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Old 07-16-2007, 12:58 AM   #1
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New lights calculation

Hello all,
I am getting a new light for the 46 gal bowfront I am setting up. I would like opinions....I would like to be in the moderate range of lighting I still dont want to add CO2 but would like the upgrade option later.

I found a light that is a 96W PC fixture. I get choice of 50/50, 12,000K or 67K

I am running the 2 x 65 w over my 55 with 50/50 bulbs and have been really happy with it though I wouldn't mind this one being a bit brighter....

If it were YOU what would you do???

***update-bought the 96W with 67K bulb I am chomping at the bit now!

I definitely have MTS now.......it was only a matter of time.
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:47 AM   #2
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Knowing in advance that the /50 portion of the bulbs is actinic and doesn't go into the equation, I would personally go with the 6,700K bulbs. This will give you a robust 1.7wpg (measured against normal florescent bulbs...a bit higher for PC's so probably just under 2wpg).

I've had 10k and that was very bright so I'd have to assume that the 12k would require goggles.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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Good to know! I have not seen the 12k before either....this kind of feedback was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much!

I will be sure and post pics when it is set up....my dear husband is building my stand today....YEAH!
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:16 PM   #4
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Jchillin,

What numbers are you using for the calculations? I'm getting at least 2.5wpg with a 96w 6700k CF on a 46gallon tank using the 1.2X conversion factor for NO to CF.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:02 PM   #5
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Oh my! Does that mean I should think about CO2 right away?
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:37 PM   #6
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I am not an expert at the WPG recommendations with the conversion factors, but if you can I would get the CO2. No matter where your light falls it will help growth and make algae control much easier.
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:22 PM   #7
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Check my 46g tank (see sig) - I'm running a single 6700K 96W PC w/ DIY CO2. My photoperiod is 8h. I get some hair algae near the top and a little GS on the glass, but it's nothing the snails & 3 Otos can't keep up with.

I had a longer photoperiod but I did see more algae w/ that (beard type). I can't grow Cabomba, but A. reineckii is doing OK as are Vals, Bacopa, Anubias... my sword was doing well, but it got too big.

With this setup, I'm guessing that my only ground cover options are Marselia quadrifolia or chain sword.
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:30 PM   #8
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Nice! You are having success with the DIY CO2 then? I am reading up on it. It doesn't sound too difficult to set up, but there are mixed results as to success stories.

hmmmmm.......

Good CO2 recommendations??? Perhaps I should start another thread for that?
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happygirl65
Nice! You are having success with the DIY CO2 then? I am reading up on it. It doesn't sound too difficult to set up, but there are mixed results as to success stories.

hmmmmm.......

Good CO2 recommendations??? Perhaps I should start another thread for that?
After going the DIY route for a year I just switched to a pressurized setup. To be honest, I feel you should either go pressurized or keep the light low enough where CO2 is not required. There is just too much variation which leads to algae issues. And the larger the tank, the more it makes sense to go with a pressurized system. I figure in the year I was DIY I spent probably $75-100 on raw supplies (sugar, yeast), and countless hours of making up new batches and dumping old ones. And I only have a 20 gallon tank (2 2L bottles). For good even CO2 generation you would probably want 4 2L bottles, that's a lot of work and $$$). That money would have cut my pressurized costs about in 1/2, and I hope to get a good 8-12 months on a single tank fill (actually with my solenoid I hope to get much more then that, but I'm being conservative).

So I would recommend no CO2 (with maybe a little bit of Excel dosing) and lower light, or go all out and get a pressurized CO2 setup.

HTH
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:05 AM   #10
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I think you are right. That seems to be most peoples exp. If I switch out the bulb to a 50/50 I will give me about 1.2 wpg (if I am calculating that right 96 w pc) and I am not sure if that is quite enough...plus after running a low light set up on my 55 I am ready to try something different.

I looked into the electrolysis CO2 system via various reviews and there are mixed reports there as well. It seems so simple but is just as expensive as pressurized CO2 yet the replacement blocks are 4 x the cost of a tank refill and seem to run out faster. The simplicity appeal is strong though as I could order the replacements online...

Is there a pressurized CO2 for dummies? Or is there something specific I can ask my local welder for? Perhaps a parts list? I don't mind buying stuff online, in fact I prefer it whenever shipping is not outrageous since I live nearly 100 miles from town but there may be a closer welding shop...I will have to check around.

I really need to bargain hunt but want something reliable too (obviously...lol)

I am sure I am making it harder than it needs to be, (I tend to do that) after all I have all of you for moral support and guidance.

What are the chances that a tank would explode? That is the part that really scares me off from it.

**another question**
Would staining from peat moss affect the light absorption by my plants? (As in filtering through peat to keep the ph lower)
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:28 PM   #11
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You may find this article helpful. I used it after purchasing everything and was trying to figure out how to set it up.

It's very unlikely that a CO2 cylindar would explode. About the only way it would happen is if it was dropped or tipped over with enough force and landed at the right angle to damage the valve, and even then it would be a sudden release of pressure (think heavy object propelled by releasing gas) and not an explosion. If handled correctly you should have absolutely no worries.

Unless you're getting a huge amount of tannins, the amount that the light would be decreased is fairly minimal.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:31 PM   #12
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Lighting
So tell me this, if I have on 30W of NO fluorescent for part of the day...and then the 96W PC 67K for part of the day...then back to the 30 W.....would that do anything for me in terms of keeping algae at bay, or would I be better off just taking the 96W bulb down to 50/50? That would give me about 1.2 wpg ...but is that high enough for the large swords and anubias?

My other option is to run the 30W NO at the same time as the 96WPC (50/50) which would give me about 1.9wpg....am I pushing the limit there or could I still get away with no CO2?


CO2
DANG it, my budget is being squashed by my husband who thinks I have already spent too much on this new tank. (Not nearly as much as his motorcycle parts, but that's another issue...lol)

I found the CO2 system I want for 178 shipped everything but the tank (including monitoring system....drool...) and the tank will cost me another 60 shipped...then I have to take it somewhere and fill it...probably another 40-50 including the test ...so $278-288 is quite steep for me.

I guess I could just do DIY for a while too in terms of budget options, or dose excel....any word on those fizz tabs?
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happygirl65
Lighting
So tell me this, if I have on 30W of NO fluorescent for part of the day...and then the 96W PC 67K for part of the day...then back to the 30 W.....would that do anything for me in terms of keeping algae at bay, or would I be better off just taking the 96W bulb down to 50/50? That would give me about 1.2 wpg ...but is that high enough for the large swords and anubias?

My other option is to run the 30W NO at the same time as the 96WPC (50/50) which would give me about 1.9wpg....am I pushing the limit there or could I still get away with no CO2?


CO2
DANG it, my budget is being squashed by my husband who thinks I have already spent too much on this new tank. (Not nearly as much as his motorcycle parts, but that's another issue...lol)

I found the CO2 system I want for 178 shipped everything but the tank (including monitoring system....drool...) and the tank will cost me another 60 shipped...then I have to take it somewhere and fill it...probably another 40-50 including the test ...so $278-288 is quite steep for me.

I guess I could just do DIY for a while too in terms of budget options, or dose excel....any word on those fizz tabs?
Swords would probably want more light then the single 50/50 or NO lighting. They would probably grow, but not so well. The anubias can be grown in a closet, with no light, and no water. OK that was exaggerating but you get the idea, they will grow practically under any conditions.

At this time I would not go with the electrolysis (the tech is just not cost effective right now), and the fizz tabs are junk.

To be honest, with a drop checker there is no need for a sophisticated monitoring system (pH monitor/solenoid). You just set the bubble rate appropriate for your target CO2 (based on a drop checker) and it will not change much at all regardless of temp swings in the house. And the best thing is at a later time you can always add the monitoring system.

My setup was from Rex Grigg and was about $160 shipped. This came with a regulator, low pressure regulator with needle valve, and an electronic solenoid so the CO2 goes on and off with the lights (3X savings of CO2 since my lights are only on ~9 hours per day). All top notch high quality parts (you can build the same system for much less but I don't skimp on safety when it comes to a literal bomb in my house). The 5lb bottle was $90 filled (purchased locally at a compressed air/CO2 welding supply shop).

So for about $250 I was all setup. The only thing you might need would be a $15 PH for your reactor and I would recommend a good quality air stone (such as a limestone airstone or other fine bubbler, under $10). So let's say $275 for a complete system that will rival all the high tech gadgetry of a monitored system.

Much easier on the wallet/purse and you have the flexibility at a later time to add on additional equipment if you really feel you need it.

HTH
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