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Looking for advice regarding lightning for planted aquarium.

Discussion in 'Lighting Requirements' started by KSX, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. KSX

    KSX New Member

    Jan 7, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Rochester, NY
    Hey everyone! New to the forums and looking for some advice regarding some lightning if at all possible!

    Here's what I've got going on so far!

    10 Gallon Aquarium (Just starting out trying to get the hang of it.) running 3 inch depth approx 20 lbs of EcoComplete for the substrate with just standard platty's, tetra's, and a few guppys.

    Plant wise, I'm running Java Ferns, Anubias, Micranthemum, and a Tropical Fern.

    I use Flourish Excel as noted on the bottle and for the light I'm currently just using a no-name random LED light I found off Amazon I can't tell if its actually doing anything for the plants or not or if I needed to upgrade the light.. If so, recommendations for a 10 gallon planted aquarium!?

    This leads me to my 2nd question. I have a 55 gallon tank which was the "Aqueon Kit" and now that I am getting much more into this I am realizing that the kits are dandy and all but nowhere near the requirements I need for plants. I currently just have your run of the mill gravel along the bottom with a bunch of plants through-out such as again, Anubias, Amazon Swords, Microsword, and a few others. I am also using Flourish Excel on them as well and trying to figure out what the best light I should go with for that if I wanted to make it into a full planted aquarium. Also, is the gravel okay to use or do I need to spend the money to get the substrate for the 55 gallon also..

    Few options I looked at thus far,

    Fluval Fresh 2.0
    Finnex 24/7
    Finnex Ray2

    Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, look forward to talking to you all soon!

    Cheers! - Kyle 20170106_200454.jpg 20170106_200437.jpg 20170106_200428.jpg
    Zeus likes this.
  2. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

    Sep 9, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Yorkshire, UK
    Hi KSX

    Welcome to the forum

    I'm no expert, read a lot in a short time and in the Dry Start Method (DSM) stage of my first high tech tank myself.

    So here's my 2 cents worth

    Substrate wise gravel is inert so all it does is hold the plants down, which isnt a real problem but you will need to have a good fertilising regime to get the best out off your plants. Where as Aquasiol (AS) contains nutrients and sucks up the excess nutrients from the water column storing them for use when the plants need them. With AS you can get away for some time without using any ferts but the AS will become exhausted over time. It will 'recharge' if you use ferts later OFC. AS would be a good choice if after a planted tank High or low tech wise.

    Light wise depends on depth of your pockets if going down the CO2/EI route or not also. Personally I think going for dimable lights is a good option as you can then adjust them if/when you get algae growth, plus helps to extended the viewing period depending on where the tank is.

    Then with the lights what spectrum was you after ? Good thread here on T5 tubes, which shows nicely the difference it can make on the look of the tank. Plants dont care about the spectrum they use what ever is available its the intensity of the light that gets them growing faster , too much light and aglae can be an issue

    Well worth checking the lights out at a Local Fish Shop (LFS) if you can make sure your happy with the spectrum of the lights

    Hope that helps

    take your time in picking which light to go for (y)
    ShadowMac and keithgh like this.
  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Melbourne Australia

    To stop any confusion it might be a good idea to tell us everything about each tank, plants preferable botanical names, inhabitants, water temperature, substrate type and depth, lighting and filtration type and size. How often do you clean the filter and how is it done? Water changes percentages and how often?

    The reason for that there could be different concerns with each tank.

    Lets call them for convenience only, the Blue, White and Black tank after the colours of your substrate.

  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    North Dakota, USA
    Hello Kyle, welcome to ASW.

    First thing I'd like to point out is that you have a couple non aquatic plants in your setups. The large variegated leaved ones cannot live underwater and will die, then rot. Remove them and put them in a pot ;)

    You got some good info from Zeus.

    I think the first thing folks should do is outline their goals. What do you want to accomplish with your tank? Then you need to reconcile that with your budget. What can you spend? We can then help find solutions to fit your goals with what you can spend.

    For now without any changes to your setup, some plants will grow fine, others will not. The species of plants you can grow without CO2 and in low light (which you should use when you do not have a CO2 system) is a limited list, but you can make a nice tank none the less. Look for anubias species, cryptocoryne species, ferns like java or bolbitis, and various mosses.

    So, what are your goals? Any pictures of something you want to create? I would recommend focusing on creating a single aquascape in a single tank so you can pool your resources to make the best setup, instead of dividing them down to make mediocre or subpar setups in three or four.

    When choosing a light, you must first decide if you are going to run CO2 or not. Flow and filtration are also more important than the type of light you use. For low tech tanks you can run basic T5 shoplights with daylight bulbs. I ran a $12 light over a low tech 55 and grew anubias and crypts just fine.

    So the first thing to consider is CO2...can you do it?
    keithgh likes this.

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