My Lights - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-18-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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My Lights


I have a 75G planted aquarium and my plants haven't been growing right since the start. I've been using seachem flourish twice a week as well as seachem substrate tablets. I did invest in a T5 HO odyssea light fixture which came and did not work properly so I had to send it back.

Right now I've decided to set this up in hopes of giving my plants proper light for growth. I have 2x 48" light fixtures on top of my 75G tank both running 40W florescent bulbs. I'm not sure of the kelvin rating on the bulbs but I can check and reply back with that.

Is the current setup I have now adequate for plant growth as far as lights go? I do not know much about plants myself which is why I'm asking here.

75G FW Community planted
65G FW Mbuna tank
50G FW Mixed Cichlid
33G Reef Tank
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-19-2012, 02:26 AM
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It would also help to know what species of plants you have in there.

There was this thread over at another forum, and one of the experts there posted this chart:

Assuming your tank is about 20 inches high, 2 T8 bulbs would yield low light, which is good for low-tech setups with less-demanding plants.

Also important to know is how old the bulbs are - when the bulbs have already over a year of run time on them they're useless for growing plants.

Last edited by eug; 08-19-2012 at 02:29 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-19-2012, 02:32 AM
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Oh, and also post water parameters (GH, pH, temperature) because different plants, like fish, also have different requirements.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-19-2012, 04:50 PM
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You have the same as I have over my 70g, 90g and even my 5-foot 115g tanks (2 T8 tubes each) and this is moderate light [contrary to the chart posted]. A lot of aquarium plants will grow fine under this, assuming we are talking a "natural" or low-tech method. And as eug rightly mentioned, the species of plants have to match.

You can check the photos of my tanks under the "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left to see what I have achieved over 20 years with this lighting. I avoid light-demanding plants, which are most of the mini "carpet" substrate plants, and most stem plants.

One has to take with the proverbial grain of salt the usual light recommendations on plant forums and such. I can only assume these people are still thinking of the "good old days" of 20 years ago when T12 Grolux lighting was the norm for planted tanks, and that light was less intense than the T8 tubes in full spectrum we have now. And of course, most of these people also run CO2 and higher nutrient fertilization which has to be balanced by more light to be effective.


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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