Apr 12 2010

15w Fish Tank Bulb

15w Fish Tank Bulb
fish tank lighting question?

This may sound a little stupid…but I recently planted my goldfish tank. While all of the plants seem to be doing ok, I think I may need to add better lighting. Because my tank is only 16 gallons, the only thing that fits in the hood is a 15W bulb… How would I go about increasing the lighting or adding additional bulbs? Is there any way to do this?

Ps-I know my tank is small…it only houses my one goldie 🙂
I have anubias, java fern, and amazon swords. I know anubias and java fern are low light plants..but I still want to give them at least 1 watt/gallon. Im just not sure how I can find a hood that will fit my tank and also hold higher wattage bulbs….all of the higher wattage bulbs are too long for my hood.

What type of plants do you have? Different plant species need different amounts of watts per gallon of water. Most plants need between two and four watts per gallon. But each plant is different, so you should look up the needs of your specific species of plant. If you look it up and find that your plant needs, for example, three watts per gallon, then you would have to put in three watts times sixteen gallons equals a total of forty eight watts for your tank. That means you would put in either two twenty five watt bulbs or maybe a fifty watt tube. First find out how many watts your plant needs. Then buy the appropriate tank hood that can hold a bulb or a number of small bulbs that add up to the right total wattage. I looked online and there are many vendors that sell aquarium hoods. Measure your tank and buy one that will fit and will have the right number of maximum wattage. Don’t go over the maximum wattage rated for that hood because it might melt or burn.

In my ten gallon tank, I have an aquarium hood that has space for two bulbs. Since I stocked my tank all with plants that like three watts per gallon, I have two fifteen watt bulbs in my tank for a total of thirty watts for ten gallons, which is three watts per gallon. You might want to look into “full spectrum” lights, which offer the full visible spectrum of light wavelengths. Plants do better with a wider range of wavelengths of light. Natural light is of course best, so pick a bulb that mimics natural light.

As to liquid fertilizers, I’ve heard about some brands of fertilizer killing the fish in the aquarium. Try modifying the lighting first before you look into liquid fertilizers.

Update: With the plant species you have, two to three watts per gallon for eight to ten hours a day would be a good lighting situation.
Look at the hood that is currently on your tank. What is the maximum rating? It should say something like “CAUTION: To prevent possible fire or electric shock, use lamp rated 25 watts MAX or less. Type: Tubular”. That’s what my hood says. Your hood has a sticker on it that says something of the sort. My hood has two bulb spaces with a max of 25 watts in each space, so my max lighting is 50 watts. Your tank is 16 gallons, so you want 50 watts to get three watts per gallon. My hood doesn’t need those long tube lights, just the small tubes that are maybe three inches long. Check out the different lights offered in your local fish store. They have a variety of bulbs and you should find some that fit. If your hood is not capable of enough wattage, then buy a new hood that fits your tank dimensions and is rated for fifty watts.

To the other answerer: Live Aquarium Plants NEED light or they die. Plants compete with algae for nitrates (food), so often planted tanks have less algae than tanks that have no live plants, even though the planted tanks have more light. This asker needs more light in their tank or their plants are going to suffer. Please don’t rate me down when I’m right.

29 Gallon Planted Aquarium, tetras etc…

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