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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My BF asked me today if I could get him a new light fixture for the tank for his birthday, and I need some suggestions! He saw a Coralife HOT5 48" dual-lamp fixture he liked at Petco for $150 but I read the reviews and they didn't seem too good.

Does anyone have any recommendations? The tank is 48" x 12" x 16", and would eventually like a unit that with proper bulbs would be capable of mid to high-light output. Would like to try and keep the fixture under $200.
 

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Check out CatalinaAquarium. They will build whatever light configuration you want. I just purchased a T-5 4 bulb HO unit from them. The cost was $145. I am very pleased with it.
 

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For a couple of weeks now Petco has had most of their Zoo Med lighting on clearece because of switching over to Coralife brand. They may still have a 48" fixture.
That is a lot of light for that tank. At least upper med range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For a couple of weeks now Petco has had most of their Zoo Med lighting on clearece because of switching over to Coralife brand. They may still have a 48" fixture.
That is a lot of light for that tank. At least upper med range.
Ours only had Coralifes, Zoo Med were all gone.
 

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Carpe Diem
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I indeed ^^

My personal recommendation was a single 48"-60" Current USA Planted LED Plus at < $110 shipped, given the tank size.

v3
 

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Actually if you run that fixture with 2 bulbs on @ 8 hrs a day in that size tank you
will NEED to have injected CO2 in there. DIY CO2 would not be enough to keep out the algae. The good news is that if the middle bulb is on a seperate switch that would give the front and back bulbs good spread. You can cut the amount of light by raising the fixture up off the tank some. Using a 460nm/florapink/6500K would give great color to the tank/fish but I would raise the tank light up 20" to start and adjust from there.
Using 3 bulbs closer without injected CO2 will cause algae. Especially hair algae.
Just to what extent is the only question.
 

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You might be able to get away with 2-bulbs and no CO2. CA has some of the better reflectors in their lights out there, so would be close. Careful management of the photo period would be necessary and you will need to dose some level of ferts. 3-bulbs is overkill if you ask me and would definitely need CO2. Without it you will grow every kind of algae.
 

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What amazes me to no end in the 2 posts above (and hundreds of similar ones) is

"too much light, no co2 == algae of all kinds"

We repeat that as a never ending mantra, we hid behind that statement over and over again that it becomes an axiom. It is not, it has been proven wrong again and again. It's a theorem still looking for a proof.

To me, there are so many variables in that "==" that that blind leap from left to right is no longer a leap of faith but a leap of blindness.

(Yes, 3 that in that statement).
<bullet proof asbestos suit on>

Edit:

40B (36" x 18" x 16")
2 x t5ho 10 hrs / day
4 x t5ho 6 hrs / day
no co2
EI



v3
 

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You didn't say whether you have problems with algae or not. :)

Just because you can make it work, may not account for the average person. I think your lighting is overkill also. You certainly don't need that much to grow what is in that pic. IMO, you only need enough light to grow what you want to grow. Beyond that, what is the extra light if not overkill - regardless if you grow an algae farm or not.
 

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What amazes me to no end in the 2 posts above (and hundreds of similar ones) is

"too much light, no co2 == algae of all kinds"

We repeat that as a never ending mantra, we hid behind that statement over and over again that it becomes an axiom. It is not, it has been proven wrong again and again. It's a theorem still looking for a proof.

To me, there are so many variables in that "==" that that blind leap from left to right is no longer a leap of faith but a leap of blindness.

(Yes, 3 that in that statement).
<bullet proof asbestos suit on>

Edit:

40B (36" x 18" x 16")
2 x t5ho 10 hrs / day
4 x t5ho 6 hrs / day
no co2
EI



v3
OH, what tank is that? You know I love me some lush co2 free tanks.

I think I have also proven high light and no CO2 can work. I have also proved that low light and CO2 can still be a disaster, plants love CO2, algae loves CO2 as well.

I agree with the poster above you that some people can achieve what others would consider unrealistic but I also feel more people should experiment as well if they are willing to either put the investment into the light, possibly twice, or are ready to jump to CO2 if it doesn't work out.
 

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That, partially, was my point: co2 in itself is not a fix-all. There are more interrelated factors at play and every new configuration teaches me something new.

Imho, the often-heard comment "oh, you need co2 with that light" gives people the false impression that the only thing they need to make their tank "blossom" is to spend yet another $200-$500.

Instead of that parrot comment, why not explain how and why? Why not give examples that show people that this hobby does not have to be expensive? You can throw $$ at a problem and get more problems in return. Why not explain the basics before upping up the ante? But I end up talking to myself.

That tank is in the master bathroom, a study in contradictions. A cheap Petco's special, with (first) cheap junky measly light, and an even junkier $60 "375 gph" canister filter BUT with multi-type AS and $250 self-build co2 rig with Cerge's reactor. Not a single fish > $3. Yeah, I have done that before and I knew how to do it "right".

Yeah... Right...



A gorgeous tank the first 2 months. BBA, GSA, thread algae, you name it, everywhere for the next 6+. Gassed fish, dead plants.

The co2 is gone. AS replaced with innert sand. $200 Eheim and $500+ light, both of which I can control. Another contradiction. Stop by, have a look.

Oh, the low light, no co2 75g is still producing A+++ grade BBA. The 65g with PAR of 120 @ substrate and with co2 up the gills and 2 x Eheim 2075 is still a plant farm. Any plant. The 12g is full of Rotala macrandra again. And no filter, no heater, no ferts, no nothing < 2g 'tanks' get no cleaning or WC. Did I cover the permutations? TVM.

v3
 

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That, partially, was my point: co2 in itself is not a fix-all. There are more interrelated factors at play and every new configuration teaches me something new.

Imho, the often-heard comment "oh, you need co2 with that light" gives people the false impression that the only thing they need to make their tank "blossom" is to spend yet another $200-$500.

Instead of that parrot comment, why not explain how and why? Why not give examples that show people that this hobby does not have to be expensive? You can throw $$ at a problem and get more problems in return. Why not explain the basics before upping up the ante? But I end up talking to myself.

That tank is in the master bathroom, a study in contradictions. A cheap Petco's special, with (first) cheap junky measly light, and an even junkier $60 "375 gph" canister filter BUT with multi-type AS and $250 self-build co2 rig with Cerge's reactor. Not a single fish > $3. Yeah, I have done that before and I knew how to do it "right".

Yeah... Right...

A gorgeous tank the first 2 months. BBA, GSA, thread algae, you name it, everywhere for the next 6+. Gassed fish, dead plants.

The co2 is gone. AS replaced with innert sand. $200 Eheim and $500+ light, both of which I can control. Another contradiction. Stop by, have a look.

Oh, the low light, no co2 75g is still producing A+++ grade BBA. The 65g with PAR of 120 @ substrate and with co2 up the gills and 2 x Eheim 2075 is still a plant farm. Any plant. The 12g is full of Rotala macrandra again. And no filter, no heater, no ferts, no nothing < 2g 'tanks' get no cleaning or WC. Did I cover the permutations? TVM.

v3
I feel you 100%. When I first got into CO2, I thought it was an algaecide, the way people talked about it. Some on the board will contribute everything to a co2 deficiency that will have you chasing your tail and gassing your fish in the process. I have seen way to many 20 longs with T5HO bulbs that should never work without CO2 but do great for years.

I am going to do my Tom Barr and post up my old stuff...this setup was about $100 but I see no reason why you couldn't do it for less than $50, all equipment new.
Start


2 months later...You can't really see the pearling in the pic but it's there. Must mean I had CO2...right...nope. Just 54 watts of CFL over a 10 gallon.


Ferts...as need. Algae...never saw a bit. Maintenance...unless someone was doing it for me, I don't know, never touched the thing over the life of the tank.


However, sometimes I think my own tanks are an anomaly for myself. Can I do it again, I am sure I could. Could I do it first try, not as sure, at least that easily.

And for me, my high CO2 tanks have failed, my low techs do well, and I am now trying to go back in time, split the difference, and do in between.

That said, I am sure I am not helping this thread. I will need to meet up soon, will PM you tonight or tomorrow, time for me to grill :smile:
 

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For a couple of weeks now Petco has had most of their Zoo Med lighting on clearece because of switching over to Coralife brand. They may still have a 48" fixture.
That is a lot of light for that tank. At least upper med range.
Thanks for the heads up

Out the door for under $80

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well he decided he wanted to wait on getting a full T5 fixture, so we went to a local hydroponics place, and got a HOT5 bulb and ballast fixture for 30 bucks, and we are going to use brackets and attach it to the current hood. We did buy a cheap little Fluval CO2 system that we are going to give a shot (in the case our plants don't do well with the extra light). But as of right now, they are flourishing, even with the T5 just showing up tonight. The Wysteria has gotten quite tall already, the moss is spreading itself across the rocks, and our Rotala (I think that's it), is growing very well too. We've been adding sand under the gravel for the plants who need it, root tabs, and otherwise, it's doing pretty well!

We may eventually go to a full T5 fixture, but now I know where to get HOt5 multiple bulb fixtures real cheap. 4 Bulb 24" HOT5 with 6500K bulbs for 60 dollars? That's a deal all by itself XD. With built in fans and all. Not bad IMO
 
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