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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok im running a 36 gal tank now with 15 live plants that seem to want to die. i have a Diy co2 putting out 1 bubble per sec. and use root tabs and flourish (2x a week). substrate is 3inches of flourite. my current lighting wich i think is the cause of my problems is a 24 inch bulb inside of a 36 inch hood. 20 watts 8000kelvin.

im pretty sure i need more lights i came across this for $80.

Current USA Nova Extreme T5 X2 Freshwater Aquarium Lighting Fixture, 2X39 Watt, 36 inch

One 39 Watt SlimPaq 10K and one 39 Watt Freshwater T5 HO fluorescent lamp
Dimensions: 36" x 5.5" x 2"
78 Watts

Do you think this is what i need ? if going by the (from what i hear outdated) 2 watts per gallon 78 watts just cuts it.

or should i be looking for another light setup?
 

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I have a similar set-up, I think - and one of my first questions in this forum, was pretty much the same as what you are asking now.

See this thread.

I have the Nova Extreme T5 2x39watt fixture on my tank. I've been told that its almost too much light, because the T5 bulbs are much more intense than regular florescent bulbs. Apparently, with T5 bulbs, the 2w per gallon rule is ineffective.

Having said that, I've been tinkering with my existing system for about 4-8 weeks and am still only seeing marginal growth. So, I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't have more light. But, so far, I've tried to remain patient and work on the other variables, like my CO2 system which is still pretty inconsistent and my ferts.

See my 38 gallon journal. I'll try to update today with a more recent picture.
 

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The watt per gallon "rule" doesn't really apply to T5's. It shouldn't even be used at all really.

T5HO are vastly superior to T12's which is basically what the watt per gallon rule was for.

I think your prognosis is correct that you need better lighting, I think the nova extreme unit you mentioned would give you pretty high light. You might be able to pull it off with DIY co2. If you had the fixture hanging over the tank where you could adjust it's height, which would give you control over the intensity.
 

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That light fixture does put you in the high-light range, so CO2 would be necessary. I do agree that you have low lighting and need to get a better fixture, but that one is going to require CO2, and I don't know if DIY will cut it.

To Twimbo, adding more light is not the solution to your problem. You said yourself that your CO2 is inconsistent, and you need to work on your fert regimen. CO2 is only one piece of the trifecta. It doesn't matter if you have a good level of lighting when you are lacking on the CO2. Or ferts for that matter. ALL 3 parts need to be non-limiting.

More often than not it's the CO2 that is the limiting factor in most people's tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
k with out your Factory light in addition to the nova Extreme t5 bulbs has that been working ok ? the room the tank is in barely ever gets Day light from windows. lights are on 10 hours a day. even if i was to buy that setup for $80 its still the cheapest ive seen around. most are like 200+ for a 36 inch fixture. should i buy it and swap one of the 10k bulbs for a 6700 ?
 
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