Lighting for Hexagon aquarium

mearatiara

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I currently have a 60 gallon aquarium. It's 31" tall and each hexagon side is 12". The two bulbs that came with it are 8 watts each. Is that enough lighting for plant growth? I'm going to purchase plants this weekend, so I needed to know if that is even enough lighting for plants. I am thinking about getting water wisteria, Anacharis, java fern, or giant Hygrophilia. Also, sand is my substrate.
 

AquaticBrandon

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You don't need any special lighting for plants, well for low light plants. The plants that you're getting are low light plants. A 6500k bulb should grow these plants well. You can get them at Home Depot, Walmart or lowe's.


 
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mearatiara

mearatiara

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AquaticBrandon said:
You don't need any special lighting for plants, well for low light plants. The plants that you're getting are low light plants. A 6500k bulb should grow these plants well. You can get them at Home Depot, Walmart or lowe's.
Thank you for the advice! I think each bulb is 4100k.

These are the bulbs I currently have:
 

Dom90

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AquaticBrandon said:
You don't need any special lighting for plants, well for low light plants. The plants that you're getting are low light plants. A 6500k bulb should grow these plants well. You can get them at Home Depot, Walmart or lowe's.
I have heard that lighting at Home Depot or hardware store is different than ones made by Finnex because its different PAR ratings than needed for growing plants in an aquarium.
 

AquaticBrandon

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Don't know about that, but most 6500k bulbs from any store should grow plants well. In fact, the bulbs that I have boughten from hardware stores are growing all my plants very well.


 
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mearatiara

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Do you think 2 bulbs with 4100k enough lighting? Not sure if the height of the aquarium eve matters, since the plants only need low light.
 

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Really? It may just have been marketing by companies such as Finnex then. It would cost a lot less to buy lighting at Home Depot or Lowes then, genius!
 

TexasDomer

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Height does matter - the deeper the aquarium, the lower the PAR rating at the bottom.

4100 K lights won't grow plants well. 5000 K - 10000 K are recommended, with 6500 K the best.
 

AquaticBrandon

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4100k wouldn't grow the plants very well. Usually it's recommended for live plants to get some lighting in the 5000k- 10000k range. 6500k is more ideal for plants. I've grown plants with 5000k bulbs and I'm currently using 6500k bulbs.


 

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Dom90 said:
Really? It may just have been marketing by companies such as Finnex then. It would cost a lot less to buy lighting at Home Depot or Lowes then, genius!
Could be. 2 of my planted aquariums have CFL or T8 bulbs that are 6500k's or 5900k's. All the plants are doing great. I have low to medium light plants.


 

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I got my 6500K lights at a DIY big box store. They came in a 2 pack for $10. However my light fixture only houses 1 bulb and the one bulb alone does not give enough PAR for my plants, as they are decaying and melting. If I had 2 bulbs, it would barely be enough. But then you got to also factor in the cost of the bulbs in comparison to an LED unit that will last for 10+ years without needing anything, and the electricity cost by the 2 bulbs compared to an LED. I will never recommend a fluorescent bulb again after my research of LED's.
 

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Do they sell LEDs at Home Depot that would work for plants though? You won't exactly find a Finnex there...
 
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mearatiara

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alink said:
I got my 6500K lights at a DIY big box store. They came in a 2 pack for $10. However my light fixture only houses 1 bulb and the one bulb alone does not give enough PAR for my plants, as they are decaying and melting. If I had 2 bulbs, it would barely be enough. But then you got to also factor in the cost of the bulbs in comparison to an LED unit that will last for 10+ years without needing anything, and the electricity cost by the 2 bulbs compared to an LED. I will never recommend a fluorescent bulb again after my research of LED's.
What type of bulbs would you recommend then?
 

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They do sell LEDs at Home Depot but the color temp seems to be 4200..
 

AquaticBrandon

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I would get the 6500k's. You can grow low light plants and a few medium light plants with those bulbs. I've never had a problem with these bulbs.


 

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What is the diameter of this hexagonal tank, I know each side is 12 inches, but I can't remember how to calculate diameter, Geometry class was ages ago lol.
 
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mearatiara

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Dom90 said:
What is the diameter of this hexagonal tank, I know each side is 12 inches, but I can't remember how to calculate diameter, Geometry class was ages ago lol.
Haha very understandable! The diameter is 24"!
 

alink

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6500k would be fine provided that you use 2 bulbs. However, LED will be cheaper in the long run.
 

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