LED Lighting for a 55 Planted Turtle Tank

Discussion in 'The Planted Tank' started by Ashevillian, Oct 8, 2012.

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  1. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    Hey everyone! In the process of building a 55g planted tank for my painted turtle. Will be adding a 20g Long to the top of the 55 and have cut a large hole in the bottom glass for the turtle to crawl up and down from the 55 to the basking 20g. My question is I am looking at LED lights for the 55g. The basking tank has a 24" 17w T8 50 UVB a halogen for heat and a red night bulb for maintaining night temperatures.

    I have been looking at the Marineland Hidden LED Lighting Systems. They are inexpensive, do not need much room for clamping, highly water-resistant, low heat. They are .6w LEDS and the 21" bars which I will be buying put out 550lumens each. I was considering 3 or 4 of these, along with two of the Marineland Red Accents and one of the Marineland Blues.

    Was wondering if this is going to be enough light to keep most aquatic plants, if not how many more do I need to add? I will also be running a co2 reactor and using Eco Plant aquarium substrate

    Marineland Whites + Lunar
    Marineland Blues
    Marineland Reds

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    To achieve the watts per gallon looks like I will need 8 of these for my 55. If this is the case I plan on doing 4 whites, 2 reds and 2 blues. This will cover a lot of the spectrum for the plants but also give off a good night light for the tank after hours. I did some basic math and I assume the Marineland LEDs are 36w each since there are 60 LEDS per fixture at .6watts each.
     
  4. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

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    Painted turtles grow to 10 inches in diameter.You will probably need at least a 90 gallon aquarium to house one long term.;) John I am sure will chime in about your lights and CO2.
     
  5. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    Definitely. I plan on getting a 120g once I move out of my apartment. Then this 55g will become a sump for the 90g starphire i have waiting at my parents garage. The Biocube is still doing well, I've gotten away with only doing waterchanges once every 2 months and no skimmer. Had a cyano break out in the sump but that has since died down and I have installed a new Spectra Pure 4 stage 90gpd RODI unit.

    Ultimately with the lighting for the 55g I think I can get away with 4 whites, 2 reds, and 1 blue which is about 4.5 watts per gallon although adding another blue strip would boost it to around 5.25watts per gallon. I am not sure if I really even need the blue for growth but I assume if it adds to the PAR then it couldn't hurt. All together its about $250 installed which is a lot cheaper than I can get Panorama Pros or any other type of LED fixture that will put out the same spread of light. Besides its only plants not SPS here. I think 4-5watts per gallon should be enough.
     
  6. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    heroes in a half shell - turtle power!

    bump
     
  7. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You will want to use 1W to 3W LED the others are too weak to be of good use. Make sure you get adjustable lights. You should be able to get away with about half of what is needed for a reef tank. You will want to get a good pressurized CO2 system, think welding CO2 registers, for the tank. You will also need to fertilize well to keep the plants healthy. Check out Green Leaf Aquatics supply of dry fertilizers. Also click the links on the prevailing systems of fertilization to figure out how you wish to fertilize. You will need all of the fertilizers the two systems use.
     
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  9. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    Well I really figured those light fixtures would work since I would be covering the important parts of the spectrum. What would you recommend for lighting solutions that would be within my budget which on the very high end around $400 to light this 55g FW. My other FW Planted tank is just lit with 2 6500k flourescant bulbs and it does fairly well, not the growth rates I'd like but whenever I prune the plants all have very healthy leaves and root systems. I just liked those Marineland LEDs because they clipped onto the rim of the tank and are water proof. You don't think if I had 8 total, 4 per side of tank it would be enough. My plan was since there is a bracket in the middle of the tank at the top, to put 2 whites 1 red and 1 blue per side at 21" each fixture these would fill in nicely.

    My main problem is finding a light fixture I can build under the 20g that will be placed on top of the 55g. I will probably have to make some sort of stand to give extra spacing underneath the 20g

    Had to draw a picture i feel like Im over complicating everything with my words. This below is basically a crappy sketch of what Ive put together. just need to set up the co2 and the lights, add gravel and water then let it cycle and then add the turtle and some plants, shrimp and some lil fishies

    [​IMG]

    Post Edit- I have seen some affordable light fixtures on marineland.com but its really a matter of fitting something under the 20g and also whether or not to get 2 24" fixtures or 1 48" Id prefer LED over t5 or MH thats why I was thinking the Marinelands would be good enough since its not coral but a good t5 or two mh's wouldnt bother me much either except i think space would be a little tight for a mh as they put off lots of heat and it would be very exposed to water
     
  10. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You have the spectrum covered well just the lights don't appear to have quite enough punch to handle the depth of your tank.

    A single T5HO with a quality reflector should give you enough light for a low light tank. A 2 bulb fixture will give you a medium high light tank.
     
  11. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    Okay then with that said Ive been looking at the Coralife Quad T5HO. It has 4 bulbs and I would probably get the 48" module.
    Instead of having actinic blues I can replace those with something more focused for plants. Do actinics blues do anything for plants? This unit also comes with LED moonlights and two power cords so my blues or reds can be on in the am and pm before the whites turn on just like in my reef tank.

    What four T5 bulbs would you recommend? Two whites, one blue, one red or maybe two whites and two reds?

    Thanks for the advice 2in10, your planted tanks are gorgeous.

    Post Edit- There are so many T5 bulbs to choose from. Most appear to be 10k-14k. I read somewhere that the sun during noon is around 5500k. I have seen people have awesome array of bulbs for their T5 coral light fixtures and hopefully if you think this unit would be good enough, I'd like a nice array of bulbs myself. This unit will give me around 3.9watts per gallon
     
  12. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    Now I am getting afraid that more light would not necessarily be better. Personally I would rather not run Co2 and just add supplements for the plants but I understand with Co2 the difference is remarkable. I do keep seeing though that more light is not always good. Makes me consider rather than the 4x54w 48" T5HO to get the 2x54w 48" T5HO with two good bulbs but honestly I would prefer more lights