View Full Version : Tanks and Lights Questions

08-29-2013, 07:08 PM
I have a heavy duty metal rack 47.5 L x 18 W x 72 H. The 4 shelves are spaced 23" apart measured from the top. I'm putting 2 10 gal. tanks on each shelf leaving the top shelf empty. I'm putting two 4' shop lights on the bottom of each shelf over each set of tanks. I can vary the height of the lights w/ chains and "s" hooks. The shop lights are "Lights of America model no. 8045 marked 118 v . 60 HZ . 70 W .. 8 A ? I'm starting to set these tanks up this weekend :
What light bulbs should I use in each set of shop lights for the 6 planted tanks I am setting up ?
What (all?)should I use for substrata - where can I purchase it ?
I am wanting to put Apistogramas (eventually 1 pair) in each tank - should I include peat in the substrata ?
What size heaters should I use in each tank ? (this basement room does vary in temp. in the winter.)
Filters will be Sponge in each tank started w/ existing filter material - should I also use a small box filter to further polish the water ?
I am also going to use water from my existing tank from water changes to help start the tanks - how long after I set up the tanks do I need to wait before I can add fish (if all tests come out good) ?
What PH level should I try to maintain ?


08-29-2013, 08:38 PM
What is your tap water like? Here my Lake Lanier water is so soft the pH drops off with no additions, so I would only suggest peat for "peat-spawning" fish. If I used peat, it would be in the filter, rather than substrate. Every time I use it loose, it makes a mess and I end up siphoned it out.

I would use "daylight" bulbs form the hardware store, but wait for the planted tank people to weigh in.

For heaters, the rule of thumb is 10W / gallon / 10 degree difference between the tank and the room. So if the room is always 75, a 50W heater per 10 gallons would work to hold the tank at 80. If it gets down to 60, you'd need 200W, etc.

Target pH depends on the fish. There are "blackwater" apistos that like it acid, but there are also "whitewater apistos" that like it more alkaline. I like to aim for 6.5 or 7.5, depending on the fish.

I wouldn't bother with box filters. I would use 2 filters per tank, likely both sponges.

I also wouldn't bother with old water, old filter media is good enough.

I would put the new sponge filters in existing tanks for a few weeks, then move them to the new tanks and immediate add some fish, but not the whole amount you plan.

08-30-2013, 07:15 PM
"I would use "daylight" bulbs form the hardware store, but wait for the planted tank people to weigh in. "
I was wondering if it would be better to use one "daylight" bulb and one plant "grow light" bulb in each shop light?

08-30-2013, 10:07 PM
I look for the ones labeled 6500K. That gives a good light, and makes the plants seem more colorful. I prefer 6700K but my t8 fluorescents are all 6500K, cause they're like $6.50 a pair at Lowe's or Home Depot. 32 watts, 48 inches long, and they're pretty bright. I use 6500K for both bulbs. It is too bright to put directly on top of 10 gallon tanks, and would need to be raised above the tanks. But they can sit right on top of 20 gallon tanks, and the plants flourish, with no cO2, a bit of fertilizer, regular gravel and a few fish. That works for me.