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150w or 70W

2687 Views 28 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  jaidexl
what do you guys think I should use for my 27"x23"x12" tank about 32 gallons

150W=about 4.7 wpg
70w= about 2.2 wpg

The light will be about 12" off the water so i'm not sure as to what I want
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Depends on what your going to grow and if CO2 is going to be injected.

Can you give us a little more informaton on the current plan?
150W=about 4.7 wpg
70w= about 2.2 wpg
you can't do 4.7wpg without Compressed Co2, so
go with 2.2wpg, then center your high light plants.
oh yeah sorry, To tell you the truth I don't know what i'll be growing as I just got into planted tanks and not sure all the names of plants yet but, this is the tank i'm trying to emulate

Not sure whats all in there but once I saw it it's what i'm going to try and do.
Co2 will be on this system

Will I need co2 if I try to do this tank with a 70w MH?
Co2 will be on this system
I hope you have invested in the pressurized co2 setup already? If you have not then you are off on the wrong start. If you are looking for success with a planted tank especially one with high lighting get your pressurized co2 setup before you get lighting. You can always use cheapo lighting with Co2 now which is a much better approach. Most put too much emphasis on lighting when Co2 is more important.
That tank has pretty much all low light tolerant plants.

Even low light plants will benefit from injected CO2 but as spypet stated at 150w your asking for trouble.

Even with 70w I'd put CO2 on the sucker.

Plant list on that tank look to be mostly moss, java fern, crypts, anubais, and some assorted Stems.
I've got to tell you, each time I added more halides to my aquarium, things got much better. nothing else changed. Just more light.
I do have co2 and use minimal ferts.. (well.. about 1/3 recommended dosage of the N P K and csmb) I've got pearling every afternoon, and no algae issues.

Halides don't seem to put out as much light as other options in my opinion. You might have a really bright spot right under the light, and put one light loving plant there, but the rest of the tank will seem dim compared to fluorescent.
see my post here about the same thing

I'd go for the higher wattage..
halides do not figure into the wpg rule
150w over a 32 is overkill big time

my 150w hqi is brighter then my 4x54w t5ho..

70w will be pleanty.. and a cool little setup!
wicked1 said:
Halides don't seem to put out as much light as other options in my opinion. You might have a really bright spot right under the light, and put one light loving plant there, but the rest of the tank will seem dim compared to fluorescent.
I have owned and used halides from 250watt, 175watt to 150watt HQI's with the first 2 under Lumenarc LIII mini's. That statement about halides not appearing to be as bright as other options is so far from the truth. Under crappy reflectors this is true and this is quite common for us to use sub par reflectors cause they are cheap. I did too until I got a Lumenarc and all that one area of the tank statement went through the window, not to mentioned if paired with a high performance ballast and I'm not referring to electronics either. I agree if the wrong color temp is used the plants might seem a bit dull if not downright ugly but halides is the most intense lighting out there.

If you have ever had a really good halide setup you would probably sell it because it just gives too much light for a planted tank especially if you don't wanna be mounting 2ft over the tank... I know I did :)

Giga, focus your funds on getting pressurized Co2 now, use cheapo lighting now for starters then go get your badazz lighting later :icon_bigg
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The reason I didn't know which one I wanted is becuase the light will be about 12" off the water so I'm not sure what will be good enough. I was going to use 6X24 watt t5 grow lights but don't know if I can put t5's that high up? I might be able since the tank is only 12" tall?
So the bottom most of the tank will be about 24" from the light?
Figure out what you expect from the tank before spending money twice.

With the co2 thing....I rec. it regardless of which route you take. MH penetrates so much better then any other light source so what seems like a little is a lot compared to other light sources.

But to give my personal preference, I would go with the 150w....I have a 70w over my ADA Mini-M right now and I love it!
the 70W MH is really not gonna help you grow plants much, I use one on my 60cm for a shimmering effect, looks very nice.
the 150W will create the shimmer, and will help grow plants as well.
i have a 70W MH on my 40 gallon.
Which is 36". and a MH has a 2'x2' radius.All my middle plants are fast stem growing plants. All my java ferns are on the side.
70w is enough to grow my plants with pressurized co2
So I guess MH is better choice then T5 at 12" off the surface of the water? I kinda like the 6x24w t5 option because I can through more colors at it 8k 10k 6.5k and i'll be building the light so it's about 100$ cheaper, I have yet to buy any lights so options are still out there. I don't really care for the shimmering effect because it's not that big of a deal to me(I already have it on my Reef tank.

Anyone know a good 70W hanging pendent? thats not 300$
I guess it's all personal preference and personal observation. My halides do have nice reflectors. I'm not giving advice about something I don't know about. I may not have made many posts around here, but I've had aquariums for my entire life. I started my reef just over 20 years ago, and my freshwater planted aquarium over 10 years ago and have been through all the options (single ended, double ended, magnetic ballasts, electronic ballasts VHO, PC, T5). In all of that time there has been one constant and it is that more light has always equaled a healthier aquarium. Even 1000 watts at the water surface doesn't equal the output of the sun. We are trying to mimic nature here.
Double ended does give you more light in the aquarium than single ended. I'm using the single ended setup on my planted tank because my reef got upgraded about a year ago. I had all the ballasts and sockets and reflectors sitting in a box in the basement so decided to get them out. I've got 5.25 watts per gallon on the planted tank, but it is about 3 feet deep. Like I said in the other thread, nothing changed in my planted tank other than switching from CF's to halides, then more halide, then more halide again, and each time the plants did better. I've never had an algae problem. (The depth of the tank plays a huge role in the dissipation of light, so a tank 1/3 the depth would certainly do better w/ less watts per gallon)
I've got a 12 gallon nano reef in my office w/ a 250 watt halide over it. Thats over 20 watts per gallon.
The watts per gallon rule does indeed go out the window w/ halides, but in my experience, its because you need MORE watts per gallon :)
I agree w/ aquanut that the 70 might be just enough, but the 150 will give you some great growth.

I agree w/ kookm that if you're just getting started, co2 is probably more important than lighting at this point. I got a pressurized co2 system after I had all of that light in place. Fast plant growth became EXPLOSIVE plant growth. I pull out a grocery bag full of plant trimmings every few days now.

Check hellolights for inexpensive pendants.

And I should mention that I am NOT advising anyone to put 1000 watts over their aquarium. Just that in nature the plants get more intensity than that.

(And I don't mean to sound really defensive.. I might have had one too many sips of coffee this morning.. After following a few basic rules, it is all just personal preference. Lighting just happens to be the thing I like to play around w/ and push to the extremes, and it has always worked out in my favor)
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still can I put 4x24W T5 10-12 inches up and get good plant life? I have a plan to build a fixture that would be sweet and ez but i'm not getting an answers on the T5's. I might do this because it about 80$ for all the retrofits as compered to 300 for a 70w MH pendent
You have no spectrum combo or peak hours options with an HQI. Go with a mutli T5 setup. Even some reefers are going T5 now. Add more switches and ballasts and you have more options. You can start off with half the bulbs for a low tech setup, then crank them all on for high tech. 96w over 32gl is good, if you go with HO T5s, multiply the wpg by 1.22, (3.6wpg), that's a perfect high tech number if you want to put any faith in WPG.
yeah it's what i'm going to do then because it's cheaper and I can have a morning/afternoon/night cycle plus I can put 6.5k 10k 8k all at once

Unlike you I haven't had my coffee as of yet, furthermore I do not want to cause a hijack :icon_bigg I'll keep it simple and respond by quoting "I guess it's all personal preference and personal observation"


I have 4 x 58watt OD T8 (about the same output if not a tad less than a similarly configured T5 setup) mounted in a canopy with only a painted white background which is mounted 13" above my 90gal tank providing more than enough light to my mostly not so easy to maintain light loving plants and they all grow great with fantastic colors where it applies.

This is not a reef......good co2 and ferts is more important than crazy lighting anyday.
I'm haveing to relearn everything becuase i've been into Reef and am just getting into planted tanks. You need a nuclear power plant to light the light sor a sps reef:proud: Yeah just need the Co2 and i'm good
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