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Old 09-17-2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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lighting for options in a 10g planted

here, at the moment im starting a 10 gallon planted tank. ive ordered a few plants, heres the order:

Sword, Red Melon
Sword, Amazon Sword
Tiger Lotus, Green
Wendtii, Green
Bacopa
and of course i had to try Glossostigma

ive seen pictures of glosso in low light, it seems to grow more upward. i have a generic hood with an 18" 15 wat 6500K floresant bulb. ive been told thats too little, and following the wpg 1.5 wpg seems low for a planted tank. i have DIY yeast CO2 with the exit directly into the filter intake. ive also ordered eco-complete substrate. my question is what kind of lighting would be most beneficial while still not breaking the bank? i know, i know the age old question.

ive been reading throo the forums for similer questions and found a couple of answers.

1) using 2 incandesent (2 short swirly bulbs) and using tin foil as a reflector.
-while this idea seems great and cheep, ive already bought the flouresent hood and bulb.

2) using a glass hood. which turns into 2 questions.
1.where do i buy this for a standard 12x20x10 (im bad at demensions) tank.
2. could i just use 2 15 wat lighting boxes with 6500k bulbs?(the lighting boxes that come on hoods)

3) buying a "satallite" fixture. i think that the satallite come from the fact that it sits above the tank on legs. also the name "orbit lights" also came up in my search. it seems like orbit and satallite are the same thing, but orbit has a round hood.

Please help me to more understand lighting fixtures!! it seems sooo expensive for good flouresant lighting.

PS: i wanted to put cherry shrimp in to eat the algea. when should i add them, and are they ok for planted tanks.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:22 PM   #2
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Here's what I'm doing for my 10 gallon planted tanks. I bought a "versa-top" (hinged, all-glass hood) and then a standard incandescent strip light fixture (which has two sockets that accept standard light bulbs). Only instead of actually using incandescent lights in it (which are almost worthless for growing plants), I instead use two GE 15W screw-in compact flourescent bulbs (6500K "daylight" bulbs) that I bought at Wal-Mart. This gives me 30W of light over the tank, more than enough to grow any low-light plants and enough where I can grow at least some medium-light plants. And that is without any CO2; I'm sure with CO2 I could grow even more.

Total (approximate) cost for my setup:

$10 versa-top (bought at my LFS)
$15 incandescent strip light (ordered online from Petco)
$10 two GE screw-in CF light bulbs
-------
$35 total

I'm pulling those numbers from memory but I am pretty close. If anything, the bulbs were even cheaper than that. Besides Wal-Mart, places like Home Depot and Lowe's typically sell screw-in CF's as well (whether GE or Sylvania or some other brand), it's just a matter of being sure you get something in the 5000K-6500K spectrum (since that's what the plants need to grow) and then deciding upon the wattage you want. Avoid any bulb where the spectrum is less than 5000K. The strip light fixture I ordered from Petco (the same one I linked) is rated to 50 Watts, so that means the highest you could go would be two 25W bulbs. Also, don't be misled by the packaging on the bulbs when it says your bulb is "equivalent to..." The 15W spiral CF's say they are "equivalent to a 60W bulb!" But for the purpose of growing plants, a 15W bulb is giving you 15W, not 60W.

Oh, also note that the incandescent hood I linked already has a built-in metallic reflector behind the place where the bulbs go, so there is no need to rig a tinfoil reflector of your own.

And last...certainly RCS (Red Cherry Shrimp) are great for a planted tank, and they will not in the slightest hurt your plants. However, the danger comes when you decide to do something silly like add some FISH to the tank. Because many fish, if they are large enough, will decide that a RCS looks like a nice tasty little red filet mignon. (On a slightly more serious note, adult RCS can coexist with most small aquarium fishes, but any shrimp babies will almost certainly get eaten unless you have just tons of java moss for the shrimplets to hide in.) Also, shrimp do much better in an "aged" tank than a brand new one--even if the new one is cycled--so I would suggest that you first cycle the tank and then hold off on getting any shrimp for at least a month or so while something else (fish, snails, whatever) lives in the tank. This will give some time for a nice slime coating of microfauna (algae, bacteria, fungi, etc.) to start growing on all of the surfaces in the tank...it is this slime coating that the shrimp will spend all of their day feasting upon in your tank as the main part of their diet. And if you really want to see the RCS behaviors and antics to their full, then don't put any fish in the tank at all...dwarf shrimp like RCS tend to "come out" and be a lot more active when they are in a tank without any potential predators. Whereas in a tank with fish, they often can spend more time hiding and be more reserved in their behaviors.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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It's important to note that the WPG rule doesn't work below 20gallons. You need a lot more light on smaller tanks to achieve good growth on higher light plants. I don't think the glosso will even survive under 15W over a 10g tank.

Doubling the light you currently have to 30W would put you in the low to low-mid light range IMO. Like JP said, the type of bulb isn't extremely important, but you want the spectrum to be between 5000K and 10000K. And, in general, the spiral or twist light bulbs aren't as efficient because of the counterstriking in the bulb (where the light reflects off of the multiple angle bulb surfaces - there's an actual term for this that escapes me at the moment).
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:49 AM   #4
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thanks for the advice! im going to pet supermarket tomarow to get incondesent hood and compact flouresant bulbs. as an alternative i was looking on dsf.com and found
http://http://www.drsfostersmith.com...832_17707D.jpg
was wondering if that would be a good choice. it seems cheep, and 2x40 watt bulbs would be 80 watts? im unsure of the lunar lighting and its purpose.

Should i be concerned about fertalizer? i read that if using high lighting and co2, then using fertalizer is a good idea, but what kind?
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:14 AM   #5
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That link doesnt work for me, it doesnt sound correct. You say 40W bulbs, sounds like T12 bulbs, which these would be 48" long and wont fit your tank.

Unless your talking about this one?
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...7&pcatid=13637

which is way too much for any novice, the most I've read about people using on a 10G is ~70watts, and thats silly IMO.

If you stay with low light and have a high fish load you wont need ferts. Other wise its a good thing to look into.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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Actually the link has an extra "http//" in it. When fixed it leads here: All-Glass Versa-Tops which is the same versa hood that John-Paul linked earlier.

I found this site: Dosing Directions | Basic Aquarium Fertilizer Dosing to be an EXCELLENT source of ferts and dosing.
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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thank for the answer, i just picked up a incondesent bulb case and put in 2 14 watt bulbs in. i also bought a glass hood and at the moment i have both bulb boxes over the tank for a total of 14+14+15=43 watts? i was reading the feralizer page that you linked, and i dont really understand what diferent types of ferts are for and what they are. I was thinking along the lines of just adding some flourish to the tank.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runninwoof View Post
thank for the answer, i just picked up a incondesent bulb case and put in 2 14 watt bulbs in. i also bought a glass hood and at the moment i have both bulb boxes over the tank for a total of 14+14+15=43 watts? i was reading the feralizer page that you linked, and i dont really understand what diferent types of ferts are for and what they are. I was thinking along the lines of just adding some flourish to the tank.

As for dosing: I would post in the planted forum and better yet, read the stickies in that forum.

I just wanted to let you know that half of those plants are going to fill up the 10 gallon in no time flat. Those swords get HUGE and the Lotus will need plenty of room as well. A 55 gallon tank runs on the small side for those plants.
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