View Full Version : low light tank, will it work

10-27-2013, 06:14 PM
I want "hopefully" an idiot proof low light tank, I have a 150XH I set up for lots of tetras, guppies and rainbow fish. OK I have a giant piece of drift wood I want to attach some java, sword plant and different Anubis too. I have a Finnix Fuge Ray 7000k Led light, now I know this fixture probably wont penetrate the 30-36'' depth of my tank but my driftwood has juts from 14-17 in up the water Colum that I plant to attach to. Also this is the tank I keep my massive Royal, his body width is about 2x dollar bills laying side by side. will he mess my plants up or eat them. All in all I just wanna keep some easy plants alive, they don't have to grow leaps and bonds, just live. Does this setup sound ok.

10-27-2013, 06:48 PM
It's one of those things you may just have to try out. Hard to know how much light and what wavelength the LEDs are putting out. I had surprisingly good luck growing plants using some generic LED lights. Don't be tempted to leave your lights on for longer than about 8 hours/day, because some algae will certainly do well with minimal light if the photoperiod is too long.

Plecos, from BN to the commons, can potentially cause problems with plants. The sword plant probably will be a salad eventually! Anubias are usually ok with plecos.

10-27-2013, 11:24 PM
yea most plants I want say between 5-7000k, I will probably do a timer, suck on pleco, guess I could move it to my big tank but not sure how the 14 in bichirs will handle new blood in there tank :(

10-28-2013, 02:01 AM
yea most plants I want say between 5-7000k...
FYI, the "K" (Kelvin) range of a light refers, more or less, to the wavelengths. Not exactly, but I don't want to get into a physics lesson here! All plants do well in this spectrum because it's in the wavelengths that most excite chlorophyll molecules. Below is an excerpt from a lighting sticky I posted on my local club's forum where I'm a moderator:

The "brightness" in terms of how lighted to have your tank, depends on if you use CO2 or not. Without CO2, you don't want to exceed what's considered "low-medium" light. Lighting intensity, for a planted tank, is usually measured in PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation). Don't worry if you don't happen to have a PAR meter, you can estimate lighting. If you start seeing the dreaded BBA (Black Brush Algae/Black Beard Algae), you most likely have too much light intensity. If you use CO2 or "Flourish Excel", you can elevate the intensity, how much depends on the CO2 level in the tank and other factors, such as nutrients and light duration. Read below for more details...

4) I'm confused by the terms "Kelvin (K)", "CRI", and "Lumens", aren't they the same thing?
Answer: The short answer, is no! Let me explain in more detail.
Kelvin - This is the "color temperature" of the light, essentially the spectrum of light (Visualize a rainbow's colors = different wavelengths found in visible light). The higher the Kelvin of a light, the more "bluish", the lower the Kelvin, the more "Reddish". Kelvin has nothing to do with the light's intensity, in terms of the plant, but it does relate to the spectrum of light a plant can use best for photosynthesis! A Kelvin range of 5000K - 7000K works well for a planted tank.

CRI - "color rendering index", I don't see this term much, but it indicates how closely the bulb matches the natural light of the sun. The sun has a CRI of 100, bulbs with a CRI above 85 are reported to be ok to use. I don't have any personal experience with the CRI ratings.

Lumens - Very important! Lumens refers to the intensity or brightness of the light. Ok, for you physics folks, I know that's not actually the same as the "power" measurement of a light. Lumens refers to the brightness of a light as perceived by the human eye. So, we can use it as a measure of a light's brightness. The higher the lumen rating, the "brighter" the light. Usually the lumens is going to relate to the wattage of a light. The higher the light's wattage, the higher the lumens.

If you want to read my complete post (on a local non-profit club forum, MODS - if this is not allowed, please delete this paragraph and link!) regarding lighting and the planted tank, you are welcome to follow this link:

10-28-2013, 02:31 AM
Ive never had an issue with bn pleco and my plants. If you offer it enough food it wont need to eat the leaves of live plants. Plenty of plants will work in low light, but some people have better luck doing co2 and ferts with the low light.

10-28-2013, 03:32 AM
Ive never had an issue with bn pleco and my plants. If you offer it enough food it wont need to eat the leaves of live plants. Plenty of plants will work in low light, but some people have better luck doing co2 and ferts with the low light.

Yeah, I've heard that a lot and heard that BN's never munched on plants before I started breeding L144 coloration BN's a few years back. I feed zucchini, algae wafers, and other squash to my BN's and they will still strip down the occasional sword leaf even with zucchini sitting on the tank substrate. I've watched them rasp the leaves till they were paper-thin. Not always, but I like my various sword plants. I now keep my BN's in tanks with less palatable or narrow-leaf plants. I can keep plants with them, just not the broad leaf swords. Crypts seem to do ok with them.

Lady Hobbs
10-28-2013, 02:43 PM
If this is a low light tank, I would omit the sword plant. Swords should be planted anyway. It's not one of those you attach to wood.

10-28-2013, 07:23 PM
actually is a 1000k tank and yea I get the par somewhat, lol I was just told what kelvin would be good for low light plants. I was also given some florish liquid, not sure If that is even needed. sucks on the sword I had a fellow plant keeper giving me his 15 in tall one due to it growing out of tank. is c02 something easy to do or a constant thing, back to the bat cave for research

ps it is a Finnex ray 2 light