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Old 09-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
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CFL lighting

So I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do for lighting for my new tank when I set it up. I've read so much stuff that I'm just not making sense of it any more.

Maybe someone can help?

So I know I can't use my standard hood that came with it. It's just a regular old 30 inch model, 20 watt florescent bulb. That is obviously not going to work to maintain a low light planted tank.

I just want to be sure I have this right. I don't want anything too advanced. I want to plant some low light plants and I don't want them to grow too wild. I don't want to use CO and am totally willing to dose some ferts as needed.

So basically I believe I want to aim for about 2 watts per gallon and K rating of about 6000-6500? Is this basically what I need to achieve? Or is there something else I am missing.

Would it be possible to use 2 26 watt CFL bulbs with a K rating of 6500 on a 29 gallon low light planted tank and expect things to survive.

Also I notice there are different types of CFL lights. The ones with the Edison base that screw into standard light fixtures or the ones with pins. Are these basically the same? If I were to take 1 of each of these bulbs with the same wattage and K rating would they be equally as effective?
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
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Also I don't have a great understanding on Lumens. I think most lights for aquarium use are about 1000 or more lumens? How important is this? I'm having a hard time finding both lumen and K rating listed on lights.

I have found a 26 watt CFL light, K rating of 6500 and 1750 Lumens. Could I use 2 of these with success?
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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Watts per gallon is a pretty poor way to estimate light. CFLs can especially get weird when figuring out actual light levels.

It really depends on what your budget is, what your goals are, and what you have access to. You could do anything from an inglorious setup with brooder lights and 15w bulbs to a T5NO fuorescent.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Sadly I don't have access to much as far as actual aquarium set ups that aren't outlandishly priced. Online buying is out as shipping jacks the price up insanely to where I am... so I've really got a bit of a challenge. Basically I need to go with the local hardware stores and work from there. lol.

I think I'm going to have to get creative to make this happen. I did find a grow light at the local hardware store(100 bucks) but it's 4 feet wide, my tank is only 30 inches, and it's just way more than I need.

I just want to maintain some basic low light plants. I'm thinking water sprite, horn wart, java fern, maybe some crypts. Just basic, I don't want a lot of growth just a nice basic planted 29 gallon tank to start out and not break the bank.

If I can use CFLs I've found a set up that would cost me 50 bucks for the lamp and lights but I don't know much about CFLs so can't be sure if it would work. All of the reading I've done sounds like this could work. The lumens and Kelvin are right by my understanding and the wattage is less than 2 per gallon. I have read that wattage isn't everything too but don't know much beyond what is important outside of wattage, Lumens and K.

If I were rich this wouldn't be a problem
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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I have an 18 Watt 6700K CFL and a 23 Watt 5000K CFL over my 29 gallon and my anubias are doing fine. My amazon sword has exploded.

No CO2, root tabs and fish waste only lol. Regular sand.

You don't need to be rich, I'm using regular shop lamps because the stock lights you get are crap.

I'm also able to grow moneywort, water wisteria, and also my argentine sword has rooted all over the aquarium in less than a month.

Enjoy the hobby, but don't go bankrupt lol.
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