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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. First time posting here, recomended by a person on another forum and he said there's a few very smart people here.

I've got a tank that's 48w x 24L x 31h, (31" water depth) or what I believe to be a 155 tall.

Well I've checked out all the charts and graphs I can find but I still am not sure quite what lights I need. I'm getting conflicting reports from 750watts of metal halide, down to a 3 bulb t5ho, and would just like a simple answer from a good source.

According to the "par" graph (excellent post hoppy) in the sticky, ide want about 4 t5ho's with a excellent reflector, but this sets me at a lowley 1.5ish watts per gallon?

I realize watts per gallon isn't an exact measurement, as tanks and light outputs vary, but 1.5 seems awfully low.

My eventual plan is to go full on aquascape with huge plants, complete "carpet",.. ya know.. the works. Already partsing together a co2 system and substrates under investigation, so I'm "going big" so to speak.

I don't want to worry about if I have enough light, as this is a fairly large investment, so I just want to do it 1 time. So what would the experts (or atleast more experienced than I) reccomend?
 

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I'm just going to copy/paste my spiel for the day:

It would be considered very high light.

Watts/gallon isn't applicable here. It works well for T8s and PC lighting, due to the light output vs efficiency they put out. T5HO are much more effecient so they put out more light for the same watts used.

So your three HO bulbs would put you in the high light range. Assuming you have excellent reflectors, it's probably more light than you want. If you have really bad reflectors, you could possibly need another bulb.

For example: My 90 gallon has a single T5HO bulb and is probably med light for most of the tank, and low at the bottom. Perfect for crypts, ferns, anubias, etc.

My 75 has two T5HO bulbs, but a really crappy reflector. It is probably only slightly more light than the 90. Even though it is 3" shorter as well.
 

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If you get a 4 bulb light be sure you also have 2 switches, so you can use either 2 or 4 bulbs. If you actually get 100 micromols of PAR from a 4 bulb unit you may find you prefer to get only 50 micromols by using only 2 bulbs, instead of by raising the light a foot above the top of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you get a 4 bulb light be sure you also have 2 switches, so you can use either 2 or 4 bulbs. If you actually get 100 micromols of PAR from a 4 bulb unit you may find you prefer to get only 50 micromols by using only 2 bulbs, instead of by raising the light a foot above the top of the tank.
Well, I'm not exactly sure what micromols are (ill have to do some more research I guess) but I take it a 4x t5ho is what I need. That's good news. Ill make sure to get a dual switched one and if not ill open it up and see about wiring one in.

I doubtfully will ever get my hands on any sort of light meter so I guess ill have to judge by algae/plant growth.

Thanks for everyones input!
 
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