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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

My 75 gallon tank currently has an Odyssea 2X54w t5ho light on it. Given that these lights are cheap, don't give off a high PAR (so i've read), and don't cover a depth of 18" well, I figure I need another light. I can't decide whether buying another Odyssea light to give me 4 bulbs, is the way to go, or should I buy a light here locally, a hagen glo single t5ho light. Given the price on the hagen lights, they must surely be better made and I'm guessing have a better reflector. The Odyssea would save me money but I don't want to waste more money if it's not worthwhile either :)

I dose EI, and have pressurized co2 and would like to get good growth in my tank, so my question is, which light would be the smarter buy for my setup?

Thanks! :)
 

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I bought the Odyssea plant light with 4 bulbs. I considered it too much light and I swapped out the bulbs and put it over my marine tank. I am actually surprised that it was found that the 2 bulb set up is not bright enough. How long have you had it set up like that? Are the plants doing ok?

The only complaint I have, if you can call it that, is that it does have an adapter to fit american plugs, and it's a little bulky. I'm on a tight budget, and I feel that the Odyssea lights are very decent for the money, if you don't mind not having a "brand" name.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so you had the 4 bulb setup over a 75 and it was too much light you found? It's hard to find the balance but my plants aren't doing that great, i get slow growth with most plants except my Hygro. Polysperma which grow fine (except some of the lower leafs), but my dwarf hair grass isn't growing at all, my pearl weed gets BBA, my Sword plant tends to get BBA on it, my Vals don't seem to grow at all and get BBA on them or they melt (they use to grow great in my non co2 tank). I thought maybe it was lack of light and that if I had more that the plants would grow better and out compete the algae. I dose EI so there should be no lack of nutrients and I had my co2 going about 4bps, I have an fx5 on my tank which provides a lot of current as well as a small maxijet powerhead, all my plants are swaying in the current a bit so i don't feel like it should be a CO2 issue. I wish more people locally were into planted tanks, seems no one around here is into these much, so all i have to go by is what I read, and I've spend hours upon hours reading information.
 

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BBA is a good indication of too much light for the concentration of CO2 you have, and/or the amount of fertilizing you do. The easiest fix is less light. The fact that your plants aren't doing well suggests a shortage of NPK and traces, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I feel I have enough nutrients as i dose EI and the one test kit I have for phosphate showed 5ppm. The faster growing plants show no issues of BBA, just slower plants, like my swords and vals and driftwood. My pearl grass gets some too, but I wondered given my cheap light, maybe not enough light is hitting the substrate to give proper growth, in turn not allowing it to out compete the algae, or is this ridiculous thinking? I'd hate to invest in another light if it's really not needed. I generally have my lights on for about 8 hours. Nothing is on a timer at the moment, so i manually turn on everything and turn everything off. I always let the co2 go for about 2 hours before lights come on and turn it off 30 mins or so after i shut the co2 off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I originally had a 55 gallon, which i started in may, an switched the contents over into the 75 gallon, which has only been up for about a month or so. I'm just using a flourite/gravel mix for substrate. I dose a tsp of kno3, 3/4 tsp of K2SO4, 1/8 tsp KH2PO4 and 15ml flourish 3x weekly. I do a 50-60% water change every week and dose 2 teaspoons of MGSO4 and 2 tsps of Plaster of Paris for extra calcium.

I read that the odyssea only produces normal output due to the poor ballast and put my light on top of the tank to reach the hairgrass on the bottom. I originally had it about 6 inches above the top of the tank to help the spread of light and to avoid having too high of light. Hoppy seems to think the BBA comes from too much light but if this light is as poor as it's said to be then I would image the par levels for the substrate are extremely low. It's starting to become maddening as to what i need to do. As soon as I think I have a clue what I'm doing I then realize I have no idea ta all. haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
or i should say, not necessarily too much light, but not enough co2 in relation, but I can't seem to drive it further without stressing the fish. I even have my filter outtake pointed towards the surface to give a nice ripple in hopes of helping O2 levels.
 

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Don't use a test kit to determine if you are dosing enough phosphate unless you first calibrate the test kit with distilled water samples having known concentrations of phosphate in them. Test kits don't give meaningful results if not first calibrated. I suspect now that you may be under dosing phosphate, which would stunt the plants growth, leaving unhealthy plants for algae to colonize. Usually the CO2 isn't set at a high enough bubble rate when this type of problem comes up. If you have the water surface covered with ripples all the time, and have adjusted the CO2 upwards until either you see lots of pearling, or you see the small fish clustering in the upper corners like they are gulping air from the water surface (which is a sign you need to slightly reduce the bubble rate), then your CO2 is set about right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i've never seen my fish swimming to the surface for hair, just breathing heavy, name my bolivian rams and my bushfish (but he's anabantoid), so maybe i'm just assuming they're stressed when they're not. I'll try upping the co2 and the dosing since I know i would have to get to ridiculous levels before it would hurt anything. :) I don't really see much pearling, only on the java fern, so i'll try this and see what happens.

Thanks a lot by the way, i've been going kind of mad determining things, it's nice to at least have options i can try before investing more money needlessly :)
 

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Either I have a new batch, or something, I have a 4 light and a 2 light Odyssea fixture.The 2 bulb one is on a 35 gallon tall, an inch or two off the top, with a heavy cover of water spangles. I've been neglecting that tank, not been dosing it properly, and some of my plants are stunted, but no algae issues. It's my trimmings and outcast fish tank.
I don't have a PAR meter, but I never considered the lights too dim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i may get another light even just to spread it out better, i can always just use 2 or 3 of the bulbs instead of all 4, i just worry my whole tank is not getting the proper coverage from 2 bulbs. I'll see if upping my dosing helps any, then go from there :)
 

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I won't get crazy over this. Confirm your co2 levels are good with a drop checker or whatever and increase your dosing. As long as you change water religiously it shouldn't be a problem. If that doesn't work then I would definitely look into adding an additional bulb for a midday burst. Even an hour or 2 will do wonders for higher light demanding carpets without adversely affecting any algae production. If it is the light the extra growth will make up for the difference in the short intensity burst.
 
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