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Old 05-17-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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trying to understand lighting...

I am getting better at this fish-keeping malarky...

But now i really want plants to thrive and become a bit more dense in my tank.

I have read the sticky on lighting... but as I am not very good at electrics, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me...

So here's the situation:
I have a 12 gallon tank (bet set up and cycled for ages)
On the lighting unit it says 240 Volts, 15 Watts.

I am guessing this is low level lighting?
If anyone can explain my situation and what plants would be suitable for it I would be most grateful!
The only plant that has survived long term in there is some sort of amazon sword (which i really like).

look forward to hearing from you all...

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Old 05-17-2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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Is that 15 watts of fluorescent light or is that incandescent light? It makes a huge difference. It's hard to quantify light with commonly available information. Watts are a measure of the power consumed. It doesn't really specify how much of that power is actually converted into light vs. heat, noise, etc or how powerful and plentiful those photons really are. This is what causes so much confusion in aquarium lighting.

I'm going to assume you're running a fluorescent light because your sword plant is surviving. Even so, you're still in the low-light range. Anubias, java moss, java fern, and anacharis are all low-light plants. Amazon swords can survive at lower light levels, but they won't grow much. Be prepared to remove that sword plant. I have two that are busting out of my 29g.

If you really want your plants to take off, upgrade your lighting. T5HO fluorescents seem to be the best option right now, but you might need CO2 to prevent algae. The simplest option would be to add another light fixture exactly like the one you've got to double your light.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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you are probably right, but how do you find out of the light is fluorescent or incandescent? I have been looking at the label but can't see either way...
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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Incandescent bulbs have a screw base and a smooth bulb shape. Fluorescents are long tubes with pins on either end. There are other fluorescent shapes, but those are the general rules.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:03 PM   #5
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Incandescent is just like the common lightbulb that you use in the house in lamps and stuff. It screws in.

Flourescents (except those energy saving spiral bulbs) are big tubes that connect on both sides with little pin dealies.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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ah ok, thanks for clarification both of you.
I definitely only have flourescent then
and as it is all attached to the hood, i don't think i can increase it easily...

So shall i stick with the plants you first suggested BigJim?

Is there anything easy I can do/ add to help them also, and grow nice and dense?

also, i got sold some 'Flora Grow Carbo Liquid CO2' by a brand called Colombo. Is this making any difference at all?
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eja206 View Post
ah ok, thanks for clarification both of you.
I definitely only have flourescent then
and as it is all attached to the hood, i don't think i can increase it easily...

So shall i stick with the plants you first suggested BigJim?

Is there anything easy I can do/ add to help them also, and grow nice and dense?

also, i got sold some 'Flora Grow Carbo Liquid CO2' by a brand called Colombo. Is this making any difference at all?
Whats the length of your tank?
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:48 PM   #8
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the length of the tank is 57.5 cm / about 22 inches

I have included a pic so you can see thw sword plant I have at the mo as well as some messy Anacharis or something on the left.

Platies are active tonight!!

Click image for larger version

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Old 05-17-2010, 05:26 PM   #9
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the length of the tank is 57.5 cm / about 22 inches

I have included a pic so you can see thw sword plant I have at the mo as well as some messy Anacharis or something on the left.

Platies are active tonight!!

Attachment 23673
Hmm, thats tough. If you know or could figure out the make of the aquarium you might be able to google it to see what it already has or what you could do with it based off other peoples' experiences.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:56 PM   #10
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If you really want to upgrade the lighting and have a few more plant choices, you could always ditch the hood. You could get a glass top, and then get what ever light you wanted. That's what I use on my 10 gallon.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:03 PM   #11
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I am looking at setting up my 75g tank as a well planted tank when I get back to the States from my deployment and I looked around and you could try one of these I can't vouch for the quality and you would have to contact them about shipping to the UK but it is the best deal I have found. I am going to try one of their 48" fixtures when I get back. Good luck!
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