Low tech aquairum lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Nwbearcat1998, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Nwbearcat1998Valued MemberMember

    Hi, I've been reading the forums for what feels like days and I believe I've settled on the 48" finnex planted plus light for my 75 gallon aquarium.

    I'm planning on it being a community fish tank with low light plants like Anubias Nana, swords and Java ferns. Maybe a few crypts. I'm planning on doing the oscomote root tabs with my sand substrate and no co2.

    Thoughts on this light choice? I'm worried t will cause and algae outbreak.

    Thanks in advance for the suggestions

  2. Charles556Valued MemberMember

    What you described for your 75 g is almost exactly what I have in my 29 g, except for the light :D

    In my 29, I have a 30 inch Finnex Ray2, a sand substrate, osmocote root tabs, swords, Java ferns, crypts, anubias, ludwigia repens, etc.

    So far, I have noticed an uptick in algae production, mostly diatoms and a little green, short hair algae. It's not that bothersome to me, as the brown algae will die back eventually (since the tank is relatively young) and the green algae will soon be out competed, in theory...

    I think you'll be fine, as long as you start out with a large amount of plants to soak up all the excess nutrients. You may have some growth on the glass or on leaves very close to the surface, but otherwise you'll be algae-free.

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  3. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    I think for the height of that tank and the plants you plan to grow, the Planted+ should be fine. :)

  4. Nwbearcat1998Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the confirmation of my thoughts. I've also got a wood hood over the aquarium that I'm going to secure the light so it'll be 3" to 4" over the water.
  5. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello Nw...

    Sand is fine for plants that don't require putting them into the substrate like Anubias species and Java fern. However, sand can compact and not allow water to circulate through the roots of the others. This will deplete the oxygen the plants need. I have heavily planted tanks and avoided sand because it can create toxic zones which will create water chemistry issues.

    Maybe you can find out on this forum how to avoid the problem.

    Good luck.

  6. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Nothing wrong with sand for growing plants. I, as well as many others grow plants on sand with no issues. As long as you keep the sand around 2 inches, you won't have to worry about gas pockets.
  7. angelfishguppieValued MemberMember

    I have a finnex planted plus 24/7 (and I leave it in 24/7 mode) on my 46 bow - which is a similar depth. I have very little green algae except the tank side closest to the window, a light dusting of brown (diatoms? recently changed from gravel to black diamond blasting sand). Doing well with no CO2, a few root tabs. Amazon sword (one of those tank busters), good amount of java fern, anubia, unknown sword-ish plant and a couple of other tiny unknowns plus marimo moss balls.

    Are you using a glass lid too? The reviews when I bought mine in Feb seem to suggest that the finnex lights are not all that reliable over open tanks. Condensation and spray/splashing from filters or even bubblers causing shortened lifespan.

    Happy shopping!
  8. Nwbearcat1998Valued MemberMember

    No glass lid but plan to keep the light at least 4" off the water. I'll will keep an eye on that and maybe add glass if needed.

    I added a thin layer of small gravel between the sand layers to help with anaerobic issues as well.

    Thanks again everyone for the helpful information. I'm going to order the finnex planted plus soon.
  9. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Problem you may see with that is the sand just winds up falling in between the gravel so that you eventually wind up with all the sand on the bottom anyway.
  10. GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    Sand does compact, but those anaerobic issues generally occurs in sand depths of 4" and requires excess organic carbons to create the toxic sulphate compound. Rooted plants also disturb the sand slowly which avoids these pockets from killing everything, if they do manage to occur in smaller depths.
  11. Nwbearcat1998Valued MemberMember

    Instead of using the Finnex Planted+, I am thinking about going with a dual bulb T5HO system that has seperate switches/plugs for each bulb.

    I'd run some type of 10K grow light for 2 hours a day (5pm to 7pm) and then a 67K light for 15 hrs a day (7am to 10pm).

    I'm still looking for a fixture that has this setup.

  12. GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    15 hours a day will cause algea for sure. Plants need the 6500k ish range for photosynthesis, as do algea. Normally, you would start at 8-10 hours and cut back if algea started.

    Normally the acintic bulb is the longer run with the 6700 being the shorter 8 hour.

    Have you looked at what kind of PAR those lights would have at the substrate?
  13. Nwbearcat1998Valued MemberMember

    I think I'm starting to again lean towards the finnex planted plus light again

    Can it be run for a entire day as well?
  14. GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    Why do you feel you need such a long time with the lights on?

    Edit: with 24/7 model in the 24/7 mode
  15. Nwbearcat1998Valued MemberMember

    My wife is a stay at he mom and I just want them to be able to see inside the aquarium during the day.
  16. GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    Without an algea issue, I'd think you could run a very high temp light for a long time. 10-12000k range for those lengths would suffice? I'm not very sure though.
  17. g25racerValued MemberMember

    Just an FYI to those who don't know .... With pool filter sand you will not get gas pockets. Reason being .... Every grain of sand is the exact same size so there is no space for gas to get trapped. Plus its $8-12 for 50lbs instead of $1-2 a lb.

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