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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm slowly trying to get my little brother into having real plants in his tank. And now he's ready to give it a whirl.
Its just like the title states, a 54 gallon corner tank. Currently it has its original 24" light with the 2 stock flourescent bulbs, maybe 18 watts.
http://www.aqua-dreams.com/mediac/400_0/media/Picture$20328.jpg
He's looking to get a Eheim ECCO 2236 filter to replace his two HOB filters.
He would rather not have a pressurized Co2 system (due to the initial cost), so me may just try out 2 DIY yeast Co2's.
For plants, i think he just wants some tall and easy to maintain. I'm going to be giving him a small plant package containing Vallisneria Spiralis, Rotala rotundifolia (indica), Vesicularia dubyana and some Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig' when i can get some extra stems goin.

What light would you all suggest for this kind of depth? keeping the price below 100 bones would be great.

a 24" 2X24 watt T5 HO would be too weak wouldnt it?


this is one of the tanks he is going to use for a little inspiration
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2008.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=2&id=102

thanks for helping!
 

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A single T5HO light, using the typical great reflectors those lights usually have, would give you around 50 micromols of PAR at the substrate directly under the bulb. That is plenty of light, if not a bit too much, for a non-CO2 tank. However, it doesn't give enough light to cover the entire substrate at all uniformly. Ideally you would want two of those single tube lights, spaced about a foot apart, to cover the entire substrate reasonably uniformly. But a two bulb light can be made to work if you raise it about 6 inches above the top of the tank, and the extra spread of the light will improve the uniformity of lighting too.
 

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Corner tanks can be a challenge to light.

I'd go with either a 2x T5HO fixture or a MH fixture, suspending either would definitely help with light/coverage control.

If you go the T5HO route, I'd see if there were any way to have a shorter bulb for the back and longer bulb for the front... would probably take some custom work on your end to make it work, though.

This is one situation where I'd consider MH fixtures to have an advantage due to easier setup.
 

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150 watt metal halide would be the best bet.

But I dont think a DIY C02 setup would work well with high lighting.

Why not start him off low tech? Jumping righ tin to a high tech tank can be alot of work, and headaches as well once starting out. With high lighting he might have to also dose dry ferts.

Since he is trying to not hurt the wallet, why not get a Shop light and some 6500 K bulbs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't really want to start him off high tech and all, but i dont want him to waste his money on having to upgrade in the future to something nicer. Your shop light idea sounds decent, i will have go check those out before considering a online purchase.

I also need to get a dry fert regimen goin here soon. Maybe when i can afford a co2 setup first...
 

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a single 150 watt MH

fishneedit.com aprently has good units for cheap pricing..
 

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I'm not familiar enough with the Eheim products to comment, and I'm too tired to look it up. LOL But I have a Filstar XP3 on my 54g corner tank. It's plenty. I actually have to turn down the flow for real tall, thin plants. They were blowing in the wind!
 

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i have the same tank. I use 2 xp1's (1 biological, 1 polishing). and i light it with a 24 in current usa satellite (2X65 watt) this is plenty of light. I also have a supplemental 36 watt t5 light that i used every once in a while. I've been meaning to get another timer so i can do a midday burst.

Let me know if you want to know more.
 

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i have the same tank. I use 2 xp1's (1 biological, 1 polishing). and i light it with a 24 in current usa satellite (2X65 watt) this is plenty of light. I also have a supplemental 36 watt t5 light that i used every once in a while. I've been meaning to get another timer so i can do a midday burst.

Let me know if you want to know more.
Sorry to bring up this old thread, but I'm trying to light my 54g bowfront corner tank and it ain't easy! That 2 x 64 watt is a power compact unit, right? Do you have a good medium light with that fixture, and does it reach the corners well? thanks!
 

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Sorry to bring up this old thread, but I'm trying to light my 54g bowfront corner tank and it ain't easy! That 2 x 64 watt is a power compact unit, right? Do you have a good medium light with that fixture, and does it reach the corners well? thanks!
If you havnt alredy got your lighting I would say to go with a 30 in main fixture. The 24 does provide good medium light but it could be a little larger and achieve a little better coverage i think. I have a 30 in t5 right in front of it to light the front of the tank a little better but the corners (left and right) definetly lack light as well as the rear corner. I have thought of getting a 96watt pc (one of those small quad tube single bulb) just to put over the back corner but its a pretty pricy solution.
If you want to go all out i would recommend building a canopy and getting a retro fit kit and making a fan shape. I have considered this many times but I just have never got the itch to actually build it. I have designed it with measurements and all though.
 

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I haven't' found a 30 inch T5HO, and I already have a 30 inch T5NO.
I am trying to find someone to do a custom canopy build for me, but it's been tough!
 

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My LFS has an inexpensive, run of the mill 2 bulb 24" t5ho fixture resting on the glass lid of his. He has a daylight and actinic bulb in it and the tank looks fantastic. Great variety of plants, great growth. Densely planted over every square inch.

Wish I has a picture to show you. Sounds too simplistic, but can't argue with his success.
 
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