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I need good lighting for a 55 gal planted tank. the lights need to grow low to all the way to a higher medium plants. I don't care is it is LED's or TH5O or even a combination. I really do not want to pay more than $150 PREFERABLE Y LOWER THAN THAT! I have tried getting answers for this tank but so far not alot of help so i would Really appreciate it!
P.S.-are Odessay T5HO's good or even decent
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I need good lighting for a 55 gal planted tank. the lights need to grow low to all the way to a higher medium plants. I don't care is it is LED's or TH5O or even a combination. I really do not want to pay more than $150 PREFERABLE Y LOWER THAN THAT! I have tried getting answers for this tank but so far not alot of help so i would Really appreciate it!
P.S.-are Odessay T5HO's good or even decent
Odyssea is good but some people have had bad experiences with them. I have a quad t5ho fixture and a dual t5ho both from Odyssea and they run well. I use three of the 6500k bulbs that came with the fixtures along with some 5000k bulbs I purchased elsewhere.

Biggest problem I've seen when looking at reviews for the Odyssea lights is that the ballasts fail at some point. 6 months to a few years or longer. A lot of people are still using theirs still after years. Cheaper lights usually lead to higher dud rates.

LED's also seem light a good route, but I don't have experience with retail LED's, only DIY fixtures.


Here is my quad and dual Odyssea T5HO fixtures on a 29g. Had to add floating plants since my Cory's hated the light intensity. Pressurized co2 is a must unless you like algae. Plant growth has been great.



 

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I would start with a single 48" Current USA LED+ or Finnex Ray 2, both within your budget. I would then wait a month or so to decide if you really want to add a second LED fixture for more light (my prediction is that you will anyways).

Or you can bite the bullet and get a 4 x t5ho quality fixture that allows you to turn on 2 bulbs at a time.

To answer your last question, my personal philosophy is " buy cheap, buy twice".

Edit: 55g is one of the most common tanks. Look up people's journals to see what their experiences are with different set ups.

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You can buy good replacement ballasts on line fir about $25 shipped + some simple wiring effort on your part.

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I have an Odyssea and it's about 6-8 months old. How long it will last I haven't a clue.
It's not junk but is just a working light which is not expensive. Some of the name brands aren't much better but then some are. The reflector is plastic but actually works well as the chart on this link says.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368
But here is the trick. You get about 50-55 PAR/w two bulbs and that is on the lower but not bottom of the mid range. That is good enough for most mid level light plants
but will likely be a little short of getting good red color from red plants if that is your aim. But 4 bulbs is overkill and you will definately need injected CO2/w that.
BTW: that site also sells the bulbs separately and I would ge two of the 10,000K
so you can put one of the 6500K that comes/w it and one 10,000K for more visible light in that tall tank.
 

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You can grow anything you want with a decent 2-bulb setup and CO2. But, it seems the recent trend here lately is high light, in which you will need 3-4 bulbs. A 3-bulb setup would be much better. You don't state if you will have CO2 or not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would start with a single 48" Current USA LED+ or Finnex Ray 2, both within your budget. I would then wait a month or so to decide if you really want to add a second LED fixture for more light (my prediction is that you will anyways).

Or you can bite the bullet and get a 4 x t5ho quality fixture that allows you to turn on 2 bulbs at a time.

To answer your last question, my personal philosophy is " buy cheap, buy twice".

Edit: 55g is one of the most common tanks. Look up people's journals to see what their experiences are with different set ups.

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what are some good LEDS?
 
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