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Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Default 24" light in a 36" tube strip - adequate for a 36" tank?


    0 Not allowed!
    I bought a 40g feeder tank today (36" long) and it came with a versa top and a 36" single tube strip light -- but when I got home and opened the box I see the 36" frame holds a 24" bulb....is this common? I've been doing some reading about lighting but this kind of threw me, as I'm a relative newbie to all this.

    I do plan on having a planted community tank and I know I need good lighting....will the 24" length be adequate for a 36" tank, or am I going to have to look for something completely different? I believe I have some options with the wattage of the tube I put in this, just wondering if it is long enough.

    I appreciate any information or thoughts on this. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Lights that come with tank kits tend to be horribly inadequate for planted tanks. They usually provide just barely enough light to see the fish. A short light like that will also result in a trapezoid shaped lit area and two dark upper corners. I'd look for a new fixture if I we you. Lights for planted tanks should fulfil 2 criteria; provide a very minimum 1.5 watts per gallon of water, and be flourescent and of an appropriate color temperature (6000-7000 k)

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    29g July 18-12.jpgI have a fair bit of hands-on experience with the 24 to 36 inch tanks and fluorescent tubes. My 29g is 30 inches in length and takes the 24-inch tube (T8, which is the "basic"), and my 36-inch tank of 33g takes a 30-inch tube. I experimented with several tubes over the 29g.

    To answer your questions before going into options. Tubes come in basic wattages for the tube length. So a 24-inch tube will be "x" watts and that's it. Now, there is some variability because of how the tube is made. But you can't consider watts for any fluorescent tube today. Watts is simply the measurement of the amount of energy (= electricity) a tube uses to produce its light, and that light will vary in intensity depending upon the phosphors used inside the tube. These also give the colour rendition, the 6000K mentioned by madagascariensis. There is some correlation between intensity and colour.

    First question is, what sort of planted tank are you aiming for? The light you now have, with a good tube, will allow you to have low light and some moderate light plants. I'm attaching a photo of my 29g with the single 24-inch T8 tube to illustrate what I mean. I can grow the plants shown in this tank, but higher-light requiring plants like those with red leaves, or the stem plants, will not manage. If this is what you are after, get a good tube, and I use and recommend the Hagen Life-Glo tube. A slightly less expensive but still good tube is ZooMed's UltraSun. The Life-Glo is 6700K, the UltraSun is 6500K. Cheaper tubes, such as the GE, Phillips, Sylvania, in this size do not emit sufficient light intensity (though they have the same wattage). I tried one over my 29g and all the plants in that photo died. I replaced it with another Life-Glo, and after several weeks some of the plants that were not completely dead rebounded. The tube makes a big difference.

    I'll leave this here for now, but we can continue the discussion; just don't want to bog down things too much at first.

    Byron.

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I do appreciate all this information, thanks to you both. I feel more than a bit out of my element (excuse the pun) with this issue of lighting.

    As far as type of planted tank...for the immediate future I plan on leaning heavily on what are considered "hardy" plants for beginners, with three or four species rooted and at least one floating plant. I would say maybe one or two plants less than what you are showing in that lovely tank. I've just settled on my stocking list and so now I'm turning my attention to learning about plants. Honestly, as a gardener I'm as excited about the plants as I am about the fish!

    So I understand you to be saying that the 24" tube I have can be used on my 36" tank with one of the better tubes you have recommended, as long as I am working with low light or moderate light plants - is that correct?

    I assume it would hold true then that if I purchased a different strip setup, say one that allowed a 30" tube (again using a higher quality tube), then I would be good to try some plants with a higher light requirement.

    Do let me know if I'm tracking correctly. And thanks for the specific brand and model recommendations, that helps a lot.

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by houdini56 View Post
    I do appreciate all this information, thanks to you both. I feel more than a bit out of my element (excuse the pun) with this issue of lighting.

    As far as type of planted tank...for the immediate future I plan on leaning heavily on what are considered "hardy" plants for beginners, with three or four species rooted and at least one floating plant. I would say maybe one or two plants less than what you are showing in that lovely tank. I've just settled on my stocking list and so now I'm turning my attention to learning about plants. Honestly, as a gardener I'm as excited about the plants as I am about the fish!

    So I understand you to be saying that the 24" tube I have can be used on my 36" tank with one of the better tubes you have recommended, as long as I am working with low light or moderate light plants - is that correct?

    I assume it would hold true then that if I purchased a different strip setup, say one that allowed a 30" tube (again using a higher quality tube), then I would be good to try some plants with a higher light requirement.

    Do let me know if I'm tracking correctly. And thanks for the specific brand and model recommendations, that helps a lot.
    Yes to both. Some of the plants in my tank (the Java Fern, Java Moss) will be OK with a Life-Glo or UltraSun in your present fixture. You could try a few others and see, before deciding on spending money for a different fixture (unless you can return or exchange, of course). Upgrading to a 30-inch tube with either of the afore-mentioned tubes will open up options for what I have in that photo. You will note I also have floating plants, because I personally consider these essential for any tank with forest fish, and of course floating plants reduce the light getting down to the others.

    Hope this helps, but feel free to ask any questions.

    Byron.

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