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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello long time Saltwater Reef aquarium guy, getting back into the hobby, but this time going with a High Lighting CO2 planted tank.

So my question is I have a 6 bulb ATI lighting fixture that has two channels which are dimmable. Would it be a good idea to use this fixture, or just use 4 of the sockets? I know some still use T5 I take it? Or is it better to spend the money and get a LED fixture. If so what bulbs are you guys getting. I’ve been watching so many videos, but guys are using the Sylvania 6500K bulbs, but seems they are only found in the UK.

So the tank size is a standard 40 gallon breeder size no other equipment yet, as I’m still working on what to get. Thank you for any help to this question
 

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You can definitely use your current fixture if you want to do so. There are people on this forum that simply swear by T5 bulbs and will put different bulbs together to make combinations (a whole monster thread is floating around the forum on this called something like 'bulb combo thread'. That said the vast majority of the hobby has made the switch to LEDs. There are some nice features in leds like sunrise and sunset, plus they are significantly more energy efficient. It just depends on a) what your budget is, b) whether you like led lights (not everyone does), and c) if you want certain features that tend to come with leds like app control, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, I guess I was just worried about too much light? The lights are hanging and can be adjusted to whatever height needed. Like I said it’s a 6 bulb, which might be overkill, but just wondering if I would run all 6 bulbs if I could run just 6 of them for part of the day, and run 4 bulbs the rest of the day? I also have to reef breeder LEDs on there that I can use for sunrise and sunset if I wanted to. I’ll look for the bulb combo thread, thank you.
 

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Thanks for the reply, I guess I was just worried about too much light? The lights are hanging and can be adjusted to whatever height needed. Like I said it’s a 6 bulb, which might be overkill, but just wondering if I would run all 6 bulbs if I could run just 6 of them for part of the day, and run 4 bulbs the rest of the day? I also have to reef breeder LEDs on there that I can use for sunrise and sunset if I wanted to. I’ll look for the bulb combo thread, thank you.
Sooo with this being a co2 injected tank I would assume you want somewhere around 50 to 100 par/ppfd at substrate. There are people here that blast light at over 300 par at substrate, but that can get super tricky and with this being your first planted tank I would think you want more normal settings.

As to whether to go 4 bulb or 6?, well it depends on how much par you are producing. I would aim for the 50-100 par at substrate. If you don't have a par meter use a lux meter (or lux meter app) and take the result and divide by 80 to get a rough idea of par.
 

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Maybe @burr740 would have some input on this?

I will say that light output from tubes is really nice. You can mix/match spectrums to really make colors pop. I follow some aquascape competition tanks and tubes are what they use (sometimes with a select led spot or 2).

This coming from someone who hasn't used a tube in a long time. And won't switch back. :)

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Is the ATI a 36" light? Good plant bulbs are gonna be hard to find in that size. They just arent making a lot of 36" bulbs these days for the plant side of things.

Having said that, running 6 bulbs you'll want the light at least 24" off the substrate, 30" is probably about right. If its dimmable you can hang it lower of course.

That 6 bulb ati, depending on what bulbs you use, will have you in the 100-150 range at 24-30 inches. Which is about right for a high light CO2 injected tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea it is the 36” ATI dimmable fixture. So the only bulbs I’m seeing are the Giesemann bulbs? It seems most of the bulbs are over in Europe. What combo are being run on T5 for plants. Are the Giesemann bulbs good, I used to run those on my reef tank and was always happy with them?
 

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