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The cheapest way to go, but will require a bit of researching, is purchasing a lightbulb that can grow plants from your local hardware store and just having a lamp over the tank. Just be sure not to have a light too powerful or else you’ll run into problems with algae (especially if you don’t run any c02)
My tank is 12in in height and 3 gallons. This is the light I am using. I can’t speak on personal experience of how effective it is since my tank is only 5 weeks old but it was recommended by one of my favorite youtubers and has good reviews. I personally told him my tank specifications and he responded with this light
$25 on Amazon Here it is: [link]
Take it back. Rust is not okay. Even if your stock isn't as sensitive to rust as something like corals, take it back. If he doesn't give you 100% refund, talk to the owner next time, or ask for his manager. "This dude sold me a rusted light off of a tank for $25" is the kind of thing that would make for a very bad google+yelp review, so it's unlikely they'll give you trouble.
On my betta cube i have this finnex LED strip I like it very much.
The type/wattage of the light depends entirely on what you plan on using the tank for. If it's just a couple fish and low light plants, a simple inexpensive clip on from amazon would work fine.
Something like this would be fine.
I have an 11.78" cube that is 7 gallons. Are you sure yours is only 3?
If it is only 3 gallons and not too deep I would probably go with:
I've never used this model but their higher end lights are phenomenal.
To be honest I'm not a big fan of their lights, they are ok. It may be cheaper to get a different clip-on LED or CFL light for such a small system, at low cost.
I use this on Spec V with great success, but there are also much cheaper options available if need be.
I use this light on my 3 gal. Don't know your budget, but look under the New & Used and there's an amazon warehouse one for $20. Otherwise, the CFL+desk light the other guy said is the cheapest option.
The finnex LED clamp will be more than enough light for you and is cheaper. I've used this light on a 10 gallon and it grew plants pretty well.
I recently got a betta fish (tank running for like a month with no fish, dosing ammonia and it was well cylced. converting 4+ppm of ammonia in 24 hr) and the filter outflow was blasting him all around the tank. I cut the ends off a plastic water bottle and cut it in half to make a C shape, and placed it over the outflow of the filter to reduce the turbulence in the tank. I got the idea by googling "aquarium filter baffle" and had seen lots of people do it and report good results. Betta can actually swim around now, and I have ordered a smaller filter on amazon with an adjustable flow rate.
Lighting is this: [link]
its the Finnex Stingray LED clip on light. I believe it has about 1/2 the PAR of their planted plus.
PAR is essentially the intensity of light within a very specific color spectrum conducive to photosynthesis (for plants and corals alike). So the number does represent an "intensity" but within a narrow range compared to Lux's measurement across the entire light spectrum. You actually CAN tweak a lux's photometer to measure PAR (its been done on the plantedtank forums) but is outside my personal expertise.
Now for wattage, for a 5 gallon the lowest possible will be your best bet for a small tank. The problem I have with CFL lighting is it's tough to make it look aesthetically pleasing over the top (and this might be important to you). I use low power LEDs like you have started too. I personally use these on smaller tanks as they are only 4watts, and look nice if they can clip to the side.
Might be too low for even low light plants. Can you get the Finned clip on light?
As for plants, take a look at this page, look up pictures of them and pick the ones you like.
Price is $75 - local pickup in Astoria Queens
I'm moving cross country at the end of the month so am selling my second tank, a 3 gallon rimless betta tank. You get everything you see in the video, except 2 things are different:
The betta is fiesty with a big personality. He attacks food from the surface and eats from the hand too! But should be kept alone as he has killed other fish before and a 3 gallon is only big enough for 1 betta anyway. Pics:
So that works on a rimmed tank?
Oh, no i see you're talking about this one. Clip on doesn't work on the standards to my knowledge. Link's not working...
Finnex stingray clip light
This seems like a better brand and option: Finnex StingRAY LED Clip Light for Aquarium [link]
This is what I use on my 5gal shrimp tank and it's great. Got it a long time ago. Deckey White+ Blue Aquarium Fish Tank LED Light Universal Extendable Bracket LED Fish Lamp [link]
hey yes. It was ... i dont have anything else. Just good light and good substrate.
I got this to replace it instead.
> clip light
Is this better?
I have this light - [link]
on my 10 gallon and my plants are doing great.
As for plants, I use [link] - recommended there on the right by this sub! I've had good prices & great service.
oops, i rewrote that post so many times that i forgot my details. its a 3 gallon tetra cube. will it potentially crowd my other plants out with medium light? i have a finnex stingray clip on the tank.
I've got this puppy and love it.
Would this be a good option?
Ooh, I love ADA tanks, they're super nice! Neon tetras do need a heater, too, as they're tropical fish, and even 5 gallons wouldn't give them enough swimming room to be happy.
Some small schooling species that would do well in room temperature water would be emerald dwarf rasboras or celestial pearl danios, but in a tank that small, I would shoot for a school of only 5.
For 5 gallons, this is probably the best, most cost effective light to grow plants with. I also highly recommend this filter, as it's super easy to use, quiet, and perfect for nano tanks.