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Old 02-26-2007, 06:10 PM   #1
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Newbie needs some lighting advice for low light planted tank

Hello everyone! This is my first post on this forum. I've been reading on this forum for about a month and have received an incredible amount of good advice. There are alot of knowledgeable people here.

I recently purchased a 75 gallon perfecto setup with tank, stand, glass top, and 40w light fixture. This light source is obviously not going to work for me.

I am planning on starting a fishless cycle at the end of this week. This will be a tropical community tank with some tetras, rainbows, some barbs, and an algae cleanup crew.

Here are the items I have so far:

-75 gallon tank
-Rena XP3 Filstar cannister
-250w Visitherm Stealth heater
-Nice piece of driftwood
-I plan on getting 2-3 bags of eco-complete and mixing with a natural looking gravel.

I would like to do a low light, low maintenance planted tank. From my readings it looks like i'm shooting for 1.8-2 wpg. This is the fixture I am looking at. Coralife Aqualight Single Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights - Includes two 65 watt 21" 6700įK (Straight pin base). This would give me 1.73 wpg and is on sale at drsfostersmith.com. I am willing to spend the money to do this right and any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated. Would this give me room to upgrade in the future if I decide to get into some bigger things? TIA for any help or suggestions!
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:18 PM   #2
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hi there ! im new to so good luck these guys will help you.
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75 gal,planted,co2,diy defuser,gw ferts,l,223 watts of usable light 3 wpg,rena xp3 & marinebiowheel 350 "taking out biowheel" and lots of help thanks all!!!and the plants come from a MAD SCIENTIST ;]and now the fish15harliqun rasboras,7neons,8cardnails tetras,6 black skirt tetras,3flying foxes,3 algae shrimp,6zebra dannios,1rubber lip,1redtail shark[i]
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA! You're in the right place.

There's lots of lighting solutions that do what you're looking for. You could even consider getting a 2x96W fixture, and running one of the bulbs 50/50. That way if you ever wanted more light later, you'd be ready for it.

www.tricitytropicals.com sells refurbished units for cheap, you can check them out if you're interested.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:50 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA!

Here's a sticky from the planted tank forum that answers questions on lots of topics, one of which is lighting. It did help me a bit and is a great supplement to the advice you'll get from other planties on here.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=86934
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:57 PM   #5
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By room to upgrade, do you mean add another fixture? If so then I would check the measurements of the fixture against the top of the tank to determine if you can fit a second one on top of the tank. Another option if you want to have the option of increasing your lighting later would be to go ahead an purchase a 4 x 65 watt fixture and only run half the lights for now.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. After doing some more research I think i will go with a Coralife Aqualight Double Compact Fluorescent. The freshwater setup will give me 4 x 65 watt 6700įK bulbs. Like Purrbox stated, I could only use 1/2 for now. I have a question about the Coralife fixtures. I was also looking at the Coralife Lunar Aqualights Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights. From what I understand the only difference between this and the freshwater setup is that this is 1/2 actinic and has the built-in LEDs for moonlighting. The website seems to emphasize that this fixture is for reef setups, but this could be used on a freshwater setup right? I think the moonlighting I have seen on this forum is pretty neat. The lunar fixture adds $56 and I would have to replace the actinic bulbs in the future for the plants to be able to use them. Is this worth it?
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:28 AM   #7
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It is not a good idea to mix eco complete unless it is at least 2/3 eco.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:29 AM   #8
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I think that this is a judgement call only you can make.

I personally think that the lunar lights are really cool and enjoy looking at my 10 gallon after lights out while the lunar light is on. They also make a great night light. Of course if your plants get dense enough right under the lunar light, then it won't do near as good a job of lighting the tank.

Personally for me, the extra $56 + the cost of daylight bulbs to replace the actinics probably wouldn't be worth it. If I was feeling stubborn, I'd probably be looking around to see if I could find a better price elsewhere on a comparable product for the same price as the FW fixture.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:14 PM   #9
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The 4x65w fixture will give you more room to play with lighting levels and the ability to mix bulbs much easier. Not to mention 55/65w bulbs are cheaper. You can do a combo of 6700k/10000k bulbs as well, that looks really nice.

Plus you can use those GE 9325k 55w bulbs *drools*. They only come in one size.

As for the actinics, some believe they actually help plants grow and others don't (majority). I've yet to mess around and see for myself. If you do get the fixture with actinics, maybe try trading them for daylight bulbs on a SW forum? Or just sell them.
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