Enough Lights for a 55 gallon? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 52
Lightbulb Enough Lights for a 55 gallon?

I have a low tech 48"L x 12"D x unkn"H 55 gallon long tank.
No pressurized CO2, HOB bio-wheel filter and a no-name powerhead for current/DIY CO2 diffusion.
When it fills in, it will be a heavily planted tank.

I run a 48" CurrentUSA NOVA extreme, 2x54W HO T5 for 108W with the supplied 10KK and Actinic bulb
a 48" ZooMed "FloraSun"~5K 32W NO T6? with a DIY "parabolic-esque" reflector.

This works out to 2.5 WPG, 108W being HO T5. It seems fairly bright, and the plants are all growing fine. I did a trim after one month to propgate / even out the growth of my stem plants. The lights are mounted about 3-4 inches above the tanks trim.
Is this enough light? I need advice/suggestions.

When giving advice, keep in mind I like the color rendition of this setup, with the actinic in back, the 10KK in the middle, and the ghetto 32W 5K up front. I use the 32W alone to start and finish the photo period, simulating a one hour red dawn/dusk, and then all 3 for the main period.

Should I be using a 4x54W HO T5 setup? Will swapping the actinic for a 50/50, 6700K or 10KK be of benefit? Is there an inexpensive parabolic reflector like TEK has that I could get cheaply to bump up the output of the 32W florasun.
Would placing the lights directly on top of the tank (no glass cover) be of benefit?
Looking for answers to keep my tank happy and healthy. Thanks.
24fps is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 02:16 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
PRESTON4479's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Newark, DE
Posts: 878
Send a message via MSN to PRESTON4479
Thats more than enough light. I use a little less than that with co2 in a heavily planted aquarium. Remember the more light you have the higher the demand for nutrients and co2, not to mention possible algae problems. My tank has never looked better since I took the advice of Tom Barr and cut back on my lighting. Thanks Tom

Also I believe switching between a 50/50 or 6700k bulb is really nothing more than personal preference. I like to use a mix of the 6700k and 10000k. I don't think it makes much of difference either if you were to remove the glass tops. I did the same thing on my tank. Although you may find yourself having to top your tank off due to evaporation.



Equipment: 55g, 3x 9watt tt uv, 2-xp3's, pressurized co2, inline co2 reactor, 216 watt catalina t5 fixture, milwaukee ph controller, 300 watt hydor inline heater, aqua soil
Filstar Pimp #100
PRESTON4479 is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 12:44 PM
Planted Tank Guru
tazcrash69's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hawthorne, NJ
Posts: 3,207
More than enough light IMO.
I think you might have issues with low CO2 using a Bio-wheel, and DIY CO2.

Visit my 125 profile and gallery or my 5 gallon low-tech. Proud member of:

--May the floor under your tank always be dry, and your glass clear!!!
tazcrash69 is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 52
Thanks for the reassurance, guys. It seems bright enough, and the plants are growing, but not pearling. Also, I am getting some algae growth (multiple kinds,) so there must be enough light. I will leave it as is, and try and up the CO2 content, either with a 2nd DIY bottle, or some type of Flourish product.
My pH is a steady 7.5, and Kh is 5deg. Gh is 9deg.
Question about the actinic. I spoke to a plant guru (John) at BigAl's in Norristwon, PA. He said the actinic was alright for plants. Since it is primarily blue wavelength light, the internodal length will be shorter/plants will be bushier, I just won't see as rapid vertical growth. Does that seem right to everyone here? Since I have a 5000K 32W NO strip light, and a 10KK 54W HO T5, is there another lamp I might get to replace the actinic T5?
Options, recommendations? I think a second pinkish light (5000K-6700K) would make the tanks to "red." Thanks a lot.
24fps is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 04:28 PM
Planted Tank Guru
fishscale's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,895
6700K is fine, 10K is best for viewing fish IMO. I'd worry more about CO2

Eheim Pimp #254, Eheim Wolverine #1

55 Gallon Work in progress
10 Gallon Shrimp Tank
10 Gallon Planted QT
20 Gallon Shrimp Tank (Work in progress)

fishscale is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome