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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Lighting decisions for plant life


    0 Not allowed!
    We are setting up a new 100 gallon tank (60" wide) and looking to have live plants this go around. My current lighting system needs to be replaced so my question is...What type of lighting should I use? on somewhat of a budget.

    Just a little bit about our tank:
    100 gal
    freshwater
    gravel substrate (can add another substrate if needed)
    no fish yet but semi-aggressive or tropical planned
    we like to leave the light on for a night light (can be put on a timer though)
    Currently location is a dark corner

    Thank You for all your help.

  2. #2

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    My largest tank which is 115g is probably close to the dimensions of your 100g, being five feet (60 inches obviously) in length, 2 feet in height and 18 inches width. I have moderate light requiring plants, being large swords (Echinodorus bleheri, E. cordifolius), chain swords (Helanthium tenellum and H. bolivianus), and floating Water Sprite (Ceratopteris cornuta). I have in the past had good growth from other plants in this same tank, Brazilian Pennywort, various crypts, and Aponogeton. A photo of the tank today (second photo) and one from a couple years ago before I tore it down to replace the substrate are attached so you can see the setup.

    I have always used two 48-inch T8 tubes over this tank, both are around 6500K. So a dual tube T8 fixture (taking two 48-inch tubes) would work for all but the highest light plants. A single tube T5 HO 48-inch would be comparable, or a dual T5 NO taking two 48-inch T5 NO tubes (these are pretty much equivalent in intensity to T8). I did have a dual tube T5 HO fixture over this tank for a week, but had to take it back as it was way too much light.

    Another option is LED, which will be more expensive initially. I will leave this for others with experience in LED to comment.

    Fine gravel is OK for substrate as far as plants are concerned, so before deciding on changing to play sand (which is the only other option I would recommend) consider the intended fish. If you intend substrate fish like corys, loaches, pleco, or substrate eaters like cichlids, you would be best going to play sand. I now have this in 5 tanks, and fine gravel in one other. I had pea gravel in a tank for a time, but I did find the plants were not as amenable to this. But it can work, if the fish are for instance Central American cichlids.

    Byron.

    115g Nov 16-09 (2).JPG115g Oct 17-13.jpg

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I might have missed this, but what type of plants are you interested in keeping ?
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for your help Byron. Cliff, I am open to suggestions. I really like the photos of Byron's tank...kinda what I am looking for

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Byron...I don't mind dropping some play sand in to help the plants along. Is this something you recommend? and would hardware store play sand be ok?

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by scubakerny View Post
    Byron...I don't mind dropping some play sand in to help the plants along. Is this something you recommend? and would hardware store play sand be ok?
    I would not mix substrates, meaning gravel and sand. The sand being finer grained will end up on the bottom and the gravel on top. This may or may not matter, depending upon fish and the size of the gravel grains, but I don't think mixed substrates ever really work, aesthetically if not otherwise too.

    Not knowing what your gravel is, it is hard to suggest changing. Can you post a photo? Fine gravel, meaning a grain size of 1-2 mm, is fine for plants and most fish. Though if substrate fish are intended, corys and loaches, I really would change to sand now. I've kept many species of wild-caught corys and loaches over both for years, but there is no doubt at all that they do better over sand.

    I use Quikrete Play Sand which I get from Home Depot. Lowe's also carry it I believe. I like this because it is a mix of black, tan, white, gray and it very closely resembles the sands in many if not all Amazon streams, so the fish look natural over it.

    Byron.

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