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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm new to APC, but "intermediate" to the fishkeeping hobby.

I'm currently trying to figure out more about lighting for aquariums; I was looking at this one...

http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-AquaS...IRAU/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1291880802&sr=8-9

Well, I don't plan to buy soon. I just want to learn the types of lights that are best for planted aquariums (I believe, VHO/HO t5? or something).

I was looking at the various lighting fixtures at Marinedepot (.com) and a main "concern" I had was:

"How many lights do I need for a 29 gallon aquarium? (24")" Would 2 be alright?

Sorry, everything is so out of order :rolleyes:. Here are the list of questions:

1) What lights are best for planted aquariums
2) How many lights in the lighting fixture are good enough?
3) What brands would you recommend; the high end, the medium, the avoid?
4) Do these have a fan? I'm not at home for 12 hours of the day (6 AM - 6 PM) and I am concerned about causing a fire.
5) What do you think of this light? http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-AquaS...IRAU/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1291880802&sr=8-9
5b) I have a relatively limited budget; so over 250 is kind of out of the question (if a really good one is 260 or 275, well, maybe.)
6) Should I get pressurized CO2 first, or lighting?
6b) I currently have 2 (i believe they are called SHO, the "swirly" bulbs) bulbs, which are equivalent to two incandescent 100 watt bulbs (according to package). These get VERY hot, so I actually have a small deskfan on when the light is on. I also have one of those "strip lights" that you can get with the aquarium kits or something, with a Tropic Sun 5500k Sunlight bulb inside of it.
6c) I have DIY yeast/sugar reactors w/ airstone, and the bubbles go into a "powerhead/waterpump (waterpump, not the power heads that go in undergrav.)
6d) I use some of the SeaChem liquid fert products (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus). I also have some tablet fert from another company meant for water lillies; I use about 1/4 of the entire tablet.

Thanks!
 

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A few things to consider.
How much time & money are you willing to devote to the hobby. If you want to grow plants like mad go high light ( also most work) OR turn it down a notch. Light drives growth in conjunction with Co2. So if you have a low wattage light the Co2 will help but not nearly at the rate of a high light tank. Lighting has a lot to it. The best you cvan do is educate yourself in the "lighting" section. Read those stickies :)

Best of luck
 

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Welcome to APC. I just did some research for my new tank, so things are still clear :)

I would go with a 4-bulb T5: runs much cooler then CF (no real need for fans), looks substantially "brighter" then CF, energy efficient, great choice of bulbs, etc, etc. You do not have to use all 4 bubs, but if you would want to in the future, you will not have to buy a new fixture. Just my opinion.

I just bought a Tek light fixture and I am happy with it. A 24" x 4 is about $225 + bulbs. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to APC. I just did some research for my new tank, so things are still clear :)

I would go with a 4-bulb T5: runs much cooler then CF (no real need for fans), looks substantially "brighter" then CF, energy efficient, great choice of bulbs, etc, etc. You do not have to use all 4 bubs, but if you would want to in the future, you will not have to buy a new fixture. Just my opinion.

I just bought a Tek light fixture and I am happy with it. A 24" x 4 is about $225 + bulbs. Good luck.
Yeah! I was looking through those lights, but I didn't know whether or not they came with lights.

There wasn't any mention of it coming with lights, so I was a little uncertain
 

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i bought all my t5 ho from catalina aquarium, call them up! good prices y customer service.if you want to hang your light ask for the attachment. tell him it is for a planted tank and choose your bulbs.
 

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None of the fixtures I looked at come with light bulbs. All websites I saw state "bulbs optional".
catalina sells them with bulbs... and yeah, make sure the size your about to buy fits the tank your planning to get.
 

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a 29g is 30 inches the stock lid uses 24inch bulbs, if you want to get a light fixture to grow plants then you will need a 30 inch fixture and depending on what plants you want to grow will depend on how many bulbs you need. I have a 24 t5 no light fixture with just 2 14w bulbs and I get medium light over a 25g(24x12x21) aquarium. my 55 has 36 inch t5ho's at 39x2w over a 55g and I get high lighting.

also read up about P.A.R. in the lighting section...
 

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hmm lets see here:

1) What lights are best for planted aquariums
There's a lot of different ones, the general idea is to look for bulbs between 5500k-9325k in order to get the correct spectrum. I'm currently using the Hagen Life-Glo bulbs and a Zoo Med Flora Sun bulb for example. Stay away from anything that says Actinic or 50/50 as they won't work for the plants.

2) How many lights in the lighting fixture are good enough?
Not sure what you mean here, you could get by with just 1 bulb on(~low-medium light), 2 would put you in highlight which should(not positive) be fine with ur diy CO2.

3) What brands would you recommend; the high end, the medium, the avoid?
My experience: High- Tek/Catalina, Med- Coralife, CurrentNova, Avoid-Oddysea

4) Do these have a fan? I'm not at home for 12 hours of the day (6 AM - 6 PM) and I am concerned about causing a fire.
Some do, most don't. You shouldn't need it with a manufactured fixture, a diy/odno'd fixture you'd for sure want a fan, but yeah you shouldn't *need* it and they won't start a fire. Altho a fan may increase bulb/ballast life depending.

5) What do you think of this light? http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-AquaSu...1880802&sr=8-9
That one looks fine.

5b) I have a relatively limited budget; so over 250 is kind of out of the question (if a really good one is 260 or 275, well, maybe.)
If you want a really high quality one, one with individual reflectors for best penetration, i'd look at a catalina or tek light, any 2 bulb fixture should *easily* stay within you're budget.

6) Should I get pressurized CO2 first, or lighting?
Up to you really, if you're already running DIY CO2 you may get by just fine.

6b) I currently have 2 (i believe they are called SHO, the "swirly" bulbs) bulbs, which are equivalent to two incandescent 100 watt bulbs (according to package). These get VERY hot, so I actually have a small deskfan on when the light is on. I also have one of those "strip lights" that you can get with the aquarium kits or something, with a Tropic Sun 5500k Sunlight bulb inside of it.
6c) I have DIY yeast/sugar reactors w/ airstone, and the bubbles go into a "powerhead/waterpump (waterpump, not the power heads that go in undergrav.)
6d) I use some of the SeaChem liquid fert products (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus). I also have some tablet fert from another company meant for water lillies; I use about 1/4 of the entire tablet.

With the extra lights, you'll definitely want to get the rest of the Seachem ferts besides excel,nitrogen,phosphorous. You'll also need Potassium, and Flourish Comprehensive. The Flourish Trace is up to you, i haven't needed it as my plants aren't soaking up all the micro's fast enough to warrant it, but to each his own, i'm barely running medium light on my 29. Root tabs are also a plus and should be used.

Hope that helps :)
 
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