lighting over the planted aquarium - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-18-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
Just because you use T5's does not mean you need to increase everything. I would suggest T5's for the 60 gallon, that is defiantly not a tank I would use T8's on. People HIGHLY over estimate how much light they need, especially with T5's. You need to realize HO T5 bulbs are at least twice as intense at a T8 bulb. That 48" fixture you linked has 4 bulbs, and is WAYYYYYY too much light for a 60 gallon. At most you want two bulb with T5's on a deep tank to stay low tech. Even then it might be difficult, a single bulb would defiantly give you low light capabilities.

Curious about ypur perspective. Why would you NOT use T8 on this tank?

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post #12 of 14 Old 02-18-2012, 09:16 PM
Originally Posted by Inga View Post
Curious about ypur perspective. Why would you NOT use T8 on this tank?
Just because of the larger bulb size and the fact that T8s are less efficient then T5s. You get more light per watt with T5s then you do T8s. T5HO bulbs are also high intense lighting which is good for deep tanks since intensity drops off quickly the deeper the tank is.

I've also just never had much luck with T8s in general. I use 55 watt power compact bulbs, spiral compacts, or T8s ATM. I have a T5HO fixture I built that is waiting for a tank. I have at least 2 spare T8 strip lights. Most my T8 strip lights I just modify to run something besides a T8 bulb. The one I have in use is also just providing secondary lighting on the tank it is on the main light on that tank comes from spiral compacts. For the 24" tank I personally would just build something new into the existing hood, probably a single HO T5 bulb totaling 21 to 23 watts. It would take quite a bit of DIY and some electrical work, but it would be cheap(probably around $30 or less). For the 60 I would just buy a single HO T5 fixture. That will give you 54 watts on the 60 gallon, which is a nice low-medium light level IMO

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post #13 of 14 Old 02-21-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your opinion and suggestions. I wish I were more mechanical myself.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-22-2012, 11:34 AM
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Just came to this thread, though Inga and I have exchanged some PM's on this issue and I won't repeat all that.

My recommendation for a 55g (4-foot tank) is a single-tube T5 fixture (as Mikaila mentioned in her last post), or a dual T8 48-inch, or a single T8 48-inch. I had the latter when I had a 55g some 25 years ago and managed, but you are limited to low and moderate light plants so don't expect most stem plants (aside from Pennywort) to do well. The T5 HO single tube gets you up to moderate which will grow the vast majority of plants. The dual T8 48-inch goes a notch up from that.

I would not suggest a dual T5 over this tank; I had such a fixture and tried it for a week over my 5-foot 115g and it was way too bright. I now have a dual T8 48-inch over this tank and the plants are thriving. But again, I do not even attempt high-light plants. I am more interested in keeping the light low for the sake of the fish than I am in propagating plants.

Single-tube T5 fixtures are hard to come by. Fosters&Smith has one, here:
Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures
and they say it is clearance. As I've noted elsewhere, T5 was primarily designed for reef tanks to provide higher light intensity with fewer tubes than was possible using T8. The T5 is still aimed at marine setups, and one tube would obviously achieve little there. Now that manufacturers are moving into LED, I doubt we will see much development in single T8.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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