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  1. #1

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    Default 29 Gallon Low Light, Low Tech Journal of Taurus


    0 Not allowed!
    I've been doing a lot of research and asking a lot of questions about lighting through PMs. I really want to say thanks to all that have generously responded to my PMs. LOL..you know who you are.

    I'm planning a Low Light, Low Tech 29 Gallon Tank. As someone relatively new to the hobby, the only thing that has been more confusing to me than proper and adequate filtration is lighting.

    My research indicates that a low light setup with Java Moss and Java Fern (good for plant newbies) requires lighting between 1.5 watts\gallon and 2.25 watts\gallon. Seachem's Flourite and gravel has been recommeded as a good mix for substrate. I question that as Jave Moss and Java Fern once tied to driftwood or rock does not need to be rooted in the substrate and takes nourishment from the water through stems and roots tied to rock or diftwood.

    Do I really need Flourite?

    Lighting. I have been given three basic senarios for lighting that I'm considering.

    1. An All Glass Deluxe Hood with a single T8 tube of between 8000k to 10000k for about 0.69 watts per gallon. I like this scenario because it is relatively inexpensive and provides easy access through hood to clean and feed. $65.00 including shipping.

    2. An All Glass Double T8 Tube strip light on top of a ALL Glass Versatop or Perfecto glass canopy. Both tubes would be 8000k to 10000k and give me about 1.3 watts per gallon. Does the double tube strip light need to be removed from the glass canopy to gain access to clean and feed? $75.00 including shipping.


    3. A Nova Extreme SLR T-5 fixture double tube (1-24 W 10,000K 1-24 Watt Freshwater) over an All Glass Versatop or Perfecto glass canopy giving me
    1.7 watts per gallon. Do I need to remove the fixture to gain access to clean and feed? $100 including shipping. T5 replacement tubes would be costly, need to be mail ordered.

    4. A Coralife Freshwater Aqualight Deluxe Single 30" Strip 1 65 watt 6700K straight pin base compact flourescent T5 lamp giving me 2.24 watts per gallon, over a Veratop or Perfecto glass canopy. $84.00 including shipping (it's on sale at BA's)

    So, how much light and what temp do I need to grow Java Fern. Rate of growth is not important to me as long as the fern and moss stays healthy.

    I've read with these low light, low tech startups that you don't need to change water for the first month as the moss and fern will use the nitrogenous compounds created for growth. I'm going to find it hard NOT to change water.

    I already have the 29 gallon tank and an AC50 filter.

    The heater is a no brainer as I would go with a Visi-Therm Stealth 200 watt heater.

    I've also read that lighting temps in excess for 8000 k help prevent algae and improve the health of the fish. Don't know it's true of not.

    comments, suggestions welcome and are encouraged.
    Last edited by Taurus; 04-24-2009 at 05:10 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Awesome I'm glad your doing this Taurus!

    I'm in a similar-ish boat, and will be a couple of months behind you.

    what are you thinking fish/theme wise?

    Good luck sir
    30g - Planted - need to do some serious rethinking
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  3. #3

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    1. 1, but not more than 2 Koi Angels, 6 Prestilla Tetras or Harlequins, Cory Cats.

    2. 1 Male Pearl Gourami, 13 Harlequins, 2 Zebra Loaches.

    I could go either way. Thanks for your comments and good wishes.

    I'm really only adding the Angels, Gourami, Loaches depending on scenario.

    Sorry, Java Fern is Microsorum pteropus (red) maybe.
    Last edited by Taurus; 04-24-2009 at 05:29 PM.

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Boy, posting this stuff has really helped to clarify my thoughts and I don't feel so overwhelmed.

    It looks like Lighting Scenario No.2 would work for me. 1.3 watts per gallon is about what Java Fern needs for light to do well without Co2 injection. Any higher wattage and Co2 injection becomes necessary to prevent the Fern from burning.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taurus
    Boy, posting this stuff has really helped to clarify my thoughts and I don't feel so overwhelmed.

    It looks like Lighting Scenario No.2 would work for me. 1.3 watts per gallon is about what Java Fern needs for light to do well without Co2 injection. Any higher wattage and Co2 injection becomes necessary to prevent the Fern from burning.
    I disagree. IMO, option #4 because it gives the right kelvin rating to grow plants and provides a better wattage. Java ferns don't burn with more than 1.3wpg and no Co2. My java ferns have been under 2wpg of light with no added Co2 and they haven't burned. With 2wpg and the right kelvin rating there are plenty more plants you can put in your tank than with 1.3 wpg of light. If you plan on sticking with just java moss and java fern there is no need to buy flourite IMO.

  6. #6

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    Thank you troy. I appreciate your input.

  7. #7

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    Found out from BA's that No.4 just sits on top of the glass canopy and does not a fix to it unless DYI with epoxy, glue, bundgy cords, springs....

    Probably true with all strip lights.

  8. #8

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    I also feel that an expensive plant substrate is unnecessary for the plants you have listed; however, if you think you might want to try some more plants later, you might want to go with the better substrate now.

    As far as what light promotes algae growth, what I have read is that light closer to the blue spectrum (higher kelvin) promotes algae growth more than light nearer the red spectrum. Take that for what it is, as I am no plant biologist, but I would stick to somewhere around 6500 k for visual appeal and correct color. Anywhere between 5000 and 10000 should be fine. I think we are more picky about the light than our plants.

    My 20 long has a 17 watt 5000 k bulb that makes my plants and tank look VERY green. I recently got an incandescent hood and stuck two 13 watt CFL bulbs in there with a k rating of 6500, and that created a good balance. I really like the color now. It's a fairly recent development though, so I'll have to see how things go.

    As far as C02 goes, DIY is really easy. I just set one up a couple weeks ago, and I was surprised at how easy it was. That does add a little maintenance though, and your plants may not need it.
    75 Gallon Malawi

    35 Gallon Juvie Demasoni

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you Tristen. Yeah, the more I read, the closer to 5000k - 7000k I'll stay.
    I'm beginning to think that watts\gallon is not so important. A deluxe hood and a 6700k single tube may do all I need it too. Bud, I appreciate you're attention.

    Funny..I've got one of those hoods around here for a 10 gallon. Can't seem to find one at 30" which is ok. Must be a pain though..you've got to take it off just to clean the tank. LOL...I can't fit my arm though that little port.

    Geeezzzzz I'm fussy.
    Last edited by Taurus; 04-26-2009 at 12:19 AM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taurus
    1.3 watts per gallon is about what Java Fern needs for light to do well without Co2 injection. Any higher wattage and Co2 injection becomes necessary to prevent the Fern from burning.
    Not trying to beat this into the ground, but rather I mean to add another personal experience. I have between 2 and 2.3 watts per gallon on all of my tanks. No CO2 injection and heavy use of java ferns. No burning.
    8 tanks running now:
    1x 220 gallon, 2x55 gallon, 1x40 gallon long, 1x29 gallon, 1x20 gallon long, 1x5.5 gallon, 1x2 gallon
    Gouramis, barbs, rasboras, plecos, corys, tetras, fancy guppies, swordtails, ottos, rainbow shark, upside-down catfish, snails, and Max and Sparkles the bettas.

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