Lighting Confusion - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Annapolis, MD
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Question Lighting Confusion

Aquarium Information:
  • Aquarium (36x18x24h) - 65 Gallon
  • Catalina Light System (4 T5-HO 39w [6700k x2 & 10000k x2] with strand of 15-LED Moonlights w/Leg Mounts)
  • Corallife Power Center (2 6700k [10a-10p] w/addition of 2 10000k [Mid-Time 90-minute burst] & Moonlights [10p-10a]
  • Aquarium Plants Downoi (Waitlist), Cambomba Caroliniana, Anubias Barteri (Barteri, Nana, Petite), Anubias Hastifolia, Ludwigia (Glandulousa & Repens), Rotala Wallichii, Sword (Frans Stoffels)

When it comes to lighting this tank, I am a bit confused about how to sort out lighting. In the quick-and-dirty method (watts per gallon) and T5 HO factor (double output), I figure my tank is medium lite with 2 6700k (at 2.1-2.4 w/g) and high plus lite with 2 6700k and 2 10000k on for 'noon' burst (4.2-4.8 w/g). In reading the some of the information here, I hit upon PAR vs Distance, T5, T12, PC (Hoppy, 2005) and read over information and charts. According to his chart (Tank Height x Fixture Location x Light Intensity), I believe my primary lighting period is medium to high through the lower 12-inches and high to too high in the upper 12-inches and in noon burst is 'too high' pretty much throughout the entire tank. So, with regard to my questions, I would ask:
  • Given the lighting and tank specs are my estimations above close to right?
  • Given my lighting and plants, I have been thinking 4-bulbs might be too much light during noon burst. Yes, no, or maybe so?
  • Given all specs, I was wondering about light time cycles. I was considering: 2 6700k (4 hrs) then 2 10000k alone (1-hr) then 4 bulbs (30-60 min) then 2 10000k alone (1-hr) then 2 6700k (5hrs). In this manner, I get noon day sun mid-day but only 30-60 min burst really high light. Alternatively, I could just run 2 6700k (4.5-5 hrs) then 2 10000k (2-3 hrs) then 2 6700k (4.5-5 hr) w/Moonlights (12-hrs)
I am open to all advice and comments. Thank-you, in advance, for taking a momment,


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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:32 AM
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I run 2x39W T5HO on an identical tank. This setup has served me very well. I run them about 9 hrs/day.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 04:59 AM
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You can sit the lights on the top of the tank, and use 2 T5HO bulbs, if you are convinced you want high light. Or you can use that same 2 bulbs, hanging about 4-6 inches above the top of the tank, and get a much more easy to manage low medium light. If you use 4 bulbs, they need to be about 10-12 inches above the top of the tank to get reasonable high light.

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