Is this TOO much lighting? (is that possible? :P)
4 ft. 4-Bulb T5 High Output Fluorescent Grow Light Fixture-V44 at The Home Depot
^This is a link to a fixture I found to be reasonably priced (actually amazingly priced with all that wattage...) in comparison to ones made specifically for aquariums.
But would I be able to sit this on top of 55gal? I have the aqueon glass top.
Would it get too hot?
And just any other thoughts you guys might have about this, and maybe if you could point me in the direction to something that may be better.
Unless you are dosing CO2 and using Dry fertilizers that's going to be way to much lighting for a 55 gallon.
Well I have a co2 system that I purchased from azgardens.
And ermmm, whats dry fertilizers?
I'm still in research process. :p
Oh and also, according to the page it says I have the option of only using two of the bulbs as well. What do you think of that?
Google EI dosing and that will give you some info on it. Its just another way to dose fertilizers.
Even with 2 lights I would think you would still need Co2 to balance everything
Those are going to be bright lights.
Yes, even with two T5HO bulbs you will need CO2 and a daily dose of fertalizer to get a balance.
I will even go one further; this is way too much light regardless. There is no way you could ever reasonably balance 4 HO tubes over a 55g with sufficient CO2 and nutrients. Algae will have a field day.
Two T5 HO 48-inch tubes will be high light and require CO2 and probably daily dosing of nutrients. One T5 HO tube would allow you to omit the CO2 and use less fertilization.
The other aspect often overlooked is the fish. Most of our aquarium fish are forest fish, occurring in dimly-lit waters (that frequently have no aquatic plants) and bright lighting does affect them. Aim for the least amount of light you need for the plants you want to maintain, then balance that with nutrients.
My lighting choice for a 55g tank would be either a single T5 fixture or a dual T8 fixture. Either will give you good light. A single T8 fixture is possible too, but you will be more restricted with plant possibilities, though it is still workable. My 55g years ago had one T8 tube (T12 actually, back then) and I grew swords fine. But it was borderline.
FYI you will need a pressurized CO2 system. No yeast based system is going to be sufficient or reliable enough for a 55 gallon tank.
2 bulbs is barely into needing CO2. It can be done with or without CO2 at those levels, but without is going to be difficult especially if you don't have a lot of experience with higher light tanks.
You will may have to swap out those bulbs as well.
I have 2 T5HO on a 55 gallon with pressurized CO2 and I'm still having BBA algae issues! That's even with raising the light waay above the tank and cutting back to 6 hours/day. The T5HO's put out a lot of light. After trying out the CO2 for three months now, I'm going to do just a little more tweaking and, if that doesn't help the algae issue, I'm going back to less light and low-tech (I actually had better overall outcomes. Slower growth, but no algae!).
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