needing help on lighting
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needing help on lighting

This is a discussion on needing help on lighting within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> hello, i just bought a 250 gallon aquarium, 96"x24"x25". i`m going to set it up as freshwater now, but maybe later on i might ...

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needing help on lighting
Old 06-05-2009, 01:06 AM   #1
needing help on lighting

hello, i just bought a 250 gallon aquarium, 96"x24"x25". i`m going to set it up as freshwater now, but maybe later on i might set it up as saltwater. i`m wanting to be able to grow any kind of live plants that i decide to grow in it. my question is what kind of lights do i need to get for it? i`m hoping to stay with the t5 lighting since it is cheaper to run. any information is greatly appreciated. someone told me that i need 2- 4 foot 4 or 6 bulb t5 lights with the reflectors on each bulb. thanks james
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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You will need at least 250 Watts of T-5 lighting to get to around 1 W per gallon.

They all come with reflectors and as to he lengths of the fixture.. well get 4 footers I guess. I didnt see any longer than 4 feet . OR! you could get regular shop lights ! with T-12s or T-8s ... will be cheaper.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:17 AM   #3
Thanks for the advice

48'' Aquarium Light T5 HO 6X 54 + bulbs Reef NEW+ bulbs
Price: $259.99

Brief Description
Detailed Description

Lunar Moonlights automatically installed with their own cord a switch- Add this and all units to timers

48'' long X 9'' wide and 2.5'' tall

T5 HO Aquarium Light w/ Moonlights

6 X 54 Watt T5 HO

4-10k (sunlight bulbs) INCLUDED

2- actinic bulbs included ( Blue bulbs) INCLUDED
8- 1 watt Blue LED's included (moonlights!)

(We also have 6500k bulbs - let us know if you are interested and we can set up a special auction for you)



Ballast is highly efficient Electronic ballast w/ 5 year warranty


2'' tall legs are included as well to give a better distance between light and water. Light can just rest on top of tank if that is where you prefer it to lay.

Light is very well ventilated and it is T5- the coolest running high output light in the industry.

Reflectors are the best in the industry- German Polished Independent Reflectors- This will triple the intensity of the light- yes each bulb has its own reflector.

There are 3 Chords and 3 switches with this light

1- chord turns on 2 T5's
1- chord turns on other 4 T5's
1- chord turns on the Moonlights

There chords can be used with timers so the lights can come on in a pattern that you prefer and that is most beneficial to your aquarium.

Light is glossy black in color

Manufacturer: N/A SKU:N/A

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Old 06-08-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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Looks good but IMO a little too much wattage for your purpose. Be prepared to grow more than just a plants.. I'm talking about algae too.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:11 AM   #5
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James, the number followed by "K refers to the intensity of the light, the "K" is Kelvin. So a tube rated at 11,000 Kelvin will be more intense light than one with 6500K. The higher K is good for deeper tanks as it allows the light to penetrate the water better. As light penetrates water its intensity is greatly reduced, much more than in air.

The general guide for planted aquaria is to have 1-2 watts of full spectrum fluorescent light for minimal plant growth, and 3-4 watts for increased plant growth. Some plants are termed "low" or "moiderate" light and they will do fine at 1-2 watts per gallon; others are "high" light and will not fare well unless provided with 4 watts or more.

But providing more light is not the only thing to consider. Plants also require nutrients, which includes CO2 (carbon dioxide) and micro-nutrients (sometimes called trace elements) and macro-nutrients. All of these have to be in the correct balance with the light in order to have plants photosynthesis which is how they grow. In most aquaria, the fish population provides much of the CO2 and some of the nutrients through biological processes, and the aquarist can add a comprehensive liquid fertilizer to ensure the correct balance of macro and micro-nutrients. With 1-2 watts of light, plants like swords, crypts, anubias, java fern, java moss, vallisneria, etc. will grow quite well. At higher light, they will grow faster, and other plants requiring more light will also grow, but the CO2 (in particular) and micro- and micro-nutrients have to be increased to balance the light. If not, algae takes over.

You have to decide what type of tank you want; what type of plants, how much maintainance each week (faster-growing plants require regular pruning), and this will allow you to decide how much light and if CO2 is required.

The figures of watts per gallon works for regular fluorescent full spectrum tubes. The newer compact lights have lower wattages for the same power, and others on this forum have written about this and have more experience. I still use the standard fixtures and tubes. You can see the result in my aquarium photos. I have 1 watt per gallon, no CO2, and twice weekly liquid fertilization.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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I think we need to take all the posts by Byron and make a big fat sticky here on plants and light and dosing and minerals and all that good stuff!@
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
Thanks byron

Hey thanks alot bryon, that helps me alot. It help me understand the lighing a lot more and what to look for now. I hope that i don`t have the algae problems that unrulyevil is talking about. Thanks again to both of you. James
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:54 AM   #8
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Here is something that might help you and everyone who is interested.

Aquarium Lighting; Kelvin, Nanometers, PAR, Bulb, Watt, MH, LED, light basics.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
i think byron just needs to write a long thread of everything he knows on plants and just sticky that... that way, people can just read it and not keep making threads about lighting and stuff for plants..
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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Question Lighting Issues...

So I have a 55 gal that i bought as a complete kit. It came with 2x 24" Flourescent light fixtures. Each fixture has 1x 15 watt bulb. The problem is that I want to grow real plants and this lighting is not sufficent. I guess the general rule for the plants I want to grow is 1-2 watts per gallon. I was thinking about getting 2x Zoo Med Flora Sun T8 bulbs rated at 5000k. These bulbs are only 15 watts as well. My question is will this be sufficent? If not does anyone have any suggestions on what I should get. I don't have much money to work with, so some exspensive setup is out the question. Please help! Thanks.

Last edited by zombiefish610; 06-20-2009 at 09:56 AM.. Reason: wrong post
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