Will 64 watts over a low light 55 excel/ liquid carbon tank be enough ?
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:15 AM   #1
Hardstuff
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Will 64 watts over a low light 55 excel/ liquid carbon tank be enough ?


I am getting my list ready for my slightly eco friendly tank together.
I plan on setting up a 55 gallon low tech medium soft water planted tank supplementing EI dosing 1 time a week with small amounts of excel / & API CO2 booster. I plan on using twin T8 32 watt fixtures at 6500k.
For low light only say 1.20 watts per gallon old school , saving money on juice & bulbs. I was thinking of enhancing the stock reflectors , does anybody have any ideas on installing after market reflectors on T8's?
I will be using 100% remineralized R/O water which is NOT eco friendly but that is the reason Im going low tech so I can go longer between water changes to save money & water. Please do not ask why I am using R/O water! That would be a whole other thread!
Should the 2 X 32 watt bulbs be enough or will it be more like a cave? I am only using 9 watts on a 10 gallon test tank now & I like what I see at the moment! I believe the 64 watts will be enough.

Last edited by Hardstuff; 03-21-2013 at 07:33 AM.. Reason: word change
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:34 PM   #2
10gallonplanted
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I am doing the same thing! Hoppy on here said 6 inches above the water should be fine for low tech. Im going with dirt, are you?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:50 AM   #3
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What do you mean 6 inches above tank??? 64 watts needs to be 6 inches above tank??? Even with the fixtures being right on top its only like 1.2 watts/ gal which is nothing. Why would you put them higher. Do you think I was talking about 64 watt bulbs? I guess I should have been more specific! I mean 64 watts total. 2 X 32 watt T8 bulbs period on a 55 gallon!
No, I am not doing dirt. That is for another time. This tank I plan on using straight Flourite or Flourite with a quarts fine gravel whitish to light grey as a cap only with Flourite under as a second option. Reason being a lighter substrate will reflect more light & make the tank brighter. But I really do not like caping sands; if I was going with dirt I would cap it of course. I am more of a purist & when I pick a substrate I do not like to mix! I like the look of Flourite & I have grown plants well with it.
In the perfect world I would like to make or buy fixtures with remote ballasts with T8 single or double 48 inch fixtures to keep heat down & ease of removing them from the tank. But they would need to have good reflectors.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
10gallonplanted
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Yes 64 watts total. 6 inches above the tank will do. You don't need super high light to grow plants low tech.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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Lol I have 2 CFL bulbs over each side of the tank (23W each) and they grow high light plants just fine. You'll be fine, dosing CO2 will help tremendously.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc1973 View Post
Lol I have 2 CFL bulbs over each side of the tank (23W each) and they grow high light plants just fine. You'll be fine, dosing CO2 will help tremendously.
What size tank are you doing this with? I am giving cfls a try for a few weeks on a 36gal bowfront. I have 4 23w cfls on it right now. They are mounted sideways in the stock hood. right now and I'm trying to determine what will grow in there. So I just put a little bit of everything I had in there.
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