Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > General Hardware/Equipment Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 09-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 25
Replacing fluorescent tube help!

I recently purchased a 30" deluxe full hood from the aqueon brand from here:
Aqueon Deluxe Full Fluorescent Black Aquarium Hoods at PETCO
for my 20 gallon tank. It fits snugly but I want to replace the tube it comes with because I want to grow plants.
The tube it comes with is a rapid start 17W 8000k 24" tube.
On the label it says All-Glass Aquarium Inc 30" Fluorescent Aquarium Reflector
120V 20 watt 60Hz
9N23
E163201

What tube should I get to be able to grow some java ferns and anubias and swords?
I have no knowledge in the lighting department, so I dont know what ballasts are or where they go.
__________________

__________________
darkxrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
thincat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,330
For plants you would want a bulb in the 5500k to 6500k range. You then would have enough light for your plants, although I don't know if a total of 20w would be enough total wattage. The freshies will tell you more about that.
__________________

__________________
Happy Reefing,
TC
thincat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
JohnPaul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,017
I'm not sure why you feel the need to replace the tube. 8000k is perfectly fine for growing plants, and you are not going to be able to find anything with a higher wattage for that sized hood. Standard fluorescent tubes come in one wattage per length; given the size of your hood, the wattage of the tube you have in there now is as high a wattage as you can get.

If you wanted significantly more light, you would probably have to invest in a versa-top and then buy a light of your choice for on top of it.
__________________
JohnPaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 25
Alright, its just my java ferns in my 10 gallon tank with a 8000k 14w tube never really grew
I was wondering if it was the light but it could be something else i guess?
__________________
darkxrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Crepe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,332
Java fern is a really slow growing plant. If the set up is new they will also take some time to adjust. A third problem could be a lack of iron but that's very unlikely in a lowlight set up. 8K is fine for plants. In fact 9325K bulbs are starting to gain in popularity due to their being able to grow plants well and bring out colors for photography.
__________________
Crepe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 05:47 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
JohnPaul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkxrose View Post
Alright, its just my java ferns in my 10 gallon tank with a 8000k 14w tube never really grew
I was wondering if it was the light but it could be something else i guess?
Java ferns, in general, grow very slowly. Java ferns at under 1 wpg are going to grow even slower.

I know you said you just bought your current lid/hood, but if you wanted to have a "planted tank," I am afraid that you only have some very limited options with that newer hood you got.

Is your tank a 20H (20 high)? If so, then you could expand your plant options and get significantly better growth by buying a properly-sized versa-top (24" long top for a 20H tank)--should cost under $20, and then for on top of it you would probably want to run TWO fluorescent strip lights. If each one is giving you 17W, that would be 34W over 20 gallons, or around 1.5 WPG. You still won't be winning any awards for "lushest plant growth of the year," but you would certainly be able to grow a wide variety of low-light plants quite well, including java ferns, anubias, various crypts, some swords, java moss or most other aquatic mosses, low-light stem plants like anacharis, all sorts of floating plants (duckweed, frogbit, etc.)...quite a list.

So now the question is, on your old hood (the one you were replacing), and your new hood (the one you just bought), is the part of the hood that contains the light fixture itself a separate piece? If so, that would be the best-case scenario. Then you could just take those two strip lights, plop them down on your versa-top, and you are done. (BTW yes I know it is a bit of a pain opening the tank when you have 2 strip lights on it, you usually have to remove the frontmost one to get the top opened, but for a low $ solution this is the best there is.) If your current hoods are all one piece and you can't remove the lighting fixture, then you would have to buy yourself two new fluorescent strips, something like this or this.

Another option would be to get an "incandescent hood" (like this) for your tank (or, alternatively and even better, a versa-top plus an incandescent strip light), only instead of using incandescent light bulbs in it (which have ZERO benefit for growing live plants), use a pair of 15W screw-in spiral compact fluorescent bulbs (spiral CF)--the kind you can buy at Home Depot, Walmart, your local hardware store, anywhere. Again, the only key is to be sure you buy ones that output light at the proper Kelvin temperature. 5500-10,000K is the range considered acceptable for aquarium plants; ideally you probably want to shoot for around 6500K or so. You can order two of them from this site for under $8.00 plus whatever shipping is; or like I said almost any of the big stores sell them. They key is scouring the packaging to make sure of the "K" value...some brands don't actually put it on the packaging anywhere and you have to try to look at the base of the bulbs themselves to see if it is printed on the bulbs. This option, too, would give you around 1.5 WPG and since those spiral CF bulbs come in all sorts of different wattages, you could go less or more light depending upon your desires. (The only thing would be to read the back panel of the hood, which will tell you the maximum wattage that it is able to handle. Obviously for safety reasons, you don't want to exceed that! But I have incandenscent strip lights over two of my 10g tanks and those can handle up to 50W, so I am sure one for a 20H would be able to handle more than that. So you could theoretically get yourself probably up into the 2-3 WPG range if you wanted. That opens up the number of plants you can grow by a ton but once you start getting into those light ranges you are going to have to think about dosing fertilizers, CO2 or liquid carbon like Flourish Excel, etc.

So in summary of my LONG post, I would suggest one of:

  • Buy versa-top, then use 2 fluorscent strip lights over it
  • Buy versa-top, then use 1 incandescent strip light (with 2 spiral CF bulbs) over it
  • Buy a one-piece incandescent hood, use 2 spiral CF bulbs in it
I personally think the best option would be middle one on that list; versa-tops seal much better than plastic aquarium hoods, and the incandescent strip light gives you a LOT of flexibility to control how much or how little light you want--unlike the fluorescent tubes which are fixed-wattage and can't be varied.

Sorry this was so long-winded but I hope it was helpful. Good luck!
__________________
JohnPaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 06:30 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 25
Aw.. I will have to invest in a versa top soon then.
Is it not possible to put a higher watt bulb?
__________________
darkxrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Crepe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,332
No, a florescent ballast can only hold the rated bulb type unless you're over driving a bulb...which you are doing the reverse of.

overdriving involves basically wiring a ballast to give more output to an under rated bulb...it runs a big fire risk.
__________________
Crepe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 25
I dont really understand what ballasts are but you are saying I cant purchase and install a tube that has higher wattage?
__________________
darkxrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Crepe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,332
A ballast is a part of a fluorescent or other vapor lamp that regulates the amount of current being supplied to a bulb to keep it from exploding. A ballast can only support its rated wattage.

So no, you can't pop in a higher watt bulb.

edit: ballasts are also in other fixtures like leds...
__________________

__________________
Crepe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fluorescent, tube

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Replacing Soil? theotheragentm Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 1 02-06-2009 02:23 AM
Replacing T5 Bulbs ajbully General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 7 05-05-2008 03:34 PM
Replacing my stand... luntiz Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 07-29-2004 03:12 PM
replacing LR BBReef Saltwater Reef Aquaria 37 02-26-2004 11:36 PM
How to see if the fluorescent light tube is suitable for.... mansiz Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 10-15-2003 08:24 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.