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Lighting (and A Little Plant) Help?


RagazzaPesci

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Lighting for planted aquariums is a COMPLETE mystery to me; I don't understand anything. Nothing... niete! I've tried looking at the pinned topics, looking at other lighting topics I could find with in the forum, and I still don't understand it. To keep much of anything, I know that I'll need at least 2 watts per gallon, I know that a two bulb striplight (which is a basic aquarium light fixture that comes with tanks with two light slots instead right?) is pretty standard, but beyond that? Again, niente. I dont know what kind of striplight to buy, how long it should be, what type of bulbs to get, where to buy them... I tried looking on Big Al's Online and that just confused me MORE. :blink: I'm completely lost here and help is desperately needed.

I'm not looking to do anything elaborate... mostly I just want to plant a couple things in little pots (for cleaning ease... I tend to uproot anything I try to plant when I gravel vac) and actually keep them alive; novel idea, I know. If someone could help me out with my light issue and then perhaps suggest some plants that might be good planted in gravel (I'd like to avoid special plant substrate if possible) in pots, I would REALLY appreciate it. Pretty please? This whole thing is starting to drive me bonkers! :krazy:

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I am trying to better light my planted tank also and I have been doing lots of research. My advice is based on my research and not on any experience. There are lots of info and vedors via google.

There are two things that are important for picking out lighting: watts/gallon and spectrum (Kelvin rating). The amount of light you need really depends on what plants you want. I have some crypts that do well (enough) with .75 watts/gallon. In general low light plants should do well with 1.5 watts/gallon but between 2 and 4 watts/gallon will let you do whatever you want. So figure out how many watts you need for your tank and start shopping from there, then let your budget be your guide. Then make sure that you can get a good spectrum bulb. For freshwater tanks you want around 6700 Kelvin because it simulates natural sunlight the best.

The length of the light really depends on your tank and your set up preference. If you try to guage amount of light by how big it is you could get mislead.

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Okay.. so I just talked to mmm and they set they have a coral glo (or somthing like that) that is between 35 and 40 watts that she said would be good for a freshwater planted tank... what do you guys think? Would it be okay to use reef lighting for a goldy tank?

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When I went to return that wrong bulb I saw that mmm had a 24in like that at mmm that was 65 watts and would JUST fit the top of my tank.... unfortunately the 90$ price tag was a little out of my range so I'll have to save up a little first, but I do think I'll be going that route which is why I forwent buying the replacement bulb that I intended originally . The selection in wattage for just bulbs was limited and I dont think I would have been adding much to what I already have. Thanks for all the help though guys!

I did go ahead and pick up some umbrella plants... they were packaged in gel and didnt say what kind of light requirements they had so I thought I'd put some feelers out; does anybody know what they need? Will they be okay with stock lighting for the time being? Do they need ferts or anything like that? I just have them planted in gravel at the moment, planning on moving them to small pots... do you think they'll be successful in this type of situation? LOL... as you can see... any and all advice is very much needed and welcome!

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