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Lighting help please for a beginner

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Artega, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Artega

    Artega Junior Poster

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    Hello everybody, I am new to these forums and to live plant keeping so I could use your experience in helping me determine what would work best for me.

    I would like some help on deciding what LEDs or other lighting means that I should be looking at as far as lighting for my 60g Shrimp tank with live plants. The plants that are going to be in the tank are Dwarf Hair Grass, some Cabomba and Water Lily. My understanding is that the dwarf hair grass and cabomba require moderate lighting. My tank dimensions are 48L x 24H x 12W. Any suggestions with links would be greatly appreciated for this new comer to live plants. I do not plan on going with Co2 right now. I would like to use a fixture that would sit on the top of my tank and not suspended. Is it better to use a 48 inch fixture or two 24 inch fixtures in your opinion and why? Many thanks in advance. Here is a current pic of my tank http://i676.photobucket.com/albums/vv130/Klillie73/Fish%20Tanks/ShrimpTank.jpg

    I have been looking at the Marineland Aquatic Plant Lighting System http://www.marineland.com/sites/marineland/products/Detail.aspx?id=4653 would this be overkill?
     
  2. jerrybforl

    jerrybforl Lifetime Members
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    Hey Artega! I recognize you from TPT. I have a buddy that has this light, and it does not put out a great PAR! You are better off going with T5. Is this tank a 55gallon?

    Do some more research about what kind of plants will suit you best. Why not anubias, ferns, and cryptos? Some stems are very good for low to med light. You have to be careful with getting a powerful light.

    What are your goals for the tank? You need to pack the tank full of plants! If you're not going the CO2 route, then you need a moderate light. I have a t8 shop light on a 75gallon that puts out around 40 mmol of PAR and the plants that I carefully chose for it are doing great! Lots of plants will grow under lower light settings, but they will not grow as fast as you expect.

    Look at Tom's 120 planted tank. He is cranking CO2 and heaving lighting on it. Also good fertilizing to it. That's how he gets his colors and such.

    IMO cabomba is a bad plant for what you're asking. It gets leggy and unattractive. Try ludwigia broad/narrow leaf. They grow nicely and once trimmed they will begin to bush up. Tiger lotus does very well for me in my 75! Pads may not get big, but they stay in small groups and are red.

    If you are going with med lighting, non CO2, and light ferting, you will need to choose plants accordingly....anubias, ferns, cryptos, and some stems. Rotala indicia, the luds that I mentioned, some hygrophillias, and the lotus. Micro sword will also do fine.

    Just keep asking more questions and be patient with your decisions. This will save you lots of money and frustration.
     
  3. Artega

    Artega Junior Poster

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    Hey Jerry, I recognize you from TPT also. I am sending you a detailed outline of what I am looking for out of this tank.

    Any and all opinions are welcomed
     
  4. jerrybforl

    jerrybforl Lifetime Members
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    Just responded to your PM. Let us all know what you think of my opinions lol...:)
     
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