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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had posted a few days ago about being sold some lighting that they told me in the store would be "Great" for plants however it seems everyone here disagrees so I am going to upgrade the fixture. I found 2 in my price range but I am worried about making mother mistake.

Could you advise? the links to them are..

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/236416/product.web

http://www.petmountain.com/product/...ter.html?utm_source=gcs&utm_term=11442-512405

I like the look of the first one better plus they can guarentee shipping by friday (when my plants are arriving) but I would need to order by noontime.

My tank is 46 gal bowfront. It will have a decent amount of plants but I am not going for the complete planted aquarium look and not using Co2 at least for now. Right now the plants I have ordered are all low or medium lighting.

Thank you in advance for responses!!
 

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Hi Jadenlea - I'm afraid without CO2 supplementation, these light fixtures may be too much light and could lead to algae problems. The first link appears to be a Nova Extreme with 2x39 watt. It does not appear to have the ability to turn just one bulb on at a time. The second link looks like it's for a Current USA and I'm guessing it's the 36" 2x39watt. That one doesn't appear to have the option to run just a single bulb either.

What do you have currently? If you're not running CO2, a "plain old strip light" may be sufficient. And then that would allow you to shop around and not feel rushed to buy something quickly - and you can make a better decision and get something that you might grow into later (like if you ever run CO2, etc.).

Some of the experts can give better guidance than I can. It might be possible to adjust the height of the 2x39watt off your tank, and adjust the photo period enough to avoid algae issues in the absence of CO2. I'm just wondering if you can use what you have already (if you have a plain strip light) while you decide which direction you go with the tank overall. What are you going to do as far as dosing anything like Excel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the plants I have ordered are all beginner plants that say they dont need Co2
low and medium lighting needed

The light I have now is the coral life t5 duel lamp with a 10k and 6700k bulb. but only 21 watts Ive been told by people here it is not enough.

So if that is not enough and the other is to much.. what do I do?
 

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Ok. Looking back at this - I think you could get either of these lights but you'd want to have the ability to raise them up from the top of your tank, maybe as much as 12-14" above the tank. If you have the ability to suspend above the tank, then you're probably set.

I, personally, would probably go with the Nova from the first link -- no preference on either manufacturer or vendor. But if you're worried about getting it by Friday, then I'd go with the vendor who ships from the east coast versus west (I think Pet Mountain is west). I think it's a good price on both fixtures, and you would be able to utilize either fixture still if you go to CO2 supplementation at some point, by adjusting again the height above the tank to match your planted needs.

Purchasing lighting can be frustrating and you always second guess if you get the right thing or not. :) Been there!
 

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If your current light is only 21 watts total then you should go with one of those posted above. But be prepared to raise it to avoid too much light.

I like to go by this chart. It will be a little different for a bow front, but this should help you get an idea how much you might need to raise the light to keep the tank in the low light category. http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss176/Hoppycalif/LightIntensityTable.jpg

I think if you were to raise the Nova light 12 to 14 inches off the top of the tank then you'd be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I really dont have a way to suspend the lights.. Do you all still agree that the 2 21 watt bulbs are not enough for the low-med lightplants?

you are right.. it is really frustrating!!
 

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I really dont have a way to suspend the lights.. Do you all still agree that the 2 21 watt bulbs are not enough for the low-med lightplants?

you are right.. it is really frustrating!!
I found your original post about the 2x21 watt bulbs. And it sounds like these are T5NO (Normal Output). I'm assuming your 46G bow tank is about 21" tall, and that distance decreases by the depth of your substrate (let's assume 3-4 inches?). So if you put your light directly on the glass canopy then you would have low-to-medium lighting according to the light intensity table posted in the "sticky" in this forum.

I do think it would be suitable for what sounds like you're intending to be a low-tech setup.
 

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I really dont have a way to suspend the lights.. Do you all still agree that the 2 21 watt bulbs are not enough for the low-med lightplants?

you are right.. it is really frustrating!!
I found your original post about the 2x21 watt bulbs. And it sounds like these are T5NO (Normal Output). I'm assuming your 46G bow tank is about 21" tall, and that distance decreases by the depth of your substrate (let's assume 3-4 inches?). So if you put your light directly on the glass canopy then you would have low-to-medium lighting according to the light intensity table posted in the "sticky" in this forum.

I do think it would be suitable for what sounds like you're intending to be a low-tech setup.
I'd agree 2x21 watts Normal Output directly on top of the tank is low light.

You could have low light plants, such as anubias, java fern, most mosses, some types of crypts, some types of swords among others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok. Last question that I thought of driving home from work.

What about the new fixture but puttting in a less harsh light? Like instead of the 10k and growth light, the growth light and a colormax?
 

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ok. Last question that I thought of driving home from work.

What about the new fixture but puttting in a less harsh light? Like instead of the 10k and growth light, the growth light and a colormax?
No, changing the "K" or Kelvin of your bulbs won't change the intensity or amount of your lighting output. It just changes how yellowish, blueish, etc., your tank will look. I believe people typically use bulbs in the 5000K to 10000K range, and will use different types to help balance the visual effect of the color output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ok guys.. First off I just want to thank every one profusely for participating and helping me make the decision by noontime.

I did decide to get it because I would rather have a little to much light and figure out how to deal with that by either learning about CO2 or figuring a way to lift it, or taking out a light, or running it less hours, then have the 60 dollars worth of plants I just ordered all die!

I listened to every word you all said and will be working on ways to keep the light lower, I am just not sure exactly which way that will be yet :) I also researched a bunch of reviews on it in the last hour or so and it got almost all 5star reviews except for a couple reviews that said it came in the mail broken. Which is not really the products fault.

The weird part is, this one will cost me like $40 less then the one the LFS sold me considering I had to go out and buy a 6700 light for it (They actually sold me one with the artinic lighting and said it would be great for the plants!) I will be returning the other fixture and bulb tomorrow.

Thank you thank you thank you for being patient with me!
 

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Congrats on your light purchase! I'm excited for you and sounds like you've gotten a good deal based on the price and reviews and allowing you to have some flexibility down the line if you go higher tech! :)
 
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