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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I have the money to buy the new light fixture for my 75 gallon low light non co2 I am setting up. The 3 final light fixtures are either: one 2x28 watt t5no (56 watts total), two of those 2x28 t5no fixtures (112 watts total), or a 3x32 t8 fixture and I have an additional single strip if needed (96 watts total or 128 watts with optional single strip I have laying around)?

Lights will be over a glass top as well.

Help me make the final decision and let me know why you guys think that particular one is best?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So 4x28 t5no (two 2x28's) or 3x96 t8 or 4x128 t8 (cause I can always add another single t8 fixture if needed) would be best for low tech low light?

I want to be able to grow moss, java fern, amazon sword, various crypts, moneywort, and some easy rotala. I want those definitely. And then maybe if those do well I want to add some different easy aponogeton and even try some madagascar lace, some vals, and other low light plants.

I want to purchase the lights asap to get my tank going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
is there a big difference between using the t5no or t8's besides the amount of watts to make the light? The only thing is the t8 bulbs have more options where as the t5no's are pretty much made by coralife and all other light bulb stores have just odd bulb temps in t5no like 3000k or bulbs made for office lighting or something.

My most important question is: Could I grow those plants I listed in the previous post with the t8's???

I can do the 4x28 watts t5 if thats better but I DO NOT want to use co2. I want this to be low tech. Are you able to remove bulbs from t5no fixtures and have them still work with one bulb?
 

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My most important question is: Could I grow those plants I listed in the previous post with the t8's???
The difference between T5, T8 and T12 is the diameter of the tube and the resulting lower wattage for the same light output. No matter what nthe source or how efficient it is, it's the light available to the plant that counts. Without being able to measure actual output, which depends on fixture design, distance and several other factors, there's no way to make a comparison.

However, a rule of thumb of 2-3 watts per gallon for T12 bulbs means you'd need something like 150-225 watts for T12's. That's more like 90-150 watts of T5's, so 4 28 watt bulbs would be around the low end of your light needs. You might want T5HO lamps instead, maybe in just one of the fixtures.

That said, T5's are still pretty expensive, and T8's give about the same light per watt so you may want to use T8's and just use a few more.

Jeff
 
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