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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys, (and gals), I need some suggestions on lighting please.

So I am looking at the JBJ picotope or a a nano-sized tank for planted FW setup, right? It's going to be small, open top, and I would much prefer an over-the-tank lighting option. Too bad I can't get the cute Arcadia lighting. What are my options?

The most convenient (and easiest) for me of course is to just grab the picotope. But can I use the actinic bulb for FW planted tank? I don't think that's advisable, isn't it? Correct me if I am wrong on this...

By the way, I move slow, especially during research phase. So please pardon my posts all over in the various sub-forums. :cool:
 

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No need to apologize. If more people researched thoroughly, there would be far less algae in the world. :)

Actinics are generally not advisable. The plants can't use the light, and I've heard anecdotal evidence that algae can. Never seen anything definitive though, and I prefer not to use them as they just look "weird".

As for light fixtures - I don't know the dimensions of the picotope (nice tank BTW!), but check out Catalina Aquariums for lots of options for small tanks. I think the general consensus on Catalina is very good. If you don't see exactly what you want, call them up, they can customize most of their lights.

Also, I've heard that Aqua Forest Aquariums in San Francisco has some nice fixtures for small tanks. They are not listed on their website, but try calling them up and asking. I've spoke with several guys there, all were very friendly and helpful.

Finally... There is the ever-present Home Depot 27 watt compact fluorescent desk lamp. Definitely the cheapest option for the light you get, I've used them before and they work well. Downside is you are limited in bulbs available, and they look kind of cheesy.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Indignation,

Thanks for the leads. I will definitely check out Catalina. I want to start small, but the ADA tanks are damn tempting. I felt the same way about actinic bulbs, but someone from JBJ emailed me back assuring me it would not be a problem leaving it in. I still think I will go change that out if the picotope ends up being the tank I get my hands on.
 

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If you are interested in ADA, but want to start small (and cheap), check out this thread. Its about how to remove the black plastic rims on a cheap standard tank. I've done it with a 5.5 gallon and loved the results, looks close to an ADA tank.
If money isn't an object, ADA has small tanks too.

As for the lights, I think its a matter of personal preference. Do remember you will lose 1/2 your usable light if you keep the actinic/daylight bulb. If you decide to replace it, check out Helios, they have some nice bulbs that will fit your fixture. Several people here have used the Helios grow plus (pink &white) bulb and liked the results and color-rendering.
 

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Remember the amount of lighting you have will dictate what type of plants you can grow. I would decide what plants you would like and if you will or will not use co2. In nano tanks the wpg rule breaks down and chousing a light can be hard. I have never gotten a direct answer to what dictates the size lighting needed for a nano. I do know that more light is more growth and more problems and less light is less growth less problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Remember the amount of lighting you have will dictate what type of plants you can grow. I would decide what plants you would like and if you will or will not use co2.
Naturally. I need to consider that as well. I should get all the equipment ready before even thinking of live beings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
As for the lights, I think its a matter of personal preference. Do remember you will lose 1/2 your usable light if you keep the actinic/daylight bulb.
I am most likely not going to use the actinic...I don't think it is that essential to FW tank, is it?

Thanks for the Catalina website. I have finally found someone who makes over-tank lighting fixtures that allow for length adjustment. So, let's say I am looking at this:

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/product_info.php?cPath=71_76&products_id=1232

It takes two 13W PC bulbs. So, I am assuming this would work?:

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/product_info.php?cPath=71_45_122_124&products_id=986

W/g guideline is not as important to me as the depth of the tank. In any case, assuming the tank is a 10g tank with a depth of no more than one foot, I would have 2.6w/g of light. Also assuming moderately planted and the plants lean towards high light plants.

What do you think?
 

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The standard 10 gal. in 20" long, so you might be better off with something like this. The light you posted would have enough light output, but not a wide enough dispersal. (one side of the tank well-lit, the other side dark) With 36 watts over a 10 gallon, assuming CO2 and regular ferts, you would be able to grow whatever you wanted.

As for the bulbs, I would just call Catalina when you order, and tell the salesperson what you want (daylight bulbs). They are not a big company, and are very helpful.
 
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