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I just got off the phone with a supplier. He told me that the light fixture that I ordered would be a low light fixture. However looking at the PAR chart in the lighting forum, I would put this light fixture (48" freshwater) at about 40 PAR @ 25" from substrate. So if putting this on a 75 gallon tank, what would you classify this fixture as? I was thinking this fixture would work for low to mid lighting plants. AM I wrong in this thinking?

I was also told that I would have to have CO2 for this size tank. Is this true? I have seen plenty of tank around here that are larger than this one that don't run CO2. At this point in time I don't want to run CO2. I want to keep this as simple as possible.

Thanks in advance.

Grimm
 

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I'm no expert but I tend to think most HO fixtures are probably med lighting. The thing that helps is the reflectors, which can obviously vary from tank to tank. I think you could grow most popular plants that aquarists keep. I use 2-36" HO fixtures on my 125 and my plants grow like crazy. As for CO2, not needed but may be desired. You can always use Excel or like brands, which is liquid CO2. You will notice a difference in the plants but it won't break your wallet. With the HO fixture, CO2 will be the limiting factor in great plant growth. Plants do generate their own CO2 to survive, but excessive growth will be limited.


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I am a big fan of non-C02 tanks and I highly encourage you to try this route if you are looking for simple.

In my experience, the key with non-CO2 set-ups is getting a good start with the tank, so make sure you have things well-researched and planned out. I am a personal advocate of the dry-start method.

I like to sit between 25 and 50 on my PAR readings for my tanks, so if you end up with PAR readings at 40, you are doing good for a low-light set-up. You probably don't want anything much higher for non CO2.
 

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40 PAR will work out good for you. CO2 is definitely not needed, and if you plan on having a heavily planted tank that will ease any worries that you may have because those fast growing background plants will block some of that light as well as giving off more CO2 at night to combat any algae there may be. Even though t5 HO is considered high light a lot, 25" off the substrate is a good height.

Btw dry start method (DSM) is when you start a tank out growing the plants emmersed and then eventually flood the tank. I have no personal experience though. So don't ask me lol
 

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The above summarizes the dry-start method. The idea is to let the plants get their roots established while they are not c02 limited. This gives them a leg up once you flood the tank and they are c02 limited.

There are quite a few discussions on this forum regarding the DSM. I would highly recommend spending some time reading up on the various approaches and experiences people have had.
 
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