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This is a discussion on First steps within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> the fixture you mention above is extremely high and will require more than once a week fert and may require injection of c02 but ...

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Old 12-20-2009, 04:04 PM   #11
 
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the fixture you mention above is extremely high and will require more than once a week fert and may require injection of c02 but it all depends on how many hours you keep those on. some of the brightest bulbs you got there besides t5. before you drop in fish i would ask around about light schedules and fert schedules so you dont go down a algae infested road in the future, i might add angel would prob be your best bet here with this type of thing the girl knows her stuff! i just wanted to bring up the c02 possiblity and that it would be more likely and easy to do with that type of light over the tank.

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Old 12-20-2009, 05:46 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Mean Harri View Post
I agree. Just talked to the LFS. I forgot the 2 Coralife light fixtures they had. The guy that helped me yesterday said if I go with the Coralife 8081 (2-65w 6700k) power compact fixture I should be fine doing lower light requiring plants and no co2. They have a Coralife T-5 fixture as well with 1- T5 28w 6700k and a 28w full spectrum bulb I believe. I can get the Coralife 8081 cheaper online but shipping only makes it $26.00 cheaper than my LFS. For $26 being able to get it when I want to get it and return it there if it craps out early is worth it to me.

Fishy tank here I come
First, two 65w tubes will be way too much light in my opinion. There is absolutely no way you can balance that amount of light intensity with nutrients (carbon especially) from the fish. One of these tubes over a 55g would be adequate, I had this size tank years ago with one 40w tube and grew beautiful plants.

As for the other fixture, I'd like to be clear on what it is; I understand they are T5 fixtures.

1. Are the tubes T5 HO or just T5 (it will say on the ends)?

2. What is the measured length of the tubes? And your tank I believe is a 55g with length 48 inches, correct?

We can make suggestions once we know what we are talking about.

Byron.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:31 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
First, two 65w tubes will be way too much light in my opinion. There is absolutely no way you can balance that amount of light intensity with nutrients (carbon especially) from the fish. One of these tubes over a 55g would be adequate, I had this size tank years ago with one 40w tube and grew beautiful plants.

As for the other fixture, I'd like to be clear on what it is; I understand they are T5 fixtures.

1. Are the tubes T5 HO or just T5 (it will say on the ends)?

2. What is the measured length of the tubes? And your tank I believe is a 55g with length 48 inches, correct?

We can make suggestions once we know what we are talking about.

Byron.
My tank is a 55g. Standard 48"x13"x ?" the height is. I forget atm. I believe the T5 fixture was standard T5 and not the HO. However, I believe I found a perfect light. Catalina Solar T5. It comes with 3x54w HO T-5 bulbs of your choice of whatever T5 bulbs they carry. The light has 2 switches and 2 power cords allowing you to run one bulb, 2 bulbs, or all 3 bulbs. That equates to almost 1w/gallon, 2w/gal, or almost 3w/gal. I figure it's a perfect balance as it allows you to go low light (54w on 55g) to 108w on 55g or 162w on 55g. This way it allows for future expansion into the co2 world should I decide down the road to do so while also allowing lower light applications as well. Who says one has to run all 3 bulbs?
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:51 PM   #14
 
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Do you honestly consider 130 watts over a 55g LOW? Man you're looking at 2.5 wpg that a LOT in my opinion and asking for algae troubles to come. I have a 40&35w on the new 55g set up and I find even that a lil too much.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:54 PM   #15
 
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Do you honestly consider 130 watts over a 55g LOW? Man you're looking at 2.5 wpg that a LOT in my opinion and asking for algae troubles to come. I have a 40&35w on the new 55g set up and I find even that a lil too much.
I've been reading more since that last post and in looking at your and Byron's tanks I am changing my mind. I noticed Byron has 80w I believe on a 55 and an 80g and it's nice as is your 55g with 75w. I like the low pro kind though. Search continues
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:38 PM   #16
 
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Just really gotta keep in mind, if you chose to go high end on the lights - To keep this all discussed *balance* in the tank you'll then need to go high end on everything else too.
And I think I mentioned it before, but with this high end lights you're more likely to get certain algae developed rather quickly too (and I doubt you want these lol).
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:15 PM   #17
 
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Some comments in response to the last couple of posts.

First, I have 80 watts on each of my 115g, 90g and 70g tanks; when I had a 55g I had 40 watts but today I would go with two regular tubes (80 watts) or one T5 HO on a 55g.

On the T5 HO tubes, bear in mind that these are approximately 1.5 times more intense (brighter) that regular T8 tubes. In other words, two T5 HO tubes will be more light than three regular tubes of the same length. The wattage when talking T5 HO is not the same as wattage of regular tubes. Which is why I suggest either two regular tubes or one T5 HO tube. And even though the one T5 HO will be less wattage than the dual regular, the light will be the same or slightly more intense. T5 HO really is very intense light. I know it is only my opinion, but having tried one of these for a full week on my 115g which is twice the size as your 55g, the dual T5 HO was just too much light. I jokingly commented that my poor fish would be asking me for sunglasses.

And that brings me to another significant point about light that hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet--the fish. Most of the fish we maintain in planted aquaria are forest fish from the jungles of South America and SE Asia, and less often West Central Africa. These fish inhabit slow streams and creeks and flooded forest that is almost always sheltered by overhanging vegetation. Direct sunlight rarely gets through the water. It is no surprise that these streams frequently have little if any aquatic plants because they have too little light. The Rio Negro and Rio Guapore in the Amazon basin are exceptions, they have very thick aquatic plant life, but the direct sunlight is still minimal. And this affects the fish and the plants.

The fish are programmed by nature to inhabit dimly-lit waters, and many believe this explains some of the vibrant colourings of fish like the neon and cardinal tetras; the neon line shines in water so dark you can't see the outline of the fish itself, only this flash of colour. But the point here is that to be relaxed and comfortable in their aquarium, these fish need dim lighting; over a dark substrate and with a dark background their colours are vibrant and spectacular. And a fish that is less stressed by its environment will be healthier and live a normal rather than a shortened life.

And to the plants, as Diana Walstad points out in her excellent book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, aquatic plants have a very low light requirement, much less than what some would have you believe. Less than one watt of full spectrum light is adequate for the vast majority of aquarium plants. Growth will be slower than it will if you increase the light and pump CO2 into the tank, but the slower growth will be no less beautiful and healthy.

My thinking always has been to provide the most authentic environment we can for the fish and plants in our aquaria. This has two results. The aquarium will be more stable without constant fussing and intervention by the aquarist. And this means the fish (and plants) will be healthier and more likely to display natural behaviours and colours.

So, back to the light. You may be tired of seeing it, but there is a delicate balance to a successful aquarium between the fish, plants, light and nutrients. Algae is rarely seen in a balanced setup, simply because the plants use the nutrients which do not exceed the available light and these are not greater than the available carbon from CO2 produced by the fish. Adding brighter light will not result in better plant growth if the nutrients (including carbon and nitrogen from the fish) are not in balance. The absolute first thing to determine is the fish load in the aquarium; then select the light that balances, and suitable plants for that combination; lastly add the missing mineral nutrients in balance with the light and carbon. There is some experimenting in this, but there are also some tried and true formulae that work. One watt per gallon of regular full spectrum light works with the usual fish load and plants. Weekly liquid fertilizer that supplies the missing minerals is usually required. That's it.

Byron.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:57 AM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by Mean Harri View Post
I've been reading more since that last post and in looking at your and Byron's tanks I am changing my mind. I noticed Byron has 80w I believe on a 55 and an 80g and it's nice as is your 55g with 75w. I like the low pro kind though. Search continues
look yes these two have good looking tanks but have went the low tech road which is fine, since you already have the equipment i would just continue down the road that you are already on, now that you have great lighting look around for some great ferts, seachem is a good brnad to look into for comprehensive things as far as that goes. now for your c02, the best place to look for a nice setup that is actually a reasonable price is ebay lots of stuff on there. find one that comes with the c02 tank and dont pay over 300.00 for the whole setup. your gunna wanna search for pressurized c02 kits for the aquarium. then after you get that we can get you hooked up on a nice plant site and then you can get any plant you want and at a great price and then start to enjoy the scape of your lush planted tank!
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:26 PM   #19
 
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Thanks money. I just now decided on a light. It's not blow your retinas out HO but it is T5 normal output with 2-28 watt bubs (56w) total. One 6700k bulb and one colormax bulb. I want to reread on the T5 bulbs but I'm pretty certain this is the one I'll go with. What I want to read is I know the T5 are more intense than say a T8 bulb (1.5 x) I heard. But I don't know if that's a normal output T5 vs T8 of a T5HO vs T8.

All I know is I'm friggin' happy now because I have a light fixture picked out and I can get this show on the road. WHOOOOWHOOOO all aboard the aqua- train.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:41 PM   #20
 
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Took you long enough
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