Advice needed for a 60 Litre Planted Aquarium

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Jason Blake, 1 Sep 2014.

  1. Jason Blake

    Jason Blake Member

    Messages:
    58
    Hi,


    I an new to this forum and forums in general, so my apologies if my etiquette is not quite right.


    I have been given an Aquael Hexaset 60 litre aquarium. It is hexagonal shaped (which is proving to be a very difficult shape!) holding 60 litres roughly 15 gallons of water.


    I would like to set this up as an high tech Tropical freshwater planted aquarium. I want to grow baby tears as a carpet as well as various other red plants that require high levels of light. I need advice and recommendations and what type of lights to go for.


    The problem I am having is the bewildering and contradictory lighting guidelines. I understand that the Watts Per Gallon guideline has been debunked and that we are supposed to go on PAR ratings instead, but trying to find these ratings is akin to extracting blood from a stone!


    I am also struggling to find lights that will actually fit the odd shape of the aquarium. The widest opening of the aquarium where I could place anything like a luminaire is 38 cm (15 inches). I would prefer to keep everything under a hood and avoid an open top aquarium but if this is the only way to provide the high light levels then so be it. The other dimensions of the tank are 21cm (8 inches) per side in a hexagon shape and it is 50 cm (19 inches) deep. If the aquarium was square it would measure 43 cm (17 inches) x 38 cm (15 inches).


    I am currently considering 4 x 11w PC light fittings would this provide the required lighting levels? Or should I be considering something else?


    This aquarium will have pressurised CO2 injection as well as EI dosing both Macro and Micro nutrients and the substrate will be Tetra Complete capped with aquarium sand.


    I would really appreciate any advice and recommendations for lighting for this tank.


    Thank you.
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    There are no plants that require high levels of light.


    Prepare for a 15L algae farm.


    Yes you should be considering how to maximize plant health by browsing the Tutorial section of the forum and reading about CO2 and flow/distribution...

    Cheers,
     
    Last edited: 1 Sep 2014
  3. Jason Blake

    Jason Blake Member

    Messages:
    58
    Thank you for the response, although the response of "prepare for a 15L algae farm" with all due respect is not helpful, nor does it answer the question. Which was what kind type of light would be recommended for my proposed setup? I kinda feel like a school kid who has got their homework wrong! Can I also just clarify that this is a 60 Litre (15 gallon) aquarium and is it not 15 litres.

    The CO2 will be delivered via a CO2 fire extinguisher setup using an inline difuser, inline with my cannister filter that I can adjust the flow on. To enure thorough tank wide distribution powerheads will be used if necessary. I have had previous sucess with this setup before so I know it works. But that was a much larger and more regular shaped aquarium where ensuring the light was correct was not a problem, but this was a long time ago and LED's at the time were only for cosmetics and the WPG rule was very much in vogue. So much has changed and that is probably why I am feeling somewhat bewildered with all the options and knowing which one to go for.

    As for the baby tears and red plants I was advised that they did require high light levels with CO2 and dosing to grow sucessfully. I apologise if I have got this wrong, but I can only go of the information I am given. There seems to be a destinct lack of consistency of information regarding plant demands throughout the aquatic world, hence why I am on this forum hoping to draw upon peoples experiences.

    I have just read an interesting article that pretty much said that there is no such thing as low, medium and high light aquariums only low, medium and high co2 aquariums. Would you agree with this? Would be right in deducting that the lighting doesn't really matter as long as there is some, its all about the co2 and nutrients available to the plants?

    I am having trouble finding the "tutorial" section of the forum. Can you point me in the right direction please? A link would be great.

    Please I request kindly that you do not condescend me. I know I do not know as much as you do and that is why I am here.

    Thank you.
     
  4. Andy Thurston

    Andy Thurston Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Hi jason
    Heres a link to tutorials
    http://www.ukaps.org/forum/forums/tutorials.34/
    Lighting a hexagonal tank i would look at a tmc mini tile and controller or 2x 11w pc should be enough to grow most things, you can use more light but flow and co2 need to be perfect or as clive says you will end up with a 60l(15l) algae farm
    I think flow and co2 will be your biggest challenge but get these right and the rest will fall into place
     
  5. Vinkenoog1977

    Vinkenoog1977 Member

    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    The Hague, Netherlands
    Here's the tutorial section.

    And Ceg may come across a bit crass, but his advice is always solid, and he's always right, which can be quite irritating as well. ;)

    But he definitely knows his stuff, so take your time in the tutorial section, be sure to read through all the posts in the threads, as follow-up questions sometimes clarify what is meant. Be sure to read up on Lighting in the Planted Aquarium, CO2 in the Planted Aquarium, EI Dosing Using Dry Salts, Setting Up A 'Higher' Tech Planted Tank and The Soil Substrate Planted Tank - A How To Guide
     
  6. Jason Blake

    Jason Blake Member

    Messages:
    58
    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies Big Clown and Vink. I appreciate and will get busy reading.

    Vink, I am assuming that by you adivsing reading "EI Dosing Using Dry Salts" that you would recommend that method to making up a solutions using the dry salts? It is just trying to dose 1.82 grams of something is a little difficult but adding 34 grams to 1 litre of de-ionised water seems a little easier, Do you get what I mean?

    I will come back with any other questions I have after doing some reading.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  7. Vinkenoog1977

    Vinkenoog1977 Member

    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    The Hague, Netherlands
    Jason,

    In regards to the dry salts, I use solutions myself as well, because of the ease of use. There's a pretty good how to in the tutorial about setting up a higher tech tank, I used that as a guideline, and tweaked my mix just a bit.

    Enjoy the read!
     
  8. Jason Blake

    Jason Blake Member

    Messages:
    58
    Well the new light has just arrived. I was going for the simple just 2 x PL 11W ligths, however the ligth I have recieved is not what I have ordered. Apparantly there is a manufacturing problem and I have been given a free upgrade to an Aquael LEDDY Sunny Light. The specs are 6w, Temperatture 6500k. This one is the Sunny Version and not the Plant version.

    My understanding from what I have read on various inpartial, i.e. none manufactiurer sponsered websites is that lights with high peaks in the Blue and Red ends of the spectrum are the best for planted aquariums. However I have seen "plant blubs" focusing purely on the blue spectrum for freshwater planted aquariums citing that Red spectrum promotes algae. I know very well that the biggest cause of algae is CO2 deficiencies, inadaquate flow, insufficient nutrients and the intensity of light. So promoting algae is not my query here.

    My query is that the light they have sent me, the sunny is lacking in the Red spectrum and has its main peak in the blue spectrum, see below for the spectrum details for this light. I would like to just know if this is going to cause any problems to my plants?

    Basically should I be thinking about returning this light and asking for the plant version or will this light be sufficient to promote healthy plant growth? I will also use the other PL 11w fitting. The bulb I will use is yet to be decided, not that there is a great choice anyway! My plan is to start of using just the PL11w until my plants are established and then introduce the LEDDY light once I have got the CO2, Nutrients, Flow balance right and of course I will then increase this all again to match the new lighting level.

    So ultimately my main concern is that as my setup stands at the moment my lights lack in the Red spectrum. Is this going to be a problem or am I under some miss guided pretence about spectrums?

    UxnB62.jpg


    Thanks
     
  9. Vinkenoog1977

    Vinkenoog1977 Member

    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    The Hague, Netherlands
    Plants really don't care too much about what colour the light is, as long as there's enough/ not too much of it. It depends more on what you find pleasing to the eye.
     

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