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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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newbie with questions?

Hello everybody, been keeping fish for 10-12 years but never realy gotinto plants, largely because ive keep mostly larger cichlids, ive had a little expeirence with a low tech 10g i had setup a few years ago. but nothing else.

So heres where i am right now, i have a 56g colum 30x18x24h, thast been running for a while but decided i wanna try a planted community tank. currently its just the stock light 20w 24" flourscent bulb, and a cascade 1000 canister filter. my biggest hurdle right now seems to be ability to upgrade, locally the only options i can find is a twin tube flourscent 24" bulbs, says it takes t-8s and has alum reflectors at petsmart, or a marineland single bright led hood which the guy at the shop claims wont grow plants, say he cant get me a dual led but itll be $200, thats crazy for a 30" light.

So my big question is will i be able to do a planted tank on just the dual bulb, i understand theres alot more in lights than just the wpg, also see people focus on it alot and that would only give me less than 1wpg.

which bring me to the second problem im also limited to local plant selection, from what i can find locally the one im most interested in is a amazon sword, i have a picture in my mind of 1 or 2 large swords and then some kinda foreground plant like dwarf sag, and maybe a random crypt or anubias plant. the only other plants i can realy get ahold of locally is java fern, moss, and what i think is anacharis. so will i be able to grow any of that on that light.

thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 04:37 PM
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The 2 bulb unit will give you low to medium light possibly with the reflector and should work for the plants you have available to you. The dimensions you gave are for a 29 gallon tank. The 56 column would be more along the lines of 18 wide and 24 tall.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 04:38 PM
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I would suggest considering online purchases for your lights.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry your right, its 30x18x24H had wrong dimensions. As far as ordering online i could, but i prefer to keep the money local, even if it is a chainstore, our area been hit pretty hard, 3 years ago we have 3 chain pet stores and 8 little mom and pop type shops within 30 mins of me, now we have 1 chain and 1 mom and pop the rest have closed up shop, so if i could get something that works there i prefer too.

now a 2nd question,since im not going for a densely planted tank which would be a better route for me, putting in a bed of floramax substrate under my curent sand bed, or using root tabs and liquid fertilizer. i was thinking the foreground plants would probably spread faster with a solid bed of plant food under them.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 05:40 PM
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Two T8 bulbs, with typical white painted reflective surfaces in the light, will give you around 15 micromols of PAR, not enough to grow plants. The problem is the distance from top to bottom of the tank - 24". If you are willing to buy something on the internet, you can easily get good lighting, but it won't be with T8 bulbs.

And, for plants, you can't beat the Swap n Shop forum here.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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any suggestions for a light that would work for me, i've looked around but to be honest alot of the descriptions really dont mean much to me.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 06:47 PM
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You could replace the T8 light components in your light fixture with an AH Supply 55 watt kit, http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm and get enough light to grow most plants, but with poor uniformity of lighting across the whole substrate. Two of those spaced 6-8 inches apart would give you a little more light, and uniform light over the whole substrate. Or, you could get two one bulb T5HO lights and separate them by 6-8 inches, and get low medium light, good enough to grow anything. One good way to do that is to have Catalina Aquarium, http://www.google.com/search?q=catal...ient=firefox-a make you a two bulb T5HO light, using a housing made for a 6-8 bulb light, so the bulbs are widely spaced.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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i stopped by the mom and pop shop on my way home to see if they could get me a t5 type hood, they dont keep them in stock but they said they could order me a aquasun dual t5 hood made by zoomed, i found it online, has decent reviews, has two 24watt t5 bulbs, would this work for my tank.
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