55gal 2x T5 HO enough?
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
schomin
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55gal 2x T5 HO enough?


I know people have asked before but I see some different answers and wanted to get clarification. I currently have a two bulb T5 HO light on my 55gal planted tank. I believe it's 54w x 2. I am also running a compressed co2 system. Is this enough light for my setup? I probably have medium light stuff right now maybe but am looking at doing some baby years or hair grass as a floor covering.

Thanks

Andrew
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:45 PM   #2
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Check out Hoppy's sticky "Par vs. Distance". There are some excellent tables and charts in there.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Check out Hoppy's sticky "Par vs. Distance". There are some excellent tables and charts in there.
Thanks that was very helpful. Not sure why I didn't see that before.

Looks like 2 bulbs is enough. The thing that may cause issues is the reflector. The light fixture I have is the Nova Extreme T5HO x 2 and it seems from looking around here that people are not happy with the reflector on it so I'm assuming that this means the reflector is considered poor. Not sure if there would be a DIY solution to this or not but that would be ideal.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:22 AM   #4
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Because the Nova Extreme light doesn't have a very good reflector it may work for a 55 gallon tank. My guess is that it gives you between about 50 and 70 micromols of PAR, which is high light or very close to high light. That means you will have to use pressurized CO2, and make sure you have an optimum concentration of CO2 in the water. Plus, you will need good water surface ripple to help keep enough dissolved oxygen in the water. Plus, you will need to be dosing non-limiting nutrients - NPK and trace elements. And, your routine tank maintenance will have to be done very well and very regularly, including pruning to avoid too much plant mass in the tank.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Because the Nova Extreme light doesn't have a very good reflector it may work for a 55 gallon tank. My guess is that it gives you between about 50 and 70 micromols of PAR, which is high light or very close to high light. That means you will have to use pressurized CO2, and make sure you have an optimum concentration of CO2 in the water. Plus, you will need good water surface ripple to help keep enough dissolved oxygen in the water. Plus, you will need to be dosing non-limiting nutrients - NPK and trace elements. And, your routine tank maintenance will have to be done very well and very regularly, including pruning to avoid too much plant mass in the tank.
So what your saying is if anything it may be too much light for my tank? Pressurized co2 is currently what I am doing it runs with a PH controller as well so I can dial in optimal co2 level. I am currently dosing ferts from Rex Griggs as well. Tank maintenance is fine also I'm very used to that and had to keep up with pruning etc on my 30 gal tank before I moved plants over to my 55.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:39 AM   #6
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Just to clarify the reason im asking about the light is I use to have these plants in a 30 gal with a different light they did great. After move to the 55 they aren't looking too good. Like I said I just started with ferts but wasn't sure if this was an issue caused by too much light, too little light, not enough co2 for light intensity, or because I wasn't using ferts before. The plants are browning. What is that usually cause by?
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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So if this light is enough for my 55gal then im just going to do as hoppy said and does high co2 and ferts. If it is not enough light I will look at getting this one from Catalina aquarium. I had or on my 30gal and it was great.

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/stor...oducts_id=1638

Would that be too much for my tank with the 3 bulbs and good reflector. Obviously if what I have is good enough I dot want to waste money on something over the top even of it is a better light.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:47 AM   #8
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Sorry to keep bumping this thread but in getting really conflicting answers from asking around and doing my homework about the amount of light I need. Really I think the highest light thing I want to grow is a carpet of dwarf baby tears. Which I'm being told I need 4 t5ho lights to do. which seems a lot compared to what is being said here.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:49 PM   #9
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I'm sorry if I'm just flat out missing something and thats why nobody is really responding but I've read Hoppy's sticky on PAR for different fixtures, I've been looking at the other two 55 gal threads at the top of the lighting section right now and I've also been reading over the thread on enough light for growing glosso because I'm trying to grow a carpet of dwarf baby tears HC and this seams like a similar plant. So basically I've decided I'm going to get a better light from catalina because I've had one in the past and a lot of people seem to be happy with them (better reflectors too). My issue is two T5ho bulbs is considered high light on a 55gal according to most people but when talking about growing a carpet of a high light plant that doesn't seem to be enough. Not only that but with my current 2xT5ho bulbs I'm not growing very well if at all and don't have an algae problem currently (with high co2 levels). I've already found that I need to soften up my water and start dosing ferts for sure, but the light still seems like it may be an issue. So really what I want to know is should I get a 3 bulb or a 4 bulb fixture to do what I want to do? I can always tone down the lighting if I find its too much just don't want to be caught not having enough light.

Again sorry if I'm just missing something but I've been looking for the past couple of days and can't find a definitive answer.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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I have a nova extreme 4 bulb system that I used on my reef tank. Personally I think the reflectors are not so bad. I can see a reflection of the fluorescent tube, on each side fluorescent tube, so they are at least fair reflectors. I personally think yours will work fine with the Dwarf Baby Tears. But you are going to have to makes sure that your co2 level is where it should be, consistently. As well as your fert levels.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I have a nova extreme 4 bulb system that I used on my reef tank. Personally I think the reflectors are not so bad. I can see a reflection of the fluorescent tube, on each side fluorescent tube, so they are at least fair reflectors. I personally think yours will work fine with the Dwarf Baby Tears. But you are going to have to makes sure that your co2 level is where it should be, consistently. As well as your fert levels.
I mean the reflectors work and are better than nothing probably but from what I've seen on Catalina lights and other higher quality lights they are pretty bad just because the lights are so close and the reflector is tiny. Might be different on the 4 light one though. I'm really thinking that the issue probably is most likely lack of nutrients because I do so many ro water changes for my discus but I will say that having a better light would be nice just in case and the one I linked to above you could time to do 1 2 or 3 bulbs. so better adjustment and gradually increase light level as day progresses just like natural light.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schomin View Post
So if this light is enough for my 55gal then im just going to do as hoppy said and does high co2 and ferts. If it is not enough light I will look at getting this one from Catalina aquarium. I had or on my 30gal and it was great.

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/stor...oducts_id=1638

Would that be too much for my tank with the 3 bulbs and good reflector. Obviously if what I have is good enough I dot want to waste money on something over the top even of it is a better light.
I believe what Hoppy said above is that right now you are hight light or very close to it, which should be enough to grow what you want. The 3 bulb fixture above with the better reflectors will put you in the "to high" range. Even if you only use 2 of the bulbs, the better reflectors will put you well in to the High range. The higher the light the more critical the balance of everything else.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #13
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Alright I think that clarifies it. That's what I thought he was saying but just wanted to make sure because I've seen people say that 2 t5ho bulbs wasn't enough for higher light plants. Like I said also ferts, trace nutrients and co2 aren't an issue I will take care of that. I really want a lush green tank though even if I have to prune almost daily. I'm used to having to spend the time with my tanks.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:32 AM   #14
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To grow HC you need good CO2 more than anything else. A pH controller has nothing to do with that. You can't magically dial in the right amount of CO2. You have to start by making sure you have a good amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, by having the whole water surface rippled - no with splashing, but with ripples over the whole surface. You need to do something to get good water circulation throughout the whole tank, so CO2 can get to every plant. Then you need to know approximately where to start with the CO2 "bubble rate". I like using a drop checker for that, but many others don't do that. Eventually you want to increase the bubble rate slightly every couple of days or so, watching the plants to see if they show any better/faster growth, and watching the fish for distress. Once you find that increasing the bubble rate doesn't improve the plant growth rate, or cause more pearling, you can assume that you have enough, if not slightly too much bubble rate. Now, you just monitor the bubble rate every day, keep pruning so the plant mass doesn't quickly double, increasing the need for more CO2 or blocking the water circulation in the tank.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
To grow HC you need good CO2 more than anything else. A pH controller has nothing to do with that. You can't magically dial in the right amount of CO2. You have to start by making sure you have a good amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, by having the whole water surface rippled - no with splashing, but with ripples over the whole surface. You need to do something to get good water circulation throughout the whole tank, so CO2 can get to every plant. Then you need to know approximately where to start with the CO2 "bubble rate". I like using a drop checker for that, but many others don't do that. Eventually you want to increase the bubble rate slightly every couple of days or so, watching the plants to see if they show any better/faster growth, and watching the fish for distress. Once you find that increasing the bubble rate doesn't improve the plant growth rate, or cause more pearling, you can assume that you have enough, if not slightly too much bubble rate. Now, you just monitor the bubble rate every day, keep pruning so the plant mass doesn't quickly double, increasing the need for more CO2 or blocking the water circulation in the tank.
Ok thats good to know. I have my outlet right bellow the surface to get that rippling you are talking about. I guess the thing that I need help understanding is the CO2 stuff. I just didn't realize that I had to get a bubble rate even with the PH controller. I assumed the PH controller was the best way to do it after I killed a tank full of fish with CO2 a couple of months ago. I'll play around with it like you said though and see what I can get to work.
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