Lights, Plants, and Aeration

  1. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Hello, it's me again. More questions, as always. Sorry Carol! OK, I have read that "Aeration should be used only at night, because during the day plants need carbon dioxide to photosynthesize" (in "Aquarium Designs Inspired by Nature" by Peter Hiscock). My airpump is turned on 24/7. Am I aerating my tank too much? Should I turn off the airpump during the day? My water flow from the filter is quite strong which I think also aerates the tank.

    Next question, lol. I have some plants in my tank, and they're low-light. I will also be getting more low-light plants soon (java moss as suggested by Gunnie!). My tank's volume is 30 gallons. My lightbulb is 20 Watts, which makes it a bit above 0.6 Watts Per Gallon of light for plants. Is that really enough for low-light plants? I am thinking about using two 20W bulbs. There is a problem however. My tank's hood is designed to hold only one lightbulb. Below is a picture of a two-bulb light strip. Can I, somehow, remove the white single-bulb part from my hood and install the same, only two-bulb part, into my hood? Are such light strips available for sale? Or do I have to buy an entirely new hood?

    Also, does anybody have a lot of experience with various lighbulbs and their colors? I am currently using a 20W Sun-Glow bulb by Hagen. It is a full spectrum light that has a fairly natural color, but it isn't quite "white". I do like this light but I'd like to try other lights as well. Does anyone know which bulbs produce a full-spectrum natrular-looking WHITE light?

    Thanks for any repiles and thanks for reading this boring post! :)
     
  2. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    OOPS! Forgot about the picture! Here it is:
     

    Attached Files:


  3. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Eight of my tanks are heavily planted and 7 of those just have HOB(hang-on-back)filters, 1 has filter and a bubble stick run down the back wall, 2 are bare bottom breeder tanks with air driven sponge filters. They all do equally well day and night. So I would say if you like the bubbles use them, if you don't like them don't. I don't see that they would hurt in any way but don't particularly see a necessity either.
    Lighting hum.. Can you get a 40 watt bulb that will fit your current fixture? Java fern and Java moss both will grow under your current light, just a little faster under the 40 watts I would think.
    I really am not experienced with the different lights available as I use just plain flourescent aquarium bulbs which I can buy at Wal-Marts or lowes much cheaper than the fish store. Hope that helps ;)
    I bet Dino could give us some good advice on lighting ;D
    Carol
     

  4. Dino Fishlore VIP Member

    For artifical lighting I prefer either compact flourescent or the GE full spectrum flourescents.
    Since a great deal of my plants are strickly outside plants, my expereince with indoor lighting is not what it should be.

    Dino
     

  5. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Thank you Carol and Dino. So I think I will turn off the airpump during the day, or I will simply decrease the air flow to very small. I bought the airpump together with my tank only because I have heard that it is "necessary" to have it since even fishes need air (which is true).

    Carol, I have searched on the internet for a 40W or more fluorescent lightbulb that also is 24 inches long (my hood holds only one 24-inch long lightbulb), but I could not find it. I have found 40W bulbs but they're longer than 24 inches. Does that mean I will have to get a new hood? Or can I somehow replace the part of the hood which holds the bulb for the one that holds two bulbs? Is this possible? If so, how?

    Dino, I think the first bulb that came with my 30 gallon tank was GE, fluorescent (but I don't know if it was full spectrum since I got it without the box in which new bulbs come, so I couldn't just read and see what bulb exactly it was). It was 24 inches long and I think 17W. But this is the very one that had the bluish hue which I disliked. It didn't look natural at all. Or perhaps this is how the "white" light bulbs are supposed to look like? Because I don't think they would give me some colored bulb included with the tank and hood. Hmm. It's quite confusing! What do you think it was? I guess then I will have to buy one bulb after another to see which one is full spectrum natural white light!
     
  6. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Isabella,
    Unless you are using CO2, I don't really see a need to turn your air pump off. Your plants are mostly gonna be low light, and without the CO2, they will do just fine if you leave the air pump running. Heck, I have a 10 gal. with 3 wpg of light and it contains plants in it that require at least 2 wpg to do well. My filter is a sponger filter, so I can't turn it off at any time, and the plants are doing great! I don't use CO2 in any of my tanks, and don't plan on it right now.

    Your picture looks like a double bulb, am I right? In that case, double the wpg in your calculation, which would be 1.2 wpg. Even if it was .6, it would be okay for the low light plants. Your sword plants though, may not fair as well. Just try it, and you may have to replace them with a lower light plant later.

    The Krib tells you everything you would ever want to know about lighting if you click on that link. I think the spectrum you want to look for in bulbs is 5000K or close to it. I think your bulb is fine. I have regular lights on all my tanks, and get my 24 in bulbs at Lowe's and WalMart also.
     
  7. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    All right Gunnie. Then I will keep my airpump running 24/7, lol. As for the lighting, I am not sure which picture you were talking about: the picture of my tank, or the picture of the lighting strip? In the picture of my tank, there is a single-bulb light strip - this is the one I have. On the picture in this post, there is a double-bulb light strip - which isn't mine; I found it on the internet. (My bulb is 24" long and it is 20W. I couldn't find anywhere on the internet a bulb that is 24" and more than 20W. The only bulbs with more than 20W were 36" long.) So I cannot simply buy abother bulb and screw it into my single-bulb light strip! That's the whole point, lol :) My question was: are there available light strips that are double-bulb and that will fit into a hood that originally held one-bulb light strip? Or do I have to get an entirely new hood with double bulb-light strip?
     
  8. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    I have been looking around and I think you have to get another hood in order to get 2 bulbs. I also looked for a 40 watt 24' bulb and i didn't find one either:( Sorry I thought I saw one.
    Carol
     
  9. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    It's OK Carol, what are you apologizing for! You have always been helpful :) I also have been looking for bulbs and light strips on the internet and never found any that match my hood. I posted my questions because I thought maybe I wasn't lucky in my search and that perhaps someone else would know. But it looks like there indeed are no lightbulbs 24" long and over 20W. Looks like I will have to get another hood. But it's OK. Mine is crappy anyway. I don't know when I'll get a new one but I'll try as soon as possible. And perhaps then I'll even be able to get some higher-light plants :) Besides, you can also experiment with two different bulbs (ex. one Sun-Glow and the other some other hue) which can bring some interesting results. Um, OK, enough of my babble, lol. I don't know why I always write so much!

    P.S. I went to a local pet store today (other than my usual Petland) and they said that maybe they'll have java moss and fern next week, but they were not sure 100%. As for Petland, like I said, I have never seen any java moss or fern in there and they said they won't get anything like this anytime soon.
     
  10. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I have seen java ferns at my local PetSmart but I have never seen java moss for sale at any store. I always ask around and get mine from other hobbyists. That's why I suggested it. If you want to get some nice java ferns, Off-Ice on Plantgeeks might have some available at a fair price. And he doesn't charge an arm and a leg for shipping either. I'm not sure if he has any java moss though.
     
  11. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Thank you Gunnie. If they won't have java mosses/ferns at my local pet store, I will look online and maybe at PlantGeek as well. I will see what I can do. Thanks :)