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Old 05-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #1
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Question about lighting

From the research I'm doing, it seems I need a "t8" with wattage of about 1 watt per gallon for a low light planted tank...I have a 55 gallon. I've been looking for bulbs, and I have a 24 inch long bulb now (only 15 watt), where can I find a bulb that fits my needs that fits my current light hood? Any suggestions?
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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Your Planted Tank

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Originally Posted by blur411 View Post
From the research I'm doing, it seems I need a "t8" with wattage of about 1 watt per gallon for a low light planted tank...I have a 55 gallon. I've been looking for bulbs, and I have a 24 inch long bulb now (only 15 watt), where can I find a bulb that fits my needs that fits my current light hood? Any suggestions?
Hello blur...

This is your luck day! I have several 55 G, low light, planted tanks. All have less than a watt of light per gallon of tank volume, just a single bulb.

Bulbs are easy to get and inexpensive if you keep to the less light demanding plants and there are a lot of them. Any local hardware store will carry GE 6500 K, 32 watt, T8s or 40 watt T12s. Both will work well in your 55 G. Just make sure you get 48 inch bulbs, they work better than the two bulb set up. The two bulb set up leaves a dark spot in the middle of the tank. The cost is minimal, about $10.00 or so per bulb. They last well over a year.

If I was setting up the 55 G, I'd spring for the strip that will accommodate the larger bulb. The plants will do much better in the long run.

If you need some help, just ask.

B
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
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Thanks, any suggestions on where to get a strip at? On-line, would be best because the stores around here just never seem to have what I need.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:36 PM   #4
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Also,I just measured my tank and it's 48 inches exactly, so not sure how I can get a bulb that long.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:54 AM   #5
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Your 55 G Tank

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Thanks, any suggestions on where to get a strip at? On-line, would be best because the stores around here just never seem to have what I need.
Hello again blur...

A company by the name of alphaprobreeders might be able to help you. I get all my aquatic plants from them, but as I recall, they carry lighting too. There are others. ThatFishPlace.com is good as well as DrsFosterSmith.com.

As I mentioned earlier, you want a 48 inch bulb. I use a T8 for my taller, narrower tanks and a T12 for the shorter, wider tanks.

Keep those questions coming. I'm never too busy.

B
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #6
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I have a local store that only deals in freshwater planted aquariums and they generally will have anything needed for the planted aquariums. They have an online store as well you could try them, they are very knowledgable and know what they are doing try theplantedaquariumstore.com. Also I agree with the above low light plants shouldn't even need a full watt per gallon.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:03 AM   #7
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Low Tech Planted Tanks

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Also,I just measured my tank and it's 48 inches exactly, so not sure how I can get a bulb that long.
blur...

Ckeck with your local Ace, Lowe's or Home Depot for the 6500 K, 48 inch bulbs. Look for GE Aquarium Plant bulbs. They're $10.00 each most places and they'll last a year or more.

There's no reason you can't have a nicely planted tank on a strict budget. Just avoid the more demanding plants that require CO2 and high end lighting fixtures. To me, that stuff is pricey and more work. To an old water keeper like me, that takes the fun out of the hobby when it takes too much time, brain damage and effort.

Anyway, if you keep things simple there are fewer things to remember and less chance of messing up something. If you're interested in a list of plants that do well in low light and some ideas for good fertilizers and such, just let me know.

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Old 05-04-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone I ordered a 48 inch hood, that holds the light as well, and comes with a 32 watt bulb. This should be good? Also, I would love that list of plants...I have a few that I was told were low light, and grown in low light but I'm not sure what they are.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blur411 View Post
Thanks everyone I ordered a 48 inch hood, that holds the light as well, and comes with a 32 watt bulb. This should be good? Also, I would love that list of plants...I have a few that I was told were low light, and grown in low light but I'm not sure what they are.
A standard shoplight that can be found for less then 15 bucks works just as well.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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Low Light Plants

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Originally Posted by blur411 View Post
Thanks everyone I ordered a 48 inch hood, that holds the light as well, and comes with a 32 watt bulb. This should be good? Also, I would love that list of plants...I have a few that I was told were low light, and grown in low light but I'm not sure what they are.
blur...

The hood is a little pricey, but will work well for you. Bulbs at the hardware stores are $10.00 or even less if on sale. I've gotten three in a pack for $20.00. One, 32 watt bulb is fine and will last well over a year. With low light plants, you don't have replace bulbs every 6 to 8 months to keep the lighting intensity at a certain level.

Anyway, there are more than enough low light plants to fill a large tank. Any of the mosses, like Singapore, any varieties of Anubias, Java fern, most Amazon swords, varieties of Cryptocoryne are good.

You can also float stem plants close to the light and they'll grow well. I currently have Water wisteria, Anacharis and Pennywort.

I get all my plants from alphaprobreeders.com They're the best on price and ship large, healthy plants.

Let me know if you need anything further on the plant thing.

B
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