lighting question

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by superman, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. supermanValued MemberMember

    hey, im looking for a light for my freshwater fish tank its a 29 gallon that will have semi's. Im looking for a light thats really bright somthin like the saltwater lights. I saw somthing about a t8 bulb but idk what to look for in a bulb someone please help. Thank you.

  2. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    What are "semi's"? The only semi's I know of are Semi Trailers & I'm sure that's not what you mean. :)

    T8 is merely the diameter of the flourescent tube. If you are after something really intense you would need to look into T5HO or Metal Haldide lighting. For plant growth most people like to use kelvin to judge which light tube/bulb will suit them best. Kelvin ratings relate to what colour light the tube/bulb emits. It is nothing to do with the spectrum of the tube/bulb, which I think is far more important to plant growth. If you want to go by kelvin ratings, look for something with a kelvin rating between 6,500 & 10,000. If you want to go by spectrum, look for tubes that contain large amounts of blue & red light. These spectrum tubes can emit a funny looking purple light but that is easily offset by using a tube of 10,000kelvin in combination with the red/blue tube. 10,000kelvin is a very white light.

    Here are a couple of links about lighting that you may want to read:  


  3. supermanValued MemberMember

    what kind of light would be good for me. I am making it planted too. Semi agressive i mean. The light i have in my tank now i obught maybe 6-9 months ago and it totally sucks. the tank is so dark. I have one plant growiing for now. Ty

  4. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    That depends. Do you know exactly which fish you want to have? Do you want to run a co2 system & supplement fertilisers or do you just want some plants that are easy to care for & not worry about co2 systems etc? It would be even more helpfull if you could list the plants you want to keep, if you know. It's easier to recommend lighting if I know the exact plant requirements & what level of maintainance you want to be doing.
  5. supermanValued MemberMember

    i got some plant seeds from walmart the aquarium ones i dont no the name but they start wit an A. Im going to have angelfish and a rubber lip pleco.
  6. mathasWell Known MemberMember

    Something in the Aponogeton genus, perhaps?  
  7. supermanValued MemberMember

    im porety sure thats it its small it was grow3ing nice until this light went bad. Im going to pet store now for light and driftwood just look for over 10k kelvin for a light?
  8. mathasWell Known MemberMember

    10000K is just about the upper limit of what I would want on a freshwater tank. Much above that and the bulb will likely produce a spectrum that benefits marine tanks moreso than freshwater plants.

    As Nutter suggested earlier, the 6500-10000K range is usually ideal for freshwater.
  9. supermanValued MemberMember

    i want a really bright light that makes the tank look nice 10k should be good?
  10. mathasWell Known MemberMember

    There really isn't a simple way to answer that question. As Nutter alluded to, color temperature alone doesn't tell the complete story of a bulb.

    The "10000K" designation, by itself, makes a bulb no better or worse, or brighter or dimmer, than any other bulb. All it does is give you an idea of what color the light emitted should look to the average eye. In general, as a bulb's correlated color temperature rating increases, the color of the emitted light should stay relatively close to the Planckian locus line seen in this chromaticity diagram.

    In simple terms, a 10000K bulb should appear white or just slightly bluish-white.

    To evaluate how bright a bulb will look to human eyes when compared to similar options, you would want to look at the lumen rating.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  11. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    You should also be aware that the more light you have the more your plants will need fertilisers & co2 supplementation. If you have high intensity lights but a shortage of either fertilisers or carbon, all you will grow is algae. It's a delicate balancing act between the three & having more or less of any one thing can lead to problems.

    It is very difficult to recommend lights without knowing what plants you wish to grow or how much maintainance & expense you are willing to go through. Perhaps just upgrading your current fixture to a twin tube system would be best to start off with. That will give you twice the light intensity you have now & depending on the plants involved there may be no need for further upgrades. That is just speculation though. As I said, without positive ID of the plants I can't say for sure wether two tubes would provide the amount of light needed.
  12. supermanValued MemberMember

    i just got a light its an 18k i got two of them for 10.00 its a aqua glo from its 18k and says its ideal for planted and freshwatwer aquariums.290 looks really nice kinda wat i was looking for. its bluish white.
  13. supermanValued MemberMember

    here are the seerds i put in


    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  14. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I've used them before & don't think they are that great for plants. Your initial problem of having dull lighting still exists though because that tube is no more intense than what you already had. To increse intensity/brightness the only thing you can do is increase the number of watts of light over the tank or switch to T5HO lights that have much higher light output per watt.

    The bulbs look like Tiger Lotus though could be some other form of lilly. To grow them succesfully you will need a minimum of 30w of suitable light over your tank & 60w T8 would be a whole lot better as even under 30w T8 they may not survive. The Apontongen have much the same light requirements.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  15. supermanValued MemberMember

    heres the old bulb  
  16. supermanValued MemberMember

    I dont have the xtra money for a new hood its not that important.
  17. supermanValued MemberMember

    what kind of plants would be good under my new lighting that i can buy at the pet store. I got the bulbs for free from a friend so i decided to try them.
  18. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    The Coralife is only classed as "freshwater" for the kelvin, that usually means around 6,700k. That would have been more suitable for plant growth probably. Just buying a replacement would have served you better. With the amount of light you have you will struggle to grow anything aside from Java Moss & Java Fern. You will definitly need to increase the intensity to get you bulbs to grow. They may start to grow but they won't last very long.
  19. supermanValued MemberMember

    why wont they last? actually the plant grew a little after i put the bulb in its like magic lol.
  20. supermanValued MemberMember

    how does that fertilizer work?

    what i want to do is have a nice planted tank with a few angels and a rubber lip pleco thats my goal.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010

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