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Hi all :D I am a longtime lurker, firsttime poster.

I am setting up my first plant tank. It will be in a 110x (48" x 18" x 30").
I will be using 3" of Black SS for substrate, pressurized CO2, and ferts.
I would like to be able to sustain medium growth with amazon swords, micro swords, vals, java fern, crypt wendtii, crypt balansae, etc




My question is for the lighting which I want to be the LIMITING FACTOR in my plant growth.

I will use either 4 or 6 AHsupply 55watt CF's
OR
2 x 150watt DIY MH
(I'm not particularly interrested in T-5's)




1) Should I use MH instead of CF for my deep tank? I am more comfortable with fluorescents. However I am willing to use the MH if needed. I am keeping in mind that once I add 3-4" of substrate, the tank will be closer to 26-27" deep.

2) If I were to use CFs, should I use 4 or 6.... or buy 6 but only use 4 and save the other 2 in case I need them later.

3) I heard that the AHS CF bulbs were different (AKA inferior) to what they used to be. What CF bulbs should I get? AGA 8000K?




Once again... I want LIGHT to be the LIMITING FACTOR in my plant growth.
I will be supplying enough CO2 and just enough ferts.



Thanks all!

Milkdud. :icon_mrgr
 

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A few thoughts:

One is that if you want light to be a limiting factor in your tank, you definitely won't want to go with MHs.

I'm not sure what you mean by "micro swords." If you mean a Lilaeopsis species, my experience has been that they require pretty high light and probably wouldn't do well in a 30 inch deep tank while being overshadowed by crypts and swords. Chain swords such as E. tenellus and E. quadricosticus are not so light-demanding.

And thirdly, why are you not interested in T-5 lighting? A Sunlight Supply Tek light with 6 tubes (adjustable so you can use 2, 4, or 6) would be a very good fit for a 110.
 

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I have a deep tank and it is wide (24inches) also and debated the MH verus the teks, there really was no other options that really could do the job in my mind. The great individual reflectors make all the difference in the world!

I got my lights from reef geeks and they threw a few 6500 and I mixed that with some 10,000. Greatest bulb packaging I have ever seen.
 

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