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Old 11-05-2005, 05:48 PM   #1
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Help with newly planted tank and lighting

I am still new to this planting thing, so please bear with anything I may say that you may feel is silly. From the research that I have done online, I know that I should have roughly 2-3 watts/gallon for a planted tank. I currently have a 20 gallon All-Glass setup with one 18,000K 15 watt bulb. That only works out to .75 watts/gallon. I can't seem to find anything that will fit my 20 gallon tank and allow me to up the wattage to the roughly 50 watts I think I need. I also sort of know that the color of the light makes a difference. I have an Aqua-Glo bulb that says 35 LUX. I would love any and all input on this subject. THANX
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Old 11-05-2005, 06:04 PM   #2
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First of all you could read the sticky about light. Then you will see that it would be better anyway to get a bulb between 6500 and 10000K. Your 18000 are not really beneficial for plants and might only be beneficial for growing algae .

Second, how long is your tank? Do you have a DIY hood or want to make one? Do you want lights with legs to sit on? A hole hood? Strip lights? Look around at www.bigalsonline.com a little to see first of all what your possibilities are .

If you get over 2wpg you have to get CO2, otherwise you might be growing algae.
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Old 11-05-2005, 06:29 PM   #3
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My tank is 24" long. A regular 20 gallon. I currently have the ALL-Glass hood that came with my ALL-Glass tank. It has a clear plastic part that my strip light sits on and shines through. If I could just replace the strip light with maybe a two bulb light with two 6700 bulbs, would that be sufficient? That will give me about 30 watts in my 20 gallon tank. If I subtract out the substrate and rocks, then maybe my 20 gallon tank only has 15-17 gallons of water?
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Old 11-05-2005, 08:41 PM   #4
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if you go over 2wpg then you have to start using co2...i had the same problem with my tank...not enough light so what i did is i purchased a top glass (my tank is also an all-glass one) and then i added an extra light...the plants are just fine...HTH...
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:34 PM   #5
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You could either go with 36W, which is 1.8wpg. That way you don't need to add CO2 yet, if you don't want to.

If you want more light, go with either 55W or 65W (2.75 and 3.25wpg), but you will have to add CO2. If you don't want to mix CO2 yourself get a Nutrafin Natural CO2 Kit.

Make sure not to buy a bulb, that is half actinic (for saltwater). Your plants won't be able to use it but your algae will.

You can't substract the gravel and stuff, that's not how the wpg rule works.

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2=

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2=

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2=

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2=

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2=

These are some possibilities, check though if they have 50/50 lights (half actinic) - you don't want that and would have to purchase another bulb.
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:46 PM   #6
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close enough

I really appreciate the quick responses guys. I wound up going to Petland Discounts and bought a glass cover for the tank and another one light fluorescent strip light. I now have 30 watts in my 20 gallon tank. 1.5 watts per gallon will hopefully be enough. I kinda wanted a quick fix. I looked at the Hagen lighting display and it said that my 18000k light was good for plants. I was gonna get one 6700k light for the new strip light, but it was 26.99 instead of 9.99 for another 18000K. I now have two 18000K lights. Let me know if you think I should replace one or both of them with 6700K. My tank is now ALOT brighter. As long as I didn't blind my fish and I don't develop an algea problem, it should be good for my plants. Also, what are the benefits of using a CO2 system and how cheaply can I get one?
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:58 AM   #7
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Please read the sticky on CO2. It explains options.

I don't mean to be facetious but people new to planted tanks don't see aquarium plants as complex living organisms. Well that's just what they are. They require certain building blocks to grow and thrive. Just like each species of fish has it's specific requirements, so too does each species of plant. Carbon, in the form of CO2 is one of those building blocks.

For a plant to utilize the lighting effectively it needs all of the other building blocks of life. Consider the body builder that wants to increase his muscle mass. If he just lifts weights without taking in the proper nutrition, his lifting regimen won't net the results he's after. You can equate lighting as the exercise and carbon as a component of the nutrition. That's how CO2 benefits plants.

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Old 11-06-2005, 03:08 PM   #8
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I now have 30 watts of Aqua Glo light in my 20 gallon tank. I just ordered the Plant Gro CO@ Natural System from Big Al's. I think and hope that this will make my plants thrive and not look like they were just planted. Thanks for the haelp.
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:43 PM   #9
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You won't experience super growth, but growth .
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