What is the Perfect Lighting for a 120g planted tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2006, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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What is the Perfect Lighting for a 120g planted tank?

I'm sure that the lighting I have is just too much.

I have my old reef tank lighting over the tank, and I keep backing the lights off the tank, higher and higher.

So, I'm contemplating a change, but a change to what?


Tank is 4 foot long, 2 foot front to back and two feet tall.

(On the tank now is an aquaspacelight 2x250 HQI (MH) double ended 10K bulbs USHIO.)

I would like to hear your expert opinions. Thanks in advance, KW.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2006, 05:30 PM
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Welcome Karl.

I'm no expert but I can tell you that you're right about too much light. Try running just one of them, 250w is enough and the colour is good.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2006, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian
Welcome Karl.

I'm no expert but I can tell you that you're right about too much light. Try running just one of them, 250w is enough and the colour is good.

That is not going to work. One end of the tank would be lit and the other would not.

How about swapping out for some 150w bulbs? Not for sure that would be possible with your ballasts, but worth looking into. That would still be quite a bit of light, but much more manageable.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:03 AM
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My opinion is that the perfect amount of light is the amount that you want to keep up with. My first planted tank was a 30 gallon with 60 Watts of NO flourescents. And by and large it went very well. Not able to keep everything, but stuff grew.

When I got back into PTs about a year and a half ago, I got a 45 gallon tank that is 25 x 18 x 24. Different shape, but basically the same amount of surface area as the 30. I put 130 Watts of PCs over it. I regret that now. It worked fine while I was finishing up school and had the time for it. But I can't keep up with it now. It requires too much testing, too much fertilizing, too many water changes, etc, etc, etc.

Right now, I am in the process of getting together a 120. This is the size tank I've wanted to get for years now. A year ago, I was planning to use 2 x 150 Watt metal halides on it. Then I thought, that's too much. Then I figured 4 x 65 Watt PCs. Nope, changed my mind again. What I've finally settled on (as in I've already bought it) is a 4 x 54 Watt T5 HO fixture. But it has 2 switches on it, so I can halve the light. My plan (subject to further experimentation) is to run each set of 2 lights for 8 hours a day. They'll overlap in the middle giving 3 hours of 108 Watts, 5 hours of 216, and 3 more of 108. Why? Because I don't want to put up with the hassles of maintaining a high light tank.

You could definitely run a 120 with 2 x 250 MHs. Or 2 x 150. Or 4 x 65 PCs. Or 4 x 54 Watt T5s. Or 6 NO flourescents. Or a lot of other combinations I'm sure. Question is how much maintenance you want to do.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:21 AM
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I think two 150 watt MH pendants would be perfect and low profile.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 03:16 AM
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I would recommend a 6x54 T5 like the Tek. You could put in four 10000k Aquamedics and two Aquamedic Plantas for a little less light. Or for a little more light sub the Plantas for two GE 6500K Starcoats, which are nice and cheap to purchase. If you wanted really high light go with the 8x54 watt Tek, but it might be more than you need. But that's what timers are for.

The MH suggestion above is right on too. Not sure that two 150 HQI would really cover a high light profile. It might be just about right, except for light loving ground covers. But others on the forum will know.





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 04:06 AM
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Use what you have! It is a little over 4 watts per gallon but you already have the best lighting available. Instead of buying new lighting invest in a pressurized CO2 system, some ferts, good substrate, and then pick out some nice plants.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 02:29 PM
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FYI I believe those ballasts can also drive 150 HQI bulbs, so you can lessen the lighting. If you switch out, I would go 4x65 PC.

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