03-05-2010, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Upton, MA
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
| | Re: Your opinion on T5HO Coralife vs. AquaticLife fixtures?
Originally Posted by ldk59
T5HO bulbs are going to put you well into the realm of "High light"... in your 1st post you state that this is for a "low tech" tank... if the tank is indeed low tech, you want low light. The ONLY way to get low light levels over your 30g tank while using T5HO bulbs is to hang the light fixture 30"+ above the tank.
Oh, I'm not looking at the 4-6 lamp banks of lights .... I'm looking at just 2x 39w over a 30 gallon. That would put me in the range of 2.6 wpg (although that measure is not so useful these days). And I'm aware that the HO T5's are going to put out more usable light, and the efficiency is a big plus. The 30 g has a bit more vertical depth than my smaller tanks, which is another reason I'm looking for the extra light.
I've been running various forms of "low tech" for about 20 years now, and like to experiment a bit. I've actually had remarkably good luck getting a low tech tank settled in under low light conditions (about 4-6 months), then bumping the light up a good bit and putting in some more light-hungry plants. This has allowed me to grow a wider variety of plants than one would normally classify as "low tech". My glosso stays nice and close to the substrate, Bylxa japonica is nice and lush (and starting to pup). Nearly 2 months ago, I bumped up my 20H from a single CF 65w to a dual-65w fixture (but with no real reflectors to speak of, and an intolerably loud fan) and added some Hydrotriche hottoniiflora (a "high light" plant). It is growing well, branching and full (love that plant's look behind a "black" Echinodorus!). Just did my first trim & replant to expand the group.
So, I appreciate the words of caution, but this seems to be a method which works for me.