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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i,m converting a 75 reef to fw planted. for lighting i,m going to use my 6x54 t5ho fixture. i have a c02 system on the way. i want to use at least 4 of the 6 bulbs and would rather use all 6. so as long as i use co2, am i alright. the fixture is hanging and i can go to any height off the water if i have to. i plan on 6000-6500k bulbs
 

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If you raise that 6 bulb fixture about 16 inches above the tank you might reduce the intensity enough to be able to avoid algae problems. You would definitely need pressurized CO2, with the bubble rate set as high as you can without killing off your fish, in order to avoid algae. And, of course, non-limiting fertilizing would be essential, along with being scrupulous about keeping the tank well maintained and the plants pruned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
boy, i still don't understand. by the time it gets to the bottom, it doesn't seam that brite. is i leave off 2 that only gives me 2.8 watts per gallon. not that much to me
 

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I think you'll find 2x54 will be sufficient for most plants, and 4x54 for short "bursts" may encourage some additional growth and reds, but I doubt over the long run you'll end up ever running 6 bulbs b/c it will just be too much work to make sure you're pumping enough CO2 and ferts to keep everything in balance.
 

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It seems like you're still trying to treat the tank as a reef.

If you start off by running all 6 bulbs, you're probably going to turn the tank into an algae swamp.

I'm running two bulbs on my 75 gallon (with CO2 and fertilizer), and I am having algae problems. Maybe I just suck at it, I don't know

Most plants will grow fine with just 2 bulbs. 4 should be enough to grow anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok, heres an update after a week of observation. with 4 lamps lit the plants pearl. with only 2 lit they stop pearling in short order. i would assume that 2 bulbs are not enough for my set-up
 

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If you aren't using CO2 yet, and using it so you have the optimum amount in the water, you probably won't get pearling even with good lighting. When you double the amount of light I can see the most aggressive plants then starting to pearl, but the other plants would likely suffer. That's just a guess though - I haven't tried that.

Watts per gallon is a meaningless measurement. Imagine a tank one inch high, with a T5HO light sitting right at the top of the tank. If the tank is long and wide enough it might contain 100 gallons of water, so a 4 foot, 54 watt T5HO bulb would give you .5 watts per gallon. Would you have too little light for plants, right under the bulb?
 

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A week is not a long enough period of time to tell much of anything. Plants need time to adjust to changes in light/ferts/CO2 and this can take several weeks. As far as pearling, plants don't have to pearl to grow well... give it some time and watch how the plants are growing, not whether they are pearling or not.

One last comment about light... high light levels don't guarantee that plants will grow better, it can also have the opposite effect. If your CO2, nutrients and circulation are not sufficient for the lighting level your plants will be stunted, adding more light thinking that is the solution only compounds the problem. CO2 is the hardest part of the equation to get right.
 
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