Would a dual T5NO be pushing it for low tech no C02? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Would a dual T5NO be pushing it for low tech no C02?

I got tired of the full "deluxe" hood on my 29g so I picked up a glass versa-top on my way home from work today. Aesthetically it is a night and day improvement, functionaly it appears to provide more light from my single T8 fixture. After comparing the glass top with the full hood the full hood had a very narrow window on the bottom.

Anyways I've been having some issues with my floaters lately since they are starting to spread and get stuck in the shade areas. While at PetSmart I of course was looking around at other random items and came across this. Aqueon® Freshwater T5 Light Fixture - Lighting & Hoods - Fish - PetSmart It's a dual fixture T5 but what I liked is that it's only NO so from what I've read would be just like having a second T8 fixture (which I've been debating whether to try or not) without having the cumbersome second fixture on the glass top.

My curiosity to try and slightly increase my light without tipping the balance is coming from the growth in my 10g with two 10w GE Daylight CFL is blowing my 29g out of the water. Both tanks have a few of the same plants that I have been comparing. Crypts, wisteria, and swords are all in both tanks. The 29g in no way is struggling, but I have lost a few plants during the learning process that were higher light plants that I did not research properly before buying, other than that, slow but ok growth.

I know, I know, I have to find the balance, an excess in any one area will cause algea . I would probably start it on 8hrs a day and see how it does. I have ZERO algea in my 29g, another reason I'm thinking of pushing the envelpe just a tad. The 10g though does have some very minor algea but nothing the pond/ramshorn snails can't keep under control.

So summarizing my babble I'm wondering since these are NO bulbs would I be alright, pushing it, or completely tip the scale and run like the wind? Also how readily available are NO T5 bulbs?

One other note, is I guess I could always get it and try it, if it doesn't work out within the first 30 days I could always return it. hmmm... why do I always have to screw with something, like the new 40g Reef Tank isn't keeping me busy enough lol.

"Going low-tech planted is liberating, a feeling similar to running through the sprinklers naked with a bottle of jack daniels." - Kangy

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post #2 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 05:44 AM
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A dual T8 isn't out of the realm of possibility, definitely moderate light.

How long is your 10g light on? I have the same setup, but algae problems. I've had to cut the light down to 7.5 hours ... I just did that, so hopefully it stops spreading.
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post #3 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 08:47 AM
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I think that fixture, even with it being non-HO would be pushing it and would require a fairly short photoperiod or more CO2/ferts. It would be more than just double the amount of light from the single T8. The bulbs are longer (30" for the T5 vs 24" for the T8) plus even the non-HO T5s produce slightly more light than T8s.

Here's an alternative that may be a good way to increase light some without going to far:


it is basically a single bulb version of the Aqueon fixture (Aqueon and Coralife are subsidiaries of the same company), coralife is meant to be higher end so it may have a better housing, reflector or bulbs or it may be exactly the same, I'm not sure

non-HO T5 bulbs are harder to come by, Aqueon/Coralife and maybe one or two others are all that I know of, though check out some general online light bulb retailers, they are available, as T5 is used outside of the aquarium trade, they are more expensive and getting the correct spectrum may take work
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post #4 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 10:58 AM
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Petsmart.com - Fish: Lighting & Hoods: Aqueon® Freshwater T5 Light Fixture

Yup, that is the exact light I have over my 25 gallon and I leave it on for 8 1/2 hours a day without issue. That said, my lamp is only a year old and one of the light no longer works so either I got a dud or they are not well made. As far as how much light, It was fine. I do dose that tank with Flourish weekly though. My plants look nice in there, in fact, I recently had to pull a bunch of them and then replanted the 60 gallon.

I just looked at the price and was a little suprised. I bought it in a kit with the 25 gallon plant tank. It included the glass top, light, heater, filter and tank for $89.00. Now this light is $59.00? Hm, I would wait for a good sale. ha ha

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Last edited by Inga; 03-03-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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post #5 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 12:09 PM
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I would go with the unit Quantum linked, were it me. I have a single T8 24-inch tube (Life-Glo) over my 29g and it is fine for what I want, with low and moderate light plants. The single T5 would increase the light by about 1.5 so that should be manageable.

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 #6 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 01:18 PM
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did the light fixture work well with your new glass top? mine wont work with the zoo med dual t5
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post #7 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I don't have the fixture yet. The single T5 looks nice but is only NO and comes with the colormax bulb (if I only had one I'd want the 6700k adding another 20 to the cost). It would provide a small increase and better aesthetics though. Another reason I'm thinking of a change is the aesthetics. I like the look of either of those Aqueon fixture better than the bulky T8 I have now. I found the dual bulb on amazon for about 45ish.

Geomancer, I run the 10g 8hrs a day. I have some fast growth plants though, wisteria, and anacharis which out compete the algea, the snails tale care of the rest.

Hmm, I'm pretty much set on the aqueon T5 NO fixture. Not having any luck finding a nice looking dual T8 fixture. Just can't decide on the single or double. The double would be cheaper once its all done since if I got the single I would change the included colormax bulb to the 6700k. Bulb might tilt the balance too far. Hmm decisions decisions.
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post #8 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 05:04 PM
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just keep in mind, compared to what you have now, the Coralife is about 1.25 times the amount of light and the Aqueon will be 2.5 times

Last edited by Quantum; 03-03-2012 at 05:05 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #9 of 37 Old 03-04-2012, 08:32 PM
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kangy, i just got the aqueon dual lamp t5 and love it. i posted in my thread "extra lighting" about it. i am now waiting on the experts to chime in.
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post #10 of 37 Old 03-04-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quantum View Post
just keep in mind, compared to what you have now, the Coralife is about 1.25 times the amount of light and the Aqueon will be 2.5 times
hmm that may be what I'm looking for, a little better aesthetics and just a tad increase to light. Like I said the tank right now doesn't have any growth issues (other than the high-light newbie mistakes), it's just slower growth compared to the 10g. Just from changing the hood though it appears the light is much better penetrating into the tank (could just be my wishful thinking convincing myself of that though) but the old hood was really really old and the glass had gotten really "foggy" despite how well I cleaned it. I compared the old hood with the new glass lid with a flashlight on the wall (real scientific I know) and the new glass did let much better light through, and it appears to distribute to the surface plants slightly better. Then again these are all just my observations from my obsessive staring at the tank lol. So I'm already much happier with the new hood so the single T5 NO might be just the extra bit I need/want. I didn't want to go to bright for a few reasons, have no intentions to go hi-tech (my reef tank is fulfilling my "techiness" right now) and as the wise Byron always states, the fish we keep prefer subdued lighting.

So the T5 NO bulb is longer? and even though both the T8 and the T5NO are 18watt the T5NO will give aproximately 1.25 times the light?. Might be better than pushing it too far, too fast, and tipping the scale.

Scott, how long have you had your dual bulb T5NO setup? How much brighter does it appear? Any issues with algea yet?

"Going low-tech planted is liberating, a feeling similar to running through the sprinklers naked with a bottle of jack daniels." - Kangy

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