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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pair of t8s (with reflectors) over my 50gal. I have pressurised co2 at 3bps, Just started EI this week.. Growth has always been pretty slowww in my tank. I'm curious, what can T8s grow comfortably? And is my tank low light?

I'm planning on getting t5s on Tuesday, seems like they might be a quantum leap from the Stone Age t8s??
 

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I started with a t8 light fixture and have a 55 gallon tank. Are you getting enough light for the plants that you have? I cut the reflector down to allow me to squeeze two shop lights over the narrow 13 inch width. I have to say that my plant growth was amazing.

I went to a t5 light fixture and that is when my algae problem started, so be careful.

Slow growth and algae can be caused by a multitude of variables, water parameters, light period, plant type, etc.

Actually, I read that t5 bulbs aren't more efficient than t8 bulbs. It is the smaller diameter of the t5 bulb that allows more light to be reflected that makes a t5 light fixture better than a t8 or t12. Now, if your talking about a t5HO light fixture, that is a different matter.
 

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How many T5's are you going to run? You will most likely have a large increase in par so be careful when you start. I would start by decreasing the photoperiod, increasing co2 if you can, fert EI style and you shouldn't have to worry about algae. You will definitely see much faster growth with the T5's.
 

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This has a PAR chart for lots of fixtures you might be looking at...and how high it will bring the light up to.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368
How much you have now depends on the reflectors you have on there more than anything else. If it is white(which a can of spray paint can make it)then it is likely
the best you can hope for.
I have this growing in my T8 tank with no CO2 or Excel.
https://images.search.yahoo.com/sea...p=image&fr=slv1-iy&va=alternanthera+reineckii

A lot depends on which bulbs you have. Some are too high/bright, like Power Glo(Hagen). These I found to cause algae unless in a tall tank.
But with CO2 and ferts that include Micros and Macros there are few plants you can't grow with T8 bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm getting good enough light for large stem and root plants. But reds turn green, FG plants go dark green and get algae from lack of growth. Dwarf sag has adapted well though :proud: (damn I love that plant lol).

Surely the tech in the t5s is better, it couldn't just be that they're smaller.

I'll be running just two t5's as there's only two fixtures in the hood (it's a standard hood for a 180rio).
Yeah i'll reduce the photoperiod, the fish will notice the higher light too especially the catfish. Should I increase my co2? My drop checker reads a dark green so I guess it should be a lighter green so maybe 4bps is the way to go.

How many t8s are you running Raymond? And what's the substrate?? ... Cos that's not fair I should be having the same results :confused: lol.
*My EI dosing has only been going for 5 days so maybe you're right, the t8's aren't the main issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cost of upgrading to T5's is pretty high. If there's only a 9% difference in efficiency between the two, why then are T5 lit tanks seemingly far more successful than T8? It has you thinking the % diff should be a LOT bigger?

It seems like it would be better to not dish out 160euro to upgrade the lights, and just take the time to change the substrate to a better one, up the c02, and continue with EI... My wallet certainly wouldn't suffer as much lol.
 

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Cost of upgrading to T5's is pretty high. If there's only a 9% difference in efficiency between the two, why then are T5 lit tanks seemingly far more successful than T8? It has you thinking the % diff should be a LOT bigger?

It seems like it would be better to not dish out 160euro to upgrade the lights, and just take the time to change the substrate to a better one, up the c02, and continue with EI... My wallet certainly wouldn't suffer as much lol.
Lots of people have successful T8 tanks. But T5 has more qualitative advantages. Basically its just a lot smaller. If you need high density and a lot of light in a small space you can fit more T5s in the same space as T8s.

Plant lights also run longer so small efficiency gains are more valuable. If you are using t8 in a basement you don't care because the lights are not on 12 hours a day year round. Also because of this more companies target specialized bulbs at t5. People don't want to make various plant specific bulbs for t8. I have seen plenty of t8 and over driven t8s on setups.

Certainly if I already had t8 I would not waste time upgrading to t5. Not now with LED prices coming down fast.
 

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Here is a real world example for you...I use a t8 on my 20g long...with flourish, diy co2 and root tabs

I grow anacharis, cyperus helferi, java fern and water wisteria really well... I can run 2 t8s if I keep the photoperiod down because algea starts growing .i also have dwarf hairgrass which isn't growing or dying at this point so it probably is not enough light for it.
 

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2x T5NO would probably be a good choice for your tank if you want to stay low tech.

Most T5HO fixtures will put you up in the medium to high light range- needing pressurized CO2.

T5NO and T5HO fixtures tend to be very different in design- all the T5NO fixtures I've run across don't have particularly good reflectors behind the bulbs, and have both bulbs arranged side by side inside the fixture. This dramatically cuts down on the actual light output versus a fixture that spaces out the bulbs and wraps each bulb inside individual highly polished reflectors.

The lesser output of the T5NO fixtures is a GOOD thing when you want to stay low tech with a tank setup.

I usually run 2x54 watts of T5HO over my 90gal- and it's a LOT of light; right at the edge of being able to manage without CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
There is t5, t5HO, and T5vho............
http://www.seahorseaquariums.com/Juwel-High-lite-T5-55cm-2x24w//5694
The lights in question...

Same story with me Chunky! I have some micro sword that is neither dying nor growing. It's slowly aging.. lol. But fine for everything else!

I actually want to go high tech, and carpet my FG's. So it sounds like T5HO's are what I should go for, the above link is for t5's but whether they're HO or not i've no idea. Pretty sure my size would be 100cm in which case they're the 45w ones!
 
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