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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a walmart shoplight that holds two T12 40W daylight bulbs. Is this sufficient lighting for my 46 gallon 4' long 18.5 inch high tank?
I'm growing:
Wisteria
L. Brasiliensis
Melon sword ( i think )

I have DIY CO2 injection into the filter intake. And i have liquid ferts to use for dosing (i'm not right now because my substrate is pretty iron rich)

Do I need more wpg to get flourishing plants and no algae? Should i be satisfied? or What?
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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What you've got now is very low light.

Your plants will grow slowly.

If you want to upgrade your lighting, you likely may also need to upgrade to pressurized CO2 as DIY is extremely hard to get stable on a tank this size.

I'd be best to upgrade CO2 then upgrade your lighting, if you do decide to go this high tech route.

But you can stay just where you are now if you want to stick with a low maintenance non-demanding setup.
 

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Haha, just saw this thread in Lighting and found out if is from you.

It all depends on your goal. You can grow those plants with low lights, although the growth will be slow, but they will do fine. I have had Wisteria, L. Brasiliensis and Red Rubin Sword in LOW LIGHT (15w over 10g) and they did not die or anything. They just grow SLOWLY. So you should be fine for now. I would be more concerned with your CO2 diffusing method. I am assuming you are running HOB filter and that method of diffusing your CO2 into inlet is not very effective. I have tried that. So I will suggest at least buy a cheapo ceramic diffuser off ebay ($6-7). It is not perfect but it works better at a MINIMUM BUDGET.

You can upgrade your light and CO2 later when you want to try some other plants that are more light-demanding.
 

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If the fixture will handle 32 watt T8 bulbs, switch to those for a cheap upgrade. Then concentrate on CO2, and then on a higher tech/quality light setup.

In my experience, your mileage may vary, micro sword sucks up nutrients better in higher light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If the fixture will handle 32 watt T8 bulbs, switch to those for a cheap upgrade. Then concentrate on CO2, and then on a higher tech/quality light setup.

In my experience, your mileage may vary, micro sword sucks up nutrients better in higher light.

What do you mean if the fixture? the light fixture? it has two slots for bulbs, and i currently have 2 t12 40Watts, how would 32 watt t8's be upgrades? explain for my lack of knowledge please
 

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As a general rule, T8's are brighter and use less energy than T12's.

So 32w of T8 lighting is brighter than 40w of T12 lighting for the same length bulb. Also, since a T8 bulb is 1/2" smaller in diameter than a T12, this helps with how much light gets into an aquarium. Some of this is because of less re-strike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha, just saw this thread in Lighting and found out if is from you.

It all depends on your goal. You can grow those plants with low lights, although the growth will be slow, but they will do fine. I have had Wisteria, L. Brasiliensis and Red Rubin Sword in LOW LIGHT (15w over 10g) and they did not die or anything. They just grow SLOWLY. So you should be fine for now. I would be more concerned with your CO2 diffusing method. I am assuming you are running HOB filter and that method of diffusing your CO2 into inlet is not very effective. I have tried that. So I will suggest at least buy a cheapo ceramic diffuser off ebay ($6-7). It is not perfect but it works better at a MINIMUM BUDGET.

You can upgrade your light and CO2 later when you want to try some other plants that are more light-demanding.
The goal is grow fast haha. I believe i have a lot of iron in my substrate and so if the plants to suck it up fast enough, algae sets in pretty quick.

Does a co2 into the intake of a canister filter do any better? or is a ceramic diffuser the way to go? cuz i'm planning on getting a canister filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As a general rule, T8's are brighter and use less energy than T12's. Watts is a measure of how much electricity that a bulb uses and not its brightness.

So 32w of T8 lighting is brighter than 40w of T12 lighting for the same length bulb.
I wish i had known that...haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok so its been a while, and yes the plants are growing very slowly. i got the 32 W T8's so now i have 2x 32 T8 = 64 watts on a 47 gallon tank. Super low. how do i get more wattage without spending another $100 on lighting? any DIY Jimmy rigs? or waht? I have CO2 goin good, but what is more important? Higher light? or higher CO2? whenever i add a quarter dose of nutrients (water seems to go yellowish green) it seems to trigger an algae bloom and i'm assuming because my plants arent using up enough of the nutrients fast enough, with low light and low CO2.

But i just want a bigger bang for my buck, so where should i put the effort? CO2? or Higher light?
 

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What are you using as a fertilizer? You mentioned that your substrate has lots of iron, which is good, but iron is only a minor nutrient for plants. The major ones are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous, usually dosed as potassium nitrate, mono potassium phosphate, and occasionally potassium sulfate. Also, adding nutrients to the water doesn't cause algae to start growing. Adding ammonia or urea to the water can cause green water algae to bloom, but that's all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Its API Leaf Zone

http://aquariumpharm.com/Products/Product.aspx?ProductID=55

But more than the tint of water, there is a bit of green tinted "sludge" i dont know how to describe it, growing on the sand around the microsword, but not around the swords i have, and its either because the swords shade the sand, or soak up nutrients more, and the microsword grows slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What about T5 54 Watt 10,000K bulbs, would i be able to replace my two 32 watt bulbs with those?
 

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What about T5 54 Watt 10,000K bulbs, would i be able to replace my two 32 watt bulbs with those?
Not without replacing the light fixture.
You have options but the best one is going to be a T5HO fixture. A two bulb fixture will be plenty.

Another lesser option is to add another T8 shop light if there is room. If you're reasonably handy you could cut one side out of each reflector and join them into one larger fixture.

Another option, that I'd do, but I have a bunch of ballasts to use, is add another ballast to your existing fixture and over drive each tube. That would give you roughly - very roughly as it depends on a number of things - 100/120 watts output. Google overdriving t8 for specific details, or use the search feature as this has been covered thoroughly in the past. Including why it would probably be better to go with T5s.
 
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