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I have a 95G tank set up with a hood which takes two T5 fixtures. I am aiming for a low tech setup with no pressurized or DIY CO2. My tank only has crypts and java fern.

Will the two T5s be too much light for the plants I have without CO2? If not, for how many hours would you suggest keeping them on? If too much, what options do I have? Change bulbs or add some liquid carbon?

thanks!
 

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Low Tech Lighting

Good morning ila...

A T5 will give you intense light over a small area. I wouldn't recommend using these for low light plants. I have larger low light, low tech tanks and use T8s and T12s. Look for bulbs in the 6500 K range to give your plants light that's closest to natural daylight at 5500 K.

Aquatic plants do best with large water changes. I change half the water weekly and dose a good liquid fert at that time.

I can give you a list of plant suggestions if you like.

B
 

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Low Tech Lighting

Hello Norman...

If you stick to low light plants and no CO2, lighting is pretty easy and very inexpensive.

You need a 6500 K (Kelvin) bulb. Lights with this color best mimic natural daylight at 5500 K. If you can't get a 6500 K, then a 6700 K will do. Other bulbs will not have the optimum spectrum color needed for the plants.

Get bulbs specifically for aquarium plants. GE markets an aquarium plant bulb for just a few dollars at most hardware stores. I use these in my low tech tanks and they work very well.

The key to good plant growth is the proper lighting, a source of macro and micro nutrients dosed regularly and a minimum of a 50 water change weekly. This will guarantee the health or your fish and plants.

If you need the specifics of the proper nutrients, just let me know.

B
 

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Low Lighting

Hello again ila...

A 48 inch, 32 watt, T8, 6500 K bulb would be my choice. This bulb will give your plants less intense light, but will shine over a larger area. I have a single bulb in my 55 Gs and my low light plants grow very well. If I'm not mistaken, your 95 G is the same length as my 55 G, but much wider. So, you've probably got a fixture to accomdate two bulbs.

If you go with this lighting, you'll need to keep to low light plants. Plants that require moderate light, will still grow in lower light, but more slowly.

The success of your plant keeping depends on the appropriate lighting, changing half the tank water and dosing a good fert weekly.

If you're interested in more specifics, just let me know.

B
 

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Thanks BBradbury! I've always assumed that my setup is low light but I can't seem to keep duckweed alive-it seems to burn/dry up. The duckweed on my simple hardly planted 35G with my one cheap shop light bulb seems to do ok but not on my 75G set up. I have a 40 watt 6500 T8 bulb (fixture has a reflector) and the 36" Marineland Double bright light LED light behind the T8 bulb. The plants are growing at a reasonable rate but the Lotus struggles, it ends up with rips and/holes. It might be fish doing the damage but they do get daily meals of veggies or perhaps it is a deficiency or maybe my lights. This is why I'm watching this thread with interest. I use 1 cap of Excel a day and Flourish once every week or two. Tank inhabitants are; 3 Denison Barbs, 4 small clown loaches, 2 small BN Plecos, 4 loonie sized Angels, 1 Rainbow, and about 10 Kuhli loaches. I leave the lights on for about 8-10 hours... Oh and do weekly water changes of about 30% (though it seems to me that when I went on vacation for 2 weeks and missed a water change that the plants grew more). Also I have a 2073 Eheim canister filter and two Emperor HOB's along with a small waterpump for circulation. I dont mean to steal the thread, but any input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Oh and with the exception of the 3 small Tiger Lotuses (the red variety growing the best and low to the ground spreading out instead of just long stalks shooting upwards) my plants are Crypts, Anubias and Javas. I tried Giant Hairgrass but couldn't keep it alive at all so I'm not sure if it's lighting, fertilizer or??
 
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