Lighting Advice Please
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:11 AM   #1
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Lighting Advice Please


My tank is 29 gallons and I bought it with the starter kit from Petsmart, so it came with a crappy 18W light. I recently decided to upgrade and bought a 30" Coralife T5NO light fixture and I am thinking of returning it because it is considered to have low light output if I am not mistaken.

My question is should I stick with the Coralife light that I bought, or return it and apply the $50 dollars towards buying a different fixture to help grow my plants the best.

*I want to have low-medium light, without the use of pressurized Co2 (I will dose Excel though)

Thank you in advance for your input!
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:53 AM   #2
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I would return that lamp and get a T5HO. If you want to invest a little more I would suggest getting the four bulb kind. You can always just run two, but it's nice to have some extra light if you need it. Can always just run two bulbs for most of the day then run all four for a burst period midday for an hour or two.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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Alright thank you Aquarist, I can return the bulb, but which fixture do most of you guys use and it would be best for my 29 gallon (Med w/o CO2). Anyone have any specific fixture recommendations that you guys use and are of good quality?

Also, I plan on buying Aquasoil as a replacement for my black gravel in the near future, which should definitely help the plants.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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It really depends on your price point. You can get a cheap fixture made by Odyssea, they are decent but you will want to replace the bulbs ASAP, I have a friend that bought the 72" version of this light and he loves his. These lights look good and come with a nice digital timer so you can set it up how you want.

A more expensive option would be a Current USA fixture or maybe even a TEK fixture, but your looking at twice the cost of that Odyssea fixture for these. I just recently got two used Current USA fixtures and they are awesome! My only complaint about them is they have cooling fans in the and I can hear them, but they are still new so I probably just need to get used to it.

All in all it just depends what you are able to afford to spend really. If the sky is the limit I would get one of the top name brands like TEK or maybe even try out LEDs. Since I'm always on a budget I try to get my things second hand, always get a lot better deal this way. Like most hobbies, aquarium hobby equipment just does not retain value, so I would look around locally and see what you can find first, you never know you might run into a great deal!!

If they don't see this post and reply to it, this guy Hoppy, seems to be the lighting expert on this forum, so you may want to send them a message and see what kinda advice they offer.

Hope this info helps, let us know what light you decide to get!
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:10 AM   #5
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If you want low medium light, with no CO2 needed, just Excel, as you stated, get a FishNeedIt or Coralife 2 bulb T5HO light. Either one will give you low medium light if it sits on top of the tank. More light is not better light!
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
If you want low medium light, with no CO2 needed, just Excel, as you stated, get a FishNeedIt or Coralife 2 bulb T5HO light. Either one will give you low medium light if it sits on top of the tank. More light is not better light!
Just curious, is there an ideal no. of hours needed in a planted tank?
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:28 AM   #7
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Most people will say 8 hours. I personally do 10-12 on an 12 off. But with a longer light cycle you may run into algae problems.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:00 AM   #8
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Thank you very much for your input aquarist and hoppy. Any suggestions of lighting off of Amazon? The other fixture I return will give me my money back to my Amazon account, so I would like to use that money first (Gift Card). They do have the Coralife 30" T5HO, but it is a bit pricey compared to others and it also doesn't have many good reviews. The fishneedit fixture isn't on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Coralife-08601...&keywords=t5ho

Odyssea doesn't have a 30" fixture on Amazon, but they do have a 24" with 2x 24 watt lights, would that be good?

Does anyone have experience with this fixture or the coralife T5ho 30" that can vouch for, or have any fixtures that I would be able to buy from Amazon of good quality without causing algae outbreaks?
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:15 AM   #9
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anyone?
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:19 AM   #10
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The data I have seen indicates that the Odyssea light would give you too much intensity for a non-CO2 tank. The only lights that we have data for, that would give you low to low medium light on that tank are the two I recommended. I don't know how robust either light is - whether they fail quickly or last for years. If you want to try the Odyssea light, plan to raise it about 6 inches above the top of the tank. That should give you about the same light as the Coralife and FishNeedIt lights when they are right at the top of the tank.

FishNeedIt lights get good ratings, from what I read, and they are not too expensive either. Could you use your credit at Amazon for something else that you need, and buy the light from the FishNeedIt website instead?
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:35 AM   #11
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Sorry I keep bothering you Hoppy. I am leaning toward the fishneedit lights right now, but I was also looking at the the LED Finnex 30" lights. They will both run me about $80 dollars shipped, so which would you go with? Both also seem to be low-med from the par data charts. (Plus the LEDS look pretty cool lol) :P

http://www.amazon.com/AL-30WM-FugeRa...ords=finnex+30
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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The Finnex Fugeray light looks very good, and, on that 29 gallon tank should give you good light for a non-CO2 tank, probably 35 micromols of PAR. If it were me I would certainly go with the Finnex light.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The Finnex Fugeray light looks very good, and, on that 29 gallon tank should give you good light for a non-CO2 tank, probably 35 micromols of PAR. If it were me I would certainly go with the Finnex light.
Thank you Hoppy for all your help, I really really appreciate it! I returned the Coralife T5NO 30" and will be ordering the Finnex Fugeray 30"! Pretty excited, hopefully will get some good plant growth!
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