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The PC will totally dominate NO flourescents. The reflectors dominate and the bulbs peirce into water a lot better than NO even at same wattage.
 

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I agree with you, Shane, but shouldn't one consider the light spread advantage that having six NO vs. four PC bulbs would give? I think there was a recent thread on this topic.
 

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I have a 50 gallon, which is only 2 inches shorter than the 58. Same dimensions otherwise. The 55 watts will provide just as good coverage as compared to the NO flourescents. That is an optimum setup for that tank.
 

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I really have to jump in and say that although the power compact laser beans may provide more light, the normal flourescents will provide more choices and greater quality of light.

A Power Compact bulb, at least not yet, can't beat the quality and beauty of lighting of a normal flourescent. The Zoomed Ultrasun (CRI 98!) and Florasuns in a 2:1 ratio will bring out the colors of plants and fish best.

Power compacts are strong, but rather harsh. I use them but don't think the lighting quality, at least to my eyes, is all that great.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. ZooMed indead has some of or actually the best NO bulbs for plants.

I did take light spread as a major concern since I did read that AHSupply's reflectors tend to concentrate the light on a particular area. So which one is it?
 

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I would have to vote for the NOs above the PCs. After I switched to 4 65w PCs from 5 40W NOs, the glossostigma in my tank doesn't want to grow like a weed anymore! :roll: I can't even get it to grow densely and it tends to grow vertically than horizontally. The PC units that I am using are Corallife's aqualight. I installed the extension legs on the lights but that doesn't make a difference for the glosso.

BTW I did't even have very good reflectors on the NOs, just some cheappy white shoplight reflectors.

I wish T5 will become more popular in Norht America. IMO it gets the best of NO and PC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How evenly would I need to space them from each other? I'm going to grow some of the more difficult plants(L. inclinata, P. stellatus, Tonina) in this tank...just to make sure, with NO I will be able to grow them? What other bulbs should I use, I heard Tritons are good?
 

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Raul,

6x25w is fine for your 58g aquarium. Actually, you might even find it easier to grow some of those plants since the lighting won't be as intense as with the power compacts.

I would just use the high CRI Zoomed Ultrasun bulbs (4) and intersperse them with a couple of the pink Zoomed Florasuns to pop out the red coloration out of the plants and fish.

Florasuns and Tritons are very similar in appearance to each other, but I think I actually prefer the Florasuns. Plus, the Florasuns are less expensive.

Space the bulbs out as much as you can on your canopy. The more, the better, but there isn't a set rule on placing a bulb X inches away from another as long as they all fit.

Carlos
 

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tsunami said:
Raul,

6x25w is fine for your 58g aquarium. Actually, you might even find it easier to grow some of those plants since the lighting won't be as intense as with the power compacts.
Very timely thread. I've been considering replacing some power compacts with NO because of the "harshness" of PC. The thing that has been stopping me is concern over downgrading the light. Now, I'm confused on how less intense lighting will make it easier to grow certain plants?
 

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Well, less lighting within reason.

Most hobbyists who invest in pressurized CO2, high lighting, and the works are usually using MUCH more lighting than what is truly necessary to grow the harder species -- this is a uniquely American phenomenon I feel.

If you check the specifications on several of the top ADA layouts and other Japanese aquaria, they are using far less wpg to create those beautiful aquascapes. Why? They don't care so much about growth rates as much as about plant health and stability. WIth lower lighting levels, the plants are not being "pushed" as hard to grow and are less sensitive to an accidental bottoming out of nutrients if we don't have time or forget or underestimated the amount to fertilize the night before.

Layouts also keep their 'look' for a little longer when lighting isn't so intense, it is easier to turn plants red through nutrient manipulation, etc.

These are some of the things I grew successfully with a single 96w power compact bulb over a 55g (1.75wpg):

Bacopa caroliniana (bright pink, robust)
Hemianthus micranthemoides (very bushy, stems were large)
Ludwigia repens
Hygrophila difformis
Heteranthera zosterifolia (stargrass)
Lobelia cardinalis 'small form'
Anubias barteri var. nana
Limnophila indica
Rotala wallichii

When I ran 2x55w over my 55g (2wpg), I also grew these very well:

Alternanthera reineckii "rosaefolia"
Rotala macrandra
Glossostigma elatinoides (flat carpet!)
Blyxa aubertii
Didiplis diandra

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Carlos is right, many aquarists love to 'overdrive' the lighting on their tanks to speed up growth, witness pearling, etc. Yet it becomes tricky to maintain control on such tanks and problems such as stunted growth occurs.

But I do have one question, since I'm slightly overdriving the 6 NO bulbs using an electronic ballast. Will I face the same problems most high-light aquariums face?
 

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ADA uses completely different lighting routines. They use low light with VERY high light in the middle of the day. It is not right to compare our way with ADA's.
 

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I will be using 2wpg of PC lighting over my 55g with an extra 2x36w pair of PC bulbs coming on in the middle of the day. I'll let you know in three months how it goes.

Carlos
 

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If I could do it again I would just use 3 shoplights on my 75 gallon. I am currently using a 4x65 watt aqualight and a shoplight on my tank. The problem with the aqualight is that to get a good spread you need to use the legs which greatly lowers the light intesity. So I figured I would just use 2x65 watts of the aqualight plus a 2x32 watt shoplight, even lighting with lower wattage.
 
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