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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if I'll be looking at too much light if I run the 36" 4 x 39w TEK Light on my 40 breeder. Should I run all 4 bulbs, or should I work out some kind of schedule with two on at a time? Setup will have pressurized co2 and ferts.
 

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either way is possible. All depends on your knowledge, patience, and willingness to work your butt off to keep up with the lighting. 2 T5HO bulbs over most any standard depth tank is plenty, but 4 can have some... interesting results as well. I'd say test 2, and go 4 if you want more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Adding to my confusion is the fact that multiple, incredible tanks on the AGA showroom pages were grown using very similar setups. I realize the people growing these tanks are waaaaay out of my league, but if they were able to make a tank work (and beautifully) with the full power of the fixture going... it makes me wonder if I could manage with half of that?

Examples:

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2008.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=36
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2008.cgi?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=1&id=35

I guess I should add to this that the reason for my question is I'm looking at buying this fixture from a forum member here for $200 including bulbs.
 

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I asked Tom Barr the same question. His answer was run the two outside bulbs for better spread, and if you really have to have more growth, do the third for a short burst.
 

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ShrimpRetirement
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In my recent experience, if you haven't read my 40breeder journal, I've tackled the same subject myself. 2 bulbs are sufficient and will grow plants normally at a moderate pace, but after I added bulb #3 using a seperate fixture... everything is growing very fast. I say you can def use 4 bulbs, but you'd have to suspend the fixture to control the intensity, instead of sitting it on top of the tank on legs. 4 bulbs is way too much light to leave on all 8hrs.

I'm doing 2 bulbs with a 3hr midday burst of 3 bulbs. Hope that made sense. However I'm doing 5-6bps on C02 (misting). I had to deal with a light case of diatoms and green hair algae but it's been gone since last week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my recent experience, if you haven't read my 40breeder journal, I've tackled the same subject myself. 2 bulbs are sufficient and will grow plants normally at a moderate pace, but after I added bulb #3 using a seperate fixture... everything is growing very fast. I say you can def use 4 bulbs, but you'd have to suspend the fixture to control the intensity, instead of sitting it on top of the tank on legs. 4 bulbs is way too much light to leave on all 8hrs.

I'm doing 2 bulbs with a 3hr midday burst of 3 bulbs. Hope that made sense. However I'm doing 5-6bps on C02 (misting). I had to deal with a light case of diatoms and green hair algae but it's been gone since last week.
EXTREMELY helpful response, can't thank you enough there. The plan was to suspend the fixture over the tank already, so no problem there. Any suggestions as to about how high to suspend it as a starting point?
 

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A 40 breeder is only 16 inches high, but 18 inches front to back. The 18 inches pretty well forces you to use two bulbs, separated as far apart as you can, up to 8-10 inches. The 16 inch height means a 4 bulb T5HO fixture will give you about 300 micromols PAR at the substrate, and much higher up near the water surface. That might be good for a reef tank, but it would be a major problem for a planted tank. (The 300 micromol data is from TEK and Catalina fixtures.) A two bulb fixture gets you about 200 micromols of PAR, based on Archaea and Ice Cap fixtures. That, too, is possibly good for a reef tank, but not a planted tank. Raising the 2 bulb fixture about 8 inches above the tank would drop the PAR to about 100 micromols, which is high light intensity for a planted tank. Raising the 4 bulb fixture about 16 inches would also give you about 100 micromols of PAR.

I think most people using fixtures like that for planted tanks are hanging the fixtures above the tank, and raising them to reduce the light to manageable amounts. I know that Tom Barr does that routinely now - and he doesn't start with nearly that much light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hoppy, I appreciate the response. In the end, it sounds like I'm going to have to face up to that I was probably too impulsive thinking this fixture would work for my use. Unfortunately, this means I owe a certain local forum member here a ridiculously massive apology for having wasted their time.... sigh... :icon_redf
 

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ShrimpRetirement
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Lol. So what fixure will you be going with?

IMO lights don't have to be fancy. You're paying for build quality and brand name. Any cheap t5ho fixure can grow plants just as well as the most expensive t5ho light on the market, as long as you spend the extra $$ on good bulbs. I say if money isn't an issue, go for a fixure that has both quality and efficiency. Don't have money? Get the cheapest but fairly reliable fixure. Just don't get fishneedit.com fixures.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Laura, even if Sven did a 6-7 hour photoperiod with a 1 hour burst? I could be wrong, but I thought it would work...haha now I'm confused...:hihi:
Would probably work fine on a larger (deeper) tank, with the ADA fixtures (which actually aren't as high light output as Teks or Catalinas), and/or with fixtures raised up higher as Hoppy suggested.

You have to keep in mind that Teks are one of the highest output fixtures on the market ATM.
 

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Like what?

There are new fixtures now that blow Teks out of the water.
I have been pretty happy with a 30" 4x24w cat aqua on my 37g tank (23" tall). I am currently running all bulbs for 6.5 hours with great growth and am contemplating running 2 for 8-9 with the other two for 3-4 hours.
 
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