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  1. #1

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    Question Lighting for a large tank


    0 Not allowed!
    Okay, I've been sitting back and reading up on posts regarding lighting for live plants and, as usual, am a little confused.

    I read that you should have around 2 watts per gallon for healthy plants. But I have a 150 gallon tank so does that mean I need 300 watts of light for this tank? I looked at flourescent bulbs on the Internet and all I saw was 40 watts. I just have the hood that came with the tank and it will only hold 1 bulb. Are there different kinds of light bulbs that would put out more light? I'm thinking that I will have to get a new hood but have no idea what I should be looking for.

    Some of my plants are not looking all that great but some are doing fine. I'm just using the lighting that came with the tank and I don’t see any indication on the bulb of the wattage but I’m assuming it is not a very high wattage. I’ve looked up the names of the plants we have:

    Banana plants – doing well
    • moderate light

    Red ludwigia – doing good but losing color
    • moderate to high light

    Brazilian sword – this have brown spots on the leaves
    • moderate to high light

    Java fern – tips are turning brown and look “lacy”
    • low to moderate light

    Frill (Anacharis)
    • moderate light

    Moneywort – seems good but not growing
    • moderate to high light

    I would like to get any info that I can on what type of lighting I need for this tank. We are really set on having live plants so I would like to get as much info as possible.

    Also, does anyone use fertilizers on a regular basis? I used it one time but when I poured it in all the fish ran to the other side like they didn’t like it so I was sure what was up with that.

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    Good question...

    I'm kinda wondering the same thing...

    I want my soon-to-be bigger tank to be plant heavy, so I'll have to start paying more attention to the plants...
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

  3. #3

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    Heeellllllooooooo (echoing)...... is there any plant/lighting knowledge floating around out there looking for a home????

    Just kidding.... I've gotten so spoiled with quick answers that I need to work on my patience.... lol

  4. #4

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    thanks for good advice - hobbs   ROADTRIP! - Drumachine09   We'll need a case of these for the roadtrip, got the humvee waitin. lol - cocoa_pleco   NO plants = Sour grapes  LOL - hobbs   Wooden Spoon Protection! - Drumachine09   

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    0 Not allowed!
    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...?N=2004+113030

    Lots of lighting products there. You will want to look at the higher wattage stuff like compact flourescent, VHO, metal halide, etc. They all put out 2+ times more wattage than regular bulbs. I don't know much about metal halides, but the compacts and the VHO's do a nice job of lighting up planted aquariums. Pretty pricey for a decent sized tank though. As for that java fern, it tends to turn transparent when there is too much light. It's one of those occasional plants that can't stand too much light, but does great in a low light environment. Maybe stick it underneath a the shadow of a large plant.

    Fertilizer - I started using a stick fertilizer you put into the substrate. Before that, I had alot of luck just using Flourite + Seachem Flourish Excel.

    2 minutes, quick enough for ya? :P
    Last edited by Chrona; 02-02-2007 at 03:13 AM.

  5. #5

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    your also want to get some sort of cooling system for them since they run hotter. some of the systems have them built in

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrona
    2 minutes, quick enough for ya? :P
    I guess it'll have to do... lol

    So I really do need 300 watts of light for my tank??? Will the fish need sunglasses? lol

    Does the money ever end....... sigh....

  7. #7

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    Keep in mind the 300 watts is spread out over ALOT of surface area, and that the tank is fairly deep. It's gonna be a heck of a setup though. 150 gallons are what, 6 feet long?.....lol, you'll have to get 2x 36 inch light fixtures. GL HF, and wave byebye to your paycheck :)
    Last edited by Chrona; 02-02-2007 at 04:02 AM.

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrona
    Keep in mind the 300 watts is spread out over ALOT of surface area, and that the tank is fairly deep. It's gonna be a heck of a setup though. 150 gallons are what, 6 feet long?.....lol, you'll have to get 2x 36 inch light fixtures. GL HF, and wave byebye to your paycheck :)
    Ours is square instead of rectangular so it is 48" long and 36" deep so we can buy the 48" light. I actually found one on the Drs. Foster and Smith website that was posted by Chrona (thanks btw) for around $200. Of course, that was the low end and they went quite sharply upward from there. But the $200 did have a fan built in so that's a plus....

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Ouch, with a 3 ft deep aquarium, you will probably need even more light than 300....The watt per gallon rule doesn't scale up correctly imo, especially for tall tanks. My 15 watt on my 10 gallon is a heck of a lot brighter than the 3x 25 watt fixture on a friends tall 55 gallon tank

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrona
    Ouch, with a 3 ft deep aquarium, you will probably need even more light than 300....The watt per gallon rule doesn't scale up correctly imo, especially for tall tanks. My 15 watt on my 10 gallon is a heck of a lot brighter than the 3x 25 watt fixture on a friends tall 55 gallon tank
    Well, 300 gonna have to do I'm afraid....it's got to be better than the one I'm using now.

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