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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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What do you think ?

I will be getting a 55 gallon tank, it will have african cichlids and low light to med. light plants in it. My 2 choises are Coralife CFL 48 in. 130 total watts or Nova extreme, T5 108 watts 48 in. . I asked Dr foster @ Smith and they said the nova is better as long as I change out the bulbs whem neede and do WC. Im affraid of alge . I can dose with excell, what do you think ?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 02:58 AM
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The Nova fixture would give you high light, not the low light needed to do without CO2. The Coralife fixture, if it has reflectors as good as AH Supply will also give you too much light to do without CO2. But, I don't think it does have AHS quality reflectors.

A 55 gallon tank is only about 12 inches from front glass to back glass, so a light fixture with the bulbs in a line will work fine on it. I suggest you go with the Coralife fixture, but look for a way to raise it a bit if necessary, and it probably will be necessary.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 03:05 AM
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You will want co2 for optimal plant growth and reduction in BBA. I have a 55g with a 40w t-8, no co2 and have BBA on my anubis and java ferns.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Hi guys thanks for the reply, how about a coralife T5 with 28 + 28 watts with I think 6700 bulb and a plant bulb ? Thanks 1 watt per gallon I dont care much about growth, anubias is a slow grow plant anyway, I want to see my tank well, semi bright, I have only had regular T8 bulbs with less than 1 watt on my older tanks, I want to let the sunshine- alittle !
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 03:32 AM
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I think you will still have some BBA problems but that is the best option thus far.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 05:15 AM
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Ideally the bulb will be 48 inches long so the light is relatively even across the length of the tank. A single 54 watt bulb would do that. You should be able to find a fixture with one T5HO 54 watt bulb.

I just noticed that there is a Nova 48 inch long 28 watt T5 retrofit light. That would probably be very good for a low light 55 gallon tank. The 54 watt version would likely have to be raised several inches above the tank to keep the light intensity low enough.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thankyou again guys for your help, I looked on the site and the Coralife fixture is 2 bulbs 28 watts each and 1is a 6700 K the other is a full spectrum bulb, will this light the tank pretty well, also are T 5 fixtures usually twice as bright as reg floresent light strips-T8 ?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 04:17 PM
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T5 bulbs are much brighter than T8 bulbs, but what makes them so effective is the single tube, highly polished aluminum reflectors they generally come with. I'm still not sure what the ratio is between their light intensity at a specific distance, and, since T8 fixtures rarely ever have any reflector, other than the white housing itself, two different T8 fixtures may give much different results.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 05:39 PM
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I am pretty sure that the Coralife 2 x 28 strip fixtures are T5NO not T5HO. Aren't the T5NO bulbs similar in intensity to T8s? I think a 2 x 28 T5NO fixture would work for low light over a 55 gallon tank.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_bu View Post
I am pretty sure that the Coralife 2 x 28 strip fixtures are T5NO not T5HO. Aren't the T5NO bulbs similar in intensity to T8s? I think a 2 x 28 T5NO fixture would work for low light over a 55 gallon tank.
Yes, that makes sense, and I agree.

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