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Mirrors and increasing lighting

gabber

Seedling
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
Hi all , not new to fish keeping and had several tanks over the years , mainly cichlid based . However i am a bit uncertain about plants and lighting in the aquarium . With having mainly cichlid tanks they havent been heavily planted to say the least , amazon swords and java fern where about my limit , until now that is .
Decided to strip down my old rio 180 , resealed it . Base layer of tetra plant substrate followed by limpopo black sand . A jbl u401 co2 was added to the set up aswell .Now its come to adding some plants , so i joined ukaps for advice .Which leads to my question :

If i put a mirror along the back of the tank (outside) would this increase the light levels in the tank .

Im thinking its a similar principal to reflectors , of which i have two . My lights are the old T8 type , two 30W lamps (1 day and 1 colour) . Which i dont think will be enough for the heavily planted tank i am hoping to achieve . I can buy a 3mm perspex acrlic mirror cut to size on ebay for £17.10 wich is alot cheaper than a new T5 lighting unit . Im hoping this may be a cheaper alternative .
I know the mirror wont be to some fishes liking and i will take this into account when stocking . ive had a few oscars that would def not enjoy the experience of a mirror !
I cant seem to find out much info on the internet regarding mirrors in aquariums .Hope i can find a few answers here. Many thanks for reading .
Gabber
ps will be running the tank with the juwel internal filter along with an eheim 2026 external and a hydor koralia nano 900 for a good circulation rate and co2 at 30 ppm . Cheers .
 

spyder

Member
Joined
7 Mar 2011
Messages
1,019
gabber said:
If i put a mirror along the back of the tank (outside) would this increase the light levels in the tank .

Im thinking its a similar principal to reflectors , of which i have two . My lights are the old T8 type , two 30W lamps (1 day and 1 colour) . Which i dont think will be enough for the heavily planted tank i am hoping to achieve .

Cheers .

Not sure about the mirror tbh, I would of thought it may just reflect back the the plants at the back.

Your T8's would produce and maintain a heavily planted tank your hoping to achieve, it would just be a slower process. Twin T5's is nice with co2 injection though. :thumbup:
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
Thanks for the reply spyder will bear what you said and be more patient then . Im also hoping the mirror will make the tank look deeper and therefore more densley planted , an illusion so to speak .
 

Christie_ZXR

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2012
Messages
119
Location
London
Can't comment on the lighting, but personally I think the mirror's quite a nice idea.
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
Thanks christie . Yeah staring at my mug whilst eating my tea may def put me off the idea easer lol .
I just def think it has the same sort of principal as the reflectors we all use .
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
Well ordered the mirror and im gonna see what it looks like . Tried a couple of other background colours too , black background (looks very dark with black sand) and one that says its the colour mint on the paint tin . But in reality its a very light blue/green . Will try to post pics at the weekend to let people see which they think is the best .
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
never heard of mylor , will google it now and take a look . cheers
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
Finally found it lol . Its called mylar and it def looks promising to boost the light levels . However , i think i will try the mirror first as i want to see what it looks like and i want to see if it makes the tank look deeper and more heavily planted . Hopefully pics will be on here at weekend . But anyone looking to increase light level should def check out mylar . Thanks sr20det
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
Im not sure if im allowed to paster links , and if so i apologise , but this site seems really cheap for mylar and you dont have to buy a full roll .
1-hydroponics.co.uk
 

sr20det

Member
Joined
2 Oct 2009
Messages
696
Location
East London
gabber said:
Finally found it lol . Its called mylar and it def looks promising to boost the light levels . However , i think i will try the mirror first as i want to see what it looks like and i want to see if it makes the tank look deeper and more heavily planted . Hopefully pics will be on here at weekend . But anyone looking to increase light level should def check out mylar . Thanks sr20det
Cool, well I have a massive roll of mylar, sorry about my spelling, typed on phone. I used to use it from growing chillis. Not grown for a while. Used it to line the hood of my main tank. Along with foil tape.
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
Yeah i had that idea to line the hood with it . Have reflectors but im sure mylar would increase light levels . thanks for the tip
 

gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
As promised , pics of my tank with various backgrounds including a mirrored one .

BLACK BACKGROUND , ANGLED VIEW .
IMG_20120529_202227.jpg


BLACK BACKGROUND , STRAIGHT ON VIEW .
IMG_20120613_122347.jpg


LIGHT GREEN/BLUE BACKGROUND , STRAIGHT ON VIEW .
IMG_20120613_174208.jpg


MIRRORED BACKGROUND , SLIGHTLY ANGLED VIEW .
DSCF0971.JPG


MIRRORED BACKGROUND , STRAIGHT ON VIEW .
DSCF0985.JPG



Its quite hard to appreciate from the photos , but i prefer either green/blue or the mirrored . Definately will not be going back to a black background on any of my tanks again . Does the mirror increase lighting ? I still have no idea , but it doesnt bother the fish and its cut to perfect size , so i can paint the back of it green/blue and swop it around every so often .
 

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gabber

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
23 May 2012
Messages
11
I really cant make up my mind . guess i will have to have a week of each and see what the wife likes
 
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