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Should I upgrade on lighting?

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  • Should I upgrade on lighting?

    Backstory: 48" Aquarium T5 HO Lighting Quad fixture. I am currently using only two bulbs (6700 Daylight, 54watts).

    My tank:

    48 inches long
    25 1/2 Tall
    -Substrate is 3 inches thick
    -space between water and light fixture is 3 1/2 inches

    Does anybody know what my current light system is? Low, Med, High? I've seen the Hobby lighting chart but still can't figure out what light category my tank fits into.

    *I would like to add 2 more bulbs (6700 daylight, 54 watts) which would make it 4 bulbs total.

    My tank has injected CO2 and dose with dry ferts (modified EI).
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  • #2
    I'm no expert, but compared to my tank (same fixture, but 18" deep) I'd say it's either moderate to high. Your light definitely has more water to go through than mine. If you add more bulbs I'd say you'd definitely be in the high light category, but with ferts and CO2 that's not necessarily a problem

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    • #3
      I am trying to go for "High Lighting" because I want to get some "red" color plants in my tank.
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      • #4
        I've never done well with red-colored plants. I've tried two types of ludwigia and for both the leaves at the bottom all fell off, until it was a stick with some leaves on top. This time I have a few stems of red ludwigia doing alright, but only because they're right in front of the spraybar, so they bend over and the whole stem gets light I was double-dosing iron and it still didn't seem to help.

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        • #5
          With 2 bulbs you are currently in the moderate range. Using 4 bulbs would actually be too much light; but could be done if you monitor your tank closely or even raise the fixture a few inches.

          If you do decide to add bulbs, I would consider using 5,000K bulbs; especially as you are interested in red plants. This lower lighting wavelength brings out the reds in plants. But, many don't care for it as it can cast a pink tint. I have 2x 6700k and 2x 5000k over my 90G and love how it looks.
          - Dena

          All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
          Walt Disney

          The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
          Socrates

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          • #6
            With two bulbs I am guessing that you are running the lower end of a medium light level, the level depends on what brand fixture you have and the quality of the ballast and reflectors. With 4 bulbs I bet it would be high light. Here is a link that gives a great idea of the light level. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368

            If it is a fixture that is not listed, a comparable one can be used to get an idea. Also, with four bulbs you have a better ability to tweak the color spectrum for growth. Using a couple of roseate bulbs (or plant grow bulbs, red spectrum mostly) with the 6700K bulbs can help balance the spectrum and make other colors in the tank "pop".

            Also, to really get colors to show in plants it takes a fair amount of stress for them to respond. Intense light is one of those stressors.

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            • #7
              I'm terrible at reading graphs. I've been looking for the 5k bulbs around me and no one seems to sell them. One LFS says they only sell 6700k.

              I've looked on Amazon and couldn't find them either (might be doing something wrong when searching).

              My fixture is Odyssea 48 inch T5HO 54 watt w/4 LED

              What brand sells 5k 48 inch light bulbs?
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              • #8
                Here's a link to the Roseate bulb.

                http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=21444

                here's link to the ZooMed Flora Sun 5000k

                http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...9&pcatid=23649
                Last edited by AlyeskaGirl; 05-17-2013, 06:36 PM. Reason: added link
                Christine

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                • #9
                  Here's a 6 pack, less than $10 a bulb!: http://www.amazon.com/F54T5-850-54-W...rds=48%22+t5ho
                  __________________________________________________ _____
                  Try not to be a man of success but a man of value. -Albert Einstein

                  Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. -Plato

                  Say what you mean and do what you say. -Alot of people
                  110G, 65G, 10, 300G Pond

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                  • #10
                    The odyssea fixture with two bulbs is giving you around 40 PAR at the substrate, so medium light at best. Adding two more bulbs would easily give you high light that should still be easy to manage. For a couple suggestions of bulbs that I guess would be close to 5000K (I've given up on color temperature since it is way too inconsistent), there is the Giesemann Aquaflora and Zoomed Florasun. Both have nice peaks in the red and blue spectrum that would be good for photosynthesis, but the Giesemann bulb does cost a bit more. I've only used the zoomed bulb, and it does very well while creating a nice appearance. Two of those combined with the 6700K would work nicely.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the suggestions...really appreciate it. I did find a 5k today but a 46 inch instead of a 48inch....will be buying online just afraid of shipping light bulbs via postal.
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                      • #12
                        That's how I get my bulbs. Have to order them online.
                        Christine

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AlyeskaGirl View Post
                          That's how I get my bulbs. Have to order them online.
                          Any breakage during delivery?
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                          • #14
                            Knock on wood - I've gotten bulbs through the mail before with no problem.
                            __________________________________________________ __________
                            Lori

                            30G, 5G

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NorthStar View Post
                              Any breakage during delivery?
                              Nope. Always wrapped up in bubble wrap.
                              Christine

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