Help Lighting questions

Ebreus

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Sorry if this is the wrong section but I want to make sure the I provide the plants I'm planning on enough light.
I'm planning on Java Moss, Java Fern or Cryptocoryne, Water Wisteria, and Anacharis. If I'm not mistaken the majority of these prefer moderate lighting. So to the best of my understanding lighting is considered as a ratio, Watts divided by the gallon volume of the tank, with plants generally grown between 2 and 5 Watts per Gallon(WpG). So moderate lightly would be around 3.5 WpG, right?
Also I've been looking at LED lighting schemes. I take it that LEDs use a different ratio than florescent bulbs or the LED displays are for fish only tanks since they don't use a whole lot of watts for the light they produce.

One more thing: I've heard about lighting schemes that make use of multiple lights to simulate sunrise, sunset, and the moon. Other than being pretty cool and providing the tank some illumination at night would this do much?
 

lilirose

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Many maufacturers do LEDs that are specifically for aquarium plants these days but I have Fluval lights in all my tanks so it's the only one I can speak about. High quality LED lights are certainly not "fish only" by any means.

Fluval do several different LED lights that are intended for use with plants and they are extremely customisable via a Bluetooth app on my phone (so I don't need to keep track of remotes)- I use them in all my tanks and my plants are looking awesome. I use the sunrise and sunset modes because they are available, I honestly can't say if they benefit the plants but they look nice and again, my plants grow extremely well. I chose the lights that fit my tanks (Aquasky in the big one, Nano Plant in the nano tanks) rather than trying to calculate WpG and then have adjusted the intensity to fit the plants that I actually have.
 
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Ebreus

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Many maufacturers do LEDs that are specifically for aquarium plants these days but I have Fluval lights in all my tanks so it's the only one I can speak about. High quality LED lights are certainly not "fish only" by any means.

Fluval do several different LED lights that are intended for use with plants and they are extremely customisable via a Bluetooth app on my phone (so I don't need to keep track of remotes)- I use them in all my tanks and my plants are looking awesome. I use the sunrise and sunset modes because they are available, I honestly can't say if they benefit the plants but they look nice and again, my plants grow extremely well. I chose the lights that fit my tanks (Aquasky in the big one, Nano Plant in the nano tanks) rather than trying to calculate WpG and then have adjusted the intensity to fit the plants that I actually have.
Nice. I'm glad to hear that LEDs can provide good lighting for plants. Sounds like they make some impressive systems. How do you calculate what intensity of light the plants should have, or is it more a feel you way through it thing?
 

lilirose

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I did no "calculation" at any stage other than "are my plants growing well and looking healthy and happy?"- there's no need to figure anything out using math when I can change the intensity at any time with a touch of my finger. In the first few weeks after planting I kept the lights to about 50% intensity so they could settle in. If I see too much algae I adjust downward, if I don't see lush growth I adjust upwards. All of my tanks are very different so I've made different choices for each.
 
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