Upgrading lighting help?
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Upgrading lighting help?

This is a discussion on Upgrading lighting help? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> So I'm thinking I may upgrade the lights in my 50g because things grow slowly (or die), but nothing really "flourishes." I have 2x15W ...

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Upgrading lighting help?
Old 08-08-2013, 01:49 AM   #1
 
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Upgrading lighting help?

So I'm thinking I may upgrade the lights in my 50g because things grow slowly (or die), but nothing really "flourishes." I have 2x15W T8 6700K lifeglo bulbs. About 1800 lumens. So, 0.6 watts per gallon.

Firstly, will this be too might light? I was thinking I would only put one bulb in, giving me 54W. Is it possible to only put one bulb in -- anyone with experience? I want a low tech tank without CO2.

I was considering buying a dual T5HO 48" fixture since that seems to be the standard -- 2 and 4. Does anyone have any recommendations? I was looking at this: Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting
I seemed to find mixed reviews. What do you think? It's cheap, but will it crap out on me or burn my house down? And anyone who has/seen it.. is it black or gray? Hard to tell.

I want something that fits on top over the glass of the current "hood" kind of, doesn't need to be perfect... But I don't want to use the stands really, if that won't melt it or burn my house down...




I kinda like the current dim lights. I worry it may look too bright, but I want to have jungle val or something draping over the top, or floating plants if thats a problem?

I kind of like the "white" color these 6700K bulbs give off. I think 6500K is more yellow... hmm.

Any opinions on the strength of light and hardware please post. :)
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #2
 
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Catalina Aquarium 48 Inch 1 x 54 Watt T5 HO Planted Aquarium Light

I just found this too. Seems better quality, and if I decide to go the single bulb route. Still looking for opinions on which route to go. XD
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
 
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I would go with a single T5HO on that tank before I went with a dual. Btw I know someone who uses an Odyssea and never had an issue with it.

The current setup you have is pretty low light. On my 55 I use to to run a dual 48" T8 fixture and had amazing growth out of my plants.

A single T5HO would produce close maybe a lil more then that setup I had. If you go two you might run into algae problems without dosing Co2.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
 
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Yea I definitely don't want to grow a tank full of algae. And I don't want to dose CO2 (that'll probably change someday!). Is it even possible to get good growth without CO2?

A single bulb would practically double the brightness. I don't want to have to go back and get a double one later though. xP
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
 
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Yeah you can get decent growth without Co2. I seriously can't answer if a dual T5HO would be alright on your tank or not. I can tell I would have never tried it on my 55 as I had a hard enough time with a dual T8 and algae. I had to have floaters or would get black bush algae. Every tank is different and so is the setup. What might work on ones tank may not work on another.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:22 AM   #6
 
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Hmm that's interesting. So, if a single t5ho would be the same as a double t8, and you had algae with that, should I maybe just replace my lights and keep 30w t8? Hmmm
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:50 AM   #7
 
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Hmm that's interesting. So, if a single t5ho would be the same as a double t8, and you had algae with that, should I maybe just replace my lights and keep 30w t8? Hmmm
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Depends on the plants you want. Anything slow growing and doesnt need much light then leave the light the same. If you want a tank full of fast growers like stems then you have no choice but to upgrade. Its all about what you want. Later down the road I figured this out. Right now I have that same fixture sitting on my 2 10 gallon tanks. So it lights both of them with one light fixture and I haven't seen any algae in one tank at all but the other has some. The difference is plants. One has a tank full of fast growing plants and the other with the algae has slow going plants. Its all about what you want and how you are willing to make it work.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:12 AM   #8
 
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Maybe I can get away with jungle vallisneria, swords, and crypts. I would be okay with that. But would higher lights make them grow quicker? That's kind of my goal. I don't have a huge interest in demanding plants, but the current ones grow fairly slow.

I recently got hygrophila and red tiger lotus to see how they'd do. They probably won't live without the upgrade. I suppose that would be fine though. I just want my current plants to grow faster to keep the tank cleaner.

I probably should just go with replacing the bulbs. They probably are losing a lot of strength. But don't want to invest 30$ (I like life glo) if I should upgrade the fixture.

Hmm.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:27 AM   #9
 
Boredomb - where you using duckweed as your floaters? Or is there a better alternative? The duckweed I have spreads out way too fast.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:14 PM   #10
 
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Boredomb - where you using duckweed as your floaters? Or is there a better alternative? The duckweed I have spreads out way too fast.
At one I had that stuff and hated it. Nothing wrong with it pre say I just didn't like it. It spreads super fast and is hard to control buy is great as nitrate intake plant. I now use Watersprtite or Frogbit.
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