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I need lighting advice -55 gal tank

786 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lauraleellbp

I have a 55 gal., 48" L, 21" H tank. My lighting is now from a single 48" 40 watt Flora-Gro bulb, and seems to be insufficient for the plants (mainly Amazon swords). My fish are 5 discus.

I want a 1.5 to 2 watts/gal lighting system. I would like to spend less than $250. I do not want any Do-IT-Yourself solutions.

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Since this is the low tech forum I assume you don't want to use CO2, nor have to dose fertilizers every day. That means keeping the light intensity down in the low to low medium range. Your one T12 bulb should be giving you about 10 micromols of PAR at the substrate level, which is too little for almost all plants. But, one T5HO bulb could give you about 60-70 micromols, medium light, too much, even though it would only be a 54 watt bulb. Many people like the Coralife, 2 bulb, T5NO fixture, for low light, but that should work best if it is raised a couple of inches above the top of the tank.
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