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Received my Catalina T5HO lights

894 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  captain_bu
I just got my two 36" T5HO fixtures yesterday and got them installed. Each enclosure is a 4X39w bulb, but built into their 8X39w enclosure. They are 12.5" wide and the lights are placed on each end. The work is top-notch. Really lights the tank up nice.

The question I had is what kind of lighting period do you recommend? It is a 125gal tank, CO2 injected, EI dosing. I have initially set it to 6hrs.

Also, right now I have them just sitting on top of the tank. It looks like everything is lighted pretty evenly inside the tank and I really can't see a difference raising them up some, but hard to tell by looking. I believe it is 19" from the bulbs to the top of my substrate. I got the legs for it and think they raise it up 3-4". Should I be using them? I had the small loops put in just in case I wanted to suspend.
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I would use the legs. That should give you high light, but not too high. Or, you could leave them right at the top and see if you run into any problems. The trouble with that is that it is much easier to prevent algae from starting than to stop it once it starts.
Great fixtures, Catalina.
The trouble with that is that it is much easier to prevent algae from starting than to stop it once it starts.
Totally agree with this. After making past mistakes I realized that it is better to ramp up light levels slowly, start with less intensity and a shorter photoperiod and then increase slowly with a few weeks between each change until you find the "sweet spot". Gives the plants time to adjust to each change and you time to make the necessary changes to your ferts and CO2 to keep up with the increased lighting.
So is 6hrs a good starting point?
That's were I started. I'm up to just over 8 hours with 2X24 over my 20G...

I just ordered my retrofit for the 75G (4X54) @ 47"X12" so the bulbs are 3" apart.. Should be decent coverage?
I also like to start with 6 hours... raising the fixture or using less bulbs at first helps more than reducing photoperiod (assuming you are going to ramp up to medium or high intensity as well as a longer photoperiod) a combo of the two is generally best.
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