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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just reset up a 55 gallon tank 48 x 13 x 24 (actually had to by new tank because support brace broke on other one). This was an established tank for about 3 years with perfect water conditions. I decided to go to a planted tank this time. since I have to redo everything. I put the eco substrate along with some very fine black gravel. I have kept the same cannister filter (marineland c-220) and immediately hooked it up to new tank so bacteria should be quickly restored. I also put about a pound of old gravel in a mesh bag to help with cycle immediately. I am hoping the tank will cycle quickly. I have the lights that came with aquarium so I am sure I must upgrade. Sorry I don't have their specs at this time, but they are definitley basic lights sold with an aquarium kit so I doubt they will be to much benefit for my endeavor. My questions are these:

1. I added gravel and eco substrate today and plan on adding plants tomorrow. They are low light plants. I don't know all the names of them but were recommended by a very knowledge individual. Will plants will be OK with a tank that is recycling using strictly R/O water?

2. I am going to order different lights and have gotten so many suggestions on what is workable that is somewhat confusing. I don't plan to get to exoctic at first so I am looking for decent lights that will work for current situation as well as have a little extra umph if i do add some plants requiring stronger light later. I would like to know what good quality lights would work here. How many watts good brand names and so on.

3. I don't plan on adding any fish until water quality is where it needs to be. I do have an R/O system as I mentioned above, and was told that i could add just R/O water at the beginning. I will then add some tap water to create an acceptable tds reading when fish are added. Is there anything wrong with this approach.

I realize that there are questions outside the lighting issue but I mainly need to know about the lights. If anyone else can help me with other questions it would be appreciated. I am ready to get these lights ordered as so as I can get some input here.

Thanks
 

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For the lights:

Giesemann Midday T5HO with an individual reflector for each bulb. Every other bulb out there is one of many obsolete pieces of equipment that will grow plants but with more wattage, bulkier size, shorter life, hotter operation and so on.

One of the Giesemann Midday 54 watt bulb is enough to grow most plants in a 55 gal. tank. Adding a second 54 watt bulb will allow you to have a 1-4 hrs per day of very strong light. No plant will be a problem.

That assumes you can DIY the fixture.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can you expand on the DIY on the fixture..Thanks for your input. I do know what DIY means
 

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DIY = Do It Yourself

Plants will appreciate something other than RO water, which lacks the calcium and magnesium, as well as a lot of other trace elements the plants need. If you use RO water you can use Seachem Equilibrium to provide the needed GH elements, and you will be dosing fertilizers to provide the nitrates, phosphates and potassium. But, just plain RO water won't be good for either plants or fish.
 
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