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Thread: Lights for 1.5ft and 2ft tank

  1. #1
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    Lights for 1.5ft and 2ft tank

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    Hi frens,

    I had a 1.5ft and a 2ft planted tank and I encounter a small problem. My plants aren't growing very well.

    I had used DIY CO2 and a FL light for my tank. But I realised that the plants don't grow well. The leaves started to turn dark, the leaves of some plants turning very thin and started to rot or have holes.

    I had used base and water fertilizer with CO2 and light. Is there anything else that is needed for good plant growth?

    I had suspected that the lightings that I used was not enough.
    Can you hobbist out there tell me what kind of lightings is best for aquatic plant growth? Does a single FL light good enough or do I need 2 FL light? The LFS owner suggested me changing to a single PL light that cost $50. Is that too expensive?
    If so, which is better? Single PL light but very hot or 2 FL lights? What wattage is the best for the plants?

    Sorry for so many questions.
    Thanks in advance.

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    wat is yr present wattage? i suggest u go with 72watts for yr 2ft or 2x36w PL.. no prob with most fast growers

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    Ninjafly,

    There isn't much info you had supplied us with. Will need to know you volume of you tanks. Ferterlization regime and what plants you have.

    As for your lights I'm guessing that both the tanks have a sigle FL tube for each tank. The 1.5ft tank should have only 10W and the 2ft tank only 15W.

    So from there you can check your wattage per gallon yurself.
    Cheers!!

    Sherwin Choo
    [email protected]

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    ----------------
    There isn't much info you had supplied us with. Will need to know you volume of you tanks. Ferterlization regime and what plants you have.
    ----------------
    Acutally I am not too sure about the lighting specs. But I am quite sure that the 1.5ft tank is using a 10W FL lights. As for the 2ft tank, I bought the lights together with my tank and the LFS owner changed the light from the pinky light to white light. He said that for planted tank, I will need the white light. But I guess that the lighting wasn't strong enough.

    What is the ideal wattage for the lighting tube for both tank? If I buy a higher wattage tube as suggested by Simon and replace the current one, will the FL lights blow up due to incompatible wattage?

    Reqarding the "Ferterlization regime", can I know what does it mean?
    I had used base fertilizer and liguid fertilizer.

    As for the plants, I dun know most of their names.
    I think I had plants like :-
    1. nana - This plant grow still alright...
    2. Rotala indica - The stem and leave quite thin and small
    3. Dwarf Ambulia - Just bought
    4. Bog Scarlet Hygro (rubra?) - Stem rotting & leaves got holes
    5. Echinodorus amazonicus (Amazon Sword) - This plant grow still alright...
    6. Ceratopteris thalictroides (Water Sprite) - Leaves growing thin and turning dark

  5. #5
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    Normally lighting for planted tank is about 3W per gallon. So how much light needed depends on your tank size. So far we know that it 1.5ft and 2ft. How about the depth and width?

    Normally a 2ft planted tank 72W would be good. At the mo, your light is only 15W. Not much choice but to upgrade the light (means change the bulb and ballast) or get a new one.
    Cheers!!

    Sherwin Choo
    [email protected]

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    Normally a 2ft planted tank 72W would be good. At the mo, your light is only 15W. Not much choice but to upgrade the light (means change the bulb and ballast) or get a new one.
    ----------------
    Hi Sherchoo, thanks for the advise.

    I can't seems to remember the dimenion of my tank even though I measured it numerous times. But the size of the tank are quite the same as those sold generally in LFS.

    Is ballast that square square metal thing normally by the side of the light holder?
    If I would change it myself, I can get it at any electrical or DIY shops right?

    BTW, is there a 72W FL light or does 72W means a total of mulitple lights that sums up to 72Watts?

    Sorry but I am still a novice to planted tanks and I am really lost when it comes to lightings and wattage....

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    Ninjafly, you need 72W for the 2ft and at least 36W for the 1.5ft. The simplest way is to go see Chan at Nature Aquarium.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    Ninjafly, you need 72W for the 2ft and at least 36W for the 1.5ft. The simplest way is to go see Chan at Nature Aquarium.
    ----------------
    Wah .. which means that my tank has been under exposed. No wonder my plants not growing.

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    yah I got Chan to upgrade my lights from 2x36 to 2x54 (18+36 each) more for the even distribution than the wattage. This is for my 23gal tank. Now everything is growing very nicely, lots of bubbling from the plants. The results more than justifies the $$.

    Oh, please keep your lights to below 10 hours a day... unless you like algae lah
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    yah I got Chan to upgrade my lights from 2x36 to 2x54 (18+36 each) more for the even distribution than the wattage. This is for my 23gal tank. Now everything is growing very nicely, lots of bubbling from the plants. The results more than justifies the $$.
    ----------------
    hwchoy : Mind telling me how much did you pay for your lights? What kinds of lights are you using? FL,PL or whatever?

    Coz one of the LFS shop offers me a PL light for $50 and another offers a 2xFL light (dunno what wattage) for $50 too. Dunno if it is considered as expensive.

    I really can't wait to see my plants bubbles leh....

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    On 5/22/2002 4:30:40 PM
    hwchoy : Mind telling me how much did you pay for your lights? What kinds of lights are you using? FL,PL or whatever?

    Coz one of the LFS shop offers me a PL light for $50 and another offers a 2xFL light (dunno what wattage) for $50 too. Dunno if it is considered as expensive.

    I really can't wait to see my plants bubbles leh....
    ----------------
    Ninajafly, what I had was the 2.5ft 36W PL lights (with extensible handle). But because the 36W PL tube covers only the centre portion of the lights (and therefore tank) the light distribution is uneven, the left and right corners are too dark.

    So I got Chan to do an upgrade as the light housing has just enough space to add an 18W PL and the result is continuous light coverage throughout the 2.5ft length. He also threw out the original iron ballast and put in an electronic ballast (cooler). So each housing now has 54W PL.

    I have this to say about price. After many upgrades and changes, I would say to invest upfront, get everything going so you can relax and enjoy the hobby rather than always struggling to "improve" the setup. Go for the things that work.

    So I now have more than enough wattage for my 23gallons. Good Eheim cannister to keep the maintenance down. Proper CO2 cylinder with solenoid. Of course a properly setup substrate with base fert and the right gravel.

    Enjoying my tank, finally
    [:]
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    On 5/22/2002 4:30:40 PM

    Coz one of the LFS shop offers me a PL light for $50 and another offers a 2xFL light (dunno what wattage) for $50 too. Dunno if it is considered as expensive.

    I really can't wait to see my plants bubbles leh....
    ----------------
    For your offer you have to know what is the specs e.g. wattage, type of ballast and type of tube.

    There are 2 kinds of ballast available.

    - Commonly available are iron core type which is heavy, hot and require a starter.

    - Electronic ballast is more expensive but lighter, much cooler and do not require a starter. It also reduces flickering. Consider this when you're getting new/moidfying your lights.

    Normal tube specs:

    18" PL tube - 36W (some 55W but not so common and expensive)

    1' FL tube - 10W
    1.5' FL tube - 15W
    2' FL tube - 18/20W
    3' FL tube - 30W
    4' FL tube - 36/40W
    Cheers!!

    Sherwin Choo
    [email protected]

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    Normal tube specs:

    18" PL tube - 36W (some 55W but not so common and expensive)

    2' FL tube - 18/20W
    ----------------
    Hmm ... from the above, I am only using a max of 20W for my 2ft tank. Wow! That's far from the ideal 72W.

    My current lighting can only house one FL tube. Doubt I can do any modification on it.
    As I am using a top running filter, I also doubt I can add in another light. BTW, I am using the Kotobuki lighting.

    I think I had come to a conclusion that my plants aren't growing well due to insufficient lightings.

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    Ninjafly, if you're having the top flow-down filter, this is also very bad for plants. Basically you lose all your CO2 so your plants not only don't have lights but don't have CO2 too! []

    but the good news is: throwaway the top filter, get a cannister, get a CO2 cylinder, and fill the tank top with lights [:] just like me [:]
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    agree with choy, water agitation will cos the co2 loss to the atmosphere. You can cosider usin an internal filter if you feel a canister out of your budget. Canister filter is better but internal will work too.

    I would recomend Eden 304 as it's small and the flow is quite ideal for planted tank. However, it needs quite abit of maintenance. it needs to be cleaned maybe every 2 weeks as it will get choked. IMO, this nternal filter works best for smaller planted tank like 2ft.
    Cheers!!

    Sherwin Choo
    [email protected]

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    hmm... doesn't internal filters also produced bubbles that cause air aeration to the water? Doesn't that also cause CO2 loss?

    Not very familiar with filters. For quite a number of times when I asked the LFS owner, they can't tell me much or they are busy entertaining customers talking ... esp about LH...

    BTW, does the internal filters look like a water pump that is submerged in the water with a cotton filter at the bottom and an opening with water pumping out?

    For my case, my filter isn't exactly the top flow-down water type. It's a cylinder kind with 3 smaller cylinders (one for filter cotton, charcoal and bioballs) and the water is drawn in from one end and flow out at the other end. Is that kind of filter still not acceptable?

    *sob* .. What am I going to do with all the extra stuffs if I am to get a new light, new filter etc....[]

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    On 5/24/2002 2:12:21 PM

    hmm... doesn't internal filters also produced bubbles that cause air aeration to the water? Doesn't that also cause CO2 loss?

    No it doesn't unless u attach an air pump to the filter, such as Eheim's 2008, etc.

    Not very familiar with filters. For quite a number of times when I asked the LFS owner, they can't tell me much or they are busy entertaining customers talking ... esp about LH...
    We can relate to how u feel...dat is why the other members of AQ will listen to u & give u sound advice

    BTW, does the internal filters look like a water pump that is submerged in the water with a cotton filter at the bottom and an opening with water pumping out?
    Errr...no they don look like water pump...i don think so...there has been quite an advancement in technology & design, so some of them look very nice. Give the one mentioned by Sherchoo a try...it's the Eden 304. I'm personally using the Eden 304 (1ft tank) & 316 (50cm tank)...both of which are excellent for small planted tanks up to 2ft (& u can also adjust the output strength). Plus, the 304 is so small, u'd actually have some doubts whether it works as a filter. The price should range between $18 to $23

    For my case, my filter isn't exactly the top flow-down water type. It's a cylinder kind with 3 smaller cylinders (one for filter cotton, charcoal and bioballs) and the water is drawn in from one end and flow out at the other end. Is that kind of filter still not acceptable?
    Never heard/seen this b4...sorry can't help

    *sob* .. What am I going to do with all the extra stuffs if I am to get a new light, new filter etc....[]
    Sell to LH keepers?
    ----------------

  18. #18
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    Not very familiar with filters. For quite a number of times when I asked the LFS owner, they can't tell me much or they are busy entertaining customers talking ... esp about LH...
    Raphael, Eden is good enuff.. but given a choice, go for Eheim canister filters. yes.. expensive but worth the investment.. u can't overfilter a tank.. thus me using a 2224 for my 2ft tank.. a bit overkill some would say.. me not suggesting that u do the same.. perhaps a 2213 will do.. if i recall properly, some places are selling for less than $100.. (saw at Pasir Ris NTUC resort LFS!!!)

    For my case, my filter isn't exactly the top flow-down water type. It's a cylinder kind with 3 smaller cylinders (one for filter cotton, charcoal and bioballs) and the water is drawn in from one end and flow out at the other end. Is that kind of filter still not acceptable?
    Raphael, u are using a Kotobuki filtration system?? me used to have that many many moons ago..and the lights are definitely not sufficient.. and the filtration, unless u can redirect the flow and minimise the spray, it is basically good for only a mainly fishes tank with hardy plants like nana...
    []
    Let us work together to preserve the world for our children to inherit by being responsible to our surroundings. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, bubbles and memories.

  19. #19
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    Hi guys,
    Thanks for all the many advice.[]

    I will look out for a good filter when I have the chance. For me, I dun see those Eden filter anywhere near my area. Maybe I have overlooked. I think this hobby is getting more expensive leh... After starting a tank, I find myself buying more and more, changing this and that. Hmm .. let's see, I think I will need a good filter, CO2 and a set of lights. Dunno what else is coming up... But I think I will need to save some $$$ a bit before I can really starts buying so many stuffs. Pocket tied lar...[]

    Imagine my wife complaining about me spending more time and $$$ with the fish, equiments and books.... hahaha [] []

    Kelstorm: Yes, you are right. I am currently still using the Kotobuki filtration system. I have adjusted the output out the outlet in such a way that the water flow out without splashing on the water. Just order a set of double FL light from the LFS. Should be collecting that next week... Hopefully I will see some improvement to my tank next time...

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