T5 Bulb options
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T5 Bulb options

This is a discussion on T5 Bulb options within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I'm planning on starting a planted aquarium with my old native tank and i would like opinions on bulb choices Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting ...

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Old 06-09-2012, 10:37 PM   #1
 
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T5 Bulb options

I'm planning on starting a planted aquarium with my old native tank and i would like opinions on bulb choices

Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting
Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting

Same price same fixture, seems like a good deal and very reliable based on reviews
so its either 2x 54W T5 6500K lamp or 1x 54W T5 10000K lamp 1x 54W T5 Actinic lamp

the selling site advises the 2 6500k for planted freshwater but I'm not experienced in plant lighting so any help is appreciated

Plants I have so far are Dwarf baby tears and the young amazon swords my large plant is propagating but as soon as I decide on the lighting I'll begin ironing out the rest before I start planting

Tank details: 14tall 17.5 wide 48 long with corners cut to create a 3 panel front. It was sold to me as a 75g but doing some math i think it might be closer to 40-43 since it was custom made for the petstore as a plant display tank i can believe the gallons will be non standard but it came with 4 48in t8 i use on my 150 and a fluval U4 for $75 so i cant complain
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
 
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go with the 2x6500K, the 10000K/actinic is meant for marine setups, but this is a lot of light for this tank
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
 
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Would you recommend a single t5 then? Or maybe replace one of the bulbs with a more diluted light?

Last edited by Varkolak; 06-09-2012 at 11:01 PM..
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
 
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depends on what your goals are

my tanks are low-tech, natural (e.g. no CO2 addition or extensive fertilizer dosing), so from this perpsective the dual tube T5HO is excessive, though it may be necessary if you want high light plants - I believe the baby tears are high light

a single T5HO (or even a single T8) would probably be plenty in your relatively shallow tank for swords, crypts, java fern, java moss, anubias and a few others
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:09 AM   #5
 
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Similar price, how about this one? Deep Blue SolarMax HE 48" T5 Strip Light - 28w
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:40 AM   #6
 
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Decided on Db Solarmax HE2 Dbl T5 Strip at PetCareRx.com spend 100 and get $30 off so 70 for 2 t5 28w and some leds, key point is I can turn bulbs on individually thanks for the help deciding, this should be perfect for what i want.. if you check this again can you tell me if you think my dwarf tears will thrive under that kind of lighting?
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
 
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I have the 30" version of the fixture linked to in post #5 over a 29 gal (18" high). Light output for the non-HO T5s is about the same as T8s, maybe a bit more, whereas the T5HO is 1.5 to 2 times that of T8. It works well for the crypts and java fern in the tank, also have dwarf water lettuce that's not doing as well, but I think it is a nutrient issue rather than light.

Having two bulbs will obviously allow higher light requiring plants. I've never tried the dwarf baby tears, but this fixture over a 14" tall tank would seem to me to be enough, but again no personal experience with that particular plant.

You will want to change the actinic bulb. These are single wavelength, usuallly in the low 400 nm range, and I believe used for corals and such in marine tanks. I would get a 6700K, both Coralife and Deep Blue have these in non-HO T5. I replaced the 10000K bulb that came with the fixture with the Coralife 6700K, as it was too blue for my taste, though a 10000K/6700K combo will be fine for plants and is an arrangement that is recommended by other members with dual tube fixtures.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
 
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I agree with what Quantum has posted. I've also not tried baby tears, but I may be able to offer some background on what to expect.

The problem is not only light, but nutrients in balance with the light [and each other]. You are going for a natural method, meaning no diffused CO2, so light intensity becomes more critical. Plants can only photosynthesize if they have sufficient light intensity and all 17 nutrients are available. Carbon (from CO2) is one essential nutrient, and one that can be the first to be used up when we are relying on a natural source. Once this occurs, plant photosynthesis will slow and may even cease, depending upon the levels of nutrients. The light being quite intense will then allow algae to proliferate, since algae is better adapted to take advantage when plants are being thwarted by something.

So the increased light intensity on its own will not result in better plant growth, unless all those nutrients are present in balance. And it may cause other problems for the plants and/or fish.

Having the option to only use one tube is always good with T5 lighting.

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Old 06-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #9
 
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Ya that's why i decided on the 2 28w instead of 54 and the system that allows me to run either 1 or 2 bulbs depending on requirements and I'll look around the LFS for a replacement bulb, do you think it would be better to use an excel product for co2 or just stock the tank with a heavier bio load? right now I'm looking at kuhli loaches ghost/cherry shrimp and various tetras which all have relatively small bioloads but i might consider a peacock eel once the tank is established with shrimp for him to hunt

I'd be willing to get a small co2 system if it wouldn't harm the fish i plan on keeping and was small enough not to get in the way on my desk

And do you guys recommend this type of fert? Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - Blends, Tabs, Capsules, Blends, Tabs, Capsules, , , Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - RootMedic Complete Capsules, RootMedic Complete Capsules, it seems like an easy way to go buy easy isn't always best

Last edited by Varkolak; 06-10-2012 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varkolak View Post
Ya that's why i decided on the 2 28w instead of 54 and the system that allows me to run either 1 or 2 bulbs depending on requirements and I'll look around the LFS for a replacement bulb, do you think it would be better to use an excel product for co2 or just stock the tank with a heavier bio load? right now I'm looking at kuhli loaches ghost/cherry shrimp and various tetras which all have relatively small bioloads but i might consider a peacock eel once the tank is established with shrimp for him to hunt

I'd be willing to get a small co2 system if it wouldn't harm the fish i plan on keeping and was small enough not to get in the way on my desk

And do you guys recommend this type of fert? Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - Blends, Tabs, Capsules, Blends, Tabs, Capsules, , , Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - RootMedic Complete Capsules, RootMedic Complete Capsules, it seems like an easy way to go buy easy isn't always best
First on the carbon/CO2. It is not essential to have an artificial source of carbon in order to have a thriving planted tank. There are some pants that do much better with diffused CO2, and many believe there are a few that won't manage without it. But the majority of plants will be fine without adding carbon. Another point, is that when carbon is increased by some means, the other nutrients must also be increased to maintain the balance between all 17.

As for Excel, I do not recommend this product. It will kill some plants outright. If it is overdosed, other plants can be killed, and fish too. It is a chemical substance.

On the bioload, the majority of CO2 occurs from the breakdown of organics in the substrate. The amount produced by respiration of fish, plants and bacteria is much less by comparison. This is why those of us with planted tanks rarely if ever touch the substrate. The waste and other organic matter gets down in the substrate where there is a host of bacteria using it. Oxygen produced by the plants and diffused through their roots is part of this, as is the natural flow of water down through and back out. Letting nature work its magic down there is best. I have maintained a tank with spare plants for months with no fish in the tank; obviously the carbon came from somewhere, and that was the substrate. Malaysian livebearing snails are also a useful component of this, and they burrow throughout the substrate and break down the organics into smaller bits to make them more easily accessible to the bacteria.

On the fertilizer linked: I'm not myself familiar with this product, but I would be concerned over the percentages of ingredients. Nitrogen at 14% and phosphate at 10% seems excessively high. Aquatic plants take up nitrogen as ammonium through the leaves, so adding nitrogen to the substrate achieves nothing in my view. And phosphates present in normal fish foods plus perhaps the tap water is likely to provide all that is needed. The average aquarium water has roughly 1 to 3 mg/liter of phosphate solely from the foods, which is much greater than the 0.005 to 0.002 mg/l in natural waters which is ample for plants. Phosphates can cause algae issues, and while I can't say how this might be affected by phosphate in the substrate, from my experience it is not a necessary additive.

I use Seachem's Flourish Tabs but only for my larger sword plants. For comparison, nitrogen is 0.28 % and phosphate is 0.17 %. A complete liquid such as Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is sufficient for a natural method planted tank, either dosed once per week into the water column. You might need a calcium/magnesium/potassium supplement if your tap water is very soft, but otherwise not.

Byron.
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