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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I'm new to both the forum, and planted tanks and I would like some advice regarding lighting. Right now I'm running a low-tech 35 gallon tank with pool filter sand substrate, minimal florescent lighting (temporary fixture that looks like its meant for a 10 gallon) and dosing with Excel and Flourish. I currently have growing some hornwart, Egeria(Anacharis?), Bacopa, and Hygro. They have been doing good, but I'd really like to move on to some other plants, specifically Dwarf Hair Grass. But I really don't know what lighting to go with.
Can I get by with Moderate lighting? or am I better off going with High lights?
LED or Florescent?
What type of Fixture should I go with? I'd like to keep using the same hood if possible.
What determines lighting levels? Fixture or Bulb? (could I use low light bulbs and high light bulbs in the same fixture?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DHG normally requires high light, and CO2 to flourish.
Thanks, I'm aware DHG requires CO2. I have a CO2 system that I can setup but have been waiting to upgrade my lights. I just don't know what to upgrade to. Are pet store fixtures sufficient? what brand/model? or is it a DIY kind of thing? or is lighting more of any fixture works, it's the bulbs that matter, sort of deal?
 

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I would look into HO lighting only because of the HG. The other plants would do ok with just normal output lights. How tall is the tank? That might be the determining factor on your decision to go with HO lighting. A standard light fixture can only use normal output bulbs. If you want to use HO ( high output) you will need to upgrade the fixture to HO.
I am using T-8 NO lights on one of my 40B tanks, and can grow anything I want it seems. I am using two 3 bulb fixtures over one tank, so lots of light on it. The PAR from these bulbs is around 60 at the substrate:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, I guess my question is what fixture should I buy for use in a planted 35 gallon tank?
would something like this work? http://www.petsmart.com/fish/lighti...-catid-300015?var_id=36-16413&_t=pfm=category

I just don't understand... what determines High light from low light? the fixture, or the bulb? Will a bulb that produces low light work in a high light fixture? Can someone just recommend a fixture and bulb for me please?
 

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I can't find out what the dimensions of your tank are. The only 35 gallon tank I can find is a hexagonal tank. Without knowing the dimensions of your tank I don't know of any way to determine what would be a good light for it.
 

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Here is how I would decide: The tank is 36 inches long, so the best coverage will be from a 36 inch long light, unless you suspend a shorter light high above the top of the tank. So, I will assume a 36 inch long light. The tank is only 12.5 inches front to back, so a single light will easily give you uniform lighting front to back. You want low to medium light, but you also would like to grow a carpet plant. If you have 40 PAR intensity at the substrate, and CO2, you can very likely grow even HC, so I would look for a 36 inch long light giving about 40 PAR at 17 inches - assuming you will have 2 inches of substrate, and the light right at the top of the tank. See http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368 and look at the chart for T5 lights. A FishNeedIt 2 bulb T5HO light will give you very close to 40 PAR at about 17 inches - http://www.fishneedit.com/t5ho-3ft--2lamp-aquarium-light.html with 10000K bulbs (but I would contact the seller to see if I could get one 10000K and one 6700K bulb).
 

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I am too new to give any solid advice but I know what you're talking about. We have about the same tank and I used to have the same light. The light fixture that fits on top of your hood is 36" but it has a 30" bulb...? That's how mine was. What everyone is saying is ditch that setup. That type of bulb won't do much at all. Don't they sell a fixture that fits your hood in a 36" bulb? I still don't know if that "one" would be enough.
Par is not usually on the fixture - you have to look it up for specific fixtures. It's confusing, I feel your pain. I just went through all that.
I don't use the hood we have. I made a bigger canopy/hood and put a 36" led in it. Very happy with it.
Sorry if I was no help or confusing but I know what I'm trying to say lol.
 

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I buy my BeamsWork led light fixtures from that guy on e bay. I grew plants just fine with a single 36" beams work but upgraded to running 2 units as my plants have really filled out. For around $100 I got 2 6500k fixtures that use half watt LEDs and it is working out great. I just ordered the same fixture in 30" for my 20 long....which btw is growing DHG without CO2. That tank has had CFLs on it, I dose macros and micros once a week, and use metricide daily. Took a few months but I'm getting new shoots all over lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am too new to give any solid advice but I know what you're talking about. We have about the same tank and I used to have the same light. The light fixture that fits on top of your hood is 36" but it has a 30" bulb...? That's how mine was.
No, I have an older style hood. It has side panel sort of things that prevent the fixture for reaching the full tanks length. Something like this
http://0.tqn.com/d/saltaquarium/1/0/o/K/1/perfectohood.jpg. So it could only fit a 28.5" fixtures (can't remember what size the bulbs for it were though.) It died on my a few months back unfortunately.


Par is not usually on the fixture - you have to look it up for specific fixtures. It's confusing, I feel your pain. I just went through all that.
I don't use the hood we have. I made a bigger canopy/hood and put a 36" led in it. Very happy with it.
Sorry if I was no help or confusing but I know what I'm trying to say lol.
Lol, it's all right I think I am beginning to understand what I need to look for. PARS are still really confusing me though, maybe I will stop by the LFS and see what they recommend than post back here for opinions. It sounds like I need to change hoods either way.
 

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I have no problems going with high lights, if you read my original post I was asking if it would be better to go with medium or high lights, just not sure how some of my low light pants would deal with the high light.
no guarantees but most "low light" plants are listed as so because they can thrive at a minimum.. Unlike "high light plants".. most low light will be fine w/ high light.. maybe too fine i.e super growth. I do know Water wysteria under high light grows like crazy..

as Mr. Barr once pointed out to me many of these plants grow both submerged and emergent.. your lights likely won't match the output of the sun..
 

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Would something like this work?
[Ebay Link Removed]

Not sure what I would do for a hood though /:
You don't need a hood on the tank. Just use the glass piece that sits on the top of the tank, if you are worried about the fish jumping out. That light fixture is an Odyssea light, which seems to have better quality reflector(s) so it produces more light than the FishNeedIt lights do. It would give you closer to 60 PAR than 40, and you would need to use CO2 with it in order to provide the plants with enough carbon to meet their needs for growing as fast as the light makes them grow. More light isn't better light, unless you also provide the nutrients the plants need to grow at the rate they are driven to by the light.

If you have to use the hood that houses your present light you need to show us a photo of it and measure how long a light fixture will fit in it, so we have more to work with. Also most aquarium lights will have overheating problems if you try to enclose them with a hood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You don't need a hood on the tank. Just use the glass piece that sits on the top of the tank, if you are worried about the fish jumping out. That light fixture is an Odyssea light, which seems to have better quality reflector(s) so it produces more light than the FishNeedIt lights do. It would give you closer to 60 PAR than 40, and you would need to use CO2 with it in order to provide the plants with enough carbon to meet their needs for growing as fast as the light makes them grow. More light isn't better light, unless you also provide the nutrients the plants need to grow at the rate they are driven to by the light.

If you have to use the hood that houses your present light you need to show us a photo of it and measure how long a light fixture will fit in it, so we have more to work with. Also most aquarium lights will have overheating problems if you try to enclose them with a hood.
So I could just buy a versatop to use with that fixture? I'm just worried because this tank is such odd dimensions (12.5" wide) I haven't been able to buy tops that fit it properly in the past. CO2 isn't an issue, I bought a cheap system a while back as I have been wanting to upgrade lights for a while it just turned out to be a lot more complicated than I anticipated.
 
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