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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a really quick question for everyone or more I'd like to here every ones opinion. I am in the midst of planning to overhaul my 29 gallon tank. I haven't decide on the layout as far as plants, but I know I want to have some plants that require some high light. My substrate will be MTS, I've started the process of getting the soil ready now my question is on lighting. I am planning on putting a single Coralife Colormax Lamp T5 HO 30" 31 Watt my ballast is a Fullham Workhorse 5. The fixture will be 4" above the aquarium and the tanks specs are 36"x12.5"x13(I subtracted 2.5 inches for the substrate)

So my point to this post is am I correct in the belief that a single T5HO with a reflector from AHSupply make my aquarium a high light level tank? Could this be enough light to grow something like Rotala macrandra?
 

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One thing you will very likely grow very well is algae. That arrangement will likely be more light than you can supply enough CO2 to the plants to keep up with their growth. That's when algae tend to grow very well and fast. I used to grow Rotala macranda with only medium light at most, and very little CO2, plus poor fertilizing. It isn't a hard plant to grow, but I found it hard to keep algae from growing on it. Given the lousy conditions I had for any plants, algae was probably inevitable.

If the light will be only 13 inches from the substrate a pair of T8 bulbs is the best light you can get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One thing you will very likely grow very well is algae. That arrangement will likely be more light than you can supply enough CO2 to the plants to keep up with their growth. That's when algae tend to grow very well and fast. I used to grow Rotala macranda with only medium light at most, and very little CO2, plus poor fertilizing. It isn't a hard plant to grow, but I found it hard to keep algae from growing on it. Given the lousy conditions I had for any plants, algae was probably inevitable.

If the light will be only 13 inches from the substrate a pair of T8 bulbs is the best light you can get.
Oh Thank God i was hoping you'd chime in two T8's it is :) Thanks everyone.
 

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I don't know how similar this would be but I have a Coralife T5NO fixture, dual bulb, one reflector and it's working pretty well for my 20 long (12 in high). I did raise them an inch, only to make life easier. I get a small amount of algae so it's really on the cusp of being to high, no major issues I cannot solve though cleaning ever once in awhile but not low enough so I have no cleaning.

I have another 20 long setup with 65 watt PC light and I had to raise it much more (I am guessing 7-8 in) and still have slightly worse issues, again, nothing I cannot clean. I am hopping over time that the bulb will loose intensity and be perfect but this tank also has less plants.

I am not saying it's a great idea, I just think both these may be comparable, depending on the reflector.
 
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