Lighting for 20 long
Posted 18 January 2014 - 11:29 AM
Posted 18 January 2014 - 07:39 PM
Posted 19 January 2014 - 09:10 AM
This is what I mean by imitating daylight: The bulb emits light at all points in the spectrum, not just a few sharp peaks of color.
Watts = how much energy it draws from your wall. More watts = more $$$ per month.
Lumens = how much light the bulb produces. More lumens = brighter light.
Efficiency = how many lumens per watt. For example incandescent bulbs make many less lumens per watt than fluorescent or LED bulbs do.
#,000 K = "color temperature", what color the light will be. Doesn't affect plant growth, since any combination of spectra can result in a certain K number
Here's more info: http://forum.nanfa.o...ing-for-125gal/
Ask me if you have any questions. The goal is:
1) Full spectrum bulb.
2) 100 to 200 lumens per gallon for freshwater plant growth.
I put the 6 outlet extension cord with my lights plugged into it on a timer for 3 hours before I leave for work and 5 hours when I get home. Timers are $5 ish.
Posted 19 January 2014 - 09:20 AM
4 foot long 32 watt T8 fixture = $10 at Walmart. I use two per 4 ft long tank.
Daylight Deluxe 32 watt T8 bulbs are $10 for two at Home Depot. I use 4 per 4 ft long tank. They make 2750 lumens each so that's around 200 lumens per gallon for 55 gallon tanks and 150 lumens per gallon for 75 gallon tanks. I have lots of tanks, so in real life I buy 10 Daylight Deluxe bulbs for $32. I replace all my bulbs once per year.
Clamp light fixtures are $8 at Home Depot.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are $4 each ish. You can buy 1500 lumen ish daylight spectrum bulbs individually for $4 or a pack of four bulbs for around $10 ish. The price is very fluid on those at the moment and coming down a lot recently as the technology is progressing. Compact fluorescent bulbs are better than LED in my opinion because if an LED burns out, what do you do? Replace it? How? So I use all fluorescent bulbs, myself. Only took two LED fixtures burning out for me to make that decision. *nods*
Yup. Price wise, you'll be fine. Hardware store lights are cheap. A person told me yesterday after I told them it'd cost about $12 to grow plants in their 10 gallon tank my way that they were very glad I'd told them that, since the pet store was looking to charge them around $50. Egads.
Posted 19 January 2014 - 09:28 AM
(It's densely packed because it's a breeding tank. When I'm selling fish every week from a tank, I don't care if it's pretty. I care if it's functional and the babies are surviving. So it looks like that: dense plants to protect fry from being eaten.)
But anyway, my point is this: you don't need CO2 to grow true aquatic plants. You don't need CO2 for plant variety or for plant density. What is the difference between an aquatic and a terrestrial plant? A membrane. The membrane helps keep water in when above water exposed to air, but underwater it suffocates terrestrial plants and makes them not get good gas exchange. That's why true aquatic plants shrivel up and die within only a few minutes above water. They lack the membrane that keeps the juices in for terrestrial plants. Get true aquatic plants only (there's thousands of species of them, lots of variety) and you won't need CO2 injection to grow them.
Does CO2 make plants grow faster? Yes.
Do I think it's worth doing the extra maintenance? No.
I am lazy, though. If you want super fast plant growth and are willing to add CO2, you can. It can kill fish, though. And it's a lot of work, forever. And they'll grow without it.
I think the major thing I'm trying to convey is flexibility. There are a lot of ways to do things without the standard $70 planted tank light and the $70 planted tank substrate, the extreme maintenance of CO2 because the plant species you keep are actually not aquatic, and the horrible pain of having to dose weekly with liquid ferts. There are other ways to do it. I use hardware store lights, pure clay kitty litter, don't fertilize or use CO2. And like I said I've got fully a dozen different species of plants. Some of the tanks are actually pretty, unlike ceratophyllum tank up there. Be flexible, and do what works for you. There are alternatives to the standard way of doing things.
Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:09 AM
Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:20 AM
Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:08 PM
1) The leds burned out nearly immediately in one fixture and within a few months on the other.
2) The one whose LEDs worked longer decided it liked to eat through bulbs as if they were candy, burning through the T5HO 54 watt bulbs once every other week.
Those Odyssea fixtures single handedly drove me to never pay $100 or more for lighting for my fish tank again. I went from lighting my tanks for $40 or less and never having any mechanical problems to buying two 'nice' fixtures for $100 each for my two 75 gallon tanks and then watching them degrade extremely rapidly over time. Within 6 months they were barely functional. Within a year, completely not. Those 54 watt bulbs are $10 each to replace, you know. $20 per bulb if you want them pretty actinic blue. A hundred dollars of bulb replacements in three months makes me very unhappy. It was not a hard decision to return to my hardware store lighting for $40 per tank and $20 maintenance cost in bulbs a year. If I want blue light color, I put on a blue T8 bulb cover and call it a day.
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