is this too much lighting for my tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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is this too much lighting for my tank?

hello, i have been doing alot of research on lighting and what to use for planted aquariums. So i have an Odyssea t5 4bulbs 48" system on my 55 gallon tank.. Tank is 21 inches high and the Odyssea light system is mounted to my tank with the mounting brackets it came with. so its mounted about 4 inches off the tank. so with about 2-3 inches of flourite gravel i would say the light is about 22-23 inches from surface of gravel. i have 2 6500k t5 HO bulbs and 2 5000k t5 HO bulbs. i run 2 at a time. 2 from 7am-2pm, and the other 2 from noon-8pm. so thats 11hrs of lights being on, with 2 hrs of all 4 bulbs being on at noon for (high noon type lighting). my question is, is this too much light for my tank?? i have micro swords, 4 amazon swords, rotala, crypts, anubius, water wisteria, blyxa japonica, s.repens. i use EI dry ferts and i use seachem excel because i dont want to run a co2 system. i have been trying to understand par levels, but i cant seem to find any charts that make sense. i know the watt per gallon rule goes out the window with t5 bulbs. so really not looking for wpg but just wondering what is my possible par level?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 04:46 PM
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All 4 bulbs being on is probably very high par with 4 whites... I don't know if I've seen anyone manage something like that without co2, maybe you could try shortening the total time the lights are on? If you have good reflectors just 2 whites is probably hitting "high light" par levels already.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 05:32 PM
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You will need to run Co2 excell is not a replacement for Co2 at that high light level.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 05:55 PM
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I think your 2 hr overlap for the 4 bulbs is good, but I would reduce the total light duration to 7-8 hrs. I do agree with the others that you would be much better off with co2, but I don't think it's impossible to run the tank with liquid carbon if you keep up with water changes and keep organic matter low. Some of the plants you have listed like the blyxa japonica will prtobably struggle without co2. Also possibly some of the Rotala depending on type.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 05:41 PM
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I recently rented a Par meter to compare a 4 bulb T5ho fixture to my dual Current USA planted pro+ on my 24" high tank. With the T5 fixture 9" from the water surface Par readings were 70-80 at the substraight.

So YES, at 4" above the water in a 21" high tank, without co2 you most definately will have too much light!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 11:05 PM
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Your maths off. If 1st bulbs come on at 7am and last go off at 8pm that’s a 13hr light cycle.
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