Originally Posted by Judder
I've just realized I'm running a 30 watt T8 bulb (bought the tank, hood, lighting and filter from my lfs as a deal) on a 3 foot planted tank. I've just made up a DIY CO2 that's bubbling away nicely but I'm now thinking I need more light. I think I'm running at about 1w per gallon...
I really don't want to splash out on a couple of grand T5 set up so what's the alternative? Are there decent T8 bulbs??
Can you get a cheap T5 lighting fixture from bunnings or something and use that??? does it have to be from a proper aquarium shop??
Any help would be awesome!
For some reason, T5 fixtures are less expensive than regular fixtures for T8 or T10 (same fixture for either). But T5 HO tubes emit much more intense light.
As was mentioned, you should have 3-4 watts per gallon with CO2. This is regular fluorescent tubes; T5 emit more light so less watts will cover it.
I have a 3-foot 33g tank with one tube and it is a 30-inch 25 watt Life-Glo (regular). With CO2 I would consider 3 such tubes, or 1-2 T5 HO tubes. Without sufficient light, your CO2 is wasted because the plants must have everything in balance--light and nutrients which includes CO2, macro-nutrients and micronutrients. You will need regular (perhaps daily) liquid fertilization with more light and CO2 to balance.