Newbie Lighting Questions... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie Lighting Questions...

I just started my first low-tech planted tank!

It is 55 gallons with an aquatech 30-60 and penguin bio-wheel 150. 150 watt heater. Small gravel substrate with leaf zone plant fert weekly.

I bought the setup off Craigslist. It came with a real crappy hood and only a 40w bulb....but he said he had plants in it before...

So...I want to get a whole new hood setup. I do have a generic light strip...but from what I understand I will need something that is able to hold 2 bulbs?

So....what would yall suggest? i am new to these large tanks and would love some help! I am on a budget, but I will pay more for something that works better vs. something crappy that won't get the job done.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 10:51 PM
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Since this is a low tech forum I assume you want a low light tank, which is what a low tech tank generally is. A single T8/T12 bulb will not give enough light on a 55 gallon tank to grow much of anything except mosses. A two bulb light of that type will be low light, but close to the minimum. A FishNeedIt 2 bulb T5HO light will give good low light, enough for all low light plants. A Catalina 2 bulb T5HO light, with the bulbs spread apart about 6 or more inches, perhaps this one http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/stor...oducts_id=1842 suspended about 6-8 inches above the top of the tank, should give you low medium light.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Would something like this work?? Not that I'm trying to be cheap, but if I can save a few pennies...

Is there a significant difference between the two?

Also....I'm not really understanding how these work. I see they sit up off the tank. Will I then need to get a clear glass cover or could I just keep it open?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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http://www.aquatraders.com/ProductDe...2123P&CartID=1

...sorry, this link was supposed to go in the last comment!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleigh View Post
http://www.aquatraders.com/ProductDe...2123P&CartID=1

...sorry, this link was supposed to go in the last comment!
It might work, but I don't have any data on Odyssea 2 bulb T5HO lights, so I can't be sure. Most likely it will be too much light for that tank, for a low light tank. If you were to figure out a good way to hang it above the tank you could always make it work.

Many of us have no top on our tanks, with the water exposed to the air. The two disadvantages are faster evaporation of water and fish jumping out. Both are manageable problems. One of the major advantages is the ease of reaching into the tank to pick up dead leaves and other debris, or do minor pruning.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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I'm confused. :P

Both of them are 48" T5HO 2x54w. Right?? Maybe I missed something, and I apologize in advance for all the questions. I have been doing so much research that now I have info overload, because they are so many options.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 05:04 PM
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If you aren't injecting CO2 that's going to be way too much light unless you suspend it pretty high. You'll really regret going that route imo. You'd be better off with a single T5HO bulb. Something like this:

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/stor...oducts_id=1837


Or 2 T5NOs (lower wattage than the fixture you're looking at) like this:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ontent=Default
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Or 2 T5NOs (lower wattage than the fixture you're looking at) like this:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ontent=Default
So...I found this one: http://www.thatpetplace.com/s.nl/c.1....A/id.16100/.f

Which is a T5NO dual...pretty much the same one, just with a nicer price tag.

My only concern is if I were to do floating plants and some type of lotus would this still be strong enough for the plants on the bottom???

And should I use some type of glass hood or is it not necessary? If I do some type of lotus I wouldn't mind (obviously) not having a hood.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 07:21 PM
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That coralife is a good fixture. Regarding floating plants, it is hard to say. If you cover the surface with them no light is going to be enough. If you cover half the surface, you can grow whereever isn't covered. In other words, more intensity doesn't help in this situation. Things are either shaded or they aren't - and if they aren't you want the lower intensity lights.

You don't need a glass hood. I don't use them.
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