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I use 3 x T8 38w (2 x Arcadia Freshwater Lamps and 1 x Original Tropical) for my 48x18x20 Tank (~75 gallons). That amounts to about 1.6 wpg, which by most conventional measures is quite low. I use pressurized Co2.

I have no problems growing fairly light demanding species such as Eriocaulon Cinereum and C. Parva. While I do not get pearling, or intense red colouration, I believe it is indicative that the WPG rule ought to be taken with some caveats. As a quick and dirty measure, it is adequate but definitely it is not the be all and end all with regards to lighting.
 

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i have a 55 gallon with diy co2 and 2 coralife-65w 8000k compact florescents.
My plants are growing well but I don't get pearling, which I would love to see, and the colors are not showing the red I would also like to see.
Any suggestions on how I could improve my light output without buying new fixtures at this time.
 

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i have a 55 gallon with diy co2 and 2 coralife-65w 8000k compact florescents.
My plants are growing well but I don't get pearling, which I would love to see, and the colors are not showing the red I would also like to see.
Any suggestions on how I could improve my light output without buying new fixtures at this time.
Get bulbs other than Coralife. They all have way too much green in the spectral output.
 

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I looked into the thread on PAR vs WPG and my numbers just don't quite add up with regards to wpg recommendations. I put the numbers on that thread, but as far as this thread goes, I have a 20 npt with 2.5 wpg T5HO (2x24w) with no problems growing stems, and a 125 npt with only 1.25 wpg T5HO (4x39w) with no problems growing stems except in shaded areas (some Rotala bit the dust after a 1 week bout of pea soup). I have to mention though that these set ups are pretty new, so I don't have long-term observation to confirm how well everything is doing. They have been set up about a month or so.
 

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honestly, i couldn't read everything :D But i would have to say that 108 watts t5ho on a 55 is sufficient. My plants are all green and healthy, and one of my bulbs is an actinic. i think its more on the ratio of ferts to light to co2 because if i had more light with the same low lvl of co2, it wouldn't do anything. Plus, i thought t5ho lights had better water penetration than CF? wouldn't that make it better for deeper tanks? mainly since i've heard that t5 bulbs have more blue light compared to CF and others, except for halide and stuff. Dont pin me to that though :) Im still a beginner
 

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Hi popomon,

I have to remind myself sometimes that it is a light "system" and the bulb is just a part of the system. The other part is the reflector. A T5 bulb and a CF bulb are basically the same; however the CF bulb is bent into a "U" shape. A T5-HO bulb is a high output version of the T5/CF bulb.

I have found that the quality of the material in the reflector (i.e. MIRO 4), and the shape of the reflector, make a huge difference in the ability to get a good level of light down into the aquarium where the plants are, especially down to the substrate level.
 

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oh, well that sucks :( I think i have a single piece reflector on my dual bulb coralife, still gets the job done though so it aint too bad
 

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Oh boy, here we go again. In short :) I'm working on a brand new set-up: 48 x 18 x 18 open top glass tank with some hopped-for emersed growth. I spent about a week full-time doing research on the web and talking to friends in the hobby. Lo and behold, you've guessed it, the only major piece left is lighting.

And I am totally clueless on what I need and/or what I want.

At the moment, all 3 of my existing tanks have Coralife CF fixtures: 4 x 65W over 24" tall 75G, 2 x 65W over 20" tall 37G corner and 1 x 96K quad over 18" tall ~24G "nano cube" knock-off, all with 6700 Coralife bulbs. All tanks have the same pH, kH, gH, TDS, nitrates, Fe, substrate, similar plants, bio-load, ferts, temperature, water changes, filters, no co2 except Excel, etc, etc, etc. And all tanks are doing differently. The nano-cube is doing the best: I can grow anything, no algae. 75G now has diatom issues on swords (10 year-old tank), and the corner 37G is a constant maintenance headache. Feels like 1 out of 3 is always out of whack and they are taking turns every 6 months or so. (1 out of 4 would make a better ratio :)).

And for the life of me I am hard pressed to find or to understand the correlations or dependencies. (Must be the reason why I stay with the hobby).

T5HO? CFs? MH? LEDs? Watts? Lumens? PARs? 10K? More red or blue? $50 at HomeDepot or $795 at on-line retailer.

Fun. Back to my spreadsheet.
 

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Oh boy, here we go again. In short I'm working on a brand new set-up: 48 x 18 x 18 open top glass tank with some hopped-for emersed growth. I spent about a week full-time doing research on the web and talking to friends in the hobby. Lo and behold, you've guessed it, the only major piece left is lighting.

And I am totally clueless on what I need and/or what I want.

At the moment, all 3 of my existing tanks have Coralife CF fixtures: 4 x 65W over 24" tall 75G, 2 x 65W over 20" tall 37G corner and 1 x 96K quad over 18" tall ~24G "nano cube" knock-off, all with 6700 Coralife bulbs. All tanks have the same pH, kH, gH, TDS, nitrates, Fe, substrate, similar plants, bio-load, ferts, temperature, water changes, filters, no co2 except Excel, etc, etc, etc. And all tanks are doing differently. The nano-cube is doing the best: I can grow anything, no algae. 75G now has diatom issues on swords (10 year-old tank), and the corner 37G is a constant maintenance headache. Feels like 1 out of 3 is always out of whack and they are taking turns every 6 months or so. (1 out of 4 would make a better ratio ).

And for the life of me I am hard pressed to find or to understand the correlations or dependencies. (Must be the reason why I stay with the hobby).

T5HO? CFs? MH? LEDs? Watts? Lumens? PARs? 10K? More red or blue? $50 at HomeDepot or $795 at on-line retailer.

Fun. Back to my spreadsheet.
lololol, i'll give you a rundown of my basic knowledge :p

wattage can't give a reasonable estimate anymore. for example,
6 wpg over a 10 gallon with incandescent bulb puts out as much light as 1.3 wpg over the same tank with a fluorescent bulb, because fluorescents can put out more light for the wattage. now, t5ho, t5, t8, im pretty sure, are all a type of fluorescent, but in a large scale, still have their own "ratings". So i would say that a t5ho, can not only put out more wattage than a standard t5, but is classified more efficient for the wattage as well. also, plants like lots of red and a mid amount of blue in the light spectrum, stuff we can't see, as a 6700k bulb from different manufacturers may produce the same visible light to us, they may have different levels in the light spectrum. I've heard of diversity within the same brand, as the common 50/50 bulbs and cfls from coralife have more green in the spectrum (useless) but on my spectrum chart for my t5ho bulbs (also by coralife), they had almost no green, and mostly red and blue. So its a luck game. going back to the subject of wattage efficiency to light usability, LEDs are once again at the top. Although many commercial LED systems are "dimmer" than the standard lighting for the recommended tank size, if you were to ramp up the wattages equal to each other, the LED light would easily destroy the competition, and not only can it give out more light for it's wattage, i've heard that LEDs also have more usable light as a vast array of different particular spectrums and LED sizes can be incorporated into one big unit. remember, energy can be neither created or destroyed, so the right off the bat, you can tell that the light sources that give off less heat are putting more energy into the actual light. Lumen output usually effects the usable light, as it can help determine that number, but im not personally 100% sure.
 

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Ended up with Tek T5 6x54W 5" above the top of a 18"-deep tank. My new algae by mail business should be in full production soon :)
 

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sheesh, 300 watts for a 75 gal? thats quite a bit sir :) 4wpg is very unstable unless you can keep a very strict fert and co2 regiment going. But if you do get the co2 and ferts right you've got yourself a tank that can grow anything haha. Maybe if you overdose excel until the "experimental" phase of co2 is over, you can remove the chances of ever starting with algae which will help in the long run
 

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But what about reflectors? You could have a 20w T5HO fixture on a 10g, and still only have low/medium light. This "rule" in my opinion is very incomplete if you will and inaccurate. The amount of photosynthetically active radiation that reaches the substrate is much more accurate, as it takes into account the reflections that go on inside the tank and fixture. Check out Hoppy's thread over at TPT forum. He has it down.
Regards,
Jake
 

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The amount of photosynthetically active radiation that reaches the substrate is much more accurate, as it takes into account the reflections that go on inside the tank and fixture. Check out Hoppy's thread over at TPT forum. He has it down.
Regards,
Jake
There are some fundamental errors in his theory which need to be corrected. Otherwise decent thread.
 

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What do you guys think about T-8s 2x32watts over a 29 gallon 30" long. I think its 18" deep. I want to grow high light plants in it. I have a 75gallon with PC on it and CO2 with 4x65watts on it.
 

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thats only about 2wpg though. maybe add another bulb?
 

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I have Aquaticlife T5 HO 4x24 watts (2x6000k and 2x 650nm Roseate) with individual highly polished reflectors over a 36g bow front. Seems to do well. I use Seachem Flourish and DIY CO2, soon to be press. Just upgraded so will let you know how it does.

How long should I time the photo period? I can set timers on a pair of bulbs individualy. Right now it is set for one set (6000K and 650nm roseate) for an hour in the morning and evening before night. Then 10 hours of full power (4x24). What do you think?
 

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I have Aquaticlife T5 HO 4x24 watts (2x6000k and 2x 650nm Roseate) with individual highly polished reflectors over a 36g bow front. Seems to do well. I use Seachem Flourish and DIY CO2, soon to be press. Just upgraded so will let you know how it does.

How long should I time the photo period? I can set timers on a pair of bulbs individualy. Right now it is set for one set (6000K and 650nm roseate) for an hour in the morning and evening before night. Then 10 hours of full power (4x24). What do you think?
With T5HO it might be too long but if you arent having any algae issues I'd say OK. You may find you need to cut back to a max of 10 hours or even 8. Good idea with the stepped up/stepped down senario.
 

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Why does the intense lighting require C02 supplementation?
 

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Many thanks for your information, John N. It is very useful. May I confirm the gallon is in UK or US unit?

My tank is 24"W x 18"H x 8"D and 55L, now using 3 x 16w T5 HO 13000K (28.83cm length), is that enough for plants?

Kelvin
 
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