[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [APD] Help With My New Tank!! -- or - Choices on reflections

It's not so bad. It can start to look too complicated. If
so, then just back up and take a deep breath and relax. If
it was so complicated, there wouldn't be so many people
enjoying the hobby. It doens't have to require calculus to

The amount of light doesn't have to exactly one amount or
another. And indeed, different kinds of bulbs have diff
outputs and for fluorescents the match between bulb and
ballast makes a diff too -- not to mention that the light
output ratings are usually gauged to human vision and not
plant photosynthesis (which are not the same ranges). But
watts per gallon a ready-at-hand substitute for all those
other measures we don't have or don't have the time or
industry to develop.  And it turns out that watts per
gallon works pretty darn well.

If you're going to use fluorescents with high quality
reflectors, then 1.5-2 watts per gallon for slow grow and
2-3 watts for fast grow. If you add CO2 and ferts *and*
keep on maintnence and are careful to keep nutrients in
balance with each other, then you could try 4 or 5 watts
per gallon. But fast tanks can much more easily race out of
control. The faster the tank, the more sensitive they can
be and the farther out of whack they go in a short time.
More than 2 watts per gallon and you seriously need to
consider adding CO2. Of course you can add CO2 at the lower
lighting levels too and the plants will just love it. But
don't add a lot of light without adding CO2 -- there's no
law against it and surely some folks do quite well as
exceptions, but you are much more likely to have problems
with lots of light and no extra CO2.

For slow grow, you could use a pair of 13Ws over a 12 or
15g, a pair of 36Ws over a 40g, four 55Ws over a 90g, pair
of 96Ws over a 74 or 90g. These aren't all the same watts
per gallon but they fall in or near the range. And
remember, all electric light bulb give off less light the
longer they are used. So if you're  little on the high side
of 2 watts per gallon (like the 4x55 on the 90 example
above) just be content that you will use the bulbs much
longer before having to replace them? If you try and figure
things closer than that, then your wasting a lot of time
(unless you like doing math and shopping more than
gardening). Your own gardening & maintenance style is going
to have as much or more impact than you are likely to
realise by trying to fine tune between, say, 2.1 and 2.5
watts per gallon. Some plants don't even like a whole lotta
like; some are very demanding about it. Some of those you
might enoy growing and some not.

So start out simple, with the basics. You can always get
more complicated whenever that looks like it might be fun.
Some of us try equipment just to see how it works, but it's
not recommended as a practice for all hobbyists. Some build
rooms with hundreds of tanks, but it's not a requirment for
enjoying the hobby for most folks.

You can try to research a lot on specific bulbs, research
the specific plants you have in mind, do calculations based
on dessred changes in biomass, factor in filtration
capacities, turbidity, angles of refraction. . .literally
drive yourself nuts -- Or you can just follow the rules of
thumb that seem to work well and spend you time enjoying
your fish and plants.

Scott H.

--- Shalom Levytam <shalominc at yahoo_com> wrote:

> . . .I think I am missing a
> key component.  
> I don't really understand how to determine what amount
> of light is actually required by the plants.  I am
> sure it is not watts; since, every type of light seems
> to have a different amount of watts for every bulb.  
> For example in my tank, how can i determine how much
> light will be needed and then correspond this to the
> different types of bulbs.  BTW it will be heavily
> planted....
> Would I be trying to estimate the lumens needed and
> then match the number of bulbs to this total amount of
> lumens.  
> I thought the substrate stuff was bad, this lighting
> business is worse!

How long can you wait until the good air fares are gone? 
The AGA 2004 Convention is still over two months away. But "last minute" air fares can be pricey. Not to mention the Banquet and Field trip have limited capacity. Take time to make your plans but don't wait too long.

Convention Details/Registration at aquatic-gardeners.org & gwapa.org
Aquatic-Plants mailing list
Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com