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superbsite
01-12-2011, 03:06 PM
Hi All

I have an 18.7 G UGF Tank (24 in L x 15 in W x 15 in H) which I'm converting to a Low Light Plants Planted Tank with Seachem Flourite substrate and a Power Filter.

While I'm following the 2-3 Watts per Gallon. I'll need about 40 Watts.

After reading this

http://aquariumdigest.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/aquarium-lighting-digest/
which was too advanced for me I'm totally confused because it was too technical

Here

http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_plant.php
This was mentioned
There are many different brands and types in the market, but any of the common "Full-Spectrum" or "Daylight" tubes (available in hardware stores) work well and are much less expensive than specialized tubes.

In my hardware shop they have the regular 18 W and 20 W tubes that we use to brighten rooms in our homes. These are not expensive.

My LFS has a specialised 18 W UV tube but its very expensive.

Please let me know if I can I just go ahead with regular tubes which means I can attach 2 x 20 W tubes.

Thanks

Sasquatch
01-12-2011, 04:12 PM
The important thing when selecting a tube, aside from the wattage, is the color spectrum. Plants need a good balance of red and blue light. Most hardware store bulbs are too red from use with plants.

When buying a bulb, check the "temperature" of the light, rated in Kelvins (K). It has nothing to do with the heat output of the bulb, but with the color of the light. For plants, somewhere between 6500K to 10000K is ideal. Bulbs with a high K rating will have more blue, lower K will give more red.

MCHRKiller
01-12-2011, 05:07 PM
You have a ton of lighting options, some more efficient than others. You could get away with standard T8/T12 bulbs but even with 2 bulbs and around 2WPG you would still be limited to low light plants due to the lack of intensity that these bulbs have. If you were to go with a power compact fixture you would have more intensity and would probably get up to medium lighting with a 40watt bulb. If you were to go with around 40watts of T5 lighting it would be in the high light section due to T5s having much more intensity. WPG is a very misleading guideline, it pretty much only applies to standard T8/T12 bulbs...PCs and T5s are much more efficient thus the same WPG yeilds a higher intensity of lighting. Personally I would go with a 1 bulb 24watt HOT5...it would give you the lower end of the medium spectrum and be far more efficient than 2 T8/T12 bulbs despite using nearly half the wattage. :22:

superbsite
01-12-2011, 06:30 PM
Thanks Sasquatch

One more duh question :)

So if I look at these tubes as an example here


http://cemalighting.com/products/display/ge/fluorescent_lamps/ge_polylux

The CCT is the Kelvins (K) and the 6500 CCT would give the blue colour and a 4000 CCT would give the red

Correct ?

Thanks

Thanks for the suggestion MCHRKiller

Sasquatch
01-12-2011, 09:30 PM
If CCT is equivalent to kelvins, that 6500 would be a yellowish color, about equivalent to the 6700 I curently have. To get into blues you pretty much have to top 10000K.

4000 would be orangy, about equivalent to the "warm" lighting typical of household bulbs.

superbsite
01-17-2011, 10:59 AM
After going out in the market here to the hardware stores. The norms are different here 6500 = white is the higest limit, and less ie like 2700 = yellow. For the Blue and Red Color Temperature. I'll have to go very far away and still will not be sure If I'd get it. So I ended going to a LFS and picked up 2 x 20 watt Tubes Brand : Azoo specific for Aquarium Plants. I can see the natural colour of my fish and moss on my driftwood.

Cassandra
01-17-2011, 08:51 PM
Someone on here will correct me if Im wrong :14: but I would be very careful about using an UGF in a planted tank. I did that and the plants rooted to the darn thing and it didnt work out very well for me when I wanted to transplant (not that you should be constantly moving plants around anyways) but its just a thought:ssmile:

SunSchein89
01-17-2011, 08:56 PM
Someone on here will correct me if Im wrong :14: but I would be very careful about using an UGF in a planted tank. I did that and the plants rooted to the darn thing and it didnt work out very well for me when I wanted to transplant (not that you should be constantly moving plants around anyways) but its just a thought:ssmile:

Good point thumbs2: . Most people on here will recommend to take them out regardless of having plants or not. They end up building up a lot of junk underneath them over time. This "junk" is the food your plants' roots should be getting access to, which would be much easier dispersed throughout your gravel, rather than stock piled on the bottom of the tank.