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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm new to the planted tank game, I've been running an sps reef for the past 7-8 years. I'm getting started with a standard 120 4x2x2. Right now I have a 2x54 watt t5 fixture above it. Will this be enough light for a moderately planted tank? I'm not looking for crazy growth and I'm not planning on running c02. I just want to be able to keep most plant species. I have a second 2x54 watt fixture if necessary.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Welcome to TPT!

Yes, I think it should work just fine. I run the same lighting over my own 90gal w/out CO2, I just have to watch the photoperiod (I'm down to around 6 hrs/day) to keep algae in check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. It definitely looks nicer with the additional 2x54 on there. Maybe I could run one fixture for like 6 hours and overlap the second one for a few hours during that period?
 

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This question looks kind of familiar doesnt it Laura. I am setting up the same tank and it looks like I will be running 2x54 T-5's or 4x55 PC's
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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LOL yep.

I guarantee you if you run all 4 bulbs for any length of time together you'll have algae issues w/out CO2. I'm positive b/c any time I've forgotten to turn off my own 2nd bank of bulbs after a photo session, I've had to do a blackout for a few days to get algae back in check...
 

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so am i right in saying more light you use the more co2 you have to use
To a point, yes, but eventually you hit a point where the co2 levels would kill your fish, and any lighting above that will only give you algae issues.


2x54w is a great low light setup for a 120g tank with no co2. Like Lauralee said, you've got to watch your photoperiod.

4x54w makes a good high light setup for a 120g, but requries co2. I'll be running 6x54w on my 120, but only for a 1-2 hour burst during the middle of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, tank has been up about 6 months or so with the one fixture. Things seem to be doing ok but growth is slow as expected. I'm now wondering how much light I'm losing with the glass tops over the tank and the fact that the light is 4" high above the tank. How do folks go about getting a good light spread over a 24" wide 48" long tank?

Thanks
 

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Well, tank has been up about 6 months or so with the one fixture. Things seem to be doing ok but growth is slow as expected. I'm now wondering how much light I'm losing with the glass tops over the tank and the fact that the light is 4" high above the tank. How do folks go about getting a good light spread over a 24" wide 48" long tank?

Thanks
I've noticed a huge difference with the glass removed, it damn near seems twice as bright without it.
 

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If evaporation or heat loss isn't a big issue and you have no notorious jumping fish, I'd ditch the glass tops.

Another issue IMO is the Nova fixtures don't have the best reflector setup. I own one myself that I've used on a 55g with decent results, but you have twice area.

If you're handy you could gut the Nova and buy some better reflectors and either retro fit into a different housing or make a canopy with the reflectors spaced out a little better. Just my 2cents.
 

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second on the bad reflector setup of the nova. i have several of the fixtures and they put the bulbs too close together along with a sub par reflector. i have the same 120 tank (4x2x2) and can see how 2 bulbs from a current fixture can look dull. i use a tek 8x54 but only run one bank 9 hours a day with a 45min blast at the end for me to enjoy looking at the tank before lights out. i also run a siesta for 3 hours mid day to spread out the time the lights are actually on to when people are home to see it.
 
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