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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all, after some setbacks concerning my fish, I've finally decided to invest myself in taking care of the plants I've purchased as well.

I thought it was fine to purchase hardier plants, buy a Flora sun Maximum Plant growth bulb, overstock the tank so that there's a ton of food and poop particles for the plants to feed on and voila!

Yea, no, that didn't work out so well. I guess the LFS generalized the terminology "hardy" when I decided to purchase all these plants.

I currently have the following plants:
1 Java fern
1 Laced Java fern
1 Wisteria
1 Hedge Plant
1 Anubias Nanas
2 Anacharis
2 Amazon Swords
1 Water Sprite

I have a 75 gallon tank that recently had a breakout of ich and I thus had to use salt (-_-).

The Amazons, Water Sprite, and Anacharis are suffering the most, probably a combination from poor lighting and the salt.

Java fern and anubias nanas seems to be able to handle anything, so I'm not too concerned about them.

I've tried researching this forum for past entries and online to see what sort of lighting fixture I should get, etc, but most of them were too generalized for me to really get an idea of what is the best thing for me to do.

First off, it's my understanding that no matter what bulb I get, the current standard light strip that comes with the tank (marineland perfecto), will not be adequate for plants, is this correct?

If so, what should I replace it with, and are there any safe and cheaper alternatives to produce the correct lighting for my plants? I intend to make it a medium to heavily planted tank. I'm wondering because I checked up on fish stores and have seen their light fixtures (Nova Extreme or something), and they seem to be placed at over $150, which seems ridiculous to me considering I got the tank/light strip/top for less than that.

Also, does anybody have an idea of how much using those particular lighting fixtures, adds on to your electric bills? I've a feeling the landlord will come to me with complaints. I'm just trying to imagine all these articles talking about 2 to 5 times per gallon of watts, for about 10 hours a day, it sounds like a lot in my head.

Finally, to reiterate the knowledge I just crammed into my head, I am suppose to get fluorescent lighting, a total of minimum 150 watts, in full spectrum?

Ahh P.S. I don't intend to go for needy plants that require high lighting. I've little interest in them as an actual hobby (I doubt I can afford the Co2 needs, nor trust myself to do a DIY Co2 injector), but moreso just to ensure the fish many hiding places and a lovely presentation.

Thanks for any assistance
 

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That sounds about right. I'm using a DIY hood using two 6500k 26W CFL's that cost about 4 bucks a piece on my 10 gal. It's up on a countertop and pretty bright, so we just use it to light our living room- doesn't use any more power than the rest of the lights here, since we use CFL's for those as well.
 

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Personally I would go out & buy some shop lights to put over the tank for $50. Change the tubes & your away. You should be able to put 120w over the tank for less than $75.

Otherwise, ebay is your friend. Here's an example of what you can find there: eBay Store ? topdogsellers: Search results for.
The middle fixture would be the one I would choose. It has switches so you can run two, three or four tubes. That leaves you being able to grow your lower light plants no problem with the option of upgrading to high light plants & co2 if you want to. Replace the actinic tubes with a couple of 6-700k-10,000k tubes. T5HO fixtures are no more expensive to tun than the same wattage T8 lights so power consumption isn't a big issue at all. Also remember that they put out roughly twice the amount of light as the same wattage T8 tube so you are getting more light for the same or less amount of electricity. Anything over 150w in your tank & you will probably have no choice but to run some kind of co2 system to prevent algae, so you might want to seriously research your options there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I kinda got lost by what you guys said.

CFL means... compact fluorescent lights?

What's a shop light? Change what tubes? And how would it amount to 120 watts?

Thanks for the responses. Anybody else?
 
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