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Old 08-18-2004, 01:08 AM   #1
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DIY lighting project possibly

Well first and foremost, Hi everyone, I am new to this site and somewhat new to this hobby. This seems like a great site to get help and stuff.

I am usually on the IRC Chat room, at least I try to do be as much as possible.

I've been doing a lot of reading about planted aquariums, and I don't know if it will show or not, but I got a new 65Gallon tank and I put a couple of plants in it. Of course only to find out later that I do not have enough lighting for it and of course I spent about 100 bucks to get this fixture that only holds 2 fluorecent lights at 30Watts each, which doesn't give me enough light for the plants.

I read under the articles that says we can built our own light fixtures and stuff. I was wondering if anybody had instructions on how to built one, or how to convert one. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I just don't want to go out and spend another 400 bucks on a new fixture.

tks all.
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75 Gallon Goldfish tank at the office. 2 Fluvial filters and 1 330 Penguin filter.

68 Gallon Freshwater Planted Community tank at home -> New for now. Has Rena FilStar xP3 Canister Filter, a 400 Emperor power filter and a H.O.T Magnum power filter. DIY CO2 system
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:57 AM   #2
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How much wattage do you want? 100$ for 60watts doesn't sound like a very good deal. You could try overdriving them if they are T-8s.
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Old 08-20-2004, 02:52 PM   #3
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To achieve 2 wpg (3wpg if you have extra $$$) you need total of 130 watt of fluorecent light.

Anything higher then 2wpg you need CO2 which for a 65gal the presurise CO2 is your only choice. The DYI yeast CO2 will not able to meet the tank requirement.

Hmmm Eheim is not XP3 filter maker. Is the Emperor a HOB? The HOB should be avoid in a CO2 tank as CO2 escape due to the warerfall.

HTH
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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Hey guys.

I was hoping t get at least 3wpg. Not so sure if I can do that. I have actually purchase a retro fit with metal halide bulbs. it might be overkill for my tank, but I guess we will see what happens. It's two 400watt retro fit kits with ballasts and everything else. I am thinking about attaching that to the fixture that I have now and just run both, the regular 30 watt bulbs and the 400watt metal halide, giving me 860 wats for me lil 65 gallon tank. Would there be any problems with that? Will I cook my plants and fish once I put fish in it?

Yeah 100 bucks for a 60watt fixture was not a very good deal, but back than, I didn't really search around for it, I just went to petsmart and bought a fixture with to bulbs in it. It's a T-12 fixture, with crappy bulbs. I did not know about plants needing more light and stuff.

The emperor is a HOB, you are corrct. Kind of like the penguin but supposed to be better. I guess the CO2 will escape regardless, I am not sure what I am going to do with that yet. I got airstones and such in the tank as well. Right now they are off, since there is no fish in it and only plants.

You are right, the filter I have is a Rena FilStar xP3 Canister Filter. I should change that on my description thingie.

the yeast CO2 thing I have set up, uses a syphon filter and about 5 2-letter bottles and a water pump to cirulate all CO2 made by the yeast and sugar. Hopefully that's enough, from the DIY pages, it says that 2 2-litter bottles should be able to supply enough CO2 to a 55 gallon tank, so I figured, witha little bit of a overkill and some escaping 5 should be enough for my 65 gallon. I can always add more 2 litter bottles with yeast in it if necessary, but I don't have a clue how to calulate how much CO2 my tank has.

Another question I have is that I think I over killed with the iron, I added a lot of iron to my fish tank until the water turned half yellow half orange. Is that bad? My plants are still not doing very good, they are still yellowish kind of transparent, and I got those amazon swords type of plants and some ferns I believe. I read somewhere that these were easy to take care of but so far they haven't been doing really good in my tank. It might be from the lack of light or lack of something else, but I don't know what.

Whoa this is getting to be a pretty long post. See some replies and maybe I will continue later. So many questions, so little time.
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Old 08-21-2004, 01:20 AM   #5
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I see a lot over kill in your tank, you will kill the tank more likely then helping.

1. with 800 watt, now you have 12 wpg. What you tank water temperature during noon? Its the light spectrum within the plant's requirment?

2. with the HOB n air stone setup, you might want to buy a C02 test kits. your tank co2 saturation might be very low.

3. Since you just setup the tank, i assume so is your 5 DYI CO2 bottle. It takes 2-4 days before the bottle can reach their optimum output. Maybe you should test the CO2 level 1 weeks later to determine the effect of 5 bottle dyi CO2 and the HOB and air stone.

IMHO, probabily without HOB, you can achieve the above condition with only 3 bottle of dyi CO2 as no CO2 is wasted.

What is your water hardness? You need to know the hardness as those are you pH buffer. At least >4 dKH for CO2 equip tank or the pH will swing.

4. With the overkill Iron, the algea is coming next week.

BTW, how old are you. You sound like Tim Allen in Home Improvement.

HTH
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Old 08-21-2004, 04:07 AM   #6
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hahah thanks vega.

1. With 800 watt I have no idea what the water temperature is going to be at noon. Right now it is usually around 80F during the day and night. The light spectrum is supposed to be between 6500 and 10k I believe.

2. But without the HOB and air stone, won't the fish not be very happy? They have CO2 test kits? I should definately look into those.

3. The CO2 bottles have been setup for about 1 week now. They seem to be giving off quite a bit of CO2, since the syphon filter I use to circulate the CO2 is pretty much almost always half full of CO2 and half full of water. Right now I don't have my water pump yet, so I am using the outflow of the HOT magnum to puimp water into the syphon.

The water hardness is pretty good. I added some baking soda to it and I added epsom salt too, maybe even a lil too much of it, but I think it's normalizing, the pH is pretty stable. Haven't changed. Both GH and KH are off the charts on my test strips.

Interesting enough, witth the overkill in Iron, I haven't seen any algea yet, but if they come they come, oh wells. What else is new... but I don't even know if my tank is suitable for algeas. The plants aren't doing so good, and algeas will probably not survive either

I am 27 years young. Still trying to learn.

Oh and if anybody knows which link I am supposed to go to so I can change my signature thingie so I can fix my filter information, your help will be greatly appreciated.
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75 Gallon Goldfish tank at the office. 2 Fluvial filters and 1 330 Penguin filter.

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Old 08-23-2004, 11:33 PM   #7
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hihi I got a very nice green algea growing on all surfaces in the tank and my big light is not even here yet. oh oh 8O
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Old 08-28-2004, 07:30 PM   #8
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Hiya,

As a FYI - you can calculate your CO2 level by measuring KH & pH. This link gives the basics of CO2 calculation plus a lots of info on planted tank. There is also a CO2 calculator there as well:

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

BTW - the CO2 calculation will work ONLY if you have no buffers other than carbonates - ie no phoshpates, pH down, etc. I think the commercial CO2 kits have the same limitations as well.

Oh and MORE is not always better .... 800 watts!! You might fry your fish or plants if you put those too close to the water... You might be better off using just ONE of the 400 watts, bringing your closer to 5 wpg.

Also, be careful of the CO2 level as well... too much will drop your pH and suffocate the fishies.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:06 PM   #9
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12wpg will probably burn the plants more htan help them.
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:40 PM   #10
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Ok, everyone, I got the 2 400Watt metal halide kit, but it wasn't a kit, therefore I didn't install it and I just got my money back. So I am not going to be burning and frying my fish anymore.

I am going to start a new thread under planted aquariums, because now I really need some help.

Hopefully all of you go join me over there as well.

tks.
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68 Gallon Freshwater Planted Community tank at home -> New for now. Has Rena FilStar xP3 Canister Filter, a 400 Emperor power filter and a H.O.T Magnum power filter. DIY CO2 system
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