lumens of fluorescent tubes
Sorry to jump in, but where can I find the Lumen Rating of my bulbs? I'm having a bit of the same problem mentioned here [brown algae on glass/plants (anubias) and pretty much a halt to my cabomba growth]. I have a dual 48" T5-HO system with a 6700 and a full spectrum "Colormax" (both by Coralife) over my 55G. Finding the wattage has and color temp hasn't been much of a problem, but I have also been told that with T5s the Watts/Gallon rule doesn't apply. I'm hoping the Lumens rating would apply, but I cannot find it on Coralife's/Oceanic's site nor on the bulb packaging. So what does?
Plants I have in the tank are currently 3x Java Ferns, 2x Anubias, about 10-15 stalks of Camboba and 20 or so stalks of Roseafolia. Hoping to add some more this week/end. As of yet I have not started adding ferts or CO2. Though would be more than open to it. I have access to Flourish here at the LFS, and am handy enough to do a DIY CO2 provided I can find an adequate glass diffuser around here somewhere, or fashion a suitable one myself. Substrate is your standard Tahitian Moon Black Sand by Carribsea, none of this fancy dancy flourite stuff.
PS - As a note, I use way too many /s in my posts. Probably a few many ()s as well.
PPS - I need to make an avatar.
PPPS - Excessive use of post-scripts.
I've moved your post to a new thread as it was not directly related to the other, and more may see it now which means better response. I'll start.
Not all manufacturers will provide some info like lumens, but in this case with T5HO dual tubes over a 55g I can tell you it is a lot of light intensity. I tried two 48-inch T5HO tubes last year over my 115g which is 5 feet in length and deeper and wider than your 55g (I'm assuming a 4-foot standard with 48-inch tubes) and it was far too much light, I took it back after a week and got a regular dual-tube T8 fixture.
You are correct, with T5 HO the watts/per/gallon idea is not accurate, as it basically is with regular fluorescent tubes, though the new models with less watts and equal intensity (energy saving and all that) has thrown some doubt into the wpg idea anyway even for T8 tubes.
There are a couple ways to handle this; if this is relatively new, the store may consider exchanging the fixture. Or perhaps the tubes, and you can get the T5 NO [=normal output, rather than HO high output]. Two tubes of NO will still be a lot of light, but more manageable.
The higher light intensity means you need more nutrients. CO2 may or may not come into it [more in a moment], but more liquid fertilization certainly will. Plants can only grow if everything they need is available, including light (adequate intensity and duration) and 17 nutrients of which carbon (CO2) is one, nitrogen (as ammonia/ammonium from the fish) is another, and then the mineral micro-nutrients usually supplied via liquid or substrate fertilizer(s). If the nutrients are not sufficient to balance the light, the plants can't use the light and algae will, big time. This is called the law of minimum, plant growth is limited by the factor in least supply.
Some of your plants, like Anubias, like shade. Cabomba likes more light. If you arrange the plants accordingly, and have some floating plants, it can work well. I can provide more suggestions on tubes, etc. if you ask, but I hope the above will help a bit.
I'd definately say lower your light...
Maybe if you can just take one tube out, it'll help in the meantime. (until you get new NO bulbs)
The only thing I would say about floating plants, is that you'll have to throw some out weekly... that's a LOT of light- floating plants may become a nuisance in the long term.
Floating plants are a check. I've been talking to Angel and she lives here close to where I do. I had planned on getting some of her excess pennywort when she trims it and trying to float it in the corner where my anubias is. I've been told this is possible to float anyway. If not, any other suggestions?
Not sure where I can find T5 NO bulbs. The LFS has mostly T8s. The Graveyard (PetCo) has t8s and t5-HO. I'm going to a bigger LFS today in Nashville and will check there. I have been looking at Lowe's to no avail. I initially wanted a dual T8 48s but couldn't find any here. Probably should have just ordered them in hindsight. However I fou nd the T5s at a good price and was getting other supplies anyway, so I scooped them up as well.
The tank is about 110 - 125% stocked. I think my organic nutrients should be fine. I had planned on picking up some flourish comp today. Bad idea?
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T5 NO tubes are not as common. May have to order online. If the purchase was recent from a store, they may exchange or give you a credit; most want your continued business.
Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one of the best fertilizers. I use it; it takes very little (half a tsp for 30 gallons) once or maybe twice a week, so more economical long-term. Seachem make several plant products, in near-identical bottles, make sure it is the Comprehensive.
Spoot that's too much light to balance I couldn't find the lumen online neither but hopefully this msg will get to you before Nashville: Look at the store at the box within the fine print it'll tell ya the lumens.
Also; I donno about yours but our Lowes here I just but the 4ft GE Daylights/ Sunlights and they're perfect the tank you seen the 55g that runs with ONE Ge Daylight 32w and uhm well what can I say you're coming to get plants so that say's it all LOL. Worst case when you're here this weekend stop by Lowes here on the way home and pick up a pack GE Daylights they're like $8 or something like that for the 4ft 2-pack.
Balancing these lights with ferts (I'd use Flourish Comprehensive) will be a LOT easier!!!
I'll not trim the 55g until after you been here we could take some of the nice big Pennywort of the top (has bigger leaves then below)....I'm sure between all these tanks we can find ya something to hook your tank up with :-)
Once that tank is balanced with plants-lights-ferts that algae will automatically subside with no further hassle involved.
Ok, I found some Flourish Comprehensive for The Planted Tank. Got enough to last me a year.
No go here on the NO T5s. They had 36" but no 48s. I checked both my fixture and bulb boxes and they do not have Lumens on them. I'll check the Crossville Lowe's this weekend per your suggestion. Thanks for the help/advice peeps!
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Alright. I'm having 0 luck finding NO bulbs. The places I have found online are out of stock for the most part. The local places only carry HO bulbs. I've tried HW stores, pet stores, and even a couple of wholesale lighting places.
I've had the fixture for over a month, so the store I bought it at is not that interested in taking it back for cred (the Critter for those who know where I'm talking about). So I need to explore other options...
Would lowering the time I have my lights on help? I currently have them on 10hrs a day using a timer, so I can easily adjust it down to 8hrs, 6, whatever. I can also remove a bulb if necessary, or raise the lights higher from the tank.
I just added ferts yesterday, so I need to give it time to find out how this will work, however I believe the popular consesus is that I am still going to have way too much light.
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I might be in luck. The small LFS ordered me 2 NO bulbs today in the same temp range I currently have.
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The NO tubes will be the best solution. Plants need light of adequate intensity and duration to balance the nutrients. If the intensity is too much or too little, and depending upon how much this is out, decreasing or increasing the duration is not usually effective because the intensity and duration have to be within a fairly limited range to balance the nutrients.
As an example, having double the intensity over a tank with nutrient levels at half what is need will only encourage algae no matter how long the light is on, and the plants will not thrive. Same if the intensity is too weak, having the lights on longer does not compensate.
Once you have the NO tubes, we can help you get the nutrients in balance and you'll be fine.
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