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Old 08-24-2007, 05:46 PM   #1
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Help! Need proper light for a planted 10 gallon aquarium.

I want to plant my 10 gallon aquarium but can't find proper light for it. Currently I have a standard 15w flouresent light with black hood. But I guess the flourescent light may be not good enough for plants. I wish to have a CF light to provide around 2wpg. It is a standard size 2112 tank. Any suggestion and where to buy?
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
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I think this is a little more then you wanted, but if I was doing a 10 gallon, this is what I would get:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113345

or even:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113345
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:15 PM   #3
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I have this fixture over my 10 gallon tank:

http://www.hellolights.com/index.asp...PROD&ProdID=94

Actually I have the dual-tube 28 watt (two 14-watt tubes hooked together) but they don't seem to be offering that one anymore. This light I have linked still gives you the same wattage as the one I have - 28 watts total. It is in the medium light range and I do have pressurized CO2. Plants that have done very well under this light include Hydrocotyle verticillata, Bacopa caroliniana, (green and "colorata"), Bacopa australis, Rotala rotundifolia "colorata", Rotala sp. "Vietnam", Marsilea quadrifolia, Ludwigia repens, Pogostemon stellatus "Broad Leaf", Pogostemon helferi, Sagittaria subulata, and Lobelia cardinalis.
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information. 28w is good except bulb, 96w is way overkill. I don't know why all manufacturers can't produce a real ideal plant light fixture for the most common 10 gallon tank. Are they stupid or lazy?
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:13 PM   #5
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Or you could get a refurb unit at a discount from here.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gu2high
96w is way overkill.
But that is a 50/50 setup. You are only putting 48 watts of usable light into the tank. You would be in the medium/high light area with those lights.

I wouldn't put 96 watts of usable light over a 10 gallon either.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:49 PM   #7
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http://www.aquaria.com.au/catalog/pr...oducts_id/6040

that's what i'd get. 3 wpg of standard flourescent is perfect in my opinion.. my tank runs under 1.8wpg of standard and everything grows great..

but thats an australian website btw

IME we dont really have 20 inch tanks lol. they usually just sell 18, 24, 36, 48.
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:18 AM   #8
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How about this DIY, the basic 2x13w Bright Kit (Item #21301) which to retrofit a standard fluorescent light strip.

http://www.ahsupply.com/twox.htm

Anyone did it? Does it have problem with the heat generated by the 2 bulbs? The standard light strip does not have a good reflector. So, I don't know how good it will be if I just replace the 2x13w bulbs on my current standard fluorescent light strip.
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:23 AM   #9
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AH Supply has some great kits. While I haven't used that one in particular, I did build a custom canopy using a different kit from them. Unfortunately 26w isn't a lot of light over a 10 gallon aquarium especially when using the existing poor reflector. You'd probably only be able to grow low (maybe medium low) light plants.
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:24 PM   #10
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I'd get a 24" 65w CF light fixture. I have one on my 20 gallon and its perfect. If you got a 50/50 bulb you would have 32.5w which would be a nice moderate lighting that would benefit from CO2 but Excel could be used as well since its small enough. Then if you ever wanted to get crazy you could replace it with a 6700k or 10000k bulb which would put you in high light. The slight hangover on the 10 gallon is minimal (I have a stock 17w 24" light on my 10 gallon which hangs about an inch and a half over on each side.

HTH
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:28 PM   #11
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A lot depends on what plants you want to grow. On a 10g you can upgrade the stock reflector, even aluminum foil is better that the white plastic many have. And add a second 15w fixture. For bulbs just get a couple normal white "daylight" bulbs from the hardware store. That setup will grow many plants very nicely.

To go with more light than that, you have to start thinking about CO2, and dosing ferts. Once you are doing those things, then highlight is viable, but you may even start considering a "plant" substrate. A very slippery slope.

With 30w of NO fluorescents, you can grow a great tank full of Anubias, Java Ferns, Moss, and Cryptocorynes. Maybe even some stem plants like a Ludwigia, or Rotala. It can be a very nice tank with very little maintenance.
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:07 PM   #12
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I'm not sure what you mean when you say 28W is good except bulb... Anyway, I don't think anyone has mentioned The Current Satellite 20" 40W fixture (link). I have it on a 10 gal shrimp tank, and it comes with a lunar light if you like that. It ships with a 50/50 bulb, so you have to buy a different bulb if you want to use all the light.
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:07 PM   #13
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I have never used a a 50/50 bulb light. Does it have blue light and look strange on the aquarium? If it does not look strange, I would like consider to buy a 24" light stripe since it can be used on 20 gallons tank if I want to upgrade the tank in the future, with a 6700k or 10000k bulb of course. 24" light has more options.
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majolo
I'm not sure what you mean when you say 28W is good except bulb... Anyway, I don't think anyone has mentioned The Current Satellite 20" 40W fixture (link). I have it on a 10 gal shrimp tank, and it comes with a lunar light if you like that. It ships with a 50/50 bulb, so you have to buy a different bulb if you want to use all the light.
That's the same fixture that I linked, except the one I suggested is available refurbished. I've also heard from other members that were able to request from that vendor to swap out the stock bulb for a daylight bulb at no extra charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gu2high
I have never used a a 50/50 bulb light. Does it have blue light and look strange on the aquarium? If it does not look strange, I would like consider to buy a 24" light stripe since it can be used on 20 gallons tank if I want to upgrade the tank in the future, with a 6700k or 10000k bulb of course. 24" light has more options.
The blue light looks fine over the aquarium BUT it's generally accepted that the actinic light provides little to no benefit for the plants, so a 50/50 bulb effectively halves your available light.
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:17 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the suggestion. After many search, I may buy two of Coralife Mini-Freshwater Aqualight With 2-9W 6700K Lamps. It will be 36w if use both lights or 18w if use one. And it is cheap, $25 each at BigAls. The only issue is that, the fixture is 5" wide, and my tank cover only has 4" wide glass to let light into the tank. It may not fit well so I need find a glass cover for the 10 gallon.

Another good thing about it is, I can add the mini light to other tank if needed.
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:23 AM   #16
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I forgot to mention - in the light I linked, you can request a 6700K bulb when you order the fixture. It will still come with the stock bulb, which isn't good for a planted tank. If you order the 6700K bulb at the same time that your order the fixture, you get a discount on the bulb.

I have the Coralife Mini Freshwater Aqualight over one of my 5 gallon tanks. It is low light, and I don't use CO2 on this tank. It's hardly long enough for the 5 gallon tank. I'm not sure that even two of them together would give you satisfactory light for the 10 gallon. It doesn't have legs, unless you make some yourself (I have mine resting on little 1 1/4 inch high pieces of PVC pipe). It also gets very hot since the case is made of metal and has no vent holes.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gu2high
I have never used a a 50/50 bulb light. Does it have blue light and look strange on the aquarium? If it does not look strange, I would like consider to buy a 24" light stripe since it can be used on 20 gallons tank if I want to upgrade the tank in the future, with a 6700k or 10000k bulb of course. 24" light has more options.
I would say it is bluer than a stock light but what you will find once you upgrade (especially if you have another tank nearby on NO lighting) is that the stock lights which we are so used to is EXTREMELY yellow in color. Once you pop in a daylight bulb or a 50/50 suddenly the different shades of green in the plants become apparent and many fish with a 50/50 will show colors that you just cannot see with a NO bulb (or even a daylight bulb).

For example my tiger barbs in my 20gallon tank have the typical black stripes on them....except with a 50/50 bulb you can see at certain angles that they are not just black but have a metallic blue color to them. I was SHOCKED the first time I saw this and it was shortly after getting the new lighting.

HTH
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:29 PM   #18
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also if u are handy u could build your own canopy from scratch thats what i did its pretty easy all u have to do is get some plywood make it waterproof then get a ballast and lights and assemble i believe ther are some links in the diy section but its up to ugood luck
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
my tank cover only has 4" wide glass to let light into the tank
Consider getting an all glass cover. Those stock black plastic covers are ill suited for planted tank use.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:17 PM   #20
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Check out my open top vs. glass top thread in the planted section. I'm trying to convince myself away from my all-glass top and go open top. Might as well decide for yourself before buying a top!
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