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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm looking to upgrade to a rimless 40g breeder. i like the larger 36"x18" footprint better than my current 36"x12" 30g. i also want to upgrade my lights. i currently have 55w PC lighting. i think i want to get t5s instead of the 96w PCs. i'm looking to get enough lite in the tank to grow just about any plant i want. so do i need a 36" 2x39 or 4x39 light fixture? i'm afraid that the 5" wide 2x39 will not cover the full 18". i'm looking at the fishneedit.com fixture. also, any bulb brand and color temp recommendations are welcome.
 

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I have had great results with 2 39w T5 on this very size tank. I used 10K and 6K bulbs. The fixture was suspended 8" above the tank. Not to much where you wont get to much light pollution in the room.

This was the tank.


 

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I suggest a 4 tube T5HO fixture, suspended 12 inches above the top of the tank. That would give you about 100 micromols of PAR, which is high light intensity. Add pressurized CO2 and you could grow anything you wish.
 

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I agree with both Orlando and hoppy. Winning solution on both setups. I was using 3x39w (sitting on legs) over my 40b but have cut down to 2 bulbs. Got rid of all my thread algae doing so and my plants are still growing fine. 4 bulbs is good if you want to run a noon burst to grow plants 'faster'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Orlando, That tank, and the other photos that accompany it, are some of the inspirations for my new set up. BEAUTIFUL work and photography. 2x39w is definitely an option. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Hoppy, I'm so glad that you chimed in on this one with the PAR data. I like the option of the 4 tube fixture because it is 4" higher above the tank than Orlando's 2x39 recommendation. This should allow me ample room to work in the tank without having to adjust the lights. Also, if this is too much light i can turn 2 bulbs off. You wouldn't happen to have the PAR data on a 2x39 fixture @ 8" would you:icon_mrgr? Thank you as well for the reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree speedie408. I think the 4 bulb option is the way to go. But I will be mad if I end up running only 2 bulbs all the time.....
I would like to see some PAR data on a 2 bulb option. I could do this at school but I would have to buy the damn thing first....

BTW, This tank will have pressurized CO2 and dosed by the wonderful dry fert package I got a few months back from GLA... More great stuff from Orlando & crew...
 

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Orlando, That tank, and the other photos that accompany it, are some of the inspirations for my new set up. BEAUTIFUL work and photography. 2x39w is definitely an option. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Hoppy, I'm so glad that you chimed in on this one with the PAR data. I like the option of the 4 tube fixture because it is 4" higher above the tank than Orlando's 2x39 recommendation. This should allow me ample room to work in the tank without having to adjust the lights. Also, if this is too much light i can turn 2 bulbs off. You wouldn't happen to have the PAR data on a 2x39 fixture @ 8" would you:icon_mrgr? Thank you as well for the reply.
That would give you about 80 micromols, which is the lower end of high light, say high medium light intensity. Lower it to 6 inches above the tank and you are back to about 100 micromols of PAR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i've been trolling around on here and it seems that many people are happy with 2x39 T5 over the 40g breeder as Orlando recommended. maybe this will suffice. i have been getting good growth in this tank with only 55w 6700k PC. (disclaimer:if you follow that link the mistake is my substrate. i tried creek sediment capped with PFS. it's still causing green water algae after 3 months:icon_redf). maybe the light intensity really is that much better with T5's. and as i stated earlier, i think i would be mad if i got a 4x39 fixture only to use 2 bulbs all of the time. any thoughts? any PAR data for a 2x39 fixture?
 

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i've been trolling around on here and it seems that many people are happy with 2x39 T5 over the 40g breeder as Orlando recommended. maybe this will suffice. i have been getting good growth in this tank with only 55w 6700k PC. (disclaimer:if you follow that link the mistake is my substrate. i tried creek sediment capped with PFS. it's still causing green water algae after 3 months:icon_redf). maybe the light intensity really is that much better with T5's. and as i stated earlier, i think i would be mad if i got a 4x39 fixture only to use 2 bulbs all of the time. any thoughts? any PAR data for a 2x39 fixture?
All but the very short T5HO bulbs, with typical great single bulb reflectors, give about the same light intensity at a given distance. Longer bulbs just cover longer tanks with that intensity, using more electric power too. One T5HO bulb gives about 40 micromols at about 24 inches and about 60 micromols at about 20 inches. Two bulbs gives twice the PAR, unless the bulbs are far apart - a foot or so, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
:thumbsup: good to know Hoppy! somehow i missed this data during my research...looks like the fishneedit.com lights are equiped with SLRs. i'll ask them about this in an email just to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i have read many good things about the catalinas. i have read many good things about fishneedit.com's lights. i've also read many people saying that catalinas are comparable in price to the fishneedit.com lights. so i checked them out. they are twice as much. comparison:

fishneedit.com 2x39 <-> catalina 2x39
fishneedit.com 4x39 <-> catalina 4x39

a search on the catalina website shows no 3x39 lights, that's not to say that they never carried them, just that they don't have them now. for the price i have to say that fishneedit.com looks like a good deal. granted, you get what you pay for....sometimes. as far as intensity, Hoppy has given all of the data i need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
plus, the money saved on lights can now go toward my ADA Aquasoil funds. now accepting donations....

+ 80-100 micromols PAR should be more than enough light intensity for all but the most light hungry plants. it should definitely do for these: Alternanthera, Cabomba, Didiplis, E.tenellus, Heteranthera, Hydrocotyle, Ludwigia, Mayaca, and Sagittaria. at least i hope so....
 

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If you get a quality light with good reflectors(Tek or equivalent) you will be amazed on what you can grow with 2 T5HO bulbs. You will not be limited to any plant. You will be able to grow anything.

Like Hydro said, I recommend hanging your fixture with a good suspension system. Tek makes a very nice wire kit that allows you to move the light up and down in 2 seconds very easy and you will be able to work with various heights.

With all of this said, if you get a 4 bulb fixture you can always use this for a future larger tank with more bulb color options. Either way! any of this will work:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
that light definitely seems to allow more directional input by it's users. the spread is definitely better as well. i would want to build a nice wooden housing for it though. personally, it looks a little too skeletal, IMO. are you using these? any reviews?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
orlando, any leads on where to look at TEK lights. i see many retro fit kits for 2 bulbs and a 6 bulb:eek: complete fixture but no complete 2 bulb fixtures. that's no problem, i just want to ensure i'm looking at the right thing. also, where are these TEK wire hanging kits? are you talking about something like this?
 
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