Lighting and ferts
So i have been thinking about getting a t5 fixture for my 55 gallon, im already dosing seachems fert twice a week. I wanted to know if by increasing light would i also have to increase ferts, such as adding root tabs to maintain it balanced? Probably a dumb question but im curious.
That would depend on if you are talking about T5HO and how many bulbs. Also what type of lights are you running now?
probably a fixture that runs 2 t5ho's and currently i only have a aqueon full day spectrum bulb, its only a 24 inch so it only covers half the tank.
You will probably have to increase dosing or even go to Dry fertilizers which would be cheaper in the long run. Might also need to run Co2. Or some liquid supplement (like excel though some plants don't like this and it not necessarily the best). Is there a reason you want such bright lights? You can grow a wide range of plants with less intense lighting that is cheaper. Like a dual T8 fixure.
I agree in principle with Boredomb, but I think we are getting a bit mixed up over the tube length. If this is a standard 4-foot 55g, it should have a full length 48-inch tube over it, not a 24-inch. Do you have two 24-inch tubes in the fixture, or just one?
If you want to replace the fixture, you have two workable choices for a natural (low-tech) setup. A single -tube T5 fixture, or a dual-tube T8 (regular) fixture. The tubes are not interchangeable, so its one or the other. Both will give a fair bit of light, and you will undoubtedly need to reduce the duration or have algae issues. I can discuss tubes if asked.
Either of my suggestions will work with once or twice weekly dosing of Flourish Comprehensive.
Well i figured if i wanted high light plants that the t5's would do good. But i guess its too much light? And i have been looking up dual t8 fixtures with the 2 bulbs, but cant find many, or any within a reasonable price.
T5 tubes come in NO (normal output) and HO (high output), and I think there is now a VHO (very high output) which is really only suitable over marine reef systems. The NO tubes are very hard to find--no one in my area has them, and I believe this is common elsewhere. They are basically the same intensity as the regular T8, so I guess not worth the extra cost (T5 fixtures and tubes cost more than T8).
A T5 HO is equal to 1.5 T8 tubes in light intensity, using the same length and type (spectrum). So two T5 HO is like 3+ T8 tubes. A single T5 tube will work, or a dual T8. These fixtures are available, here are a couple links from Foster&Smith just for reference; the first two are dual T8, the third is single T5.
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Perfecto Fluorescent Double-Bulb Strip Lights
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: All-Glass Twin-Tube Black Strip Lights
Aquarium Lighting for Planted & Reef Aquariums: Hagen GLO T5 HO Linear Fluorescent Fixtures
Thanks for the links byron. I had another question, which bulb is better aqueon's full daylight spectrum or their plant growth? I couldnt find the kelvin rating for the plant growth one.
hmm because i have the full daylight spectrum one and that one is actually really purply
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