Lighting Fixture Mounting Height Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Lighting Fixture Mounting Height Question

I finally was able to set up my second attempt at a 55 gallon freshwater planted aquarium - it is almost complete as I am awaiting shipment of the last group of plants.
I have a question about the best height level for my Hagen T5 HO GLO lighting fixture with 108 watts total over the aquarium. I have a Top Fin 55 gallon tank with the black plastic frame and middle separator. During my first attempt to set up this tank I tried laying the lighting unit directly on the glass top but felt that this was not good due to the proximity of the heat of the bulbs to the plastic parts of the tank and plastic hinged glass tops. I was able to have a local glass shop trim some glass off the hinged tops so I could mount the Hagen T5 HO fixture mounting bracket. This bracket has four height settings and I was wondering which level would be best to rest the light fixture on to maximize plant growth, etc.
Thanks for your time and advice.

John Remsen
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 04:17 PM
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The way to maximize plant growth is to use CO2, preferably pressurized CO2, with the bubble rate as high as you can go without giving the fish any problems. One T5HO bulb, with a good reflector is more than enough light for a 55 gallon tank, but the Hagen GLO light doesn't have a really great reflector. With 2 bulbs, like you have, I suggest having the light about a foot above the top of the tank. Less than that is just asking for never ending problems with algae. Another option is to put a layer of fiberglass window screening between the light and the tank. That reduces the intensity by 40%, and would let you keep the 2 bulb light about 3-4 inches above the top of the tank.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:04 PM
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If you are running CO2, you should be able to put that fixture right over the water (Lowest setting on the legs). Otherwise you're going to want to raise it up a bit. No more than a foot I would think. I'd try 6-8 inches and see how things go.

T5HO lights won't melt plastic unless it is touching the bulbs, and even then most plastics will not melt.

I'm curious why you don't think they have good reflectors Hoppy? They're parabolic and polished aluminum.
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