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Cassandra90 10-04-2012 11:34 AM

Lighting for a 55 gallon
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I have had this tank for almost 4 years now. I have started adding live plants slowly. I use API liquid plant fertilizer in the tank and so far no problems with the plants I have in the tank.

I recently added red ludwigia, bocopa, and more anubius to the tank. I would like to keep these plants alive. In the tank already is java fern and a few sword plants.

I have not changed the lights since I have bought the tank which was a kit. So, I know those light bulbs are probably not the best for live plants. I have read that it is recommended to have 2 watts of light per gallon.

What is the ideal lighting for a 55 gallon tank? The tank is 48in. long, 18in. wide and 24in. tall. It has two separate hoods on the tank too.

Boredomb 10-04-2012 11:49 AM

I have always been told to run atleast a single 48" T8 bulb over a 55 gallon tank. That puts you at low lighting. I am guessing since you have two fixtures the bulbs are 18"? Obviously that's even less lighting. This can work just stick with low light plants. If you want to move on to other plants you can try and see if they will survive if not then I would change the fixture out. On my 55 gallon I have a Dual 48" T8 fixture that sits on the tank with a glass canopy under the lights. BTW your tank looks good!

Cassandra90 10-04-2012 12:03 PM

I believe it is the two 18 inch bulbs. I looked around a bit for a full hood to cover so I could change it, just haven't had to much luck finding something that would work. Also, my filters are pretty big too, the hood I have now doesn't fit properly with the filters. I have two marineland 350 hanging filters.

Cassandra90 10-04-2012 12:04 PM

Thank you too. The tank is a bit cloudy, I just did a water change that day.

Boredomb 10-04-2012 01:33 PM

The hoods that are on it now are stand hoods and all that will fit the tank if you go with a different fixture you have to get the glass canopy (covers) for the tank. They have a plastic piece on the back that you don't have to put on or can cut to make it fit around your filters. Just an option you should be able to buy the glass covers at most fish stores.

Cassandra90 10-04-2012 01:40 PM

Thanks! I'll have to do more searching then. At the moment the tank as the center piece to hold the two hoods. I could just cut that out for I could get one full hood on. Or like you mentioned the glass cover's which I have seen but just for smaller tanks.

Boredomb 10-04-2012 01:56 PM

I wouldnt cut that center brace. Its there for support. It helps the top rim from letting the glass bow. Its possible if you cut that the glass could bow. It may not but I wouldn't chance it.
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Cassandra90 10-04-2012 02:10 PM

Very true, I'll have to take a better look at it.

Tigris 10-04-2012 02:33 PM

Unfortunately the red ludwigia is going to require more light and the bocapa requires med-high light.

As for glass lids, be careful because not all fit that well like the aqueon tops didn't fit my 55gal that well
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Cassandra90 10-04-2012 02:52 PM

Thank you, I am planning on doing something about my lighting this weekend when I get time off from work. I will look at different covers/hoods and lighting while at the store.

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