So very confused - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4
So very confused

Hello everyone, I am so glad I came across this site. I am so sorry to ask the same type of question, but I am getting more and more confused. I have had a 20 g for three years and want to move up to a 40breeder. I thought I wanted high lighting and co2, the works. Now that I have spent more time reading, I am really thinking that is more the i can handle. I want a heavenly planted lush tank, I thought that ment high light and Co2. After spending a few weeks looking around here, I saw so many beautiful tanks in the low tech section. I have a Hagen Glo HO 36 in 2x39 light that I have not yet opened and can send back. I am wondering if the single light hagen glo HO with one 39 watt bulb will do the trick. I have looked at all the charts and the par seems to be for two bulbs, not one. The more I read about Co2 and high lights, I don't think I want it. Can I get the look I want with one light? I have read through the list of low light plants and they seem nice. My husband thinks I should stick with the double, but if I can grow plants with the single I think it would be easier. To add confusion, I read that WPG is not applicable any more, but when I look online to order plants they still give the requirements as WPG. So I guess my question is: would one single glo HO. 36 in 39 watt bulb be low-mod lighting? Would this give me a beautiful tank and not require Co2. Sorry for the ramble just getting more confused as I read and really need help. If I keep the double I am almost positive I have to do Co2 right?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 09:22 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: mt prospect
Posts: 923
my .02,

if you can turn one bulb on at a time then keep the double....
1. you might want to do a 'noon burst" with both bulbs (my plants do MUCH better with a burst)
2. when I have company over i always turn all my lights on cause I think it looks better
3. you can always add co2, but it is not so easy to add another bulb
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:17 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 439
sswon1: I feel your pain.

I just upgraded to a 40B from a 29. When my 29 was initially running, it had an Eclipse 3 hood with 2x18W 5000K bulbs. No CO2. Plants grew lushly and rapidly -- despite the low wattage lights that were positioned too far forward on the tank; and the excessive height of the 29G which forced plants to grow rapidly to the surface to get the brightest light (making them lush at the top and spindly at the bottom). Algae was a non-issue, other than to occasion green spot I scraped off the glass.

Then I decided to go high-tech and retrofitted my hood to 65W HO and added pressurized CO2. Not only did my tank not get better, but it began to deteriorate. After a lot of effort to make it things flourish, I gave up. In the end, however, I made a very important observation:

Every day, as the sun began to set in late afternoon, sunlight would hit my tank directly for about an hour, bathing it in intense yellow/orange light. During that time, my plants would pearl like mad even slow growers like crypts. They would Never do that with the aquarium lights alone, unless I cranked the CO2 up to dangerously high levels. In sunlight, the plants would pearl even when CO2 was turned off.

So, I concluded, the key -- or at least a very important factor -- is that intense light in the yellow to red spectrum made my plants happiest. I simply could not argue with what I observed every day.

Therefore, my current 40B setup will continue low-level CO2 injection with a quad T5 lighting fixture and a mix of 5000K and lower color temp bulbs, to reproduce the color and intensity of late afternoon sunlight as closely as I possibly can.

I would suggest keeping your double fixture since a single 39W might not be enough on a tank as wide as a 40B. (It is also much easier, and less costly, to switch off one bulb than add a second.) Even with the 2 bulbs, you might observe tall stem plants bending sharply towards the middle of the tank to reach the most intense light (assuming you place the light fixture in the center).

If the need for CO2 is a big concern, perhaps consider slower growing plants that are not as dependent on it.

Tank: 40 Gallon Breeder w/Eco Complete ||
Aquasun 156W Quad 5000K || SunSun 302 Canister Filter (Sunsun Pimp #77) || Pressurized CO2 || Dual Current Gamma 15W UV Sterilizers || Hydor Inline Heater
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4
Thanks for quick replies! Unfortunately, this light HAS to have both lights on to work,turning one off is not an option. Is there a different light I could buy? Again can I achieve what I want with a low tech set up? I have a feeling I will be even more frustrated with high tech. I have thought about havering my husband hang the light, but the height of the tank buts the light at a level where the light shines in your eyes when you are sitting in the furniture. That's uncomfortable! Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 04:08 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015 is a two bulb light, with the bulbs separated by about 4 inches, and with separate switches for the two bulb, so you can run either bulb or both bulbs. I would consider hanging the light about 6-8 inches above the top of the tank, to reduce the light intensity down into the low light range, with both bulbs on, and to reduce the tendency for the plants to grow towards the middle of the tank to get under the light.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4
Thanks Hoppy! Are those HO or NO?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 03:24 AM
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Posts: 21,015
Originally Posted by sswon1 View Post
Thanks Hoppy! Are those HO or NO?
They are HO.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 07:31 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: West Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,017
Keep the fixture you already have and just put a layer of window screening under it if you're getting a lot of algae or if your plants aren't doing well.
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