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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, I am obsessed with figuring out my lighting needs. I have a 29g with a single T8 8000k tube. I was thinking of replacing the tube, but I'm not sure if even doing that will give me enough to be "lowlight". I saw an easy mod to change out the single tube to a double. So I would have two T8's over my 29gal.

I don't have CO2, or dose ferts, I'd say I'm med planted with mostly basic lowlight plants. So would two tubes be too much light and be asking for algae? Thanks!
 

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Don't waste your money on T8s. Get a coraife T5NO now sold under Aqueon at Pet Smart. Cheapest at Pet Blvd. That is what I did for my 29G. I just fortunately got my coralife at an auction for about $20.

Got a link to pic of tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would a dual T5NO (I'm assuming that's Normal Output?) be too much light?

Here's the link to the mod I saw. I'm pretty sure I can get the fixture at Rona. I'll check out the PetSmart too, but in Canada often we don't have the same products, or they're way more expensive then you get south of the border. But I'll check it out, thanks!

http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article97.html
 

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Would a dual T5NO (I'm assuming that's Normal Output?) be too much light?
No. It is perfect. Since I only have a few stems I can skip dosing Co2 alternative (metricide diluted) a few days, which happens at times.

I like the coralife because the bulbs are 30in. You could just put some 24in T5 lights from a hardware store in a unit as in the picture. If the wattage is around 24 they are HO (high output). I found sometimes the hardware stores don't sale the replacement bulbs for the light strips that they sell, though. You might also try a hydroponics store. And do as Hyzer did.

I searched at Big Als in Canada and saw that they have the bulbs but couldn't find the light fixture. Perhaps you could contact them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for that other mod link. I'd really like to keep it in a strip though, just not sure if I want to lay out the extra bucks to buy a ready made fixture or just swap the unit inside the one I have. My husband used to like to build his own lamps when we were dating, he said he could easily swap it out for me if I knew what I wanted.

I see this unit at Home Depot. Would this be good to give me better light, but keep me in the low-mid light range? (I know this particular one is too long, but in general?)

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/36-in-fluorescent-mini-t5-double-strip/980441



36" mini strip light uses two 21 watt T5 lamp. High - gloss baked enamel finish in white. 120 volt fixture with low power factor ballast. Suitable for general or task lighting. Ideal for applications requiring medium illumination levels in narrow spaces . CSA

Uses (2) 21 Watt T5 Lamp
120V
CSA Certified
Energy Star rated
Lamp Included

Edit - they do have the 24" size, and for only $37 definitely attractive (if it would work!)
 

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I would consider spending a little more up front and upgrading to LED. Check out the Finnex Fugeray. I am considering them myself. A lot of people are making this move and everyone seems really happy. You will save on electricity and bulb cost as well as the LED should last you 13+ years at 100% projected life (which I doubt) but even if they make it to 50% of projected life you are still talking probably 14 t5 bulbs, which adds up. Just a thought.

PAR Data
Finnex FugeRay Ultra Slim LED Fixture

Interestingly the Finnex lights are on amazon and qualify for free shipping with prime.
 

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Your Tank Lighting

Yes, I am obsessed with figuring out my lighting needs. I have a 29g with a single T8 8000k tube. I was thinking of replacing the tube, but I'm not sure if even doing that will give me enough to be "lowlight". I saw an easy mod to change out the single tube to a double. So I would have two T8's over my 29gal.

I don't have CO2, or dose ferts, I'd say I'm med planted with mostly basic lowlight plants. So would two tubes be too much light and be asking for algae? Thanks!
Hello tink...

I keep plants that require low to moderate light, so CO2 isn't needed. Ideally, you want 6500K bulbs. They come closest to natural daylight, that's 5500K. I use either 32 watt, T8s or 40 watt T12s. Just one bulb would be sufficient light for a 29 G.

It's been my experience that the ferts the fish produce are the best long term for my plants. I just feed a balanced diet of frozen foods. Plants, like everything else that's living do best with a variety of nutrients. So, I also dose a little diluted liquid fert.

If you keep to the less demanding plants, then things stay pretty simple.

Just a couple of thoughts.

B
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello tink...

I keep plants that require low to moderate light, so CO2 isn't needed. Ideally, you want 6500K bulbs. They come closest to natural daylight, that's 5500K. I use either 32 watt, T8s or 40 watt T12s. Just one bulb would be sufficient light for a 29 G.

It's been my experience that the ferts the fish produce are the best long term for my plants. I just feed a balanced diet of frozen foods. Plants, like everything else that's living do best with a variety of nutrients. So, I also dose a little diluted liquid fert.

If you keep to the less demanding plants, then things stay pretty simple.

Just a couple of thoughts.

B
This is exactly what I want to do! I want enough light for my basic plants, no more as I do not want to go down the road of high maintenance dosing and CO2, etc. But it seems standard answer that if you have a single T8, its not enough for anything. That's why I'm wondering if I need to upgrade. I'm just confused as to what a good balance would be. There's lots of good resources for upgrading to higher light, but not a lot as a good guide to maintaining low light.

Sotty, thanks for the FugeRay recommendation. I do hear a lot of good things about it. If I do upgrade, I will check it out.
 

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Your Lighting Questions

Hell again tink...

You don't need to do anything fancy to keep and maintain a nicely planted tank. T8 or T12, 6500K bulbs are available at most of the chain hardware stores for a few dollars and last up to a year. I use a GE, T12 aquarium plant bulb in my 38 G. I have Anubias and Java fern and keep those sitting on top of my gravel substrate, they require low light. I have Amazon sword potted, it requires a little stronger light. They're somewhat slow growers, but are nice and green. I also float Anacharis and Pennywort. These grow much faster, since the entire length of the plant is exposed to and up close to the bulb.

If you want to get a little creative, you can emerse other plants. Just keep the roots under the water and the leaves above to take in the CO2 from the air in the room. Most of these require only ambient (room) light.

There are many plant options that don't require any expensive equipment and lighting systems.

B
 
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