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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting a new 70 gallon corner bow tank shortly and it is the process of being built. My question is in regard to the amount of light I need for good plant growth. I am returning to the hobby after many years and have not used these newer lights or CO2. (I had the best plant growth with incandescents!)
For freshwater use, the tank comes with two 24" 65 watt compact florescent bulbs.
I was shooting for medium light at most as the tank does get some modest window light, but no direct sun. Should I ask them to add another 65watt CF if there is enough room room in the canopy? (30"x30" on the straight sides.)
 

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While I have no personal experience in that area, for a tank that deep you might want to consider HQI metal halide lamps. They are a little more expensive than PC lamps, but better for deep tanks due to their "punch".

Two of the 65W bulbs would give you medium light levels in general, but I am not sure if intensity would be an issue for any groundcover plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While I have no personal experience in that area, for a tank that deep you might want to consider HQI metal halide lamps. They are a little more expensive than PC lamps, but better for deep tanks due to their "punch".

Two of the 65W bulbs would give you medium light levels in general, but I am not sure if intensity would be an issue for any groundcover plants.
The only lights they show as standard for a fresh water setup are PC lamps. I am considering contacting them about getting some more wattage, but being inexperienced, I hesitate to go too high. As you said, I will have medium light in general, about 1.85 watts per gallon, although I was thinking I would prefer more like 2.3 - 2.5 or so. The tank is 24 inches deep and I was thinking of doing an Asian tank with tiger barbs, clown loaches, etc., with crypts. on the bottom. I would however like to have the option of having this extra light up top if I need it, although there may not be room in the canopy. HQI sounds interesting, but isn't that a lot more light and heat, and would they fit in a canopy? I will look into this though, thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Try this 150w 30" fixture. Has LEDs too.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=13975&N=2004+113352[/URL]
Looks powerful, but it is described as a reef light. I am not familiar with HQI lighting so I feel more comfortable just staying with the 130 PC watts over the 70 gallons or asking the fish tank people about adding another PC bulb if that is possible. My guess is that it won't fit. I also worry that I should be careful what I ask for!
 

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I too would recommend a 150 watt MH pendant in the 6500-10,000k range.

One problem you will have with the 2x65 watts is going to be coverage. Corner tanks are hard to light due to the shape (and hard for many people to work in also).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I too would recommend a 150 watt MH pendant in the 6500-10,000k range.

One problem you will have with the 2x65 watts is going to be coverage. Corner tanks are hard to light due to the shape (and hard for many people to work in also).
Thanks, I will certainly look into this. If they can fit this 150 watt MH under the canopy hood that would be great. I think they actually offer this option in salt water, but I am not sure. You mentioned that the MH pedant in the 6500-10,000 range would be good and I believe a light in that range is not blue, but looks more like natural sunlight. (that's what I like!) It sounds, too, that the 150 MH light spreads out more than the two 65 watt PC's would.

I just saw that there is an option available for this tank to get reef lighting which includes 1X150watt hqi mh and 2-65 wpc and 4 lunar lights. I assume that this MH light may not be in the 6500-10,000 range as they are for salt water, but I certainly could be wrong. If I got this option, I would most likely keep the PC's off as that is a lot of light. If this MH isn't in the correct 6500-10,000 band I am sure they could switch it out, I just wonder if having all those bulbs in there may mean that the MH may not be ideally positioned in the canopy to look good all by itself. Thank you for your help!

A corner bow is all I could fit in the TV, stereo, surround sound, fireplace, family room without taking the furniture out. I did, however, buy another tank, a 29 gallon for my office which is out in the middle of the room, so it will be easy to work on!
 

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The light you were linked to is better for a reef or high light tank. The "Pendant" Rex is referring to is basically just a lamp dangling down from the ceiling, which looks sexy, is cheaper than a full-blown canopy with PCs and stuff, requires an open tank (no canopy) and might spill some light into the surrounding room. You could probably integrate it into some sort of hood, but I am not sure.

I am still a little confused on the dimensions of the tank. If it is 24" tall, I think two 55/65W PC bulbs would be more than sufficient. If it is 30" tall, I'd suggest the HQI pendant for the higher intensity.
 

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I think what you're saying is that your corner tank is 24 inches deep/tall, and 30 inches wide on the two straight sides. With odd shaped tanks like corners, MH is often the best option. However, you also mentioned that you'd like to do an Asian-themed tank featuring crypts. Crypts are pretty tolerant of lower light levels, and if you're worried about having too much light, MH might be problematic. Since you have the option available, you might want to go with the reef lighting sold as an option. You can use the PCs alone, or use the HQI if you decide you want more light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think what you're saying is that your corner tank is 24 inches deep/tall, and 30 inches wide on the two straight sides. With odd shaped tanks like corners, MH is often the best option. However, you also mentioned that you'd like to do an Asian-themed tank featuring crypts. Crypts are pretty tolerant of lower light levels, and if you're worried about having too much light, MH might be problematic. Since you have the option available, you might want to go with the reef lighting sold as an option. You can use the PCs alone, or use the HQI if you decide you want more light.
That is what I have decided to do, go with the reef lighting and have the tank builders change out the two actinic bulbs for plant friendly PC's. The MH is right in the middle of the canopy so if I use that alone it should look great! Like you said another option is to use the PC's alone. An additional option mentioned here was to use the MH all day and pulse the PC's mid day for two hours or so. Thanks to all of you I now have a lot of options for lighting and I am not locked into two 65 wpc's. I appreciate everyone's help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The light you were linked to is better for a reef or high light tank. The "Pendant" Rex is referring to is basically just a lamp dangling down from the ceiling, which looks sexy, is cheaper than a full-blown canopy with PCs and stuff, requires an open tank (no canopy) and might spill some light into the surrounding room. You could probably integrate it into some sort of hood, but I am not sure.

I am still a little confused on the dimensions of the tank. If it is 24" tall, I think two 55/65W PC bulbs would be more than sufficient. If it is 30" tall, I'd suggest the HQI pendant for the higher intensity.
The dimensions of the tank are 30" long, by 30" wide, and 24 inches deep. I can see that the two 65 wpc's would be OK for a low light tank, but I may want to change it a year from now, so I like the option of having lighting alternatives in the canopy. The reef option also has four moon lights which sound like fun. It would seem that the MH light should be OK as main lighting in a moderately lit tank. (But I am still a novice in the subject of modern lighting.)
 

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An additional option mentioned here was to use the MH all day and pulse the PC's mid day for two hours or so.
I'd personally recommend doing that the other way around: run the PCs all day, then the MH for a few hours mid-day.

Whenever folks discuss tank dimensions, there's always some confusion. Some people refer to tanks having length, width, and height. Others talk about them having width, depth, and height. I've always thought the first was better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'd personally recommend doing that the other way around: run the PCs all day, then the MH for a few hours mid-day.

That is a great idea too and one that slipped my mind! That would mimic a sunny mid day with the MH on and then just the lower spectrum, PC lighting would be on later in the afternoon and evening.
 

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I use 150w HQI in my planted tank with ADA 8k bulb and it covers my tank completely and not too bright for my tank is only 20" deep.

MH should only be on for 4-5hrs and the rest is PC, i set my PC from 10am to 6pm and MH from 11am to 5pm on a timmer. My CO2 is also set on the MH timmer. My UV light is set on Night time when all lights are off.

I guess it all comes down to preference, but i am not really a PC fan i rather get a TEK T-5 or HQI in open top no hood/canopy. BTW MH with right reflector will give you the sexy wave effect XD
 

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I think given the plant choice you have listed, mainly Crypts, the PC or better yet, the T5 lights should do just fine.

If you like more work, try more light.

I had a 60 cube 24"^3 that had a 54 w PC light and it grew pearl weed pretty well, no algae etc.

Bending the lamp reflectors outward and raising them up some will help with the front dimeision of the corner tank.
The rear light can sit on the tank's lid etc.
HQI is a nice option, but it's a fair amount of light also.

I'd use just one or the other, not both for this tank given your experineces, and goals and plant species.

Crypts, Ferns on driftwood etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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