This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

BIG tank Lighting

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Gator, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Gator

    Gator Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    Hello everyone first post here. Here is the dilemma, I have a 600 gallon tank that I want to plant with US native plants mostly Vals nothing needing real high light now I've read a few times where the WPG rule gets thrown out the window when it comes to tanks like mine. I have a few posts on a few different sites trying to find a good lighting set up that will let me grow a jungle of.. Jungle Vals :D
    I've researched lots of options like Metal halides which really isnt an option due to cost, PC lighting again cost prohibitive, Screw in SHO CFL bulbs and what looks most promising Over Driven T8's. I've been looking on a few sites and threads going on each looking for suggestions and 2 different site I've been refered to Mr. Barr's insight into lighting a large tank. The tank Dimensions are 96Lx48Wx30H subtracting water level in the tank and substrate depth I have about 25-26" of water depth to the top of the substrate. I made a little site about the construction of the tank (its a DIY) on google sites HERE . This is pretty much my last hope here so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! TIA
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    If you just want to grow vals and such and have a low-light tank, why not go with normal fourescent fixtures or as you said compact flouros?

    How about a nice set of 48" shop fixtures placed end to end to get you the length you want. You will get a nice spread of light that way.

    This may be cost effective and you seem to have DIY skills.....

    Once you build a fixture, you can put any mfg bulbs in there as long as they are the correct type and gives you more choices...........

    I kept my 180 for years using veri-lux 30 watt bulbs (I had 8 of them in 2 banks and rotated them as needed) and I grew vals, anubias, crypts, stems, etc.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Gator

    Gator Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    I have 4 40W GE T12 bulbs in there now but they aren't working well, probably due to the fact that they are only 4100K and not to sure about the Lumens either. The reason I have them is because I had not intended on having any plants in the tank. I'd like to upgrade to something other than T12's more along the lines of T8 or T5 for more efficiency and stay away from having to put 1000+ watts over the tank. As I mentioned I've read where people have said that over a large tank the WPG rule doesn't fit but then they give no answer as to what will work. Thanks for the tip tho, every bit of info helps.
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    Ah......

    I did not know that T5 were in your price range....... If so I would recommend them...They are excellent lights and should reach to the substrate...........

    FYI, lumens is not really a useful measurement for plant growth from what I understand.

    Also, the K rating is more a personal choice on what you like, it seems to make little difference to the plants themselves, as long as they have sufficient light for their needs. I use 6500, but have had good success with 14k and 10k bulbs as well.

    Do a search on lumens or PAR and K ratings and you will find a lot of great info/discussion on lighting.

    Are you planning on using pressurized c02 or Excel (carbon source liquid) at all?

    Edit:

    Just read your build thread. What a great tank! And DIY no less. I am impressed!
     
  5. Gator

    Gator Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    Thank you :D

    I did Co2 once on a 55G planted and uhh.... no way will I do pressurized on a 600 lol I'll go the Excel route. For the moment I'm leaning towards the T8 route @ 1000bulbs.com Fulham Workhorse 5 T8 ballast that runs 4 bulbs for $24.13 and .40 per socket then a case of 36 T832W 6500K bulbs for 104.01 which works out to under $3.00 a bulb. I just need to find out exactly how many ballasts I'll need. I can go 6 ballasts, case of bulbs and sockets for under $300 shipped. the 6 was because I was planning on Over Driving them but I'm not looking at making any purchases till December I don't like rushing stuff like this I planned my tank out for a loooong time before I started the build and I plan on doing the same here.
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    Wait a second, I just remembered that vals and excel do not work always work well together. You may want to do a search on that.

    The more control over the individual lights the better. If you can also control the timing of each light so you can create patterns, you are golden :)

    Say 4 lights for 60% of the day and the other 2 for a 3-4 hour noon burst.

    Or if too much, run 2 or 3 lights on each part of the day. You can also have natural darker areas, as I know the gars are ambush predators and will appreciate the eel grass beds........
     
  7. Gator

    Gator Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    :( Your right with the Excel and Vals. I did a Google search and the 1st link that came up and I went to was nothing but "Excel melted my Vals" I wouldn't even know where to start with Pressurized CO2 on a tank as big as mine.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,660
    Likes Received:
    600
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    Excel on 600 Gallon tank?
    You'd better buy 20 liter containers.

    You can do full automated continuous water changes, this will allow large fish loads, decent CO2 stability, and by pass CO2.

    Light: I'd use suspension mounted set up, say 2 banks for 4ft long and be able to raise lower etc.

    Personally, 8 x 150 HQI would be great for CO2 enriched tank.

    But this case, I'd use T8's x 8 for each 4 ft section and space them out, do not bunch them all together, so they spread light evenly over the 48" front to back, about 5" apart for each bulb. Get reflectors for these.

    The water change system will make the fish load and CO2 issue easier.
    You can run the water change for 2-3 hours right before the lights come on or 1-2 hours into the light cycle.

    This might be more user friendly for you.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Gator

    Gator Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    With the T8's should I use 16 T8 ODNO or just standard 32W 8 on a side (16 total)? The Automated water change should be fairly simple for me to do and good motivation to do it if I can bypass CO2 in doing so. Thank you for the tip! it looks like I finally came to the right place.
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    Why are you so strongly opposed to using pressurized CO2 on the tank. It admittedly would be a problem to get uniform distribution of CO2 in such a large tank, but once the system was set up and adjusted, the amount of work involved is very slight.
     
  11. Gator

    Gator Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    The biggest reason is cost. I realize tho that a majority of the cost of CO2 is up front with the Regulator and canister but I really need to look a the cost overall for everything I would like to do. Now if I do go with CO2 I don't think getting even distribution in the tank will be an issue because of the way the water is delivered back into the tank. When the water is fed back it is split up into 8 jets in 5 different locations in the tank. It would be easy for me to tap into the main line going back and more than likely the CO2 would be completely dissolved into the water before it left the jets if I used a quality diffuser but still there is the initial cost issue. here is a pic of the return lines before I put it in the tank and covered it with the substrate.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    I second the wattages Tom Barr mention. With my PAR/PUR-calculator I get 1000 watts of very well reflected high PUR-efficiency light or 1500 not so well reflected ordinary (6500K) light. So 8x150 watts should hit the sweet spot I think.
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    You need to decide on a clear goal you are shooting for. If you want to include plants in the aquarium it takes a certain amount of light and nutrients. If you deviate too much from the amounts of light and nutrients recommended for a planted tank you tend to run into big algae problems.

    I understood from your first post that you only want a few small planted areas in the tank, so you were seeking "spot" lights to give adequate light only in those areas. For that you don't need 8 lights, unless you want 8 planted areas. But, you will have to be careful not to light those areas too much or you will get algae unless you are also providing adequate nutrients, including CO2 to the plants in those areas, which means fertilizing all of the tank water. Perhaps you can stick with low light plants and use just fertilizer tabs in the substrate in the planted areas - probably the best idea for what you said you wanted.
     
  14. Gator

    Gator Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    10:01 PM
    I had initially wanted to go with the spotlight effect with the screw in compact fluorescent light bulbs inside a reflector but I was told that those would not work. The bulbs were 105W 6500K bulbs (6700 lumens). I'm still not clear on if Tom Barr meant standard or ODNO T8's in 2 banks of 8 over the tank.
    The root tabs sound like a good idea to keep the extra nutrients out of the water column and keep it away from the algae. Now are Jungle vals low or medium light plants? I see different requirements all over the place.
     
Loading...

Share This Page