Lighting options for nano tank

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Daryn, 22 Oct 2008.

  1. Daryn

    Daryn Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Im looking to upgrade the lighting on my nano, its currently got 3 9W Arcadia arc pods, the tank size is 14-8-8 inch, i would like to make it a bit brighter as the glosso is growing a bit leggy but the bulbs are at least a year old and 2 of them succesfully grew glosso before so they could be doing with being replaced, ive been looking at the interpet twin 36W PC starting units and think these seem good value for money, the bulb length is 16 inches so match the tank length pretty close, is there any other lighting options as i cant find any on the net.
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Leggy growth is a result of poor CO2. I would look to resolve the CO2 problems before adding more light, which will only make the situation worse.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Daryn

    Daryn Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Thanks for the reply, the co2 is far from great and is only a diy system but i would love to upgrade it to a pressurised system and bought all the proper glass diffusers and bubble counters with the intention of upgrading to pressurised when i understand it all a bit better, so i might go for it soon.
     
  4. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    10,285
    Location:
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    Dosing EasyCarbo or Excel would help with the CO2 issue , on a tank this size wouldn't be that expensive ;)
     
  5. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    i thought leggy growth was because of poor lighting :?: They grow leggy in order to reach to the surface so they can get more light quicker.
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Maybe they grow leggy in order to reach the surface so they can get more CO2 quicker...

    Cheers,
     
  7. Daryn

    Daryn Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Could it be poor distribution of co2 as its a betta tank and has a small HOB filter with 200lph rating, i have raised the water level really high as this seems to help it flow out into the tank rather than fall straight down towards the inlet, altho the diy system is far from perfect for adjusting it is massively powerfull and produces a steady amount of co2 at over 1BPS with the diffuser under the hob outflow, ive placed the dropchecker in the far opposite side of the tank and its always dark green when i get up for work and unplug the airpump, then when i get back from work it will be very pale green with all the plants slightly pearling, since the tank is only 8 inches high and low flow with over 1bps would it be distribution of co2 causing this problem rather than lack of co2. Thanks
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yes, poor flow or distribution effectively equals low quantity. Ideally, the dropchecker should be light green when the lights come on in the morning. As mentioned previously Excel dosing should help and should be much less of an economic burden on a nano sized tank.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Daryn

    Daryn Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Glasgow
    I am dosing 2ml of flourish excel a day, i was dosing 5ml a day to combat algae but my wisteria was dying off and the algae was gone so cut the dose down, the lights dont come on till 2pm and i unplug the airpump between 8-9am so the dropcheckers light green for lights on, do you think the co2 diffuser would be better used if it was at the filter intake or outflow taking into account its a HOB, this is another reason i was wanting to upgrade the lighting, the filter had most efficient flow with the output in the middle of the back pane and the most efficient way i think having the lights is lined up on the back pane so the filter is stuck on the side because it wont all fit, thanks for all the help.
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Well, here is where things get confusing and it's necessary to think clearly about cause and effect. Now, you were adding 5ml Excel daily but it seems you were focused on the algecidal properties of Excel instead of thinking about the reasons you had algae. What type of algae were you eliminating? Was it a CO2 related algae? If so then perhaps your minimum level of Excel should have been 5ml in the first place. It's best to think of Excel as CO2 first and as an algecide last, because when we focus on killing algae we will surely lose the plot. Reprogram yourself to focus on optimizing plant health so that if you have algae then your first train of thought ought to be "the plant is unhealthy". The type of algae that forms more or less tells you what type of affliction the plant has, and tells you why the plant is unhealthy. Therefore if you had a CO2 related algae this should lead you to the conclusion that the tank is poor in CO2. Adding Excel is thus used to improve the CO2, not to kill the algae.

    I think this is where many people lose the plot. If you embark on an algae killing spree you're bound draw a lot of poor conclusions. Instead, try to think about going on a plant health spree. If you make the plants healthy the algae will subside to manageable levels or will disappear altogether. So 2 mls Excel+DIY CO2 is enough to keep some algae at bay with 27watts T5 over a 4 gallon tank but it is insufficient to prevent leggy growth. Personally, I would continue to increase the effective Excel/CO2 levels until I cured the leggy growth. The wisteria would have to be sacrificed if it could not deal with the extra Excel. There are plenty of stems out there that appreciate Excel so I wouldn't shed any tears over wisteria, that's for sure, because leggy growth indicates a far more serious dilemma, and, is a mission priority.

    HOBs are not CO2 friendly and you may wish to consider replacing it with a small canister filter to achieve at least the 10X turnover rule (or more). This will improve flow and distribution while minimizing Co2 outgassing. Instead of spending money on sexy lighting I would prefer to spend it on sexy CO2 and sexy flow because one cannot use the first effectively without implementing the second and third. Air pumps also drive off CO2 so this makes it more difficult to bring the levels up to where they need to be at the most critical point in the plants diurnal cycle, the beginning of the photoperiod.

    Apart from the ergonomics, or mechanical advantages of the new lighting fixtures, increasing the light energy input will only drive up the demand for more CO2, and if this demand is not met then the plants will be more likely to become unhealthy and will encourage more algal growth, so this is something to consider....

    Cheers,
     
  11. Daryn

    Daryn Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Thanks for all the help, i dont mean to be a burden LOL. Well now im going to look and find out what type of algae it was i was fighting, if i got the Eden external with glass lilly pipes do you think it would be ok for my betta since im aiming for a good amount of plants, so there should spots of low flow behind plants, or am i asking an impossible question since every tank is different.
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    No burden at all mate. Check here for tips on algae identification James' Algae Guide.

    Priorities of bettas generally conflict with those of a high tech planted tank. This is not a condemnation and it doesn't mean it can't be done well. I'm simply stating the mission parameters. Bettas like slow flow and silent waters whereas plants like high flow and frequent turnover. AS flow increases they are likely to take refuge in the plant beds. These fish would therefore be more suited to a low flow low light type of planted tank where the turnover is less critical. But you've chosen a high tech environment so really the betta is out of place and in my opinion they never really look comfortable in high flow waters so you might have to pick your poison. You can optimize the tank for high plant growth rate or optimize it for this type of fish and accept the penalty of lower plant growth rates. Since I'm more interested in high plant growth rates I would tend to rehouse the betta and find fish more suitable for a high tech environment such as tetra. Again, I'm just giving an opinion, not saying that this is cast in stone. The choice is yours.

    Having said all that here are a few examples where bettas are kept successfully in high tech tanks:

    Betta Splendens
    Siamese Fighter Tank
    LD's First Planted Tank - Juwel Rio 125

    Cheers,
     
  13. Daryn

    Daryn Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Thanks alot ceg, i now know the algae issues i had were BBA and BGA caused by poor circulation in some areas of the tank i also had some staghorn and i think that might have been caused by me deliberately disturbing the crap from the substrate and hoping it will be sucked into the filter instead of doing a water change after to remove it from the tank, i still have some algae in the tank but its not out of control and is mainly on the lilaeopsis and some of the moss, after thinking about what you have said i think it has boosted my confidence in setting up one of my 5 foot tanks for a planted tank since i can set the tank around the plants instead of around my betta im surely going to have an easier time with it. I think i have asked enough questions that have nothing to do with lighting so will try to start new questions in the relevant place, no doubt i will be confused again soon LOL. Thanks again ceg.
     

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