Complete noob!! Little help needed! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Complete noob!! Little help needed!

This is my story! I decided to get into the planted tank hobby. I wanted nothing less than a 100g and the wife didn't want anything bigger than 30g. I found a 65g that was really dirty for $45, so we compromised. I spent 2 days cleaning it up and it has held water for 3 days now. GREAT DEAL!!!!! I also found a DIY 36" t5ho retrofit kit at some old ladies house who no longer needed it ( husband passed ) got it for $50. It has really nice reflectors, the only thing I need are the bulbs. I through together a canopy to sit atop the tank, smaller than I would have liked, but the wife is happy with it, so I will deal. When I mount the t5ho kit to the canopy, it will put the bulbs about 25-26" off the substrate.

My question is, Is this enough light, too much light?
I also plain on installing the lights about 5" off the front and back edges and about 7" between them. Is that good?

I do plain on running co2, ferts and the like. All of which on order.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Abe
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 02:51 PM
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It's a 48" tank? And just to confirm, it's two 36" t5 bulbs side by side, not one?

Ideally, it would be the full length of the tank so that the edges of the tank aren't darkspots, but otherwise dual t5ho should be sufficient penetration in your tank. You could plan on putting a few lower-light plants on the edges.

You could always buy a small 12" t5 or LED rig to supplement if you're not getting the growth you want in the corners. There are some pretty neat little LED units out there (some of which are supposed to be pretty good for plants) as well as the potential for all sorts of DIY fun. I have a homemade 48' RGB LED strip on my 60 gallon mbuna tank for nightlighting and to supplement the t8's on it but there's no live plants in that tank.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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No, my tank is 36Lx18Wx24D. So my light would run from edge to edge. I was talking about front to back. I would have 2 t5ho bulbs.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 03:10 PM
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According to Hoppy's chart in the Lighting forum that is high light if the reflectors are good ones, if they are lousy then it won't be so high. There is a photo at the bottom of the first post on that thread showing examples of good and poor reflectors. If you could get them 4" over the tank then it would be medium light. If you use a glass cover that would reduce the light some or you could put a layer or two of fiberglass window screen for light reduction if you aren't planning to use CO2.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

The placement of the bulbs sounds good to me.

Nice compromise!


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I would have to compare my reflectors to the very good ones... So that means I would have somewhere from medium/high to high light. Yes I do plan on co2...on order.
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