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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there, I am trying to get prepared to set up my first planted aquarium. I have been trying to learn as much as I can before purchasing and setting up my tank. My question was about lighting... I am still debating whether to set up a low or hi tech tank. I am leaning more towards low tech because I don't particularly want to fuss around with co2 so early in, as inexperienced as I am with hobby. However, I was planning on supplementing my tank with seachem products, including the liquid co2. For a 26g bowfront, with moderate lighting, what fixtures would this community suggest? My goal is to achieve a heavily planted, jungle-esque aquarium. Flora is my focus with this project, not fauna. In time I may add some shrimp and schooling fish, such as tetras or danios. I have researched the Marineland plant LED light system, which had mixed reviews. Therefore, I was leaning toward HO T5s. Most commonly, I have seen T5 HO fixtures that had 2x24 watt (48 watts) or 4x24 watt (96 watt). I am assuming the 96 watt is by far two much light without co2 injections. Is 48 watts enough more medium light tank? I know WPG is very unreliable but the 48 watt fixture would be less than 2 WPG.. I don't want to pigeonhole myself and be stuck with a lowlight tank.

Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated. Simply trying to learn as much as I can before investing. I am really excited and cannot wait to get started, just want to get started on the right foot! Thanks. :)
 

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Welcome to TPT

Its disappointing you havent had any responses. But, I have the same tank, you can check out my journal, its low tech, no CO2. To be honest I don't really every plan on messing around with CO2, I just want to sit back and relax and enjoy my tank and not have to worry about yet another thing in my busy(somewhat) life.

As for the lighting, I have extremely low light and my tank is doing okay, but the bottom of stem plants are leggy. Thats why I am upgrading. BUt anyway, since this tank is 22 inches high(way to high IMO) T5 HO is actually a viable option for low tech on this tank. Normally, t5HO is out of the question for this tank. But you would want to get a cheaper, lower end fixture so the light is not intense, or if you want a great fixture, you will have to block some light with window screen or something. Never use watts per gallon again!!!! Its completely deceiving, the amount of light depends on type of bulb, quality of reflector, and height of tank. T5 HO pack a lot of punch per watt and with a good reflector 1 wpg of T5 HO is more than enough for most tanks. And since 26's are so tall, lights that may seem enough on other tanks are not enough on this one. PAR is the way to go now when figuring out light. Here is hoppy's article that will explain everything and help you pick a fixture!

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response! You're tank looks gorgeous... I educated myself a bit on PAR with that tread. I think I am going with either a 26g bowfront or perhaps even a 28g bowfront (it's a few inches shorter) but seems harder to find.

I think initially I am going to supplement my tank with co2 ferts but may want to experiment with diy co2 and even a regular system eventually. I'd like the option to grow HC and know that it's a high light plant.

So my question is.. what do you think would be better? I think I like the Finnex Ray II and also the Catalina T5 HO lights. Personally, I like the look of a 6700k and a 10k bulb combo. I figured if I were to purchase a Catalina single T5 HO fixture I could always add a second one to raise my PAR levels if I decide to add a pressurized co2 system. The Finnex Ray II also has gotten great reviews so I am torn. What do you think?

Thanks and I apologize for all the questions. Happy New Year as well! :)
 
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