Lighting and Carbon source for a 7g Mini-bow? - Nano Aquariums - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-04-2005, 11:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lighting and Carbon source for a 7g Mini-bow?

Hello all-

I just picked up a new All-glass minibow 7 gallon aqaurium without hood or lights at an LFS. I would like to create a small planted shrimp tank with some rather high light foreground plants like HC and Blyxa japonica. I am going to build a small hood and lid for this tank with polished aluminum reflector, but I do not have much experience lighting small tanks. I have some electronic ballasts I could use to power some flourescents. Also, from my experience on larger tanks I am not a big believer in the WPG rule, because some many types of lighting behave so differently depending on so many factors other than wattage. So, I would like your opinion on the following:

Lighting
Option One: Two NO 15" long 14 watt Flourescents. I have electronic ballasts to power these bulbs. Also, any recommendations on good 15" bulbs?
Option Two: Two 25 watt screw-in compact flourescents. Lights of America "sunlight" bulbs. Not spiral, but 4 small u-tubes.

Which one would you use and why?

Carbon source
DIY CO2 vs Excel and why?

Thanks in advance!!

Last edited by Mjproost; 12-04-2005 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Why not check out AHSupply.com and get a very inexpensive 2x13w PC retrofit kit? I have been very happy with this over a 10g, and you cannot beat the price. They also have the best reflectors available, IMO.

For tanks 10g and under I prefer to use Excel, just because it is simpler and I get annoyed with DIY CO2, since you have to run two bottles on a staggered schedule to have a constant supply. Many, many people do great with DIY for small tanks, but especially when you get under 10g it is nice to have one less piece of equipment to hide.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am trying to keep this thing as cost effective as possible, and use up misc parts I have laying around.

I do like the ahsupply kits. I am surprised by the low cost also. But, with the deluxe kit, bulbs and shipping it is still nearly $50.00. I may go with the regular kit, tho.... I could keep that under $30.00....hmmm

I was thinking about my original two options because I have the ballasts, one new 15" All-glass bulb and sockets for the NO flourescent option. I would only need one bulb which would be $5-12. Also, I have the LOA screw-in compacts for that option, I would only need the sockets which would be less than $5.

But, if the 13 watt CF are as good as the 65 watters I have, they would be worth it. My 65 watt CF, IMO, puts out way more than the 3 - 20 watt NO flourescents it replaced. Hence, my issues with the WPG rule.

Does anyone know if I can use an electronic ballast designed for T8's with Compact flourescents?

That would be ideal.
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Old 12-24-2005, 10:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I've used the Hagen Nutrafin CO2 thingey and came to hate the fuss [and the mess, and the tubes, and the smell]. Now I only use Seachem Excel for CO2.

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Old 12-24-2005, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would use the Excel for a small aquarium such as yours, too.
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