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55g planted tank. What lighting?

This is a discussion on 55g planted tank. What lighting? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Byron DrsFoster&Smith site has a lot of info on various fixtures; you can Google them for reviews. Fish Supplies: Fish Tank ...

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55g planted tank. What lighting?
Old 09-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #11
 
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DrsFoster&Smith site has a lot of info on various fixtures; you can Google them for reviews. Fish Supplies: Fish Tank & Fish Care | DrsFosterSmith.com

If they come with tubes, they may be junk. My regular All Glass fixtures came with tubes and I just tossed them in the recycling and bought my preferred tubes. With one tube I highly recomend the Life-Glo 2 full spectrum 6700K which I believe is 54 watts; this is high in the blue and red that plants need, but balances it (to avoid looking purplish) with green so the plant and fish colours appear natural. This is what I have over all my tanks. May not sound like much, but believe me, this is bright. For years I had a thriving planted tank with one regular 40w tube; the T5 HO tubes are much brighter.

Byron.
I went to the website and they didnt have really and T5 fixtures that i saw that were single 48".
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:03 PM   #12
 
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I went to the website and they didnt have really and T5 fixtures that i saw that were single 48".
They do, here is the direct page. They say this fixture comes in single and double tube. There are three sizes, depending upon your tank length (fixture should fit across the tank lengthwise, so the length of the tank is the fixture length you want). It so happens I had one of these fixtures when i tried the double tube T5, it was a good fixture provided you use a timer (which is good idea anyway) since it does not have a switch.

Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures

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Old 09-24-2009, 04:55 PM   #13
 
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They do, here is the direct page. They say this fixture comes in single and double tube. There are three sizes, depending upon your tank length (fixture should fit across the tank lengthwise, so the length of the tank is the fixture length you want). It so happens I had one of these fixtures when i tried the double tube T5, it was a good fixture provided you use a timer (which is good idea anyway) since it does not have a switch.

Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures

Byron.
Thank you. that is the exact one they have at my local LFS except my LFS wants $45 more. maybe i can get them to price match. Also they said this one has a built in timer in it since it doesnt include a switch. About how long should i leave my lights on?
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:16 PM   #14
 
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Thank you. that is the exact one they have at my local LFS except my LFS wants $45 more. maybe i can get them to price match. Also they said this one has a built in timer in it since it doesnt include a switch. About how long should i leave my lights on?

The timer would be a nice feature. The duration of light depends upon the available nutrients (has to balance) and the type of plants. You want the plants to use the nutrients and light while its on, so algae won't. If there is more light than nutrients, algae will take advantage.

Nutrients includes macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients and CO2 (carbon dioxide). The last comes from the fish and some from the biological processes in the aquarium, but mostly its the fish. The more fish, the more CO2. The light should be the limiting factor, not CO2, because algae is better able to obtain carbon from carbonates than higher plants. If the CO2 is the limiting factor, the plants will stop photosynthesizing (growing) regardless of the light continuing; same goes for fertilizer nutrients.

If you are thinking along the lines of my setups, 10-12 hours a day will be enough, provided you fertilize with the Flourish Comprehensive (or similar comlete fert). Mine are on 12 hours and algae is not much of a problem (there is some, its natural, but not excessive) but I have a lot of fish in my aquaria which provides the CO2 and I fertilize twice a week.

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Old 09-25-2009, 07:48 AM   #15
 
What if i happened to get a 75g tank. Would just one 48" T5 still be sufficient? Only reason i ask is i may be able to get one for free that a friend has upgraded and doesnt want it anymore
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:46 PM   #16
 
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What if i happened to get a 75g tank. Would just one 48" T5 still be sufficient? Only reason i ask is i may be able to get one for free that a friend has upgraded and doesnt want it anymore
In my opinion, probably. When I had the two-tube T5 it was too much light for my 115g, 90g and obviously 70g which is shallower. I had thought of getting the one-tube T5, then decided to go for the "older" regular fluorescent because with 2 tubes I can mix the type. That was my personal thing. But having seen the one-tube T5 on a 90g in the store, i was of the view that it would have been adequate.

Don't let the wattage fool you; 54 watts may not seem like much compared to 80 with two regular tubes, but the T5 HO [high output] tubes really are significantly brighter, by more than 100 lumens. For instance, the regular 40w Life-Glo 2 is 320 lumens, the T5 Life-Glo 2 54w is 430 lumens, or thereabouts. That's a signifricant increase.

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Old 09-28-2009, 10:08 AM   #17
 
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I did a little reserach on the internet. The T-5 HO 54watt single bulb will produce about 4400-5000 lumens. 2 - 40watt t-8 bulbs will produce 7000 lumens. 2 - 40 watt t12 bulbs will produce 6000 lumens. So the T-5 HO will be a bit less than 2 - 40 watt bulbs. The 2 bulb configurations will be 1000-2000 lumens brighter.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:59 AM   #18
 
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I did a little reserach on the internet. The T-5 HO 54watt single bulb will produce about 4400-5000 lumens. 2 - 40watt t-8 bulbs will produce 7000 lumens. 2 - 40 watt t12 bulbs will produce 6000 lumens. So the T-5 HO will be a bit less than 2 - 40 watt bulbs. The 2 bulb configurations will be 1000-2000 lumens brighter.
This is good info to have; does this vary with the type of light (warm white, cool white, full spectrum...)?

In my earlier post, I said lumens but see now I should have said lux. The lux varies with the type of light. And it has something to do with the intensity, although I am not exactly sure how.

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Old 09-28-2009, 01:09 PM   #19
 
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Yes. In my quick research on the internet, lumens varied by Kelvin rating (warn white, cool white, full spectrym..) and by manufactoror. When I looked up what the difference between lux and lumens were, here's what I found:

"Lumens measure "luminous flux". This is the “quantity” of light emitted by the light source. The purpose of lux is intended to tell you how many lumens you need given the area you are trying to illuminate."

Most of the bulbs will tell you how bright they are by the lumens rating. When I was looking for a light for my 55gal tank, here's the figure I came up with for the bulbs you'd find in a typical fixture. Most of the fixture would use more than 1 bulb:

48" T-5 HO 54 watts 4400-5000 lumens
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:15 PM   #20
 
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oops. (hit the tab key by mistake) let me continue;

Most of the bulbs will tell you how bright they are by the lumens rating. When I was looking for a light for my 55gal tank, here's the figures I came up with for the bulbs you'd find in a typical fixture. Most of the fixtures would use more than 1 bulb. These are just estimates and again, vary by manufacturer.

48" T-5 HO 54 watts 4400-5000 lumens
48" T-5 28 watts 2750 lumens
48" T-8 32 watts 2700-3000 lumens
48" T-8 40 watts 3500 lumens
48" T-12 40 watts 3000 lumens
22" CFL 65 watts 5400 lumens
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