Total planted tank noob and i need help deciding lighting for my 45G low light tank!
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Low Tech Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
evident
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newtown, PA
Posts: 6
Default

Total planted tank noob and i need help deciding lighting for my 45G low light tank!


I currently have a 45G breeder tank, which is 36"Lx12"Wx 24"D. it's fully established for a year with low/medium stock of fish including 10 cardinal tetras, 8 rasboras, 3 cory cats, 2 albino plecos and 2 bolivian rams.
I currently have poolfilter sand substrate with some anubias, marimo moss ball, java fern and a moneywort, with the stock AGA T8/12 hood with a 24" Aqueon bulb giving off 20 watts.

i've been reading alot and understand that 24" depth is pretty difficult for light penetration. I haven't ever dosed any ferts or anything either. I understand now that my 20 watt T8 lighbulb is insufficient even for "lowlight" plants, but this is what my tank came with!

over the past year my anubias and marimo are doing fine but my java fern and moneyworts are gradually in decline. I think it's time for me to upgrade to a T5 lighting setup and i'm torn between the following units:

Aqueon Coralife 05619 Aqualight T5 or Odyssea 36" 78W T5 HO Light Fixture Extendable Series

http://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-Coralif...pr_product_top


http://www.aquatraders.com/36-inch-2...e-p/52122p.htm

a third but more expensive choice at $75would be the Zoo Med aquasun with independent switches
http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-AquaSu...0021970&sr=1-1

Hopefully some of you guys may have had experience with either of these models and can chime in.

as you noticed, I want to keep my budget around $50-$75. My goal is just to have low maintenance live plants in the tank with my fish to make things look nice. I most certainly do not want to be in the "high light" category where i would have to constantly inject co2, prune and manage algae problems.



For 24" of depth, which one would you guys recommend?
i forgot to add: I prefer my light to be hanging on the rim of the tank, similar to what the two models i linked would be capable of doing. I have a wooden canopy that i enclose on top of the light, because i have two cats that would probably take a swim in the fish tank if i didn't have that there


thanks for your help!
evident is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #2
freph
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 2,233
Default

I wouldn't recommend the Odyssea....I hated mine and am so much happier now that I switched to an Aquatic Life fixture. According to this, a dual T5 HO fixture on your tank (I'm gonna assume 4" of substrate or so, so 20" deep overall) would put you in the high light range. Even 12" above the tank puts you in medium light still. A dual T5NO fixture would probably fit your needs well for a low light tank.
__________________
freph is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-23-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
evident
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newtown, PA
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by freph View Post
I wouldn't recommend the Odyssea....I hated mine and am so much happier now that I switched to an Aquatic Life fixture. According to this, a dual T5 HO fixture on your tank (I'm gonna assume 4" of substrate or so, so 20" deep overall) would put you in the high light range. Even 12" above the tank puts you in medium light still. A dual T5NO fixture would probably fit your needs well for a low light tank.

the T5 NO coralife light i posted seems decent. the included bulbs only put a total of 40 watts total though.

Would retrofitting my current standard AGA hood with a T5 be a good option for high quality lighting in my price range?
evident is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-23-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (74/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,353
Default

The Coralife T5NO light won't give you much more light than you already have, but it might be enough more for you to notice the difference. A cheap T5HO light is more likely to give you enough light, but how durable those are is a problem. They have poor ballasts, which drive the bulbs at a lower than normal wattage, reducing the light quite a bit, and their reflectors aren't very good either, also reducing the light. Those two effects should reduce the light intensity down to the range you need.

Another option is to use the T5HO light you linked to, but put a layer of fiberglass window screen (insect screen) between the light and the tank. That reduces the intensity by 40%. If that is still too much intensity, add a second layer, reducing the intensity by 64%.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2012, 01:32 AM   #5
evident
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newtown, PA
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The Coralife T5NO light won't give you much more light than you already have, but it might be enough more for you to notice the difference. A cheap T5HO light is more likely to give you enough light, but how durable those are is a problem. They have poor ballasts, which drive the bulbs at a lower than normal wattage, reducing the light quite a bit, and their reflectors aren't very good either, also reducing the light. Those two effects should reduce the light intensity down to the range you need.

Another option is to use the T5HO light you linked to, but put a layer of fiberglass window screen (insect screen) between the light and the tank. That reduces the intensity by 40%. If that is still too much intensity, add a second layer, reducing the intensity by 64%.

Can you point me to a unit that would suit my needs that has decent build quality? I'd be willing to spend a little more if it meant not having to replace ballasts and things in the future.

Also, Would retrofitting my current stock AGA T8/T12 fixture be an option?
evident is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2012, 04:27 AM   #6
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (74/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,353
Default

You can very likely replace the T8/T12 guts of your light with an AH Supply kit, http://www.ahsupply.com/96watt.htm That would give you very good light, and at a cost near your budget.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
evident
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newtown, PA
Posts: 6
Default

any thoughts on the fishneedit 36" T5 HO unit? does it overheat or anything? I've read nothing but good reviews for those units at its price point.
evident is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2012, 02:49 AM   #8
evident
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newtown, PA
Posts: 6
Default

well, i ended up spending double my budget and got a hagen glo t5 HO two bulb unit for $125 + two bulbs for another $30. the bulbs i purchased were a hagen power glo and a hagen life glo. was kind of ticked that the unit didn't come with a cover to block water from splashing the unit, but i 'm using the old glass canopy for the AGA hood and it fits very well. thanks for everyone's inputs.
evident is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Tags
45g, newbie, t5 ho, t5 no

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012