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SusanB 11-16-2012 06:23 PM

T8 Shop Light Question
 
I have a 55 gallon tank with a few Amazon swords, a couple Red Melon swords, wisteria, egeria najas and dwarf sagittaria. I have also recently gotten a small amount of duckweed which I realize should turn into a large amount of duckweed fairly quickly. I have two shop lights each with two 48 inch 6500K bulbs. There is a small amount algae on the front glass. I fertilize with Seachem's Trace, Flourish Comprehensive and I also have Excel

Is this too much light for this tank and these plants?

DKRST 11-16-2012 08:17 PM

The first question is where are the lights mounted - How high above the tank? Light declines as a square function of the distance from the light, so a little elevation really decreases the light levels. Shop lights have poor reflectors, so that reduces light levels also.

Four bulbs? My opinion is that's probably 2 bulbs too many! The excess light won't hurt your plants at all, but it will certainly encourage algae. If it's a new tank, you may go without algae for a couple of months and then - boom! Algae explosion. I recommend using 2 bulbs for a couple of months on about an 8-hour/day cycle. If no algae, then you might try increasing the number of lights if you really want to, but I don't think you'll need to.

CinBos 11-17-2012 12:51 AM

With the help of everyone on here, I have narrowed down my lighting to 1 48" fixture with 2 T8 bulbs, each bulb is 6,500k by GE
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SusanB 11-17-2012 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DKRST (Post 1313755)
The first question is where are the lights mounted - How high above the tank? Light declines as a square function of the distance from the light, so a little elevation really decreases the light levels. Shop lights have poor reflectors, so that reduces light levels also.

Four bulbs? My opinion is that's probably 2 bulbs too many! The excess light won't hurt your plants at all, but it will certainly encourage algae. If it's a new tank, you may go without algae for a couple of months and then - boom! Algae explosion. I recommend using 2 bulbs for a couple of months on about an 8-hour/day cycle. If no algae, then you might try increasing the number of lights if you really want to, but I don't think you'll need to.

One of the lights is sitting right on the glass and the other is about three inches off of the glass. I will remove the one light sitting on the glass and just keep the one that is three inches off the glass so I can get into the tank to feed the fish. If the plants start looking crappy I guess I will look into other reasons before increasing the light.

Thanks y'all.

Byron 11-17-2012 01:02 PM

I would leave the fixture with the two tubes that is closest to the water. You mention Wisteria which needs good light; I cannot grow this plant with two tubes, it does fine (incredibly fine) for a few months, then begins to fail. Mind you, the low GH I have may factor into this too.

I would certainly reduce to two tubes, about 8 hours as someone suggested. Monitor plant growth. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement twice weekly. Flourish Trace, depends. This may not be needed with less light, and also we don't know your GH which is important for the hard minerals in balance.

Excel I would not use, solely because it is a toxic chemical that carries too many risks in my view. I've written elsewhere on this. If you don't touch the substrate there will likely be sufficient CO2 naturally to balance the suggested light.

Byron.

SusanB 11-17-2012 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1314438)
I would leave the fixture with the two tubes that is closest to the water. You mention Wisteria which needs good light; I cannot grow this plant with two tubes, it does fine (incredibly fine) for a few months, then begins to fail. Mind you, the low GH I have may factor into this too.

I would certainly reduce to two tubes, about 8 hours as someone suggested. Monitor plant growth. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement twice weekly. Flourish Trace, depends. This may not be needed with less light, and also we don't know your GH which is important for the hard minerals in balance.

Excel I would not use, solely because it is a toxic chemical that carries too many risks in my view. I've written elsewhere on this. If you don't touch the substrate there will likely be sufficient CO2 naturally to balance the suggested light.

Byron.


I have taken one of the fixtures off of the tank and have the timer set for 8 hours. The GH is 79 which I believe translated to 4 of something. I will use the Comprehensive on Monday and Thursday.

Byron 11-17-2012 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SusanB (Post 1314588)
I have taken one of the fixtures off of the tank and have the timer set for 8 hours. The GH is 79 which I believe translated to 4 of something. I will use the Comprehensive on Monday and Thursday.

That sounds balanced, but keep an eye on the Wisteria particularly.


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