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T5 Lighting 2, 3, or 4 bulbs on a 55gal?

This is a discussion on T5 Lighting 2, 3, or 4 bulbs on a 55gal? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by DKRST Thanks 1077, Mikaila31, and all others to date. I've also been lurking on the Planted Tank Forum and the consensus ...

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T5 Lighting 2, 3, or 4 bulbs on a 55gal?
Old 02-20-2011, 10:46 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKRST View Post
Thanks 1077, Mikaila31, and all others to date. I've also been lurking on the Planted Tank Forum and the consensus between all the comments here and there is "whatever works for you". It's interesting to see the philosophical differences. One forum emphasizes max plant growth with sometimes less regard for fish lighting preferences and here some optimize for fish at the expense of plant growth. I'm trying to strike a balance and, so far the T5HO is working well - for me. I am supplementing with Flourish Excel and Ferts and, yes, it can add up the $$. Algae absolutely was a problem until I started dosing with excel, but it's still a new tank with all the variables still settling down so I can't isolate cause and effect well. The algae, except for a few small spots of green hair algae, is currently under control. Even the hair algae is declining as I play with the photoperiods.

I'll likely change out my 24" T5HO for a 36" fixture at some point. It will be at the lower end of a high-light system, based on some excellent tables and graphs posted on The Planted Tank - Articles, Forums, Pictures, Links. Will this cause me algae problems down the road? Will my fish tend to stay at the lower light end of the tank? I'll keep everyone posted!
Only time will tell with regards to Algae which will take advantage of any growth limiting factors plant's may expierience.Perhaps with the consistent application of Excel and fertz needed for light available, you will expierience little algae.One can expieriment with photo periods as you have/are doing, as well as raising the light fixture above the tank but a fine balance is needed that only comes from trying.
Nearly all fishes would prefer little or no light above the tank, and lighting is more or less for our viewing pleasure.Some floating plant's will help fishes feel more comfortable and I believe given a choice,,the majority will utilize the floating plant's and or shaded areas provided by tall plant's or thick plant mass over brightly lit tank throughout.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:57 AM   #12
 
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Thanks 1077 - I agree regarding the low-light preference of fish and I do (now) have some floating plants, and surface overgrowing American Val. I also have a 36" light off-set, leaving a less bright area as a refuge if the fish prefer lower light. with my swords getting larger, the fish spend more time spread over the tank, but as you said, much time under/beween the plant leaves.
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