Betta Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
new to planted tanks: lighting HELP

hey guys; so I'm really interested in making a 5.5 gal that i just bought a planted tank for my betta, but I'm unsure as to what kinds of plants betas love most and especially how i should light my tank..help please!! :shock:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
I have java fern and hornwort,along with something that looks like a spider plant just thriving under a pathetic led light. I defiantly recommend the java fern. But remember to tie it to driftwood! The hornwort is also fantastic, it's a floater and just fills all the empty spaces. Here's a pic of mine:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
I use 3 CFL 26watt bulbs daylight on my 37g planted. For a 5.5gal I would go with a 13watt CFL bulb 6500k daylight, and a clip on lamp. I used to use T5, but ever since I made the switch it looks like I get crazy growth. With a 13watt u could probably carpet plants, and it depends on what substrate your using. Here is my pictures to give you a idea on what I use.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,033 Posts
"Bluish white light for super cool appearance." Like, super cool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
you guys are being a great help, thanks! i didn't get the kit, i got the tetra 5.5 gallon glass tank, tank only lol.
im not sure if i want to splurge on a finnex or not,
being new to planted tanks and this being sort of off topic, what types of substrates do you guys use? i got fine gravel to cap whatever i decide on, but i still can't decide between soil or substrate
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
I honestly use cheap painted gravel, but the best thing is soil. That can be a little tricky for beginners, so something that was suggested to me was to just fill the gaps of the gravel with sand, just to help planted things stay in a little more snugly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
For my aquarium I bought a 36" Finnex Fugeray Planted +, for around 100$ and I very much like it. It seems that LED does very good for plants, so far my plants under LED are doing great.

Here is my new setup for plants and bettas, a 12 gallons long, Mr. Aqua tank with the Finnex lamp. I really like this light so far and they come in different size.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Depends on the plants you're gonna plant for the substrate.... I just plant my in the fine gravel and that's really it, i found out when moving the plants, that the roots kinda end up sticking to a buncha gravel and it keeps everything down. I havnt really had anything come out and float up. I use Root Tabs and a nice Led light, and they do great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just ordered a finnex and bought some miracle organic potting mix today! Hopefully my plants won't die... I'm better at keeping animals happy than plants haha. Crossing my fingers! I've been doing research on here and hopefully I've got what I need. If not I'll have to do some trial and error. And wow that mr aqua tank is beautiful!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
Honestly I'm not sure. My strip light rests on a glass canopy that is flush with my tank rim. I have about 2" of substrate and I believe my tank is 10.5". I know that distance from substrate is a factor in planted tanks, but I'm also a newbie and can't offer any advise on the topic :)
Thats alright, I'm kind of trying to just get an idea based on what works for others since I have no way to measure PAR. Thanks!

danielleduq, the Finnex has been recommended to me several times but it just isn't in my budget right now. Let us know how you like it! Im also curious how the miracle grow/soil cap will work for you. I am too scared to try it lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The only reason I splurged on it was because I sold my old textbooks hehehe. It should be here today, I need to get plants and set up the tank this week so I'll definitely let you know:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
Honestly I'm not sure. My strip light rests on a glass canopy that is flush with my tank rim. I have about 2" of substrate and I believe my tank is 10.5". I know that distance from substrate is a factor in planted tanks, but I'm also a newbie and can't offer any advise on the topic :)
I was experimenting with the lights because I don't have a par meter, but I found the CFL to be better then my T5.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
Really? I am surprised because with a coral reef aquarium, CFL never cut it, but T5HO really does the job. Nobody use CFL because it's only for low light corals.

Was it an actinic T5HO? did you compare brand new lamp with the same wave length? that also makes a huge difference as the PAR drop a lot depending on the color of the lamp and the age also.

I was experimenting with the lights because I don't have a par meter, but I found the CFL to be better then my T5.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
Really? I am surprised because with a coral reef aquarium, CFL never cut it, but T5HO really does the job. Nobody use CFL because it's only for low light corals.

Was it an actinic T5HO? did you compare brand new lamp with the same wave length? that also makes a huge difference as the PAR drop a lot depending on the color of the lamp and the age also.
I never had a coral tank. I can't really say much about it. I got my T5HO from Dr. Foster's and Smith, it was a Freshwater 36" 78 watt 36" 39W 650nm Pink Roseate and 36" 39W 6,000K. It did ok, but it looked like the CFL bulbs hanging vertically (a few inches above water) with a work light reflector gave me better growth in a short time compared to a T5HO. It's funny because I got some melon swords from LFS with green leaves , and go to find out my sword was actually called a red melon sword. All my new growth was red and staying red after a week watching it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
Maybe it was your light fixture with a bad reflector? Usually the CFL is much weaker than T5HO but the reflector play a big part of it.

Corals are much more demanding than plants, and CFL with corals is no good. Pretty much everybody is switching to LED though, that is really strong and will burn even the most light demanding corals if they are not acclimated properly.

I like LED for plants the best. It did extremely well the past winter for my nepenthes (carnivorous tropical plants).

I will stick with LED for my freshwater tanks, always.


I never had a coral tank. I can't really say much about it. I got my T5HO from Dr. Foster's and Smith, it was a Freshwater 36" 78 watt 36" 39W 650nm Pink Roseate and 36" 39W 6,000K. It did ok, but it looked like the CFL bulbs hanging vertically (a few inches above water) with a work light reflector gave me better growth in a short time compared to a T5HO. It's funny because I got some melon swords from LFS with green leaves , and go to find out my sword was actually called a red melon sword. All my new growth was red and staying red after a week watching it.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top