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Lighting for a 30/40g


pandamanda111

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Hello!

Soon I am going to be getting a 30 or 40g tank (not sure yet which size), and since plants aren't really working out in my 25, I really want to do plants in the new tank!! :) which ones should I get? I want some that are great for plants, and if possible, I would love to have the moonlight feature. I've always thought that it sounds so cool! :) can anybody give me some amazon or petsmart links with good lights for my tank? I don't need anything too serious, I will probably just be getting anubias, java fern, and maybe some moss balls.

I know absolutely nothing about lighting, so please keep that in mind-- I won't understand your big fancy lighting words. ;) all I know is sizes like t5, t8, stuff like that :)

Thanks so much!! :)

-Mandie

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It's hard to say without knowing what you are getting, but my 36 gallon has two 24-inch t8 bulbs, and my plants do well in there. The stock lighting was one fixture, but I added the second. It's still low lighting, but the second bulb makes the difference between keeping the plants alive versus having them actually grow.

I guess what I'm saying is, that even just a double light fixture instead of a single one can make a lot of difference. :)

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You should try some amazon swords! I am loving mine :) I also think that having the pennywort floating in the tank has really helped with my brown algae. It's still there, but it is not nearly as pervasive as it was before I added the pennywort :)

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Thanks guys!

Shawn, is there any way I could get a moonlight with that? I really, really want that :)

Tithra, I've never heard of pennywort! I'll look that up. Thanks! :)

Edit- ooh!! That is so pretty! I might just have to get some!! Why does it help brown algae? :)

Edited by pandamanda111
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In theory any plants particularly faster growing plants may help with brown algae because they out-compete the algae for nutrients, green algae would do the same if you could get it to grow ;)

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Oh, ok. That makes sense :) I get green algae, but nowhere near the same amount as brown. Lucky me :P

I can't find any moonlight thingies. I may just end up having to go without.

Edited by pandamanda111
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  • 2 weeks later...
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I *think* a 24 inch glass canopy would fit your 25 gallon, but you may want to measure to make sure. Usually pecto/petsmart has glass canopies, but they are typically in the more regular sizes, so you may have to order yours online. Drs Foster and Smith carries a 24 inch one: http://www.drsfoster...cfm?pcatid=3790

For lighting, I know I've told you this before but I love my aquatic life fixtures :D Again the 24 inch one should fit your tank I think: http://www.drsfoster...53&pcatid=23753

EDIT posted same time as Courtney :)

Edited by tithra
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Well, the good news is the top of your tank is the same as a 20 high, which is a very very common tank size, which means you could probably find the glass canopy for it at somewhere like a Petsmart. :)

I also really like those lights Tithra linked to. There are other fixtures with moonlights but I haven't found any that are reasonably priced.

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well, when you buy the fixture it will come with 2 bulbs already, otherwise I know that my LFS carries them, I have never checked petsmart/petco, but you can always order them online too when you need to replace them

EDIT: make sure you get the freshwater fixture not the marine

Edited by tithra
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There are other fixtures with moonlights but I haven't found any that are reasonably priced.

Ooh! Where? Where? Where?? :)

You really wanna know?

There is a compact fluorescent fixture from the same company that has regular lights and lunar lights. It comes with blue and white bulbs, and probably you'd want to eventually change out the blue for more white. All this on sale for only $230. This fixture is hot! (Like, literally. All the compact fluorescent fixtures I've encountered get uncomfortably hot to the touch, so that's something to think about.)

Or, for $270, you can have not 2, not 3, but FOUR T5HO bulbs, AND lunar lights. Hooray! This is also an AquaticLife fixture.

Now, it's important to note that the two above fixtures would probably be a bit overkill in the light department. BUT. If you're looking for underkill, what you want is a Marineland LED fixture. These have white and blue lights, and a switch you can use to turn on just the blue ones. However, they're probably not going to be enough light to actually grow plants with, sadly. But they are affordable. You'd want the 24-36 fixture, which is only $90 on sale.

Actually, I'm surprised I haven't thought of this before. If you really want moonlights, just get a couple of these. The catch is that those don't plug into the wall themselves. You have to buy one of these too. Then you can plug up to three of the lights into it, and plug that into the wall. I think. I have never used these so I'm not positive how they work but they might be a good thing to look into. I think the individual lights have suction cups and are submersible so you could put them on the side of the tank or on the glass canopy. This a description I found of them:

Let your imagination light up your aquarium. Create spectacular highlights to add to your aquascaping with this fully submersible micro led light that is ideal for fresh or saltwater fish. Just attach the light (via suction cups provided) inside or outside of your aquarium and the beam of light will give off a beautiful shimmering effect or hide it somewhere inside for a diffused light effect.
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One time tithra told me that she uses candle holders for plant pots! I hope you don't mind, tithra, but I was thinking of trying the same thing. :) would you worry about the square shape of these ones to poke the fish with the corners?

http://www.amazon.com/Square-Glass-Votive-Candle-Holders/dp/B002R0VNPM/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1334182950&sr=8-15

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Of course I don't mind! I wasn't the first one to think of that lol.

Those are pretty much the same ones I have. I haven't had any issues with the fish getting hurt on the corners or anything like that.

I got mine at my local craft store (e.g. Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, AC moore), they were maybe 1.00 a piece, maybe less :)

EDIT: I would also suggest getting a small bag of nutrient rich substrate to plant your plants in. Something like carib sea eco complete or seachem flourite

Edited by tithra
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