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New tank - lighting

782 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  lauraleellbp
I'm starting a new tank, two actually, and need some help with lighting. The main tank, a twenty gallon, is for my classroom. I had planned to have cichlids, which I have at home, (a 75 gallon, a 55 gallon, a twenty gallon hospital/quarentene, and ten and five gallon fry tanks.). I grow vals, java ferns and anubias in them. All send out runners and are mulitplying with just normal lighting.

Then one of the other teachers offered me angelfish babies from her tank at home. Okay, all new direction here! But I couldn't resist. So, since they like a planted tank, I'm working on it. And since I need to bring the fish home over holidays, I now have to have a ten tank at home to put them in there. Yeah, what sounded like a simple thing has turned into a not so simple thing.

For substrate I have eco complete plant and a thin layer of black sand on top. I use marine sponge over the intake to keep the sand out of the filter. I have a HOB and sponge filter, and a heater. This is in both tanks. I bought plants and driftwood off aquabid and they should arrive soon. The problem is lighting. To be honest, I can't afford to buy expensive lighting right now. Already spent alot in what I just put together with the tanks. Can I put a daytime flourescent light into the canopy that comes with the hoods? What is the best way to give the best light?

The plants I ordered are: kleinar bar, chain sword, dwarf baby tears (yeah, I know, they like good light) nana, hornwort, roseafolia, reinckii var, corkscrew, vals, madagascar lace, crispus, pontedereriifolia, petchii, spiralis, wendtii, lace jave fern and moss balls. (Some of these will end up in the cichlid tanks, the ones they won't eat of course.)

So what lighting would be best until I can get two good lights? I don't want to have to do the CO2 unless I have no choice?

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If you don't want to go with CO2 then my advice is to stick with a regular 15 watt T8 flourescent strip that comes standard over 10gal tanks.

It's all I run over my own 10gal and I'm quite happy with it. Very low maintenance.

Most of the plants you bought should do fine in a 10gal tank under that level lighting.

The only ones that won't probably need CO2 anyways (baby tears and A. reneckii)...
That's great news! Thank you! What about the twenty gallon that's in my classroom? Would the current light that's in it work? Or should I look at a daylight light?



Who will attempt to post pictures once I get the tanks planted and growing. Currently they are cycling without plants or fish.
If you stick with just mosses, java fern, and anubias in the 20gal you might also be able to make do with the stock flourescent light. You probably won't notice any plant growth, but it should be enough to keep the plants alive as long as the algae is kept in check.
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