New Fixture or New Bulbs?
I'm looking to do a mixture of fake plants and live plants in my goldfish tank. I've found some really nice fake stem plants, and I'm planning to have anubias, java fern, amazon sword, and hornwort (floating) as my live plants. I've selected them because they are goldfish-hardy and low-maintenance (unlike most stem plants). I currently have two single tube 18" T8 fixtures with 6500K bulbs that are about 9 months old. Well the hornwort is only doing so-so, and the amazon sword's growth seems to have slowed and some brown algae is growing on its leaves (this is with twice a week Flourish). I thought bulbs were supposed to last 12 months...
If I get a new bulb, will my fixture be enough for what I'm planning? If not, what can I remove to make it so? I like the look and effect of live plants, but without this being a massively planted tank I don't think I can justify the cost of a double tube T8 fixture. If one is really needed here I'll just give up on live plants in this tank.
I think that with the plants you're wanting to keep, your lighting should be okay, just the bulb that needs to be replaced! I'm no expert, but these are lower light plants, so they should be fine under that lighting. And the bulb will burn more quickly depending on a variety of factors. . . I've read 9-12 months on replacing them, so I'd at least give it a try :) Good luck! I KNOW you're gonna give us some pretty pics, right?!! ;)
Assuming the tank in question is the 55g labeled as "Goldfish" in your log, then the present lighting is probably insufficient or very minimal at best. I had a 4-foot 55g tank years ago with a single T12 48-inch tube and it was sufficient for swords, but that tube emitted more light than your two 18-inch tubes.
Anubias, Java Fern and floating plants should manage with the present fixture. I would replace the tubes every 12 months max.
The brown may be diatoms, or just a biofilm.
I can't vouch for the prettiness of the pictures ;-) , but I will be sure to share pictures of the complete tank with everyone!
The tank is a 4 foot 55 gal tank. Always forget to mention that. I'm not crushed about the swords; they were a "let see what will grow in here" purchase. I'll just throw them in the empty side of the 29 gal and see if they thrive (I was planning for driftwood there, but maybe these will work). Maybe when they get bigger and stronger, they can go back in the 55 gal. As long as the lighting is fine for anubias, java fern, and floating hornwort, I'm happy.
I think it's time for new bulbs all around.
Thanks, guys! :)
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