What's the correct light to get?
I currently have a 75 gallon tank. What would be a good light to get for my tank? I plan on using live plants in the tank. Where is the best place to shop for one? All of the local fish stores have to order one, so I might as well just order it myself and try to save a few bucks.
I'm not an expert but I've been looking into lights for my tank and I can say that the overall consensus is you will need about 2-4 watts per gallon of water you have and a color temperature of at least 6700K. So for your tank you will probably need around 200 watts of light at 6700K or higher. It can get expensive to get this kind of lighting but if you have the money I think it's worth it. Good luck!
10g - planted, 4 otocinclus, 6 amano shrimp
ebay is the best, i got my 28" 260w PC there for $90, a 260w PC would probably work on your tank too
Anything that will give you atleast 3 watts per gallon will work. I'd suggest getting the strongest light you can afford.
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20g nano reef
55g FOWLR saltwater
29g planted freshwater
10g planted freshwater
It depends on the type of plants you want and how much maintenance you want to do on the tank in terms of trimming, fertilization, co2, etc... More light generally means more plant selection, but a lot more maintenance on the tank.
If you think you'll be happy with low light plants, there is no point in getting 2wpg or higher and create more work/expenses for yourself. It's definitely limiting in terms of what plants you can grow, but low light tanks can still be stunning.
Past 2wpg on a 75g tank you will require pressurized co2 injection because dosing excel won't really be cost effective and diy co2 won't produce enough co2 to be of any benefit. Past 5 or 6wpg it's going to become almost impossible to control algae.
Most freshwater bulbs have a color temperature rating around 6700K. Freshwater plants won't use anything over 10,000K so make sure you don't get 50/50 tubes or actinic tubes. Get tubes that are specifically for freshwater plants. They'll have the correct color spectrum and intensity peaks where the FW plants need them.
Most people really like the coralife aqualight series. On the other hand if you are into the DIY ventures ahsupply has excellent lighting fixtures and retrofit kits that require some work on your part.
Last edited by Slimy; 06-18-2008 at 02:54 AM.
No offense Tigerbarb, but that is a bad bad idea. Doing that could very well lead someone to frustration because they have way more light then they need and then they end up spending more money to get CO2 equipment and ferts just to keep up with the excessive light they got.
Originally Posted by Tigerbarb
Slimy is on the right track, you need to determine what kind of plants you want to keep and how involved you want to get in having a planted tank. There are some great low light plants that will do very well in 1wpg and even less. My first planted tank was a 75gal tank with just 40w of light on it and it did great. Unfortunately I got caught up in "High Light Syndrome" and I figured that the more light I threw at the plants the better they'd do. Thankfully I learned a lot from that experience. More light is not always the answer and it usually causes more problems then it solves.
I have a 58 gal with 275 watts on it,it is a combo of compact fluor and t5HO.For the longest time I had just 192 watts.I do not use co2 other then seachem excel.For your 75 gal I would suggest this fixture,I am assuming it is a 48" tank.
this fixture will give you very nice versatility and current has a wide range of bulbs to suit your needs nicely.If you do order this fixture try to get them to change out any actinic bulbs it comes with for 6700K bulbs.This fixture ahs moon lights and a cooling fan and is the 48" version of what I use at 36".Good luck with your plants.
I agree that you need to decide how much time you want to invest and what kind of plants you want.
Buy a light that you can grow with (ha ha, no pun intended!). The eBay lights that Cocoa suggested are a good start. Usually you can turn on only one bank of lights to get around 2 wpg. This will keep your maintenance low and get you into the groove of keeping plants. In the meantime you can research Co2 and fertilization, which will be required if you decide to up your wattage (you can click on my blog below, to read about my adventures I've been having in keeping plants... I know, I know, shameless plug... Lol.).
GB is right, the higher wattage you go (3+ wpg), the more maintenance you will need to give your tank. If it's your first time with plants, that is a guaranteed disaster, as you will be trying to keep up with keeping Algae at bay and keeping things fertilized, etc. etc. Then the discouragement will start when your plants start looking crappy (I was there not too long ago).
Sooooooo.... Start slow and work your way up. Give some low light plants a shot. Here's a good guide:
Lighting suggestions..? Try a Compact Fluorescent light running at 2 WPG and a temp of between 6700-10000K. Like this one, cheap, but good to try out (this is the one Cocoa and I have and it has 2 banks of light +moonlights):
Be careful though, plants become addictive!!!
Last edited by digital3; 06-18-2008 at 04:25 AM.
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55 gal. planted (Co2 Pressurized) - 1 Featherfin Syno, 2 Bolivian Rams, 2 SAEs, 3 Congo Tetras, 4 Long Fin Rosy Barbs, 6 Sunset Platys, 2 Lyre Tailed Swordtails, 3 Peppered Corys, 2 YoYo Loaches
3 gal. planted nano (no Co2) - 1 spotted puffer, 3 Neon Tetras
I bought some aquarium plant lights from wal mart and they seem to be helping the plants along(lost one with the old lights) but the ferts I put in the tank seem to be helping also.