2 years ago #1
adrummon
Fresh Member
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Hey!

So I want to try for my first planted tank. (I have several tanks with plastic plants, but I thought I'd try something new). I bought a 55 gallon tank, and the hood that comes with it houses a single 24" strip lamp with a maximum wattage of 20. I know the watts/gallon rule isn't the end all set in stone rule anymore, and I know it's so complex figuring out correct lighting systems with lumens, PAR, PUR, etc. So my question is:

Is there any super high tech light that will provide adequate light for plants (2-3 watts/gallon equivalent) while not going over 20 watts itself?

Thanks in advanced!!

Posted on Aquarium Plants
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2 years ago #2
appoolshark
Junior Member
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It sounds like you should look into using some low-wattage bulbs and LED lamps for your tank. LED is the way to go for saving on your ener bill. My brother and I each have 2 tanks, his are both LED, mine are both fluorescent. I can't tell much of a difference when the lights are on, so it seems LED is the better choice to add, and if you buy it at the right places, might be cheaper too.

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2 years ago #3
adrummon
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Thanks so much or the quick reply!

I've read up on LEDs, but do they make them in the strips like what would fit in a standard aquarium hood? And would that be enough for plants to thrive?

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2 years ago #4
appoolshark
Junior Member
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No problem, actually, you can buy strips of LED's at auto parts stores, usually will come in various lengths, just find one for the size you want, then I would compare prices online to see who has the best deal. Even if it costs a few dollars more than a traditional fluorescent, the long term energy savings will pay off. Don't forget to vote!

Lemme know if you have any more questions regarding this matter.

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2 years ago #5
johnarthur
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Some of the online aquarium suppliers have been lowering their prices on LED systems. I expect they will be in much wider use within a year or so. In the interim, single tube fluorescent lights will work on lots of plants.

The more demanding plants may require intense lighting, fertilization and carbon dioxide supplementation. Of course, all these things can encourage algae growth and complicate water chemistry.

If you were to buy LED strips from auto shops, how difficult would it be to run them on alternating current?

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2 years ago #6
appoolshark
Guest

Thats a good point. I guess you would just buy a power converter? The LED's I saw at advanced auto parts near my home run on batteries, I think, they are supposed to last a rather long amount of time, both batteries and bulbs.

Good point on the plants and algae situation.

As we speak, I'm looking for inexpspensive means for lighting a 10g. I currently have a power saving bulb in a lamp, looking over an obscurely shaped piece of driftwood, giving the tank some interesting shadows. Pics will be up shortly.

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2 years ago #7
redwings5552
Silver Member
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To be honest, If this is your first planted tank, I'd go with some very easy plants such as java fern, java moss, some crypts etc... These guys really can grow in any kind of light you give them. The waste the fish produce will feed the plants and whatever light you have coming in will be enough. You should try some Hornwort too, it's a floating plant, looks very nice...It grows like a weed though lol

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2 years ago #8
Roger Zhong
Guest

Hey,I am the led aquarium light supplies from china.about the size of your fish tank,I suggest you the led aquarium tube that of 84 watts,blue and cool white,you also can choice other color ratio.by the way,it's waterproof reach IP68.if you need or want learn more style aquarium lights,pls email me at gehllamps11@gehl-led com
I will recommend you the suitable led aquarium light.

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2 years ago #9
Love My Fresh Water Fish
Gold Member
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I have mostly the Crypt type plants in my 55 gallon. I keep struggling to find the right light balance that will grow the plants but not algae. Right now I'm having a bad blue green algae bloom. Maybe I just need to back way up on the lights. I'm using a white aquarium plant light and a few weeks ago I switched my actinic blue light for a red spectrum bulb. I pretty quickly got the blue green algae. What do you think?

my lights are: flourescent T5 28 watt 6,700 daylight and **** T5 Red Wave Super Coral generator 54 watt.

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2 years ago #10
johnarthur
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Those plants usually do better in fairly low light; crypts grow algae under bright lights. The red light may be a bit too much. Floating plants will shade the aquarium interior and help use nutrients which would otherwise feed algae.

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2 years ago #11
Love My Fresh Water Fish
Gold Member
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I was hoping to hear from you John! Thanks very much for your input. I amd going to keep the white light, take out the red and maybe get some floaters.
Sometimes I get a bit discouraged. I do weekly water changes and watch my peramiters but I still always have some sort of problem.

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2 years ago #12
gobigorgohome
Bronze Member
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i was starting to have a really bad algae problem in my 30 gallon tank so i went and bought a pleco, he cleaned it right up

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2 years ago #13
EcoFishBox
Fresh Member
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duck weed is a great floating plant. its fast growing so it will pull nutrients out of the water fast. mine doubles its numbers everyweek. it will take over watch out.

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2 years ago #14
IanL
Gold Member
Blogs: 1
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johnarthur wrote:


If you were to buy LED strips from auto shops, how difficult would it be to run them on alternating current?

Extremely easy. I do this with computer fans to cool off ballasts and lights in my canopies. All you do is cut wires from Whatever Direct Current device you wish to power, then find an old cordless phone, clip wires coming from the plug which goes from wall to cordless charging station and connect the DC device with the cordless charger. All you need is a couple wire nuts, terminals, or solder. I would advise checking the mA rating for phone charger and compare with whatever you are trying to power first though.
I know this is an old post but maybe it will help someone
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1 year ago #15
Light It Up!
Guest

Hello Roger,

I saw your response to a question in this forum and thought I would ask for a suggestion.

I have a freshwater 55 gallon setup and would like to get a good low power consumption light that will provide the correct spectrum of light for live plants, but not be too harsh for the fish.

Suggestions?

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