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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am going to be starting a 125g AGA Natural tank. I am considering running 2 4 bulb 36" Tek Light T5's. Running four bulbs during the the 10 hour photo period with a 2-3 hour Burst of running all eight bulbs. (Tank will be located in Basement, so no natural sunlight will be used on this tank) My only concern with this set up being - Is this too much light for a Natural aquarium? I have had extensive experience with high tech plant tanks and Reef tanks but this is my first attempt at the Natural Plant tank method. (If you have any alternate suggestions for lighting please feel free to recommend)
Thanks for any help and advice!
Judd
 

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Judd,

I think you'll find that that is indeed too much light for the style of planted tank you are hoping to achieve. Two 2 bulb 36" fixtures would be more than sufficient to grow most plants and will cut down on algae growth from excessive light without CO2 supplementation.
 

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I can't understand the lighting specifics of what you've written.

BUT the fact is that emergent & floating plants will use as much light as you can provide. If you have emergent & floating plants, blast away!

If you have only submerged plants, they will not be able to use the intense lighting and this may create algae problems and waste a lot of electricity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Aaron- Thanks for the input. That was what I was afraid of.

Diane - The lighting in question is:
2 x Sun Light - 36" T5 Tek Lights (4 Bulb)
Each 36" Light Fixture has 4 bulbs with two power cords (Each power cord runs two of the bulbs in the four bulb fixture) I was afraid this would be too much for the "El Natural" method.

Thanks for the input!
 

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I am going to be starting a 125g AGA Natural tank. I am considering running 2 4 bulb 36" Tek Light T5's. Running four bulbs during the the 10 hour photo period with a 2-3 hour Burst of running all eight bulbs. (Tank will be located in Basement, so no natural sunlight will be used on this tank) My only concern with this set up being - Is this too much light for a Natural aquarium? I have had extensive experience with high tech plant tanks and Reef tanks but this is my first attempt at the Natural Plant tank method.
Judd
So your 125 gal tank will run with four X 36" bulbs (~36 watts?) for 10 hrs. This is about 144 watts or 1.1 Watt/gal. That's not that much. The 3 hr "burst" with all eight lights on gets you up to 2.2 watts/gal. This still seems reasonable. I don't think its too much at all. After all, a 125 gal is a deep tank, so light penetration is a problem. Second, the tank is in the basement with no window light. Finally, you already have the lights.

I definitely recommend that you use a longer daylength than 10 hr. You could do what I (and others) have been having success with. Use a 12-14 hr daylength with maximum lighting but include a 4 hr Siesta (half of the lights off).

For too long NPTs have been held hostage to the low-light mantra. NPTs can get away with lower lighting than reef tanks, but that doesn't mean that you can't use strong lighting. The key is including "Aerial Growth" (emergent and floating plants), which can use the strong lighting.
 
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