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90 gallon lighting pics included

Discussion in 'FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions' started by Mike61704, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    My first post, definatly not my first tank. i just bought on a whim a very clean and almost perfect 90 gallon tank, stand, and glass tops. I happen to fill it up the other day, used one of my spare heaters and spare cascade 300 that was sitting in the closet. Make a long story short i own a sheet metal company and fabricated a custom light assembly to fit this 90 gallon perfectly. Not the prettiest of things but had a question. If i wanted to start growing some plants in this 90 gallon would 4 - 48" 5000k 32watt lights do the trick? i know wattage is important but im not quite at 2 watts per gallon. this thing is bright!! i just happen to have a T8 instint ballast 4 connectors, and all the hardware to build and paint an assembly, turned out pretty good. let me know what you guys and gals think.

    Mike
     

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  2. brian1973

    brian1973 Superstar Fish

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    Mike, welcome to the tank, I am by no means an expert lighting/plant guy but I am learning. I would say give it a shot, worse case scenerio, the plants die your out 30 to 50 bucks depending on the amount and type of plants you purchase.

    This link is to one of my tanks that was planted and even though I was told it would not work I went ahead with it and it was successful until the oscars destroyed the plants.
    http://www.myfishtank.net/forum/aquatic-plants/51754-lighting-question.html
    This link has more pics of the same tank showing the progress over the course of a few months. http://www.myfishtank.net/forum/freshwater-general-discussion/51708-my-90g-tank.html
     
    #2 brian1973, Jan 15, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  3. Michaelh218

    Michaelh218 Medium Fish

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    Some nice work there, can't wait to see you dress it up :) (meaning fill it with plants and fish and whatnot lol )
     
  4. PCFishGuy

    PCFishGuy Medium Fish

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    definitely nice job there mike, you might wish on the other hand to make a few mod's
    instead of a 4 bulb ballast install 2, 2 bulb ballasts, this will allow you to turn the lights on in a staggered manner ie some of the more experienced here recommend avoiding the "shock" of going from very low light to sudden noon time brilliance instantly. Sure as heck will wake'em up in a hurry. My opinion is I would not want to go from a darkened room to full noon time light levels at the flick of a switch, so i would not subject my fish to it either.
    also it will allow you to stagger the light types, ie one in each set to aid in photosynthisis, and one for visual appeal

    As to, is it enough light, that is not so easy to answer, because it can be answered both yes and no, it all depends on what your plans are for the tank.

    At the current level you have 128 watts at 90 gal, assume 10% rough loss of volume to gravel ornaments etc leaves 128w / 80 gal. = 1.6 WPG.

    in actuality you will have less due to *cough* reflector design *cough*, however it will direct a sufficient amount of light into the tank.

    1.6 WPG IS enough to grow most plants, HOWEVER ( you knew that was coming didn't ya) if you plan on going heavily planted w large leafy shade generating plants, or free floating plants that might not be enough.
    with those bulbs you should see something well beyond the range of 8,000 lumen output.

    If you are looking for very rapid ( weekly pruning to avoid overgrowth) and lush propagation, it is not enough.
    If you plan on going Marine, i do not believe it is enough

    If you are planning on low growing terrain covering plants, it is to much
    also remeber many other factors enter into it depending on your plans

    JMHO
     
  5. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    Thanks for the replies. Im definatly not going heavy on the plants, but i also dont want to go too light and not enough. This was my first attempt at a reflector and i have about 200 of those bulbs and four more ballasts at my expense so i though why not. Also i agree the shock would be too much and i would start off with only two bulbs by just simply untwisting them. What kind of plants do you think i should fill it with, what ones would grow well with that kind of lighting? i know with the fish its all about esthetics so im not too worried about eventually having all four on at the same time. Thanks again!!

    Mike
     
  6. PCFishGuy

    PCFishGuy Medium Fish

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    your possibilities are endless.... however start here:


    http://www.myfishtank.net/forum/aquatic-plants/55309-planted-tank-walkthrough-v-1-0-a.html


    an excellant article by Avalon, his work pretty much speaks for it'self

    follow that with:

    http://www.myfishtank.net/forum/aquatic-plants/33566-how-fertilize-planted-tank-rev-1-2-a.html


    now if you have already gone through all this... it is an essentially wide open field for you.

    Aqua Botanic - Decorating With Riccia

    Aquarium Plants


    or if you wish to simply purcheses a package to try it all out...

    https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/234089/product.web

    ... is a good place to look along with...

    Aquatic Plants for Freshwater Aquariums: Aquarium Plant Pack - Mega


    let your choices grow for a bit to get a feel for how they will look as they mature, then adjust to suit yur tastes or layout

    (bet ya cant tell i've been down the same road can ya lol)

    beyound all that, it is personal preferance, i just found a site that sells carnivorus plants, the effect of the growth pattern o the substrate is awesome.

    Oh BTW i would highly recommend Eco Complete for your substrate, it will more than do the job with ut injecting other issues into the chemical balance of your tank.



    Also please note, i do not in any way profess to be an expert on any of this.
    BUT i have sought out those that are acclaimed as such, researched it all to death, Almost ashamed to admit i have dug all the way back to '94, but then that is where my link to aquariums stopped, picked up from there then made my own educated decesions based on actual results.

    so as always YMMV

    remember it is your tank, with your setup, based on your final decisions.
    and your opinions, Your conditions may be just slightly differant from the guys or Gals in the next state, or region, so do not expect exact replication.
     
    #6 PCFishGuy, Jan 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  7. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    well here it is cycled and ready to go, do you think this fits an amazon river theme? what else is missing? more plants? i have 3 very healthy prianha going in here in a week or two after i get the tannins under control from the wood, thank god for purigen otherwise i would still be fighting it!! tell me what you think.

    Mike
     

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  8. brian1973

    brian1973 Superstar Fish

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    How deep is the substrate? From the pic it looks very shalllow which will make it difficult for plans to root.
     
  9. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    as i get more money, i will be adding more gravel. It is a little shallow.
     
  10. brian1973

    brian1973 Superstar Fish

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    ckeck out LOWES or HD pea gravel for inexpensive gravel ideas. for less than $20 you can completely cover the bottom of the tank with a couple inches of gravel.
     
  11. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    well there is probably about 2 inches min on the bottom now, maybe 3 in spots. I think there is 110-115 pounds of crushed gravel so far.
     
  12. kalidiscopeyes

    kalidiscopeyes Small Fish

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    That's a luvly tank :)
     
  13. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    thanks alot!! im trying to get an amazon theme but i was watching the discovery channel about piranhas yesterday and it looks like the amazon doesnt have much current. I added a koralia 4 pump yesterday in my bubble stream to get some distribution of bubbles to the tank and add current but im thinking it might be too much. I also added a seperate 12 LED strip on a timer for moonlight and i have to admit im hooked on LEDs now. I mean i get the full shimmer effect all the way to the bottom at night when that thing turns on and im amazed. Im starting to look into a DIY LED light hood but having some issues. Mainly with the controlling of the strips. I cannot find a good LED controller that would slowly dim the lights on sunrise and sunset. I have everything else in place, the aluminum (at my shop), the light strips (blue and red LEDs) wiring, power supply, but cant find a controller.

    Mike
     
  14. Whiskers

    Whiskers Large Fish

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    another thought on the pea gravel. go to a local gravel pit (if you have one near by) and check for pea stone there. i did and got a 5 gal bucket for nothing. i think they charge by the ton and it makes it really hard to figure a 5 gal bucket. but even if its a couple bucks for 25+ pounds of pea stone. cheap in my book.
     
  15. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    i took your advice and added 30 more pounds of gravel. looks better.
     

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  16. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    oh and i built a new hood today at the shop, all aluminum construction .44 thickness, should help with heat transfer from all those LED's!!! also check out the moonlight LED i added too!!
     

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  17. Mike61704

    Mike61704 Small Fish

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    more pictures, you think those plants will still grow? i mean its 3/4 of the light that four t-8s 48" long put out, plus you get an amazing shimmer effect from those LED's, like night and day. took me a about 2 hours to fabricate the hood and put the lights in.
     

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  18. SdJaCK&SaLLy

    SdJaCK&SaLLy Large Fish

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    Looks interesting.
     
  19. Danielle Slemp

    Danielle Slemp New Fish

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    I have a 90 gallon fish tank what size hood do I need?
     
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