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Old 08-19-2013, 08:10 AM   #1 
carlos puron
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how do I know what's the appropriate light for a natural planted tank

Hi all well min starting this 75 gal np tank so I'm getting the equipment for it the most complicated part up to this point is light I'm looking to buy one of those led fixtures but for what I know the basic rule is watt per gallon but led doesn't consume that much energy so I want to know if I can do it based on lumens? if so how many per gallon? I'm looking to start with low light plants such as moss jungle vail anubias stuff like that where I don't have to necessarily use co2 diffuser so how can I know I'm getting a good enough light ?

Btw I'm getting low light plants but I would like to have a light for medium light plants just to have an extra power thanks in advance
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:11 AM   #2 
DefStatic
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75 gal? Damn. Thats an ambitious start LOL.

The old rule of watts per gallon is gone. It is still used for some non-LED purposes, but even then, its just old. LED or bust IMHO. LEDs are getting cheaper, and much better, and are energy efficient. Especially when you get into tanks that big.

PAR is the standard for LEDs. Look up info on PAR.

Your best bet IMHO is to look at Finnex LED fixtures. Specifically the Finnex Fugeray. Their higher end stuff will be too high light for your needs, although I have never looked at getting a light for a tank with your possible dimensions.

Finnex is the best bang for the buck though. You will probably have to get two Fugerays. But you could start off with one and go from there.

I have one Fugeray 30" on my 30gal, and I am growing low-light and medium-light plants with ease.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:24 AM   #3 
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I have had my 75gal setup natural planted for over 6 years and just tore it down a month ago to re-set it up again. Nothing was wrong per se-other than the crypts had taken over and I just wanted a new look for the Angelfish.

The lighting I used and currently use over my 75gal are 3 florescent bulbs-40w 6500k GE brand-On a 12h photoperiod and I change them out every 6mo. I bought one of the double bulb shop lights for 2 bulbs and hung over the tank on chains and used a 48in single light strip to set on top of the tank. All my tanks are open tops for best light penetration to plants.

I grow-a nice lawn in front using E. tenellus (pygmy chain swords), in the back with 2 different vals and sags, amazon and ozelot sword, bronze crypts and java moss on the tips of the dirftwood. I use several different kinds of stem plants-naja grass, rotala, cabomba, wisteria, giant hygrophillia and willow hygrophillia. Floating plants-water lettuce, frogbit.

I don't use any added ferts or inject CO2-so far I have had to trim plants 3 times due to fast growth and re-plant those cuttings back into the 75gal.

I have never used the LED lights, however, in my research the LED plant lights I would need to support the species of plants in my 75gal was in the thousands and why I still use the florescent.

I stocked the tank with 6 Angelfish, a pair of albino BN plecos, RCS, MTS, pod, ramshorn snails to complete the little ecosystem.

Here is a pic from the first week of setup

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 08-19-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #4 
lilnaugrim
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Actually I found that LED's (minus the Finnex) are not good at lighting for planted tanks. They don't have the right Kelvin (usually) and will dim very quickly over time. The best things to use are CFL's (compact fluorescent lights) any the watt doesn't matter, it's mostly about the Kelvin rating, how good your reflector is and how deep your tank is.

On a 12 inche deep tank, you'll get high lightly with a CFL that's only 9 Watt's and with a 6,500K rating very easily as opposed to a tank that is say, 20 inches deep. A CFL will pretty much give you good lighting in any tank if you have a kelvin rating of 6,500 which is what the sun is at on a typical, clear, sunny, mid-day afternoon; best time to grow plants.

I also just use the clamp lights: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercia...1#.UbXvOOc3szY which gives a really good reflector for your light. If you don't have something to reflect your light into the water, then you're losing a lot of light and so you won't get good lighting from that, but those clamp ons are the best for planted tanks IMHO.

I use two of those, both with 9 watt 6,500K CFL's on my 33 gallon which is 18 inches deep and it grows my carpet of dwarf sag wonderfully! So I highly suggest doing those for your tank. Regular fluorescent lights will work well too, but you'd have to find a good hood and reflector for them to get good lighting
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:28 PM   #5 
carlos puron
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I know it sounds big is not the first try actually o have plants in a 5 gal that are doing good but I want to try something bigger so this is the chance I was looking at this one

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...d=300922603275

And at this one too

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...d=161034988802

I'm looking for something under 100 bucks yo start after that I can add another one alike if necessary


Another question do I need to have substrate or can I do substrate and on top aquarium sand?
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:11 PM   #6 
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I really wouldn't do LED's, the ones that will sustain your tank as OFL pointed out are much much much more expensive than these ones. Fluorescent's really are going to be your best friend

For a Natural Planted Tank you need to have some sort of soil/dirt/enhanced substrate on bottom and then usually sand on top. If you didn't want any soil or dirt then it'd just be considered a Planted tank and you'd have to supplement with Root tabs and liquid ferts and all that jazz.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #7 
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Well I was planning to lay down some dirt first then covered it with sand

But I guess I'll do planted tank it's not easy to get stuff around here on another hand I was thinking to add bamboo poles as part of the decoration would they do ok if I buy hollow bamboo ?
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:33 PM   #8 
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Do I nees to treat them like boiling them or something?
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:40 AM   #9 
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Oh I have no idea about that, you can make a new thread though to see if anyone else knows
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