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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 30 gallon that I'm going to do fish and quite a few plants in. Wondering if I should go 48watts of T5 or 130watts PC? I can't quite afford the 4x24 T5 though...thanks for any help. It SEEMS that PC would be the obvious choice because more wattage, but am I wrong here?
 

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More info is needed to answer your question.

First... what are the dimensions of your tank? A standard 30 gallon tank is 36" long, so is a 30 breeder... the 36" T5 HO fixtures have 39 watt bulbs in them not 24, If you are considering a 2 or 4 x 24 watt T5 HO fixture they come in 24" and 30" lengths. Either you are looking at the wrong size of lighting fixtures or you don't have a 30 gallon tank.

As far as how much light you need that is going to depend on your goals for the tank. Low-tech, low light no CO2 or high-tech high light pressurized using CO2 and ferts. If you are not going to invest in a CO2 system you do not want 130 watts of PC lighting, 65 may even be more than you can use without CO2. The T5 HO fixtures that have good reflectors put out way more light per watt than PC fixtures so don't let the numbers fool you. If you want to go low-tech consider using either T8 or T5 NO lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oh right sorry. well it's 30" long, 18 high, 12 wide, so kind of a weird length. maybe it's a 29 gallon, but those are the measurements. So if I wanted to eventually go high tech with CO2, which of these two fixtures would be good? Would the 48watts of T5 be enough, or would I want more?
 

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If you intend to put co2 on the tank in future & have heaps of plants you are probably better off going for the highest output lights you can afford. Probably the T5's would be my pick. If you want to take advantage of the light until you can get proper co2, hook up a diy co2 system. That will help to avoid algae issues until you get an injection system to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So you think that 48 w of T5 will be enough to penetrate 18" and keep medium light plants growing well, or somewhat well?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had another question I thought of. If I was going to go with a Solar PC 2x65 30" setup, are the bulbs spaced in a way to where I could just have one lamp on without it looking weird?
 
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