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Low light for a 29 gallon

1385 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  EvilFish
I made a lengthy post on what I have been dealing with in my 29 gallon tank, so I won't repeat all of that here:

However, I understand that the stem plants that were growing great in my 20 long are/were suffering in my 29 gallon tank because my light is low. I actually have a 48" shop light fixture hanging over the top glass with one T8 bulb running in it. I experimented with running both, but it seemed that my algae problems would worsen when I did this. Now that I'm running just one, I have no significant algae problem, which is tremendously important to me, especially since I had some dreaded furry algae before.

I realize that this sort of setup is low light, and won't work for many of my stem plants. I've actually started up some emersed pots to house some of those. However, will one T8 over a 29 gallon likely be good enough to continue growing anubias, moss, some kinds of cryptocoryne, and java fern? I'm currently successfully growing anubias, java fern, a small sword plant, crypt petchii, valisneria, and floating pennywort.

This is a non-CO2 tank. I had been running DIY, but found out that my diffusion system was non-functional. The bulbs are 5000K and they are old, but I do not know exactly how old. I probably need to replace them.

I realize that I could run two T8 bulbs by raising the fixture higher above the tank, and if this would make a significant improvement in the lighting, it might be worth it. However, if I could only raise it a few PAR before hitting the algae threshhold again, I wouldn't consider the increased power consumption worth it, and would rather stick with one tube. I haven't done much experimentation with running two tubes high above the tank.
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I don't see how two bulbs are anywhere close to where the tank can't keep algae away. I ran 2-24W T5HO over my 29g and just managed the lighting period closely and only lightly added ferts and didn't have an issue. Are you dosing anything?

Anyway, I would get new bulbs first. You don't have to get the expensive ones in the pet store, you could just go to Lowe's/HD and get 65-6700 or 10000k bulbs. Some will say that they let there bulbs go long without replacement, but if it has been a while and you are having issues and the spectrum has started to slide you will affect plant growth quite a bit. It affected mine quite a bit. Bulb still worked fine, but the plants just slowly started to die.
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, jrman83. I appreciate hearing about what worked for you with your 29 gallon tank. I just may try running the second bulb for a few days and seeing if the algae returns. But I think I would start with the fixture raised a few inches, so I wouldn't be pushing too near to the high light category.
For solid low light look at Current USA LED plus.
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