15 Gallon Lighting Question
Hey there folks! As some of you have been keeping up with my 75 gallon Mbuna tank journal ( thanks to all who are ), you already know I have an itch to try a 15 gallon planted tank . But upon doing some research, I am not sure where my lighting puts me at. Last Christmas my soon to be wife purchased this:
Thinking it would be great for a Mbuna tank but I just never got around to using it on the tank. So I figured I would go through with my planted tank plan and use that wonderful light fixture. It currently still has the stock bulbs in it which are :
1 24 in T5 HO 24W 420/460 Lamp (Rose-Like colour)
1 24 in T5 HO 24W 10,000K Lamp
So I am wondering if I should perhaps change the bulbs or leave them? Will this give me a high light setup in a 15 gallon tank that's 12 inches tall?
I know its important so I will go ahead and mention that I have a pressurized CO2 kit on the way so yes I will be using CO2
So a little research later, I will be sitting at roughly 3.2222 (repeating of course) WPG. Now I have found places that say not to go with that rule so I am gonna try to go on with something else. I believe after some research that this puts me at the very ending range of Medium and starting to get into the High spectrum of plants. I believe that because my tank is only 12 inches high, that may contribute more than I realize. So I am thinking with CO2 it may be possible to grow some High Light plants in my 15g. Am I wrong in thinking this?
Also after doing some bulb research, it would appear that the 10k bulb that came with my lighting fixture is not exactly the greatest for plants. It would seem I am wanting to look for something in the 6.5k -8k range. But is this entirely necessary? If someone would not mind elaborating on this for me a little bit. I just want to make this the best tank I can with my limited knowledge so that I can gradually get better and better at planted tanks
Simply speaking, a 6500K bulb provides much more red light and sigificantly less blue light than a 10,000K bulb where each has idential lumens (intenisty.)
Plants need more red light than blue. In fresh water aquariums, algae tends to prefer blue light. Hence, your light is not correct for fresh water plants. That said, fish look better (more natural color) in 10000 K light (it appears more white. The 6500 K tends to look somewhat pink.)
Originally Posted by Cermet
Hmm so I should definitely change the 6500k Bulb even though I already have a rose-colored bulb?
I have a dual bulb fixture myself and have a mix of 6500k and 10000k to achieve what the plants need and make the tank more natural in appearance. Either way, with what you have, I'd say your going to have algae issues no matter; considering the power of the fixture. I would consider hanging the fixture above the tank somewhat, to disperse away some of the light.
Good point. I was actually worried about that. I believe I am gonna do just that
Originally Posted by bignellm
So I have been doing research on what plants I want and to make sure their PH is compatible with each other and here is what I have so far:
Carpet: Dwarf Sag (All over) 5.0-7.5
Echinodorus tenellus(All over) 5.0-7.5
(Pygmy Chain Sword)
Micro Sword 6.0-8.0
Staurogyne repens 6.0-8.0
(much like carpet)
Cryptocoryne, parva 6.0-8.0
Heteranthera zosterfolia 5.0-7.0
Sword, Amazon Compacta 6.0-8.0
(Echinorodus bleheri 'Compacta')
Amazon Sword 6.5-7.5
Hygrophila balsamica 6.0-8.0
Anubias, Nana 6.0-8.0
(Anubias barteri v. Nana)
Of course I am not gonna use all of em. And I do understand a few of these get relatively tall but that is ok :D. Its just a list of possibilities I want to use :D. Any thoughts or advice?
Last edited by Mitch p; 05-09-2012 at 05:38 PM.
Dwarf Chain Sword would be a plus in my book. If tank's not tall, then would kinda be like a midground effect too.
Anacharis would also look nice, would be loads of trimming, but easy to handle.
For me, less is more with these smaller tanks, so that's all I'd suggest in your list. If you could find it and tank is suitable height, maybe a Cyperus Helferi would work out nicely.