Lighting an 8'x2'x2'?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by sanj, 27 May 2008.

  1. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    You know i only recently re-set up on of my 400 litres and now i am already seriously thinking of ugrading to an 8'x2'x2' ~ 864 litres!! omg!

    I have two 400s but still doesnt seem quite the same as having this monster on my floor boards.

    Struggling with the lighting options though;

    What do you guys think of these D&D T5 ballasts?

    http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/catalo ... lights.asp

    Would I requate 4x (2x54W units) i.e 436 Watts of t5 lighting for a mid-highlight planted aquarium?

    This is pretty expensive, but suspended lights seem as or more expensive. Are metal halides better in this situation. I take it they cost the same to run watt for watt to t5s?

    The other option was those Aquarays, but there seems little in the way of experimental literature to back them up and how many would i need. It is difficult to know bwcause if the wpg doesnt work here, it seems a bit of a gamble on what is expensive upfront.








    I was again wondering about the Aquaray LEDs
     
  2. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Neath, South Wales
    A watt is a watt, its just a measure of energy. A single 150W halide bulb costs the same to run as 150W of T5 bulbs
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    sanj,
    You really need to think seriously about your goals and objectives for this 8 foot tank. The best decision you made was to keep the height at manageable levels. The problem with a tank this size though is flow distribution with respect to CO2 and nutrients. Lights are no big deal as there are loads of options. The thing is that a high wattage will demand more out of every other aspect of the system so serious thought should be given to the option of keeping is a low tech tank. What kind of filtration will you use? Will you use a sump? If so what size and design? What type of pump throughput have you targeted? If a sump is used you have to think about sealing it so that CO2 consumption is not outrageous. Likewise, if the tank is uncovered then CO2 loss will be higher than if it is fitted with a canopy. You may want to leave the lighting issue until after you decide about these other items.

    Cheers,
     
  4. james3200

    james3200 Member

    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    CROYDON
    HI,

    You might find my journal of interest, tank is 6.5x2x2'. Recently i added another filter to help flow, but my co2/heating and lighting is performing well

    viewtopic.php?f=35&t=571
     
  5. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Hi Sanj,

    i have 4 of the D-D Razor Twin T5 Light Units (39W) of my 2 metre tank. If you need to know anyting about them,m then let me know.

    Btw, they are excellent quality, mine are linked together and are resting on my braces. And they fit under canopy, just, that's why i choose the razors because of the very small dimensions.

    They do come with marine bulbs usually, so you may have to have a chat with your supply to swap the giessmen bulbs to aquaflora ones.

    regards,

    Dan.
     
  6. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Hello all, thanks for taking the time to reply.


    Joe,

    thanks for that , i was not thinking straight, just wanted to clarify. lol

    Clive,

    I was was going to use two external filters which I already have; Fluval FX5 and an Eheim 2080. I was not intending on having a sump.

    My initial thoughts have been of using a similar regime to the 400 litres with C02 and EI dosing, just multiplying it up. I have read something about difficulties arising with co2 addition in large aquaria…need to recap on it. Maybe a co2 canister feeding into each filter, with the filters at opposite ends? All help most welcome .

    I haven’t looked into this yet, but it seems that feeding co2 via the filters is the best way to go? More study needed on how to do that.

    I would like to be able to grow carpeting plants like hairgrass, glosso, that hemi ‘cuba’ what it, which I have currently growing in my 400 litre. Will certainly look again at low tech, but I a not sure what peoples definitions of it are. My idea of low tech was; 1-2 wpg, a fertile substrate, but no co2 and water column dosing if any once a week? Oh and only occasional water changing…think Diana Walstead only does once every sixth months.

    I was reading the latest featured article in PFK and the guy on their seemed to be describing his aquarium as lower tech or something (cant quite remember) but to me I would say was a high tech except that his lighting was not crazy >3WPG.


    James,

    Thanks for the link I will read it, I had done so a while ago, but that was before I went crazy.

    Dan,

    These razor lights seem to be the best option so far, but I am wondering how to fix them in, I was thinking about linking them like you have done, but does yours perch on the edge of the glass, or is yours a Rena aquarium where there is an internal bracket?

    I guess I would need to speak to the manufacturer as to how they could fit in.
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi sanj,
    Yes your understanding of the baseline low tech is correct. If you want to add CO2 and high lights in order to grow HC/glosso then you really have to consider the flow rate in the tank. The 10X tank volume rule becomes even more important in large volumes. That is because flow into the tank peters out faster before it gets to the plants sitting 2 feet below the waterline and from 4 feet away from the filter output. I have areas in my tank at the carpet level where the flow is high but the light lower. There are other areas near the tank end where the flow slows but the lighting is higher by as much as 50%. The carpet plants in the lower light/higher flow area grow 50% better. This is because nutrient and CO2 delivery to the surface of the leaves are better in the higher flow areas. The higher flow areas are also less prone to algae and are the first to recover after an algae attack. As the plants grow in they start blocking the flow even more so you need more to begin with.

    Call me an over the top fanatic if you wish but 8x2x2=32 cubic ft is 240 USgallons so the target filtration should be at least 2400 GPH or 9600 LPH. I would say you need at a minimum three FX5's filled with high surface area media (like sintered glass) just to do basic filtration and flow throughput. Other small filters could be use to attach CO2 diffusers to and you need at least 2 diffusers, one on each end to get even distribution. I have no experience with filter feeding CO2 so I couldn't advise there but it should be OK if you can keep the filter from trapping and accumulating the gas. You cannot just add 400L plus 400L - the hydrodynamics are not the same.

    Now, there are some large tanks than don't do all that because the scape is very open plan - some rocks/wood with hairgrass. This can work OK but if you want this type of scape - James3200 has this arrangement - but if you want to fill it out with big plants or a Dutch/jungle look then flow will get blocked and CO2/nutrient demand can be brutal. You do not want to be cleaning algae in a 240G tank.

    By the way, another lighting solution, one that I use is to separate the ballast and have a series of CF's with reflectors so that the lids on the canopy are not so heavy. Check the ASL solution.=> http://www.coralgarden.net/product_info ... 74c071709c

    If you like HC give serious consideration to the dry startup method.=> viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1736


    Cheers,
     
  8. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Hi again,

    what about adding a powerhead to increase movement?

    How do you does co2 in your large aquariums? The one i am dosing with at the moment is using a JBL diffuser and is attached to the glass just a few inches along and below the flow of the output from the filter.

    If I were to diffuse via small filters do you have a feel for the size I should be looking at?
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yes, powerheads help because they move water around and help mitigate the dead spots or stagnant areas. I use external in-line diffusers delivered to spraybars mounted on the back wall. In a big tank you can't get the CO2 out into the middle of the tank with sufficient efficiency when the diffuser is mounted at one of the walls. The in-line deliver the CO2 at the source. Your idea to use canister filters may work well, or mounting in line diffuser at the output of you large main filters can do an adequate job, it's just not ideal if they restrict the output flow too much. If you use smaller canister filters like a pair of dedicated Tetratec 700 or 1200 this would be good. More filtration is always better than powerheads alone. Remember you are trying to do bio-filtration and reduce NH4 as much as possible as well as generate better circulation. Remember the 10X rule of thumb (as unbelievably absurd as it seems). Flow is King. You can use your two existing filters and just add supplementary ones so that everything adds up to - or gets you close to 9600 LPH. Your FX5 is rated at about 3000, the Eheim is rated at about 1700 so that's 4700 - so you'd be a little over half way there.

    As I said, normally a tank this size would have at least a 200 litre sump with powerful pumps to do the turnover. Your best compromise might be to just add another FX5 which is cheaper than a second Eheim and less messy than two more smaller filters which have to be plumbed in and cleaned/maintained. Mount in-line diffusers at each of the three so you effectively divide the tank in thirds. If necessary then add powerheads if you get stagnant areas.

    Cheers,
     
  10. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Sanj,

    here is a direct link for the D+D razor twins, mounting directions are in there too.

    http://www.theaquariumsolution.com/?q=node/205

    They each come with some little mounting bars, mine has a small bar to lock each other together, and then another bar so it rests on the lip of my tank and tank braces. My tank is an Akva-stabil 720, and has a chrome lip around all the seams.

    One thing, the overall length of mine is 2 metres, and i have to be very careful removing and placing the lights over the tank, as they are connected by this bracket, it is not particulary strong.

    If you need any pictures, let me know.
     
  11. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Hi all,

    Thanks for the info and the link on the lights.


    Regarding having a sump, do you think this would be advantagous, and would this be in addition to the existing filters (i guess so). If i were to get a sump built how many divisions should it have and would this have a serious effect on co2?
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi sanj,
    I'm not sure that having a sump is necessarily advantageous because for a planted tank the sump introduces more problems such as CO2 injection. The advantage is that you are not limited to the wimpy pumps on canister filters and you have a much bigger volume for bio-filtration so that's why most big tanks use the sump system. Again, this is normally in the context of fish only or marine environment.

    Trying to run a high tech planted tank is a different ball game though primarily because of this issue of designing a sump system that is not counterproductive to CO2 injection. For maximum efficiency the sump would have to be sealed to avoid CO2 loss and it would be designed to minimize splashing in the sump which would also tend to liberate the CO2. Sumps with powerful pumps can also get very noisy.

    If you add enough canister filters you avoid the disadvantages of of the sump problems and just have to deal with the plumbing issues of multiple filters as well as the issue of "where are all these filters going to sit?" So the sump gets points for elegance but loses points for complexity.

    As far as chamber design I reckon the fewer the better and would just mimic the design of the canisters. One chamber for foam prefiltration, a second filled with noodles, and a third and possibly fourth for various biomedia. Again, many sump designs are for marine tanks so they have an endless series of chambers for the different treatments but for our purpose we just need basic mechanical and biofiltration. You'd also need another chamber for the pumps and heaters to sit in. You'd need to gain access to the chambers for cleaning so there would have to be removable lids with the proper access holes for tubes etc. There is no effect on CO2 by having different chambers unless water splashes too much going from one chamber to another and/or unless the chambers are uncovered.

    You'd really have to study the existing sump designs to get it right and I'm surprised that your tank supplier doesn't include sumps as part of their basic large tank design package - I mean, I'm really surprised. :wideyed: Take a look at some sump designs like here: http://www.melevsreef.com/acrylics/sumps/f/sump_f.html although these are marine oriented you could get some ideas for the basic design.

    So you just have to decide which is less complicated or more feasible - sump or multiple large canisters. In any case this will be fundamentally the heart and soul of the the tank. I wouldn't worry about lights just yet except the basic question of whether you want open top with suspended lights or canopy.

    Cheers,
     
  13. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Hi,

    they do have a sump option, but this seems to be additional. The order can be just for an aquarium, cabinet, hood. So it seems you order what you want.

    I have looked at a couple of other manufacturers, but im not sure i like the finish/ look of the aquariums as much.

    I am thinking maybe the canister filter route might be better, however not sure about the co2 reactors attaching to those filters because of the reducing of low rate. I have posted athread on co2 reactors in the co2 section, just want to understand the options.

    What if the existing two filters at either end and then two smaller filters with co2 reactors attached?
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yep, less complication, but only if your total rated flow for all four filters come close to the 9600 LPH target.

    Cheers,
     

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