Critique my t5 lighting
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:22 AM   #1
bpb
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Critique my t5 lighting


Been using the two bulb normal output coralife fixture on my 75 for a while. It can't even grow java fern well for me. Tank is undergoing an overhaul

I'm adding mineralized topsoil under a turface cap and will be planting heavily right away. I also have ADDED another fixture giving me this for lighting:

Coralife 2xT5NO (2x28 watt coralife 6500k bulbs, old)
Coralife 2xT5HO (2x54 watt giesemann midday bulbs,new)

Not using pressurized co2 on this tank. I really should know this but I'm a little rusty. Where does this light arrangement put me? Algae factory, medium light moderate growth, or insufficient? I keep a pretty strict 50% water change weekly, mainly to keep my driftwood from turning the tank water into tea.

Also, thinking of replacing the bulbs on the normal output fixture. Maybe going with a couple colormax bulbs or something? Thoughts on that? I don't even know where to find normal output t5 bulbs anymore. They seem to have been phased out!

Thanks y'all!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:32 AM   #2
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I'd say medium light for a tank that size. So you are dead set against using CO2? You can do without for a while, see how it goes with plant (and algae) growth. Besides light level, there are other factors that determine whether CO2 is absolutely needed. If you have/want lots of fast growers, you also need to look at the other nutrients (CO2 is just one of them). Good availability or lack of NPK and micros can also make or break a tank.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. Not dead set agains co2. I'd love a fully automated system with a ph controller and automatic dosers, but working part time, being in school full time, having a family, wife also in school, and a teenager, and a reef tank to maintain, as well as my planted tank, going pressurized co2 isn't in the financial, or learning curve budget.

As you can see from my run on sentence I'm not an English major lol. I've been keeping this tank since 2007, and its had many forms. Had a 10 gallon mineralized topsoil tank going for a few years, without a spec of algae and had to trim so often I got sick of it lol. I may have just really lucked out and had a really well balanced tank that go around.

Just not able to invest in a co2 system, and DIY co2 for a tank this size seems like it would create more problems than it would fix. Excel is an option also I understand, but these upgrades I am doing didn't cost me anything really and am trying to be frugal lol. Seen so many mineralized topsoil tanks that look fantastic with no dosing or co2. Was kind of hoping to imitate that.

Plants will be easy stems, swords and things of that nature. Nothing too delicate
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:02 AM   #4
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I would use just the two bulb Coralife T5HO light. That should give you 30-35 micromols of PAR, which is about as high as you can go without CO2, or at least Excel being needed. The T5NO light adds about 15 micromols, so it isn't adding much, but it may be enough to cause you unnecessary algae problems.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:15 AM   #5
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Thanks hoppy. Was hoping you'd chime in. This jus dawned on me. A buddy is closing down his 55 gallon which is packed to the gills with plants and I'm gonna plant all of those in my 75. The tank they're coming from is a soil based tank with no co2 and just uses the exact same HO fixture I've got. Sounds like a winner.

Hopefully they'll transition over well, being similar conditions and all.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpb View Post
Been using the two bulb normal output coralife fixture on my 75 for a while. It can't even grow java fern well for me. Tank is undergoing an overhaul

I'm adding mineralized topsoil under a turface cap and will be planting heavily right away. I also have ADDED another fixture giving me this for lighting:

Coralife 2xT5NO (2x28 watt coralife 6500k bulbs, old)
Coralife 2xT5HO (2x54 watt giesemann midday bulbs,new)

Not using pressurized co2 on this tank. I really should know this but I'm a little rusty. Where does this light arrangement put me? Algae factory, medium light moderate growth, or insufficient? I keep a pretty strict 50% water change weekly, mainly to keep my driftwood from turning the tank water into tea.

Also, thinking of replacing the bulbs on the normal output fixture. Maybe going with a couple colormax bulbs or something? Thoughts on that? I don't even know where to find normal output t5 bulbs anymore. They seem to have been phased out!

Thanks y'all!
I have that light fixture over my 75G with 2 6500Ks and dose maybe once a week. I don't get crazy growth, but steady. My timer is set for 7 hours straight also.

What kind of substrate and what kind of plants do you have in there?
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:24 AM   #7
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For the past several years, play sand, java fern and java moss. Moss never attaches to anything. Java fern just dies slowly. Started off with quite a bit and now have none. Figured since I have the materials laying around may as well upgrade the substrate an give it a little more light. Plant something different.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpb View Post
For the past several years, play sand, java fern and java moss. Moss never attaches to anything. Java fern just dies slowly. Started off with quite a bit and now have none. Figured since I have the materials laying around may as well upgrade the substrate an give it a little more light. Plant something different.
From my experience, java fern is a big water column feeder. I have a ton in 20H on a piece of driftwood and the leaves are at least 6 to 7 inches.
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