View Full Version : Watts per gallon
12-09-2006, 12:15 AM
I have upgraded my lighting on my 10g aquarium so that I can grow some plants. I did have a 7 watt incandescent light, now I have a fluorescent bulb. I think the fluorescent is only 20 watts. Would that still be considered low light? I have now idea about the lights on my aquarium, I am using a bulb that was given to me with the tank 9 years ago. I bought a replacement for another unit a few years ago, but I just went by what the label said the lighting would do. The bulb is 20" in a standard canopy lighting fixture. Does anyone know how many watts it will take? Do they sell bulbs that are more them 20 watts, or do I have to add another light fixture? Would it help to buy one that is specifically for growing plants? I know my lizards need full spectrum with uvb, but I imagine that plants don't need much. Any help would be great.
12-09-2006, 12:45 PM
what kelvin rating is your flourescent?
12-09-2006, 02:10 PM
I have no idea. I pulled the bulb out and it's an Aqua-glo 15 watt and the housing is rated up to 20 watt. Does anyone know what bulb would be best to buy, and do I need to add another unit. I am only planning on growing low light plants. Oh and the bulb is only 18"
12-09-2006, 08:01 PM
On another forum someone took the time to test fluorescent tubes alone and in combinations on the same tank and took pictures and did some wavelength thingies as well, maybe that will help you choose?
From my own experience a tube that emits cold, white light has been a good choice, both visually and for the plants. There are several types of course, but if you march into a store that sells lamps (NOT a petstore) they should be able to tell you which tube to buy. My personal favourite atm is the Philips 865.
Here in Finland they automatically assume you'd want an aquarium tube for an aquarium and it took quite an effort to convince them I really don't. I don't know if the same applies for other countries, but buying fluorescent tubes in petstores (or an aquarium tube elsewhere) makes a whole lot larger dent in your wallet than buying a regular tube, even when it's one of the more uncommon ones.
On another note, the people who pay more attention to their aquatic plants than fish change their tubes every year, as the light apparently grows dimmer in that period. Unlikely to be of any real concern, unless you're looking to make an amano tank =P However changing the tube a bit more often than when it burns out is a good idea.
12-09-2006, 08:13 PM
Thanks for the help. I am going to have a get a new bulb now anyway. I went to put the other on back in after reading the writing on it and it broke. I am glad to know I can pick one up somewhere other then a pet store, I think the bulbs at my LFS run upwards of $20-$30. I know bulbs have an optimum life span. I have to replace my bulb on my anole tank every 6-12 months, but that's because the UVB runs out when the bulb gets old. I am definitely going to get a whitish or bluish light. I find them much more appealing. I had a "sunshine" coloured bulb on my tank before, and it wasn't as nice. I have to wait till after Christmas, because money is tight. The plants I already have in there won't mind, they have been "surviving" with the sunlight coming in through the window.
12-09-2006, 08:21 PM
What plants do you have in the tank anyway? If you have lowlight plants I would recommend staying away from atleast the tube I mentioned above, as that made my 295 liter tank into a very dense jungle. Unless you have fast growing plants, chucking a whole lot of light on a tank will just promote algae growth.
Maybe a tube with soft white light is more suited?
12-09-2006, 08:33 PM
I have been trying to find a site I was in the other day that lists the different plants for different pH levels as well. I know it was in Dr Smith and Foster but can't seem to find it now.
12-13-2006, 03:55 PM
I have a 120W light on my 110 that is very deep. I have not had any problems with every kind of plant that I put in there (don't ask me what I have.. I haven't had a lot of luck identifing them all... it's one of those "this is pretty.. let's get it!!") . I think you have plenty of light for a 10 gallon.
12-13-2006, 04:25 PM
i try to stay at 2-1/2 - 3 watts per gallon on my planted tanks, when i had them that is . lol
12-13-2006, 04:44 PM
I have had a fluorescent on there for a few days, and it seems to have made a difference already.. The one sword I have left looks a little greener. My gouramis took the last little round leaf plant ( I don't know what kind it was) and I accidentally sucked up the smaller sword when I was cleaning the tank, it was REALLY small. So now I am down to one sword. I am going to get some more plants, but probably not till after Christmas.
12-14-2006, 01:18 AM
Duh, I so wish you'd live closer. I could send you lots and lots of cuttings of my plants each time I have to trim them cause the fish don't have any room left to swim in..
*mutters obscenities about not even fertilizing the darn things and still they grow like mad*
12-14-2006, 01:22 AM
Stick them in a ziplock bag and put a stamp on it :) Pretend it's a Christmas card.
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