Originally Posted by candymancan
I don't think you understand.. You know when you buy a starter tank and it comes with a basic hood fixture ? You know how those hoods are typically say 24 inches long but have 18 inch bulbs... Or 36 inches long with 24 inch bulbs.. creating dark spots in the tank... My 55g I got on craigslist from a lady with tank/hood/lights/stand for $125 had a duel (separated light fixture meaning 2x 18 inch bulbs.. 1 bulb for each half of the tank... The bulbs were 15w.. so 30W (15w on each half) for a 55g tank.. Your thinking I had duel 48 inch T8's that isn't the case.. One was a pink colormax, the other was a full spectrum which has zero red frequency which plants need.. So the tank was extremely dim.. specially on the colormax side..
Hense why I got that 48 inch t5 strip.. Its a 56W strip.. it isn't a HO its a NO light strip.. Algae wont grow with a light like that.. My 36 long 30 gallon tank is actually doing great with the 36 inch t5 strip I got for a few weeks ago.. The red nesaea is growing its maintaining its dark red color although the new growth is more orange but that's ok.. Im using liquid CO2 from API everyday.. I probably don't need it but I do use in the 27g hex and my 30g..
The Hex is using 3 T8 bulbs... I actually just returned my 2x20 inch aqueon T8 strips and got my $60 back.. I decided to use the 2 lamps from the 55 that I took off as it uses 18 inch bulbs so I just put my floramax bulbs in it.. The hood overhangs the 27g hex by 3 inchs because its a 24 inch hood using a 18 inch bulb on a 20 inch wide/deep hex.. But that's ok the full 18 inch length of the bulb covers the 20 inch wide/deep hexagon so its no diff then using the 20 inch aqueon hoods (hense why I returned them) it also is using 1 15 inch t8 full spectrum to give the tank a white light (those floremax are too dim) That tank also has zero algae growth.. My plants are thriving in the tank.
So basically It was a win win.. Return my 2x20 aqueon hoods and a colormax bulb.. get $80 back.. Spend $90 on a 48 inch duel T5 light.. and use the 2x24 inch hoods for my 27g hex which had the 2 20 inch I returned.. I hope im making sense here ?
Oh,Yes I see now what you are talking about.
The one 56 Watt T5 bulb will be just about right. Two would bring the algae I fear.
Algae will grow under any lighting when balance between needed CO2,nutrient's, is out of whack.
More light bring's more demand from plant's for CO2,and nutrient's.So long as we don't make the mistake that more light is better,for more growth,then plant's will grow albeit slow ,steady.
More light actually does=more growth, but without also increasing the CO2,, and nutrient's,,the growth most often seen is algae.IME
On added note,,Plant guru's will tell you that plant's will grow with nearly any color spectrum that look's good to your eyes.
I currently run two T8 ZOO med Reef/sun 10,000K bulb's over 55 gal and plant's grow fine.
Is much more pleasing to my eye's than the yellowish/green that the old 6000K bulb's produced.
Ny 300 litre tank pictured in avatar,run's two 65 watt CFL bulb's that are 50/50 10,000 K 6700K.
I expierimented with many different bulb's,spectrum's and these are the ones I like the best.