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Re: lighting a 29 gallon

Hey gang

Eric Peterson wrote:

<<Hi. I'm setting up an aquarium for my girlfriend who
has never kept fish or aquatic plants.>>

So, it'll be you doing most of the maintenance? If
not, then less light. If so, and you're comfortable
with it go with more.

<<It'll be a 29 gallon and I'm going to order the
lighting from Aquarium Hobbyist Supply.>>

You *can't* go wrong there.

<< My question is how much lighting do I need. I'll
set up DIY CO2 and use some sort of fertilizer. Should
one 55w be enough or will I be wishing I had gotten
the 2 x 55w.>>

If you're gonna stay with DIY CO2 then 1x55w PC should
be adequate. I tried DIY CO2 with my 2x55w setup and
it just didn't cut the mustard. I couldn't maintain
enough pH control and if I got just a bit lazy about
recharging the yeast there was algae and dying plant
trouble. Your Mileage May Vary.

An alternative would be to use a 55w PC *and* the
existing 20w flourescent that came the tank to get a
little more coverage. I do that on a 20 long, it works

 <<It doesn't neccessarily need to produce explosive
growth, but should be enough to grow most varieties of

I think you answered your own question. A 55w PC setup
from AH supply is roughly equivalent to 82.5w of
normal output flourescent lighting. Not much you
*can't* grow with that. It seems that, because it is
*so* easy, and cheap, you will probably go with the
2x55w setup.

    **Get a gas CO2 system if you do!**

It's not much money compared to everything else and it
makes life a ton easier. It's really a neccesity
starting with tanks about that size.

<< Also, what site would you recommend that I order
plants from? trueaquariumplants.com? azgardens.com?
any others?>>>

This is a hot topic, really. They all (pretty much)
provide good service, and are knowlegable about their
products, but some have different stuff.

Stem plants: I like Aquarium Center and Aqua Botanic
also has a great selection. 

Everyday stuff: I've never gotten healthier plants
than at Aquatic Plant Depot. They have the bread and
butter stuff and their prices are unbeatable. This is
also the best place to get Riccia, and some other neat
stuff as well.

Crypts and swords: Sorry guys, you can't beat Delaware
Aquatic Imports. I talked to Mike yesterday, and he's
got about 25 varieties of crypts, and almost as many
swords. (not so great for exotic stems)

All around: I'd say that Aquarium Center, Aquatic
Plant Depot, and Aqua Botanic have the most diverse
selection for the best prices and reputation.

My comments about Aqua Botanic are purely based on the
reputation gained from the list and my travels on his
web site. I've never ordered from there. 

Hope this helps,
John Wheeler

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