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Advice Please!

Rols

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13 Feb 2009
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7
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Northamptonshire
Should say hi to all and thank the effort that has gone into this forum, making a fantastic resource with a wealth of information,im hooked and i rarely signup to anything!

just aquired a 400ltr aquaone that i would like to plant/community after having poor sucess with planted aquaria before, i'm battling with a decision and would like an opinion on what i have, and what i should use?

I own a 120cm Arcadia pendant S3 with 2x75w MH lamps and 2x30w T8's that would all need to be replaced!
I also own the inbuilt T8 fittings that come with the tank 2x3ft 2x4ft? (a little strange for a 5ft tank i feel)
plenty of shade in the back corners i can tell you!

i just cant make my mind up, after so much trouble with algae in the past i would like to get off to the right start.
i cant adapt aquaone fixings without trouble so T5 conversion to the exsisting tank fitting is out. will have to make do with T8 if you advise this method!

you should consider-
i do have CO2 but i dont want things to be too demanding, i'm likely to only keep more simple plants but should it start to function as desired i may take on further challenges,i should mention i dont mind refurbing the arcadia however 'if' better i dont mind mixing tubes on the original fitting of the aquaone and buying some better bulbs, Sylvania/Osram mix? not sure if the original fitted are a little to low powered @ 1.4wpg? Mix ideas appreciated as it seems hard with T8's the choice is all T5 althou i did see 3 and 4ft options.

i'm afraid to say i had already inserted Dennerle Substrate pro before i read anything on this site but hey its there now lets hope i can contain it! will have to read Ei for a third time and see if its within my capacity (sigh) all that mixing and measuring scares a humble hobbiest!

First thread so please be gentle.may lead to other ruby faced questions, just feel out of depth after reading some of these threads, how knowledge and opinions have evolved over the last 10 years or so! i struggle to comprehend some of the stuff i have read here..i feel my foudations rocking!!

Thanks, Rols.

'Confusion' Somewhere between reading and understanding!
 

Ed Seeley

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3 Jul 2007
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Nottingham
First things first you've really got to go for the CO2. It's the biggest difference between a great tank and a tank of troubles IMHO. A good pressurised system with a suitable diffusion method will mean that some types of algae are discouraged while the plants will grow superbly. If you are going to dose EI too (and it's easier than you think) then it's even more important to provide a source of carbon either via CO2 gas or liquid options (like excel - but these would be rather expensive on a tank your size). I dose EI by making up two separate solutions, one of trace minerals and the other with the macro ferts (Nitrate and Phosphate) in the other. It's really easy once you get the hang of it.

For lighting I'd aim for around 2 watts per gallon or 0.5 watts per litre so you need about 200 watts. That would suggest the pendant you have with the MHs would be fine. What are the wattages of the in-built lamps in the hood? They might do the job ok too with good reflectors fitted although the shady back corners are not good.
 

Dan Crawford

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Welcome to UKaps :D

Ed is right in saying that EI is easier than you think, i couldn't understand what i was worrying when i finally dove in, and the results are outstanding!

I have 2 125w Arcadia MV pendants over my 80cm :lol: and i think they are great, certainly if you can't afford a new 5' luminaire. If you grab some new bulbs, and presuming they are 125w each then you'll be golden ;)
 

Rols

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Ed Seeley said:
What are the wattages of the in-built lamps in the hood? They might do the job ok too with good reflectors fitted although the shady back corners are not good.

The tubes in already are 2x4ft x40w and 2x3ft x36w dayglo and lifeglo by hagen (not the best PUR/Temp)

Dan Crawford said:
Welcome to UKaps :D
If you grab some new bulbs, and presuming they are 125w each then you'll be golden ;)

Dont have the luxury of adding 125w watt unless you guys know better, when i chose the pendant it was offered with 75w or 125w watt i opted for the lower as it sat over a smaller aquarium in those days so believe 75 w is the max i can fit..how would i tell?


CO2 will certainly be used on this setup, at present i'm using Kent plant products with great algea success! lol
i'l wait for a response on this lighting before i go any further but i think i'm leaning to the pendant unless you say different.

Thanks for looking.

edit- What tubes woould you suggest for the pendant to complement the MH?
 

Ed Seeley

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The colour of bulbs is only really important for you looking at the tank! Plant's will use light of widely different spectra.
Look at the sticky in this section for some excellent work done on how different bulb colours look.

I think you're going to be fine with the pendant. The T8s can be on for your whole photoperiod and then have the MHs running for 4-8 hours in the middle of that. Then you'll have 60w on all the time plus the additional 150W of the two MHs for the centre giving you 210W in total.
 

Rols

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Thanks Ed. i did read the sticky a couple of times and took the time out to think about bulbs, i'm a little unsure if i should use the grolux or the skywhites as i dont seem able to find to much info on PUR from MH what mix do you think is best to compliment the MH output, i gather the MH will give a full spectrum so if i added the grolux i should be about right to grow plants..

thanks for the tip on running the MH for a shorter peak light period..i would have run the lot.

would there be a better alterantive to the grolux T8s' mixed with the MH?

now the only thing left is to convince the other half into the pendant again...she hates it!
 

Ed Seeley

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I wouldn't use grolux bulbs. You don't need them to grow plants - they do fine under any spectrum except possibly extremely blue ones. I'd go with the Skywhites. The light from your MH bulbs will depend on their Kelvin rating so I've no idea!
 

Rols

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Sorry did i mention my brain melt from an information overload due to reading these forums...didnt notice a disclaimer for mental health problems in the T&C's for this place.. ;)

70w Osram powerstar 7000K from memory, but i have it in bits at present being cleaned and these bulbs must be near collector items now!

MH post link anyone?

dont mean to make threads difficult sorry!

scrap the spec on those MH bulbs i just took look and theres nothing available from osram that i could find that match 70x7000k

did find some -

70W BLV Hitlite Aquatic Nepturion Quartz Metal Halide
HIT-DE 70 CW
70 Watt
CCT 10000K Cool White

Or

HIT DE 70W Daylight White ( HQI TS ) BLV

70W BLV Hitlite Aquatic Nepturion Quartz Metal Halide
HIT-DE 70 DW
70 Watt
CCT 5200K Daylight White
HQI-TS RX7s Cap

others by sylvania and Osram brands more known to me anyone using these Hitlite Nepturions??
 

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