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So I send 10+ years playing with all sorts of it seems experiments on how to grow aquatic plants. I have tried all sorts of lighting, ferts, substrate, temps, water quality (RO, Low PH, High PH) and CO2.


Currently my 46gal tank with PC 96w x 2 is doing great. Algae is just about gone. Ferts I am using seem to be doing a great job. CO2 system seems solid and plants are growing like weeds.

Well now I did a little digging today because even though everything seems perfect one planted artist is never satisfied. I noticed another thread talking about PC and T5HO.
Then someone saying why would one go with PC one they cost more and the LUX is not as bright.
But what really threw me for a loop I running 4.17 WPG and someone says 2 WPG on a 75 gal tank is more than enough if using 2x 54watt T5HO?
WHAT??? I am about to loose it. I researched years and always been told time after time that PC was the way to go and 3 to 4 wpg is need to get plant photosynthesis working and have the pearl effect going on.

Could someone please chime in and help me out. I am about to throw myself on the floor and start screaming. :icon_mad:
 

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Unfortunately in my opinion they are correct 2wpg of HO should be enough to grow just about anything.
Keep in mind that the WPG rule was created using T12's and not T5's let alone T5HO so your almost
doubling your lighting just moving up to the T5 platform.

For about the last four or five years everyone has been upping what they consider to be high lighting
to (IMHO) justify buying the next great lighting kit from there favorite manufacturers. But I haven't had
any problems growing medium light plants in 2wpg of T5 lights and the high light plants in 2/3wpg of T5HO.

- Brad
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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T5HOs haven't been around forever... at least, not in the affordable aquarium fixture market.

And Brad nailed it- they are much more efficient at wattage to light conversion than most other fixtures on the market ATM. Especially due to the size and shape of the bulb (less light lost to restrike) and improved reflector designs.

BUT- if your current fixture is working for you, which it sounds like, then you're good to go- there's nothing WRONG with PC fixtures! :proud:
 

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If what you have is working for you then don't worry about it. I happen to be one of those with 2x54 T5HO on a 75 and think it's just fine. The T5 fixture is visibly a great deal brighter than the the 2x65 PC fixture it replaced. I had good growth with the PC fixture but after going T5 plants that struggled with the PC now thrive and pearling which was mostly nonexistent with the PC get's cranking after a few hours with T5. You can't compare the two different lighting systems on a wpg/wpg basis. It's apples and oranges.

I could attribute what I see as my success to the lighting and I'm sure some credit is due it but I mostly think I've finally learned how to manage CO2 and the rest of my tank properly.

Which brings me to think the same thing applies to you. You've learned to manage your tank well with what you've been using and isn't there where we want to be?
 
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