java fern and crypt, not sure what else would really qualify though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,945 Posts
Low Light Plants

Hello again Fun...

Java fern and Cryptocoryne varieties are good ones. Pennywort is a favorite of mine. Hornwort, Anacharis, varieties of Hygrophila, Anubias, Water sprite (floated), any of the mosses. I have Singapore moss and it's pretty large. A lot of the Amazon sword kinds that get fairly tall will do well in low light too.

That's all I can think of right now, but these are enough to fill up a 55 G.

B
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top