Lighting for planted newt tank?!?

Pugwinkle

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I have been reading post after post trying to learn what lighting I will require for my 15 gallon newt tank but so far I'm just totally confused. I want live plants rather than the plastic or silk.

First question I have is if I purchase a hood with light fixture attached will my newts be able to escape? Right now I simply have a mesh cover over the top of the aquarium.

I also suppose I could use a strip light or a Exo terra dome light but I have no idea what kind of bulb I would need for these.

Can you tell me a bit about what you use for lighting and also how you keep your newts from escaping.

I also noticed that I could use LED lighting as well. Can someone please show me a link of what I would look for when it comes to LED lighting.
 

Jennewt

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Re: Lighting?!?

First question I have is if I purchase a hood with light fixture attached will my newts be able to escape? Right now I simply have a mesh cover over the top of the aquarium.
No, they won't escape if you cover all the holes. A hood usually has parts that you punch out to accommodate cords, filters, etc. If any of these holes are already punched out, fill them with soft foam or cover with electrical tape. See article linked below.

I also use hinged screen covers, and these allow for having a strip light on top of the back half of the screen lid. In this case, you need to be careful that you don't have anything in the tank that splashes (a splashy filter or bubbler), so that no water splashes up through the screen.

I also suppose I could use a strip light or a Exo terra dome light but I have no idea what kind of bulb I would need for these.
I've used a variety of replacement bulbs (fluorescent tubes), and none of them were deadly for the plants. I've used bulbs that are specifically for plants (the light is pinkish in color) and various wide-spectrum reptile bulbs (nice white light). I think I get more algae with the wide-spectrum lights, but they look better. In either case, the plants do fine.

Can you tell me a bit about what you use for lighting and also how you keep your newts from escaping.
See: Caudata Culture Articles - Preventing Escape
I've used nearly all of the methods shown there, as appropriate for the type of tank and lid.

I also noticed that I could use LED lighting as well. Can someone please show me a link of what I would look for when it comes to LED lighting.
I haven't tried LED lighting yet, so hopefully someone else will tell us!
 

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Re: Lighting?!?

I've been using a BeamsWork LED fixture on my adult C. pyrrhogaster tank for almost a year now and I'm very happy with it. It gives off a nice white light similar to the wide spectrum reptile bulbs that Jennewt mentioned, it also has a twilight setting that's perfect for creating a dawn/dusk effect. It was quite expensive but it seems very well made and attractively finished in satin black and there are no bulbs to replace every year either. I think LED lighting is perfect for newt tanks because there is very little heat generated, unlike florescent tubes that run quite hot and can even warm the water by a few degrees. I can't remember what model it is, but it's the double bright version for planted tanks. Hope this helps! :)
 

JoshBA

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Re: Lighting?!?

I'm also very fond of led lighting. Right now I'm using a few Finnex Fugeray LED fixtures on my tanks with excellent results. These LEDs seem to be the best cost for their quality comparred to rival marineland and fluval brand lights. They also have an aluminum body which acts as an excellent heatsink. And, if you go with some good quality LEDs, you wont't have to replace them for 10+ years!
 

otolith

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Re: Lighting?!?

I have two marineland double bright LED strip lights and like them a lot, I have the 12" and 16" models. The light is much softer and realistic than fluorescent and really brings out the colors of both the animals and plants. They also use hardly any electricity. An added bonus is they give off substantially less heat than other bulb types which can help if temperature regulation is a problem.

I use mine over hinged screen lids and have not had any problems with shorting out or condensation from the tanks' sponge filters.

In regards to cost the list prices are quite expensive but I found both of mine online for about 1/3rd retail including shipping. It is definitely worth your while to shop around for the best price.
 

Pugwinkle

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Re: Lighting?!?

I have two marineland double bright LED strip lights and like them a lot, I have the 12" and 16" models. The light is much softer and realistic than fluorescent and really brings out the colors of both the animals and plants. They also use hardly any electricity. An added bonus is they give off substantially less heat than other bulb types which can help if temperature regulation is a problem.

I use mine over hinged screen lids and have not had any problems with shorting out or condensation from the tanks' sponge filters.

In regards to cost the list prices are quite expensive but I found both of mine online for about 1/3rd retail including shipping. It is definitely worth your while to shop around for the best price.


Would you happen to have a link so I can have a look at the strip lights you are referring to?
 

Chinadog

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Re: Lighting?!?

I think it depends what kind of plants you have in mind, things like Java ferns, Elodea and Java moss would be fine but I don't think it would be enough for anything that needs really bright conditions.
 

Pugwinkle

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Re: Lighting?!?

I think it depends what kind of plants you have in mind, things like Java ferns, Elodea and Java moss would be fine but I don't think it would be enough for anything that needs really bright conditions.

Would it work for Cabomba & Hornwart as well?
 

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Re: Lighting?!?

I'm not sure about Cabomba, but I've grown Hornwort in quite dim conditions. I do think if you keep shopping around you'll find something brighter for similar money. Have a look at BeamsWork or Marineland lights on ebay.
 

Yahilles

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Re: Lighting?!?

Cabomba has much higher light requirements than hornwort, which is pretty undemanding. Plus hornwort is much more suitable for low temp conditions under which newts are kept.
 

Chinadog

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By the look of it, the Beamswork and Maineland fixtures are the same product, the Marineland ones are the cheapest though.
 

Chinadog

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Here is couple of snaps of my C. pyrrhogaster tank, I have been using the BeamsWork/Marineland double bright fixture for about a year. The plants seem to grow like mad and nitrate readings are always extremely low. The only thing I've fount that wouldn't thrive were my Water hyacynths, I've grown them for years indoors, but they've slowly died off with the LED's.
 

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rick

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what plant supplements do you use in your tanks?
 

Chinadog

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I don't use anything, the plants I have seem to do quite well on waste from the snails and shrimp.
 

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So the plants don't need some kind of UVB/UVA lighting? How about if the vivarium had both aquatic & terrestrial plants, would it suit both of them? (provided you selected suitable species that don't require high light levels anyway)
 

Chinadog

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I think the LEDs must provide a degree of UV in their spectrum, I can't find the spec for the fixtures I have but they are around 3400 lumens. Its certainly possible for LEDs to produce powerful UV light because you can now buy LED replacements for UV steriliser units.
I don't know how terrestrial plants would fare, but the only plants I've come across so far that don't seem to thrive are water hyacinths, yet they used to do very well under my old grolux fluorescents. I think it could be the radiant heat from the old bulbs that they can't do without rather than the LEDs light output being inadequate though, water lettuce and the other floating plants I grow have been fine.
 
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