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Old 03-11-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
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Lighting

Hey all

As I was wandering around Home Depot looking for silicone. I found these lights.
Do you think they would work for my 65gal tank? It's dimensions are 12 1/2" wide 48" long 24" tall. It homes various African Malawi cichlids.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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Certainly.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
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Awesome thanks! Should I get the daylight bulbs? Or is there different ones I should be getting? Also would these work for my 80gal too if I wanted to try my hand at plants down the road? The 80 measures 22"wide 26"tall 48"long.
Homes my discus, albino rainbow shark and various tropical fish.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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They would not be the greatest for live plants, especially in an 80 gallon tank. For a tank that size I would look at t5ho or led lighting solutions.

As far as the temperature for your non planted tank it doesn't matter. Daylight would be just fine. If you wanted bluer you could go with something that has a higher Color temp. If you want 'more yellow/red than lower color temps.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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I was looking into the LED strips my husband said he can get them off a roll from his work. It depends on the price. I'll hold off on the 80 then and just pick them up for the 65. I would like them to compliment my cichlids colours. Make them "pop" more? Could I do one of each? Or should I pick up a bunch and just see which ones I like best and take back the ones I don't?
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Yes, certainly you can mix and match on a non planted tank, and go with whatever color combo you find most pleasing.

Diodes on a roll as you described are not appropriate for growing plants, either. By virtue of a lack of heat sink and cooling available, those kinds of LEDs are usually in the 0.3-0.5 watt per diode range, which are not powerful enough to grow most types of live plants in a tank as deep as an 80. You would need to be in the 3W per diode range to provide proper lighting for plants. Unfortunately, LED lighting for planted tanks is still fairly newer technology, and appropriately powered fixtures are quite expensive - usually on the order of 2 to 3 times as much as equivalent T5HO fixtures. They do have advantages though - namely much less power draw (you electric bill is lower) and they do not require bulb replacement (they last for 10+ years of normal use, where as T5HO bulbs need to be replaced every 6-12 months for optimum performance, and good t5ho bulbs are not cheap).
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
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Ah.. See I'm a dummy when it comes to this stuff. I've thrown around the idea of real plants for years but admit there's more than I know to ever achieve it. I've been reading posts upon posts trying to sort it out in my head but I'll admit I'm easily lost in most of the discussions.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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Well, it is probably a separate discussion, but there are 3 things to understand with planted tanks:

1. Lighting - most important. Needs to be of sufficient strength (usually a product of wattage, though wattage of LEDs does not translate to wattage of T8, or T5HO). Needs to be of sufficient wavelength (we simplify this by talking about color temperature, which is a good approximation of the available wavelengths a particular light is likely to supply). Needs to be of sufficient duration (usually on an auto timer, 8-10 hours per day).

2. Fertilization: Plants need certain nutrients to grow. This article can help sort out the different fertilizer requirements:Introduction to Fertilizing the Planted Tank - Aquarium Advice

3. Carbon (whether through CO2 injection (imo the best method) or through glutaraldehyde supplementation with something like SeaChem Excel). This article breaks down the basics of CO2 injection: Beginner's Guide to CO2 Injection in the Planted Tank - Aquarium Advice

A basic understanding of these 3 areas will lead to success.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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I will definitely be keeping those links for the future. Thank you. I know planted tanks are incredibly complicated to maintain maybe in a few more years I'll be brave enough to try it. For now, I'm going to pick up those lights for my 65 and play with the different bulbs to see what my fish (and I) like best. One of those fixtures should be ok for it right? They have two bulbs which is more than I currently have on there. (Stock hood from 15+ years ago)
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:14 PM   #10
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Yes, I think 2 bulbs would be just fine.
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