planted tank lighting - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-30-2012, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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planted tank lighting

Hello all from a lurker (I hope this isn't regarded as a highjack),

I think Byron's picture above convinced me that I am too worried about not enough light in the tank!

But as a cowardly type I will confirm. I want a low tech option (no co2 system). For my 55 gal tank I was looking at the same fixture as the OP (double 5tNO 28watt). It looks like I would do just as well with an 8t fixture. Any recommendations on a specific 8t fixture? (or alternative 5t) that would fit on the back part of my glass top (say 4 1/2" wide or so). Fixtures that I find at walmart/big box stores appear to be too wide. I have a wood top that sits on top of my aquarium so the fixture can't be hung above the tank.

I have a run of the mill community tropical tank (some tetras, life bearers and the like). I would like to grow run of the mill plants too such as, ludwiga, wisteria, hornwort, anachris, swords. If possible I would like some fore plants like micro swords to get a carpet of sorts (doesn't have to be particularly dense). Basically the sort of plants found at petsmart since due to availability that tends to be my fish store option.

I currently have a canister filter and a couple of airstones. It sounds like with plants I should lose the airstones to help keep CO2 in solution.

Thanks for any help and appreciate this forum as a great resource!
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-30-2012, 06:34 PM
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First, may I welcome you to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Second, I moved your post out of the other thread and started its own thread. The topics are related, but the issues are different, so this is better for you and us.

Third, to the lighting questions. T8 and T5 NO is much the same as far as light intensity (with the same type of tubes of course). T5 will be more expensive, but long-term use less energy. If you can get T5 NO tubes, fine; I can't which is why I stay with T8.

A dual tube in either will be adequate for what you are intending. As you saw, the photo of my tank in the other thread has this, and that was over a tank twice the size as your 55g.

Another option if you can find it is a single-tube T5 that takes HO tubes. One 48-inch HO T5 tube would provide adequate light.

I had to replace two of my dual-tube fixtures a couple years ago, and I tried the dual tube T5 HO for one week and took it back (too bright), and got two T8 dual-tube fixtures. These were from an aquarium store, so more expensive, but they are nice fixtures and fit the tanks well. All Glass was the brand I got, simply because that is what the store carries.


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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post #3 of 4 Old 12-30-2012, 08:21 PM
Much as Byron said either a dual t8 or t5 NO would work fine. I went with the dual t5 case it was available and replacement buls aren't an issue for me. I looked forever and ever for a dual t8 hood but couldn't find one anywhere. I'm fairly handy(with the exception of electrical things) and didnt want to try and build one myself. SO my issue is pretty much the opposite of byrons and it all came down to availibility. Check your local Petsmart as that's where I found the light to fit my tank (36" Aqueon dual t5 NO, 48 watts). You'll be amazed at the differance the dual hood makes. I wish I would have posted a before and after pic.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-31-2012, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers, went with 48" 28w t5NO x2.
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