2ft tank lighting options: please help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Queensland Tropics Australia
Posts: 25
Unhappy 2ft tank lighting options: please help!

Hi all.
I really need help with this because I'm getting so much contradictory advice (NOT from TPT) that my head is spinning.

I'm after medium lighting/ medium tech with the option of high lighting already there in my fittings. I have DIY CO2 and use liquid ferts and root tabs.

I have two light fittings: a single T8 x 18w and a double PL 2 x 55w.
Both sit on the hood some 12" above the substrate surface.
I'm using the T8 to cycle the tank. I briefly used the PL but it has hydro tube in it at the moment and the light at 55w was over the top.

I believe that a 2ft 2 x 55w PL hood is equivalent to a T5 HO in output? Can someone put me straight please?

I had intended to purchase lower wattage FW plant grow tubes for the hydro fitting and use it, but this is where the contradictory advice is coming in.
Some people have said it's fine to use a lower wattage PL bulb but others say I have to swap out the ballast.

I was going to use 2 x 15w PL bulbs - one at 6.7 and one at 8- 10k - plant grow and daylight respectively.

My other option is the T8 system: I like T8 light, I understand WPG and Hoppy's PAR vs distance chart and purchasing a dual 18w T8 would put me in the high light range used in concert with the other T8 fitting.

Can someone please guide me to the best choice of the fittings I have?
I don't want to buy LEDs, or MHs, or a desk lamp, or battle on with one T8 because I might want to buy a bigger tank later!
Please excuse my rant but I want to make a go of this little tank.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Queensland Tropics Australia
Posts: 25
I didn't specify that I meant T5 NO bulbs at a lower wattage. The local electrician's supplier reckons it will work but now I'm not sure I believe after doing my homework.
I do have another option of using a single 55w, raising the hood and maybe replacing the bulb with a specific FW plant grow light. This had to be pointed out to me because I lost my reason for awhile there.
If I used the single 55w, how high above the substrate should it be and what problems do I need to watch out for ?
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