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Bettabetta000 04-22-2019 03:20 PM

Lighting for 5.5 gal?
 
Hi everyone,

I have the TopFin 5.5 gal tank. It's completely planted with Anubias, Java Fern, Crested Java Fern, Marimo Moss glued to rocks, and now a handful of Frogbit on top.

The tank came with stock lights which are 3 LED nodes, bright but not enough to do anything other than light up the tank. The Java Fern are turning white which I read means not enough light, I had 2 Anubias rhizomes rot (took those out), and have 3 left now. Some the Crested Java Fern are turning yellow and white as well. I did buy Easy Green Fertilizer and dose half pump once a week.

Now, would a Finnex Stingray 12" or 16" work well for low light plants? It's 7500K. The plants get indirect sunlight all day, not bright at all, there are still shady spots in the tank. But at night I want to turn on the lights for 3 hours max so the plants can bounce back and start growing. My tank has a lid so it needs to fit under the lid if possible.

Any other recommendations are welcome! Thank you!

Old Dog 59 04-22-2019 03:27 PM

For your size tank 5.5 gal. you would need the 16" and with the stingray you might want to add 2 more hours of lighting. If you went with a Planted Plus I would say 4 hours max. These are really great lights. and the plants will do very well under the stingray.

Bettabetta000 04-22-2019 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Dog 59
For your size tank 5.5 gal. you would need the 16" and with the stingray you might want to add 2 more hours of lighting. If you went with a Planted Plus I would say 4 hours max. These are really great lights. and the plants will do very well under the stingray.

Thank you! I'm just worried about algae but if the tank is heavily planted and I don't overdo the lights or the ferts, it shouldn't be a problem, right?

RussellTheShihTzu 04-23-2019 01:04 AM

I used a 12" Stingray on my 5.5 Anubias-only tank. I happened to have it on hand and was going to get another 16" as on my other 5.5 tanks but had to wait for pay day. Wound up not getting another 16" as the 12" did quite well. But, as I said, low-light plants.

With the 16" I did not have any problems with algae. Get a timer and set it for eight hours.

Wish you lived in or near TN as I am giving away a bunch of equipment...including 16" Stingrays.

Old Dog 59 04-23-2019 03:35 AM

With the stingray you should have no problem. as Russell has said a timer and an 8 hour cycle would be the ticket. If algae does appear and starts being a problem you could always put in some mystery or Nerite snails to take care of the algae and control it. I've found green Algae in my tanks and the snails really do the job in controlling it. The tanks are healthy and the plants thrive.

Bettabetta000 04-23-2019 07:51 AM

33 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by RussellTheShihTzu
I used a 12" Stingray on my 5.5 Anubias-only tank. I happened to have it on hand and was going to get another 16" as on my other 5.5 tanks but had to wait for pay day. Wound up not getting another 16" as the 12" did quite well. But, as I said, low-light plants.

With the 16" I did not have any problems with algae. Get a timer and set it for eight hours.

Wish you lived in or near TN as I am giving away a bunch of equipment...including 16" Stingrays.

Thank you! Darn, I wish I lived near you! Another quick question: how do I rig it so it goes under the lid of the tank? I'm not sure it will fit under and I don't want Red jumping out of the water if I don't have a lid on it. I guess I could switch to a glass top maybe and just clip on so it shines over the glass top?

Bettabetta000 04-23-2019 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Dog 59
With the stingray you should have no problem. as Russell has said a timer and an 8 hour cycle would be the ticket. If algae does appear and starts being a problem you could always put in some mystery or Nerite snails to take care of the algae and control it. I've found green Algae in my tanks and the snails really do the job in controlling it. The tanks are healthy and the plants thrive.

Thank you! Will do!

Bettabetta000 04-23-2019 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RussellTheShihTzu
I used a 12" Stingray on my 5.5 Anubias-only tank. I happened to have it on hand and was going to get another 16" as on my other 5.5 tanks but had to wait for pay day. Wound up not getting another 16" as the 12" did quite well. But, as I said, low-light plants.

With the 16" I did not have any problems with algae. Get a timer and set it for eight hours.

Wish you lived in or near TN as I am giving away a bunch of equipment...including 16" Stingrays.

Another question: I have a plastic lid that came with the tank kit. The Finnex seems to mount on the sides without a lid since it's raised a bit. Should I switch to a glass top and just let it shine through the glass instead? Does condensation affect the light if I velcro it to the inside of the current lid? I don't want to risk Red jumping out, he's never done it but I know they're jumpers.

Veloran 04-23-2019 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bettabetta000 (Post 1852510958)
Another question: I have a plastic lid that came with the tank kit. The Finnex seems to mount on the sides without a lid since it's raised a bit. Should I switch to a glass top and just let it shine through the glass instead? Does condensation affect the light if I velcro it to the inside of the current lid? I don't want to risk Red jumping out, he's never done it but I know they're jumpers.

You'll want to go with a glass canopy. I'll have to double check if the Marineland or the Versa fits the Top Fin 5.5.
You don't want to mount those lights where they will be subject to humidity, while they are sealed from below with a glass strip, I will tell you that moisture will get into the light and moisture damage is not covered under the warranty.

Bettabetta000 04-23-2019 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Veloran

You'll want to go with a glass canopy. I'll have to double check if the Marineland or the Versa fits the Top Fin 5.5.
You don't want to mount those lights where they will be subject to humidity, while they are sealed from below with a glass strip, I will tell you that moisture will get into the light and moisture damage is not covered under the warranty.

Thank you! I found a Marineland one that will fit. I'll order one right now 🙂

Bettabetta000 04-30-2019 11:22 AM

Hi all,
A little update. The Stingray is a bit too bright for the tank I have now. And it sits quite high so the light just shines across the room and into our eyes. Has anyone here used the Nicrew light? It seems to sit lower on the tank. I was just thinking of going to a home improvement store and getting a light strip or some 6000-7000K LED and rigging my own light with a dimmer.

Rainbo 04-30-2019 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bettabetta000 (Post 1852511292)
Hi all,
A little update. The Stingray is a bit too bright for the tank I have now. And it sits quite high so the light just shines across the room and into our eyes. Has anyone here used the Nicrew light? It seems to sit lower on the tank. I was just thinking of going to a home improvement store and getting a light strip or some 6000-7000K LED and rigging my own light with a dimmer.

I loved the Nicrew light that I have on my 20 gal long tank, so I got one for my 5 gal tank. The 5 gal one was a huge disappointment. First off the box it came in was labeled Sunsun, but the graphics on it matched the box that the Nicrew came in, a little researched showed me that the two companies are one and the same. My main problem was that the Sunsun light was dim, not bright at all. In order to grow my med light plants I've had to pair it with the Stingray light that I already have which is just as dim.

Rainbo 04-30-2019 03:27 PM

If you decide to try the Nicrew I'd go with the planted one, it looks like the one I got for my 5 gallon has been discontinued, back when I ordered it it was offered under the full spectrum planted light option, BUT now they have it listed as a clip on nano white and blue 4.5 watt light. Basically that's not what I was thinking I was ordering.

Bettabetta000 04-30-2019 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainbo
If you decide to try the Nicrew I'd go with the planted one, it looks like the one I got for my 5 gallon has been discontinued, back when I ordered it it was offered under the full spectrum planted light option, BUT now they have it listed as a clip on nano white and blue 4.5 watt light. Basically that's not what I was thinking I was ordering.

I'm gonna be out looking for lights today. Wondering if a standard bulb or strip 5000-6500K will work above the glass top?

Rainbo 04-30-2019 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bettabetta000 (Post 1852511310)
I'm gonna be out looking for lights today. Wondering if a standard bulb or strip 5000-6500K will work above the glass top?

It should work just fine. I have glass canopies and my lights shine through them without a problem. Just make sure to clean the canopy every week or two so that the light can shine through without a problem. Also make sure you get a Daylight 6,500K bulb.

Bettabetta000 04-30-2019 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainbo

It should work just fine. I have glass canopies and my lights shine through them without a problem. Just make sure to clean the canopy every week or two so that the light can shine through without a problem. Also make sure you get a Daylight 6,500K bulb.

Thank you! Will do. I'm just worried about getting algae because they're low light plants mostly but I'll do 3-5 hrs initially to test it out 🙂

RussellTheShihTzu 04-30-2019 07:22 PM

Take the legs off the Stingray. Easy peasy. ;-)

What are tank dimension? Including depth.

Bettabetta000 04-30-2019 07:26 PM

35 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by RussellTheShihTzu
Take the legs off the Stingray. Easy peasy. <img style="max-width:100%;" src="https://www.bettafish.com/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />

What are tank dimension? Including depth.

Did that and it's super bright still! It's a good light but wowee I didn't know it was gonna be that bright. I found some nice lightbars at some stores, I'll just use those, I'll aim for 5-6500K.

Dimensions--Length: 16.2, Width: 8.4, Height: 10.9

RussellTheShihTzu 04-30-2019 09:53 PM

All I have are low light plants and the Stingray is what Finnex recommended over the Planted+ (the light I really, really wanted) and it grows perfectly. However, if the tank sits high I can see where you might see it as too bright; trust me, it isn't.

Mine run eight hours on and 16 off with no algae problems...except for the one in front of a window. That's called lack of foresight and paying attention. ;-)

BTW, my 5.5 tanks have same dimensions with 2" of substrate.

Bettabetta000 04-30-2019 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RussellTheShihTzu
All I have are low light plants and the Stingray is what Finnex recommended over the Planted+ (the light I really, really wanted) and it grows perfectly. However, if the tank sits high I can see where you might see it as too bright; trust me, it isn't.

Mine run eight hours on and 16 off with no algae problems...except for the one in front of a window. That's called lack of foresight and paying attention. <img style="max-width:100%;" src="https://www.bettafish.com/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />

BTW, my 5.5 tanks have same dimensions with 2" of substrate.

Thank you! I'll do more research &#x1f642;

RussellTheShihTzu 05-01-2019 12:06 AM

One thing you never want to do...I learned the hard way...is think you can use a longer single light over two shorter ones. What I mean is I had two 5.5 sitting side-by-side. To save plug space, and without researching, I bought a 36" light to span both of them. Bad move...algae went crazy and the Anubias were over-lit (if that's the word).

I know you aren't planning on doing such but wanted to throw that out for anyone reading and considering.

PS: One of my 20 long tanks in higher on the same stand than the other. And you are correct: The one at the higher level *does* look much brighter. I think because I can actually see the LEDs.

bluesamphire 05-01-2019 03:49 AM

My stingray arrived nearly a week ago. It is one of the clip on 12 inches.
I plugged it in and turned it on and was surprised how dim seemed after the Aqua One light that I had been using.

So I decided to do a small experiment.

I have put the Stingray on one side of the tank, and the Aqua One on the other.
It has been less than a week, and the plants are already doing better on the Stingray side. The Hornwort is growing twice as fast, and the S. repens new leaves are sprouting in a more compact way. The old Aqua One light is still working, still bright, and the plants are OK, just not quite as OK, if you know what I mean.

Both lights are about 2.5 inches above the water, and shining through a glass lid with condensation on it.

Bettabetta000 05-01-2019 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RussellTheShihTzu
One thing you never want to do...I learned the hard way...is think you can use a longer single light over two shorter ones. What I mean is I had two 5.5 sitting side-by-side. To save plug space, and without researching, I bought a 36" light to span both of them. Bad move...algae went crazy and the Anubias were over-lit (if that's the word).

I know you aren't planning on doing such but wanted to throw that out for anyone reading and considering.

PS: One of my 20 long tanks in higher on the same stand than the other. And you are correct: The one at the higher level *does* look much brighter. I think because I can actually see the LEDs.

Oh no, I plan to get a 12-16" one. I actually found one where I can switch the Ks from 4-6000K so I might get that one. My glass top arrived and I love it already! It really is bright, therr's a lot of LEDs on the underside even when laying it directly on the lid, it shoots out the sides of the tank quite far.

Bettabetta000 05-01-2019 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluesamphire
My stingray arrived nearly a week ago. It is one of the clip on 12 inches.
I plugged it in and turned it on and was surprised how dim seemed after the Aqua One light that I had been using.

So I decided to do a small experiment.

I have put the Stingray on one side of the tank, and the Aqua One on the other.
It has been less than a week, and the plants are already doing better on the Stingray side. The Hornwort is growing twice as fast, and the S. repens new leaves are sprouting in a more compact way. The old Aqua One light is still working, still bright, and the plants are OK, just not quite as OK, if you know what I mean.

Both lights are about 2.5 inches above the water, and shining through a glass lid with condensation on it.

I see, that's good to know! I might keep mine around just in case or maybe I'll try the updated Nicrew one. Have you had experience with those?

Ratvan 05-01-2019 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bettabetta000 (Post 1852511388)
I see, that's good to know! I might keep mine around just in case or maybe I'll try the updated Nicrew one. Have you had experience with those?

Which Nicrew do you have? I really like the lights, they can even grow some low to moderate light corals
Word of warning, Crypts and Hygrophila grow like mad under these

Veloran 05-01-2019 11:18 AM

I had a whole writeup about my tank setups, but long story short ... you can't really tell how good a light is by looking at it.

I have the Stingray and Ecoxotic (dialed down) look the same but support plant life so differently, and the RRFs in the neglected Tupperware container by the glass doors with no direct sunlight get a nice red with red roots.

Also for timing, you can get the simple light timers or if you search around for a deal, you can get a WiFi enabled smart switch for about the same price. I bought my light timers for about $6 when the price dropped, and I bought a 4 pack of the WiFi timers for $24 when they were on sale on Amazon. With the WiFi plug, you can set multiple on/off times per day (plus control the plug from your phone). I was reading on TPT forums that breaking up your light period helps with plant growth and algae, but I haven't experimented with it.

bluesamphire 05-01-2019 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bettabetta000 (Post 1852511388)
I see, that's good to know! I might keep mine around just in case or maybe I'll try the updated Nicrew one. Have you had experience with those?

Sorry, no experience of Nicrew. I've seen the name, but not bought (yet) ;)

Bettabetta000 05-01-2019 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ratvan (Post 1852511390)

Which Nicrew do you have? I really like the lights, they can even grow some low to moderate light corals
Word of warning, Crypts and Hygrophila grow like mad under these

I don't currently use one so I'm wondering if it'd be dimmer than the Finnex (it's just too bright even set right on the glass top it shoots lights all over the room).

Bettabetta000 05-01-2019 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Veloran
I had a whole writeup about my tank setups, but long story short ... you can't really tell how good a light is by looking at it.

I have the Stingray and Ecoxotic (dialed down) look the same but support plant life so differently, and the RRFs in the neglected Tupperware container by the glass doors with no direct sunlight get a nice red with red roots.

Also for timing, you can get the simple light timers or if you search around for a deal, you can get a WiFi enabled smart switch for about the same price. I bought my light timers for about $6 when the price dropped, and I bought a 4 pack of the WiFi timers for $24 when they were on sale on Amazon. With the WiFi plug, you can set multiple on/off times per day (plus control the plug from your phone). I was reading on TPT forums that breaking up your light period helps with plant growth and algae, but I haven't experimented with it.

Thank you! I did buy a timer and have been using it. I have two light periods: ON 9-11 am, OFF, then ON 7-10 pm, then OFF for the night. I love the timer! It is a lifesaver &#x1f642;

Bettabetta000 05-02-2019 03:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Update: I got a 4100K light last night and I'm loving it. It looks like natural sunlight shining in the tank &#x1f642; to my eyes, the 5-7000Ks always looked too stark white and gray cast. I might have to up the time it's on but I do like it a lot &#x1f642;

Missytoe 05-04-2019 10:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Iíve been using this Marineland mini light for tanks since I set this one up back in December. Itís a 6g, all plants are 1 2 grow and they do amazing! Iíve never had an algae problem, the tank is under a window, I use a timer, yet if iím Home I turn the light on for however long I want, sometimes 12 or more hours. Lol. I donít use any Co2 or ferts. I call it my miracle tank, one betta and loads of red cherry shrimp. :) This light just seems perfect for this tank.

I do apologize for the tank at this moment. Do to some serious life issues I havenít trimmed it in a while. Thatís going to change tomorrow. Lol.

Bettabetta000 05-05-2019 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Missytoe
I’ve been using this Marineland mini light for tanks since I set this one up back in December. It’s a 6g, all plants are 1 2 grow and they do amazing! I’ve never had an algae problem, the tank is under a window, I use a timer, yet if i’m Home I turn the light on for however long I want, sometimes 12 or more hours. Lol. I don’t use any Co2 or ferts. I call it my miracle tank, one betta and loads of red cherry shrimp. &#x1f642; This light just seems perfect for this tank.

I do apologize for the tank at this moment. Do to some serious life issues I haven’t trimmed it in a while. That’s going to change tomorrow. Lol.

Your tank is gorgeous! Wow! I love all the green &#x1f642; I wish I could use Frogbit but Red tries to eat the roots every day &#x1f61e; I had to take it out.

tess.the.mess 05-06-2019 11:54 PM

wow I love all those plants! I'm just starting on my setup and haven't gone plant shopping yet. I didn't think this TopFin 5.5 starter kit could handle much. it's quite frustrating all the stores carry such hard plastic &#x1f621; they should realize if it's rough on human hands imagine delicate fins! I do like those squishy rubber mushrooms tho lol any recommendations for low light,easy to grow live plants?

Bettabetta000 05-07-2019 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tess.the.mess
wow I love all those plants! I'm just starting on my setup and haven't gone plant shopping yet. I didn't think this TopFin 5.5 starter kit could handle much. it's quite frustrating all the stores carry such hard plastic &#x1f621; they should realize if it's rough on human hands imagine delicate fins! I do like those squishy rubber mushrooms tho lol any recommendations for low light,easy to grow live plants?

Thank you! And yes those plastic plants are just fin tearing danger! The 5.5 gal actually handles quite a bit. I love it and haven't even covered it heavily yet so I'll take the time this weekend to do so.

The plants I have in my tank are low light and low tech: Anubias and assorted Java Fern. The ones on the rock are Crested Java Fern and the ones in the jar and the back are just normal Java Fern. I have 1 Anubias attached to a rock in the back corner and 1 free floating on the left front near the moss hammock. I just bought another one yesterday and have been free floating that too for now.

Those two plants should be attached (tied or glued) to rocks and/or driftwood. Their rhizomes can't be buried or they'll rot. They're much easier to move around when attached to decor anyway.

The front carpet plants are S. Repens. They root well in gravel and have been sprouting. They grow tall with low light (reaching for that light) and grow low with high light (more carpet like). Mine has been growing a bit taller but shooting off new leaves too. They are quite hardy so I suggest giving them a try too! Some others are Crypts, Frogbit (floaters), Java Moss, Marimo Moss (got 3 in the tank, and you can toss them anywhere), and many more!

Share a pic of your tank when you're all situated &#x1f642;

tess.the.mess 05-12-2019 07:52 PM

will do! I did some research on the Marimo moss balls and saw some negative reviews. did u buy in store or online? some people complained of fish going lethargic or dying after few days. others had the balls disintegrate all over their plants and filter. wondering if you had any issues? I'll probably pick a few up next weekend to start quarantining them just to be overly safe.


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