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Old 05-01-2013, 01:11 AM   #1
Iliketurtles
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Lighting for low tech 50 gallon


Hey everyone. I am a newbie to planted aquariums. I am looking to get a 50G planted tank(36"x18x19). I would like to remain low light/tech for several reasons. I figure since I am brand new to this it would be easier to not have to mess with CO2, and although I think faster growth would be exciting, I don't want to be pruning back my plants every week, at least until I've decided I love doing it or not.

I am having a hard time digesting all the lighting information. What would you suggest I use? Would I use a 36" dual t5 fixture? It seems like most of what I see online is high output though, but that only shows 39Wx2 so that should be ok right? Or should I/would I be able to get an LED fixture?

If possible I would like the light to be on top of the tank, hanging it isn't really an option for me. I assume a wood canopy would not be smart? So i suppose I would put it on top of a glass hood. Thanks for any input you guys can offer me.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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Would I go with the marineland double bright LED?
Or a dual bulb t5ho fixture?

I was thinking maybe t5no would be better, but I am not really finding any, everything is HO.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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OK, so my LFS recommended deep blue solarmax he dual bulb fixture. Is this OK?
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:18 PM   #4
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For a low tech setup I would go with either T8 or T5NO. Going T5HO in a low tech tank causes algae issues more often than not.

The solarmax HE seems to be T5NO, so that should be fine. I run dual t5no over my 55 gallon and it works great. Just an FYI though, T5NO bulbs are harder to find in the right color temperature and much more expensive. If you go T5NO I would purchase some spares so all the current cost is hit upfront, if you have the money at the time. This way you are set for a while as far as lighting goes...
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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I had to note that personally I don't care for having the led blue lights on all night. My understanding is many tropical fish need at least a few hours of complete darkness every day. In rivers and streams the water is typically covered somewhat by trees along the banks giving small fish a place to hide at night while blocking most moonlight. If you’ve ever been camping by a river when it’s not a full moon then you know what I mean. I do run blue led lights but they are separate and on a timer.

Just my .02
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #6
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As far as harder to find, I would assume if the store can order the fixture they can order the lights from the manufacturer right?

I didn't realize those LED's are on 24/7. Is there anything I can do about that?

It says it comes with a 10k bulb and an actinic bulb. Do I need to change these?

Is there another fixture you would recommend? I have been having a hard time finding t5no fixtures.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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For LED I found the Fugeray for my 55 gal low tech to be the best bang for your buck. But, I'm in the set up phase like you. They have a moon setting, but it is toggled on/off by a separate switch than the daylight LEDs.

http://www.finnex.net/index.php?opti...=337&Itemid=61

Finnex has a sub forum here and Lowe is rather helpful.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iliketurtles View Post
Hey everyone. I am a newbie to planted aquariums. I am looking to get a 50G planted tank(36"x18x19). I would like to remain low light/tech for several reasons. I figure since I am brand new to this it would be easier to not have to mess with CO2, and although I think faster growth would be exciting, I don't want to be pruning back my plants every week, at least until I've decided I love doing it or not.

I am having a hard time digesting all the lighting information. What would you suggest I use? Would I use a 36" dual t5 fixture? It seems like most of what I see online is high output though, but that only shows 39Wx2 so that should be ok right? Or should I/would I be able to get an LED fixture?

If possible I would like the light to be on top of the tank, hanging it isn't really an option for me. I assume a wood canopy would not be smart? So i suppose I would put it on top of a glass hood. Thanks for any input you guys can offer me.
Before you get all sorts of recommendations both good and bad, read some articles online first. Here's one such article.
http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/a...ll-article.htm

Last edited by Steve001; 05-02-2013 at 08:08 PM.. Reason: .
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iliketurtles View Post
As far as harder to find, I would assume if the store can order the fixture they can order the lights from the manufacturer right?

I didn't realize those LED's are on 24/7. Is there anything I can do about that?

It says it comes with a 10k bulb and an actinic bulb. Do I need to change these?

Is there another fixture you would recommend? I have been having a hard time finding t5no fixtures.
I would think so. I know petsmart also carries T5NO bulbs in several sizes. I say harder to find in comparison to T8's and T5HO. Many people who use T8's can purchase them at Home Depot or Lowes on the cheap.

You want a color temperature 6,000k - 10,000k, so the 10,000k would work. I would get rid of the actinic bulb as the plants can't use the light and replace it with another in the proper range. A 10,000k and 6,700k has a nice balance IMHO, but it comes down to taste. The lower range will have a more yellow color while higher temperature with look more blue/white.

Sadly there are few T5NO fixtures available. I am currently using an Aqueon dual T5NO fixture from petsmart with two 6,700k lights. So far it has been working well for my low tech 55 gallon (been almost a year), just sitting on top the glass. I might be changing to a dual T8 later just do to cost and easier to find a wide range of bulbs. For the cost of purchasing just two replacement bulbs from petsmart I can buy a dual T8 shop light from Home depot along with several bulbs. I'm fixing to move so that's on hold at the moment

If you want more info regarding a light to choose, Hoppy put together some helpful information here:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iliketurtles View Post
OK, so my LFS recommended deep blue solarmax he dual bulb fixture. Is this OK?
Hello I...

Solarmax is a very good brand. I have this lighting and it works very well for aquatic plants that require no more than low to moderate light. I keep Anubais nana and Anaubias nangi, Singapore moss, Cryptocoryne, Brazilian waterweed and Pennywort.

B
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies. I've actually read a lot of the articles here and some on other sites, and I bought a couple books from amazon as well. I am getting a little confused though which is why I was asking here. I have read a good portion of hoppy's thread as well.

Would the fugeray be too much light? I looked in the finnex thread at the par ratings and it seemed like it would be ~40+par, that puts me into medium light, that's Co2 range right?

What sort of light levels would that solarmax HE get me? low-med or pretty low? Also does a glass hood have any effect on lighting? I was planning on putting the fixture on top of the hood.

Also is there any reason to go with a 40b vs a 50b tank? Would the extra 3" of height make any difference in lighting?
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:26 AM   #12
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Also one more thing I was wondering, rather than buying a dual bulb fixture, given the width of the tank, would I be better off getting 2 separate single T5no bulbs and spacing them?
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:00 PM   #13
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bump. I'm curious if getting 2 single bulb t5no fixtures is better than one dual bulb and if it will be enough light
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