Lighting help

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Martin Osmond, 2 Aug 2016.

  1. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    My current 4ft tank has a 66w LED rgb and white unit, the tank also sees a lot of natural sunlight.

    Would this be considerd high light or not as im not sure how LED's compare to t5's in terms of working out wpg?
     
  2. rebel

    rebel Member

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    At least medium. Any pics of the LEDS?
     
  3. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    357fa9ecdfb1059998f58fcb0a39f4d6.image.500x229-1.jpg
     
  4. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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  5. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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  6. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Any more help with this guys? I dont want to sell of all my current stock until i know where i stand with everything.
     
  7. alto

    alto Member

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    Without details on your current tank & lights & goals, it's difficult to offer useful advice
    :)

    I have a couple of small tanks that are running on "sunlight", another larger, deeper tank that also receives a fair amount of ambient light but nowhere near enough to grow a range of plants (though I suspect that crypts & some ferns might do just fine), another deep tank that receives almost no ambient light (plants quickly deteriorate if I leave for some days & forget to set the light timer, whereas the ambient lit tank quietly waits).
    Tall (deep) tanks generally require higher intensity LEDs or T5s (HOT5 complete with excellent reflectors) IF you want carpet type plants

    It you intend to leave the Mbuna in the tank, you'll be limited to plants they dislike eating/tasting/shredding

    When I lived in an area with hard water, I kept Tanganyikans with limited plants (Valisneria sp, Microsorum sp, Anubias sp), I did weekly 50 - 70% water changes using a Python system + Seachem Prime
    adding Prime & water directly to the aquarium, all fish thrived & seemed to respond positively to the large water changes BUT my tap & aquarium water was "matched" (large frequent water changes are one way to ensure this, if you're unsure of your tap vs aquarium conditions, then test & check; if your water supply is sourced from multiple reservoirs, then you need to take this into account & always check water before performing anything more than a 25% water change)

    Now my tap is very soft, so I keep fish that prefer soft, acidic water ...
     
  8. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Cheers mate, the tank is 120×55×45. The light unit is what i posted above but don't really have anymore info. Ideally id like a high tech tank, i don't want to go mad and try really hard plants but would like a carpet of some sort.

    My biggest concern is the natural light the tank gets and how much grief i might get with algae issues.

    I would get rid of the Mbuna if i go to a planted tank as i know they will just munch the lot.

    I do minimum 50% water change every week prepping my water in a water butt for 24 hours before hand adding prime, aerating and heating it. My tap water is hard, 7.8 straight from the tap which rises slightly after 24 hours, hence the prepping as mbuna don't like too much of a ph swing
     
  9. alto

    alto Member

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    How many LED?

    If tank is 45cm height, it's easier to get decent PAR values at substrate
    If tank is 55cm height, then HOT5 will likely come in cheaper than LED (look for high intensity minimum 1watt LED) but there are other considerations as well of course.

    You might look at Luis Cardosa journals
    Through The Forest has been run with Zetlight Lancia LED (there has been some recent discussion on Zetlight & Search function should work)
    Tropical Bay with T5


    I don't really experience much issue with this in my tanks - a bit more green "dust" on the glass but easily wiped off

    I do think that if tank receives considerable sunlight/ambient light, it's important to include this factor when considering your photoperiod - some plants noticeably open/close their leaf structure in response to light, some plants will also "close" again when they are "done" even though tank may still be brightly lit - & supply CO2 support if needed (I'm lazy so I tend to just run low levels of CO2 24/7)
    (Pogostemon erectus is good at this & not too difficult to grow)

    Setting up tank with a supportive substrate also makes for simpler plant care/maintenance - I use Tropica Growth Substrate + Aquasoil + fertilizers as my tap water is pretty much a void & this is all really simple.
    If you've not much experience with planted tanks, I always suggest beginning with commercial products designed for just that (eg, Pond soil is completely different product, some have great success with it, others have great algae havens with it) - it's much easier/cheaper to learn on a ADA 45P type tank than your much larger aquarium ... the latter can be done, but be very thorough in your research & choose a single system that works rather than mixing this & that & hoping it all comes out together

    If there's a local shop with fantastic display tanks or local hobbyists, find out what they are doing & use that as a starting point.

    M 'Monte Carlo' is likely the easiest carpeting plant - you can add interest/texture by interplanting with grasses or other foreground plants.
     

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