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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have two 32 watt T8's in a 4 foot fixture on my 55 gallon aquarium and I've been considering getting the satellite plus fixture but before I do I want to make sure it will be OK for my application. Basically I want to grow jungle val, java fern, amazon swords, and dwarf sag in a low tech tank, WITHOUT CO2. Out of these two lighting options which one is better and by how much? I don't want to make the switch and find out T8's are better for my setup. Also is there another option that I am missing that is better?
 

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I have a Satellite + on my 55 and I'm very happy with it. It's bright enough for those plants shown in the picture, but no carpeting plants at the bottom, they just die slowly. I've ordered a Finnex Planted+ for another tank, but I won't have the set up for a few more weeks so I can't really compare the two. I went with LED because of the fixture size and lighting color choices. It also doesn't hurt that it consumes far less energy and most other fixtures that offer similar brightness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So is the Satellite Plus "better" for plants than dual T8's? Does it have higher or lower par? I've wanted to get one before I joined this forum, but if it's better to use my T8's for plants I guess I will have to set up another tank hehe.
 

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I have 2 separate tanks that I'm using T-8's on. I actually think the T-8's do as good for plants as any other lights. I have several tanks with T-5 HO lights on, and the growth, and color of the plants in all tanks is about equal.
The drawback with T-8's is you can't grow carpet plants very well, and if you want high light, you need to add additional fixtures.
Algae is easier to control with T-8 lights in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So without co2 T8's are good. With high lights T8's aren't so good but usually with high lights you want to run co2? Or is that wrong lol.
 

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Does you 55 g have a depth of 13"? There should be room for both the T8's and the Satellite fixture. I have the Satellite on a 21" high tank and you are definitely left with a low light level. The fixture though comes into its own with the changing colours and the auto functions the light offers. I'd suggest you keep the T8's and use them for your main lighting period during the day switching to the Satellite only in the evening when you simply want to enjoy looking at your tank and it dosen't have to be so bright.
Also I stopped using the ramp timer and simply chose to turn the Satellite on/off manually with the remote. I turn them on when I get up and off when I head to bed, so save your $25.
 
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