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Lighting Suggestions For A Standard 4'


Chuckie
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Hi guys, I want to remove the canopy on my 4' (240L) and replace with a serious plant-growing light so I get 3 WPG. Plan is to have no lids and one of those lights that are up on a little stand on either end of the tank. Not really after halogens - the room will get too hot, unfortunately.

I have a lot of trouble interpreting posts about lighting for some reason, so would love it if someone with the knowledge could say "I suggest this brand, this model, this this tube" etc , and if you're really feeling generous, "you can order it online here", lol.

TIA guys!!

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Hey

I don't really have a brand recommendation, but I suggest staying away from the cheaper t5 lights if heat is a concern. I bought a 4x54w t5 light for cheap. I'm happy with the amount of light it provides and the unit works great (although i've heard these units are a lucky dip) but it does get hot. From what I have heard the more expensive brands are cooler to run.

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what if I was to try and fit 6 4' fluoro's under a lid? I can make a new lid/canopy with no worries. If I add 6 and it's too many, I can shut off 2 and just run 4.

I can get double fluoro fittings from Bunnings. Any particular brand and model of tubes (or combination thereof) that I you think I should consider?

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Try to get Sylvania 6500K tri-phosphor tubes. I know the experts will say that the Kelvin rating is irrelevant. But it's the easiest parameter on a tube to find info on. And after you sort through all the blah blah blah about what is actually important about a tube for plants you'll find that the 6500K also has all the other things. Not everyone stocks Sylvania tubes. I think Bunnings doesn't but you should try the big lighting shops. Should be able to get them for around $10.

Go easy on the lighting timer to start off with. Maybe only have it on for around 6 hours until the plants establish. Otherwise you're just going to get algae soup.

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I got a 4ft T5 light off ebay, actually their store was located not far from me so I save on postage and picked it up. It doesn't have grow tubes in it atm but the duck weed seems to thrive on it lol I can actually get plant growth lights for it but haven't bothered as it's actually meant for my 4ft oscar tank, even though it lives over the 3.4ft, and as u can see it's too long for it lol. I'm getting off my butt and getting a T5 for the 3.4 ft as we speak lol

PS It's from Guppy's Aquarium, which Callatya suggested. And like I said earlier I'm fortunate enough to live about a 15 min drive from their warehouse so I picked it up. Am getting my 3ft from them too with plant growth tubes. Dunno if I should get the 20000k or 14000k..anyone got an opinion (not to :P )

Here's the pic

e3c8036a.jpg

Edited by Fighters4U
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  • 3 weeks later...

Try to get Sylvania 6500K tri-phosphor tubes

Thanks Michael!

I had a look for these via Google.

If my (probably impaired) calculations are correct, I am after the T8 Activa 218134 F58W/172 Activa 58W, (http://www.sla.net.au/?p=211) and 3 of them would give me 174W, which is almost 3 WPG (ie, 3 WPG in a 60G tank would be 180W, so 174 is just 6W under the optimum).

Is that right?

Or would I be better off with the T8 Elite Tri-Phosphor (this one: http://www.sla.net.au/?p=207)?

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Hey Lilli

Read all the post for this thread .... interesting to know what people think about lights.

Anyway this is little help from my side.

On the 2 ft tank which i posted on this site i am using these lights and got the best results till now:

T5 AQUARIUM LIGHT 4x24W H/O 600 Long Individual Reflectors

T5 Tubes Giesemann Brand H/O POWERCHROME Midday 24w x 2

T5 Tubes Giesemann Brand H/O POWERCHROME AquaFlora 24w x 2

I choosed Giesemann because of their spectrum of light. So in total it is 96W for 2 ft tank

3 W is enough but i normally like to go for 4 w per gallon but that just personal choice as then you have to according create balance with co2 and nutrients.

Giesemann tubes are bit expensive then normal one but they definitely bring out the red and greens in the plants.

This is just my experience with these lights ;).....

Regards

Jag

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Thanks Jag! Your tank is absolutely gorgeous so I am realyl happy that you shared that with me.

If I read it right, you have a total of 4 x T5 tubes? 2 are the 24w Midday tubes, and 2 are the 24w AquaFlora tubes?

If that's right, it's really helpful. I'd consider using 6 x 39w tubes (giving 234w- almost 4 WPG) made up of the Midday and AquaFlora tubes.

I see that you can get them from here: http://www.guppysaquariumproducts.com.au/t...h/o/cat_85.html so if that's the go, I'll order some ;) ;)

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Yeah I ordered them from that site. I think that the cheapest place you can get from .... ;)

Yeah you read it right. 234 w will be more than enough..... your tank will glow no need to have any other light on in the room ;)

Good luck with your tank.

Cheers

Jag

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at this stage, I am interested in red tiger lotus, a few species of aponogetons (esp Madagascar lace), spatterdock, and something to grow across the ground. Suggestions are welcome though :) Nothing purply, but reddish hues and lime greens are of interest to me. Not so much in the way of stem plants, although I may need those for a while til I get the balance of everything right (don't want algae soup!).

I'm planning on a CO2 canister (sick of DIY - one beery tank in a lifetime is too many, plus they are a PITA generally).

I'm really willing to do a 'try as you go' approach. And since the tubes will be in separate double fluoro fittings, if it's all too much I'll just unplug one of them!

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ok, so the new hood is now under construction, and it should be finished today. I'll get the fluoro fittings and order the tubes today, and hopefully I'll be able to browse and order some plants too (time permitting).

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Thanks Jag :(

Well the hood is constructed, painted and in place along with 4 'warm white' tubes the fluoros came with, which will be replaced by 6,500k daylight tubes sometime this week (when they arrive). I decided I'd experiment with tubes from an electrical wholesaler rather than outlaying almost 33x that much at the outset on the Giesemann lights, but I do plan to replace them with the Giesemann tubes over a period of time. Hopefully it's not a recipe for disaster :lol:

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Am getting my 3ft from them too with plant growth tubes. Dunno if I should get the 20000k or 14000k..anyone got an opinion (not to :lol: )

Have the same light (two of them actually)...at least it looks the same. Didn't come from Guppy's, though... I was actually warned away from them. Got mine from Aquariums R Us, in Brissie. And, yes, I have seen the same ones on eBay, as well...for much cheaper!! Grrrr!!!

Cassie, those globes you mentioned are Marine aquarium territory. The ones to go for (apparently) are 6500-8000k, so I have read. I have 10,000's in both my fixtures (which I'd wager, is what you have also). Aside from the blue tint that they give to my tanks, I have absolutely no issues with them... I wanted to trade the globes for 6500's, when I bought the lights, but I really see no point to be honest. The 10,000's are just fine.

Edited by Lilli
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ok, here is the tank with the hood installed. It has NOT yet been scaped or planted up ... these are just plants that I haven't managed to kill despite protracted periods of time with no light at all, and some random driftwood. Also, the globes in it are still the "cool white", 4000K tubes the fluoro fittings came with. They will be replaced with 6,500K tubes when they arrive.

Also, it's all cloudy and full of sediment because I just squeezed out 2 sponges I was keeping in there (seeded filters!) which I moved to the intended occelatus tank.

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Thank you! I was surprised that it actually looked ok when I turned the lights on - I literally shoved it in randomly and left it wherever it landed! It used to be in other tanks I re-scaped, and I had to put it somewhere...

My husband just told me my fluoro tubes have arrived! :D

I have some plants coming from Jag today too - v exciting!

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Thank you Jag for the lovely, healthy plants that arrived today!

I was late getting home from work but I arrived to 6 new daylight tubes, and some beautiful plants from Jag.

Here is a photo just after I added the new lights and plants. They won't necessarily stay where they're planted, I just needed to get them in the water (was 40C here today). The Val is a temporary resident, there to use up nutrients and hopefully help fend of algae until all the plants are planted, once the Aquagreen plants get here. I need to set up a Co2 reactor as well. After some zzzzzzzzzzzzzz, lol!

The colour of the light looks so much better already! I had all lights in the fishroom off today in fear of the heat. Hopefully tomorrow will be cooler and the lights can be on :lol:

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