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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

hey all,

im still deciding to either upgrade my lighting.. or stick with 2 watts/gal.
whats are my options? + and - .

just in case i stick with 2 watts/gal, can you list some that you think might do well in those conditions, that would look good too. and some with red plants too if you know any.

most of the lfs sell bright lighted plants. so, ill probably order online. :cry:
 

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The old fashoned 'Amazon' swords do well---E. amazonicus, E. bleheri, E. martii, and E. parviflorus. Probably a number of the other green swords that are well adapted to being submersed.

Water sprite, Bacopa carolina, the frequently available crypts, of course, Java fern, Anubias,

Hydrocotyle verticillata grows well at 2 watts per gallon, but it gets huge, with leaf petioles over 10 inches long. It does not look nice in a tank with its big leaves all either at the surface or plastered against the cover glass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
60 watts no flours, 29 gal, diy co2, 1 inch flourite and 2 inch reg. gravel.

whats a good foreground plant thats fast growing and will carpet the most of the foreground?
 

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Dwarf sag will grow nicely for you as a foreground plant.

At 2wpg you can grow many plants, infact if I were considering an upgrade, I would probably add a CO2 tank, that would probably give you better results than the lights alone. If you were to upgrade your lights, you should also get a CO2 tank.

Here's what I'm growing in a 90 gallon with just over 1wpg, heavy fish load and no additional CO2:

Limnophila aromatica
Frog bit
Java Fern
Cryptocoryne
Aponogeton
Ozelot Sword
Various Anubias
Java Moss
Limnophila Aquatica (Ambulia)
Ludwigia mullertii
Ludwigia repens
Nymphaea Lotus zenkeri (Red Tiger Lotus)
Hygrophila siamensis (Giant Hygro)
Hygrophila difformis (Wisteria)
Hygrophila polysperma (Sunset Hygro)
Lobelia cardinalis "small form"
Ceratopteris thalictroides (Watersprite)
Nymphoides aquatica (Banana Plant)
Ceratophyllum demersum (Hornwart)
Lemna minor (Duck Weed)
Sagittaria subulata (Dwarf Sag)

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Now I am confused. I thought the "rule of thumb" was 2+W/g for tanks. But lately I see references that for the smaller the tank, that should be higher. Is there a sliding scale?

On my All-Glass 10g I have an AH Supply 1x36 Bright Kit, which (easily enough to compute :) is 3.6W/g. On my little All-Glass 5.5g I have the All-Glass 14W light which gives 2.5W/g.

I realize this is not an exact science here, but is there a mathematical formula to figure this out, or a chart and scale that would make it easier to hone in a bit on what defines low, medium, high and very high wattages per gallon for different sizes of aquaria to make it a little easier to determine types of plants for amounts of light?
 

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There is no set rule unfortunately. If you consider we are using watts, which is the amount of energy consumed rather than light output, this alone tells you that it's a flimsy rule. For example 2wpg of CF is more than 2wpg of NO. Then we use volume of our tanks which doesn't really correlate with the surface area the lights need to cover, and also doesn't take into consideration the depth of a tank. I'm sure finding a more accurate measurement is easy enough, lumens per square inch of surface might be more accurate, but it becomes something you need to calculate each time and WPG is just too easy to calculate off the top of your head.

Now about this "rule of thumb 2+wpg". That's just untrue, there is no rule of thumb because it all depends on what you want to grow. 1WPG in a large tank for example will grow many plants. 2WPG in a large tank with CO2 will grow just about anything. Smaller tanks need more light to compare evenly, a ten gallon for example would probably require 3wpg to be similar to a larger tank with 2wpg. With medium to large tanks, going over 2WPG usually requires the addition of CO2, this is perhaps the rule of thumb you are referring to. It is also commonly said that over 2WPG is considered moderate to high light and below is considered low light, but both will grow plants, just different ones.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Yes, the lighting rule that we have is a good starting point but it's got so many flaws.. It's like when someone goes I've got 2 wpg....but then you gotta ask...well, 2 wpg in what size tank? in 10 gallon, it's horrible...but in a 100 gallon, it's better....

Another thing that I'm learning is that light spread is extremely important... Light has got to be spread out evenly.

Also, if you have the low side of light...for example, I've got 2x65watt coralife hood over a 40 gallon long...supposedly that's a good amount of light, but it's not...my rotala is green, not red...and from time to time it rots at the stems when it gets slightly shaded.. now people have also said that this is a micronutrient deficiency...but i've got a friend with a 40 gallon tall with 2 x 96 watt hood and he doesn't dose at all and all his plants don't rot from nutrient deficiency.
which leads me to believe that lighting is the problem.
 

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If we could work our way to some determination, say by using lumens or photons per square inch per second (ha ha, IANAP*), and take into consideration surface area, maybe glass, height above surface and depth of tank... If we could determine that I would write a CGI script for it and make it available...

* I Am Not A Physicist

-Jason
 

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hubbahubbahehe said:
pers second? how bout just lumens per sq inch?? that's a lil bit easier.
I was not being entirely serious there, as I am unfamiliar with what measurements are available and usable for such a determination... :)

I would work on a public CGI script though, if we could all work toward a way to determine such a thing. I was serious about that. I do not have the knowledge or experience to do that on my own, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
now im confused:?: what:?:

so, is 29 gal tank with 3 NO 20watts flours is good 8) or bad :twisted: :?: thats pretty much 2 watts and change.. what do you think :?:
 

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Like I said, there is no good or bad unless you don't have enough light to keep an anubias alive or have so much light that the fish are wearing sun glasses. 2WPG in a 30 gallon tank is not bad at all, using 3 tubes also provides far better spread than using a single CF. It's probably not something you want to grow glosso or eausteralis stellata in, but give it the right conditions and it will grow many plants. Give it additional CO2 and you'll be able to grow most plants with the exception of the ones that require very intensive lighting.

What do you want to grow??? What kind of tank are you looking to manage, a race horse that needs weekly service and bi-weekly prunings or a tank that needs bi-weekly service and monthly prunings???

It all depends on what you want to have. I for one have only time for one high light tank, my others are all low to very low light tanks. I've kept low light planted tanks for around 15 years and high light tanks only the last 2-3 years.

Here's some photos of my 90 gallon with 1WPG:





And the 55 gallon with 4WPG:



As you can see, they are just different, not good or bad. Success can be acchieved with both, low-moderate light is more forgiving however.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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GP, both are equally impressive and aquascaped to a high level of skill.

For your 90 gallon, what kind of lighting do you use for it to achieve 1 wpg?

Same for your 55, is that ahsupply 4 x 55?
 

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In my experience it is a good idea to start a newly set up tank with fairly low light, for example, one to two watts of cool-white T-12 fluorescent per gallon. If the plants get off to a good start, one can cautiously increase the light level. If you prune back a major amount of the plants as I often do because, being busy or lazy, I let the tank get badly overrun, then it is a good idea to cut back on the light to reduce an inevitable algae bloom.

Most of my tanks are 15 or 20 gallons, and I make---well I wouldn't call them hoods---fluorescent light fixtures that sit on top of the glass covers on the tanks. I made some fixtures that hold three 20 watt T-12 lights. Each light has its own ballast, making it possible to have one, two, or all three lights on. This gives me lots of flexibility in getting the tank started up. When the plants are well established and algae is under control, I can replace the fixture with one that holds four, 24 inch, T-8 flouroscents, all run by a single ballast. If I want more light than that, I can put on a fixture that has two 40 watt compact fluorescents. I only use this last fixture on tanks that are very heavily planted.
 

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I've never heard of 40 watt compact fluorescents, can these be obtained at the local home depot? I'm going into building my own hoods and looking for t8 fixtures at home depot.
 

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The 90 gallon uses the All-Glass tripple T8 fixture (3x32W) and the 55 gallon at the time of the photo was actually running 4WPG on the left side and 2WPG on the right (2x55W CF on left half and 1x55W CF on right). Since then I upgraded it to 2x40W x2ODNO plus a single 55W over the left half.

I don't think they make 40W CFs, probably just a typo.

Giancarlo Podio
 
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