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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a thread that, most likely, has already been started. However, it could take me hours to scroll through thousands of threads to find the one I need. I have a 55g FW tank that I would like to do a lighting upgrade for. Please keep in mind that this tank will be tore down and heavily planted in the near future which is the reason for the upgrade. From the information that I have found thus far, the recommendation for a planted tank should be at least 3watts / gallon. This is where my confusion starts. Is that number based on incandescent bulbs or fluorescent bulbs. Also, with LED's making there way into peoples setups how do they compare to standard fluorescent light. With that I am referring to the wattage. The concept of LED's is that they are supposed to produce the same light output with less wattage. So how do they compare to the 3watt / gallon rule? I would like to be able to comfortable maintain plants ranging from hardy-low light to moderate. I am currently using two Aqueon 24 inch hoods each with a single 18 inch full spectrum florescent bulb. The plants that are in the tank currently are growing but not exactly thriving.
 

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You don't use the watts per gallon, now we use par. Look at the sticky at the top of the sub forum. A search with the right keywords is always more productive than one that is very general.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you

Thanks for the help guys. I almost feel like an idiot for starting the thread now. (almost) I look forward searching the forum for all sorts of different information.
 

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try searching on google with part of the search thread being plantedtank.net it will return results from this site only. I feel like sometimes google is better at finding results along the same concept or thought process where the searching feature on this site tends to just bring up anything with the same word.
 

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I guess the other thing that you have to consider here is that you don't really discuss the 2 other key components which are co2 and fertilizers. I'm not sure if you just neglected to mention or if you just aren't aware yet, but If you want to go with a high light tank, you have to provide co2 and supplement fertilizers.

Do you have any plans to add these to your new setup? If not, you will probably encounter algae problems by upping the light with no other changes in setup/routine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess the other thing that you have to consider here is that you don't really discuss the 2 other key components which are co2 and fertilizers. I'm not sure if you just neglected to mention or if you just aren't aware yet, but If you want to go with a high light tank, you have to provide co2 and supplement fertilizers.

Do you have any plans to add these to your new setup? If not, you will probably encounter algae problems by upping the light with no other changes in setup/routine.
On the contrary. I do understand CO2 and ferts. With so many different ways to light a tank I was looking for some general consensus information or a link to some actual scientific data that would help me make an informed decision as to the setup I want to put together. I picked up a pair of cheap fluorescent bulbs today to go in the hoods I already have to see if they will make a difference with the plants that are already in there. (I'm a fisheries biology major, I love experiments) I have a vision for what I want my tank to look like in the next year so a complete rebuild will be underway within the next few weeks. I am currently considering a DIY custom canopy build with at least a pair of dual lamp 48" shop fixtures or a DIY led panel. That is why I was wanting to have a way to compare the light output of each before finalizing design plans.

With a post as lengthy as this I should mention that if the bulbs I picked up today or some that I may find in the future work to my benefit without breaking the bank then I will be perfectly happy with hardy low-light plants. (I have a massive list of such plant species that I found on another thread) Of course, all this freshwater planted tank practice and experience will hopefully lead to the ultimate goal of a triple digit volume reef tank.
 

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Okay well as someone stated before the wpg rule isn't really used anymore. Hoppy has a thread in the stickies about lights and their par reading. There are specific lights as well as more generic par readings for lights with a given set of characteristics. That will show you what kind of lighting you should buy if you know what intensity of light you can handle. It might help you narrow down what you're looking for.
 

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try searching on google with part of the search thread being plantedtank.net it will return results from this site only. I feel like sometimes google is better at finding results along the same concept or thought process where the searching feature on this site tends to just bring up anything with the same word.
Totally agree. This is how I search pretty much any forum.
 
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