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Help with lighting?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Flash, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Flash

    Flash Junior Poster

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    Hello there and thank you for reading this question.

    I presently have a 55g, 130watts, bio-Co2 and some algae. Got the Diana W book and decided to go less tech with lower light.

    So do you think 108w on 55g would be low enough light for the bio Co2? I don't plan to use soil.
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    That is still almost 2 wpg on a 55 and will drive higher growth rates and thus c02 need. Higher light=higher growth rates=higher nutrient demand.......

    I would try and go 1-1.5 wpg and see how that goes. Is your light fixture adjustable in height? If so, you can rasie it 3-4" and see how that goes.

    I used to have 60 watts of tubular flourescent ighting on a 55 and got good slow growth of most stuff.

    Can you describe your fixture type/reflector?

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Flash

    Flash Junior Poster

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    Thank you for answering.

    I realize from reading the forum I either have to get more Co2 or lower light.

    I can't find lower light than the 108w. Where do you get lower light?

    Right now I have a Current USA 2 X 65 w. I was going to get a 2 X 54w T5 and now I read the T5 is stronger?

    Is there a way to turn off a bulb in my light? I don't know anything about lights.
    Would it be safe to remove a bulb from my light? Then I'd have 1.18 wpg.

    I don't have a lot of algae but do have some fine algae on the plants except the new growth and after 5 or so days some starts on the glass. More algae on the Anubia.

    I don't want to do soil.

    Will my moneywort do okay on 1.18wpg?
     
  4. brendokae

    brendokae Junior Poster

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    Hi,
    I am a Electrical Engineer, It is fine to take the tube out of your light fitting. The only danger is if you get water ino the tube holders (Tombstones) As they will be live. So only do this if you have a water proof cover.
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Yes your moneywort should be fine.
     
  6. brendokae

    brendokae Junior Poster

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    Re Can you Help Me as well I am lost

    Hi All,

    I have been watching this forum for a while and just become a member. I need some help on probaly the same problem. I currently have a 40 Gallon 4 foot Non Co2 Aquarium. I am going to by a new 55 Watt 4 foot T5 light fitting to replace the corroded out 2 x T8 Shoplight fitting that I have now. I was going to go CO2 but I think a new light fitting is more Imporatant at the moment. How many tubes do you think I wiil need I have been to some other forums and they have recommended up to 6 t5 lights that seems very excessive from what I have just read. I am now thinking about going 3 x 55 Watt T5 and using two tubes for now until i get CO2. The other Question Is I have A pinkish glow (Glowlux) with my lights so the center light I was going to have a 12000K globe in the three tube fitting. I just do not want have to buy a fitting again because it does not have enough light

    Sorry Sorry I am new and I am just trying to get some help as well.

    Anybody know how to post a thread
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I will post quickly so you have a response and come back and edit it for more detail........I am otherwise occupied at the moment lol

    Okay, light is what drives plant growth and the need for plant nutrients especially c02.

    Since you do not have c02 now, I would suggest using only 1 or 2 (max) bulbs in the new fixture.

    The T5 will be newer and brighter than the T8 on a one to one comparison, so even just replacing the 2 current bulbs with T5 will be a big increase in the light THAT THE PLANTS ARE NOW USED TO.

    This is an important point.

    When you increase the light, the plants will want to grow faster, and so the need for c02 and macro/micro fertilizers like nitrate and phosphorous etc increases.

    The plants need TIME to adjust to this, and while this is happening algae which is always in a tank, uses this time to take hold and spread.

    So, using 6 lights IMO would be way overkill as you suspect. While you could do it, it does not meet your goals, and would require a lot of c02 and nutrients to keep up with the light.

    So, with your new fixture if you could suspend or mount it in a way that would enable your to raise or lower it at your desire, this would help you adjust the light as you want, and could use more bulbs.

    Also the spread over the tank is important so keep this in mind when you remove a bulb or two........You want to eliminate any dark spots unless you want them there.

    If you look at each forum, at the top left somewhere there is a New Thread button. Just click on this and you can start a new one with your subject, etc.

    As you have time, this thread may help to understand the importance of c02 and how to use fertilizers should you go that way. It also includes a section on non-c02 low light as you want.

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/3205-fertilizer-routines-one.html

    I hope this helps.
     
  8. brendokae

    brendokae Junior Poster

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    Thank You Gerryd,

    Great Help I am looking forward your further reply!!! Its great to finally find somebody that knows what they are talking about. The forum I go to in Australia is so worng. I was very close to buying a 6 x 55 Watt T5 H.O. fitting. Do you think it would it be O.K. to adjust the light higher and have one 10000K & one 6500 K globe for now. I am just trying to get that clear water look. I will keep a very close eye on the algae......

    Again Thank You..
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Well, that WAS the extended reply lol, not sure what else to add.

    Yes, raising the light will affect both spread and lighting levels, so be aware of this. You can then lower again when you have the c02 going well to see how the growth rates are affected

    Please note that as you INCREASE the light, the demand for c02 and other nutrients is HIGHER, so you need to add more of these things.

    You can blend the two K ratings. It really is how you like it that is important for temp ratings, assuming they can grow plants.
     
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