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Old 06-30-2013, 03:06 PM   #1 
Phantom Miria
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Using two Marineland LED strips

Hello,

As I've posted before I've had some problems with some of my plants dying. All floating plants including frogbit and duckweed have died within the first week of being planted. A bunch of 12 corkscrews have died, and my razor sword have died. However, my ulvaceus bulb, red tiger lotus bulb, and java fern have all been doing decent, the lotus is starting to rot and my ulvaceus has gotten a bit smaller. I've just planted some moneywort and some species of hygro I think (I can't quite remember) from a good local pet shop. Both plants are supposed to grow really well in medium lighting. However, I really don't want them to die and I'm wondering if possibly my lighting is the problem for the plant deaths (the guy told me frogbit needs a ton of lighting).

At the moment I have a marineland 10000k LED strip (I think) that is 13 months old, but I'm starting to think it might not be enough. I was wondering if I should get another marineland strip and put it parallel to the one I have right now, something like this; http://www.amazon.com/Marineland-Sin...land+LED+light
Which would put my tank around 16000k lighting, taking away few k for the age of the current LED strip. Would this be a good idea?

Also, this is for a 20g tank using flourite substrate, flourish tabs, treated with prime, stresszyme (every water change), and will now be treated with Flourish excel as well. There is a single female betta and 10 nerites in the tank. I'm waiting to add more livestock after it is planted more heavily.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:30 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Actually you don't really combine the Kelvin ratings so it stays at 6,00K for those lights. i have the same ones and lighting has really nothing to do with Kelvin or wattage, it's actually to do with PAR which is a bit hard to explain. But anyway your lights are only good for low light plants and maybe some medium light plants.

Is your water hard at all? Plants really don't like hard water so if you add soem driftwood in it will soften your water making it easier for your plants to grow. Also plants will "melt" or lose their leaves when you first add them to a tank, it's their way of acclimating to your water chemistry so they're probably not really dead, juts melting. Unless they're turning brown, then yes they're dying.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:48 PM   #3 
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Should I go with different lighting then? I'll try adding some driftwood and see if that helps.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:54 PM   #4 
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If you wanted to, that's up to you. If you want, you can find those clip on lights at Home depot or walmart, like these: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercia...1#.UdDuy9I3szZ and switch out the incandescent for a compact fluorescent or CFL to obtain a much better PAR rating to grow higher lighting plants.

Look for a CFL (I think most if not all) that is 6,500K rating and then whatever wattage will fit in the socket, most from 5-15 watt can be used and it won't matter the wattage. The wattage is just a measure of how much electricity that the bulb is using, so it has nothing to do with how intense the light is or anything.

This is another one that you can get: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercia...specifications again, just switch out the bulb. Well they actually don't come with bulbs so that makes things a little easier lol
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:20 AM   #5 
Phantom Miria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
If you wanted to, that's up to you. If you want, you can find those clip on lights at Home depot or walmart, like these: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercia...1#.UdDuy9I3szZ and switch out the incandescent for a compact fluorescent or CFL to obtain a much better PAR rating to grow higher lighting plants.

Look for a CFL (I think most if not all) that is 6,500K rating and then whatever wattage will fit in the socket, most from 5-15 watt can be used and it won't matter the wattage. The wattage is just a measure of how much electricity that the bulb is using, so it has nothing to do with how intense the light is or anything.

This is another one that you can get: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercia...specifications again, just switch out the bulb. Well they actually don't come with bulbs so that makes things a little easier lol
Thanks a lot for the links and description, it helped out a lot! How many lights should I get for my tank and is there a certain amount of watts I should stay under? When you say a better PAR rating what exactly are you referring to?
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:44 AM   #6 
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Darn it, stupid internet kicked me off after I wrote a whole page practically lol

Anyway PAR is parabolic aluminized reflector light rating.

So wattage is just how much electricity that the bulb is using so therefore you can have a 5 watt Incandescent bulb and a 5 watt Fluorescent bulb that have two different ratings. You probably know that Incandescent lights are very dim, they put out extremely low PAR where Fluorescent's are much brighter.

So basically it has to do with a lot about the reflector and what kind of bulb is being used. The stronger and better reflector you have (like those work lights I showed you) then the better it will reflect into the aquarium, giving better light. make sense so far?

So theoretically, if you have a strong reflector panel your incandescent could be a good light source, but it's still not strong enough and doesn't put out enough light. So I suggest getting either a Fluorescent with a good reflector or a CFL (compact fluorescent light) with a good reflector.

But anyway, it's not all about the reflector, it also has to do with Kelvin ratings. So many incandescent's are 5,000K and below on their rating while fluorescent's are usually at 6,500K. What's the big deal with K ratings? Well we've measured the sun at on a clear, mid-day afternoon at it's peak it's actually coming in at just about 6,500K so we look for lights that simulate that sun at that time of day! So that's why we look for 6,500K and higher. Higher K ratings will benefit higher light plants but it doesn't always mean you'll have a high PAR rating.

Any of that make sense? lol I have links to help explain more but they're from a different forum so just let me know if you want to see them and I can PM you
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:37 PM   #7 
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Thanks for all the help Lilnaugrim! The par rating is making a lot more sense although I wish it was somehow indicated on lamps lol...

Anyways, I finally got around to buying two 5&1/2" lamps and a pair of Sylvania mini cfl 6500k 13w (says it replaces 60) bulbs. Here are some pictures of the setup-



As you can see I've tried to orient lighting in a manner that best suits the plants.

These lamps are super BRIGHT! Its no wonder the plants weren't growing. The only thing that worries me now is my female betta. She seems a bit curious and stressed out since I put the lights in. With the two 6500k lamps and marineland LED is this too much light for her/the snails or anything? The #1 priorty for my tank is her well being.

Thanks for all the help!
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