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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into lighting for my 120gal. The tank is approx 24" high with 28" width, I'm looking to be in the mid-highlight range. I'm thinking of going with either 2x54watt Arcadia plant pro T5HO with Arcadia reflectors on each bulb, or 3x54watt Arcadia T5HO plant pro T5HO with Arcadia reflectors on each bulb + 1x54watt Arcadia Tropical Pro T5 with Arcadia reflector.

According to one of Hoppy's charts, 2xT5HO would put me in the High Light range if suspended directly above the tank, is this correct even for different wattage of T5HO bulbs?

Should I go with the 2 or 4 bulb setup to put me in the mid-highlight range?
Cheers,
JK
 

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For lights that are 24 inches long and longer, it makes little difference what the wattage (length of the bulb) is. T5HO bulbs are standardized at 24 watts for 24 inch bulbs, 54 watts for 48 inch bulbs, etc., so any given T5HO light can only use one wattage bulb.

Many people are finding that the the hobby is a lot more rewarding if we use less light, about 40-50 micromols of PAR at the substrate, or low medium light. With that light, and a good CO2 system, you can grow virtually every aquatic plant, and at a slow enough growth rate that twice weekly pruning isn't ever needed. With that in mind I suggest that you use a two bulb fixture, with the bulbs about 8 inches or more apart, so most of the tank is getting light primarily from one bulb. Or, use two single bulb fixtures, with them separated by about 8 inches. If you have 3 inches of substrate, that light or lights would give you about 40-50 micromols of PAR at about 30-32 inches from the bulbs, which would mean the lights are about 9-11 inches above the top of a 24 inch high tank.

If you really want high light, you could get that with a two bulb fixture sitting on top of the tank, or a 4 bulb fixture hanging about 6 inches above the top of the tank.

All of this is assuming that the Arcadia light has a good ballast and very good reflectors, which I believe it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying Hoppy.

I'm going to follow your suggestion and go for low medium instead of high medium, and just to make sure I got it right, you're saying to have the bulbs suspended 10" above the tank 8" apart right?

Substrate is sloped in the tank from 3" to about 6.5" in the rear, should I suspend the rear bulb higher to have the par level uniform in the tank?

This is the tank currently-
Plant Wood Twig Natural material Tree


I'm going with an Arcadia balast/controller, they've got some good reviews and everyone I've spoke to about them personally recommends them.
 
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