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Old 09-03-2002, 04:03 PM   #1
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Lighting a planted tank

I have a 29 gal tank that I would like to make a planted tank. I know that you can use just standard florecent lights from lowes or home depot.

My question is how many watts should I have?
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Old 09-03-2002, 08:23 PM   #2
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Standard answer is 2 watts per gallon minimum. Since this is that one under the bar you mentioned in another post, I would assume you can do it with shop lites mounted under there. There is tons of info here. http://www.thekrib.com/ That site is great, but the tecnical stuff has me about to pull my hair out.
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Old 09-04-2002, 10:58 PM   #3
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I am pondering the different light options for my new 150 as well.It is 31 inches tall and that is alot of depth. I know that I wont need the strength that lets say, a reef would require, but what do you think would be enough for a freshwater with hopefully decent, plant growth?
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Old 09-05-2002, 06:47 AM   #4
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My guess would be PC florecents (Power Compact)

Maybe a few 96W bulbs over the 150.
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Old 09-05-2002, 08:13 AM   #5
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fun with lights

Well, I have no idea what you would need for a 150, but I'm going to make a diy canopy with regular florescents. At this point leaning towards 4 tubes. At 40w per bulb (160 total), I realize that brings me in a little under 2 watts per gallon, but am thinking it should be enough. Still doing research, so nothing is written in stone at this point.
No way am I doing PC or halide, not interested in watching my electric meter spinning out of control. BTW, I picked up the 90 yesterday, it's sitting there empty, driving me nuts.
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Old 09-05-2002, 09:26 AM   #6
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If you go with NO or even VHO, spend the extra bucks on a high quality electronic ballast, like Icecap, if you want to keep your meter slowed down. You will get more light to boot.

Mark
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Old 09-05-2002, 09:51 AM   #7
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Thanks Mark, I have been pondering my options in that area, so it's good to hear practical advice.

Expect a post later in regards to all my other quandries.

High tech vs. low-tech, super conflicting books/advice etc... AAAIIIEEEEEEE
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Old 09-07-2002, 07:04 PM   #8
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Ok, I have my hood built for the 29 and now I am ready to put lights in. I have ballasts and end connectors for 2 20W florecent bulbs. I know this does not give me the 2 watts per gal that was mentioned.

Should I plan on getting another ballast and two more endcaps and do 3 20W florecents or do you think 2 20 watt florecents will be ok?
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Old 09-09-2002, 09:16 AM   #9
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freek,

If I were you, I'd just go with the 2 bulbs for now. You can always leave room and add them later if you need them. Do a little research into your plants before you buy any and get some low-light varieties. My 20 high just has a single 15 watt bulb and Ive had val., milfoil, and 1 crypt. living in it for years, they grow pretty darn slow, but look healthy to me. ZERO algae problem either, which is surprizing because the val was taken from my pond which has every kind of algae you can think of at one time or another.
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Old 10-15-2002, 12:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfreek
Ok, I have my hood built for the 29 and now I am ready to put lights in. I have ballasts and end connectors for 2 20W florecent bulbs. I know this does not give me the 2 watts per gal that was mentioned.

Should I plan on getting another ballast and two more endcaps and do 3 20W florecents or do you think 2 20 watt florecents will be ok?
If you haven't installed it already, you'll be much happier with a third tube. I built my 29g hood 6 years ago with 5 tubes.

BTW, the watts/gal rule is only a starting point. Use whatever looks good to you. Actually, the rule is 2-3 w/g.
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Old 10-27-2002, 11:05 PM   #11
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Planted tank lighting

Just an additional thought, since the use of PC lighting was mentioned. Bear in mind that if you get the lighting much over the 2-3 watt per gallon level, you may find that C02 injection is needed to maintain the needed C02 levels in the tank. If you start to see white deposits on the leaves, especially with Val, this is biogenic decalcification. The plant is splitting carbonates to get the required C02. If I remember correctly, carbonic acid is the byproduct of this which can wreak havoc with your PH.
Logan J
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Old 10-27-2002, 11:56 PM   #12
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I would definetly put the third bulb in now. My wifes 29 gal. plant tank is using three 20 watt Tritons. Less then two watts per gallon limits your plant selection. I am going to upgrade it to a PC next year.
Also think about using some sort of CO2 unit in your plant tank They range from Expensive to inexpensive. Depends on how high tech. you want to go.
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:47 PM   #13
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Re: Planted tank lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by loganj
If you start to see white deposits on the leaves, especially with Val, this is biogenic decalcification. The plant is splitting carbonates to get the required C02. If I remember correctly, carbonic acid is the byproduct of this which can wreak havoc with your PH.
Logan J
Carbonic acid is produced when co2 reacts with water. This is what lowers the pH when co2 is injected.

AFAIK, biogenic decalcification has nothing to do with carbonates.
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Old 11-04-2002, 01:03 AM   #14
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Re: Planted tank lighting

Quote:
AFAIK, biogenic decalcification has nothing to do with carbonates
.

When biogenic decalcification takes place, the plants decompose the hydrogen carbonates into C02 and carbonates causing the pH to rise. The white deposits on the leaves of the plants are the mostly insoluble carbonates that are left over from this process. When photosynthesis ceases at night, the C02 levels rise forming carbonic acid which reconstitutes the hydrogen carbonates and carbonates resulting in a drop in pH.
This may not even apply in this case though. I think what has to be done is to get the C02 regulated so that there are not large swings in the pH due to rise and fall of C02 concentrations. IMHO, the way to do this is to cut off the C02 at night. This would have to be done manually with the yeast reactors I think. I also think that some experimentation will be required to get the right size and number of yeast reactors to keep the C02 within acceptable parameters. Bear in mind also that the C02 output of the yeast reactors may vary somewhat and will decline as the fuel is used up. Again, IMO, the airstones at night will contribute to the large variance in C02 concentrations and cause pH problems. I admit that I do not have a lot of practical experience with planted tanks and that the preceding is mostly based on a lot of research on water chemistry.
Logan J
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Old 11-04-2002, 01:15 AM   #15
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I'm a dummy

Boy do I ever feel stupid now! I got this thread confused with another one and went off on a tangent that didn't even apply here. Sorry for the mix up! Will try to be more careful in the future.
Logan J
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