Light for best plant growth

03 Oct 2014 11:52 #1 by Finn (keelan)
Hey guys so a friend of mine Is giving me some plants and he advised me to get A 2700k bulb because he said it prevents algae growth but i read up and apparently a 6500k bulb is needed? The plants he is giving me are low light plants so i think ill follow the watts per gallon rule. But i just want to know what light i should need like a T8,T5? Ect. and what k bulb should do nicely? I have a 25 gallon aquarium and i have snails and am getting a few octos To prevent any algae from growing hopefully so could anyone tell me what light i need in my tank? Thanks!

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03 Oct 2014 13:48 #2 by Joekinsella (joe Kinsella)
If your planning on a heavily planted tank you should look into ferts and co2. I started with easycarbo and profito for my planted tank. Also you might want to invest in more bulbs as the standard lighting supplied with a tank isn't enough you should contact Bart on this forum he can give you a quote on adding extra bulbs to your tank to make it more plant friendly.

It's not just lighting that plants need they ferts and co2 aswell. If you can get a good balance of the 3 then there shouldn't be an algae problem at all.
Maybe someone more knowledgable can help.

Location: Clogherboy Navan.

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03 Oct 2014 17:52 - 03 Oct 2014 17:54 #3 by Lauris (Lauris)
plants really does not care about the spectrum. it is totally up to you!. I prefer a bit "colder" look, so I had 9k on my old tank
but generally 6.5k will do (just a day light). plants can adjust to any and they won't grow faster with more or less Kelvins.
extra bulbs means = more light, more light means more demand on nutrients and co2. without nutrients and great co2
levels in your tank extra light may only damage the plants and encourage the algae growth

the difference is how trong your light is, how much you deliver it, what fertilizing method do you use and how effective
is your Co2 distribution in tank. And how you balance all these things according to amount of light you deliver

I am planted!
Last edit: 03 Oct 2014 17:54 by Lauris (Lauris).

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04 Oct 2014 00:27 #4 by Darkslice (Stephen Walsh)
Low light = slow growth, high light can mean fast growth, but you need to complement with added nutrition. But you also need to keep a closer eye on algae growth

My biggest challenge in my tank is balancing light against available nutritionin the tank - I don't add anything extra. That's why I have LEDs and a ddimmer.

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06 Oct 2014 20:41 #5 by baan (Fintan Breen)
I'm gonna agree with the others here.

The issue is balancing lights, CO2 and fertalizers. In that order. So lights + CO2 = first step. Add ferts = more growth. But get them out of sync and algae will be a problem. From what I have read, CO2 seems to be the major limiting factor, not lights or ferts.

I've had a planted tank for years, but I was never full happy with the growth rates, particularly in the lower level "carpet" type plants. I added lights and started doing an EI fertalizer method a couple of months ago and I aint got the balance right just yet. It's a pain, but it's getting better.

the kelvin should not be a big issue - plants use a range of colours, so go with what you like.

on the watts per gallon.... just watch on whether you have a US gallon or Imperial gallon when you are calculating the WPG. Most of the figures on the net are for US gallons, which would mean you have about 94litres, as opposed to imperial which would mean about 114 litres.

I'm running about about 0.61watts/litre. (Total of 184 watts for 300L tank... 108w are T5 and 76w are T8). From what I've read, T5 should give you a better output relative to cost/input, but I really dont know. If you are putting in a new lighting unit, then I'd suggest go for T5.

As I said, you need to be able to balance CO2 and fertalizers, so if you don't plan on doing these, then less light and some liquid carbon should give you some growth.

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