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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so I am new here and to fish tanks in general. I have started adding plants to my tank and bought a finnex stingray, I then read I could add a t8 bulb to the hood that came with my tank and found one for 9$ so I bought it.


My question would be should I run both together? will that increase plant growth? I have just recently added- bacopa, java fern, anubias, water wisteria, amazon sword
 

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The short answer is no. But to really evaluate it we need some more info like your parameters, your tank size, your substrate, the amount of time the lights are on, whether or not you dose fertilizers or inject co2 (not to assume but I'm guessing no due to being new to the hobby); and some other things like how long the tank has beenup and running, what your stocking level is, etc. There are also various types of t8 bulbs. Some might increase plant growth some might not. The "color" or "warmth" of the bulb is what determines whether or not it can or will grow plants. Bulbs in the "warmer" spectrum (6500K) are better suited that bulbs in the 10000k spectrum which are good for coral growth in saltwater tanks.

You're looking for balance in your tank which can take a while to achieve. Too much light and not enough plants and you'll see an algae explosion. Too many plants, too little light and not enough nutrients/fertilizers and you'll just watch your plants die (and likely still see algae blow up!). A lot of these questions have no simple answer as they are different for everyone and every tank. Takes a bit of trial and error especially at the beginning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the detailed response, I am new to the hobby but I do want to learn and do it right and I like the planted tank look but understand it is a learning process so no problem taking it slow anyway here is some info-

tank- 56 gal 30L 18W 24H so it is a deep tank with sand substrate with root tabs added near my plants
right now just the finnex stingray on 12 hrs
I have flourish comprehensive but have only dosed it twice (following directions on label) because my plants are only a week old
tank is about 6 weeks old, now cycled with two angelfish and BN pleco and I will be getting a school of kuhli loaches tomorrow.
the t8 bulb was 6500k


thanks for any guidance and advice I understand there is no standard answer
 

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The short answer is no.
Why not if the hood allows, extra light cannot hurt if he wants more plant growth. The OP did not say, is this the best?, just can he use both at the same time.

So respectfully a more appropriate response would be "perhaps", and the perhaps would be based on heat output and the canopy cooling method and design so that the two fixtures do not interfere with each other.

Only then you should explain the best bulb to get for him or her to get the most growth. Just my opinion.
 

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As I recall, the Finnex StingRay will not provide a lot of light on a 24 inch tall tank. And, a single T8 bulb will also not provide a lot of light. So, using both together is a good idea. The T8 bulb alone barely gives you low light, good only for mosses and ferns. Adding the StingRay should increase that to low medium light, which lets you grow a lot more different plants. If you also use Seachem Excel, the plants will have a better chance to do well.
 

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Be careful with a statement like extra light cannot hurt. Too much light and not enough CO2 is a recipe for significant algae growth.
Good point, but since the Stingray he has is 30" and would be considered low tech on an 18" 20gal high, let alone a 24" deep tank. Granted the light at the surface is stronger for algae growth, but his plants are on the bottom. A single T8 at the full length of his tank could be no more than 30" and the most powerful bulb perhaps 20W. Then he is only adding 1/3 watt per gallon which is why I said "more light cannot hurt". If the bulb is 24" due to canopy restraints, then even less.

Again, I see your point but the answer would still be "perhaps or maybe or it depends", but not a flat out "no". That was just my point.
 

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Why not if the hood allows, extra light cannot hurt if he wants more plant growth. The OP did not say, is this the best?, just can he use both at the same time.

So respectfully a more appropriate response would be "perhaps", and the perhaps would be based on heat output and the canopy cooling method and design so that the two fixtures do not interfere with each other.

Only then you should explain the best bulb to get for him or her to get the most growth. Just my opinion.

why not? because extra light is not necessarily a good thing especially if your plants dont demand it. Thought I sort of explained the reason behind my short answer of "no". New tank, not much history to go on, new to the hobby and a list of plants that dont necessarily require higher light.

Seemed like the question was looking for advice on whether or not the two lights should actually be used in conjunction with one another for optimal plant growth. Not whether is was physically possible to fit two light fixtures and turn them both on. I could fit a second engine in the trunk of my car but would it make sense to do so and would it be worthwhile?

Maybe I jumped the gun in explaining what type of bulb to look for; but considering the OP already purchased the stuff it seemed worth mentioning.

Back to the OP: I'd run with just one light for a while and get yourself a baseline going. Then if you feel plant growth is lacking or you're just not getting the anticipated results you can try changing some things. Maybe add the second light and see if your results improve or not. But dont go trying to fix a problem when you dont even know if there is a problem yet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the bulb is 24" and I could get seachem excel if that is advised. the whole reason I was considering both lights is due to the height of my tank. would it be good to go ahead and run both and see what happens? if I start to see algae then cut back to just the stingray?
 

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If it were my tank, I would see which way was more visually appealing to "me" and then try to match the rest of the parameters to that. So, if the look of both bulbs is your fancy, start with that and try to stay with that. If you don't like the look, and are happy with low light plants, then just stick with the LED.

As for Excel, it is much cheaper to buy Metricide (which is the same active ingredient as Excel, just more) and either dilute it yourself OR use less metricide. Full disclosure, metricide is really nasty stuff. If you are kind of sloppy or accident prone, stick with Excel. For reference, I bought 1 gallon of Metricide 28 for my 55g and it will last over 2 years. It only cost $27. A gallon of excel will be around $80 and not even last a year in my 55g.

Ben
 

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Thought I sort of explained the reason behind my short answer of "no". New tank, not much history to go on, new to the hobby and a list of plants that dont necessarily require higher light.
You most definitely explained yourself, just after you said no. And everything you said after that was 100% true. My statement was also premature as well since I was only going on the Finnex unit which is designed for no tech, not even low tech, and any $9 T8 was not going to be a supernova. The actual facts about the tank only reinforced my thinking, but after the fact.

This is why we take the time to post because just like teaching, we learn just as much.
 

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the bulb is 24" and I could get seachem excel if that is advised. the whole reason I was considering both lights is due to the height of my tank. would it be good to go ahead and run both and see what happens? if I start to see algae then cut back to just the stingray?
I would do exactly the opposite. Start with one and add the second if needed. But it's your choice in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yes I saw your post after I posted my reply, I will probably give that a try since that is what I am already doing. I have been running just the finnex for a week with the plants and haven't seen much change good or bad in that week, they look the same as when I put them in
 

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I would do exactly the opposite. Start with one and add the second if needed. But it's your choice in the end.
I agree with this but since you have a 24" tank you may need the extra light. 24" is awfully deep for a stingray to reach your plants.

In general it is good to exercise caution when adding more light but too little light is an issue as well. If you do run both of them just keep an eye on things and make sure you don't get algae.
 
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