i'm looking for low light but is this too low?
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
jamntoast
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i'm looking for low light but is this too low?


i'm aiming for a low light, low tech, no fuss system. no co2 injection, soil substrate, the tank is a 90g 48W-18L-24H. the plants i have in it are gigantae val, amazon sword, rubin sword, crypt wendtii, and some assorted anubias. and a tiger lotus that i let grow up to the water surface.
now the lights, the light i have on it is just a single 48' 5w t5ho by sunblaster. so by watts per gallon i'm under 1 watt per gallon. i'm totally lost trying to educate myself on par values so i dont have much understanding of that. what are peoples thoughts, i'm guessing i will need to add another light, but can i get by with just the one? most of my plants are pretty developed, like the val, the lotus and the amazon swords, so i don't want to put too much light on them at the top of the tank and have a big algae bloom at the surface while i'm trying to get some light down to the crypts etc. at the substrate level.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #2
discuspaul
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I'm not familiar with sunblaster, but I can't imagine a 48" T5 HO light fixture with only a 5 watt bulb - must be 50 something watts. If so, that is still low light for the size of your tank, but why don't you try it out for a while and see how the plants make out, before considering adding another bulb.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
jamntoast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
I'm not familiar with sunblaster, but I can't imagine a 48" T5 HO light fixture with only a 5 watt bulb - must be 50 something watts. If so, that is still low light for the size of your tank, but why don't you try it out for a while and see how the plants make out, before considering adding another bulb.
ha whoops i meant 54w, but yea thats the plan so far i was just wondering if anyone had some experience to lend me
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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first, forget watts per gallon. thems the old rules!

your t5ho, according to: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368, puts you in the medium light range. Though, you might not get the best coverage from a single bulb.

that is if the bulb is right on the tank itself. Seeing as how you'll probably have it raised a couple inches, it looks like you might be on the high end of low light.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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If you can make a simple hood for it, http://www.ahsupply.com/54watt.htm will give you good lighting, suspended about 4-6 inches above the top of the tank. By having it above the top of the tank, it should also cover the whole substrate fairly well. The Sunblaster light probably doesn't have nearly as good a reflector, so it may not do as well.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:00 AM   #6
jamntoast
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Sweet, thanks for the tips. It sounds like I'm exactly where I want to be but I might add a reflector just for the extra bit.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:27 AM   #7
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If you don't have a reflector you are getting from half to a third as much light as you should from a single T5HO bulb.
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