Lighting In the planted Aquarium

SunnyP

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19 Jul 2008
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Hi Guys,

I have a quick question about keeping the constant level of CO2. I have a 60l tank and use aqua essentials liquid carbon as a source of CO2 so will the CO2 checker change in the tank change in the same way to that of the normal method of CO2 input? I haven't found the CO2 checker to respond at all to the addition of liquid carbon. I follow the instructions on the bottle on how much to add however add a bit more when plant growth seems to diminish. I'm adding a daily amount of 1-2ml of liquid carbon.

Cheers for any helps,

Sunny P
 

Dan Crawford

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The colour of the reference solution in a drop checker changes due to CO2 changing the PH of the aquarium's water. Easy Carbo or similar doesn't effect the PH so you shouldn't see a change in the DC's colour.
 

Bluedave

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Good article Aaron,

You forgot to mention mercury vapour lighting though! Slightly Cheaper alternative to MH. Geissemann do a great 80/125 W fitting thats perfect for corner tanks. I had one on my Trigon 190 - George suggested it when I posted a Question on PFK - great fitting with good levels of growth seen on the plants in that tank.

You also mention that the spectrum of the light is more important than the colour temperature but then you don't explain that at all!

Overall though it's a good begineers guide.
 

Bluedave

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Forget that last comment -having re-read it a couple of time - you discuss spectrum under the 'full spectrum' part of the types of lighting spectrum.
 

aaronnorth

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Thanks for your comments Blue Dave, when i wrote this article mecury vapours were almost non-existent in the planted hobby but now there are lots of new and different approaches, LED's as another exampe.

This is becoming quickly out dated :wideyed: I shall change a few things on it when i have a bit more time.
Thanks, Aaron
 

vauxhallmark

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aaronnorth said:
Thanks for your comments Blue Dave, when i wrote this article mecury vapours were almost non-existent in the planted hobby but now there are lots of new and different approaches, LED's as another exampe.

This is becoming quickly out dated :wideyed: I shall change a few things on it when i have a bit more time.
Thanks, Aaron

Wow, when did you write the article? I first used MVs on a planted tank in 1989, and I wasn't a pioneer! :lol: Still got that light actually, but it's not in use at the moment.

Mark
 

aaronnorth

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vauxhallmark said:
aaronnorth said:
Thanks for your comments Blue Dave, when i wrote this article mecury vapours were almost non-existent in the planted hobby but now there are lots of new and different approaches, LED's as another exampe.

This is becoming quickly out dated :wideyed: I shall change a few things on it when i have a bit more time.
Thanks, Aaron

Wow, when did you write the article? I first used MVs on a planted tank in 1989, and I wasn't a pioneer! :lol: Still got that light actually, but it's not in use at the moment.

Mark

haha, i know they were/ are about (im not that dim :p). They used to be used quite a lot years ago, then they died off but seem to be coming back again. Maybe that is just poor observation on my behalf, :oops: perhaps non-existent was the wrong word to use, maybe unpopular?.... anyway i just mean you dont see them in use much. I have seen about 5 tanks on here that us MV, the rest are MH & T5 luminaires, but like i said above, LEDs are becoming pretty popular too.
thanks.
 

Bluedave

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Yeah, it's weird, MV has never caught on over here but if you go to Holland and Germany they were as popular as T5 is now over here.
 

GreenNeedle

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The colour of the reference solution in a drop checker changes due to CO2 changing the PH of the aquarium's water.

Being pedantic I know but should this not read 'due to CO2 changing the PH of the drop checker's water'?

AC
 

aaronnorth

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SuperColey1 said:
The colour of the reference solution in a drop checker changes due to CO2 changing the PH of the aquarium's water.

Being pedantic I know but should this not read 'due to CO2 changing the PH of the drop checker's water'?

AC

Yeah, i'll change it now :thumbup:

This is a stickie, so I'll keep this brief: is anyone using LEDs in any serious way? And if so, how and to what effect?

Andy does,

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5072

and there is a topic on how to DIY an LED system but I cant find it at the moment,
 

mzm

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It seems to be difficult to be able to judge what sort of wattage you are putting into a tank when using LED's. I am waiting for two TMC aquagrow tiles to arrive shortly. Whilst the package says that the usage is that of 30W, it does not say anywhere what sort of wattage these LED's emit. When I asked TMC via email, I got the following reply:

'Thank you for your email.

It is difficult to answer your question accurately because we don’t measure LED output in this way (watts).

The GroBeam is designed to use over planted aquaria, and the colour temperature of 6500K is the optimum for plant growth. Also, the design of the units is modular, so the number of units used will depend on the size of the aquarium and how intense you want the light to look. I have attached a copy of our User Guide which shows our suggest layout for the most popular tank sizes.

This is a completely different approach to T5 or other lighting types. Customers now have the flexibility, using the AquaBeam and GroBeam range, to have more or less light, depending on the final effect they want to achieve, given that the light is the correct colour temperature for the type of aquarium that they have.

I hope this is helpful and that you will enjoy the benefits of energy efficient, high-quality light that LED technology offers.'

Anyone wants to offer his 2p of advice on this?
 

Radik

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I am using 2 Grobeam 500 each rated 12W as you know. TMC claiming it is more than 24W of T5 but LED have higher usable PAR than T5 as well. I am down from 2x 100% intensity to 2x 50% as it was too much light on my 60x35x37.5 tank.

I could be maybe fine with just one stripe on this tank. I am going to test it in near future. LED can just mislead you as visible brightness to your eyes seems lower than with T5. My plants been pearling at substrate level at intensity of 50% each stripe given enough Co2 and nutrients. I am going to keep it at 50% for some time then try go even lower intensity.

Shame I can not measure PAR so this is just my observation of these LED's but they seems to be quite powerful.
 

mzm

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To tell you the truth at present I am using a TMC Aquabeam 1000 HD which is actually only for marine tanks but I can tell you that the area that this tile covers tends to perl loads compared to the rest of the tank covered by T5's. Hence I am really looking forward to getting my Grobeam 1000 ND's soon. Another concern could be the spread of light since the light of the tiles seems to go pretty much downwards rather than spreading throughout the tank and I am worried that three tiles over a Juwel Trigon 350 may not reach everywhere.
 

Radik

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Marine version is probably narrow focused while Tropical should have 120 degree spread. That's why I am using 2 stripes to cover wider area but I will test later with one stripe positioned few inches higher.
 

mzm

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Thanks for the info. Cannot wait for the tiles to arrive so I test them on my Trigon.
 

mzm

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Finally the LED tiles arrived I have just set them up and on the whole it seems that, the three LED tiles seem to show less light than the four T5's (2 x 45W + 2 x 28W) I had in place before. This could be an illusion since I have read that the light of LED's is actually stronger than that of the T5's but just not as visible to the eye. I guess I will have to wait and see the results in a couple of weeks time.
 

ceg4048

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mzm said:
...The GroBeam is designed to use over planted aquaria, and the colour temperature of 6500K is the optimum for plant growth.
Hi,
This is not true at all. There is absolutely no correlation between the manufacturer's listed Kelvin rating and the performance of the bulb. In fact, the Kelvin rating of bulbs are not even close to being accurate. Plants use any visible light in the spectrum without regard to colour temperature. The so-called 6500K optimum is nothing more than marketing hype.

Cheers,
 

sanj

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Radik said:
Marine version is probably narrow focused while Tropical should have 120 degree spread. That's why I am using 2 stripes to cover wider area but I will test later with one stripe positioned few inches higher.

I dont think that is true, it depends on the lenses used, the first gen aquaray 500s for example had a narrow beam for all models whether marine or not. The later ones have a wider spread.

I think that a mix of the marine white which in the 1000 or 1500 model is 9k i believe and the grow beam around 6500/6700k could work pretty well (visually)as long they are suspended high enough.
 
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