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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having trouble getting enough light into my tank. I have 4 T12 GE daylight bulbs over it but the eleocharis is dying. The tank is a 65 gallon, the water surface is 16" from the top of the tank and the substrate is 22" from the top. What kind of lighting would you recommend? Thanks.



Also, this is the first tank I've tried mineralized topsoil in. I had crypt balanse, wendtii, and lutea all melted within a day of transplanting them to this tank. The wendtii and lutea all rotted and the balansae hasn't rotted but hasn't grown back. The lutea and wendtii had that potting paper stuff around the roots but the balansae didn't. Does anyone know why this wound happen?
 

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Does anyone know why this wound happen?
I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but.... because they are crypts?

I don't think it's anything to worry about. When don't crypts melt after being transplanted?


As far as your lighting, I don't know what the wattage is on those bulbs, but being that they are t-12's I can guarantee that they aren't providing enough light. I've got a 24" tall tank too, and having 1.6 wpg of normal output t-5's is just barely enough to keep things from stretching and/or dying off. T-12's just won't cut it, DEFINITELY not on a tall tank.

If money isn't an issue, you should get high output t-5's.

If money is an issue, you should go with normal output t-5's, or even PC fixtures.

But not t-12's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They're standard T12's, I think 40W each. Money is an issue right now unfortunately. There's only about 20 gallons of water in the tank but should I include the air volume when calculating WPG?

I'm not concerned with the crypts melting, thats expected. Its the rotting that concerns me. The roots on the wendtii and lutea all turned black and stinky and leached nitrogen or something into the water when I aerated the soil around them.
 

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Hmmm. Maybe it's possible then that you have something sinister in your mineralized topsoil? I have no experience with that so I'm of no help there.

I still think you are going to have problems with those t-12's. They might be okay on a 12" tall tank, like a 20 long or something, but not a tall tank. And the distance from the bulbs themselves to the top of your substrate is what matters, so forget about wpg or any of that nonsense. Just, in general, the intensity of those shoplight bulbs is next to nothing once you get 12 inches or so away from the bulb.

Try growing some simple common herbs under those lights, like some rosemary or some basil, and keep the bulbs 2 feet away from the plants, and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I noticed that right away. It's pretty dark on the water's surface. The moss and orchids above the waterline are growing great at least. So I'm thinking somewhere close to 200w PC or T5. Sound about right? thanks a lot for the help too, I really appreciate it.
 

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You have 48 inch long bulbs over a 36 inch long tank, so only 30 watts of the bulb is over the tank. Based on that you have 120 watts or less than 2 watts per gallon, so even by the old discredited watts per gallon "rule" you are a bit short of light. I think I would look at a T5HO retrofit kit, using the clip-on-the-bulb reflectors that make those bulbs work so efficiently. Then you could get enough light with only two of those bulbs, or 3 at the most, especially if they are separated by about 8-10 inches (for 2 bulbs).
 
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