Lighting for a 150 gallon 30" deep tank help?
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:04 PM   #1
harrytownend
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Lighting for a 150 gallon 30" deep tank help?


I have a 150 gallon (48x30x24") planted tank with these plants. Some are different but this is the collection I bought.

5 x Elodea Densa
1 x Aponogeton Crispus
5 Eleocharis Parvulus (dwarf hairgrass)
10 x mini Amazon Sword or Saagittaria Pusilus
5 x Bacopa Monnerii
5 x Twisted Vallisneria
10 x Sagittaria Natans
5 x Rotalla Indica

5 x Cabomba Caroliniana
5 x Cryptocoryne Wendtii
5 x Hygrophilia Polysperma
5 x Ludwigia Mullertii

5 x Vallisneria Spiralis
5 x Ludwigia Natans
10 x Mayaca Fluviatilas

5 x Rotala Macranda
5 x Hydrilla Verticillata
5 x Cryptocoryne Parva

5 x Hygrophilia Difformis
5 x Eleocharis Vivipara
5 x Salvinia Auriculata
5 x Cryptocoryne Ciliata
1 x Nymphea Stellata or Nymphea Maculata

I am currently running only 2 T8 bulbs! It's such a huge tank so it seems quite dark. There has been some growth on the plants and they look green but they aren't thriving. I have a dirt substrate on the tank but I'm not dosing ferts or CO2. I want to get a light fixture capable of growing medium to slightly more high light plants at 30" deep, Anything for 36" to 48" would fit on the tank and was wondering if you had any suggestions on what to get. If you could name the actual lights that would be great! The rotala macranda has turned green but is there a way to get it back to red? I want lights that could grow more light demanding plants at the bottom. My crypt parva is looking great but I want to try something more challenging. Would a 4 bulb T5HO unit be ok for this or would I need something more powerful? Sorry for all the questions! Please let me know.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:42 PM   #2
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I am not going to lie you might have a hard time getting something that will give you the PAR you are looking for at the substrate lvl @ 30".

The first thing that pops out to me would be a buildmyled XB series and might have to have a narrow beam angle, something like 45degree. But then that would almost guarantee to will get algea on anything closer to the light.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #3
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We have the same tank, low tech w/excel dosing and PFS substrate, root tabs and ferts. Stared with 4 54W T5 10K & 4 64W PC 10K, was a bit too high light, so we took off the PC fixture. Everything is going great now. Has been up and going for over a year. Still have some Nitrate issues occasionally, but that's more due to its notable resident (12" Fahaka) rather then dosing. We WC 50% weekly to keep her Nitrates down and the plants love it. Here is a pic of it currently
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:18 PM   #4
harrytownend
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I've found a 4 bulb T5HO fixture with reflectors. Would that be ok for the plants I have without having to dose ferts and CO2?
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:02 PM   #5
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That's what is on my tank above, 4 bulb T5 10,000K bulbs, on an 8 hour photoperiod. I do dose Excel and some liquid ferts in conjunction to root tabs. When we started the tank it had a few outbreaks until everything settled in and came into balance. It should be more then enough light for your tank.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
harrytownend
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Thanks a lot for your help! Should I start dosing ferts. I don't want to get too high-tech so could I get away with just excel?
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:26 AM   #7
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We usually do, that and some flourish occasionally. We use root tabs every 6 months under our heavy feeders and only recently got dry ferts to try. We never have any issue with low nitrates as we keep the Fahaka and her edible freinds in the tank and have to WC when they get above 40 due to her being scaleless and powty when its been too long. Only really think Iron is something we bought due to the swotds and erring on the side of caution. I know with a bit more tinkering it could work without them
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #8
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I have about 1.5" of dirt under the sand so I don't need root tabs. I think I'll start with flourish and excel. How much do you dose and when?
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:10 PM   #9
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We dose 30ml of Flourish after the weekly 75% water change and 45 ml of Excel daily (or every other day depending on if we forgot, lol). Our substrate is entirely Pool Filter Sand, so no nutrients there. The Fahaka dives into it constantly, thus the reason for not capping it or going with anything nicer. If you can get ahold of Metricide 14 it is basically the same thing as Excel, but twice as strong and far cheaper.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:58 PM   #10
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Ok, thanks a lot!
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